ICRC appeals anew for kidnapped workers

MANILA, Philippines–The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Friday appealed to government to heed to the demands of the kidnappers for the release of the three workers.

Alain Aeschlimann, the ICRC’s head of operations for East Asia, South-East Asia and the Pacific, called on the government to “consider the kidnappers’ demands regarding the position of troops” and to do “everything in their power to save the lives of the hostages and not to take any action that could put our colleagues at risk. In particular, we urge the government to refrain from further military operations in the area.”

The ICRC workers Mary Jean Lacaba, Eugenio Vagni, and Andreas Notter were abducted in the province of Sulu and have been with the kidnappers for more than 70 days.

Aeschlimann also appealed to the Abu Sayyaf to keep the workers safe.

“The ICRC once again appeals to the abductors’ sense of humanity and asks them to avoid taking any action that could endanger the lives of Mary Jean, Eugenio and Andreas,” he added, in a statement posted on the ICRC website.

Aeschlimann said the three kidnapped workers last spoke to the respective families on Sunday and with the ICRC on Monday.

He described the condition of the three victims as tired “both physically and emotionally.”

“We continue to hope that this ordeal will be over as soon as possible and that they will be back with their families,” he said.

“We fully understand the families’ outrage that this crisis has gone on for so long. It is perfectly understandable that the families of Mary Jean, Andreas and Eugenio would want to do everything in their power to get their loved ones back. Any parent, spouse, child or sibling in their situation would feel the same way,” Aeschlimann added.

Abigail Kwok, INQUIRER.net

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Published in: on March 27, 2009 at 12:58 pm  Comments Off on ICRC appeals anew for kidnapped workers  
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