Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Supreme Court Disappoints the Leftist Lynch Mobs

Hat Tip to Wretchard of the Belmont Club for links to articles in the Atlantic Monthly dealing with Mindanao. To Catch a Terrorist is an interview with Mark Bowden, author of the March cover story, Jihadists in Paradise. It's a fascinating retrospective on the Dos Palmas hostage crisis of 2001 that also puts the Philippines, the Abu Sayyaf Group and Moro insurgency in the greater context of 9/11 and global war on terror. Remember Arlyn de la Cruz, Martin and Gracia Burnham, Guillermo Sobero, Kumander Robot, Khadaffy Janjalani, Kumander Putol, Abu Sabaya, and the rest...worth a read or even a subscription...all the terrorists and terrible things that happened are here...

Speaking of which, the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) website proclaims the recent escape of 48 inmates from the North Cotabato Provincial Jail as "a daring rescue operation" by the Pentagon kidnap for ransom gang led personally by Tahir Alonto, who was thought to have been killed in 2001.

Meanwhile, l'Affaire Dolorfino reached a new heights of absurdity Tuesday. First, the so-called peace negotiator, Muslim convert Maj. Gen Ben Muhammad Dolorfino, who also happens to be the National Capitol Region Commander, admitted to the Congress Commission on Appointments that he and 24 other high ranking government and military officers, were in fact hostaged and not just hosted by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) over the past weekend and had to pay P450,000 in "assistance" to nine MNLF gun men killed in a "misencounter" last January 18. Then Ustadz Malik of the MNLF gang that illegally detained them has called for the resignation of Jesus Dureza, head honcho of the Mindanao peace process, for saying the gov't had its confidence shaken in the MNLF, even as Gen. Dolorfino continued to rationalize and justify the incident by saying that though they were "hostaged" they were never disarmed by their captors. The remarks of Anna de Brux (Hillblogger3) in the Comment Thread yesterday are worth quoting in full--

Doflorino is an officer who thinks solely out of his backside.He cant with one hand kill the enemy while with the other say to that enemy, I'm on a peace mission. The commanding general of the Philippine Marines, effectively the killing machine of the AFP cannot go trotting around in his part of territory saying he's there on a peace mission. His mission is TO KILL THE ENEMIES OF THE STATE and not to go partying with them. It's in total contradiction with the mission of of an officer in his position. That guy is a moron. If there's a need to have any general going around that part of the world to "win hearts and minds of the insurgents," it can't be him - this 2 star ranking general mustn't be allowed to think, let an army man do it. Stupid unprofessionals. See where his peace based mission got him? Hostaged by the enemies. A perfect marine idiot. He's gotta be relieved of his command. But what do I hear? He's due to be confirmed his 2nd star? Absolute nonsense. Award him now with a second star for making an ass of the command? Whoa! A senior ranking officer here (Brit) said that there's no question about it, had a UK Royal Marines 2 star general been captured by the enemy or held hostage even for an hour because he thought out of his backside, he would have been RELIEVED OF HIS COMMAND pending military investigation. But of course, 2-star ranks in pinas aren't really considered remotely a star rank at all where I sit. Complete moron that general was!

In a related development, Lt. Sg. Antonio Trillanes IV, leader of the Magdalo group of army officers who mutineed against high level corruption in the Military in 2003, has filed his Certificate of Candidacy for the Philippine Senate. I think his case must be carefully distinguished from that of Gringo Honasan, also under arrest for rebellion in the matter of the Oakwood Mutiny, who will also be running for the Senate. I hope Trillanes makes it, but not Gringo. Trillanes has a real cause which I think Gringo is only exploiting for his own aggrandizement.

Conrado de Quiros demonstrates yet again how little he understands the problem of terrorism and national security in his column today, in which he repeats various fallacious arguments against the Anti-terror Bill, which all these years just passed the Senate on 2nd reading yesterday. In a run up to an upcoming and to-be expected ululation on national sovereignty as a result of the Supreme Court's junking of a suit filed by Nicole's lawyers who, like him, who are exploiting the Subic Bay Rape Case for ideological purposes and want the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the US abrogated. The Lynch Mobs led by him and Rina Jimenez David are surely going to be disappointed by the Court's substantial upholding of its own earlier decision on the constitutionality of the VFA in Bayan v. Zamora.

Previous posts on the VFA and Subic Rape stories are:

Has Daniel Smith Lost the Presumption of Innocence?

Labels and Lackeys, Leftists and Landmines

What Nicole Doesn't Know

Oh by the way here is some breaking news about an aneurysm suffered by Chavit Singson
The article is interesting for the new way of describing Edsa Dos (in which Chavit was a main player)--"a four day bloodless revolt" [sic!]. In a related development, lawyer Alan Paguia has filed a case with the Supreme Court (certiorari) questioning the appointment of judicial putschist Hilario G. Davide Jr. as UN rep.


manuelbuencamino said...


I too have a problem with understanding the problem of terrorism. If only someone would define terrorism I thimk we can all reach an agreement on how to deal with it.

Rizalist said...

i admit its a tough problem of definition, but just like "pornography" or "communism" we know it immediately as soon as we see it. To put the onus of a comprehensive definition on the law, is however, the wrong approach. The US and EU have met this conceptual challenge by making a list of groups and individuals that by law are defined to be "the terrorists". There is no need for a "metaphysical definition". It is also the way of avoiding arbitrariness in deciding who is the terrorist.

The other feature, not yet present in our bill, but which should be, is a special Anti Terrorism Court, like FISA Court in the US, which performs judicial review of all anti terrorism law applications -- both before and after some operation or event, precisely because terrorism and its members and tactics are evolving and changing all the time.

I am just as concerned as you and Conrad are about civil liberties, (in fact I like to think more so) -- this is how I think we can protect them without sacrificing the even greater right that we all have to LIFE.

It's life, then liberty, then the pursuit of happiness, in that order, which the anti terror bill seeks to protect.

manuelbuencamino said...

actually there is no agreement on what pronography is. In the US i believe the court left it up to commuity standards and you know how that changes from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City.

So NO we don't know pornography when we see it. We know pedophilia when we see it but we don't know when two consenting adults performing sex on stage, movies etc. become pornography.

communism is easy because it is DEFINED by communists themselves. we don't have to do any guesswork.

your examples are not parallel to terrorism except in the case of pornography because, like terrorism, it defies any objective definition and just like I, and neither should you, will never allow manoling morato to tell me what pornography is. By the same token, i will not allow Bush, his neocons or Enrile to tell me who terrorists are and what terrorism is.

But I do know what acts of violence are. And I deplore them absolutely.

Also the making of lists, as our not too favorite sassy lawyer had argued very well, is prohibited under the constitution and an assault on human rights.. look up her solid arguments in her blog archives.

i am as concerned as you are about the violence which at times are acts of terror (in fact i like to think more so) but that's one giant leap that you're asking me to take - accept anti-terror laws as currently written..who exactly falls under the law if we are not going to be arbitrary with making the lists? Arbitrariness is the soul of that law. Arbitrariness is what makes the law doable and operational.

As to the FISA, does it cover "enemy combatants"? If it does then why is there such a backlog that hundreds are still awaiting "trial" in Cuba and elsewhere? And are there lists of names of ALL detainees? FISA is an adnission that the "war" on terror is "evolving and changing all the time."

Let's solve the problem without sacrificing our soul.
Define terrorism and I will be on the frontlines with you!!!!

Rizalist said...

I think the insistence on a metaphysical definition of terrorism that includes all possible cases and scenarios is really a denial that a serious and very real threat to the lives, liberties and national security of our two countries even exists, that it is just an invention of the United States as an excuse for "visiting" the Philippines and putting her troops here.

It's like saying that because we cannot fully define the AIDS virus or know its evolutionary potentials, we ought not undertake public safety measures to limit its damage to human life.

You are saying we do not need a special anti terror law because all the acts that constitute terrorism are separately punishable by existing laws.

But the whole of terrorism cannot possibly be encompassed by its visible parts. Indeed, THAT is why a comprehensive definition cannot actually be made. We simply do not know all their methods, tactics, members or intentions.

But our ignorance and incomprehension are no argument for inaction on laws that seek to interdict their activities to the extent that we can. Sassy's arguments are irrelevant to cases where there is a proven track record of violence and/or support for violent, terroristic acts by various groups and individuals. Is she against putting the Abu Sayyaf group on such a list of terrorists, along with the CPP NPA? That would make her a moonbat.

Besides, the List of Terrorists is not made up as we go along. There is no arbitrariness to it because it must be reviewed and approved as part of the Law itself, every year, by the authorities, in open public sessions.

Of course the war on terror is in a state of flux, because the enemy is, like the Communists, hidden, furtive and refuses to participate, like the rest of the citizens in the normal processes of bringing about reform and progress. They are nihilists whose goal is the destruction of our way of life.

Terrorist acts are not simple acts of violence, murder and mayhem. They are acts of war on society itself, for the purpose of destroying its present configuration and replacing it with a conception of their own.

I think that is why it is proper to put Islamofascists and communists in the lists. They are already allies in an evil enterprise that reasonable men recognize and distinguish from "normal crimes" by their political and ideological intention.

It is far, far better to make such definite lists than to rely on some metaphysical definition that can indeed be applied arbitrarily.

It is easy enough for the communist party and npa to get off the lists: merely renounce violence publicly and lay down their arms fer chrissakes.

how come sassy and the leftists never make that simple call, instead of insisting on the right of such terrorists to bear arms and to try and overthrow society because "root causes" have not been solved?

I think society has a right to protect itself against them (and her).


Good on you Dean to believe in Trillanes' cause.

He has a cause, quite rightly but so do many others in the AFP.

He distinguished his cause from the rest of the other good officers of the AFP by threatening to take his battle to Makati.

What he tried to do could have resulted in carnage, unnecessary collateral damage, not only for the forces but also for the civilians in the vicinity. With that in mind, I cannot just absolve him for what he had tried to do.

Never mind his absolving his former superior, Rear Admiral Ruben Domingo, chief Phil Fleet, of wrongdoings (whom I know is not lily white - far from it) the bottom line is Trillanes like his more bemedalled collegues now in detention had a sworn military duty to protect Filipino civilians and to uphold the fundamental rights of his fellow citizens above and foremost.

A military officer, following the tenet of his sworn mission cannot defeat his “enemies” by training his guns on INNOCENT CIVILIANS particularly when the target of his grievances are safely tucked away far from the area that he had threatened to blow up.

I would have had a different view of him had he threatened to blow up HQ PN, HQ PA or Malacanang Palace.

But I agree with you, he's perhaps a notch better than Gringo Honasan (can't stand that military misfit.)

manuelbuencamino said...

The problem with your argument is that you are unable to close the door on the old cliche about one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

Without an OBJECTIVE definition of terrorism then Osama's list is as good as Bush's or Joma's or yours or mine because those lists will be SUBJECTIVE.

I believe in the rule of law and not the ruke of caprice that's why I would rather deal with the problem under existing criminal statutes. Those laws define clearly and objectively the crime and the criminal after the prosecution establishes his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Aren't you one of the strongest advocates of the presumption of innocence?

I will not be terrorized into raping Lady Liberty. I will not apply Bong Austero's favorite argument in support of Gloria to justify the surrender of our liberties for a war against something we cannot define objectively.

Is a US government that refuses to extradite self-confessed bombers of a Venezuelan commercial airliner coddling terrorists? Should the US then be included in a list of countries harboring terrorists? And what about Pat Robertson advocating assassination? Does that make him a terrorist? Can this issue be answered without being subjective and resorting Good guys and Bad guys?

Must we abandon our values in order to save them? Can you abandon your way of life to save your way of life without giving up your way of life?

engineerOFW said...

ManuelBuencamino... what does the current statutes say about a Filipino who has received bombmaking training in Afghanistan and who, according to the INTERPOL, may have intentions to set off a bomb on a Manila-to-Cebu interisland ferry?

biktima of trillanes said...

I fail to see what is so heroic about a man who held innocent civilians as human shields at oakwood including 2 year old children.

Is this the kind of man to trust?

Or are we one step away from a military dictator?