Atyani is a disaster-A A +A
Sunday, July 8, 2012
THE disappearance of Jordanian journalist Baker Atyani and his Filipino crew has dealt another blow not only to the moribund economy in the island provinces of Sulu and Tawi-tawi but had also setback the overall gains in the effort of projecting the fragile peace and order condition in the area.
Whether Atyani and his colleagues were kidnapped or merely went into a journalistic foray in his hunt for a Pulitzer Prize does not matter anymore. What is troubling is that the news dispatches that followed his abduction do not augur well for the image of Mindanao.
Atyani stoically defied precautions that there are still elements of Abu Sayyaf guerillas and Jemaah Islamiyah which had been starving for funds and are merely waiting for another victim to pounce which they can trade for ransom. He refused to believe that these terrorist elements do not distinguish what religious faith their would-be victims belong, what nationality or ideological persuasions they are identified with. If their victims is good enough for ransom or for slaughter to create terror like they do with even lowly employees or teachers for that matter, the ASG and JI strike with no compactions.
Atyani eluded the military and police cordon, slipped into the lairs of the terror band like he did when he was accorded an exclusive interview by Osama Bin Laden. He thought all along that he will be given the same courtesies. Maybe he was bestowed, we do not know what the deal was. But the fact that he disappeared in thin air and created another negative impression on Mindanao and the entire country in general is unfair. If at all he will surface and for certain he will write his saga of his foray into the terrorist lair, for sure that again will be another blow but this time on the country’s solar plexus.
But in the final analysis, the victims here are the people of Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Basilan. And among those who will suffer most are the upcoming generation who are looking forward for a stable peace and a healthy environment for development as these will guarantee the sustainability of their future.
Atyani, whether he survives this captivity or achieve his journalistic pursuit, had effectively impeded the realization of the dream and aspiration of the islanders. It will even be worse if fail in both. He is a disaster.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 08, 2012.