It's the Bomb Count, Stupid!
Of course, PDI was quick to accuse the government of first, overstating the body count from the bomb blasts of the last few days, and then of intentionally trying to panic the Congress into passing the legislation first promised to our Allies in 2001 by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, a fact that makes me wonder how PDI can call passage of the bill "hasty" --
HASTE makes for hysteria, which leads to drafting of bad laws and an even worse security strategy. How haste can hamper sober conclusions is demonstrated by the eventual disclosure that the number of fatalities in the recent bombings in Makilala, North Cotabato, was overstated by 100 percent because, as Mayor Onofre Respicio later clarified, the same victims had been counted twice. This may seem a trivial matter, but in this country terrorism has always been measured by the body count. Get that wrong, and the government will either under- or overreact.Oh, so now it's the government and the military that are trying to STAMPEDE the Senate into passing the bill! Insult our and the Senate's intelligence, why don't you? It does not occur to the editorialist that everyone sees the escalation of terrorist attacks, both from jihadist movements like the Abu Sayyaf and the Communist Party of the Philippines. It's the bomb count, stupid! I think it is irresponsible to suggest that those poor folks in Cotabato City, after a horrific explosion, could possibly be blamed for getting the body count wrong. Of course the PDI put it cutely and for effect that the actual count was "eventually disclosed." Heck this crap only happened TWO days ago. So what if it took 24 hours to get the count right?
The bombs that have gone off in parts of Mindanao are a serious cause for concern. That they are being used to stampede the Senate into approving an antiterrorism bill should be a cause for equal anxiety.
It's a lil difficult when all you have to work with are BODY PARTS.
Non Sequitur But PDI's main argument is that antiterrorism legislation is NOT NEEDED. We're doing just fine fighting terrorism without the new law, according to them--
The greatest intelligence achievement of this country -- the discovery and investigation of the original plan to hijack commercial aircraft and turn them into kamikaze bombs -- was accomplished without benefit of an antiterrorism law. Officials also do not need an antiterrorism law to move the oil depots out of Pandacan, Manila, which are a health and security risk...We must consider, too, that no antiterrorism law can help in capturing Abu Sayyaf chieftain Khadaffy Janjalani when even a $5-million reward offered by the United States cannot achieve the same objective.Hahaha. The "greatest intelligence achievement of this country" came as a result of sheer luck when Ramzi Youssef of World Trade Center-I infamy, the nephew of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, accidently BURNED his shawarma sandwich and nosy neighbors at the Josefa apartment which he rented next to where Pope John Paul II would be sleeping, called the police. His laptop, which survived the fire, contained several encrypted files, which were later discovered to have been encrypted weakly and decoded. Out popped Oplan Bojinka of which the editorial speaks. As for moving the Pandacan Oil Depot, yes, PDI, we don't need the antiterrorism law to do that. But this entire line of argument by example is obviously non-sequitur. There is no way for PDI to know and declare that an antiterrorism bill would not be helpful in each of these situations.
Defeatist and Capitulationist
Perhaps the editorialist senses the weakness of this argument as jihadist attacks begin to mount in the Philippines (even though Al Qaeda already attacked us on Rizal Day, 2000, an attack which at that time, PDI was happy to allow reporters and columnists to suggest was done by Erap Estrada and Ping Lacson.) The editorial next switches to a different fallacious argument than that the law is NOT NEEDED. That argument is that the law will be USELESS anyway against the terrorists!
we must realize that if terrorist operations are in place, Congress is in no position to affect the outcome of those operations -- or countermeasures by the authorities. If a terrorist plan is in place, even force-marching the Senate to approve a bill, and cracking the whip on a bicameral committee to resolve the differences between two versions of the bill cannot stop it.Well I guess we might as well just surrender to Jose Maria Sison and the CPP-NPA, or is it Khadaffy Janjalani and the Abu Sayyaf that PDI sees as marching inexorably to victory no matter what we do?
There is actually a forlorn air to this editorial as it concludes with apt resignation with the same suggestion I just made in a previous post...that like all laws we must let democratic processes of judicial and legislative review fine-tune our appreciation of what is NECESSARY and SUFFICIENT to securing our people and our nation againts the Nihilists.
I am dissatisfied with the antiterrorism law as it is currently written on two accounts:
(1) I think that a special court, like the FISA Court in the U.S. is an important and necessary innovation for handling the specialized nature of judicial review and supervision of antiterrorism related activities, policies and strategies, requiring new protocols and defensive measures that need to be constantly reviewed and refined.
(2) There is no specific list of Terrorist Organizations that is annually updated, reviewed and approved by the Congress or Justice Dept., as the US and EU laws do. I think this IS the kind of vagueness that can easily lead to abuses. Whereas, if we identify every year the known targets, the government cannot just suddenly decide that some legitimate Opposition formation is a terrorist organization.