Basilan guv nixes kidnappers' demand-A A +A
Thursday, December 16, 2010
ISABELA CITY, Basilan -- Governor Jum Akbar of this province vowed Thursday that she will not give in to the demands of the Abu Sayyaf bandits to remove all the Christian teachers assigned in Muslim-dominated barangays in the province.
Akbar issued the statement after the release of Cecilia Sosas, a school principal, who was kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf bandits last November 15 at Baas Elementary School in Lamitan town.
The kidnappers freed Sosas around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday in the boundaries of Lagayas and Cabangalan villages, in Tipo-Tipo town.
Sosas was kidnapped around 11 a.m. on November 15 together with another teacher, Merlyn Yacapin, at Baas Elementary School in Lamitan town by Abu Sayyaf bandits.
Yacapin was abandoned by the bandits and recovered by pursuing policemen an hour later in the boundaries of Lamitan and Tuburan municipalities.
"I am not in favor, I will not give in to their demands," Akbar said, adding that giving good education to the children in Basilan province is a priority of her administration.
Akbar also said that religion is not the issue at hand but the education of the children.
Akbar advised the teachers to continue their tasks and to not be cowed by the kidnappers' demand.
Akbar, Basilan Police Director Cristeto Rey Gonzalodo and Special Operations Task Force-Basilan Commander Nicanor Dolojan met Wednesday morning and discussed the security concerns of the province.
Sosas narrated her ordeal to Akbar when Vice Governor Alrasheed Sakkalahul, who heads the Crisis Management Committee, brought her to the governor's office around 11 a.m. Wednesday before they flew to Manila.
Sakkalahul accompanied Sosas and her husband to the central office of the Department of Education (DepEd) to meet with DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro.
Sosas said she is going on a vacation and would decide later with her family whether or not to return to her job in Lamitan. (Bong Garcia)