August 28, 2001, Inquirer, 'Kidnappers are abominable,' wept Chinese ambassador, by Carlito Pablo and Rosa-May V. de Guzman, Inquirer News Service,
Posted: 11:01 PM (Manila Time)
Tears of sorrow
CHINESE Ambassador Wang Chungui on Tuesday wept openly at a memorial service for two Chinese engineers killed by Moro kidnappers as he appealed to Manila to quickly secure the release of his compatriot still in the hands of the bandits.
"The kidnappers are inhuman and abominable," Wang said at the memorial to Zhang Zhongqiang and Xue Xing, whose white coffins were placed side by side in front of grieving relatives, friends and co-workers at the Funeraria Paz in Quezon City.
His eyes welling with tears, Wang said the killing of the two Chinese had "irreparably hurt the feelings of their family members and the fellow workers of their company."
In his eulogy, Wang also said he had asked the Philippine government to do everything it can to secure the release of another Chinese still held by the kidnappers.
"The life of Mr. Zhang Zhongyi is still at stake . . . We have strongly requested the Philippine side to take all appropriate measures to ensure the safety of the remaining Chinese hostage and, under this circumstance, to have the abducted released at an early date," he said.
Moro bandits killed Zhang Zhongqiang and Xue Xing while the two were trying to escape during a gun battle last week between the military and the so-called "Pentagon" kidnap gang in Sultan Kudarat.
Another kidnapped Chinese engineer, Wang Shengli, escaped. Several members of the gang were killed, but the rest managed to flee with Zhang Zhongyi and a Chinese-Filipino guide, Edwin Lim.
Zhang Zhongqiang, Xue Xing, Wang Shengli, and Zhang Zhongyi are employees of China Electric Power Technology Import and Export Corp that is building a 2.7-billion-peso irrigation project in Central Mindanao.
The Chinese ambassador said the abductions and killings would not affect relations between Beijing and Manila as "the broad masses of the Filipino people are friendly toward the Chinese people."
Philippine officials have tried to console China over the killings. President Macapagal-Arroyo and the military offered wreaths at the funeral.
Vice President and Foreign Secretary Teofisto Guingona Jr. met with Wang to express condolence and brief him on efforts to secure the remaining Chinese hostage.
Guingona has also asked the military to conduct a deeper probe to determine the circumstances under which the two Chinese engineers had died.