AFP tells MILF to coordinate plans with ICRC task force

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine military on Friday said the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) should coordinate with the multi-agency body if it wishes to launch a “rescue operation” for the three abducted International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) workers in Sulu.

“First of all, all parties, all individuals who would like to help in resolving the crisis on the ICRC kidnapping should coordinate with the duly organized task force…and be part of the team,” said Armed Forces information chief Lt. Col. Ernesto Torres in a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo.

“The danger is that, just like other individuals who will enter the conflict-affected areas, there are a lot of possibilities. They could be hurt, they might be lost in the area or it is also possible that just like the aid workers, they would be kidnapped,” Torres added.

Earlier in the day, the MILF said it was poised to rescue the three seized humanitarian workers once it gets the opportunity.

MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu also warned the Abu Sayyaf that it risks the wrath of the people of Mindanao if anything untoward happens to any of the hostages.

“Well I don’t want to talk about it on radio but definitely ang concern namin … very, very strong… kung may pagkakataon mag-rescue we will do it. Of course, consideration ang safety and security of the victims [I don’t want to talk about it on radio but definitely our concern is very strong. If there is an opportunity to rescue them we will do it. Of course, the main consideration is the safety and security of the victims],” Kabalu said in an interview on dzXL.

“Sana pangalagaan nila ang safety and security of the victims. That is paramount to everything else. Ang pera na hinihingi nila is only secondary. (Kung) magkaroon ng sakuna (o) madisgrasya ang victim magiging kaaway nila tao ng Mindanao,” he said

[They should ensure the safety and security of the victims. That is paramount to everything else, the money they are demanding is only secondary. If something happens to the victims, they become enemies of the entire Mindanao.]

Earlier this week, a series of clashes erupted in Indanan town, resulting in the death of 3 Marines and the wounding of 19 others. On the other hand, the military estimates the Abu Sayyaf to have incurred six deaths.

The military has since agreed to reposition its troops to pave the way for negotiations for the release of the three ICRC workers – Italian Eugenio Vagni, Swiss Andreas Notter and Filipino Mary-Jean Lacaba.

GMANews.TV

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Published in: on March 20, 2009 at 10:51 pm  Comments Off on AFP tells MILF to coordinate plans with ICRC task force  
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