Php 250m in exchange for 2 German lives: Yes, the Philippines negotiates with terrorists

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The Philippines does not negotiate with terrorists. Or so we are told following the miraculousrescue” of two German hostages Stefan Viktor Okonek and Henrike Dielen held by the Islamic terrorist group Abu Sayyaf. According to Abu Sayyaf spokesman Abu Rami, the ransom they demanded was paid. According to the Philippine Government no such ransom exchanged hands. According to Armed Force of the Philippines (AFP) mouthpiece Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, the two hostages were released by the Abu Sayyaf under pressure from “intensified law enforcement operations.”

Who to believe?

That’s a tough call to make. Both the Abu Sayyaf and the Philippine Government are world-renowned for the banality of the respective forms of banditry, deception, and treason they routinely perpetrate against the Filipino people. One thing is certain though, there are still 11 people kept hostage by the Abu Sayyaf. The question therefore is: What was so special about the two Germans?

The more Filipino activists wave clenched fists, the more Philippine sovereignty slips through their fingers.
The more Filipino activists wave clenched fists, the more Philippine sovereignty slips through their fingers.
Seeing the way Filipinos routinely find something special about crimes involving not just foreign nationals but foreign nationals of affluent nations, this sort of baffling outcome does not really surprise. Quite fortunate for Okonek and Dielen, their backers showed the money — 250 million pesos of it depending on who you ask. Interesting enough, on another front, Filipinos are also investing a lot of precious capital on another incident involving a foreign power, the death of transgender Jeffrey Laude allegedly by the hand of US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton. Unfortunately for Laude’s family, his backers only have noisy “activism” coming from a largely-discredited political subculture and a publicity-hungry attack lawyer to invest in his case.

One obvious thing the Jeffrey Laude circus and the German angle in the Abu Sayyaf case have in common is lots of Philippine media mileage. The less-obvious thing in common between the two is the institutionalised hypocrisy of Philippine society. I explored the hypocrisy underpinnings of the Jerffrey Laude case in my previous article The hypocrisy in Filipinos’ anger towards US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton where I wrote…

So I find it quite rich that the Philippines’ noisiest “activists” have suddenly latched on to this recent circus like the barnacles that they are. If I were a parent of a victim of an unreported, uninvestigated, and, therefore, unresolved crime, the bigger outrage for me would be why the vast majority of crimes in the Philippines do not attract this sort of mass indignation.

Perhaps it is because Pemberton is an American.

In the case of the two German hostages “rescued” from the Abu Sayyaf, the hypocrisy is way more straightforward. The Philippine Government insists that it “does not negotiate with terrorists”. Yet, a big chunk of the Mindanao economy is stimulated by ransom money collected by its well-entrenched community of terrorists and criminals. Worse, some of that money is used to buy goods and weapons stolen from the Philippine military by some of its enterprising officers. More subtle still is the awesome resources poured into the “operation”. According to the AFP, it consisted of a “massive deployment of troops and tracker dog teams”. One wonders about the plight of the thousands of ordinary Filipinos who had fallen victim to these criminal elements over the decades successive Philippine governments had neglected to establish law and order in Mindanao. Was the same sort of awesome power deployed to save their lives?

Funny enough, the current government of Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III, rather than take full accountability for crushing the insurgency and wanton criminality in Mindanao had, instead, gone to bed with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), another such terrorist group with a long history of violence in the region, to create a so-called Bangsamoro state within the Philippines, effectively palming off the required police and military work to do the tough job to our “Muslim brothers”.

The irony that simply flies over the pointed heads of most Filipinos is how, despite what they’d like to believe is their tight “vigilance” over matters that supposedly undermine the Philippines’ beloved “sovereignty”, big chunks of the Philippines’ national assets have been steadily slipping away nonetheless, perhaps forever beyond their reach. While “activists” wave their fists in support of Jeffrey Laude, China is quietly annexing the disputed oil-rich islands off Palawan in the “West Philippine Sea”. And, thanks to the “help” of the Malaysian government in brokering the whole Bangsamoro deal, the Philippines’ claim to the state of Sabah is likely now all but over.

Nice work, Pinoys. Chalk up another fistful of wins for the wrong arguments.

[Photo courtesy Yahoo! News Philippines.]

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37 Comments on “Php 250m in exchange for 2 German lives: Yes, the Philippines negotiates with terrorists”

  1. Although I agree with some of your articles, claiming that “a big chunk Mindanao’s economy is stimulated by ransom money” is clearly bad journalism coupled with exaggeration. That phrase totally disregards the ordinary person, the businessmen, the politicians aka elections who stimulate the Mindanao economy.

    Even if you count all the ransom money for the past 20 years paid or unpaid, it won’t even amount to a big chunk of Mindanao economy for 2013.

    Even if you limit it to ARMM, I don’t know how you make it a big chunk not unless ransoms are in billions of pesos since ARMM economy in 2013 is $2b usd or around 86b pesos or around 5% of Mindanao’s economy in 2013.

    1. I’m sorry you had to do all that math to bring that point across, because it is quite obvious I used hyperbole to make mine. Yeah, the one that you missed.

      And, no, I am not a ‘journalist’.

  2. It is Too Good to be True; for the Military and the Aquino administration claim : the release of the German Hostages were due to military pressure.

    The ISIS-Abu Sayaff claimed: the ransom money is Paid…I believe more the ISIS-Abu Sayaff Terrorists.

    It is now a Big Industry in Mindanao: Kidnapping for Ransom…

    So warning to all Foreign Tourists:

    Do not come to the Philippines. There is an Active ISIS-Abu Sayaff Group ; that kidnap foreigners; and hold them for ransom. If ransom is not paid; they will cut your head off…

    1. There is one other reason why kidnapping proliferates in Muslim Mindanao: local leaders (including some folks in the PNP/AFP) are in collusion with the bandits.
      Kidnap-for-ransom is not the sole domain of the ASG. MNLF and MILF cadres have also used the same method to fund their operations.

      Case in point:
      http://goo.gl/P1JFmv

      And another one:
      http://goo.gl/KfuOWj

  3. Why are you convinced that ransom was paid by the Philippine Government? As far as I can find from news sources, it doesn’t seem like the source of the funds has been attributed.

    1. oh, there is a source for the fund, they will not tell you about it, they want to make it look like the administration and the military are competent enough to do rescue without paying or negotiating with the terrorist.

    2. “One thing is certain though, there are still 11 people kept hostage by the Abu Sayyaf. The question therefore is: What was so special about the two Germans?”

      1. Trying to look good in the International scene. Are the other hostages Filipinos? If so, the chances of them being released/rescued is most likely less than the chances of you winning the lottery.

    3. These are ISIS-Abu Sayaff Terrorists; they mean what they say. The kidnapped victims are infidels. And, they threatened to cut off their head, if ransom is not paid.

      Would I believe the Military and Aquino ; that they are afraid of them? Aquino cannot fight; he jumps into his hole, if a crisis happen. And, both the Military and Aquino have lost their CREDIBILITY, a long time ago…they lied often to us..

      1. Infidels to Radical Muslim Terrorists are non-believers of Allah, their God. Infidels can be treated in the worst way: beating; murdering; killing; cutting of heads; crucifixions; using fraud against them; rapes; selling them as slaves; etc…

        They are looked upon as Sub-human; the same way as the Nazi Political idelology looked on the Jews and others; as Sub-humans.

        Only the ISIS-Abu Sayaff is a radical religious ideology; the German Nazi was a political ideology…the Japanese pre-World War II political/religious ideology was also the: Worship of their Emperor, as a living “God”…they believed they cannot lose in any conflict, because they are with their living “God”…to die in the name of their Emperor was a great honor for them…

        CRAZY WORLD, CRAZY PEOPLE…

        1. AH, SO YOU SEE: The Muslims and THE JEWS are actually the same. The Koran and The Talmud both give their faithful followers permission to treat all ‘non-believers’ in the worst possible ways….and they do just that, EXCEPT: No one in the Philippines screams that the Zionist Israeli’s are International terrorists, now do they?

        2. There are people in Europe and other Western countries that think The Jews got what they were due, all the way back to the Cannanites. Crazy World ,Crazy people,REALLY? or WHAT COMES AROUND GOES AROUND ?

  4. The Gay dude was scamming the Marine and the guy got mad and killed him, OR the Gay dude was scamming the Marine ,got caught, and got beat to death, OR,the Gay dudes friend did it and blamed the Marine in an attempt to discredit and maybe get the VFA nullified.

    BUT SO WHAT, it is only one crime in a country that is virtually lawless.

    The German hostages did not get released by anyone but their families paying the equivalent of Eu 3,350,000.00 IF IF IF any ransom was paid at all. The Philippines would not put up such an amount of money for two foreigners…THEY JUST WOULD NOT DO IT.The people who run the country are the greediest POS on the planet and would never part with that kind of CA$H, UNLESS, the German gov’t. threatened them with really terrible consequences if they did not. I doubt that the German gov’t. did any such thing and more than likely the Germans were actually rescued.

    1. The Israeli Zionists do not kidnap people for ransom. They do not cut people’s head infront of TV camera. And shout: “God is Great”…what does God has to do with cutting of people’s head?

      They do not impose people to convert to their Jewish faith; or else, pay huge amount of taxes…we have no problems with the Jewish…we have problems with Radical Muslims…

      1. OY VAI, they surely fuckin do.That is one of the most naive comments I have ever seen.

        Yes, HT # WHATEVER, you are as naive as they come.

        True, there aren’t many Jewish Filipino’s and so, well you can follow simple logic? Oh wait, you did make those statements.OH WELL, I WILL NOT SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU, NO, I JUST WILL NOT DO IT!

        1. I am not naive; neither I am Jewish. I am a full blooded Filipino…and an infidel, according to Islam… I am only citing the facts. I don’t even have a religion. Religions cause : wars, hate, kidnapping for ransoms , murders, persecutions, prejudices, cutting of heads, abuses of women, slavery, inquisitions, etc…all in the name of a God…

        2. ISIS Caliphate in Syria and Iraq is imposing Sharia laws.
          They are committing: rapes, crucifixions, abuses of women, persecutions of non-believers, and all kinds of crimes…in the name of their God, Allah…on the order of their Caliph: Al Bagdadih…

      2. @ HT so your comment/reply to what I stated exonerates the Jewish religion as being the one world religion that doesn’t do as you say religions do? is that it? Wake up, they all do.

        1. This is the reason , I don’t believe in any Organized Religions…they have all their Failings. And, they are all the cause of our : wars, bigotry, persecution of those who don’t believe in their Gods, cutting of heads, kidnapping for ransoms, abuses of all kinds to non-believers, etc…I do not absolve any Organized Religion…

    2. Germans paid the ransom

      AFP unarmed gangster forces of the Philippines and Abu kidnap for ransom gangsters Sayaf done a deal and split the money.

      When the Germans write a book all the truth will come out.

      Of course Filipino’s will go into the usual denial mode. Those involved will go on television and cry like two year old babies, flap the arms and scream I AM NOT A THIEF.

      Never heard that one before have we?

      1. @ Yawn, did this article suggest the philippines paid the ransom? LOL, that is just too funny….almost as funny as the HT guy above stating that the Jews(Zionist Isreali’s) do not kill women/children and people throwing rocks at tanks…..UH-HUH,sure they don’t.

        1. @Gerry they just view foreigners as cash cows and nothing else. Milk them dry and kick them out.

          Jews have been murdering innocent women and children for decades. They keep on about being persecuted and how we should not forget the holocaust but they persecute Palestinians.

        2. @Gerry:

          Israelis kill women/children, because the HAMAS used them as shields…

          Not unlike Islamist radicals/terrorists, who kill innocent hostages on video camera. They even put the heads of the victims on poles, for display. This is not religion already, but plain Barbarism…

  5. What I know of Abu Sayyaf/ISIS group is they would behead their hostages if they don’t get what they want. It’s not like them to negotiate for nothing. That’s why the US is already bombing ISIS.

    1. You are correct. It’s the same tactic employed by mujahideens in the Mideast. The same tactic learned from fighting side by side with bin Laden during Afghanistan’s invasion by the Soviet Union.

  6. what an amazingly fucked up country, the Philippines. Had I never been there and stayed for a considerable period of time and been treated like shit by every single person I did business with, I might not believe the things I read about the goings on in the country. Having seen it with my own eyes, I believe the society to be thoroughly corrupt and full of shit. Run by criminals and so full of hypocritical shit as to be surprising that the society actually exists.

    1. @Gerry:

      Why did you come here, in the first place?
      Did you come from a Utopian country?

      Where are you from? Some kind of foreigner with Superiority Complex?

  7. Here we go again since the suspect is a foreigner,Filipinos making noise by prostituting the media shouting of justice for the victim.I doubt if true justice is still exist in my country,as a filipino we already know what kind of justice system we have when it comes against the foreigner its just sad to think that our law become a laughing stock.Looking back to some cases against those foreigners specially from the west when they found guilty they live quite in luxury you cant even called it a prison,to be honest the justice system in this country is corrupted by its own judgement.

  8. I was in Mindanao and the family I was with told me that an American was living in a house they pointed to.

    I asked them what state he was from.

    They said “Germany”.

    1. These are the same pinoys who claim that the world noticed and admired a 1-4 pinoy basketball in FIBA. It never occurred to them the world watches and admires winners. The only basketball devoted country in the world 1-4 after not qualifying for decades. GALING !!!!!

  9. @Hyden Toro807

    One does not need to have a superiority complex to desire that when in a foreign land, he is treated fairly and not cheated frequently and taken advantage of.

    Do remember that even in the US, there are 4 million Filipinos. If they get treated badly, they protest and express their indignation.

    They also complain about how Arabs treat them. Does that mean they have a superiority complex?

    Filipinos complain abroad, and foreigners complain in the Philippines. We all want things to improve and to be treated with fairness and honesty.

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