Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Military hunting kidnappers of trader, school official

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Government troops are tracking down two Abu Sayyaf groups which abducted separately a Chinese trader and a ranking public school official over the weekend in Sulu.

Lt. Esteffani A. Cacho, spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command, said the bandits, led by Albader Parad, abducted Peter Go while he was opening a store in downtown Jolo on Sunday.

Ms. Cacho said the victim was the owner of Perlas Trading, which sells clothes, appliances and mechanical tools.

“Witnesses said that the victim was forcibly taken right in front of his store by five unidentified fully armed men in camouflage," she said.

Prior to the abduction of Mr. Go, the Abu Sayyaf led by another commander Gafur Jumdail seized Pakkam Hashim, principal of the Kutah Sairap Elementary School in Parang town on Friday.

Ms. Cacho said the military is focusing on the town of Indanan, citing ground reports.

The separate abductions occurred amid the directive of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, through Defense Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr., to intensify operations against combined Abu Sayyaf and kidnap-for-ransom groups operating in the nearby island-province of Basilan.

Regional security officials have earlier noted an increase in abduction of civilians in the Sulu archipelago this year.

At present, bandits in Basilan are still holding Zamboangueño nursing student Joed Anthony Pilanga and nine-year-old April Nicole Raveche.

Most abductors were said to be minors and not selective of their victims said Marine commandant Maj. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino.

In its continuing manhunt operation, the military has incurred heavy losses. Last week alone, at least five Marines were killed and 36 others wounded in Basilan and Sulu. — (BusinessWorld)

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