Senator says Abu Sayyaf testing govt with new demand

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Rodolfo Biazon on Monday said the Abu Sayyaf is testing the government with its new demand of total pullout of military troops from Jolo in exchange for the release of one of the three abducted International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) workers.

In a press conference, Biazon said the government definitely cannot heed the demand of the terrorist group or it will jeopardize the security of the people of the province.

“Definitely we cannot abandon the whole of Jolo on the say so of a terrorist group,” Biazon said.

He said that giving in to the new demand would indicate that the government’s system is weak.

“I think that we are now witnessing a test by the terrorists of the government’s resolve in the implementation of its national policies on kidnapping situations,” Biazon said.

The senator said the government should just continue with the negotiation until the situation is resolved peacefully.

“If this cannot be resolved peacefully the only option left is to mount a rescue operation,” said Biazon, a former military chief.

He believed that in the past, there have been rescue operations mounted that were successful partially because the hostages were able to escape their abductors.

“I have to agree that the government now is put in a very delicate situation. We cannot altogether completely disregard the question of safety or safe recovery of the hostages. That is the reason probably why the national policy have been implemented with too much flexibility,” Biazon said.

Amita Legaspi, GMANews.TV

Published in: on March 30, 2009 at 5:13 pm  Comments Off on Senator says Abu Sayyaf testing govt with new demand  
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