News Follow-up on 2002 Beheading and Kidnap of Jehovah's Witnesses.

by Balaamsass 25 Replies latest social current

  • suavojr

    This was the original news after it happened.


    Zamboanga City, August 23, 2002 (STAR)By Roel Pareño - Suspected Abu Sayyaf terrorists have decapitated two of the six hostages they seized on Tuesday and dumped the heads in the public market of Jolo, Sulu, officials said yesterday.

    Brig. Gen. Romeo Tolentino, commander of the 104th Army Brigade, said the heads were wrapped separately in plastic bags and were found in different spots at the Jolo public market on Serrantes street.

    President Arroyo condemned the beheading and dispatched Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes and Armed Forces chief Gen. Roy Cimatu to Sulu to oversee the rescue operations mounted by the military and police.

    "The President is very concerned about the safety of the hostages and, just like any decent Filipino, condemns the atrocities committed by this group," said Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye.

    Tolentino identified the victims as Lemuel Montulo, 21, and Leonel Mantic, both members of the Kingdom Hall Jehovah’s Witness. Their severed heads were found separately on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

    Tolentino said the heads of the two hostages were found in bags with notes denouncing them as "infidels." The bags were left at food stands about 100 meters apart in the market, with the attached notes calling for jihad or Islamic holy war, including a passage from the Quran written in Arabic and the local Tausug dialect.

    "They did this because they want to punish the nonbelievers of Allah," he said.

    The Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Jolo reported that the torso of one of the beheaded victims was found yesterday afternoon near the place where they were abducted on Tuesday morning.

    Correcting earlier police reports, Tolentino said there were actually four women in the group of eight people seized by armed men in Barangay Kaunayan in Patikul, Sulu.

    Two of the victims, Muslim spouses Solaiman and Nadamalyn Sulaiman, who served as guides of the group, were released a few hours after the abduction.

    Tolentino identified the remaining hostages as Mantic’s wife Emily, 23, Flora Montolo, 40, Montolo’s sister-in-law Cleofe, 46, and Norie Bendejo, 41, a native of Jolo.

    The victims were also earlier identified as dealers of the American direct-selling firm Avon Products Inc.

    But while authorities have established that the victims, mostly Zamboanga residents, were in Sulu simply to distribute cosmetics and other beauty products to their sales contacts, Avon’s local office denied that they were Avon dealers.

  • ziddina

    Thanks for posting that, suavojr...

    "And you really believe treating this with levity is right!..." Princecharmant

    No one is treating it with "levity". My comment about "Theocratic Warfare" backfiring on them was quite serious - I've posted in the past about the calloused attitudes of the Watchtower Society [under Rutherford] when they 'threw' the German Jehovah's Witnesses to Hitler's wolves by insisting that the German brothers "persevere under persecution" instead of applying more fitting scriptural counsel about leaving the area of danger or remaining silent while a danger exists.

    But such actions do not provide the Watchtower Society with highly sympathetic martyrs.

    One could also look at the terrible mistreatment that the Malawiian Jehovah's Witnesses were subjected to, under Knorr, if I recall correctly. Instead of being given simple counsel that a "political" card in a country with only one party really doesn't constitute 'choosing' to side with Satan', they counselled the Malawiian brothers and sisters to "stand fast in their faith" - all while allowing the MEXICAN brothers to BRIBE PUBLIC OFFICIALS to obtain "military" papers stating - FALSELY - that the young Mexican brothers had 'served their required military period'...!!

  • PaintedToeNail

    When this happened, I remember being shocked and saddened and expressing the internal thought: WHY would these people board watercraft and try to preach to a group of people who were known to be violently militant in their own religion. Upon learning that they tried to use the Avon rep ruse, I was sickened. They probably thought Jehovah would protect them. This particular portion of the Philippines has been an ongoing problem for the Philippine government for years with their radical muslim behavior. I wonder if they were encouraged to take this great risk by the DO or someone else, or if it was their own zealot behavior that made them feel the need to preach there.

    At the time this happened, there was a picture of one of the 'brothers' brother, looking at the severed head in a box, making a postive ID, it was horrible.

  • smiddy

    Good points black sheep

    Some witnesses put themselves in dangerous situations because of the propoganda put out by the WTB&TS thinking they are protected by Jehovah when they are obviously not.

    It can`t happen to me I`m protected by Jehovah

    When it does happen to them , why it must have been caused by Satan

    Jehovah`s Witness : Think who has the greatest power Jehovah or Satan ?

    Sorry Jehovah`s witnesses don`t think do they


  • princecharmant

    As a witness, I never remotely considered that I was shielded by God from unforeseen events. Nor did I - for that matter - put my life unnecessarily in danger to preach. It might be a question of locality: belief in supernatural protection varies from one point of the earth to another.

    I do know that in the publications, Jesus was repeatedly given as an example of not "tempting" God when he refused to jump to his death during Satan's temptation.

    All said, this was a terrible - and probably avoidable - tragedy.


  • smiddy

    As sad a story as this is , the Watchtower has on numerous occasions cited many examples of Jehovah`s supposed protection when his people, witnesses, are in times of trouble , even life threatening situations ,and backed this up with scriptures to prove their point. They have done this on many ,many ,occasions over their 130+ years of publication.

    This is just another example of bloodguilt to be nailed on the door of a kingdom hall


  • LongHairGal

    I remember this sad story.

    I recall experiences of going door to door and the JWs with me not being "up-front" with the householders and saying things like "we are bible students" etc. and not coming out and directly saying we are JWs in hopes of getting a word in edgewise. I didn't approve of this tactic and I made sure I identified myself as a JW. I saw no point in hiding that fact because all you were doing was prolonging the inevitable dismissal from somebody's front door and in some cases the householder was annoyed at the subterfuge.

    I also remember being with JWs who were so stupid and actually believed we had angelic protection and they ignored no-trespassing signs.

    When I think of the few times I was in a somewhat dangerous or uncomfortable situation doing the "preaching work", it truly makes me angry especially considering the fact that I wasn't 100% convinced about the bullshit I was told to preach. The rank and file witnesses are seen as nothing more than expendable foot soldiers sent to the front lines.

  • ziddina
    "...The rank and file witnesses are seen as nothing more than expendable foot soldiers sent to the front lines." LongHairGal

    "But you know, they'll always be "resurrected"..."

    That's the blase' response of the Watchtower Society...

  • LongHairGal


    I know that is the standard stock response of many arrogant JWs and I heard it many times: "So what? They'll be resurrected". Callous.

    When anybody said this to me, I never looked at them the same way again.

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    And yet earlier this year the Jehovah's witnesses co hosted a UN event on persecution of minorities with none other than the muslims...

    strange bedfellows


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