Veteran Journalist and Filmmaker Arlyn Dela Cruz Dies


Veteran journalist, broadcaster, writer, and film producer Arlyn Dela Cruz, who was abducted by rebel groups in Jolo, Sulu in the early 2000s, has passed away. She was 51 years old. 

The news was reported by her daughters Katrina Greta and Dominique in a social media post on Monday (December 20).


Dela Cruz reported for several media organizations throughout her decades-long career, including ABS-CBN, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Radio Mindanao Network (RMN). Most recently she was a radio anchor and commentator with Inquirer Radio and served as the head of current affairs of Net-25.

In January 2002, Dela Cruz was abducted by rebel forces while on assignment in Basilan. Reports claimed her captors were former members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who had been “integrated” into the Armed Forces of the Philippines, although military officials denied that any of their personnel were involved. 

Dela Cruz had gone missing for almost four months before she was released in late April thanks to the intervention of several officials, including former Senator Loren Legarda, who was herself a former television news presenter.


In interviews after her release, De la Cruz said her captors thought she had brought ransom money for the release of the remaining three hostages of the Abu Sayyaf Group from the Dos Palmas resort in Palawan. But when no ransom money was found she was moved from one group to another until her release. 

Dela Cruz became a special correspondent for the Inquirer for years, covering the Defense beat. In later years she became a filmmaker, writing and directing several feature films Pusit, The Barker, Bubog, Tibak, Maratabat, and the TV series Captive. She also dabbled in acting, appearing in at least two of her films as well as the Kinatay by director Brillante Mendoza. 

In January 2019, Dela Cruz suffered a stroke but eventually recovered. She started painting while recovering, even mounting at least two exhibits of her work. 

In their post, her daughters said Dela Cruz had been battling colon cancer for the last six years.

“The disease did not conquer her zest for life and adventure; and she approached every new day armed with her razor-sharp wit and creativity.”

Her daughters said they will share details of her wake as soon as they are finalized.

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