A founding member of a Filipino terrorist group is being sentenced for kidnapping 16 people vacationing with their families during Christmas week 15 years ago.
Prosecutors have asked a judge to sentence Madhatta Haipe to 25 years in prison Friday. Haipe admitted in a guilty plea that he and several armed members of the Abu Sayyaf group kidnapped the vacationers, including six children, for ransom.
The victims included four Americans who were visiting family in the Philippines and staying at a remote mountain resort. Most of the hostages were held for five days and released on Dec. 31, 1995, after the kidnappers collected $57,000 in ransom.
Several of the victims are expected to speak at the sentencing.