Gordon asks for prayers for ICRC hostages

MANILA, Philippines–Sen. Richard Gordon asked the nation on Wednesday to continue praying for three workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the absence of proof they were still alive following a threat by the Abu Sayyaf to behead one of them.

In a phone interview, Gordon said that he himself was in the dark about the real condition of the three ICRC hostages even after Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan announced that the kidnappers had put off the threat to execute one hostage.

Gordon last talked with the 23-year-old Abu Sayyaf leader Albader Parad right before the 2 p.m. deadline Tuesday.

He pleaded with him to spare the lives of the hostages. After that, the line went dead.

“He stopped calling me. They’ve turned off the cell phone, but I could be wrong,” said the senator, who is chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross.

“I am appealing to everyone not to speculate on the condition of our people. Let’s not exacerbate the situation and let’s be compassionate to the families. They are suffering enough. We’re hoping that we get contact with our colleagues so that we would know precisely their conditions,” said Gordon.

The senator, who broke into tears when he made a last-minute appeal to the Abu Sayyaf on national television before the deadline on Tuesday, said he has known no “comfort zone” since the abduction of the three ICRC workers on January 15.

“I have no comfort zone right now because we don’t know what their actual conditions are,” he said.

Michael Lim Ubac, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Published in: on April 1, 2009 at 5:29 pm  Comments Off on Gordon asks for prayers for ICRC hostages  
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