Kiko wants gov't, MILF troops to work together to recover kidnapped ICRC staff

In a press statement, Pangilinan said, "perhaps both the MILF and government troops can work together to safely recover our friends from the ICRC. Then, this can pave the way for peace talks and allow us to move forward as one nation.”

Commenting on the MILF’s claim that they, too, were in pursuit of Abu Sayyaf leader Albader Parad and his men, Pangilinan challenged the MILF to “continue helping the government eliminate the members of the terrorist group and restore peace and security to war-torn areas of the South.”

Before Malacanang dissolved the government peace panel on September 3, mechanisms were in place to monitor the implementation of  the ceasefire agreement and even to go on joint pursuit operations against criminals through the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group. (AHJAG).

Andreas Notter, a Swiss national and head of the ICRC office in Zamboanga City; Eugenio Vagni, an Italian; and Jean Lacaba, a Filipino engineer, arrived in Jolo, Sulu on January 13.

Cedric Piralla, head of the ICRC’s sub-delegation in Davao City told MindaNews by telephone that the three ICRC personnel had just left the provincial jail for their regular visit on January 15, when the armed men took them.

According to reports by the Defense Department, the three have been taken by their abductors to Talipao, Sulu. Both government troops and MILF operatives have joined the hunt for Parad and his group of bandits.

Pangilinan said, “we must do everything we can to save the lives of these people who have sacrificed so much to help our conflict-torn communities in Mindanao. Our priority should be to restore peace and security so that our countrymen can begin rebuilding their lives.” (MindaNews)

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