There is no better relatively fresh backgrounder on the history and nature of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group (which is listed as such by the United States, the European Union and the UN Security Council) than this in depth article in the Atlantic Monthly magazine last year: Jihadists in Paradise.
The Philippines is indeed a "paradise" for terrorists not least because they have all these leftist media outlets and "reporters" justifying and glamorizing their cause. Or trying to win sympathy for it, as in last Friday's lame-brained interpretation of the presence of teenagers and even children among the kidappers of Ces Drilon and company in the editorial Son of Abu Sayyaf. In this incredible editorial, PDI seizes upon certain statements of Ces Drilon and Loren Legarda in order to leap to the conclusion that the abductors were minors, some as young as twelve years old.
"But even the possibility that local officials or so-called pillars of the local community were involved in the kidnapping pales beside the revelation, made by Drilon and Sen. Loren Legarda, who helped negotiate the release, that the abductors were minors."
What makes these geniuses think that AGE has anything to do with the ability of terrorism to warp even children and use them in its violent enterprise? Above is that infamous Taliban propaganda video, also from 2007, documenting a 12 year old boy hacking off the head of an Afghani accused by the Taliban of being an American spy who helped kill a senior Taliban militant. (R-18!)
In the article, Ms. de la Cruz recalls her own "kidnapping" and "hostaging" for 98 days (from which she emerged without a scratch and many, many scoops) which unscathed condition she explains away also in the front page article as the result of her magnanimous decision under captivity "to teach the Abu Sayyaf members how to read" [sic!]. How believeable does she think this claim is? Should the next scoop-hungry reporter show up in the Abu Sayyaf lairs with reading books then?
Actually most of the article is just pure character assassination against Ces Drilon, as Arlyn dredges up some utterly irrelevant personal conflicts from when both were at ABSCBN as young and upcoming reporters. This continues in both the Innuendo's and Arlyn de la Cruz's long-running crusade to justify and rationalize the Abu Sayyaf, first by portraying them as just poor, oppressed freedom fighters and painting the recent atrocities as "mere kidnap for ransom," having no connection to the broader war on Islamist terrorism. It's not surprising to find Arlyn de la Cruz and PDI together in this enterprise of what Catholic Bishop Teodoro Bacani has labelled "glamorizing terrorism."
Birds of a feather flock together as the newspaper is fast becoming adept at using supposedly "balanced news" reports as a tool for blackmail and extortion against people in both public and private life. That is how desperate they've become for sensational scoops to bolster advertising revenue as the Rufino-Prieto-Romualdez families that control the paper struggle to stem the hemorrhage caused by its ill-advised forays into printing and newsprint production.
By the way, here is the Atlantic Monthly video clip of Ms. de la Cruz describing beheading as a merciful form of killing.