Bishop laments TV crew 'independence' in Sulu-A A +A
Monday, June 18, 2012
A MEMBER of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) expressed disappointment over reports that Al Arabiya news network Southeast Asia bureau chief Baker Atyani and his team had rejected the offer of security by the Sulu government.
Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo said it is unfortunate that the news team chose to be independent and has not kept in mind the previous incidents with the Abu Sayyaf terror group (ASG).
“Yung point na nire-raise ng government natin sa mga foreigners na if they will go to places ay laging may coordination dapat to our authorities, lalo sa mga local authorities, kasi it is embarrassing to the government na things like this will happen,” said Bagaforo over Church-run Radio Veritas.
“You should avoid endangering your lives and, if possible, coordinate with the local authorities or local people or non-governmental organization in the area so that we know how to react if the worse thing happened,” he added.
He noted how local journalist Ces Drilon and her two crewmen, in 2008, were also abducted in Sulu by the ASG and were held for nine days.
On Monday, Malacanang confirmed that Baker Atyani and his crew are in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf terror group (ASG) after they sought the latter for an interview in Sulu last week.
“Very risky sa mga dayuhan to go places like that kasi puwede kang maging magnet for kidnapping. Sa mga bad elements kasi, it is an opportunity for raising money,” said Bagaforo.
And in the event that they are indeed kidnapped, the prelate said he is hoping the ASG will just release them immediately.
He said it would just be wrong to keep them against their will since they are not opponents of the bandit group.
“Kung talagang na-kidnap sila, ang ating appeal to those who are responsible sa things like this… I am sure that the very intention of the journalists is for the benefit of all, including the kidnappers, that is why they are there,” said Bagaforo. (HDT/Sunnex)