Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Poverty the Root Cause of Violence in the Philippines

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Poverty the Root Cause of Violence in the Philippines

Article excerpt

THE kidnapping of an Australian, Warren Rodwell, in the southern Philippines on Monday, December 6, this year bought home to many Australians the lawless situation that, in the main, exists in the Mindanao region of the Philippines.

Mr Rodwell was abducted by, as yet, unknown persons in the capital, Ipil, of Zamboanga Sibugay Province.

Inter alia, Ipil was the scene of the worst atrocity, to date, positively attributed to the terrorist organisation Abu Sayyaf. In 1995 hundreds of members of the Abu Sayyaf attacked this city and killed 68 civilians as well as injuring another 113.

Since that time the Abu Sayyaf, including its major leaders, has been all but eliminated as an effective terrorist organisation.

However coteries of likeminded criminals who the Philippine Armed Forces and Government sources insist on calling Abu Sayyaf suspects still operate in the Sulu Archipelago provinces of Basilan and Sulu.

It is this group, the Abu Sayyaf, that the media, both national and international, in general, believe is responsible for the kidnapping of Mr Rodwell.

However, it may very well be criminalsa[pounds sterling]or terroristsa[pounds sterling]who revel in the aglamoura of being seen or associated with the notorious Abu Sayyaf that are responsible.

Moreover, it is fair to suggest these kidnappers are not a part of any structured or military organisation, rather they are what the international authors, Eric Gutierrez and Saturnino Borras refer to as entrepreneurs in violence.

Put simply, these criminals take advantage of the lawlessness and critical lack of adequate law enforcement to pursue their agenda a[pounds sterling] terrorism for profit.

It is suggested here the Abu Sayyaf was not responsible for the kidnapping of Mr Rothwell. Whatever remains of the Abu Sayyaf, and it is in a moribund state, now resides in the Sulu Archipelago region.

The last recognised leader, or lieutenant of the Abu Sayyaf, Albader Parad, was killed, together with a number of his men in Sulu Province on February 21, 2010. …

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