Up to now, I still haven’t heard any news from the media nor from the military on who kidnapped the Irish Catholic priest, Fr. Michael Sinnott.
If it isn’t the Moro International Liberation Front or MILF (which is not really known to kidnap civilians for money), then it could only be the dreaded organized crime group called the Abu Sayyaf.
The Abu Sayyaf should not be considered as terrorists. As per writer Bruce Hoffman (in his book Inside Terrorism), the word terrorism is politically and emotionally charged, thus greatly compounding the difficulty of providing a precise definition. However, since the dawn of the 9/11 attacks against the United States, terrorism has always been associated with acts of violence (particularly bombing civilians in public places) to coerce an enemy to adhere to the group’s politico-religious ideologies.
In the case of the Abu Sayyaf, they are into kidnap-for-ransom activities solely for profit. They are not known to be separatists compared to the MILF (and before them, Nur Misuari’s Moro National Liberation Front) although they have been linked to international terrorist groups such as the Al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah.
Now, if Fr. Sinnott’s kidnappers are not the Abu Sayyaf, then who could they be? It is feared that it’s just a renegade group of bandits. If it be true, then the vile adventurism of the organized Abu Sayyaf crime group has inspired local bandits to pursue the same corrupt way of earning money.
Ransom demand for Irish priest rejected
The government on Sunday rejected a $2-million ransom demand by the kidnappers of an elderly Irish Catholic priest in the troubled south but said it would continue efforts to ensure his release.
Paying money to free Father Michael Sinnott, 79, went against state policy, a spokesman for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Cerge Remonde, told AFP.
“We will do everything to ensure his safe release,” Remonde said. “We will, however, stick to the international policy of paying no ransom.”
He said security forces on the southern island of Mindanao were continuing efforts to locate Sinnott, who was seized by gunmen from his missionary office in the southern city of Pagadian on October 11.
“Even the MILF is helping,” Remonde said, referring to the 12,000-strong separatist group the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which is negotiating a peace deal with the government. Inquirer.net