After fervently denying that any ransom was paid to secure the release of ABSCBN News' CES DRILON and her companions -- a claim which no one believed for a single minute -- Manila authorities have admitted that millions of pesos in ransom money were in fact paid. Although it is not entirely clear who the money came from, in a bizarre twist, the principal negotiator or go-between, Indanan Mayor Isnaji Alvarez and his son Haider are now accused of being the masterminds and of pocketing some 5 million pesos of the ransom money, (the real total of which is still unknown.) The Philippine Star daily newspaper reports that US intelligence information was crucial in this regard:
A comprehensive round-up of opinion on the ransom issue is to be found on the blog of Manuel L. Quezon III as well as at Filipino Voices. My own views on the subject of terrorist kidnap for ransom have been clear since the gory glory days of Khadaffy Janjalani, Arlyn de la Cruz, Kumander Robot, the Sipadan-Dos Palmas series of Abu Sayyaf atrocities, through the Angelo de la Cruz debacle in Iraq, and last year's Marine beheadings. It's a no-brainer of course that paying ransom only sets up the next kidnapping.
Incriminating mobile phone conversation picked up by a
satellite led authorities to implicate and arrest Indanan town Mayor Alvarez Isnaji and his son in the kidnapping of senior ABS-CBN News anchorwoman Ces Oreña-Drilon and three others in Sulu. US
A reliable source in the intelligence community working closely with US forces based in Western Mindanao said more than P30 million in ransom was paid for the release of the hostages, based on an intercepted phone conversation between the mayor’s son Haider and one of the kidnappers. The source said
satellite and advanced GPS (global positioning system) facilities helped security forces keep track of the kidnappers’ movement. US
The bleeding brain liberals over at the Philippine Daily Innuendo always find many inventive and creative ways to rationalize, justify and excuse the axe-wielding decapitators ambushmen and hostage takers in Mindanao. In its Friday editorial, Son of Abu Sayyaf PDI seizes upon a statement by Ces Drilon that at one point a 12 year old boy had held a bolo (a native axe) to her neck, then proceeds to paint an oh-so-touching picture of how impossible it has to be that such young, unschooled Muslim boys should now be taking hostages and threatening to decapitate them.
If I thought it would do any good to knock some sense into these dense journalistic heads, I might insist they all gather together in a dark room to watch THIS 12 YEAR OLD TALIBAN BOY sawing off the head of an accused "US Spy" just last year.
Here is the leftist ideologue Randy David ladling out the usual formula for justifying terrorism and secessionism among the Moros:
What he calls a "pacification campaign" started by the "foreign colonial powers" has of course become ideological cant among the politically correct as the root of all evil in Mindanao. There is of course absolutely no mention of the fact that for centuries it was only those "foreign colonial powers" that saved people in the Visayas and Luzon from the annual slave raiding and slave trading occupations of the Maguindanao Confederacy who did a lucrative business with Bornean and Sumatran Islamic potentates of human trafficking on a massive scale before the term was event invented. One only has to read the voluminous and outstanding history of those struggles in The History of the Jesuits in the Philippines by Horacio de la Costa to see what a deluded liar Randy David is.
The truth of the matter is that the Moro pacification campaign first launched in Mindanao by the foreign colonial powers, and, subsequently by Filipino troops in the name of a unified independent Filipino nation, has not ceased. That is why the principal enforcers of order here are not the local police but the soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The authority of the Philippine State in this region does not reside in the nomenclatures and offices of the local governments. Indeed, most of the occupants of these offices live in nearby Zamboanga City. Rather, the Philippine state, by way of a steady military presence, rides an uneasy tandem with the feuding traditional clans and their respective patronage networks. The widening gaps within these networks are filled over time by all kinds of armed groups known as “lost commands.” Once in a while, these “commands” are consolidated by a charismatic figure who weaves their basic resentments and survival needs into narratives of hope, emancipation and self-respect. This is what Nur Misuari did for the Moro National Liberation Front, Hashim Salamat for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani for the Abu Sayyaf.
Bishop Ted Bacani is right. These geniuses are glamorizing terrorism. We are all hostages of a skewed and manufactured history that has been placed at the service of an insurgent ideology that glorifies and justifies violence as a means of rectifying and redeeming a past for which we today are hardly to blame.