Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Abu Sayyaf wants survey frontrunner VP Noli De Castro to negotiate for release of ICRC hostages

It would be a mistake for Vice President Noli De Castro to agree to negotiate with the Abu Sayyaf Group for the release of the three ICRC workers they are holding hostage in Sulu.

The Abu Sayyaf group are mere bandits and if De Castro makes the mistake of agreeing to negotiate with them, he will only encourage and embolden these bandits to continue their kidnap for ransom activities.

That's all I have to say about this piece of news.

Abu Sayyaf want De Castro in talks

Veep close to Arroyo, say Sulu abductors
By Arlyn dela Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:06:00 02/04/2009

MANILA, Philippines—The kidnappers of the three aid workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are ready to negotiate for the release of their captives and want Vice President Noli de Castro to lead the talks.

Albader Parad, a commander of the Abu Sayyaf, told this reporter on the phone on Monday night that he and his comrades were holding Andreas Notter of Switzerland, Eugenio Vagni of Italy and Mary Jean Lacaba of the Philippines—the first time it was confirmed that the bandit group was behind the Jan. 15 kidnapping.

To prove his statement, Parad said in Filipino: “You want to speak to the three? They’re here beside me,” and passed the phone first to Notter and then to Lacaba.

Notter and Lacaba said they were in good condition. But this reporter was unable to speak with Vagni because the phone signal turned weak when it was his turn.

Parad named nine other persons as part of what appeared to be a negotiating “entourage” to be led by De Castro: Sen. Richard Gordon, the ambassadors of Switzerland, Italy and Qatar, Rep. Mujib Hataman, Assemblyman Hatimil Hassan, lawyer Muktan Suhaili, Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan and Sulu Vice Gov. Lady Anne Sahidullah.

He said that while he was the physical custodian of the captives, other Abu Sayyaf leaders would be present at the negotiation, including the current amir, Radhullan Sahiron, and the other top commanders, Abu Jurdain (also known as Dr. Abu) and Isnilon Hapilon.

Asked why his group wanted De Castro as the government’s chief negotiator, Parad said simply: “Isn’t he the official closest to the President? He can tell her the assistance that we want.”

“Why not ask for President Macapagal-Arroyo if it’s her help that you want?” this reporter asked.

Parad replied: “Why, does the President go to Sulu, or to the mountains? Noli has gone to the mountains and knows the terrain.”

In 2000, De Castro played a role in the negotiation for the release of women and children snatched by the Abu Sayyaf from an elementary school in Basilan and dragged to Puno Mahadji. He was instrumental in the release of some of the captives.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...