Senator-elect Richard J. Gordon yesterday called on the Aquino administration, which still has until June 30, and the new administration to work together to immediately take steps to stop the spate of Abu Sayyaf – orchestrated kidnappings in Mindanao, particularly in Sulu and its surrounding waters.
“We should all be concerned about this development. We appear to be a failed state, not unlike Somalia. This has dragged on far too long in one corner of our country. This could invite a raid from other countries just like what the Israelis did to rescue their countrymen in Uganda in the 70’s” he said.
Gordon pointed out that while the Aquino administration is exiting it must not abdicate its responsibility to protect the country from lawless elements and must have a stronger enforcement of the full force of the law against these kidnappers.
“Certainly the chief of staff, the army, the police and other institutions should not wait until the next administration takes over. The AFP and the PNP, which have all the intelligence assets, must act,” he said.
The senator also urged the Departments of Trade and Industry; and Energy to address the economic repercussions of the coal embargo. “It might trigger a rise in energy rates upon our people,” he warned.
With growing concerns over the recent kidnappings in the high seas, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia agreed earlier on a collective responsibility to address these threats, including sea and air patrols. The three countries agreed to launch a coordinated patrol of the waters after the recent surge of kidnappings.