Expect good developments on ICRC kidnapping crisis – Sulu gov

The head of the crisis management committee addressing the kidnapping of the members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Sulu said on Wednesday that he is expecting good and positive developments in the next period.

The remarks of Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan came after a meeting with Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno and top police officials in the region.

Puno returned to Zamboanga City Wednesday afternoon following the release of the seven suspects allegedly involved in the kidnapping of three Red Cross workers in Sulu.

Shortly after his arrival in Zamboanga Airport, Puno immediately proceeded to the police’s Special Action Force’s headquarters for a closed-door meeting with Tan and some top Philippine National Police officials, including Chief Superintendent Felizardo Serapio, Directorate Integrated Police Operation chief for the area. The meeting lasted about four hours.

Puno declined to issue any statements on his meeting with Tan and PNP officials.

Tan, however, after an hour-long interview with an Italian media outfit, faced local media for a brief interview.

“New strategy”

Tan said a new strategy has been considered in their meeting on the efforts to rescue the two remaining captive Red Cross workers, Italian Eugenio Vagni and Swiss national Andreas Notter. Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba was released last Thursday.

Tan however would not elaborate on the so-called new strategy that the Sulu crisis management committee has been considering. The Sulu governor who is the chair of the crisis management committee, said there have been new emissaries sent to renew negotiations with the Abu Sayyaf bandit group holding the two foreign aid workers.

The Abu Sayaff Group earlier renewed their demand for a total military pullout in the two municipalities of Parang and Indanan in Sulu.

Tan said they will not give in to the demand of the kidnappers, unless the ASG releases one or both hostages. The crisis management committee, Tan said, was still sticking to the no-ransom policy in dealing with the kidnapping crisis.

Tan said however that they are expecting good and positive developments in the renewed negotiation with the Abu Sayaff.

The Sulu governor said he can not yet tell if the kidnappers will release the hostages.

He disclosed however that in his last communication with Abu Sayaff leader Albader Parad, he said he found out that the two remaining hostages remain unharmed. Since then, tan said, there has been no further communication established with the bandit group.

RJ Rosalado, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga

Published in: on April 9, 2009 at 1:20 am  Comments Off on Expect good developments on ICRC kidnapping crisis – Sulu gov  
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