Quit ‘politicking’ in Sulu hostage crises

MANILA, Philippines–Malacañang warned against “politicking” in the handling of the hostage crisis in Sulu, adding efforts to free two European Red Cross workers from the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf should be left to the local crisis committee.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde issued the call a day after Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. asked Senator Richard Gordon to stop meddling in the negotiations since the lawmaker’s actions only served to “strengthen the hand” of the hostage-takers.

“Everything should be coordinated with the local crisis management committee. I think that’s the most responsible thing to do in a crisis situation,” Remonde told reporters at the Palace.

“And in a crisis situation like this dapat iwasan natin ang pamumulitika [let’s avoid politicking], trying to gather brownie points because that will not help the cause of freedom and justice. It can only help the cause of terrorists who just want attention,” he added.

But Remonde stopped short of accusing Gordon of politicking.

“I want to believe Senator Gordon is acting and speaking on the basis of best intention and motivation, he being a senator of the republic and chairman of the [Philippine] Red Cross,” the press secretary said.

“But even if our intentions are good, I think we should be more circumspect, if we’re helping or not,” he said.

Joel Guinto, INQUIRER.net

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Published in: on April 6, 2009 at 5:01 pm  Comments Off on Quit ‘politicking’ in Sulu hostage crises  
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