Navy Officer Linked to Kidnappings

I’ve read many nice articles and beautifully awesome pictures of Palawan area.  I’ve put it in the back of my loose plans to visit there.  Those plans are now on indefinite hold because some tourist were taken hostage while visiting one of the  resorts on the Islands.

There were recent kidnappings there.  Also, in 2001, Twenty people were kidnapped while PHILIPPINES-HOSTAGEenjoying a popular resort on the island.  In 2007, the Philippines did convict 14  people and sentenced them to life in prison.  They were all members of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist organization which is believed to have ties with Al Qaeda

I’m thrilled the Philippine government was able to bring these people to justice.  There have been accusations   That takes them off the street and sends a message that the Philippines will protect its citizens and guest.

On the other hand, there are accusations that members of the Philippine military have been involved in some kidnappings.  The New York Times reported in 2007 that:

There were accusations of collusion between Abu Sayyaf and some elements of the military, particularly after the kidnappers escaped from a hospital in Basilan that had been surrounded by soldiers. A subsequent Senate investigation found “circumstantial evidence” of collusion between the militants and some civilian and military officials.

Now, after a recent kidnapping, a Philippine naval officer has been told to stay home until the investigation into his alleged link to that kidnapping is fully investigated.  The officer is said to be cooperating with the investigation.

Some human rights groups are indicating that this a system problem, that the military are using the kidnappings as a way to hush activist.  One released hostage has even written a book claiming a general in the Philippine army demanded one  half of the ransom to be  paid for her release.

If that happened at all, I suspect it was  of an official taking advantage of a situation that had already occurred.  Its impossible  to know as both sides make accusations toward each other. It is not unusual for terrorist organizations to create event and then blame the government.  Their motive for doing so could be to recruit more members toward their side.

When one comes to the Philippines as a guest, it is best to stay out of internatl  affairs.  Filipino are a proud people and maybe hyper-vigilant to insults on their developing nation.  They really don’t need anyone to tell them what needs to be fixed.

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Filed under: Terrorism In The Philippines

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