We are bringing the "no negotiation" stance in hostage situations to the brink of stupidity. What governments say is not "no negotiations", but "no ransom demands" to hostage takers. President Aquino and his advisers must be extremely misinformed on the handling of this recent spate of kidnappings by the Abu Sayyaf Group. The policy is not "no negotiations" but not entertain ransom demands from this terrorist group.
This stupid policy of this present administration, of not negotiating the release of seven foreign hostages of the Abu Sayyaf Group is plain old "Noynoyism" at its best. Doing absolutely nothing is not consistent with other government's policy on kidnappings. The policy is continue negotiating but without succumbing to the bandit groups' demands for ransom.
We don't see or hear the military deploying its best men to scour the jungles of Jolo for the hostages. We even don't hear any attacks on known ASG lairs. And there is no one negotiating for the safe release of the hostages. What does these tell us?
It goes to show how useless government is right now. It can't even help citizens hostaged much less foreigners. How, the hell will we convince foreigners to go here, when government is totally incapacitated from its sworn duty of protecting every single human living or visiting its territory?
Worse, even this government is portraying a foreign journalist as a liability when I was informed that the "mission" of this Jordanian journalist is simply expose the truth happening in Jolo. Of course, foreign governments of these hostaged or kidnapped tourists want a truthful report of the state of health of their citizens. How will they get such information when no one in the government side wants to negotiate with the ASG?
Will this government wait for someone to die first before it acts? This is like the Rizal hostage drama once again, this time, replicated in an isolated island somewhere in the Sulu sea. Governemnt is trying to contain an "uncontrollable" situation. Government will fail eventually especially if someone dies or is executed by this bandit group.
Is the government right now totally helpless in solving a problem like the ASG?