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Climaco stands pat on ‘no ransom’ policy, appeals for hostages’ return


Mayor Beng Climaco reiterated yesterday her appeal to the Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu to release its four Zamboangueño captives for humanitarian reasons even as she stood firm on the government’s “no ransom” policy in dealing with any kidnapping situations.

“Sa mga kidnappers, kami po ay humihiling sa inyo na pwedeng mabigyan din sila ng pagkakataon na makabalik sa kanilang mga pamilya sa pagkat sila po ay tumulung din sa pag-unlad ng Sulu’ (We appeal to the kidnapper to give their captives the opportunity to return to their families because they too had helped in the progress of Sulu), Climaco urged over Dateline Teleradyo on IBC-TV 11.

She said the victims, who are from Tumaga, this city, belonged to poor families, the reason they had to risk their safety to go to Sulu to earn a decent living by working as painters in a construction company.

“Wala po silang sapat na kakayahan para magbayad ng ransom” “They (captives) do not have enough capacity to raise the ransom money), the mayor said.

Climaco made the appeal anew following the circulation on social media of a photo of the four Zamboangueño hostages together with their ASG captors—threatening to behead them if the P3-million ransom money would be paid within this week.

Held captive by the ASG in the hinterlands of Sulu since July 15 are Filemon Guerrwrro, Joel Adanza, Jayson Vallocesa and Edmundo Roces.

Climaco explained that there are other methods of securing the release of the victims by proper coordination with the military, the police and the government in Sulu, where the kidnapping incident took place, particularly at an elementary school in Barangay Bangkal, municipality of Patikul.

“As far as the city of Zamboanga is concerned, we do not negotiate (with kidnappers) but we use other means in order to return the kidnap victims back to their families,” she said. “We have had (in the past) successful returns of kidnap victims,” she added.

In the meantime, she said the city government continues to extend assistance to the victims’ families here in Zamboanga.-(Vic Larato)

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