peace is a result of respect for human rights,” he said.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
peace is a result of respect for human rights,” he said.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Kidnapped Zamboangueña nurse Precious Feliciano was finally released Friday evening by her Abu Sayyaf captors in the Municipality of Al Barka in Basilan, officials said on Saturday.
Ms. Feliciano was first reported missing by her family last July 7. A high school classmate of the nurse allegedly went to Feliciano's house and invited her to high school reunion.
Instead of a reunion, Feliciano was brought to Manicaan in Zamboanga City, where a motorboat had been waiting. She was reportedly taken to Basilan and turned over to the Abu Sayyaf kidnappers.
Basilan Vice Governor Alrasheed Sakalahul said Ms. Feliciano was freed at Bohe Kassa, Barangay Magcawa in Al-Barka at around 9:45 p.m. after 124 days in captivity.
Precious' parents joined Sakalahul in fetching the 24-year old nurse who personally gave P200,000 in cash to the kidnappers as payment for "board and lodging."
"We were instructed by the kidnappers to proceed in that area, the same place, where we were able to get SP (Esperencita Hupida)," he told reporters.
The vice governor said he was not authorized to bring security to get the nurse. "I was only with my driver, of course my wife and the father and mother of the hostage," he added.
During an interview at Majini Pier in Naval Forces South arranged by Navy authorities, Precious did not answer some important questions by the media.
She, however, said her captors treated her well, provided her foods and did not hurt her. "Ok lang ta dale sila comigo kome. Ok el de ila treatment comigo alya. Hindi sila ta ase sinte duele comigo."
Mr. Feliciano, Precious father, said they're very glad now that Precious is already free from the kidnappers. He confirmed the reported P1.5 million ransom, which they gave to the kidnappers.
"Ya dale tambien kami board and lodging of P200,000. Previously ya dale ya man kami P1.5 million ransom," he told reporters.
He also admitted that her daughter's kidnapping greatly affected their family. He did not elaborate, but asked the government to eradicate the kidnappings.
Ms. Feliciano's release came a week after Esperencita Hupida, a program director of the Nagdilaab Foundation Inc. (NFI), was released by her captors last October 30, Thursday.
Hupida was abducted along with Millet Mendoza, another humanitarian worker, by Abu Sayyaf bandits one and a half months ago in Tipo-Tipo.
Mendoza's fate remains uncertain and also that of another kidnap victim, Joed Anthony Pilangga, and the Abu Sayyaf was reportedly demanding P7 million for Mendoza and P20 million for Pilangga.
"In the case of Mendoza, we leave that to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. For the other remaining hostage, we don't have any information whether he's in Basilan or not," Sakalahul said.
He declined to identify the negotiator of the MILF who is taking the lead in the negotiation for the release of the remaining hostages in Basilan.
"I give way (the negotiations for Mendoza's release) to the MILF. Ayaw ko rin naman ma jeopardize iyong kanilang ginagawa," the vice governor said.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Tubig Indangan (Simunul, Tawi-Tawi, Mindanao). In 1380, an Arab missionary from Saudi Arabia named Sheik Karimul Mackdum reached Tubig Indangan in Simunul, Tawi-Tawi, Mindanao and supervised the construction of the mosque thus marking the introduction of Islam faith in the Philippines.
Thousands of Muslims from the different towns in Tawi-Tawi have gathered for two days in the island of Simunul participating in the celebrations on the founding of the first mosque in the Philippines.
The first Muslim mosque known as the Masjid Sheik Karimal Mackdum, which was built in Indangan village in the island of Simunul by the Arab Muslim missionary from Mecca 628 years ago, signaled the propagation of Islam in the Philippines.
Sometime in November 2006, the Senate approved a proposal to declare the Philippines' oldest Islamic landmark located in Simunul as a national shrine in recognition to the contribution of Islam in the development of culture and civilization in the country.
Since Thursday, people converged on an area close to Sheik Karimal Mackdum Mosque with a variety of activities dubbed as Ziarang Simunul or Visit Simunul, based on the spirituality and cultural integrity of peoples of Mindanao.
Local government officials said a fluvial parade of decorated Sama tribe bancas signaled the different activities leading to the Friday congregational prayer at the Sheik Karimal Mackdum Mosque.
"The heart of the campaign is a symbolic gesture that signifies unity on the various people of ARMM and affirms Islam as a religion of peace," the municipal officials of Simunul said in a statement issued to the media.
The campaign highlighted the social capital of Simunul, which included the national heritage of the Sheik Mackdum Mosque, the colorful dances and music of the Sama tribe, the food delicacies, and efforts to usher in socio-economic development in the island.
A food festival of local delicacies, participated in by 16 villages of Simunul, launching the compilation of selected verses from the Qur'an and Hadith which provide references for the imams in their sermons also highlighted the celebration.
The celebrations culminated with a community "big book" reading, said to strengthen the social cohesion through collective recollection of the history of the place and the people along with the cultural presentation on the history of arrival of Islam in the Philippines.
Development projects were also launched and presented on Friday by various donor-funded projects present in Simunul such as the ACT for Peace Program, Mindanao Rural Development Program, Growth with Equity in Mindanao and the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao.
By Hader Glang