Sibugay media group joins call for safe release of abducted Bansil sisters

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay(MindaNews/26 June)—The Zamboanga Sibugay Media Practitioners’ Club has joined the clamor for authorities to ensure the safe release of the two abducted independent filmmakers in Sulu.

Criste Basadre, manager of an AM radio station here and an active ZSMP member, said in a statement that club members, along with other groups and individuals, are appealing to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) to exert all efforts to ensure the safe release of the victims, sisters Lydia and Nadjoua Bansil.

Reports said that the Bansil sisters spent a night in Mount Sinumaan, a known stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf bandits, before they were abducted in Patikul town in Sulu.

“We sincerely call on the government to please resolve the case in a very peaceful and democratic way if it will be the only chance that these victims will be released safely,” Basadre said.

The Zamboanga City chapter of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) earlier called for the safe release of the victims.

The group urged the AFP and PNP and the provincial, municipal and barangay governments in Sulu to coordinate and work out the safe release of the kidnap victims.

The Peace and Conflict Journalism Network had also called on authorities in the Sulu archipelago to convene a crisis committee for the safe release of the sisters who were abducted last Saturday.

Elbert Fuentes, a freelance photojournalist who covers the Zamboanga Peninsula, also appealed for the safe release of the victims.

In an interview, Fuentes said that the abduction “will once again stain the image of southern Philippines and the stigma will remain.”

“These abductions should be stopped or else the effect will really destroy the image of the country,” Fuentes said. (Paulnazer Lontua/MindaNews)