Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

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A Time to Fight?

August 18, 2008

Online news haven’t picked this out yet, but at least two municipalities in Lanao del Norte have been captured by Muslim MILF rebels.
Kolambugan’s Central School has been torched. Hostages, all of them Christian, have been lined up by the rebels to stand on the edge of the highway. Houses in Kauswagan are burning. People there are racing to the coasts for protection. A steady stream of refugees are being observed from the checkpoint to the city of Iligan. This is war.
People are now demanding retaliation. They are asking the mayor if they could take up arms. Gone is the docile air which characterized previous rebel incursions. In the past, the fighting was about ideology. Today, the people have realized that it is ultimately about land. They do not want anyone to take over what is rightfully theirs.
To his benefit, the mayor has called to seek the path of peace and not to panic. This advice, however, would only show a short term effect.

If your city is being bombed, would you not fight?
If your house is being burned, would you not fight?
If your friends, neighbors, and relatives are held up as hostage; would you not fight?
If your government has sold your land to rebels, would you not fight?
If it refuses to give air support several hours even a day after the fighting has erupted, would you not fight?
And if it has abandoned you to suffer in the hands of the rebels to teach you a lesson for protesting against a “peace treaty”, would you not fight?

The government should act now, or the people will. Whatever laws protecting rebels from the hands of civilians would be disregarded in favor of the law of self defense. During the Muslim uprising in the 1970s the military dutifully aided the loyal population against the rebels. In this current uprising, the government has dilly-dallied to perform its duty for the protection of its people. It took popular uproar to begin the military offensive against rebels occupying North Cotabato towns, and to think the rebels had been there for over a month! It remains to be seen how long the government would respond to this occupation.
The Vice Governor of North Cotabato may indeed be speaking the truth. The government may have abandoned us as fodder for the rebels. We know there is a time for peace, is it now the time to fight?

PS As of current report, there was a conference of Catholic priests in Kolambugan. One priest is said to have been captured and is being held hostage.

PPS As of current report, this priest has managed to hide along with 5 other priests. Several hostages, however, have been killed. The military has given the go signal for the civilians to be vigilant.

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Iligan Bombed

August 17, 2008

Several bombs have just exploded in Iligan.
Of the 7 rumored to blow up, 2 have been reported so far to have succeeded in blowing up budget hotels in the city. I don’t know what the current situation is. The radio stations have signed off. Local and most international channels from our Cable operator have mysteriously gone into static mode.
What’s more, according to a text message I’ve just received, the DEPED Director for Region XII has said that the Muslim rebels have descended in Dilabayan, Lanao del Sur; which is quite near to the city.
Apparently, the rebels were angered at the city’s rejection of the Memorandum of Agreement between them and the government (GRP-MILF MOA) for the formation of an Islamic state in Mindanao that would be called the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE). Just recently, they accused Mayor Cruz of paying the citizens to rally against the signing of the GRP-MILF MOA. The mayor forcefully and responsibly denied this allegation when he was interviewed earlier today in the ANC. Several hours later, the bombs began to blow up.
Please pray for us. War is coming…

Bomb blasts in Iligan

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Bombed

August 17, 2008

Last I heard, 4 bombs have just exploded in Iligan.
The first one blew up this afternoon on 5:45 pm. It was followed by 3 more as of 8pm. People here, however, are not that surprised. Text messages warning Muslims from visiting certain places had been circulating since about 2 weeks ago. Somehow these messages leaked to the Christian population, and that’s how most of the population had foreknowledge of this event.
Rumor has it also that the plan was to blow up 7 bombs. I don’t know if the supposed 3 other bombs have already blown up, considering that the radio stations have all signed off for the night, and that most of the local channels of our Cable provider have mysteriously gone on static mode. One bomb might have ended up blowing off part of the Cable company’s equipment, but this would be made clear tomorrow when the radio stations would be broadcasting again if their equipment would not be blown off during the night.
The text messages clearly pointed to the MUJAHEDIN as the perpetrators of the bombings. These messages blamed Mayor Cruz for the words that he said after he learned that 82% of the city would have been given to the rebels according to the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the formation of the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE).
Just this day, I’ve also learned that the MILF rebels have even dared to accuse the mayor of paying the citizens of Iligan (Iliganons) to protest against the MOA that was to have been signed in Malaysia. Our mayor forcefully and responsibly denied this allegation during his interview with the ANC. In doing so, he defended the integrity of the city against the libelous rebels.
I think the rebels planted these bombs in retaliation for the city’s rejection of the supposed peace treaty between Christian and Muslim, but which is now becoming a rally point for war. Btw, the other majority Christian areas Zamboanga City and North Cotaboto affected by the MOA also had their share of bombs. Fortunately for them they had their bombs successfully defused.
Nevertheless, I fear more will be coming, not only for Mindanao but also for faraway Manila considering that Muslim rebels have bombed Manila in the past for less grave concerns. Yet strangely, the government is still hell bent to continue the “peace” process despite the fact that the rebels clearly are not honoring their side of the bargain.
There is only one recourse for this situation. These rebels should be wiped out cleanly from this side of the world. They have just made the first move. Let the government, if it really is serving the welfare of its loyal citizens, retaliate. Let the government strike hard, harder than what Russia did to Georgia. Cripple them so they may no longer have the power to fight back! Show them what justice is. Extend justice in the name of the citizens that you serve for the rebels’ kidnappings, murders, rapes, and theft. Show them that their actions have corresponding consequences.
Peace in Mindanao cannot come from peace treaties. Retribution is the only way. Justice is the true path to peace not only in Mindanao but also the world.

PS I just received another text message. It says that the rebels have descended near the city. Please pray for us. War is coming…

PPS Official reports say there were only two bombs which blew up. Fortunately, the suspect was one of the victims of the blasts. Serves him right…

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Disgraced

August 7, 2008

The average resident of Iligan (Iliganon) doesn’t know that one of the major personages in the consultations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) a fellow Iliganon. He goes by the name of Prof. Rudy Rodil.
Currently, however, Iliganons who know about his part in the negotiations for the formation of the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity are smoldering in anger against him. They feel betrayed that a fellow Iliganon was instrumental in the would-be-giving away of 8 barangays, constituting 82% of the city’s area, to the MILF rebels; and that that Iliganon kept the deal secret from his fellow citizens.
I’ve heard that he expressed his desire to explain his side, but the City Council is refusing to hear him out. I can understand their sentiment. I wouldn’t want to hear his silly speech which would be about finally giving peace a chance in Mindanao. I would merely shout him down and call him BETRAYER, TRAITOR, and GMA-PAWN.
Btw, he hasn’t returned to the city yet since his incursion to Malaysia when the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was nipped. Much blood is still boiling in the city, and the sight of him might aggravate the already tense situation.
I recently heard that the guy is homesick. He texted someone with this message, “Ok naba mubalik ko dira?
Can I come back now?
I don’t know how the text recipient replied to him, but if I was the one who received that text I would tell him to FORGET ABOUT IT, AND THAT IT WOULD BE BETTER THAT HE ROT IN MALAYSIA.

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Chaos to Come

August 3, 2008

I predict chaos should the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels ensues on August 5. They are planning to create a Muslim state claiming this contains “ancestral domain” inside the country, in effect giving up sovereignty on Philippine soil. I believe they are also opening old wounds.
It should be remembered that during the 1970s Muslim and Christian fought each other for control of Mindanao land. I wasn’t eve born during those times, but I’ve heard stories about them. Muslims died in Christian hands. Christians died in Muslim lands. Mass migrations emptied villages of Christian or Muslim minorities. The Christian population of Marawi City dwindled in a few years. Muslims from the lowlands quickly took shelter in Marawi.
Work spanning decades for the peace process between Christian and Muslim would be wiped out with an exchange of signatures. I fear that if the deal pushes through, the government would not be dealing with just a Muslim rebellion. It would also face a Christian rebellion against the enforced Muslim statehood upon them. It should also be noted that the MILF doesn’t represent the opinion of the Muslim people. Notable Muslim personages such as the Sultan of Sulu, who has the most legitimate claim for “ancestral domain” along with other leaders have also spoken against this deal.
Furthermore, we don’t know exactly what the deals between the government and the rebels really contain. The meetings are held in secret. They would only be revealed after the signing. Yet the rebels really don’t seem to care for peace, as much as ownership of the land. They have been attacking villages and burning houses even during the “peace” negotiations, and yet the government still listens to them.

So I appeal to those who are outside Mindanao to include us in your prayers.
Pray for real peace in this land, not the peace of surrender, nor the peace of enforced silence, but true peace that comes only from the Prince of Peace. Pray that this heavily politicized deal will not push through. Also pray for our safety.

Sources:
1. Muslims, Christians to stage protest vs gov’t-MILF deal
2. Solons protest secrecy around Mindanao peace talks
3. 250 families flee as Moro rebels attack N. Cotabato village

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SOLD!

August 2, 2008

We have been sold to rebels!
Secretly, the President brokered a deal with Muslim rebels and has granted them land. The deals were so secret that I’ve just heard that 3 barangays in my city, and about 3 municipalities in my province have been included in the deal. Yet those are only small cuts of the cake that she has stuffed into the mouths of murderers and kidnappers. I heard even Palawan is included in the deal. Citing grand words such as these lands were ancestral Muslim domains, she has in effect surrendered the government’s sovereignty on them. Heck! If she truly believes those words she must give up even Manila to the rebels, considering Manila was ruled by Muslim rajahs during the Spanish colonization.
Our President is desperate. She wants to stay in power, and in order to do so she is courting Muslim favor since the Christian population have been giving her negative approval ratings. Now I wonder how could anyone from her loyalist camp have the guts to stay with her. She is accused of allowing Chinese military ships to spy on Philippine waters. And to add to her sins to the country, she has bowed down to rebel demands.
On another note, I think it’s fishy that Malaysia seems to be too helpful with brokering peace between the Philippine government and the rebels. It is also interesting to note that the only gains that Malaysia-brokered deals have made is the sustenance of the insurgence. Perhaps Malaysia is afraid that really peace would bring a unified Philippine government that would lay claim to the disputed Sabah territory, a region that Malaysia claims as its own.
In the meantime, my city would not act like sheep sold to the slaughter. There would be a rally come Monday as we voice out our protest against this betrayal. Let all those who still have a little love left for this country ring their voices. This is our land. Nobody has the power to give this to anyone!

Source: GMA

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NAIA Blunder

April 3, 2008

What a blunder!
How incompetent can staff from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) get! First, they discriminate against Filipinos queuing up upon arrival. Luli, the Philippine President’s daughter noticed this and complained to one of them. She got shouted at in return. That incident, btw, is the second reason. Third, they let in unauthorized personnel to “protect” Lozada.
Recently, another blunder has happened in the ground of that infamous airport, Continental Micronesia Airlines wanted to pat down Tommy Remengesau, Jr., the PRESIDENT OF PALAU before his scheduled departure for Palau!* His Excellency, of course, refused. His flight left without him and his entourage.
I am personally embarrassed and ashamed of this blunder which happened on Philippine soil. I ask the President of Palau and all citizens of Palau to forgive us of this fault. I know you are deeply offended by this, and I hope to reassure you that this would not happen again. Nevertheless, I am just a blogger with no connections to the said airport. Yet, I am sure my country is doing its best to keep the relationship between our two countries vibrant. Please forgive us…

*Samhain13 pointed out that it was not the airport’s fault.
News posts such as this one, presented the airport staff in a bad light. For a more detailed and balanced report on the event, please click on this link. Unfortunately, I fell into the trap of the first post’s journalism. In turn, I also blamed the airport staff for something they did not do. This mistake, however, still does not excuse them from the three other faults mentioned.