The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines issues this press statement in reaction to the reported abduction of three International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Staff members in Sulu Province.
Those abducted were Mary-Jean Lacaba, a Philippine national, Eugenio Vagni, an Italian, and Andreas Notter, a Swiss. They are engineers who had just completed a visit to the Sulu provincial jail, where they were working on a water and sanitation project to improve living conditions for detainees. They were in a vehicle belonging to the Sulu chapter of the Philippine National Red Cross when they were seized a few hundred meters from the entrance to the jail.
Currently, the ICRC has received no indication of who the abductors are and what had motivated them.
ICRC in the Philippines
In the Philippines, the ICRC has been working since 1982, helping Filipinos in natural disasters and combat areas. The delegation assists and protects civilians displaced or otherwise affected by armed clashes between the government and insurgent groups, primarily on the southern island of Mindanao. It acts as a neutral intermediary between opposing