By: Elena Grace Flores
Not all Malaysians consented into the government or any private groups paying the Abbu Sayyaf for ransom of the four hostages – hence raised fears that the ransom payment would make them the favorite targets of kidnappers. The statement of their Home Minister was indeed right saying; “If we were to pay ransom, it could be seen as us condoning such acts of violence. We can see a trend from this latest abduction whereby out of the 10 people onboard, the Myanmar nationals and Indonesians were released. “Only the Malaysians were taken,” he rightfully said.
The controversy actually discloses the somewhat process of this international “kidnapping” trade. The Malaysians implicated that officers from both sides got a share of the ransom money. Naturally, the mayor of Jolo, Sulu, Hussin Amin, was not even surprised with the allegation. He seems to have a personal knowledge that some military officers in Sulu are in connivance with the Abu Sayyaf group.
Abu Sayyaf has been able to elude government forces no matter how powerful the military operations were launched against them – simply because the families of the insurgents have evolved over time with relatives from both the Filipino military and the Malaysian providers. They would know beforehand what comes next in the negotiations before it actually happens. Since the Malaysian government never resisted on the ransom payment and outgoing President Aquino also kept his silence on the issue, perhaps both leaders are also in cahoots with each other.