Resolution of Sulu hostage crisis still in hands of local officials – Palace

MANILA, Philippines — Despite pleas to speed up the release of the three International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) workers being held by bandits in Sulu, Malacañang is still not keen on authorizing a military rescue mission.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said the Palace still wants local officials in Sulu to handle the situation.

“Ang ating AFP sa pamumuno ni Gen. Yano under the supervision of Secretary Teodoro is up to the job (Our Armed Forces of the Philippines under Chief of Staff Gen. Alexander Yano and under the supervision of Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. are up to the job). They are ready for any military action that is required.

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Published in: on February 28, 2009 at 10:13 pm  Comments Off on Resolution of Sulu hostage crisis still in hands of local officials – Palace  
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Red Cross captives in Sulu cry for help

MANILA, Philippines—The Filipino engineer held captive by Abu Sayyaf bandits in the mountains of Indanan, Sulu, along with her two colleagues in the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has pleaded for help to end their suffering.

Mary Jean Lacaba was allowed by her captors to speak on the phone with this reporter on the afternoon of Feb. 25. Her voice was low and trembling, and she spoke in short sentences, in a mix of Filipino and English.

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Published in: on February 28, 2009 at 2:34 pm  Comments Off on Red Cross captives in Sulu cry for help  
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Kidnapped Filipino Red Cross employee appeals for immediate help

The Filipino employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), kidnapped with two other colleagues by Abu Sayyaf militants in southern Philippines, cried for help as conditions are becoming hard and painful for them, local media reported.

Mary Jean Lacaba, 37, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a permitted phone conversation that the three in captive pleaded the governments and other organizations or persons working for their release to quicken the process if possible.

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Published in: on February 28, 2009 at 6:03 am  Comments Off on Kidnapped Filipino Red Cross employee appeals for immediate help  
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MILF: Abu Sayyaf makes 2 demands for ICRC workers

The Abu Sayyaf has made two demands for the release of three abducted International Committee of the Red Cross workers, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said Saturday.

An article on the MILF website (www.luwaran.net) cited a “reliable source” who said these include the pullout of the military from Sulu.

It said a second was for the government to declare Jolo as an open port between Malaysia and Sulu to boast the economic development of the people of Western Mindanao.

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Published in: on February 28, 2009 at 5:02 am  Comments Off on MILF: Abu Sayyaf makes 2 demands for ICRC workers  
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No contact with Red Cross workers for over a week

GENEVA – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Thursday said it had not had direct contact with three of its staff abducted last month in the Philippines for more than a week.

The hostages — Swiss national Andreas Notter, Italian Eugenio Vagni and Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba — were abducted on January 15 during a humanitarian mission on the island of Jolo.

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Published in: on February 27, 2009 at 2:26 pm  Comments Off on No contact with Red Cross workers for over a week  
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Gov’t to send medicines to Red Cross workers

The government will send more medicine for the three International Committee of the Red Cross workers being held by the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu following reports two of them have fallen ill.

Speaking to ABS-CBN on Wednesday, Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba said their health has been deteriorating, and she called for negotiations to end the hostage crisis.

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Published in: on February 26, 2009 at 3:05 pm  Comments Off on Gov’t to send medicines to Red Cross workers  
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ICRC appeals to abductors, says workers’ families suffering

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) appealed Thursday to the abductors of three of its workers to show a sense of humanity and release them without conditions, because the families of the hostages had been “suffering horribly.”

The ICRC head of operations for East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific, Alain Aeschlimann, made the appeal after he visited families of Mary Jean Lacaba, Eugenio Vagni, and Andreas Notter.

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Published in: on February 26, 2009 at 5:56 am  Comments Off on ICRC appeals to abductors, says workers’ families suffering  
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Teodoro dares bandits to free sick hostages

ZAMBOANGA CITY—Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro on Thursday said measures are in place and the opportunity for kidnappers to snatch victims anew in Mindanao is slim.

Teodoro, who was the guest speaker of the 72nd Zamboanga City Charter Day celebration, disclosed that he is satisfied with the measures adopted by the government forces based on the briefing given him by top military officials in the region.

“The chances na mauulit ito [kidnapping] are slim,” Teodoro said.

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Published in: on February 26, 2009 at 4:51 am  Comments Off on Teodoro dares bandits to free sick hostages  
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