‘Don’t tell us how to free ICRC workers’ – Malacañang

MANILA, Philippines — No one can tell government how to secure the release of three workers of the International Committee on the Red Cross (ICRC) workers held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said.

Ermita also said the government is firm on its no ransom policy.

Ermita was reacting to pronouncements by officials of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) that the government has only two options to free the aid workers — pay a ransom of P50 million or mount a rescue operation.

“We cannot be dictated upon by the other side. You can be sure that many things are happening which cannot be revealed, but we’re doing something for the safe release of the hostages,” Ermita told reporters in Malacañang.

“We always observe a policy of no ransom payment for such situations, so there’ll be no ransom paid,” he said.

“We will have to be determined in our negotiations through the crisis team headed by [Sulu] Governor Sakur Tan,” he said.

Cotabato City Mayor Muslimin Sema and Abdul Sahim, chairman and secretary general of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), respectively, on Wednesday disclosed the ransom demand of the captors of Swiss national Andreas Notter, Italian national Eugenio Vagni, and Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba, and said the

Joel Guinto, INQUIRER.net

Published in: on March 12, 2009 at 3:10 pm  Comments Off on ‘Don’t tell us how to free ICRC workers’ – Malacañang  
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