Suara happy for Sinnots release, but believes it timed for Hilarys visit

Nov. 16, 2009

Suara Bangsamoro is one with the rest of Mindanaoans, who are happy to see that Father Michael Sinnot has been freed after a month in captivity. Suara hopes that the rest of those abducted in Basilan and Sulu will also be immediately released and not meet the fate of kidnap victim Gabriel Canizares who was killed and beheaded due to his familys failure to pay ransom.

According to Amirah Ali Lidasan, spokesperson of Suara Bangsamoro, her organization prays for the safety of those abducted and hopes that the Philippine government will also act swiftly on their release, as it had acted on Father Sinnots release.

Lidasan said that it was worth noting that the release of foreign nationals who were kidnapped were timed during state visits of high level United States government officials such as Father Eugenio Vagni at the visit of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Leon Panetta in July and now Father Sinnot at the visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

It is also worth remembering that days before former US President George Bushs state visit to President Macapagal-Arroyo on October 2003, the Philippine government announced the capture and death of Jeemayat Islamiya member Fathur Al-Gozi.

Lidasan also noted that Father Sinnot would have been released earlier had it not been for the meddling of Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno and his vilification campaign against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front who have offered help for Father Sinnots release.

Lidasan said that Clintons gift of 2 million US dollars military aid have made quite a big impression upon the Philippine government that it had immediately decided to work with the MILF for the facilitation of the release.

Lidasan hopes that the government will really look into the reasons behind the rising kidnapping in Mindanao, adding that if the Arroyo government has the political will, then the kidnapping incidents in Mindanao will be solved.

The longer the kidnapping incidents continue in Mindanao, the more are people harboring suspicions of possible collusion between the military, local government units and the Abu Sayyaf and other local kidnappers.

For reference:

Amirah Ali Lidasan
Mobile telephone: 0919-660-3839
Email address:

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