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.


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sick Red Cross hostage gets medication

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines -- Red Cross worker being held by suspected Muslim extremists in southern Philippines has received medicine for a health condition, the government said Saturday.

The hypertension medicine was sent to Italian Eugenio Vagni, one of three International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) workers being held hostage in the jungles of Sulu island, said a government statement.

Government envoy Nur Anna Sahidulla had met with the hostages and reported that they "seem to be well although Vagni was suffering from high blood pressure," the statement said.

"She confirmed that the victims were able to receive books, medicines, and other personal effects," it added.

Sahidulla, who is vice governor of the Sulu island chain that includes Jolo, met with the hostages on January 28.

Vagni, Andreas Notter of Switzerland, and Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba are believed to be in the hands of Islamic militant group the Abu Sayyaf on Jolo, where they disappeared during a humanitarian mission on January 15.

Abu Sayyaf has been tagged by the United States State Department as a "terrorist" group and has been blamed for many kidnappings of westerners and bombings of Christian targets over the past 18 years.

Government forces on Jolo have suspended pursuit operations to allow Sahidulla to conduct talks.

The ICRC declined to comment on the hostages' reported health problems.(Agence France-Presse)

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