Press Release
February 22, 2010

Loren lauds AFP operation vs Parad

Nacionalista Party vice presidential candidate Loren Legarda congratulated the military on Monday for finally catching up with Abu Sayyaf commander Albader Parad, a year after the rebel leader and his group kidnapped three volunteers of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Sulu.

"This is certainly good news," she said. "Parad and his group of bandits have sown enough fear and destruction in Mindanao."

Legarda, an honorary Muslim princess, pointed out that the Abu Sayyaf has been putting ordinary peace-loving Muslims in a bad light, driving a rift between them and Christians in the area.

"That's making it harder for negotiators to forge a lasting peace in Mindanao," she said. "And they have been driving away tourists and investors, both local and foreign from the area, which is unfortunate because that region has so much to offer in boosting the national economy."

On Sunday, Parad and six other bandits were killed in a clash with government troops in Maimbung town in Sulu, according to Lt. Gen. Ben Dolorfino, commander of the Armed Forces' Western Mindanao Command.

Besides kidnappings, the Abu Sayyaf, composed of some 400 rebels, has been blamed for several bombings and beheadings of Filipinos and foreigners.

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