News just reached me that several Muslim men have been abducted by alleged military forces in Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi. This is in connection with the on-going anti-terror drive being waged by the Armed Forces of the Philippines against the Abu Sayyaf. Lately, several people have already died in Mindanao shortly after clashes ensued between Abu Sayyaf forces and MNLF or the Moro National Liberation Front. Seems like the MNLF is making its presence felt, especially during these times when government is talking with its counterpart, the MILF. There is a perception that the MNLF has been left behind.
Campaign or no campaign, the fact is, several forced disappearances have been recorded in Mindanao. Scores of Muslim men, suspected members of the ASG, remain missing or unaccounted for. Many say, these were abducted by military men posing as ASG members.
Several scholars and religious leaders were also abducted and reportedly being kept in isolation rooms. They are being fed food contrary to their Islamic belief, a violation of established rules on prisoners. Prisoners civil rights remain even under incarceration.
Human prisoners are subject to protection under the Geneva Convention on Human Rights. Governor Abdursakur Tan ad government officials should closely monitor this since this has the prospect of derailing peace talks.
That sidee o of the Pacific has been the tradtional hotbed of politically-inspired actions which usually affect not just Sulu, but the rest of the country as well.