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.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Misuari joins efforts for ICRC workers

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines -- Former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor leader Nur Misuari has joined efforts to secure the release of three workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) abducted Thursday last week in Patikul, Sulu.

Ustadz Zain Jali, Misuari's spiritual adviser, said on Wednesday the Moro leader's help in the efforts to recover Swiss Andreas Notter, Italian Eugenio Vagni and Filipina Jean Lacaba, came after Senator Richard Gordon talked to the former ARMM governor, who also founded the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

Jali said Gordon, who also chairs the Philippine National Red Cross, "requested chairman Misuari's help for the release of the three kidnapped staff members of the ICRC."

"Red Cross people also visited Misuari on Sunday at his residence," Jali told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of INQUIRER.net) by phone.

After the visit, Misuari immediately asked Ustadz Khaid Adjibun, chair of the Lupah Sug Revolutionary Committee and other MNLF commanders in Sulu to create a team "that will establish [a] line [of communication] with the [ICRC workers’] captors."
Professor Octavio Dinampo, a peace advocate who is privy to the meeting between Misuari and the Red Cross representatives, said the Moro leader asked his followers "to produce some alternative actions on the ground for the successful and immediate liberty of the three captives."

The three victims were seized just outside the Sulu provincial capitol while on their way to the Jolo airport to take a fight to Zamboanga City.

Authorities have blamed a faction of the Abu Sayyaf for the kidnapping.

Jali said the MNLF is asking authorities to allow it to undertake its own initiatives to recover the kidnap victims.

"Let [the MNLF] work their way to secure the captives, otherwise it will again end up as business, where the other party is forced to pay ransom. With the MNLF working, there will be no ransom," he said.

As this developed, Fadzlur Abdulla, spokesperson of the Task Force ICRC, told the Inquirer by phone that the military is verifying reports the captives have been sighted anew.

He said the police reported the sighting.

But Abdulla declined to provide additional information.

Authorities have been releasing piecemeal information on the progress of efforts to free the victims to avoid jeopardizing operations.(By Julie Alipala)

No comments: