WE WILL RESCUE ALL SAYYAF HOSTAGES -- GMAManila, April 14, 2003 -- Pesident Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today vowed "no letup, no negotiations" in government efforts to rescue hostages of the bandit group Abu Sayyaf, including a Chinese-Filipino businesswoman abducted Sunday. "We will rescue this victim as well as the remaining hostages. There will be no letup, no negotiations," the President said in a statement. She said government troops are prepared to launch an all-out offensive against the bandit group believed dispersed in the jungles of Zamboanga province. "The joint police and military task force is keeping up the pressure on the Abu Sayyaf...This strategy, reinforced by community cooperation, has proven effective in enabling the escape of the Indonesian hostages," Ms Macapagal said. Five suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen seized Gertrudes Tan as she was on her way to a mosque Sunday in the island of Siasi in Sulu province. Last week, Pieter Lerrich, one of the four Indonesian seamen held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf last year in Sulu province escaped from his Abu Sayyaf captors. The bandits are still holding at least five Filipinos in Jolo.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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