Govt to send emissaries to Sayyaf for new release formula

MANILA, Philippines – After rejecting the Abu Sayyaf group’s latest demand for a pullout of government troops from some areas in Sulu, the government will send emissaries to negotiate anew for the release of two remaining International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) workers.

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said Monday the local crisis management committee under the Sulu local government will send the emissaries to work out a “formula” for the release.

“Dudulog na naman ang crisis management committee at susubok magpadala ng emisaryo kung ano ang later demand nila. Baka sa pamamagitan ng crisis management committee merong lumabas na formula para ma-release ang hostages na di ma-violate ang ating mga batas, Teodoro said in an interview on dzXL radio.

[The crisis management committee will send emissaries to the Abu Sayyaf to find out their demands. Perhaps they can work out a formula to release the hostages without violating our laws.]

The government earlier rejected the demands of the Abu Sayyaf to pull out military troops from some areas in Sulu.

Still kept hostages are ICRC workers Eugenio Vagni and Andreas Notter.
A third hostage, Mary Jean Lacaba, was released last April 2. The three ICRC workers were abducted in Sulu Jan. 15.

According to Teodoro, the government is still finding ways to secure the safe release of Notter and Vagni.

On the other hand, he reiterated his appeal to Sen. Richard Gordon, who chairs the Philippine National Red Cross, not to broadcast the demands of the Abu Sayyaf.

He said that while the ICRC allowed Gordon to “negotiate in their behalf,” Gordon should not act as an unwitting spokesman for the bandits.

“Huwag niya itulak ang demands nito lalo sa national media lalo na kung gagamitin ang presidente [He should not broadcast the Abu Sayyaf group’s demands to the media, and especially not use the name of the President],” he said.

“Pinalalakas lang ang kamay ng Abu Sayyaf sa ganitong klaseng pananalita at ganoong klaseng pamamaraan [If he acts this way, he is giving the Abu Sayyaf leverage],” he added.

GMANews.TV

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Published in: on April 6, 2009 at 7:37 am  Comments Off on Govt to send emissaries to Sayyaf for new release formula  
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