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Teachers decry abductions.

Manila: AaThe head of a national teachers' group has decried the abduction of educators in Mindanao, arguing that the kidnappings were motivated by greed rather than politics.

"The motives of this group are obviously to get ransom and not likely for political purposes," said Antonio Tinio, chair of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT).

On Friday, it was learned that a 38-year-old teacher, one of three abducted on March 13 in Zamboanga Sibugay, had died because she was unable to take her medicine for an undisclosed ailment.

Noemi Mandi was abducted together with Jocelyn Inion, 39, and Jocelyn Enriquez, 43, while the three were on their way to work at the Bangkaw-Bangkaw Elementary School.

While the ACT has yet to confirm Mandi's death, Tinio says such incidents highlight the risks teachers take to perform their duties as educators.

"Teachers, particularly government teachers, are easy prey for these groups because they are likely to be unarmed, are unlikely to put up resistance, and the government will take efforts to get them back unharmed," Tinio told Gulf News in a telephone interview from his office in suburban Quezon City.

Reports said that the abductors, reportedly led by a certain Kamsa Asdanal, had been demanding 10 million pesos (Dh765,460) in exchange for the captives.

Aside from the three in Zamboanga Sibugay, another group of teachers have been held hostage for more than two months in Sacol, an island off Zamboanga City.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Mar 29, 2009
Words:255
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