Sunday, April 05, 2009

Pressure on the wrong lid

Fate of hostages is up to Arroyo
By Michael Lim Ubac, Julie Alipala

The fate of two foreign aid workers still held captive by the Abu Sayyaf in Jolo, Sulu, is now in the hands of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is marking her 62nd birthday on Sunday, Sen. Richard Gordon warned Saturday.

Gordon said that in effect, the life or death of Italian Eugenio Vagni and Swiss Andreas Notter of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) depended on Ms Arroyo who, he pointed out, had the power to order government troops to pull back from the area surrounding the bandits’ camp.

It’s unfair for Sen. Gordon to say that the hostages’ fate is in the hands of President Arroyo; it is in the bandits’ -- they are threatening to behead the Red Cross volunteers after all.

I am not a fan of Arroyo (an understatement) but the government cannot heed to requests of terrorists, whether ransom or something deemed as easily doable as pulling out military troops in Abu Sayyaf’s lair.

So how does it work? Hostages die and it’s the government’s fault — not of those who actually murdered them? And when hostages are released countless of politicians take credit?

Moral dilemma:
If you were President and the terrorists' only demand is for you to kneel down and kiss their feet, would you do it?

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