BAGHDAD, Iraq – Al-Jazeera television broadcast a videotape Monday of a kidnapped Filipino truck driver pleading for his life, and his captors said the man had been taken to the place where he would be killed if the Philippines fails to meet their demands.
The militants said the Philippines had until 3 p.m. EDT Monday to agree to pull the country's small peacekeeping force out of Iraq by July 20 or Angelo dela Cruz (search), 46, would be killed.
Cruz's sister, Lydia Ghazzawi of Pacifica, Calif., began to sob when she learned about the new deadline. She had thought her brother's captors had extended the deadline until Tuesday.
"We're still hoping," the 35-year-old Ghazzawi, one of dela Cruz's three sisters, told The Associated Press. "I don't know what to believe. I'm confused right now."
Dela Cruz' wife and eight children live in the Philippines in a poor rural town in the province of Pampanga, north of Manila. Ghazzawi said the hostage's wife and a brother were flying from the Philippines to Amman, Jordan with an official from the Philippines government to plead for his life.
"We hope the negotiations succeed," said Khaled Ghazzawi, Lydia's husband.
In the videotape aired on Al-jazeera, dela Cruz, while pleading to be spared, also asked that his body be sent to the Philippines for burial should he be killed.
The militant group, the Iraqi Islamic Army-Khaled bin Al-Waleed Corps, said it had done everything in its power to prove it had wanted to spare his life.
The Philippines government had said earlier Monday that the kidnappers extended the deadline for killing dela Cruz until 3 p.m. EDT Tuesday.
But in the videotape and statement broadcast by Al-Jazeera, the group said it was only extending the deadline for 24 hours, until 3 p.m. Monday.
The group had said it would kill dela Cruz by Sunday if the Philippines did not agree to pull its small force out of Iraq by July 20, one month earlier than planned.