ZAMBOANGA CITY, the Philippines, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Gunmen have contacted the husband of the captive American national and son in the United States and issued the ransom demand, an official confirmed on Saturday.
City Mayor Celso Lobregat, chairman of the Crisis Management Committee (CMC), confirmed the reports in a hastily announced press briefing.
Lobregat confirmed that the reports after the police were informed by U.S. authorities about the call made by the kidnappers.
"Contact has been made to the husband in the United States. And the contact was that that there is a demand," Lobregat said, citing the call was short when the kidnappers established the contact last Thursday.
He said the kidnappers also issued the ransom demand during the call. However, Lobregat declined to confirm any amount demanded by the kidnappers in exchange for the safe release of the victims.
The kidnappers that seized Gerfa Yeatts Lunsmann, 42, her son Kevin Eric, 14, and her nephew Romnick Jakaria, 19, last July 12 at the island village of Tictabon off the coast of this city.
Lobregat said there was no information whether the kidnappers set any deadline for the family to comply with the payment of the ransom neither the kidnappers identified the group they belonged.
There were reports indicating that the kidnappers demanded 10- million-U.S.-dollar ransom. But Lobregat described the information as unbelievable.