Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Match Abu Sayyaf Ransom Demands With Equal Bounty Rewards?

ABSCBN News has just announced that the Abu Sayyaf kidnappers of Ces Drilon and company have "extended their deadline for a 15 million peso ransom indefinitely." It seems the steadfast declaration of the country's premiere news organization not to pay ransom has caused the terrorist kidnap-for-ransom gang to blink. Instead of negotiating with terrorist kidnappers through suspiciously smiling "emissaries" I think that organizations like ABSCBN who get their people kidnapped ought to offer an equivalent bounty rewards for the capture and prosecution of the heartless evil-doers. The Philippine National Police has in fact offered a one million peso bounty for information leading to the arrest of the Abu Sayyaf terrorists involved, two of whom have apparently been identified.

The Rajah Solaiman Movement (RSM) has been placed by the United Nation's Security Council 1267 Committee on its Consolidated List of individuals and entities affiliated with al-Qaida (AQ), the Taliban, or Usama Bin Ladin (UBL). Following suit, the US State Department has also designated RSM as a foreign terrorist organization, bringing to three the number of such Philippine based entities, including the Abu Sayyaf Group and the CPP NPA (with Joma as a special foreign terrorist personality.) Wanna make it four, MILF?

Last Saturday's editorial of the Philippine Daily Innuendo wistfully regrets not putting its own reporters in harm's way with ABSCBN's Ces Drilon. So it quotes a not-really-funny text joke about how the Lopezes may recover any ransom it pays by charging it to the public as a part of Meralco's system loss, immediately adding, that this is
"Unfair, of course, but the Lopezes, ABS-CBN and Meralco should know that it comes with the territory."
But such flippant jocularity could turn heartlessly macabre if their apparent assumption that she will make it out of this alive turns out to be wrong, especially since the TV network has declared that it won't be paying any such ransom. Of course the paper has much bigger fish to fry than just the largest TV network and electric distributor in the country as it further explains,
The essential truth is, the kidnapping of Drilon and company, which includes professor and peace advocate Octavio Dinampo, is part of the complicated history of Mindanao—and thus of the Philippines as a whole. That a barbaric bandit group like the Abu Sayyaf emerged out of the almost-medieval poverty of the provinces of Basilan and Sulu, waving the colors of Islamic fundamentalism, wrapped in the mantle of Moro nationalism (and protected, in its early years, by the veil of collusion with military elements)—this is a “story” that goes beyond the mere storytellers.

Yada yada yada. The simple fact however is that Ces Drilon and her camera crew were treacherously lured into a trap by alleged surrender feelers from Radulan Sahiron the one armed Abu Sayyaf terrorist leader.

FAILURE'S UGLIEST CHILD is delusional victimhood used as a vacuous excuse for its parent. In the hands of Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, whose Court has already failed to protect the Constitutional Separation of Powers, victimhood at the hands of foreigners has become an indispensable and convenient grievance.

DELUSION is a persistent belief unsupported by evidence, such as a belief in Zeus, or Thor, Yahweh or the gaga fixation with various miracles and apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary by legions of otherwise intelligent goddess idolaters. But one must reach for superlatives or other descriptions borrowed from psychiatry, in order to describe persistent beliefs that are contradicted by evidence. Perhaps the term psychotic delusion is apt. Of course, such a term might obscure the fact that many purveyors of delusion are actually trained to deal with evidence and logic in their professional lives, yet persist in, and disseminate such beliefs. It's the difference between believing in Sand Castles in the Sky, and moving into them.

Take the case of Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who declared on Independence Day last Thursday that Filipinos remain shackled to poverty because of "economic colonizers" -- "foreigners who continue to suppress the social and economic rights of our people". He said these oppressors, “they dictate how we should run our political and economic life and oftentimes limit how much we spend to help our poor, educate their children, put food on their tables,” he said. This performance was a sequel to the JPE-Miriam Santiago-Joker Arroyo comedy session in the Senate last week wtih the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce.


Dave Llorito said...

nice suggestion, dean. mel gibson has a film on that entitled "ransom" where gibson's character, instead of paying the ransom, called a presscon to announce that the money will instead be used to reward those who get the kidnappers of his child. maria resa should watch that film. lol!

manuelbuencamino said...

Wasn't that the theme of that Mel Gibson kidnap movie?

There's a bloodier way: Kidnap their innocent relatives and start beheading them until Ces is released.

Or maybe we can focus on her safe release. Negotiate, pay if that's what it takes, (a life, after all, is more important than holding on to the widely held though unproven effectivity of no ransom policy) and once she's safe then go after the kidnappers with everything the government has. That will make future kidnappers do a serious cost/benefit analysis.

DJB Rizalist said...

That's the same thing every heroin addict vows to do before the next-to-the-last time he shoots up, which he swears will be the last. We've said that on every one of the last 3 or four dozen kidnappings too.

Of course I can only say this since it's not my wife or sister involved.

Jego said...

Brings up an interesting question: Is it right (morally, legally, philosophically) for the government to prohibit the members of the victim's family from negotiating directly with the kidnappers?

Marcus Aurelius said...

Some guy from Oz who was kidnapped in Iraq did something similar. He somehow was released (don't recall if he escaped, was ransomed, rescued or what-have-you) and put bounties on the heads of his kidnappers. IIRC he paid out on a couple of those.

Marcus Aurelius said...

Actually, it was a Swede who was a hostage along a guy from Oz.


No word from the source noted bout Ulf paying out on the arrangement.