Kidnapped Sulu school teacher unfazed by ordeal PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 27 August 2016 11:54

A school teacher in a seaside town in Sulu the Abu Sayyaf held captive for three days is neither resigning from work nor seeking reassignment despite her ordeal.

Adrina Bonsil, who was kidnapped while on her way to the Tuup Elementary School in Patikul town in Sulu on August 16, said the incident emboldened her more to continue teaching, convinced that only through proper education can Tausug children learn the value of peace and spiritual perfection.

The 40-year-old Bonsil on Tuesday personally assured Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and his regional education secretary, John Magno, of her commitment to continue working as public school teacher in the same school.

Talks had earlier circulated in Sulu purporting that the Abu Sayyaf kidnapped Bonsil for believing she is a non-Muslim owing to her name, that her co-teachers would raise ransom through contribution, and that someone in the group had wanted to marry her.

Bonsil, separated from her husband via Sharia jurisprudence, said she had never thought the group could kidnap a teacher merely helping educate children of poor families in Patikul town.

Hataman, Magno and Bonsil, accompanied by her superiors in Sulu, had an hour-long dialogue Tuesday afternoon at the ARMM’s Office of the Regional Governor in Cotabato City, where she emotionally narrated her ordeal in the hands of her captors.

“We just walked and walked for three-days, crossing rivers and maneuvering through hilly terrains. I thought I would no longer be reunited with my co-teachers and my family,” she said.

The captors of Bonsil agreed to set her free through the intercession of school officials and members of their parent-teachers association and the mayor of Patikul, Nasser Hayudini.

Sitti Lina Arajani Asjali, supervisor of public schools in Patikul West District, said she is also thankful to local religious leaders, the police and the military for helping them secure the release of Bonsil without any ransom.

Bonsil has been serving as teacher in Patikul since 2006.

Bonsil said she can best complement the efforts of Hataman and Magno to professionalize the bureaucracy in the Department of Education-ARMM by continuing with her teaching assignment in Patikul.

“I admire her dedication. Imagine getting kidnapped and held captive for three days? She was not affected by her ordeal. She wants to continue working. She is an epitome of public service at its best,” Magno said.

Magno, a foreign-trained industrial psychologist who has been Hataman’s education secretary for more than three years now, said he will devise a special psycho-social intervention needed to hasten Bonsil’s recovery from her experience.

Patikul is a seaside town in Sulu, an impoverished province known throughout the world as sanctuary of the Abu Sayyaf, feared for its practice of beheading captives if ransom demands are not met.

The island province is also known as the group’s harboring site for captives kidnapped in nearby Mindanao provinces and from abroad.