Piracy is a crime that must not be tolerated. And rescuing the crew of the Anand 12 held hostage by Abu Sayyaf militants is now a priority of the government. But this must be done without negotiating with the kidnappers. Once we give in to their demands, they will carry out more terror acts. As soon as the authorities obtain the green light from the Philippine government, security officials should promptly carry out their rescue operation.
Early this week, Abu Sayyaf, an Islamic extremist group in the Philippines, hijacked Indonesian-flagged tugboat Brahma 12 and its barge, the Anand 12, that were carrying 7,000 tons of coal from the Puting river in South Kalimantan to Batangas in the southern Philippines. The pirates later released the Brahma 12, but detained the Anand 12 along with 10 sailors all Indonesians and the cargo.
This is not the first time Indonesian vessels have been hijacked. In June 2004, 10 pirates claiming to be part of the Aceh Independence Movement (GAM) intercepted the Pertamina tanker MV Pematang and its 36 crew members over the Malacca Strait. The pirates demanded a Rp2 billion ransom. The Indonesian military launched a rescue operation on the Karel Satsuit Tubun frigate, killing three pirates.
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