The headless body of the village chief, Rodolfo Boligao was found last August 11 of this same year on a highway in a remote southern island of Jolo, Sulu. He was still handcuffed, with his severed head placed by his side; a piece of paper bearing his identification was placed atop his decapitated body.
Boligao was one of the three latest captives of the most notorious terrorist group in Southern Philippines, the Abu Sayyaf Group. The other two who were abducted together with Boligao last May 4, 2015 are members of the Philippine Coast Guard. They are still held captive by the Muslim radicals to date, together with five foreigners and two other local victims, a three year old child among them.
This is a huge slap in the face of the government after the Armed Forced of the Philippines Chief General Gregorio Catapang announced last March 2015 that the Abu Sayyaf Group and another Islamist group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters will be neutralized by June or July. The timeframe to eliminate those two ISIS-linked groups was announced by AFP Chief General Catapang to the press during the all-out offensive conducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines against the two Islamist groups.
So, what happened?
How did the ASG manage to abduct more people and behead one just a few days ago when they should have been wiped out last month as promised by General Catapang?
It seems to me that this imbecile government does nothing but, give out empty promises and brag about ‘accomplishments’ all year long when in fact, you can hardly see any improvement around. Even the Mamasapano incident is still unresolved to date. The killers of the 44 elite members of the PNP –Special Action Force are still hiding under the skirt of the MILF group and the government –this administration—is not doing anything to bring those Muslim perpetrators to justice.
Well, anything to get the BBL rolling, right?
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels refused to hand over the SAF 44’s killers to the government amidst negotiations for the passage of the BBL, and the government seems fine with that. No complaints whatsoever.
Anything to prevent the BBL negotiations from collapsing, right?
The killers of the SAF men aren’t brought to justice yet and now, the lives of the two members of the Philippine Coast Guard are in the hands of the Muslim radicals again. The last video released by the ASG was of the three captives begging for the government to save them. Back then, Rodolfo Boligao was still alive and begging for his life alongside the two Philippine Coast Guards. Now, Boligao is dead and we can only guess what will gonna happen to the Coast Guards next, and hope for the best.
What else is left to do?
The radicals are demanding a Php 1 Million ransom per captive from the government. The government insists on its “no ransom policy” (a bit ironic, if you are to consider the billions of money the government is prepared to give away to another extremist group so they can establish their own government a la Sharia in Mindanao). The family of the captives, I am almost certain, will most likely to not be able to come up with the ransom amount required. Php 1 Million in the Philippines is not an easy money to find and collect in just a matter of days, months even.
So, what else is left to do?
I can only think of three things.
- Diplomatic approach for the release of the remaining captives.
- Assault/use of force to extract the captives.
- Leave the matter to fate and faith, and just hope for the best.
Well, I seriously have doubts when it comes to option No. 1. I mean, the government –this government— negotiatiating with the terrorists? It’s like déjà vu. It reminds me of how much of a failure this government is when it comes to negotiating with terrorists.
As for option No. 2, it’s another déjà vu. It reminds me of the Mamasapano incident and those unfortunate SAF men whom the government failed to extract and save from the claws of the MILF vultures.
So, again, what else is left to do?
I guess that leave the victims’ families with option No. 3 if they can’t come up with the ransom required by the Muslim radicals for the release of their kins.
There’s not much option to consider when your government fails you.