Solon appeals for release of 2 sisters ahead of fasting month PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 08 July 2013 11:23

A Mindanao partylist lawmaker on Sunday appealed for the release of kidnapped Filipino-Algerians seized by Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sulu two weeks ago.

“In the spirit of the Muslim’s holy month of Ramadhan, I am appealing for the immediate and safe release of kidnapped Muslim sisters and filmmakers Nadjoua and Linda Bansil,” newly elected Bayan Muna Rep.Carlos Isagani T. Zarate said in a statement.

The Bansil sisters were abducted in Jolo on June 22 while filming their documentary about the life of Tausug people in Southern Philippines.

“I sympathize with the Bansil family and pray for the swift release of Nadjoua and Linda,” said Rep. Zarate, who is also a native of Mindanao having been born in Gen. Santos Santos.

He made this appeal in recognition of Muslim’s observance of the holy month of fasting, which will commence on July 8 or 9, which includes the respect on the life of people and their liberty as part of the basic teachings of Islam.

“Islam teaches peace and unity not only for the Moro people but for the whole world, and this observance is more pronounced during the holy month of Ramadhan,” added Zarate, now a long time resident of Davao City.

Zarate deplored the fact that the Bansil sisters were lured and preyed upon by opportunists in Sulu while doing their duty of documenting through film the situation of the Muslim people in Mindanao.

Rep. Zarate, a staunch advocate of the Moro people’s for right to self-determination, believed that the release of the kidnapped victims will also spare the lives and livelihood of civilians who will be affected, as in the past, with the militarization of the area as a result of manhunt operations against the abductors.

He also appealed to the military and the police officers to respect the right of the Moro people to observe the holy month of fasting.

He noted previous reports that manhunt operations continue in Muslim areas in Mindanao during Ramadhan, a double burden for Muslims who have to get away from militarized and bombarded areas and at the same time religiously observing fast.

The local crisis management committee, chaired by Sulu Gov. Abudsakur Tan, is still exerting efforts to facilitate the release of the sisters “without ransom” as a matter of government policy.

Tan has sent emissaries to the ASG believed to be hiding in the mountains of Sulu island in southern Philippines.