Story number 1 for 5 Apr 2002

By April 5, 2002

(Philippines) — Our newscast begins today in the Philippines, where U.S. planes have reportedly tracked down hostages that include an American missionary couple. Filipino media reports indicate Martin and Gracia Burnham may have been separated in the latest bid by the Abu Sayyaf to thwart government rescue operations. We spoke to New Tribes Mission‘s contingency spokesman, Guy Sier. While he declined to go on tape, he stated that their local sources have information contradicting the area’s media information. A key issue, Sier points out, is that they haven’t been able to verify the reports or locate the sources behind the story. Not only that, but New Tribes has been battling misinformation from local press since the Burnhams were kidnapped last April. Despite the newspaper stories, New Tribes’ local sources believe the Burnhams, along with a Filipina nurse are likely still together in Basilan, while the Abu Sayyaf have split into three groups throughout the islands. Sier asks people to continue to pray for the hostages’ safe release.

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