Press Release
May 20, 2009

Gordon: Gov't should look into recent violent acts in Mindanao

Senator Richard J. Gordon (Ind.) today called on the government to take a deeper look into the recent violent acts in some parts of Mindanao and see the underlying message behind such happenings.

Gordon made the statement following the recent events in some areas in Mindanao including the killing of Sulu provincial commander PSSupt. Julasirim Kasim, his brother and two police escorts; bombings on the convoys of Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan and former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan; and the beheading of farmer Doroteo Gonzales.

"We should be very careful because of what is happening. What worries me is that in the incidents involving the police chief, Gov. Tan, and the farmer who was beheaded, the common denominator is the Abu Sayyaf," he said.

"The government should take a look at these incidents. It should pay attention to what is happening and maybe they should start talking with these people, they might want to say something. We should put an end to this vicious cycle of violence," he added.

Gordon, chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), reiterated his appeal to the Abu Sayyaf Group to release International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) worker Eugenio Vagni and the teachers who were kidnapped in Zamboanga.

"Nananawagan ulit ako sa Abu Sayyaf na kung may problema, isauli na lang nila si Vagni katulad nung nangyari kay Andreas Notter at kay Mary Jean Lacaba. Isauli na lang at pati na rin 'yung mga teachers dahil wala naman silang kinalaman sa labanan," he said.

A group of Abu Sayyaf men seized Vagni, Notter and Lacaba last Jan. 15 after the three ICRC workers inspected a water facility at the Sulu Provincial Jail. Lacaba was released on April 2 while Notter was rescued last April 18.

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