The Manila Times, March 25, 2013
Unless President Aquino and even most Filipinos have become so dense to realize it, the recent release by the Abu Sayyaf bandits of Australian Warren Rodwell is a huge red neon sign for the world to read:
“Visit the Philippines, Asia’s Ransom Republic, if you want to be kidnapped by bandits and then pay millions of pesos to be released. Hassle-free arrangements will be made for payment of the ransom by our police and local governments.”
While we rejoice that a human life has been saved, “government’s handling” of, or rather, total inutility over the kidnapping diminishes our integrity as a nation, unless Mr. Aquino himself goes on a televised press conference to deny that P7 million in ransom paid was paid for the Australian ‘s release.
But it was Basilan Vice Gov. Al Rasheed Sakalahul who told one newspaper that he witnessed the payment of P4 million to Abu Sayyaf leader Pujuri Indama. The Abu Sayyaf got only P4 million of the ransom, the paper said, as “local officials and middlemen” took their cut.Continue reading