Thursday, August 7, 2008

MILF Attacks and Occupies 5 Towns, 9 Municipalities in Cotabato

(From a live Press Conference at Camp Crame) Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno, speaking at a press conference with other government officials has admitted that the claims of Vice Gov. Manny Pinol of North Cotabato province, are true. MILF insurgent forces numbering some 800 have apparently attacked and occupied some 5 towns (Aliosan, North Kabuntalan, Libungan, Alamada, and Midsayap) involving 9 barangays in North Cotabato province since July 1. Some 1536 families composed of over 6500 individuals have been taken into National Disaster Coordinating Committee evacuation centers after armed insurgents of the MILF began harrassing them, burning homes, stealing farm animals and driving the residents away during a critical harvest time period. A 24-hour period for the MILF forces to vacate these areas has been announced by the government. The joint ceasefire committee and international monitoring team have been informed of the violations by the MILF in preparation for "clearing operations" to be conducted tomorrow by a joint task force of the Philippine National Police and the AFP. Vice-Gov. Manny Pinol has been having a word war with Esperon and Press Secretary Jesus Dureza over statements made by Esperon to Pinol that AFP might not lend them protection against the MILF if the Supreme Court TRO'd the Memorandum of Agreement he was about to sign in Malaysia last Tuesday. Esperon finally, finally, released official copies of the MOA at the Press Conference, including the list of barangays to be included in the expanded Bangsamoro Juridical Entity ("Bangsamorostan").


CAVEATS:

SACK'EM ALL: More than Hermogenes Esperon should be relieved of his post for the unfolding debacle involving a Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain that has been TRO'd by the Supreme Court for culpable violations of the Constitution. This after all is mostly the work of the current Press Secretary, Jesus Dureza, who had Esperon's job as Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process for many years up until a few months ago. The other derelict is Rodolfo Garcia, who together with Dureza has been shielding the MILF for years as their "partners in the peace process" -- notably in stopping warrants of arrest against many MILF members and leaders last year in connection with an ambush-beheading of Philippine Marines near Tipo-tipo, Basilan. Meanwhile, I suspect that Sec. Ronaldo Puno is also culpable for his role in the delivery of ransoms in a series of kidnap for ransom situations, from that of Fr. Giancarlo Bossi, to the hostaging of Gen. Ben Muhammad Dolorfino, to Ces Drilon and the four separate kidnap for ransom incidents taht quickly followed the latter incident. It would be in keeping with his low character and moral dwarfism to take this expedient route as a means of quickly resolving these embarrassing incidents, actions akin to pouring gasoline on a spreading prairie fire of terrorist financing through kidnap for ransom operations.


EATING CROW: Hermogenes Esperon was eating a lot of crow in today's Press Conference as everything that transpired there vindicates the accusations made against him and the administration by Vice Gov. Manny Pinol, Zamboanga Mayor Celso Lobregat and other local govt officials, that the AFP has been restraining its troops from acting against MILF incursions like those in the towns and muncipalities mentioned in North Cotabato.


SALING PUSA Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro is largely a bit-player and water-carrier in these tableaux involving the MILF, Mindanao and the "peace process". But I thought he made the most important point today that compliance with the government's ultimatum for insurgents to vacate these towns they have attacked and occupied, is a test of the MILF's good faith. It's also a test of the government's continued credibility with the populace not only in Mindanao but everywhere.

20 comments:

Jego said...

Nice going there, MILF. Way to kill whatever was left of your sincerity in pursuing peace. This will just give the government justification for immorally using the full might of the military on your collective asses.

Great God Almighty, we humans suck! It will be a great day indeed when we're finally wiped off from the face of this planet.

Pedestrian Observer GB said...

So far there are 13K evacuees and 80 houses burned down by the MILF according to reports gathered from the provincial government as relayed by an IP NGO worker in the area.

So pathetic and the protagonist are supposed to be on the road to peace.... at the rate this thing goes it is becoming more like looking for an excuse to escalate the violence.....

john marzan said...

i think the MILF are just driving out the christians in the area in preparation for the referendum next year on whether these areas will vote in favor of being part of the new bangsamoro nation.

danilo ignacio said...

The question is who has been dirtily and mischievously fooling around in the peace processes with the Moro people? For about 12 years, nothing good has been heard of that benefited the entire Moro populace in the unilateral implementation of the 1996 GRP-MNLF Final Peace Agreement by the government. Still for about 11 years now, nothing has been done in the GRP-MILF Peace Talks except to find alibis to stall its continuous process despite the tiresome redundant rhetoric of government’s peace policy.

The failure in the formal signing of the MOA-AD is a clear reproof therefore a disproof to what PGMA claims of her Strong Filipino Republic. She failed to unite those in her turf with those in the opposition even the collective concern at hand deals with the national welfare. But one thing is sure that send clear signal in the minds of the Moro people now: Filipinos – be they government oppositions or allies, unite when dealing against the Moros.

You are absolutely wrong John, it’s the Moros that had been driven away from their ancestral lands now grabbed and occupied by landless Christian settlers -- including Vice Gov. Manny Piñol who is just protecting his rubber plantation in North Cotabato. Please don’t reverse history; it will curse you otherwise.

Jego said...

In your opinion, danilo, was the occupation of the Cotabato towns by force, while negotiations are still not finalized, justified? Was it wise? If you were an MILF leader, would you have ordered the same thing? What possible good would come of this, in your opinion?

DJB Rizalist said...

danilo,
come, come. Under the old Moro sultanates, how many Moros do you claim owned any land?

Not even the Sultan! since there was no concept of land ownership as even Eid Kabalu admits.

Their concept of property was human slavery. All these ideas about ancestral domains are modern inventions. They did not exist in the Moro Taliban times.

danilo ignacio said...

Jego, Cotabato towns there are not occupied, the Moro people fighting there who are but MILF members are already been there since they are native inhabitants of those places. They are just pushed away towards the interior portions due to the massive land grabbing of their lands with the backing of the expansionism of local governments there which happened to be Christian.

danilo ignacio said...

Dean, I don't know what you're talking about or what dirty thoughts you keep on encysting in your head. Please do not equate those Moro sultans before or our revolutionary leaders with today's dirty Moro politicians who own vast tracts of illegally grabbed lands like those greedy Filipino hacienderos in Luzon and Visayas. They are not the same. Hope you got that elementary education to separate husks from grains. Do not lump them together.

DJB Rizalist said...

danilo,
wouldn't it be better if the insurgents were to lay down their arms and live under the Rule of Law to press any claims of land grabbing.

But if you are referring to "history" then its useless and war without end is what we face because there is no way to turn back the hands of time and make wholesale reparations.

Besides, how do the Moros who kidnapped and enslaved Christians make reparation for their criminal transgressions in history.

My point is, isn't there enough blame to go around? Surely you are not claiming that the Moros were innocent of terrible crimes in history too?

Can't we call it all even steven and live and work in peace for a common upliftment?

Surely the simple Christian folk and the simple Muslim folk have suffered more or less equally?

danilo ignacio said...

“Wouldn't it be better if the insurgents were to lay down their arms and live under the Rule of Law to press any claims of land grabbing.” That is a magnanimous proposal Dean. But the question is, in the context of Philippine political system, can this “Rule of Law” deal with the Moros fairly? Has there been an instance that this “Rule of Law” has dealt with the Moros impartially? How can you assure that this “Rule of Law” will deal justly with the Moros this time? Look at what’s going on in the Philippine Justice System. Look at what currently goes on in the Court of Appeals, even in the Supreme Court. Is that the kind of Rule of Law you are palming off to the Moro people?

Jego said...

Danilo, that didnt really answer any of my questions, did it?

Let me rephrase then. In your opinion was the attacking of the Cotabato towns, burning homes, stealing farm animals and driving the residents away during a critical harvest time period, while negotiations are still not finalized, justified? Was it wise? If you were an MILF leader, would you have ordered the same thing? What possible good would come of this, in your opinion?

DJB Rizalist said...

danilo,
i think that the Rule of Law cannot be guaranteed except when an overwhelming majority of the people uphold it for its own sake, even those who are disadvantaged at first. I know this is hard to accept, but that is really the way it works. If we try to exact guarantees at the point of a gun, we are sure to get the Rule of Force and not the Rule of Law.

There is only one thing for sure. There is no force stronger than a Rule of Law that has popular support. Real popular support, even by adversaries and mortal enemies, for when such antagonists stand by the Law, who will stand against them?

Bren said...

ignacio's thesis seems to be "MILF has to demonstrate manly strength and brutality" to warn Malacanang that the MILF will follow the rule of law. And "off with their heads" if you think the MILF is kidding!!!!

blackshama said...

Danilo

In the Sultanates, the whole land was "owned" by the rulers. The concept of property was based on slavery. While the Quran deals with slavery and says it is acceptable under certain circumstances,the Prophet himself released slaves.

I think the Rule of Law that you keep on harping about also exists in Islam. Unless you are selective in what law you refer to. Are you referring to Sharia?

This selectivity is offensive at least. Even Sharia is based on a concept justice. Your allusions are devoid of that.

manuelbuencamino said...

Dean,

I know the Americans want peace in Mindanao but why are the they supporting this particular peace deal?

How is it in the US national interest to further the establishment of an MILF state?

I can see why the Malaysians would love a puppet buffer state but what do the Americans gain by it?

danilo ignacio said...

Jego, your line is very familiar, that line is usually trailed by military psyche-war experts. Ask them where this information comes from, they will tell you confidently that it comes from the “unimpeachable” intelligence reports. Have they verified it on the ground? None at all. You Jego, have you gone the same just to verify what you hear or read from the news? None at all, right? And these news come from the same “unimpeachable” source. You are just fed up by news reports “on the field” which usually come from these military intelligence reports. And what is expected of it? I think you are enlightened enough that mainstream news reports are nothing but oozing from mainstream sources considered as the only “official” therefore “valid” source of reports. God save journalism in the Philippines!

“…the Rule of Law cannot be guaranteed EXCEPT WHEN AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE UPHOLD IT FOR ITS OWN SAKE, even those who are disadvantaged at first. I know this is hard to accept, but that is really the way it works.” This is the loophole of western democracy Dean, this but tragically amounts to “tyranny of number” i.e. the dictatorship of the majority over the minority. If I ask you Dean, is majority decision always right all the time? If majority wins, does that mean its decision is legitimate and the minority’s not? If majority wins by virtue of number, what about the sentiments of the minority which can still be qualified as legitimate even by simple moral standard? Now then, in the Philippine society, who is the majority that exercises great influence over how public affairs shall be administered? And when matter pertains this time to the general welfare, let alone inherent rights, of the Moro people, has there been an instance that this majority i.e. Filipinos made something good for the minority Moros ever since the Philippine world begun? Of surety, such an imagined remarkable Filipino generosity shall be a sheer rebellion against Filipino history. As such, the Moro when taking up arms in expressing their discontent over their lot with the majority, they just want to tell to the majority not play fool and hypocrite of their Rule of Law when the matter pertains to the Moros. But that is not the case, right? As handled down by their colonial masters, the colonial legacy instructs Filipinos that Moro rights are no rights at all, and it shall still be a good thing, say a Filipino generosity, when Moros remain even a second-class citizen in the Philippine society.

Blackshama, for all of my life, I was not yet able to read in world history about the sultanate being essentially attached to land ownership. That is not the system in the East, but in the West, a societal order influenced by Machiavellism, a system of governance that derives “legitimacy” from greed for power, wealth and land ownership. And this is foreign to the Sultanate, a branch of Caliphate loaded with the mandate and obligation in the overseeing of the general welfare and institution and establishment of a socially healthy public order.

But when there had been contacts between the East and the West, due to the latter’s unbridled adventurism and obsession for gold and kingdom expansion (i.e. Western imperialism as so called during these “enlightened” days) this “Machiavellian greed” was able to infect some corrupt royalties who usually ascended to power illegitimately. We have known many “Moro sultans” whose “enthronements” were facilitated by American and European colonizers. We know how Westerners dealt with those antagonist datus and replaced them with their puppet datus. The same is also done today by America and Europe around the world today. As I said, in the world order today or even in the past, you usually see America and the West either sponsoring puppet regimes or backing up insurgency groups wishing to topple down popular governments antagonist to the West. Eh?

Jego said...

Danilo, you may treat the question as hypothetical if you prefer. Rephrasing further:

IF the reports are true, in your opinion was the attacking of the Cotabato towns, burning homes, stealing farm animals and driving the residents away during a critical harvest time period, while negotiations are still not finalized, justified? Was it wise? If you were an MILF leader, would you have ordered the same thing? What possible good would come of this, in your opinion?

I want to know where youre coming from. I want to be sure if you are against violence and the killing of innocents. I have not verified whether what you say is true either, that is, I have not verified that the attacks did not occur. There is really no reason to believe your report on this, just as there is no reason to believe the military. So treat the question as a hypothetical.

Jego said...

As I said, in the world order today or even in the past, you usually see America and the West either sponsoring puppet regimes or backing up insurgency groups wishing to topple down popular governments antagonist to the West.

Interesting. Were you aware that the Americans are supporting this BJE deal with the MILF? Are you insinuating the MILF is one of those puppets?

danilo ignacio said...

Jego, never did i insinuate in any of my words that i shall be what you want me to be. I am a Muslim and as much as I can, i want to live by the Qur'anic rebuff against inflicting any hardships upon the innocents-muslims or non-muslims alike. do not put your thoughts in my mouth.

"Were you aware that the Americans are supporting this BJE deal with the MILF? Are you insinuating the MILF is one of those puppets?"

America supporting the BJE? Really? But not at all. America just "supports" the GRP-MILF peace talk. Do you see the big difference? Or perhaps America must have to support BJE because it shares the blame for the Mindanao conflict when US left Moro affairs at the disposal of the settlers.

Does America smuggle armaments to the MILF? Not at all. So MILF can never a puppet of America. But it has been supporting the Philippine Government in whatever matters concerning the Moro people in the South, but perhaps not Arroyo, this time. You know the traits of USA. Wait and see, like an owl, then turns a vulture.

Jego said...

Jego, never did i insinuate in any of my words that i shall be what you want me to be. I am a Muslim and as much as I can, i want to live by the Qur'anic rebuff against inflicting any hardships upon the innocents-muslims or non-muslims alike. do not put your thoughts in my mouth.

Eh? When did I put words in your mouth? And what, pray tell, do I want you to be? I dont even know you. Anyway, with the above, you answered my hypothetical question. Thanks. By declaring that you rebuff harming innocents, I embrace you as a brother.

Now on to the other bit about the Yanks. Wait and see is a good attitude to take. The US seems pretty interested, as you said, in the GRP-MILF talks which includes -- surprise! -- the BJE. Wait and see indeed.