NEWS




29June

MILF to help in release of Indonesian kidnap victims

MILF Chairman Alhaj Murad Ebrahim assured on Sunday (June 26) Indonesian Col. Elphis Rudy of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) that the MILF would try to help in the release of seven Indonesian seamen who were abducted on June 22 in the Sulu Sea.

During the exit call of the Indonesian contingent of the IMT, Murad issued an instruction to the MILF Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and Adhoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) to monitor the situation or whereabouts of the kidnapped Indonesians.

Murad said he felt “very sad about the kidnapping” and lamented that the incident is an “offshoot of the absence of effective authority in that place.”

Murad told the outgoing contingent --- 9 Indonesians and a Japanese --- that similar situations in the island-provinces are very difficult to control and sometimes they feel “helpless” over such incidents.

In the past, kidnapping also became rampant in mainland Muslim Mindanao but because of mechanisms like the CCCH and AHJAG the kidnappings almost disappeared, Murad said. 

Col. Rudy, who led the Team Site 4 of the IMT based in General Santos City, expressed gratitude to the MILF members on the ground who assisted in the negotiations and eventual release of the previous groups of Indonesians kidnapped on March and April. 

He also relayed their request for assistance from the MILF leadership to solve the recent kidnapping of their nationals.

Inspite of these, Rudy reiterated his government’s continuing support to the Bangsamoro struggle to have peace and development.  

Chairman Murad, Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) Chief of Staff Sammy Al-mansur and Peace Panel/BTC Chairman Mohagher Iqbal gave certificates of appreciation to Rudy as well as his fellow departing Team members such as Maj. Gara Hendrik Amd., Maj. Vinsenslaus Jemudin, Maj. Yudha Timor Saputro; Maj. Cokorda Gede Parta, Maj. Pas. Sulistiyo Utomo, Mr. Aris Garinto, Mr. Muhammad Sharul Murajjab, and Mr. Raksa Pernama Ibrahim.

Mr. Takayuki Nakagawa, head of the socio-economic assistance unit, also bid goodbye to the MILF leadership.

Nakagawa has been with the IMT since 2012. He would be assigned to JICA main office in Tokyo.

His substitute, Hiroyuki Kawamoto, was introduced already to the MILF Central Committee.

The next Indonesian contingent to the IMT would arrive on the first week of July. #### (A. Ibnusman)