‘Robot just wants to return to wives’

Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network, The Straits Times, 5 October 2000

MANILA—Abu Sayyaf leader Galib Andang, alias Commander Robot, is now repentant and wants to stop fighting to return home to his wives.

He's repentant. He said he doesn't want to fight. He doesn't have the capacity to fight the government. Especially if there are airplanes. They're frightened, said Mr Alvin Flores, one Jesus Miracle Crusade (JMC) member rescued on Monday.

He wants to change his life. Also his men. He wants to send them home. They have wives, families, Mr Flores said on Tuesday.

Robot was kind. He was not the hostage-and money-grabbing bandit who reportedly even sexually molested some of the female European hostages, Mr Flores said.

However, the government will not accept Robot's pleas.

Maybe, before they seek their chance to start a new life, they have to pay the price of their actions, Press Secretary Ricardo Puno said.