Gov’t ‘too much flexibility’ vs Abu—senator

MANILA, Philippines – The government has exercised “too much flexibility” in its policies when it agreed to pull out its military forces in Jolo, Sulu in the hope of saving the three Red Cross workers who were abducted by the Abu Sayyaf Group, a senator said.

Instead of giving in to the demand, Senator Rodolfo Biazon said the government should continue to negotiate until the matter would have been peacefully resolved.

“Definitely, we can’t abandon the whole of Jolo on this issue of a terrorist group because if we do that, you achieve two things – one, you continue to project to the terrorist that your system is weak, that your position is weak and number two, if you do that, you jeopardize the security of all the people of Jolo,” Biazon said in a press conference on Monday.

“I think that we’re now witnessing the test by the terrorist of the government’s resolve in the implementation of its national policies,” said Biazon, a former military chief.

Biazon said the government should be firm, that there should be no negotiation with terrorist groups, and that there should be no payment of ransom.

“We have tested this all the time that indeed the government has exercised too much flexibility in the implementation of these two basic policies of government. The Abu Sayyaf is testing the government,” he said.

Asked how the government should then handle the situation, the senator said, “Well, continue with the negotiation until this thing is resolved peacefully.”

“Then, if this can’t be resolved peacefully, the only option left is to mount a rescue operation,” he further said.

But Biazon acknowledged that the government was now in a “very delicate situation” as it could not altogether completely disregard the safe recovery of the hostages.

Maila Ager, INQUIRER.net

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Published in: on March 30, 2009 at 7:00 pm  Comments Off on Gov’t ‘too much flexibility’ vs Abu—senator  
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