Prelate alarmed over kidnapping incidents

A CATHOLIC prelate in Basilan has expressed his alarm on the successive kidnapping incidents in the region.

Isabela Bishop Martin Jumoad said atrocities are common in his area, but recent kidnapping cases are disappointing because it indicates that the authorities can’t do anything about it.

Jumoad acknowledged the efforts being exerted by the police and military to ensure the security of the people. He said however that they could do better.

“Kidnapping is very common here in Basilan. It means to say that the government can’t do anything in order to stop terrorism here,” he said over church-run Radio Veritas.

“I thought the problem can somehow be resolved by the Aquino government but it seems that the volume of kidnapping here has increased.”

The authorities meanwhile said they are doing everything possible to secure the area and its people.

The prelate of the war-ravaged region and birthplace of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group said series of kidnap-for-ransom incidents have been reported just after last month’s barangay elections.

On Monday, unidentified armed men abducted two school teachers identified as Merlyn Yacapin and Cecilia Sosas of Baas Elementary School in Lamitan town.

Yacapin was later abandoned in a remote village. The gunmen, however, held on to Sosas who is the head of the school.

“I continue to appeal to the government to really do their work and the military and the police to stop the proliferation of arms,” Jumoad added.

“I hope that there will be a day or in the future they no longer be afraid to go around and we have peace here in Basilan,” he also said.     CBCPNews

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