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CPPA Lauds Philippines, Australia for Release of Hostage

CPPA Lauds Philippines, Australia for Release of Hostage Warren Rodwell

March 22, 2013, Washington, D.C., Manila, Philippines, Canberra, Australia

The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) is lauding the governments of the Philippines and Australia for their tireless efforts in negotiating the successful release of Australian hostage Warren Rodwell held captive on Mindanao island by Islamic militants linked to the Abu Sayaf (Abu Sayyaf) organization.

Philippine Islamist militants believed to be with the Abu Sayaf organization released the former Australian army officer in Pagadian City, Philippines, today, after holding him captive for some 15 months.

“Today we congratulate and laud the governments of the Philippines and Australia for their tireless efforts in negotiating the successful release of Australian hostage Warren Rodwell in Mindanao from Islamic militants and kidnappers affiliated with the Abu Sayaf organization, a group linked to al Qaeda,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C. http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“It is encouraging and impressive that a special Australian government task force worked seriously, and relentlessly ,with their counterparts in the government of the Philippines, including the Philippine military and intelligence services, to locate the Abu Sayaf captors of Warren Rodwell and negotiate his safe release in Mindanao,” Smith continued. “This was apparently done without paying the major ransom demanded by the captors.”

“At this time, it is also important to note that much credit goes to the ordinary people of the Southern Philippines and Mindanao, including the suffering Islamic community and those people sympathetic to the Abul Sayaf organization, for their sincere cooperation and reasonable efforts to sustain and keep Warren Rodwell alive and ultimately to agree to his safe release, alive, to his family in Australia,” Smith stated. “The release of Warren Rodwell marks an important landmark and precedent for peaceful crisis resolution, counter-terrorism and successful hostage negotiations in the Philippines, Australia, and internationally.”

“Clearly, however, it is important to note that Warren Rodwell’s case demonstrates that it is critical for the government of the Philippines, Australia, and the international community, to more seriously address the fundamental crisis of poverty, economic despair, discrimination and human rights violations in Mindanao and the southern Philippines,” Smith concluded.

Mr Warren Rodwell was kidnapped by a group of Islamists, affiliated with the Abu Sayaf (Abu Sayyaf , AKA Abu Sayaff ) organizations, on December 5, 2011, in southern Zamboanga Sibugay province by armed men who are believed to have fled with Rodwell in speedboats. http://www.theage.com.au/national/kidnapped-australian-has-no-hope-of-release-20121227-2bwqo.html#ixzz2OK3KuAaK

The CPPA is a Washington, D.C.-based think-tank and non-governmental research organization (NGO).

Over the years, the CPPA has repeatedly raised concerns about human rights violations, civil society matters, economic development, and freedom of the press issues in the Southern Philippines and the island of Mindanao. http:/www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/02/11/11/us-think-tank-massacre-victims-kin-need-counseling%20

ENDS

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