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, February 17, 2009

ICRC worker: Ordeal now “difficult”

A Swiss International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) worker kidnapped with two colleagues, an Italian and a Filipina, in Sulu said Tuesday their situation was becoming “very difficult.”

“We are in a very difficult situation,” 38-year-old Andreas Notter told radio station DZEC in a telephone interview from where they are being held, thought to be on Jolo.

“They [the kidnappers] are under military pressure,” he added. “We have to be on the alert as well.”

It was unclear whether Notter was speaking under duress. The ICRC had no immediate comment.

Notter, Eugenio Vagni of Italy and Mary-Jean Lacaba of the Philippines were abducted while on a humanitarian mission on Jolo on January 15. The kidnappers have allowed medicines to be delivered to the 62-year-old Italian.

The Philippine military say they have cordoned off a four square kilometer area of jungle to prevent the gunmen, blamed for the worst terrorist attacks in the Philippines, from taking the captives elsewhere.

The military said the Abu Sayyaf gunmen have made certain “political” demands that the authorities deem unacceptable.

The Abu Sayyaf, which has been linked to the Al-Qaeda terror network, is known for kidnappings and bomb attacks.

Another unit of the group is also believed to be holding a Sri Lankan peace activist who was abducted on the southern island of Basilan last week.

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