Still no peace in Mindanao

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Freeman) - July 31, 2014 - 12:00am

If there was anything that marred Pres. Benigno Aquino III's State of the Nation Address last Monday, it was a dastardly crime that happened in Talipao, Sulu where some 40 suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf led by Idang Susukan and Sibh Pisih ambushed a two vehicle convoy of Tamaraw Public Utility vehicles with some 40 civilians on board and sprayed automatic gunfire on the convoy killing 23 people and wounding 14 others. So much for the Philippines observance of the Eid'l Fitr, where Muslims are now killing their fellow Muslims.

This gives us a picture that all is not well in Mindanao regardless of what the Yellow propagandists are saying about peace in Mindanao. In his previous SONA, PNoy crowed that peace in Mindanao was at hand. A year later, we only hear of killings, ambuscades that kills our soldiers and many civilians. As we've said before, there can be no real peace until and unless the Philippine government brings on board all the armed groups roaming in Mindanao to participate in the peace talks.

One major armed group is the New People's Army  which has been conducting many ambuscades, using Improvised Explosive Devices like land mines. Let me say it here that under the presidency of Pres. PNoy Aquino, the NPA has grown by leaps and bounds owing to the fact that  PNoy has befriended the extreme left to the point that he allowed the reduction of the budget for military intelligence. This is why last year, some 200 NPAs attacked the Del Monte Pineapple Plantation in Camp Philips in Bukidnon because the military did not have the right intelligence to anticipate such a massive attack.

Of course today, Pres. Aquino is facing three impeachment complaints coming from groups like Makabayan, which are allied front organizations of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its legal front organization, the National Democratic Front. The very same groups that supported the Yellow presidency is now in the forefront of getting PNoy out of office… by hook or by impeachment or if that fails, by armed revolution. Yes, I heard that some 20,000 armed NPAs are already in Metro Manila poised to attack strongholds of the Philippine government.

This is why Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV last Tuesday blurted out that some retired generals linked to former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo are plotting a coup to remove PNoy. The Armed Forces of the Philippines  through its spokesman Col. Zagala was quick to douse cold water on this accusation that there were no destabilization plots against Pres. PNoy. Of course, coming from Sen. Trillanes who was once a coup plotter himself, I won't disregard or dismiss this story as a mere rumor. Let me just put it this way, "If there's smoke, there must be fire!"

Looking at the video images of the police line and the militant protesters at the Batasan reminded me that history was repeating itself. If you recall, the same Batasan Complex also hosted the unlamented monolith that was the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan that proclaimed then Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos as the real winner of the February 1986 Snap Elections and that the challenger Tita Cory Aquino lost in that elections.

So now it is the turn of Pres. Aquino to face those militant protesters but mind you, they are no longer the same people that protested in the streets against the conjugal Marcos Dictatorship. These are young kids who probably were not yet born when we had the EDSA Revolt in 1986. But it just tells us that nothing much has changed in the Philippines in the 28 years since we had the EDSA Revolt. This is why we are batting for change.

Last July 27th, my dear friend former President of the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines and my textmate Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla of Davao City issued an open letter entitled SC to BS Aquino: "Thou Shall Not Steal" BS Aquino to SC: "Go to Hell." Since it's a bit long, let me reprint his most important message in that letter.

"We have to put it in this very blunt, exaggerated and perhaps irreverent way to remind ourselves , especially our simple people, who PNoy call his bosses, that the entire country, not just the government under him, is in terrible crisis, a very precarious situation indeed.  Social unrest and the imminent possibility of a revolution, a change of government can result from this.

A peaceful systemic change has also been proposed through social media through the National Transformation Council while calls for the impeachment or resignation of BS Aquino and Sec. Florencio Abad are getting louder. What are the causes of these possibilities, our people exposed only to and fed by gov't-controlled media want to know." I agree with Bishop Capalla and hope that the President would listen to his words of wisdom; after all, his left-leaning friends have abandoned him and are now on the streets in protest.

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