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Not Pirates of the Caribbean

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The entire Mindanao was astonished again for another piracy situation, which took place last Thursday,in the waters of Basilan. A boat was on its way towards the General Santos City, and passing through the waters of Baliwasan, thenit was climbed by four armed man. They took the boat’s captain and some other crews. They are feared now asalready brought to the hinterlands of Basilan.

Here we go again, these things are not anymore new in our ears. Now, the question of the ordinary people is where were the Navy or the Coastguard in such a fateful time—when the abduction took place? Such incident was a sure negative precedence for our region again. How will folks see the incident, or even other nationals; they may remark again that easy kidnapping or piracy can just easily happen then, amongst our commercials boats which traverse in our waters?

The inference is anytime the company of the boat or the families of the abducted may receive expected calls from the abductors, then they will demand high ransoms. Good if the former will be willing to pay, but inasmuch as the families of those pitiful crews, they also do just belong to average homes, thus ransom is impossible for them to be raised.

The common fear is if such ransom cannot be met then, God forbid that their abductors may cut some heads again. Presumably, those armed guys are again members, or at least associated, to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). After all, who are these bandit people who have the usual signature to climb amongst vulnerable and passing ships along the waters of Basilan, and kidnap for ransom and hurt civilians, but the ASG alone!

Again, as going to the bottom line of this recurring kidnap for ransom problem in our region, so long as the ASG are so alive and kicking, they may continue to milk any possible victim they can get across with. Think about it, those new victims probably did not think, even a bit, that they might be the new prey then of the bandit group. Their only card now is prayer, beyond is already the mercy of their company or more of all, by the military.

Where is that bragged and sworn rhetoric of the AFP to pulverize the ASG, such has been their redundant statements when they face the media? It has been years or even decades already, and knowing then that the ASG is not that huge group, but only a handful and mostly willing mountain people. They are though pretty brave to kill and die for their banditry.

What the AFP usually does is to endeavor serious operations against the camps of the ASG, but then to also soon recede, when things do calm down again. There seems to have no clear action by the government to indeed totally finish the ASG. It just so annoys to any humble citizens that more and more innocent victims are the ones who suffer along.

Barangay eMedia will help to pray for those crews and their individual families, right this very trying time. The latter have also spouses and children. Definitely, their lives now are disturbed suddenly, simply because of such unworthy incident. Those crews were only doing the work of their humble employment. Maybe, they already had the little hint about the particular danger which lurks in the waters of Basilan, but they still took the risks, because such danger was again part of their job.

The victims’ boat is a RORO type vessel. It runs slower and can easily be outrun by any local motorized boats, especially along the waters of the island of Basilan. Thus, the bandits did have the easy way to climb the subject boat. Some people are even saying that the bandits didn’t have even perspired, when they abducted the victims.

“Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off his own feet and drinks violence. Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools. Like one who binds the stone in the sling is one who gives honor to a fool. Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of fools. Like an archer who wounds everyone is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.” (Prov. 26:6-20, ESV)

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