MSU terrorists bombing

STRAIGHT TO THE POINT - Atty. Ruphil Bañoc - The Freeman

“Today, we draw a line between the forces of civilization and the forces of barbarism. It is time for everyone to decide where they stand.” – Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Terrorist ISIS already claimed responsibility for the bombing attack during a Catholic Mass inside a gym at the Mindanao State University (MSU) last week that killed four people and injured many. The PNP identified the two suspects as Kadapi Mimbesa, alias “Engineer”, and Arsani Mimbesa, alias “Katab”. They are operatives of Dawlah Islamiya-Maute Group.

The more tragic part of this story is that there seems to be no end to attacks of this kind. The enemies, the terrorists, have engaged in a non-conventional war. They are faceless. They observe no decent rules. They sow terror or fear in the hearts of innocent civilians to achieve their objectives --the greater the anxiety, the better!

The only language that they know is violence. They are not fit to be in any dialogue. The only option against them is to crush them. But the next question is how?

There is one thing that I know about an organization or group. Such will only survive with a modicum of support from civilians.

What is also terrifying is that any terrorist organization can grow into an unimaginable monster. Their presence may only be felt in some places in Mindanao now. But that is just for now. If we are not careful enough, they can spread throughout the archipelago, and we will find ourselves more helpless than ever to stop them. Yes, these people have the potential of invading an entire country where they are free to rape and murder anyone.

My heart breaks at the thought of the families who have to bear the pain of losing their loved ones brutally. That’s why I join civilized men and women in condemning such cowardly and bestial attacks.

Peace remains elusive in the Land of Promise. Despite the best efforts of the government to achieve peace, such as a truce with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and other groups, it looks like we are still far from achieving such peace. The reasons are many.

It is, of course, not fair for anyone to heap the blame on the vast majority of our peace-loving Muslim brothers. Those extremists are but a tiny minority among Muslims, but even if they are in the minority, they still exert so much power. That is why they have to be defeated.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's words apply: "Victory over these enemies begins with moral clarity. It starts with knowing the difference between good and evil, between right and wrong." The deliberate killing of innocent people finds no justification in any civilized society.

As we continue our many activities in line with the Christmas season and Sinulog festival, let's continue to pray for protection and be vigilant to keep us safe from people who spread terror.

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