Prayers, sleepless nights for Sulu hostage’s family

MANILA, Philippines – It’s prayers and sleepless nights for the family of Mary Jean Lacaba, one of the three Red Cross workers currently in hands of the Abu Sayyaf group in southern Philippines.

In an interview by GMA News, Marijuel Javellana, Mary Jean’s brother, said all they could do is pray and endure sleepless nights as they wait for developments in Sulu, where the bandits are holding the three hostages.

“Hindi kami makatulog. Masakit isipin. Nakakaawa. Masakit kasi kapatid ko [We couldn’t sleep. It’s painful to think of her condition. She’s pitiful.],” he said.

Mary Jean, along with Andreas Notter and Eugenio Vagini, were seized last January 15 after inspecting a water sanitation project in a provincial detention facility.

Javellana said they had exhausted all possible means to hasten the hostages’ release, and now all they could offer are prayers.

“Ang magagawa lang namin [ay] magdasal na mapalaya sila. Ang ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross], nagpasabi nang sila na raw ang bahala,” Javellana said.

[The only thing we can do is pray that they be released. The ICRC has already told us that they will take care of it.]

The Abu Sayyaf gave the government until 2 p.m. Tuesday to heed their demand to pull out military and police forces in at least 14 villages in Sulu in exchange for the release of one of the hostages. The government said the demand was impossible to do.

Mary Jean’s family said their worries worsened when the ultimatum elapsed.

“Nababahala at natatakot talaga kami. Baka si auntie na pala ang isang pupugutan [we are worried and scared. Auntie might be the one they would behead],” said Mary Ann Antona, Mary Jean’s neace.

“Nagdadasal lang talaga kami na sana walang mangyaring masama sa kanila doon [We just prayed that nothing bad would happen to the hostages],” she added.

Mary Jean’s husband, Manny, was not present when GMA News conducted its interview, but their house help, Rey Della, said Manny was very worried about his wife whom he fondly calls Nene.

“Kamusta na raw kaya si Nene doon [How is Nene doing there]?” Della quoted Manny as saying. “Sabi ko, di natin masasagot ‘yan kasi di naman natin alam ang situation doon. [I told him, we cannot answer that because we don’t know the situation there.]”

The family said they remain hopeful that victims would be released soon, even as they said that Mary Jean’s ailing mother has yet to be informed about her daughter’s condition.

GMANews.TV

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Published in: on April 1, 2009 at 11:23 pm  Comments Off on Prayers, sleepless nights for Sulu hostage’s family  
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