Archive for August, 2008

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A Time to Arm?

August 25, 2008

The prices of rice and oil are not the only “commodities” that have gone up around here. The prices of guns have also gone up!
Due to recent terrorist atrocities of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), many of the Christian population have decided to arm themselves. According to Mayor Cruz, armed Iliganons have said they do not want to continue “playing underdog“. Rebels will have a hard time doing an all out offensive in this city. It seems the citizens themselves will fight them, with or without military help.
Nevertheless, the rebels are pursuing non-confrontational strategies. Just recently, a grenade was seen in the city center. This incident, however, would not cow the Iliganons, this will just prove to them that they need to be more vigilant.
Iligan, however, is not the only city suffering from the law of supply and demand associated with guns. General Santos City seems to be having the same problem. Gun prices there have increased to more than 100%.
The Mindanao populace is tired of the same old government versus MILF game. For dozens of times in history, the military had the power to finally crush those rebels, but newer peace talks always prevented them from destroying them completely. Peace talks only gave the MILF time to regroup, and power to strike again at a later time. Should history repeat itself and the government fooled by another peace treaty, the government would find a different situation among the civilians. Many of them are already bearing arms. Many of them have also taken Vice Governor Piñol’s words to heart:
If the government cannot defend us, then WE WILL DEFEND OURSELVES.

Source:
1. Iligan folk seek St. Michael help, also bear arms
2. Grenade recovered from Iligan City’s business district
3. War ups gun prices, drains bullet stock in Mindanao
4. Gov’t-MILF clashes go on in Cotabato

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Iligan City Hall Sights

August 20, 2008

Considering that the military is in hot pursuit of the murdering Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) terrorists, and that several tanks and troops are stationed in Iligan, that Bravo terrorist would find it hard to even dare attack the city.

Here are some snapshots of our defenders.
Tank2
Here’s a tank and some soldiers I saw parked at the foot of the hill where the Iligan City Hall stands.

Tank
Here’s the same tank shown at another angle.

Here are a few of several dozen cars and jeeps parked around the City Hall. Something secret is definitely afoot here.
Cars
Defense Meetings perhaps?

PS My suspicions were correct after all. Here’s what happened:
The Frustrated general walks out of meeting with Iligan City execs .

Here’s a quote from the link:
[Also during the meeting, Iligan City councilors blamed the current government for allowing the MILF, the largest secessionist group in the country, to return to the camps seized by the military in the all-out war in 2000.]

–AIE BALAGTAS SEE, GMANews.TV

At last, our voices are being heard…

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Viva Iligan!

August 20, 2008

Amid rumored MILF attacks and after the panic last night, Iligan seemed normal today.
I was expecting a subdued air, and perhaps see a little Christian vs. Muslim animosity, but nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary, at least on the outside. I’m not so sure about what is going inside of the people’s minds.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but think of the words of our Mayor, Laurence Cruz as he appealed for calm to the panicked citizens of last night. I couldn’t recall his exact words but after hearing them in a replay this morning, I couldn’t help but be inspired. His words made me proud to be Iliganon. The people made a good choice in making him Mayor.
In the speech, he appealed for:

Calm.
Bravery.
Community.
And Solidarity.

He also urged community leaders to lead the people under them, to prepare for the worst, and fight if the need arose. He also mentioned the presence of the tanks and the several thousand strong army defending Iligan.
He also mentioned that the people of Iligan should not be afraid because God and Senior San Miguel was on our side. He closed his speech with a, “Viva Senior San Miguel!,” to which the people heartily replied a “Viva”.
Although, I’m Protestant and do not agree with Catholic veneration of saints and even angels, I could not help but realize that the Mayor was speaking the heart language of the Iliganon, something that they could understand. He was speaking the old language of the Spanish times at the time when the citizens of the old fort of Iligan defended the fort and even waged battle against the Moros. Historically, even though Iligan was just a doorstep away from the Moro stronghold of Marawi, it was never conquered by Muslims despite the fact that at that time their pirates raided Christian towns as far away as Luzon.
The citizens attributed the miracle of Iligan’s fortitude to San Miguel, known in English as St. Michael the Archangel. Legends about miracles against invading Moros abound in Iligan folk history. In the legends, marauding Muslims would suddenly lose sight of Iligan as they move in to conquer. All they would see would be a large basin of water that corresponded to the land of Iligan. Other legends mention Muslims seeing a very beautiful lady and a child with wings poised above Iligan. The old ones say that the lady is the virgin Mary and the winged child is San Miguel.
When the mayor appealed to the intercession of San Miguel, he let loose words that were spoken only during the fiesta, a day when Catholic Iliganons celebrate San Miguel’s protection over the city. He awakened the latent racial memory of the Iliganons, and let them remember that throughout history Iligan had withstood violent Muslims.
Now that a new violent Muslim threat in the form of the terrorist MILF stands poised to attack Iligan, Mayor Cruz instilled hope and confidence to the populace that the city would survive and perhaps even come out strong now that they are rallying under the banner of God and Senior San Miguel.

As a Protestant, I, of course, would not rally under the banner of San Miguel. Yet for the sake of the safety of Iligan I would rally under the banner of Mayor Laurence Cruz.
“Maayong Iligan! Viva Iligan!”

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Panic in Iligan

August 19, 2008

Panic struck the city center earlier this night. People flocked to the City Hall for protection by military forces stationed there. Text messages soon followed warning of imminent MILF attacks.
Much of the rest of the populace is now in anticipatory mood.
General Luna of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has issued his statement for the populace to remain calm and to trust in them. He has also appealed to the citizens not to forward these messages as they only bring more harm than good.

PS I just heard this piece of news. It seems that this incident was sparked by a drunk who shouted,”M-I*.”

*A word used around here for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) terrorists.

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Bomb Threat Tomorrow!

August 18, 2008

I’ve just received a new text message that purports to be originally from someone who was told by concerned Muslims:

Ayaw jd pglaag2 ugma.ny moboto na bomb 2mrrw.pls lng jd.
Don’t go loitering tomorrow. A bomb will blow up tomorrow. Please.

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Really?

August 18, 2008

This news hasn’t been confirmed yet, but I recently received another text message. It goes like this:

Curfew hours for all ages will be implemented starting tonight: 10pm-5am. Classes are suspended in all levels for public and private schools tomorrow. Regular working day for government employees…

I’ve just confirmed that this message is true. No classes tomorrow for all levels. Just be safe, everyone. Be safe.

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A Word of Advice

August 18, 2008

This is a word of advice to the President of the Philippines.

Madam,
If you want to reclaim the support of Mindanao residents, please wipe out the MILF rebels. Declare their group as a terrorist organization, and refuse dialog with them.

The people here are talking of the “good old days of Erap” when he crushed the power of the MILF. Many still curse the day that Erap was toppled from power considering that he had almost solved the problem of the MILF insurgency. They say that it was a mistake that the Arroyo government opened negotiations with them. They also say that the Philippines is now reaping the effects of the “peace process”.
The MILF has already shown its true colors. It would be treasonous and inhuman to let them legitimately rule a part of the country. They could not even control their commanders and sub-commanders, how can they be expected to rule a state!
Besides, these murders are a foreshadowing of what they would do to their would be denizens.
Please protect your people from them…