Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mass Media Should Stop Glamorizing Terrorism--Bishop Bacani

Going against the grain of most in the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Bishop Teodoro Bacani castigates the Mass Media for glamorizing terrorists. The worst example over the years are the editors, publishers and pundits of the Philippine Daily Inquirer who are masters of the very sophisticated art of using historical victimhood as a means of rationalizing the evil, violent means employed by groups like the MNLF, the MILF, the Abu Sayyaf Group and the CPP NPA NDF --those whom they would portray as just poor, oppressed by heoric "freedom fighters" and "national liberators."

After fervently denying that any ransom was paid to secure the release of ABSCBN News' CES DRILON and her companions -- a claim which no one believed for a single minute -- Manila authorities have admitted that millions of pesos in ransom money were in fact paid. Although it is not entirely clear who the money came from, in a bizarre twist, the principal negotiator or go-between, Indanan Mayor Isnaji Alvarez and his son Haider are now accused of being the masterminds and of pocketing some 5 million pesos of the ransom money, (the real total of which is still unknown.) The Philippine Star daily newspaper reports that US intelligence information was crucial in this regard:

Incriminating mobile phone conversation picked up by a US satellite led authorities to implicate and arrest Indanan town Mayor Alvarez Isnaji and his son in the kidnapping of senior ABS-CBN News anchorwoman Ces Oreña-Drilon and three others in Sulu.

A reliable source in the intelligence community working closely with US forces based in Western Mindanao said more than P30 million in ransom was paid for the release of the hostages, based on an intercepted phone conversation between the mayor’s son Haider and one of the kidnappers. The source said US satellite and advanced GPS (global positioning system) facilities helped security forces keep track of the kidnappers’ movement.

A comprehensive round-up of opinion on the ransom issue is to be found on the blog of Manuel L. Quezon III as well as at Filipino Voices. My own views on the subject of terrorist kidnap for ransom have been clear since the gory glory days of Khadaffy Janjalani, Arlyn de la Cruz, Kumander Robot, the Sipadan-Dos Palmas series of Abu Sayyaf atrocities, through the Angelo de la Cruz debacle in Iraq, and last year's Marine beheadings. It's a no-brainer of course that paying ransom only sets up the next kidnapping.

The bleeding brain liberals over at the Philippine Daily Innuendo always find many inventive and creative ways to rationalize, justify and excuse the axe-wielding decapitators ambushmen and hostage takers in Mindanao. In its Friday editorial, Son of Abu Sayyaf PDI seizes upon a statement by Ces Drilon that at one point a 12 year old boy had held a bolo (a native axe) to her neck, then proceeds to paint an oh-so-touching picture of how impossible it has to be that such young, unschooled Muslim boys should now be taking hostages and threatening to decapitate them.

If I thought it would do any good to knock some sense into these dense journalistic heads, I might insist they all gather together in a dark room to watch THIS 12 YEAR OLD TALIBAN BOY sawing off the head of an accused "US Spy" just last year.

Here is the leftist ideologue Randy David ladling out the usual formula for justifying terrorism and secessionism among the Moros:

The truth of the matter is that the Moro pacification campaign first launched in Mindanao by the foreign colonial powers, and, subsequently by Filipino troops in the name of a unified independent Filipino nation, has not ceased. That is why the principal enforcers of order here are not the local police but the soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The authority of the Philippine State in this region does not reside in the nomenclatures and offices of the local governments. Indeed, most of the occupants of these offices live in nearby Zamboanga City. Rather, the Philippine state, by way of a steady military presence, rides an uneasy tandem with the feuding traditional clans and their respective patronage networks. The widening gaps within these networks are filled over time by all kinds of armed groups known as “lost commands.” Once in a while, these “commands” are consolidated by a charismatic figure who weaves their basic resentments and survival needs into narratives of hope, emancipation and self-respect. This is what Nur Misuari did for the Moro National Liberation Front, Hashim Salamat for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani for the Abu Sayyaf.

What he calls a "pacification campaign" started by the "foreign colonial powers" has of course become ideological cant among the politically correct as the root of all evil in Mindanao. There is of course absolutely no mention of the fact that for centuries it was only those "foreign colonial powers" that saved people in the Visayas and Luzon from the annual slave raiding and slave trading occupations of the Maguindanao Confederacy who did a lucrative business with Bornean and Sumatran Islamic potentates of human trafficking on a massive scale before the term was event invented. One only has to read the voluminous and outstanding history of those struggles in The History of the Jesuits in the Philippines by Horacio de la Costa to see what a deluded liar Randy David is.

Bishop Ted Bacani is right. These geniuses are glamorizing terrorism. We are all hostages of a skewed and manufactured history that has been placed at the service of an insurgent ideology that glorifies and justifies violence as a means of rectifying and redeeming a past for which we today are hardly to blame.


manuelbuencamino said...

"It's a no-brainer of course that paying ransom only sets up the next kidnapping."

That is of the only motive for kidnapping is money. However if it is for publicity, religion, ideology or waht else then money is secondary so taking away the money doesn't address the problem.

Making sure kidnappers are brought to justice is the way to discourage them more kidnappings. If they know they can't get away with it, it will be foolish for them to try to get away with it.

By the way, American-Philippines Commentary would be the more candid title for your tribal preference. Hehe

DJB Rizalist said...

Allah-hu al akhbar, MB!

Equalizer said...

As Terry Anderson, CPJ honorary co-chairman and former Associated Press Beirut bureau chief, who was held hostage for nearly seven years in Lebanon, has said: "Always, constantly, constantly, every minute, weigh the benefits against the risks. And as soon as you come to the point where you feel uncomfortable with that equation, get out, go, leave it. It's not worth it. There is no story worth getting killed for."

DJB Rizalist said...

They keep saying that, and I am sure someone like Ces Drilon takes it to heart. I really think though that they have come to believe their own glamorization of terrorists as living, breathing freedom fighters and that is why it must have seemed worth it to Ces Drilon to get that close to Radulan Sahiron, the one armed horseback riding Abu Sayyaf leader. Imagine to cover the surrender of a man who has beheaded how many people?

manuelbuencamino said...

Howdy, cowboy.

Guess you can't see beyond the horse's ass war on terror ideology that not paying ransom is the solution to ideological and religious kidnapping,

Well, giddyapadingdong then while you keep mouthing ideology. But seriously how about a posse going after kidnappers anywhere anytime, don't you think that's the way to discourage kidnappings?

Equalizer said...

In 2007, Gloria Arroyo spent P588.5 million for foreign travels and P34.1 million for domestic travels, respectively, according to the Commission on Audit (COA)’s report on the 2007 financial transactions of Malacañang.

Today,she is off again for a 10-day trip to the U.S.

The size and scope of the presidential entourage are always staggering.

DJB Rizalist said...

Well MB, I'm sure that your brilliant solution is to pay them off with the whole island of Mindanao, or is that ransom payment still too small a payment for all the terrible things we've done to the poor, poor suffering Moro people? I guess you don't think the debacle called the ARMM and the 90 billion pesos we've already sunk into people like Nur Misuari and Isnaji still isn't enough to satiate your hatred for democracy.

Well glamour-boy take a good look in the mirror to see the true face of Self-Loathing!

blackshama said...

The Crusaders once starved enemy cities by blockade and freed hostages.

Perhaps that's the solution DJB.

Your secularism can't match against that boy sawing off the head of an alleged spy.

Perhaps the Latins need to be militant again! This is something I think Benedict XVI really wants to say.

For every Allahu Akbar you say. The Latins respond with

Deus Vult!

Amadeo said...

When we were growing up in Misamis Oriental, we often wondered aloud why the Lanao city of Iligan, which to this day is still predominantly Christian, somehow generally was spared from any retribution, reprisal, or any terrorist actions from our fellow warring Moros. The Moslem capital of Marawi, then called Dansalan, is merely some 30 kms away.

A wise peer said that it was so because Iligan was, and probably still is, the economic lifetime of Marawi and the rest of Lanao. Strike at Iligan and if in retribution Iligan decides to set up an economic blockade of sorts, Marawi and the rest of Lanao would just wither and die. Starve and die.

Thus, Blackshama brings up a very germane issue.

Amadeo said...

Correction: should be

economic lifeline...

manuelbuencamino said...


I thought we were looking for an effective weapon against kidnapping.

And I told you what my brilliant dolution was:
Showing kidnappers that crime does not pay is more effective than simply saying "we won't pay."

As usual you put words in my mouth so you can debunk them without having to respond to what I said in the first place.

That war on terror line of yours reminds me of Nancy Reagan's brilliant solution to drug abuse: "Just say no!"

Make the case why a no ransom policy is better than nabbing kidnappers and making them realize that they won't get away with it and crime does not pay.

Stop running away DJ.

DJB Rizalist said...

okay, i'll take that to mean you are for the Rule of Law. The Human Security Act or the Revised Penal Code is good enough for me too.

As for the War on Terror, would you care to apply the same brilliant solution to the Bali Bombers hiding in Mindanao with the help of the MILF and MNLF?

Or is that not a reality to you?

manuelbuencamino said...


You remind me of ypur neocon friends and their tactics. They start a war in Iraq and even before they're half way done there they want to start another war, this time in Iran. Just another way to cover up their poorly though- out ideologically driven war plan.

Same thing here, It's no ransom policy we are talking about and before we're done you want to talk about the Bali bombers and the protectors.

I hope that now you won't go telling me that they're all tied together somehow.

DJB Rizalist said...

i see what this is now. you really want to talk about iraq, the neocons, and george w. bush. you are the one that's running away from the discussion at hand.

now, regarding the bali bombers and terrorism in south east asia, it seems to have escaped your notice that Ces Drilon herself admits she was lured into a trap with the idea that Radulan Sahiron was sending surrender feelers. It also conveniently escapes your notice that he is the Abu Sayyaf leader suspected of harboring those mass murderers.

I guess you really want to treat the whole incident as a "simple kidnapping".

You want to take the context out of the incident.

But honestly how do you know that there is no connection?

Dave Llorito said...

The good bishop is accurate. hats off to him. Indeed, we should stop glamorizing terrorism. Amen, bishop!

Jego said...

On a tangential note, it's interesting that Magellan's slave Enrique was able to talk to the natives of Cebu in their native language (or in Malay, no one is sure which) and acted as interpreter for both sides. Apparently, he was kidnapped by slave traders as a boy and sold and the ownership of Enrique changed hands until he eventually came to Magellan. For this he is sometimes credited as being the first man to circumnavigate the globe, having done so even before Sebastian De Elcano and crew.

DJB Rizalist said...

jego, david,
am going to be doing a lot more posts on the history of islam and the moro people in the philippines. I've recently discovered how and what all this glamorization is based is the honest ignorance of many writers of the true history of bangsamoro people as mainly oppressed debt slaves of their theocratic aristocratic rulers based on such things as the 'tarsila' which made "nobility" hereditary, along with possessions, mainly in the form of human beings. All that glorious history of greatness may really be the fantastic claims of rulers who were neither noble nor generous. Now they are holding the whole country hostage with the help of bleeding hearts who don't actually know what really happened. Of course neither did I until I started reading de la Costa, McKenna, Ileto and others...

Dave Llorito said...

hi dean: you might eventually have to write a "revisionist" history of mindanao. lol! that would be interesting. why not?