Here's the link from Australian, the Inquirer: and Al Jazeera. Apprently, the government decided to save Angelo de la Cruz' life:
Hoping to dissuade Filipino truck driver Angelo de la Cruz's captors from executing him, and apparently meeting one of their key demands, the Philippines government has promised to withdraw its troops from Iraq. (Al Jazeera)
FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Delia Albert on Tuesday confirmed a Philippine envoy's statement over Arabian television, which said the country's humanitarian team would be pulled out from Iraq in exchange for the life of truck driver Angelo de la Cruz. "When Deputy Foreign Minister Rafael Seguis spoke this morning during his interview with Al-Jazeera, he spoke with fore knowledge and authority of the Philippine government," she said in a statement. (Inquirer)
Earlier on Tuesday, Seguis told Al-Jazeera that the Philippines would pull its troops out of Iraq swiftly, a move called for by De la Cruz's kidnappers. (Inquirer)
"In response to the demand by the group Khaled ibn al-Walid (Islamic army in Iraq), the Philippine government... will pull its humanitarian forces out of Iraq swiftly, in the time it takes to carry out the necessary preparation for their return to the Philippines," he said on al-Jazeera television. He did not give an exact date for the withdrawal of the Philippine troops and soldiers who have been working in Iraq as part of the US-led coalition. (The Austalian)
The Inquirer said that either today or by Wednesday, the Khalid Ibn al-Walid Brigade will release Angelo. As of this writing though, the fate of Angelo is still unconfirmed, is he still alive or dead? The whole of the Philippine nation desires his safe release, and I am hoping that he is still alive. After all, an honest man, a father at that, who can sacrifice years of life away from one's family by working abroad is a hero of the family, and is always worth another life.
What remains to be seen is if he will be saved. Salvation though is ironic in his case, after all, when he chose to work abroad, he was the hero of his family who chose the hard step, as many OFW's who go abroad would have felt, in order to provide his brood a good life. In fact it is a misnomer, for after being saved and spared a life, we are nagged by the possibility of whatever will happen to his family of eight? I do not wish to think ill of probabilities, and the comedic hand of fate, but saving him today and sparing his life will never equal the injustice that has forced him to decide to leave in the first place. Is he to become a glorified hero, a modern-day Juan de la Cruz that redefines the Filipino every-man? Or is he but to return in a far away country again, to be working on foreign soil, and repeating the vicious cycle of a dad away from his family?
This is to say that salvation is never a singular act. Although the government's effort to save a life need to be lauded, what it does after this, as a logical next step is something to be watched. It is again, hypocrisy, to be saving Angelo today, and neglecting his chance at making a good living here in his own land. Salvation, is a continuous action, that feeds on its own action, and thus moves entire peoples into feeding this fire of passion to rise from an old state.
Readers of Frank Herbert's Dune would remember how Paul Atreides, the Kwisatch Haderach moved an entire people to save themselves. He started with saving his own life, and restoring his Family's crown, but along the way, he lifts the Fremen into uniting as a single people, and fighting the Harkonnen control. To those that have read the DUNE books further along would have known though that it is not a happy ending. What was done of Paul after he saved his people: He was made a God. Frank Herbert contends that 'Superheroes are bad for the Human Race' (O'reilly). Ultimately Herbert thinks, that the people possess an inherrent propensity to distort a singular act of heroism as a continuing action, and synonymous with the doer of the action. Albeit tradition will have us that it warrants gratitude and admiration, saving a life or lives in a moment is not always to be equated to hero-worship.
This brings to the point the Macapagal Agenda, while the saving of lives is but a responsibility of the State to its citizens, beyond saving Angelo though, the government needs to incessantly provide the needs of the people. it should not stop in having to parade a man that was given a second lease on life (With God's Grace, I hope he lives) rather it should be through a real and systematic, nation-building program conscious of the needs of the Filipino people.
This landmark decision is a reversal of a staunch position that the government has taken against negotiating with terrorists. What it loses in the decision is (1) Development Aid in case Bush wins, (2)Favor in the eyes of Bush and his friends, (3) Refurbished and Used Military Equipment if Bush wins, (4) Being marked as a strong ally of US's Bush and Company in case Bush wins
What this decision gained for GMA is (1) We are no longer a Prime target for the next Al-Qaeda attack (2) She gets stable seating in Malacañang because the melo-dramatic people of the Philippines loves soap-operas and will have been angry if she insisted on staying put there in Iraq instead of saving one life (3) She gets to be a good friend of Kerry if he wins. Pretty nasty isn't it? Changing times, changing friends :-) Tsk Tsk Tsk(4) The 'Humanitarian' Mission was stressed to the world, when in fact sending our humanitarian troops there was to mean 120% support for BUSH and actively being in cahoots on a war that is not our own. She thus, dampened her puppy adherance to a policy that was never clear in the first place.
Somehow GMA is showing that she is a good politician --- that means amoral, econo-politik-driven and has quite a feel for public sentiment. This surprises me because in the past 4 years when she had the chance to show it, this was not manifested. Of course I will blog on and watch her and make sure the Government saves its people far and beyond this singular act.
We need to be all vigilant. We would not want to be truckers or OFWs all our lives. Every journey will lead back to home, and the diaspora for it not to be tragic should always be homeward bound. Once a life is saved, it should not stop. I say let's build more jobs here and build Pinoy pride and bring everybody home at heart, or home at last! What this means is we make sure GMA does her job, and we do ours.
posted by Jdavies @ 7/13/2004,
Jdavies lives in Quezon City, Philippines and has been blogging since 2002. A brand manager in a leading technology company and a freelance new media/web strategy consultant, he has refocused his blogging from personal, political & sociological observations, to marketing-related efforts and Internet trends that are relevant to his career and branding advocacies.
About This Blog
This blog is a depot of thoughts and observations on marketing trends which remain personally relevant to the Author as far as his marketing career is concerned. Having evolved from the personal blog of Jdavies, much of the earlier work contained herein are laced with personal speculation, political views, and similar advocacies. These posts are being kept for posterity's sake and for no other reason. No effort is being made to claim that the author will not contradict himself from his previous positions or that such advocacies are absolute.
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