Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Silence of the Sheep, the Bleating of the Goats

Those were the only sounds that greeted the large force of Philippine National Police sent by ARMM Chief R. Goltiao (who blithely told Pinky Webb about it on the noon time news) as they descended on the crime scene in Tipo-tipo Basilan to serve 130 arrest warrants for suspects in the ambush killing, torture and beheadings of 14 Philippine Marines searching for kidnapped Fr. Giancarlo Bossi on July 10. The warrants for arrest were issued last week by Judge Leo Principe of Basilan.

Aside from "old women and young boys" the crime scene was said to be deserted except of course for the elements of Malacanang's newly formed tripartite investigating committee (one third of this being MILF representatives, ngek), who were there ahead of the police and waving them off to go back home...they need 24 more hours to tie up the loose ends of their own "independent fact finding" committee, which investigation started last Friday after the President's command conference with them in Zamboanga, far, far away.

Just behead me already!

Meanwhile, Dr. Nando Barandino, medico-legal expert of the PNP in Basilan, and a former captive of the Abu Sayyaf, reports that at least two of the fourteen dead Marines showed signs of torture before they were beheaded during the autopsy he performed on them. He makes the strongest case for an end to this savagery, by recalling the sad recent history of decapitation on Basilan.

Is it any wonder these savage crimes go on unabated when they have never been properly punished and the Rule of Law and Order established over an essentially lawless and bandit-warlord-dominated place.

I think I'm beginning to like Gordon Brown's statement following two days of talks with George W. Bush at Camp David. He said, "Terrorism is not a cause, it is a crime against humanity."

I think we SHOULD give the Sword of Justice a chance instead of the endless cycle of WAR and PEACE in Mindanao.

I don't think the the Ceasefire Committee really has any jurisdiction over what is essentially a CRIME SCENE. Let them have their peace talks in Malaysia! Let the police their job. Let the Law rule over all men, all religion, all armies, all ideologies.

I think with the Human Security Act, we really have a chance to create a viable alternative strategy in managing our unique complex of insurgencies, secessionists and nihilists.

By criminalizing terrorism, we delegitimize the terrorist tactics of the communist insurgency with its armed struggle, and the Moro separatists, without denying them their right to espouse political and ideological causes in a peaceful manner.

The War on Terror becomes the challenge of Law Enforcement, which now offers the clearest path to real peace and order.

Not the endless Peace Talks that have produced nothing but war without end.


Nicholas Kister said...

Three damn weeks. Not a damn thing has been done. And now, they are scrambling for a last minute investigation when this should have been done ASAP.

My own perspective is that there seems to be local, national, and even international politics at play when we see such inaction by the Military top brass and other top Government officials.

With the Abu Sayyaf, MILF, and even local politicians as suspects, everyone seems to be pointing fingers at each other.

The ASEAN Ministerial Meeting seems to also have delayed the order to execute the arrest warrants.

These things are all connected. So that it has all culminated it this despicable lack of action as well as having the MILF help in fact finding.

As I posed in my own blog, is this committee for fact finding or fact hiding?

Geez. This government has a weird way of honoring their own soldiers.

Amadeo said...

Just a sobering reminder for those not sufficiently familiar with the entire island of Mindanao.

As of last count, Mindanao had a total population of about 19 to 20 million, with a total Muslim population of less than 4 million out of that number. Of the Muslim population, many have abandoned their traditional lands and moved to more hospitable places, like my old hometown, Cagayan de Oro, which is no more than 80 some kilometers from Lanao.

These migrated numbers continue to integrate with the local populations, though some maybe grudgingly. When I last visited one local non-sectarian university had a very noticeable percentage of Muslim young kids, sticking out from the rest only when they start speaking their own dialect. And the malls are also places where social interaction is quite visible. Believe it or not, the local immigration office is headed by a Muslim, so with other government offices, like the BIR and Customs.

The continued drawn-out dreary developments in the south have caused these accelerated movements of the Muslim population. And it should be noted that for as long as Christians have settled in Mindanao, local assimilation of the Muslims has also transpired through the process of intermarriage and/or Christianization. Our over-extended clan, including that of the late Maning Pelaez, can trace our Muslim roots.

It is a devout wish that when people prognosticate about the problems of Mindanao, that people solicit inputs from that unique perspective and be a bit circumspect about recommending drastic solutions to the area. Like, maybe independence for Mindanao?