Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Philippines' Iraq hostage freed

The BBC are reporting that "Philippine truck driver Angelo de la Cruz has been freed from captivity in Iraq."

Remember, Spain set the precedent and has put many others at even more risk. But there is another element to the Philippine story.

Militants took Mr De la Cruz captive on 7 July and threatened to behead him unless his country pulled its peacekeeping troops out of Iraq.

Manila decided to bow to their demands, prompting sharp criticism from the US.

It is great news for Mr Cruz and his family but there is another part of the story that the BBC is not telling us.

Malaysia, Palace, DFA silent on $6-M ransom

The Malaysian government, MalacaƱang and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday refused to confirm or deny reports that $6 million in ransom was paid out to the Iraqi kidnappers for the release of Filipino truck driver Angelo de la Cruz in time for President Arroyo's State of the Nation Address (Sona) scheduled for July 26.

Officials from both governments declined to give any statement and evaded media queries on the Tribune report which stated, quoting intelligence sources, that $5 million was shelled out by Malaysia while the Philippines coughed off $1 million from the Landbank of the Philippines for the release of De la Cruz.

Why would the BBC not tell us about the Ransom?

It's not like it would violate their new "core values":

The BBC will continue to use single source stories but they must be "of significant public interest and the correct procedures followed". They will undergo greater editorial scrutiny.

And the BBC cannot claim they are not aware of the ransom story from the Daily Tribune since they quote the Tribune editor.

By not mentioning the ransom, the BBC give the impression that Arroyo simply had a decision to make; stay in Iraq and risk Mr Cruz's death or leave Iraq and risk the wrath of the US and others.

To the Left and the BBC it's a no brainer. I mean after all we are only talking about 50 Philippine troops. By simply leaving Iraq, the Pilippines can say, "hey we were a small contingent who were going to leave soon anyway. So what's the big deal? It is not like we "gave" the terrorists anything."

Even some on the right might be tempted to say it sucks and it is bad for the "coalition of the willing" theme but we'll get over it.

But when you find out they paid a ransom of some $6 million dollars that puts it in a whole new light and makes things far more dangerous for others in Iraq.

Not only will this embolden other fringe terror groups to try their hand at kidnapping, but Arroyo has just given 6 million dollars to fund terrorists to continue their terror.


Anonymous said...

You are probably correct about a ransom being paid.The BBC has no influence on phillipine goverment policy.If a ransom was paid,then it would have been irresponsible to report that a figure of 6 million was paid over,that type of reporting would be more dangerous,so leaving it out is the best thing.

P.S if G.W bushs daughter was kidnapped,do you think a ransom of 6 million would have been paid over ?
I think the answer to that would be a big yes.

So don,t criticise.

The best scenario has happened,a man has lived,and 51 phillipino soldiers that shouldnt have been there in the first place have gone home to their families.

Good news all round,i say.

David said...

And life just got a lot more dangerous for everyone including the Iraqis thanks to this abject submission.

Brain Bliss