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Feature: Pentagon gang destroys a city

Koronadal City (5 June) -- The Pentagon kidnap-for-ransom gang is at it again. After releasing one of its victims in Kabacan, North Cotabato, it struck again this time in the heartland of a progressive Cotabato City where they held a businessman hostage.

As we all know, the city is just recovering from the trauma of being the center of kidnapping activities in Mindanao. Government peace keeping forces have neutralized the Pentagon gang but somehow remnants of this dreaded KFR have surfaced anew.

While many of its victims were non-Muslim traders, the impact of kidnapping does not only affect the kin of the victims but the entire community. And, in Cotabato those that are affected most are largely the Muslims for the city has become the center of commerce, education, information and government service for our Muslim brothers in the Autonomous Region.

Mayor Muslemin Sema has done the gargantuan task of restoring business confidence in Cotabato by wooing Chinese traders and other investors to keep their capital in the city. We appreciate his efforts. It is unfortunate however that whatever the gains he has achieved quickly go down the drain the moment someone is kidnapped.

Which is rather unfortunate. Many of the small traders in Cotabato are Muslims who want to make an honest living. The moment the kidnap-for-ransom strikes clients shy away from the city. They suffer in the consequence. For Mayor Sema the task of confidence building will again be a complex task. While we commiserate with him we pity those who are engaged in modest livelihood project, not like the kidnap-for- ransom industry of the Pentagon gang. This band is terrorizing and destroying a beautiful city. (MW/PIA 12) [top]

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