Skip to content

Abu Sayyaf Demands Making Jolo An “Open Port” As Ransom For ICRC Hostages

February 28, 2009



The Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s disclosure of two demands from the Abu Sayyaf gunmen holding the three International Red Cross workers raises potentially troubling questions: who the supposed “reliable source” is and how the Abu Sayyaf unit led by Albader Parad has added a significant condition: the declaration of Jolo as “an open port.”

This appears to mean is Manila is being told to lift all customs, and immigration controls in Jolo.

The demand is supposedly premised on allowing free and direct movement of commerce to and from Sulu and Malaysia but if Manila bows to it, the Philippine central government will effectively be  ceding  the area.

This surely posits a dangerous precedent.

The Parad group has previously said it is not demanding any ransom for the three hostages.

But the demand for Jolo to be declared an “open port” is a ransom demand, plain and simple.


Latest overnight reports this 2nd of March are saying that “the MILF, which has been working for the release of a Sri Lankan peace worker held by bandits in Basilan, has not been spared from experiencing difficulty in negotiating with the Abu Sayyaf group.”

Puriji Indama, the leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Basilan, has reportedly asked for an undisclosed amount in exchange for the safe release of Mr. Umar Jaleel, a Sri Lankan working for Nonviolent Peaceforce, who was abducted in his office on Feb. 13 in the city of Lamitan.

The MILF said the negotiation have not moved forward since the abductors would not release the victim unless ransom is paid.

“The kidnappers have one track mind and they won’t listen to reason,” an unnamed negotiator of the MILF said.

The already worrisome situation in the deep South is complicated further with two separate but similarly oriented units of the Abu Sayyaf holding four hostages altogether.

The government has previously tagged the Abus as  “ragtag bandit group” but the picture we are seeing is vastly different.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: