Friday, August 10, 2007

Twenty More Marines Killed--Still Have An Open Mind?


Three days after the July 10 ambush and beheading of 14 Marines near Tipo tipo, Basilan the largest Filipino daily newspaper wrote in its Editorial, Savages on the loose:
To this deliberate provocation the national leadership must respond with both iron fist and open mind. The Armed Forces of the Philippines must bring the savages to justice. But the government must also push peace negotiations with Moro separatists, finally, to a fair conclusion.
Thirty days later nineteen (GMA tv) or twenty (PDI headline article) more Marines have been ambushed and killed by Abu Sayyaf terrorists under Radullan Sahiron AND Moro NATIONAL Liberation Front MNLF rebels. That's the MNLF (Nur Misuari's outfit) plus Abu Sayyaf terrorists.

THAT'S 34 PHILIPPINE MARINES AMBUSHED AND KILLED IN 30 DAYS!

I hope the significance of the latest killings won't be lost, even on those loudly trying to save the Peace Talks with the MILF: the 20 Marines killed yesterday were ambushed by the MNLF--a "former" rebel group with whom we already have a signed peace accord.

Here is MNLF chair Hatimil Hassan blaming the Military for yesterday's ambush of nine soldiers on their way to buy groceries!

One would expect that from the MNLF-MILF-ASG leadership, although for once, the MILF's Eid Kabbalu had to be telling the truth that his group was not involved in the Sulu ambush yesterday, just as he was truthfully bragging about the ambush a month ago in Basilan and also blaming the Military for "lack of coordination."

But it puzzles and bothers me that the same PDI Editorial also blames the Military!--

Taken together, what do these facts, and the logical implications they carry, tell us about the situation in Basilan? The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) remains on the losing end of the war for hearts and minds; we find it telling that not a single resident tried to send a warning to the military convoy... This lack of public support at the local level and the ambiguousness of the “enemy” make it difficult to root out the causes of insurgency, terrorism, even crimes of opportunity like kidnapping. All the more reason to forge a fair deal with the MILF. Those we smoke the peace pipe with have less incentive to lie in ambush, in the pouring rain.

I wonder what those guyz and galz are smokin' in them thar PEACE PIPES?

The MNLF has already signed a peace accord with the government...theoretically they are way beyond PEACE TALKS. Yet they seem to have some incentive that eludes the editorialists at PDI, to indeed lie in ambush in the pouring rain and kill uniformed Philippine Marines.

It cannot seem to penetrate certain skulls that just maybe they DON'T WANT PEACE. We cannot force them to if they do not want to lay down their arms and negotiate in good faith. No amount of good will, open-mindedness or pacifistic fervour can force them to. Why is that so hard for some people to understand?

The problem we face is therefore not only the MNLF-MILF-ASG Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde & Go Seek. It is also an inexplicable hard-headedness about things that we can do something about, and things that are beyond our control. Such as the moral values of the foes and what they are ultimately willing to do to achieve their objectives.

ABSCBN TV News reports that nine Marines were killed and several wounded Thursday morning when they were ambushed near Maimbung town, Sulu, by a band of Abu Sayyaf gunmen said to be led by RADULAN SAHIRON, a one-armed, horseback riding terrorist with a deadly record and millions in reward money on his head. Here is a Brief Resume of Radulan Sahiron's accomplishments in such lucrative professions as kidnap-for-ransom, murder-and-robbery and abduction with rape-for-the-heck-of-it. This is a 2005 bulletin backgrounder on Radulan Sahiron from the US Treasury Dept. which freezes any financial accounts or transactions he may have in US jurisdictions or with US citizens and corporations.

Background Information on Radulan Sahiron

AKAs: SAHIRON, Radullan, SAHIRUN, Radulan, SAJIRUN, Radulan
Commander Putol

Radulan Sahiron has perpetrated several brutal acts of terrorism involving bombings of civilians and kidnappings of U.S. and foreign nationals. He ordered the bombings conducted by the ASG on Jolo Island in 2004, as mentioned above, resulting in the death of 11 Filipino civilians and an American serviceman and wounding more than 200 others. The improvised explosive devices used in the bombings were initially assembled at Sahiron's headquarters, Camp Tubig Tuh-Tuh, on Jolo Island.

Sahiron was considered to be the key leader of the April 2000 Jolo/Sipadan kidnappings of 21 foreign tourists, including Westerners, Malaysians, and Filipinos, conducted by Sahiron and four other ASG members. Following the June 2002 ASG kidnapping of four hostages from a ship, the MT Singtec Marine 88 vessel, three of the four hostages were turned over to ASG leader Sahiron and held captive. In June 2002, Sahiron promised to end kidnappings on Jolo Island if the ransom was paid. In August 2002, Sahiron received and held four kidnapped women Filipina nationals on Jolo Island. In November 2002, Sahiron demanded 16 million Philippine Pesos (about US $312,195) for the freedom of seven hostages, including the four Filipina women. As of December 2003, Radulan Sahiron had received a total of 35 million Philippine Pesos (about US $636,000) in ransom payments from his participation in kidnappings.

Like Sali, Sahiron has held several senior positions of influence within the ASG. As early as 1999, he was one of fourteen members of the ASG's Majlis Shura (consultative council). In mid-2002, he acted as an advisor to ASG leader Khadafi Janjalani. Additionally, Sahiron has held several leadership positions over ASG fighters in the Sulu Archipelago area of the Southern Philippines.

From 2000 through 2003, Sahiron was described in various roles, including the leader of the ASG's Putol group, composed of an estimated 100 members operating on Jolo Island in the Sulu area of the Southern Philippines; as the head of the Sulu-based ASG consisting of 18 armed groups; as the ASG Chief of Staff in Sulu; and as the overall ASG commander on Jolo Island with an estimated 1,000 fully-armed followers.

Readers of Philippine Commentary encountered Radulan Sahiron previously.

He'll make a good-looking One-Armed Michael Jackson when he does the Algorithm Dance in Cebu on YouTube. Forty years will be a good run for him after prosecution and conviction under the Human Security Act.

20 comments:

manuelbuencamino said...

Okay na sana until the anti-terror law line.

Did those terrorists make any demands?

Did they demand the government to stop sending out soldiers for groceries before they attacked?

We are at war. A real war, not that ideological war you are waging. The AFP is not fighting well at all. That is we should focus on. Not laying predicates for that silly, histrionic anti-terror law.

DJB Rizalist said...

mb,
you have transformed the second element of the definition of terrorism into "terrorists make demands". You are being silly. You don't understand the definition because you don't want to.

We are at war? With what state MB?

The War on Terrorism is not a war like that defined in the constitution.

It is a war on organized political crime.

The Abu Sayyaf are a kidnap for ransom gang on ideological steroids supplied by AQ and JI.

They are trying to coerce the gov't to surrender sovereign territory to the warlords of their secessionist movement. THAT is the illegal political demand they are trying to coerce the govt to give in to. That is the 2nd element of their terrorist crime.

They do not have to "make" the demand by texting it to the Biz Mirror and the Media or shout it out just before they behead the Marines.

That is just the silly argumentation of people who don't see the clear alternative to WAR-OR-PEACE that lies in the simple policy of LAW ENFORCEMENT.

But first you have to agree the LAW is needed, and while not perfect, is not fascism either.

DJB Rizalist said...

Do you even AGREE that the Abu Sayyaf ARE terrorists?

What percentage of the planetary population would agree with you?

manuelbuencamino said...

I have not transformed anything. Demands is a vital element in your definition. No demands no act of terrorism under the law.

It cannot be implied. The demand has to accompany a specific act. So you're stretching.

ASG are bandits. They commit terrifying acts. I don't know if they have committed a terrorist act as defined by your law. Have they?

The war on terrorism is not defined in the constitution or anywhere else for that matter except in your mind and in that vacuum between George Bush's ear. It cannot be defined because it is subjective. It cannot be defined because when the tables are turned then you become the terrorist.

Cruz is right. Histrionics results in bad laws.

I don't agree the anti -terror law is needed. It is not needed.

And fascist, if you mean it in the loose way it is bandied about, applies to those who are supposed to uphold and enforce the law but who have proven, through extra judicial killings and disappearances, that they are indeed fascists.

Anyway, you go on with your crusade.

DJB Rizalist said...

And the Abu Sayyaf, MB?

ARE they terrorists, or choir boys?

john marzan said...

of course, it's all PDI's fault!

and hey, marcus aurelius, i think it's time to unleash the might of the US military in Mindanao.

Marcus Aurelius said...

John,

From time to time we are on the same sides of things (btw I have long since fallen off of the Condeleeza Rice bandwagon) but with the facetiousnesses you open with I do not know if it is ending (the facetiousness) or not.

One of the major drawbacks of the Iraq war and its difficulties is it has made my nation averse to other such activities (unless of course it is against allies good or not so good), plus there is that law/constitutional thing in the Philippines about foreign forces operating. It seems to me the limits on that one are stretched about as far as they can be, any more stretching and snap.

A friend of mine who spent some time on Mactan island a while back thinks there is more US involvement than what is commonly let on.

One last thing. MB, war is a whole panoply of conflict ideological as well as hot, the enemy must be met on all fronts.

DJB Rizalist said...

marcus,
lemme know when the abus get to white fish bay. they will you know...

Karl M. Garcia said...

Again, time to break my promise to my dad not blog or comment about military affairs.

The forces opposite the militray are getting stronger,there must a reason behind it.

Fine,no demands asked but will we just call our AFP lameducks or will easily take advantage of the hSA once given the chance....

That is not the point,the role of our soldiers is to defend our land,
if you do not sense integration of forces and building an unholy alliance..nothin I can do.

I am not just talking about the hSA here,with or without it,I don't even think an HSA will stop the consolidation and build up of forces if our AFP,is much maligned and unsupported.

If you are against the AFP leadership,they are not the ones being killed.

manuelbuencamino said...

"If you are against the AFP leadership,they are not the ones being killed."

Unfortunately.

DJB Rizalist said...

mb,
Is Osama bin Laden a "terrorist"?

manuelbuencamino said...

mb,
Is Osama bin Laden a "terrorist"?

He is on the other side.

DJB Rizalist said...

EMBEE! hee hee hee

Hee hee hee is on the other side???

That's it?

So I take it there is really no such thing to you as a "terrorist".

It is a concept so fearsome or fascistic or anathema that you don't really think it is valid to apply it as a label?

Is that it?

Help me out, man!

Is there or is there not a thing called terrorism that ought to be outlawed, even if there is only ONE living example of it?

manuelbuencamino said...

So I take it there is really no such thing to you as a "terrorist".

There is such a thing as terrorism. That's obvious.

The question is who is a terrorist?

The answer depends on whose side you're on.

Should terrorism be outlawed? Of course.

But the question is by whom? For whom?

And the answer to that question is again it depends on whose side you're on.

Bush is on one side. Saddam is on the other side. Both of them strike terror in the hearts of men. So it depends on which side you're on.

Or you can be on the side of peace and oppose and condemn both of thm as terrorists.

DJB Rizalist said...

okay MB. I guess I misunderstood you. Your position is not that NO ONE is a terrorist. Your position is that EVERYONE is a terrorist.

Bush and Bin Laden are BOTH terrorists. A pox on both their houses. I forget. You are a Cold War Liberal. Your attitude is we can CHOOSE what side to be on.

manuelbuencamino said...

wrong buddy. I just identified two terrorists plus i am not a terrorist so that takes care of that.

And yes. we can choose sides or no side at all. as long as we are not ideological or religious maniacs, our intelligence and common sense will guide us through

DJB Rizalist said...

well, what side DO you choose, MB?

Tiki said...

To those who see this as an issue of one side against another, consider the following:

You are referring to Islamic fundamentalist groups that one time worked for or with the U.S. and its allies, and even today several groups, including the Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, are being supported by Pakistan, a U.S. ally. Several groups came from another U.S. ally, Saudi Arabia.

Some recent reports even indicate that the U.S. is considering siding with one Islamic fundamentalist group in Iraq against another, and continues to sell military supplies to Iran.

For several years, the Philippine military could not receive enough arms and supplies because of corruption in the higher ranks and lack of funding from the government.

DJB Rizalist said...

So Tiki, it's all the fault of Amerika?

Tiki said...

To DJB, it's not just the U.S., asyou can see in my comment.