Wednesday, April 01, 2009

FILIPINO CAPTIVE ASKS ‘Why is gov’t risking our lives?’

‘Why is gov’t risking our lives?’

By Arlyn dela Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:07:00 04/01/2009

MANILA, Philippines—Mary Jean Lacaba has a lot to say on the eve of an expected execution.

She expressed fear, sadness, anger and confusion in a phone interview on Monday, past 9 p.m.

The 37-year-old engineer of the International Committee of the Red Cross could not even say who among the three ICRC workers would be beheaded.

The Abu Sayyaf earlier said that one of the hostages would be killed at 2 p.m. Tuesday if the government did not comply with a demand for a total troop withdrawal from Jolo Island in Sulu province.

Monday was the 75th day of Mary Jean’s captivity. Mary Jean, Swiss Andreas Notter and Italian Eugenio Vagni were kidnapped while en route to the Jolo airport after looking at conditions in the municipal jail.

The voice on the other line trembled, her tone a pitch higher than her usual calm voice in her earlier interviews aired by media.

She said time was running out.

“Maybe one of us will be gone soon,” Mary Jean said in Filipino. “Do we have a chance or not?”

She said their hands and feet had been tied as early as 5 p.m. Monday.

The leader of the kidnappers, Albadar Parad, said the hostages had refused to eat.

The dinner of rice and fish had been left untouched. Parad said on the phone that this was a sign the hostages were accepting their fate.

“We could not understand why the government was risking our lives,” Mary Jean said.

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My take:

The answer to your question is very simple: Why you yourselves risked your lives in the first place? You know for a fact that foreigners are blue chip targets in that area. Can you not find local plumbers in the first place? Ang baba naman ng tingin nyo sa mga taga Jolo.

Now that the inevitable happened, you mean, the government should risk the lives of the rest of Jolo citizens just to save you? And even acceding to the demands of the Abu Sayyaf does not guarantee your safety darling.

So be true to the mission statement of ICRC: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization blah blah blah. Be independent and leave the Philippine Government out of this mess that you created.

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