The Sulu Hostage Crisis Nears Breaking Point
The situation in the Sulu-Basilan corridor has become all the more uncertain with the resignation of Sulu’s Vice Governor Anne Sahidullah from the crisis management team and the Abu Sayyaf’s murder last weekend of two farmers in Basilan, with one of the victims even being beheaded.
Will the Arroyo government yet redeem its fractured image through American help which is now being publicly admitted by Malacanang?
If only Manila is more honest, the US-supplied surveillance overflights of its Navy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), the Predators, have been sustained throughout the 3-month-long abduction.
The waiting must surely end soon with new reports of Italian Eugenio Vagni needing surgery for hernia with nearly twoo weeks havimng passed since the release of Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba.
The weekend lightning rescue by US Navy Seals of the American ship captain from the hand of Somali pirates was a clear proof of the new US leadership’s will to fight inteenational criminals.
The Abu Sayyaf will be wrong to overplay their cards given the fact that Vagni’s country is a strong NATO ally of the United States while Notter’s native Switzerland is no less important in the community of nations.
It’s no longer enough for Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno to assure the public, including the international community of the two hostages’ ‘proof of life’.
The time is upon us — for Filipino soldiers to be aided by US Navy Seals to end the ordeal of Andreas Notter and Eugenio Vagni.
Notter and Vagni have issued yet another desperate appeal: