Monday, June 23, 2008

PDI and Arlyn de la Cruz: Journalists or Abu Sayyaf Sympathizers?


There is no better relatively fresh backgrounder on the history and nature of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group (which is listed as such by the United States, the European Union and the UN Security Council) than this in depth article in the Atlantic Monthly magazine last year: Jihadists in Paradise.

The Philippines is indeed a "paradise" for terrorists not least because they have all these leftist media outlets and "reporters" justifying and glamorizing their cause. Or trying to win sympathy for it, as in last Friday's lame-brained interpretation of the presence of teenagers and even children among the kidappers of Ces Drilon and company in the editorial Son of Abu Sayyaf. In this incredible editorial, PDI seizes upon certain statements of Ces Drilon and Loren Legarda in order to leap to the conclusion that the abductors were minors, some as young as twelve years old.
"But even the possibility that local officials or so-called pillars of the local community were involved in the kidnapping pales beside the revelation, made by Drilon and Sen. Loren Legarda, who helped negotiate the release, that the abductors were minors."

What makes these geniuses think that AGE has anything to do with the ability of terrorism to warp even children and use them in its violent enterprise? Above is that infamous Taliban propaganda video, also from 2007, documenting a 12 year old boy hacking off the head of an Afghani accused by the Taliban of being an American spy who helped kill a senior Taliban militant. (R-18!)

Then in A FRONT PAGE ARTICLE by Arlyn de la Cruz in Sunday's Philippine Daily Innuendo, is proof positive that the newspaper is plumbing fresh nadirs in its seemingly inexorable descent to tabloid journalism of the worst kind. It's a nasty piece of writing in which the self-aggrandizing former girl-friend ("allegedly") of Khaddafy Janjalani reveals how she supposedly "helped her ex-news buddy, Ces Drilon" during the latter's recent kidnapping ordeal. What was Abu de la Cruz's big helpful contribution? Why, she made the phone call on behalf of ABSCBN News executive Charrie Villa to Senator Loren Legarda that got the latter involved in the whole folderol.

In the article, Ms. de la Cruz recalls her own "kidnapping" and "hostaging" for 98 days (from which she emerged without a scratch and many, many scoops) which unscathed condition she explains away also in the front page article as the result of her magnanimous decision under captivity "to teach the Abu Sayyaf members how to read" [sic!]. How believeable does she think this claim is? Should the next scoop-hungry reporter show up in the Abu Sayyaf lairs with reading books then?

Actually most of the article is just pure character assassination against Ces Drilon, as Arlyn dredges up some utterly irrelevant personal conflicts from when both were at ABSCBN as young and upcoming reporters. This continues in both the Innuendo's and Arlyn de la Cruz's long-running crusade to justify and rationalize the Abu Sayyaf, first by portraying them as just poor, oppressed freedom fighters and painting the recent atrocities as "mere kidnap for ransom," having no connection to the broader war on Islamist terrorism. It's not surprising to find Arlyn de la Cruz and PDI together in this enterprise of what Catholic Bishop Teodoro Bacani has labelled "glamorizing terrorism."

Birds of a feather flock together as the newspaper is fast becoming adept at using supposedly "balanced news" reports as a tool for blackmail and extortion against people in both public and private life. That is how desperate they've become for sensational scoops to bolster advertising revenue as the Rufino-Prieto-Romualdez families that control the paper struggle to stem the hemorrhage caused by its ill-advised forays into printing and newsprint production.

By the way, here is the Atlantic Monthly video clip of Ms. de la Cruz describing beheading as a merciful form of killing.

24 comments:

manuelbuencamino said...

They glamorize, you demonize and nothing ever changes. Both sides keep killing and committing atrocities. What will end it?

Replying to your last comment. There you go again, I was criticizing the no ransom policy. You have accused me of everything, jumped from one topic to another, put words in my mouth and yet I still have to hear from you why the no ransom policy is good. I told you why I think it's stupid.

Gabby said...

quick question: why is calling AbuSayaff a kidnapping for ransom group something that glamorizes them? Isn't this de-glamorizing -- after all, all they want is money, despite of their claims of a higher (religious/spiritual) purpose. Isn't glamoring when we cloak them with a religous veneer, when all they are are criminals?

also, are you accusing ms dela cruz of orchestrating her kidnapping 4 journalistic gain? don't hold back...

DJB Rizalist said...

mb,
i confess! i don't follow around the intricacies of your thought processes all that carefully.

DJB Rizalist said...

gabby, i think it is the portrayal of the abu sayyaf as a kfg composed of 12 year old kids that glamorizes them...especially with the innuendo that it is somehow society's fault!

as for arlyn, the accusation you mention was never my original idea but her colleagues'.

And do you think I've every held anything back on THIS blog?

Gabby said...

"as for arlyn, the accusation you mention was never my original idea but her colleagues'. "

interesting. do you have any links about this? thanks.

DJB Rizalist said...

gabby,
yeah, all the links on this post, including hers!

john marzan said...

The Philippines is indeed a "paradise" for terrorists not least because they have all these leftist media outlets and "reporters" justifying and glamorizing their cause. Or trying to win sympathy for it, as in last Friday's lame-brained interpretation of the presence of teenagers and even children among the kidappers of Ces Drilon and company in the editorial Son of Abu Sayyaf.

i don't see what you are seeing, dean. to say that they are "glamorizing" the abu sayyaf is stretching things a bit--a huge leap into innuendo-ville for yourself.

In this incredible editorial, PDI seizes upon certain statements of Ces Drilon and Loren Legarda in order to leap to the conclusion that the abductors were minors, some as young as twelve years old.

What makes these geniuses think that AGE has anything to do with the ability of terrorism to warp even children and use them in its violent enterprise?


what was wrong about their conclusion? you contradicted yourself in the next paragraph.

DJB Rizalist said...

john,
do YOU buy the suggestion that this kidnapping was planned, organized and executed by kids?

john marzan said...

gabby, i think it is the portrayal of the abu sayyaf as a kfg composed of 12 year old kids that glamorizes them...especially with the innuendo that it is somehow society's fault!

where did the editorial say that it was "society's fault"?

Sulu is "our Fallujah" (before the Surge). the Muslim community there seems to be hostile to the government. the abus have a safe haven there.

john marzan said...

john,
do YOU buy the suggestion that this kidnapping was planned, organized and executed by kids?


what "suggestion" are you referring to? i don't see it.

============

what i see is that even the gov't authorities in Sulu may have benefitted from the ransom money.

DJB Rizalist said...

John,
"Son of Abu Sayyaf"? WTF?

When Arlyn de la Cruz was consorting with Khaddafy Janjalani the editorial claims, mordantly, that the kid ready to behead Ces was only 5 years old. How, according to PDI, did that kid come to be holding a bolo over a hostage's head?

They must think their readers are 12 years old, coz both editorial and front page article are pure fairy tales aren't they?

john marzan said...

John,
"Son of Abu Sayyaf"? WTF?

When Arlyn de la Cruz was consorting with Khaddafy Janjalani the editorial claims, mordantly, that the kid ready to behead Ces was only 5 years old. How, according to PDI, did that kid come to be holding a bolo over a hostage's head?


i think you misunderstood the paragraph dean.

here's the part you speak of:

They may or may not be, but of this we can be certain: They are the next generation of the Abu Sayyaf. When the bandit group reached the peak of worldwide notoriety in April 2000, with the daring raid on Sipadan (an island claimed by both Indonesia and Malaysia), Drilon’s kidnappers were only 8 to 10 years old. When another faction of the Abu Sayyaf swooped down on Dos Palmas resort in Palawan in May 2001 and abducted, among many others, the missionary couple Martin and Gracia Burnham, the boy who held the bolo was then only 5 years old.

when the sipadan kidnapping took place in 2000, the teenagers who kidnapped ces were only 8 to 10 yrs old then. when lamitan siege took place in 2001, the 12 yr old muslim who held the bolo ready to behead ces and her crew was 5 year old then.

from the same editorial:

She recalled that Drilon and Jimmy Encarnacion, the ABS-CBN cameraman who was held captive for nine days, also told her that, at one crisis point, when their abductors seemed determined to behead Encarnacion, it was a 12-year-old who was holding the bolo.

DJB Rizalist said...

John,
The best innuendo is the kind that gets under your skin without your even knowing it. Those children were props and their presence in that context cannot but be condemned as the use of human shields, YOUNG human shields. But the editorial instead convinces apparently even you that they were there because they were following in their father's footsteps in some grand scheme to win freedom for the Bangsamoro people from poverty and oppression. What they really were was insurance that the military would not attack or attempt a rescue. they are just like the NPA the way it uses innocents as human shields.


If you truly were freedom fighter, would you allow minors in the vicinity of your possible heroic martyrdom?

Or do you think those kids forced their way into the camp of the ASG so they could get at the ransom money out of hunger and deprivation?

john marzan said...

Those children were props and their presence in that context cannot but be condemned as the use of human shields, YOUNG human shields.

those children were pawns used by their elders. they don't think of themselves as human shields because they were taught at an early age to fight the infidels and die for their beliefs.

But the editorial instead convinces apparently even you that they were there because they were following in their father's footsteps in some grand scheme to win freedom for the Bangsamoro people from poverty and oppression. What they really were was insurance that the military would not attack or attempt a rescue. they are just like the NPA the way it uses innocents as human shields.

doesn't your spin paint the picture of the abu kids as "victims"? if somebody named DJB read this, he'd call that analysis "pro-terrorist" and "sympathetic" to drilon's abductors.

do YOU buy the suggestion that this kidnapping was planned, organized and executed by kids?

so no, i don't believe the ces kidnapping was a kiddie operation concocted and planned by 12-yr olds. but i'm not surprised that the elders used any able bodied young males they can find to guard and prevent the hostages from escaping. i'm not surprised that they mused re having the 12 year old use the bolo to behead drilon, kasi parang "rite of passage" ng mga abu sayyaf yan.

DJB Rizalist said...

"those children were pawns used by their elders. they don't think of themselves as human shields because they were taught at an early age to fight the infidels and die for their beliefs."

A guy named John Marzan said this. He is glamorizing terrorism. He has bought into the myth of the Abu Sayyaf and terrorism in general as spun by PDI and Arlyn de la Cruz.

Whatever beliefs a 12 year old has, they cannot be so well formed or validated by true life experiences to be commensurable with heroic martyrdom except in the delusionalized world of religious fanaticism of terrorism.

Back to the drawing board for you, John.

john marzan said...

A guy named John Marzan said this. He is glamorizing terrorism. He has bought into the myth of the Abu Sayyaf and terrorism in general as spun by PDI and Arlyn de la Cruz.

Whatever beliefs a 12 year old has, they cannot be so well formed or validated by true life experiences to be commensurable with heroic martyrdom except in the delusionalized world of religious fanaticism of terrorism.


i was referring to the 16 to 18 yr olds that participated in the KFR operation. you forgot them too. unless you are saying they are incapable of behaving like that, especially after being brainwashed by their elders.

DJB Rizalist said...

John,
I concede your last point. Yes, perhaps even a 12 year old could come to believe anything after being brainwashed. But honestly, don't you think that a simpler explanation for the presence of those young people there is simply as "insurance", as "human shields"? There is not even any guarantee that they were the children of what you reverentially call "elders". It's a tactic we know the NPA employs. ASG MNLF and MILF are not blind to the outfits like PDI and their liberal tendency to glamorize, glorify, justify and rationalize insurgency. Okay let's not call it terrorism, but criminal behavior pure and simple, which is their own politically correct description. But that only makes it even more plausible and simpler an explanation that they were using children as human shields in a deadly and lethal situation.

Don't tell me that the poverty and suffering on Mindanao is so much worse than in Visayas and Luzon that we must believe these people have been pushed into KFR and terrorism.

That is all I mean by "blaming society". Soon I will be debunking also the false history upon which this glamorization and rationalisation is based.

i hope you will continue to be engaged in this discussion and to do your own research and rumination upon Mindanao--but with skeptical eyes and ears, because I think it is old oppressors of the Bangsamoro that want their old theocratic sultanic version of history to prevail!

I claim the Moros are better of with us than against us and under those jerks who oppressed them for centuries!

john marzan said...

Yes, perhaps even a 12 year old could come to believe anything after being brainwashed.

i wouldn't put too much into that 12 yr old, dean. it's abu sayyaf's sick way of "hazing".

But honestly, don't you think that a simpler explanation for the presence of those young people there is simply as "insurance", as "human shields"?

you referring again to that 12 yr old AGAIN (or was it the "five yr old")? that young kid with the bolo was there because he is part of the abu community. i don't think he is in danger of becoming a "human shield" because the military doesn't have a clue where ces drilon is located. they fired mortar rounds without a care in the world whether they hit the abs-cbn crew or not.

as for the fully grown 18 yr old teenagers with guns, i don't consider them "human shields" especially when they use their rifles and start shooting at you.

There is not even any guarantee that they were the children of what you reverentially call "elders". It's a tactic we know the NPA employs.

so you're saying 16-18 yr olds are being used as "human shields" by their elders. which means the abu sayyafs are committing "child abuse" on these poor boys? arent you portraying these grown teenagers as sympathetic victims?

john marzan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john marzan said...

when you make the wild claim that the PDI "justifies" and "blames society" for the actions of the recent abu sayyaf kidnapping of ces drilon but offer no proof of this other than innuendos and wild interpretations of the recent inquirer editorial you posted and the arlyn dela cruz's article-- this is Inquirer Derangement Syndrome dean.

tapos, you end your post by citing a disgruntled source who's main job is to dish out gossip, dirty rumors, smears and innuendo. dat doesn't help...

DJB Rizalist said...

john,
i'm curious. what would consitute "proof" to you of an "editorial point of view". After all a newspaper that banners "balanced news and fearless views" on its masthead obviously takes a stand. Taken as a whole, what is the message you get from an editorial like "son of abu sayyaf". What is YOUR interpretation of what they are saying?

And please don't dodge the question I raise. How do you explain the presence of underage minors at a kidnap for ransom site in which four heads could've been lopped off?

How do you explain what looks to me like a case of human shield usage?

DJB Rizalist said...

btw, the business troubles of the prieto family over their ill fated print town venture is well known. The "disgruntled source" is not necessarily making stuff up. nothing he writes is implausible or fantastic considering other things people hear. I do have other sources of information about that which is irrelevant to this discussion other than it does explain the scoop hungry nature of the paper and their descent into tabloidism. As bloggers it is our place to take on the Main Stream Media. In many cases people take up blogging because the MSM is no longer omniscient voice.

I stand by my opinion that the paper takes advantage of the ASG and peddles the kind of false history and publicity that actually keeps them alive. I do think both PDI and Arlyn are accomplices in those crimes. They aren't just giving the public information, they stand for an ideology -- a particularly sneaky and lethal one at that.

john marzan said...

i honestly don't know if what vic agustin was reporting is true. maybe he's correct. maybe not. all i know is that he is not what you would call a "reliable news source." you can do better than cocktales.

DJB Rizalist said...

john,
frankly, i never liked cocktales, still don't. but recently, and before i read his columns dwelling on the subject, I've been hearing from sources in the education industry that the Prietos have been hungrily trying to get work from Deped to print textbooks for it. But it seems printing in china is way, way cheaper than their Print Town venture with its expensive equipment, overpaid executives and luxurious digs. This hit Jesli Lapus pretty hard recently because he wouldn't budge to save their sorry arse. Cocktales was not revelatory for me, but confirmatory of these claims. I think tabloid journalism like this a blunt but subtle weapon in the hands of the masters. It's a form of extortion, really, or even metaphorical kidnap for ransom.

the whole paper is becoming Tulfonized!