Palace to Gordon: Work with gov’t

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang urged Senator Richard Gordon to “work with government” for the release of three International Committee on the Red Cross (ICRC) workers from Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sulu.

At the same time, deputy presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said, “bickering and pointing fingers were counter-productive,” in the wake of Gordon’s allegations that the government has not done anything to release the hostages.

Gordon also alleged that military ground commanders, led by Major General Juancho Sabban, chief of the counter-terrorism unit Task Force Comet, subverted negotiations for the release of one of the three captives last week.

The senator, who is also chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), said he had been in contact with the leader of the kidnappers, Albader Parad.

“If Senator Gordon has ideas on how to address the situation, he
should work with government, bickering and pointing fingers are
counter-productive,” Fajardo said in a statement.

“The government has given its best effort since day one to rescue and recover the victims. We all want this to be resolved as quickly as possible, but we have to act carefully so as not to compromise their safety,” she said.

Fajardo also said that Gordon seemed to have forgotten that as a matter of policy, the government did not negotiate with terrorists.

A crisis committee, headed by Sulu Governor Sakur Tan, was tasked to facilitate the release of the ICRC workers – Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba, Swiss Andreas Notter, and Italian Eugenio Vagni.

Joel Guinto, INQUIRER.net

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Published in: on March 23, 2009 at 4:40 pm  Comments Off on Palace to Gordon: Work with gov’t  
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