Sunday, January 25, 2009

EDITORIAL - Cottage industry

In only a few places in the world will you see members of the International Committee of the Red Cross attacked by lawless elements. Now it will be on record that one of those places is Sulu, where three ICRC members were kidnapped last Thursday as they were working on a project to improve facilities at the provincial jail in Patikul.Justify Full

On Friday fears were raised that the victims — Jean Lacaba of the Philippines, Andreas Notter of Switzerland and Eugenio Vagni of Italy — had been turned over to the Abu Sayyaf. The three had gone to Patikul in a vehicle painted with a large, clear symbol of the Red Cross. In most countries, combatants on both sides, rebels and even terrorists do not touch Red Cross workers, who are known for purely humanitarian work. The ICRC has maintained a record of neutrality in a conflict, bringing aid and relief to all, including — as its work in Sulu shows — detained crime suspects.

But in the province of Sulu, kidnapping has been a cottage industry for years. The province is notorious for the most profitable kidnapping caper of the Abu Sayyaf, wherein the late Ghalib Andang, a.k.a. Commander Robot, and his men earned at least $30 million in ransom for mostly foreign hostages taken from the Malaysian island resort of Sipadan. Andang was eventually arrested and killed in a prison riot, but the massive profits from his kidnapping operations are still remembered in Sulu.

There must be a relentless effort to rescue the three Red Cross workers and hunt down their kidnappers. When this case is resolved with the safe release of the three hostages, the government must send a strong message to the lawless in Sulu and the other bandit-infested enclaves of Mindanao that the kidnapping industry has ceased to be profitable.


Terrorist are afraid to visit Mindanao because of the kidnapping happen in SULU. To think that the Mindanao is not safe because of the Abusayaf taking advantage from the foreigners. They kidnap innocent groups that are not evolve in their conflicts. Even the Red Cross members were kidnap, knowing that they are just helping innocent people who are not engaged in the combat between the abusayaf and government forces. The Red Cross only assists and serves the people who are unfortunate in taking care of their selves, so they don’t have to touch any workers of this organization. But in this time, Red Cross employees were in unpleasant situation, Because of this kidnapping. It is growing and at the same time gives disgrace to our country. Abusayaf gained more profit from the ransom given by the relatives of the victim. This scenario last long for a years because the higher personnel don’t take any moves to lessen or vanish this crime.

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