09 July 2004

All Filipinos Await Angelo's Fate

As the clock goes ticktock, ticktock, not much progress can be gathered here, especially now that President GMA requests a news blackout on the hostage crisis. She was reported to have said,
"I shall not comment about the situation at this most crucial and sensitive point in time when we have to withhold information...to ensure the safety of the hostage. I ask the media not to fan speculations and hysteria. A higher interest is involved in this matter." [INQ7.net]
Higher interest? Do you have any clues what "higher interest" might this be? Please enlighten me.

Is the "main consideration" or "higher interest" the same as what Ellen Tordesillas of Malaya said in her column today, which is how the whole hostage crisis would affect relations with the United States?

According to radio news reports, Angelo dela Cruz went to the Middle East so he can spend for the operation of one of his kids who happens to be blind. He has eight kids. His wife is unemployed and has a heart condition. He used to be a tricycle driver in Pampanga, but because he can't make both ends meet with his meager income, he agreed to go abroad and work there. His real work destination is Saudi Arabia, but because there were probably high-paying moonlighting jobs as truck driver in Iraq, people here speculate he probably grabbed that opportunity thinking little of what possible danger may befall him.

All his relatives, including wife and children are currently requesting President GMA to agree to the kidnappers' demands so Angelo can be released immediately.

Searching for the latest international news accounts on the hostage crisis, I came upon this picture of the relatives of Angelo Dela Cruz as they were pictured this morning praying outside the Dela Cruz house in Pampamga. As they say, pictures paint a thousand words. See for yourself.....

Photo by Erik De Castro/Reuters

Surfing even more, I got into Al-Jazeera, "the CNN of the Middle-East," and was shocked to see that that they even have a poll on Angelo Dela Cruz. See the screen capture below and note the overwhelming results for "Yes."
Screen Capture from Aljazeera.com

The most frustrating feeling is to watch somebody die and be helpless about the whole thing. Time is slowly slipping away. Based on the ultimatum given, I think Angelo's captors has set the deadline until this weekend.

At a time when we are reduced to polls and prayers, what more can we do?

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