An Economic Motives on Indonesian Sailors Abduction is More Dangerous Than A Political Motives
Seven Indonesians were snatched from a tugboat on June 22 in the Sulu Sea. Two days after Indonesian authorities reported the abduction of seven of their seamen by Filipino terrorists in the Sulu Sea, the Armed Forces of the Philippines has finally confirmed the incident. Military spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the Western Mindanao Command, which has jurisdiction over the area, reported that seven of 13 Indonesians, including the boat’s captain, were snatched from a tugboat on June 22 at 11am in the Sulu Sea.
The Abu Sayyaf snatched 17 other Indonesian sailors in separate incidents in March and April, although they have since been released. Several Malaysians were also abducted. Indonesia on Friday announced a halt to coal shipments to the Philippines until Manila could secure its own waters. “The moratorium on coal exports to the Philippines will be extended until there is a guarantee for security from the Philippines government,” Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told reporters.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported seeing a 20-minute video in which a man identified by Malaysian authorities as Mohd Rafi Udin, a Malaysian militant currently in Syria, speaks in Malay: “If you cannot go to [Syria], join up and go to the Philippines.”
In the video, Udin urges Muslims to unite under the leadership of Abu Abdullah, also known as Isnilon Hapilon, a leader of the Abu Sayyaf, who pledged allegiance to Islamic State in January.
The Indonesian Navy has confirmed that Indonesian citizens are among crewmembers from the TB Charles 001 ship who have been kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf militants. The ship was headed from Cagayan De Oro, the Philippines, to Balikpapan, Kalimantan.
Responding to the news on the kidnapping, Indonesian Navy chief of staff Adm. Ade Supandi instructed the team in the field to locate the TB Charles for verification. Evidently, there has indeed been an abduction,” Navy spokesman Edi Sucipto said as quote by Antara news agency in Jakarta on Sunday.
According to the information gathered, Edi said the ship, operated by 13 crew, had been the subject of two kidnappings. Although the abductions took place outside Indonesia’s jurisdiction, the Navy has persisted with launching a search.
He said the first abduction, which occurred on June 20, was carried out by around five Malay-speaking militants in Jolo waters. They removed the vessel’s communication devices and took three crewmen with them: the captain, the chief engineer and another engineer. Around an hour later, the ship was stopped again by dozens of English-speaking militants. They kidnapped four more crewmen, before releasing the ship with six people remaining on board.
An economic motives which is predicted on the abduction of seven Indonesia’s sailors is more dangerous than a political motives. Previously, Abu Sayyaf’s cell in Sulu, Mindanao, Phillipines reported that they were snatched a number of Indonesia’s sailor and then they were realeased with no ransom. These case had been a political furor because a number of stakeholders were claimed that their efforts made the hostage release could be happened.
But now, until one a week after Indonesia’s sailors abduction were happened, there hasn’t been response from various stakeholders in Indonesia or Phillipines to help the both of government to release hostages. Meanwhile, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan insists the government has never paid ransoms for the release of Indonesian sailors held hostage by Philippine groups.
He was responding to lawmaker TB Hasanuddin, who claimed the government had paid ransoms demanded by the Abu Sayyaf militant group for the release of kidnapped Indonesian sailors, an alleged practice he claims to be the reason why kidnappings continue to occur.
Jakarta is in communications with Manila to coordinate efforts for the release of seven Indonesian sailors held hostage by Philippine groups in Sulu waters on June 20, Luhut said, adding that Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu was in the Philippines to discuss the matter.
Regarding the ransom demanded by the two unidentified groups in return for hostages, Luhut said the government was awaiting further information from the Philippine intelligence body working closely with the country.
The latest round of kidnappings is the third this year, prompting the government to form joint patrols with Malaysia and the Philippines to secure regional waters.
I think TB Hasanuddin’s opinion didn’t wrong because two unidentified groups which were kidnapped our sailor’s had an economic motives. Usually, an economic motives can occur due to two groups didn’t have an enough money for their life or their struggle.
An economic motives could be triggered torture and even murder to hostages. If it is happen in a future day, its can be warmed a domestic political weather in Indonesia. Its could be happened, its could be predicted that a various circles in Indonesia must be blamed for misguided government policy on these case.
Whilst, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan’s opinion has stated that Indonesia’s government didn’t pay ransoms to Philippine groups was meant that if any ransoms would be paid to kidnapper groups, its could be triggered another kidnapping actions next time.
Previously, Indonesia, Malaysia and Phillipines government high ranks were declared that the Maritime Security Cooperation on the Sea of Sulu, located between Sabah, Palawan island, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Basilan and the Sea on the Southern part of the Philippines territory had been increased. Sulu is the former name of a Kingdom ruled the territory of Sabah, Tawi-tawi, Sulu, Jolo, Basilan and Palawan islands in the late 19 century.
The meeting was held in the Presidential Palace of Yogyakarta on May 5, 2016 presided by the briefing by President Jokowi and followed with a meeting to discuss the subject proposal. The meeting was conducted smoothly and the conclusion was stipulated in the Memo of Understanding (MoU) to implement the Maritime Security Cooperation to perform the security of the sea of Sulu, located on the North of Kalimantan up to the Sea on the Southern part of Mindano.
There are four points of the important agreement reached in the meeting and stipulated in the Memo of Understanding, namely: first, the Foreign Ministers of Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia agreed to increase the application of the Maritime Security Cooperation with conducting the Navy patrol to secure the sea lane through the sea of Sulu. Second, the three countries agreed to organize a mechanism of faster support if any ship of any country needs help on the sea of Sulu. Third, the increasing of the Cooperation on the Exchange of Information on regional threat. Fourth, the establishment of hot-line connecting those three countries.
The kidnapp of seven Indonesia’s sailors which had just been happened again in Phillipines territory was erased the important agreement between Indonesia, Malaysia and Phillipines to increase the maritime security cooperation.
I think to response these case, the Indonesian government must be taken firmly a diplomatic and even an intelligent efforts to encouraging or inducing the Phillipines government to take actions to release all of Indonesia’s sailors before they were torture or beheaded by Phillipino’s terrorist.
*) Bustaman al Rauf is a security and political issues observer. Resided in Bengkulu Province.