Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mystery of the Jolo Captives, by Simon Hargreaves,

September 18, 2000, The Birmingham Post (England), Mystery of the Jolo Captives, by Simon Hargreaves, 644 words,

Military mortars pounded the camps of Muslim rebels yesterday as thousands of troops continued their assault to free 19 foreign and Filipino hostages. But there was still no sign of the captives, officials said.
Why the fuck are they blindly pounding shells into the jungle if that's where the hostages were being kept?
'They haven't been eyeballed,' said presidential press secretary Ricardo Puno. 'The rebels are clearly moving them from place to place.'
That would be kind of like "eyeballing the Lindbergh baby," wouldn't it?
The military imposed a news blackout after the surprise attack aimed at rescuing the hostages held on remote Jolo island. Authorities launched the attack before dawn on Saturday following nearly five months of negotiations with the Abu Sayyaf rebels and the reported payment of more than pounds 10 million in ransom for other captives.

President Joseph Estrada said his patience broke after the rebels, who claimed they were fighting for an independent Islamic state in the southern Philippines, seized a new group of hostages from Malaysia on September 10.
Five months! That Lindbergh baby is dead!
'We have exhausted all efforts toward a negotiated settlement,' he said. 'We will not allow kidnappers or other lawless elements to mock our laws or control our lives.'
They envy our freedoms and underestimate our resolve.
France, Germany and Malaysia expressed concern about the decision to attack the rebel camps, saying it could endanger the lives of the hostages.
France, Germany and Malaysia are co-conspirators who only feign concern.
Various Abu Sayyaf factions are holding an American Muslim, two French journalists, three Malaysians, a Filipino captured in April and 12 Filipino Christian evangelists.
So the non-denominational Filipino is categorized separately from the evangelicals? Is that because the number 13 is considered unlucky?
Puno said four bodies of rebels had been spotted and 18 guerrillas were taken captive. One government soldier was injured in the fighting, he said.

Four injured civilians were being treated at a Jolo hospital and one woman died. The civilians said they were in a group of about ten people strafed by the military because one was wearing camouflage clothing.

A number of other injured civilians were unable to pass through tight military lines to reach the hospital, they said.
So, injured Filipino civilians were not permitted to cross [Filipino] military lines to receive medical assistance from other Filipinos?
The military was checking unconfirmed reports that the American, Jeffrey Schilling, of Oakland, California, was killed during an escape attempt on Friday and that the evangelists were executed by a rebel firing squad after the military attack began, an official said.
Unconfirmed reports that are meant to incite religious war, retaliation, revenge and retribution.
The military was also trying to verify a report that the two French journalists had escaped, said the official.
I can understand how the dead might might go undiscovered for a period of time, but in what netherworld do French journalists wander to remain as potential, yet unverified, escapees?
'All of these have not been confirmed, and no bodies (of hostages) have been found,' Puno said.

At her Oakland, US, apartment, Schilling's mother said she had no word on her son. 'No news is good news, as far as I am concerned,' Carol Schilling told journalists, then broke down crying.

Schilling family spokesman Kate Campbell said officials at the US embassy in the Philippines had told them that the military reached the camp and found it abandoned. 'That gives us hope that Jeffrey is still alive,' she said.
"The camp?" Like they knew where he was all along? Why couldn't he have been at any number of camps?
The rebels had earlier threatened to attack southern Philippine cities and behead Schilling if troops launched an attack.

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