Abu Sayyaf Amnesty -- NO! NO! NO!

Manila – First, I want to state for the record that I deeply admire and respect Senator Richard Gordon, concurrent national chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross – I even want him to become President – and his starring role in my story “The League of Extraordinary Filipinos” should speak for itself.

But I disagree with him about granting amnesty to the criminal syndicate Abu Sayyaf – a bunch of traitorous and greedy kidnappers, nothing more and nothing less.

Our world is full of evil, but still, if you look closely, you will find the good side of a bad guy, even a kleptomaniac Manila police or an extortionistic MMDA traffic enforcer.

But the Abu Sayyaf has absolutely no redeeming value whatsoever.

Am I being judgmental? You mean you are not? They can judge me – and I’d still say that the Abu Sayyaf are scum of the earth.

The July 16, 2009 editorial of the Philippine Daily Inquirer captured the sentiments of 2Rivers. Here are some of the salient passages, courtesy of Inquirer.net.

“The idea is assuredly well-intentioned, but it is based on a fundamental error and must be rejected.”

“The amnesty proposal is based on the misconception that the Abu Sayyaf Group – shifting and expanding and shrinking and shifting again over at least the last decade and a half – is an ideological organization with political aims. But no, it most emphatically isn’t. It is a criminal enterprise, whose fortunes ebb and flow according to the failure or success of its kidnapping operations.”

“We ask: To solve the dangerous crime of armed robbery, should we declare an amnesty for all bank robbers?”

“The Abu Sayyaf is a bandit group; it is a loose network of criminal gangs that grows whenever there is a successful kidnapping.”

“For criminals like these, amnesty will not work. It will simply embolden them to continue doing what they are doing.”

Richard Gordon photo courtesy of WorldNews. This story originally appeared in AllVoices

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