Sunday, August 31, 2008

CHEATING OURSELVES

CHEATING OURSELVES

By Erick San Juan

How come we never tire in doing a bum steer? The perceived reason why millions of Filipinos no longer trust President Gloria Macapagal – Arroyo is because of the series of these bum steers she had made earlier – a stigma.

For the sake of peace and understanding between and among compatriots, it is about time that our leaders wake up to the reality that we are in an era when truth must be allowed to reign.

The problem is: here are new instances when some military and civil officials, in a bid to show us that they are hard-working and efficient (but in reality, are just trying to ingratiate themselves to the powers that be) - more often than not - end up with their feet in their mouths.

Almost just as soon as the military, using heavy artillery and aerial fire-power, “engaged” the rag-tag (but better equipped, better funded and better psyched) band of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) under Amir Ombra Kato in North Cotabato, government troops announced that they have virtually “cornered” the renegades. No more escape routes.

Ditto in Lanao del Norte, where the marauding band of Commander Bravo pillaged not just the crossroad town of Kolambugan, but also the municipalities of Maigo, Bacolod, Kauswagan and Tapayan, including the historical barrio of Tacub, Kauswagan town, a village where, in November 1971, about 50 Moslem voters hitching a ride in three logging trucks to their polling place, were massacred. This place is adjacent to Barangay Timoga, Iligan City, where the erstwhile presidential teenaged daughter Gloria Macaraeg-Macapagal was raised by her maternal grandmother, when the late President (then a congressman of Pampanga) was still keeping away from the preying eyes of the public.

In both instances, the military expended several million pesos worth of munitions by firing hundreds of rounds from its 105mm howitzers, 60mm and 80mm mortars and rockets from OV-10 bombers and attack helicopters.

As the battle raged, there were declarations from the military ground commanders that they have sealed off all of Bravo’s and Kato’s possible escape routes. By all and every means, they meant that there was no way that these heartless and mindless marauders can evade the dragnet laid out for them.

But, how come they are still on the loose? What happened? How come we got word that Kato has been sighted in an island near Labuan, while Bravo had landed in Sandakan, North Borneo? Accordingly, they arrived with their respective bodyguards two days apart. Our latest information is that these bandits have disappeared and took sanctuary in some islands that were once a territory of the Sultanate of Sulu.

But, unlike in those communities, the marauders who siege Maitum, Sarangani, simply exited by marching towards the nearby forest after they robbed and killed some denizens and ransacked stores of food and pharmacies of drugs and cure. They allegedly headed towards the direction of adjacent Sultan Kudarat, South and North Cotabatos and got lost under the thick canopies.

Although it is highly laudable for the government to have adopted a position of not talking to the MILF unless Bravo and Kato are surrendered, we can not help raising our eyebrows over that action, considering the claims that Gloria’s minions actually designed the peace-talks in such a way that it will end up in this grand double-cross.

We are equally intrigued by the ascent of Hadji Murad as Chair of the MILF, following the demise of Salamat Hashim. We are wondering who made it possible for Murad to assume the MILF’s baton. Surely, some unseen hands are also manipulating the day-to-day affairs of this shadowy break-away band that earlier disserted the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). We can only recall the fact that while Salamat was dying, the names he had been mentioning as his would-be successors are Alim Abdul Mimbantas, then the MILF’s Interior vice chair and Alim Omar Pasigan.

From out of the blue came in Murad, who is better known to be chummy-chummy with the late Fr. Jose Blanco, SJ, then the father provincial of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines and later with Soc-dems, Fr. Romeo “Archie” Intengan and National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales. In the first place, the Philippine government should have never dealt with this shadowy group of bandits.

Is it true that the battle for the control of Sabah has already been achieved by the Malaysian government in time for their national day? The Philippine administration allegedly authorized the establishment of a Philippine Consular Office in Sabah in disguise as facilitating the regularization of undocumented Filipino workers and migrants.

(Translation-it is a legitimate signal of surrendering our claim to the oil rich Sabah).

Oh,What a nightmare!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

NINOY, A HERO?

NINOY, A HERO?

By Erick San Juan

He, who thinks of the late senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. as a hero, must either be joking, or is unaware of who Ninoy really was.

This is never saying that the late Ninoy was evil. No, he was not. Only, like you and I, Ninoy was an ordinary mortal. We just have yet to find something he did that made him stand out above the rest of us. In short, Ninoy’s supposed fete is nothing but hype – a product of the imagination of some vested interests.

What we are saying is our “hero” must be mischievously turning and laughing in his grave. With one of his eyes winking, he must be telling himself: Success! Look, no sweat. I was able to put one over the 92 million or so stupid Pinoys.

The checkered past of the late “Noxy,” as he was fondly called by his erstwhile peers in the fraternity of Filipino journalists, were indeed eye-poppers, or, at the very least, was an eyebrow-raiser. Like you and I, the late “Noxy” was an ordinary mortal – a “salsalero” – a writer who passes his imaginations off as a gospel truth like he worked with the CIA (read Conspiracies and Controversies).

To give you a glimpse on what a persona their much-revered idol really was, here it is:

First, a hero must be one whose sense of patriotism and selflessness is beyond reproach; second, he must have done something seamless for all to cherish, rather than just a distinct group much less, his own family to enjoy and lavish; and third, his motive for laying down his life and all of what he did to cause his martyrdom, must never be suspect.

In his lifetime, this highly controversial and slimy glib-talking Ninoy led a life of “palusot.” He quickly seized the admiration of his gullible editors as a result of his having established contact and maintained a liaison with the leaders of the communist rebel Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan (HMB) and its’ eventual break-away faction, the Maoist Bagong Hukbong Bayan (New Peoples Army) skippered by Jose Ma. Sison and Bernabe Buscayno. His liaison with the HMB went on even long after Kumander Alibasbas got slain in a massacre that followed one of Ninoy’s trips to the rebels’ mountain lair in his hometown of Concepcion, Tarlac.

Ninoy’s late arrival – his own version of a dramatic entrance - at the bombed out miting de avance of the Liberal Party in Plaza Miranda, Quiapo in 1971, made legions suspect that it was he who had the place blasted to eliminate as potential rivals to the Presidency of the Philippines, the likes of Senators Gerry Roxas, Ramon Mitra, and Jovito Salonga,etc.

No doubt, the reason why the Philippines is now experiencing a shooting war in its southern backdoor, is because of the Treason committed by Ninoy when he prematurely exposed a Top Secret of the Marcos regime to recover for the Sultanate of Sulu, the oil-rich island of Sabah, which was just on loan to the British Crown, but got appended to Malaysia when it became an independent nation. Because of Ninoy’s expose (which originated from a bedroom conversation between Major Eduardo “Abdul Latiff” Martelino and the wife of a publisher), Oplan Merdeka got pried open and many lives of young Filipino Muslim fighters got wasted away in an ensuing series of massacres at Corregidor island.

It is a known fact that since then, Malaysia had to contend with the reality that some day, somehow, it can wake up realizing that the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu now runs the territory that was leased to the British Crown centuries ago. Also, several times, Philippine Presidents have been making a killing out of the State’s claim on Sabah, which the Philippines government never gave up formally. So, in a bid to install an early warning device against potential national security threats posed by the Philippines ’ claim over Sabah , the Malaysians have to lavishly broker the peace parley between the Philippine government and a band of bandits and kidnappers calling themselves as the Mindanao Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Witnesses are still around. They were there when Ninoy discreetly entered the suite of then First Lady Imelda R. Marcos at New York ’s Waldorf Astoria with the help of a close 'friend' and accepted the suitcase-full of United States dollars for Ninoy’s promise that he will return "only" at the proper time. Ninoy insisted to return when he found out that President Marcos was seriously ill.

Fact is: While Ferdinand was having trouble with the kidney donated by his junior, Imelda was overly zealous and eager to takeover the reigns of government once Marcos breaths his last. And so was Ninoy. That accounted for the most potent reason why he had to be ordered eliminated. This was reconfirmed at ANC's Ricky Carandang's Big Picture talk show with Steve Psinakis and Precy Lopez Psinakis and replayed Sunday,August 24,2008 10 pm.

Through the deliberate leak of a foreign intelligence agency who fed Ninoy the information that Marcos was dying in Malacanang, Hacienda Luisita’s wonder boy immediately set a journey homeward bound with just one thing in mind – to capture the Presidency and quench his thirst and those of his confederates on the mullahs that usually accrue to the tenants of Malacanang. In fact, it was a now-sitting congressman from the north who helped Ninoy got his passport (showing that he was Marcial Bonifacio), upon his arrival in Taipei , Taiwan .

Now, Ninoy a Hero?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

RP IS BURNING!

RP IS BURNING!

By Erick San Juan

Just like Rome of the olden days, Mindanao is burning! And just like the blooded hands of Nero, the peoples’ blood are oozing on the otherwise tender and caring hands of few careless, incompetent and unmindful leaders of government. This situation is aggravated by the hidden agenda of the United States and Malaysia.

After the major offensives in Aleosan and Midsayap, North Cotabato, the rampaging elements of the Mindanao Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) unleashed its attack dogs in at least 6 towns of Lanao del Norte not just to murder innocent men, women, children and other civilians, but also to rob them of their cash, valuables and medicines. As if to sow intrigue, fear, panic and hatred between and among the Christian population and the peace-loving Maranaos in the area, the misguided, renegade and selfish adventurers first spared the Moslem population of their wrath by burning only the houses of the Christians.

Now, here is the nightmare. The legendary Ilagas are now up in arms ready to fight the muslim bandits/terrorists. Even Metro Manila has gone on full security alert posturing. All police and military forces in the area have their noses sniffing every nook and cranny of the metropolis. Gen.Geary Barias and his police force immediately made dialogues with our muslim brothers for them to assist our law enforcers.ARMM leaders condemned the atrocities done by the MILF. To neutralize the anger of the people,suddenly,MILF chieftain Al Haj Murad made a statement calling his warriors to stop the mess and two of his commanders will be investigated. Inspite of his rhetorics, the MILF attacked again thursday morning.

There are pockets of wars in Sarangani, Basilan, Lanao del Sur and even Sharif Aguak. There have been some ambuscades in the interior Lanaos.

In fact, the Christian folk in Mindanao’s population centers have begun arming themselves. Known to have active but unauthorized home defense militia units are the Christian-dominated towns of the Lanaos and the provinces of the old Kutawato. There are reports of armed mobilizations among Christians and non-Muslim hill tribes of the Zamboanga peninsula, Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental and the Davaos.

No doubt, the inferno is escalating. But who are in-charge on all of these? Who should the government be talking to? Why is Bert Gonzales very quiet despite his control of the NSC and NICA?

While the establishment is trying to demonstrate that it is well in control of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), could the same be said of the MILF?

For one, it is a sad commentary that one MILF leader says one thing and the other says another. But in sum, it looks apparent that the leaders of the small group of "romanticists" that broke off from Nur Misuari’s Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) (when it was about to enter into a final peace pact with the government in 1997) is not in control of the armed elements they call their mujahedeens or freedom fighters.Is Murad in control of his commanders? Or he's taken lightly by some of it's faction. Murad was a geodetic engineer who used to be a DPWH functionary during Marcos time according to a NISA(now NICA) report. When a graft case was filed against him,he metamorphosed as a rebel who joined the MNLF. When the faction of the late Hashim Salamat broke off with Nur Misuari,he joined Salamat's MILF.

On one hand, the Arroyo government has declared that even if the Supreme Court comes up with a ruling on the litigation over the stalled signing rites which had been aborted in Kuala Lumpur on august 5, 2008, it would no longer sign the barely negotiated, but hastily prepared and initialed Memorandum of Agreement on ancestral domain (MoA-AD), which it had tried but failed to slip in.

Now, here comes MILF chief negotiator Mohaquer Iqbal fanning the fire by insisting that as far as their group is concerned, the MoA-AD is a “done deal,” it having been initialed by the members of the peace panel of the government (GRP) earlier.

At another point, there are declarations by some reckless government functionaries saying that they will bring the abuses of the MILF before the bars of the United Nations. This is like dousing the fire with hi-octane gasoline! Do it and the mindless MILF will love you for doing just that? That is what they have been waiting for – a status of belligerency.

In the first place, no body should have bothered talking to this bunch of greedy, power-hungry Muslim political lightweights, who, during all these years, have been masquerading as scholars and the learned in their brood.

All of the peace processes have been done when the government entered into a successful peace agreement with the MNLF during the time of former President Fidel Ramos. Now, is time for everybody to acknowledge the majesty and the rule of law and reason? By the integration of all MNLF forces into the AFP, all the rest have lost their rights to bear arms, which they now must yield, or get slain brandishing them. Government must be resolute on this. No ifs, no buts.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mindanao: SOLD!

Mindanao: SOLD!

By Erick San Juan

It’s all over now, but the shouting. Indeed, the grant of ancestral domain to the Bangsamoro homeland may just be on a suspended animation, but to them, they consider this truly as a done deal! To them, the sale of Mindanao has been consummated many, many moons ago. It’s been signed, sealed and now, is in the process of getting delivered.

The cost? A whopping USD 3 billions?

Gadzali Jaafar (father-in-law of one of Malacanang’s key officials) and other MILF top brass are fully convinced that they have re-acquired their homeland through a “sale” that was consummated and allegedly paid for by their foreign benefactors, with funds mostly coming from international financial institutions, remitted to whose 'account' , which had reportedly gotten a cut of 40%?

Ever heard about BEDCO? Yes, BEDCO – It is the Bangsamoro Economic Development Council. This entity, which is tasked to organize a separate government, is allegedly funded by Malaysia. It shall serve as the policy-making body of the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE).

So, no matter what, the Mindanao Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a small break-away group that deserted the original Filipino mujahedeens, will employ anything and everything they can conceive about and all that they have – now and forevermore, if only to seize possession, control and exploitation over a huge chunk of Mindanao and Palawan islands. No wonder, this band of shrewd Ali Babas would even go as far as trying to link up with the much bigger Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) of Nur Misuari, who they had deserted decades ago.

Fact is: the Philippines government has an outstanding sovereignty claim over the island state of Sabah, which is owned by the Sultanate of Sulu. According to PLAN REVERSE ARROW, Malaysia, which exercises sovereignty over the disputed island state, finds it cheaper to bankroll a rebellion in the southern Philippines than to go to war with a neighbor known for its innovations and skills in combat tactics in spite of being ill-equipped.

On the other hand, gluttony and the greed for cash, which has been plaguing the leadership of the MILF appears to be enough for them to fight a proxy war in favor of Malaysia – over the island state of Sabah, if only to succeed in grabbing back the land and all the improvements introduced on them by the settlers from the north, to whom they have earlier sold their properties. By fighting this war, the MILF is in effect, providing Malaysia an effective buffer – a shield – against any attempt by the Philippine government to pursue its sovereignty claim over Sabah.

For the United States, keeping the Philippine authorities busy on their own internal security threats, would continue allowing the Yankees unabated access to the strategic spots in the south, where she may keep her secret base for its submarine and other war machines and intelligence operatives on the ground as they keep their sights focused on maintaining control over the straits of Malacca, the crossroad between Asia minor and the Pacific.

Besides, Uncle Sam is engrossed with trying to seize control over the rich oil fields in the South China Sea and those in the Liguasan Marsh of Maguindanao and the no-man’s land (the erstwhile Monterey Ranch) between Wao, Lanao Del Sur and Alamada, North Cotabato.

So, there goes the agenda of each of the players. This is also one of the reasons why US Ambassador Christie Kenney travels incognito to the south so often. In most cases, she is seen without any Filipino security details. Although we can't blame her to do her homework in following her government's undisclosed policy.

One important message that ought to reach every Filipino is for them to keep their eyes and their ears wide open all the time. They have to keep wary about foreign hands who, through the lure of Federalism, have been trying to divide the country in a bid to keep their control over the Philippines resources of GOD (Gas, Oil and Deuterium). Remember, before Yugoslavia got Balkanized, they had first to federalize that once was a progressive, emerging industrial state in the European stage.

VIGILANCE and the will to survive are among the basic attributes that every peace-loving Mindanaoans need to have these days, if only to drive away all and every attempt by the army of the intended beneficiaries of a sell-out sponsored by the globalists, to take final possession over the “Moro homeland,” which they hastefully want to acquire via an “initialed” memorandum of agreement (MoA) on ancestral domain. God forbid.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Price of Political Stupidity

The Price of Political Stupidity

By Erick San Juan

More than just getting into some deals that would make the citizens of Timor Liste more proficient in the command of the English language, the visit to Manila by Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta would provide him a glimpse of what the late Jesuit Fr. Jose Blanco (SJ) and his Jesuit cohorts did (in reverse) to Dili. Unlike in East Timor , where majority of the people were Indonesians, yet they were subdued by the Catholic minority, who were descendants of Portuguese conquistadores.

In the Philippines ’ – areas of conflict – the once dominant Islamic population has since then become a minority, due to the unceasing migration of hard-working settlers from the north.

And yet, just like what they had in Timor Liste, here is another model of a minority, in the guise of having an ancestral domain birth-right, which they have actually lost by reason of sale or commerce, are trying to lord it over.

There is little doubt that the balkanized south has virtually become a virtual powder keg. It is ready for the big bang. In fact, it has made minor explosions here and there – in Aleosan, Midsayap, Libungan and Pikit. In the next few days see that the shooting war will spread to neighboring towns of Buldon, Alamada, Pagalungan, Carmen, Kiaga and before it begins crossing into the towns of Damulog, Kadingilan both in Bukidnon and the Irananon territory of Wao and Bumbaran in Lanao del Sur. In no time at all, trouble will be all over the place. And the only way to stall murder and attacks between and among brothers would require the deployment in strategic positions, of massive amount of warm bodies that are all in combat mode. Otherwise, the dye is cast.

In fact, as government training aircrafts rain rebel positions with rocket fire and a frequent staccato of automatic gunfire, the count for casualties is on. Rounds of 105 millimeter howitzer fire, which cost a couple of hundred thousand pesos per round, have started raining on the separatists’ positions. On the other hand, the best that the separatists could do to respond is to mount sniper fire that keeps government troops burrowed in trenches. Meanwhile, innocent men women and children go scampering for safety at every possible evacuation centers, which could soon be plagued with hunger and diseases.

It would be easy to spot the indications that the civil strife is getting to be bothersome, because the peoples’ anxiety and curses are bound to trigger mass evacuations, while the men in every community would strive to arm themselves even just with machetes if not homemade guns and start establishing defensive positions - foxholes.

Unlike in the past, the bloody scenario that is likely to escalate into civil war proportions that would affect the whole island of Mindanao and at times, some other areas in Luzon would no longer require allegations of any irregularities in today’s elections for the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao. The series of carnage, as programmed and perpetuated by war freak Moros, will inevitably erupt anytime in the predominantly Christian areas of the southern islands, in a bid to force the establishment of an ancestral domain and a regional armed force for the Moro homeland, even in areas where the Islamic population is a settled minority.

In fact, there have been reports of massive troop build-up and movements being carried out by a well-armed, but ill trained units of the Mindanao Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in most of the old - the original - provinces of Lanao and Cotabato and in isolated areas of the Zamboanga peninsula, Basilan, Bukidnon, Davao and southern Palawan .

The Christian migrants in the areas affected would never take it lying down, any form of transgressions upon their rights, by whoever, anytime. Maybe short of military hard wares, but Mindanao ’s Christian population are never wanting in guts, tactics and the will to fight under the most trying situation.

From here on, finding the proverbial road to paradise – by anyone’s standards – would now be like looking of a needle in a heap of hay stalks. Poor Pinoys, we had our chance but we blew it! We could have ended all talks with the Moros after the government through then President Fidel Ramos entered into and secured a peace pact with Nur Misuari’s Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). We strayed into entertaining a small inconsequential break-away group of adventurous attention-seekers. This is what we get.

Lastly, beware of a faked spill over in the metropolis and possible pocket attacks by the NPA’s encircling mega Manila believing to get the center soon while the AFP and the PNP are fighting so many fronts. SCARY INDEED!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mindanao: What are the stakes?

Mindanao: What are the stakes?

By Erick San Juan

The volatile situation in Mindanao is getting uglier each day. In fact, pocket-wars are now raging in some of the remote areas of North Cotabato and Maguindanao. There are mass evacuations that have been triggered by a spate of killings and burning of houses in Aleosan and Midsayap towns, which have been occupied by pillaging elements of the Mindanao Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

In Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur, there have been reports of troop movements being carried out by the Moro bandits, who carry new firearms and bullets, which are very much similar to the basic issue of the Malaysian armed services.

To ensure the safety of their communities against the pillage and incursions by the so-called mujahiddins, the Christian civilians in the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato , Sarangani, Zamboanga-Sibugay, Zamboanga City , southern Palawan , Davao del Sur, southern Bukidnon, Zamboanga del Sur and Lanao del Norte are on a war footing. No doubt, they have all started to arm themselves and preparing defense trenches and perimeters all over their communities. Ditto with the Moros.

In the meantime, the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) have declared that they will oppose all and every attempts by both the government and the MILF to ink a pact that would grant ancestral domain or a Moro homeland to the fighters of Al Haj Murad, a small break-away armed group, especially if this group of bandits are allowed to maintain their own regional armed forces.

But, what are the stakes in this looming civil war? Who are the Masters? What are the scenarios to expect?

First, there is no doubt that the government of the United States of America is maintaining a contingent of military intelligence and specialist operators, who, they are confining to barracks, in various areas of the Philippines, specifically in western Mindanao. In the Sarangani gulf, the US financed the construction of the world-class standard General Santos International Airport and its support infrastructures, supposedly to fill in the needs of its’ secret submarine base in between the town of Glan and Sarangani island, which is the staging point of illegal Indonesian immigrants in the Philippines. Many believe that this is the principal reason why US Ambassador Christie Kenny is often seen in the area – even with the least coordination of her movements with the Philippine military and police authorities.

To do these, all the US wants is to keep its strategic control over the Strait of Malacca , which serves as the cross road between the Middle East and Southeast Asia . Control over the Malacca strait, means effectively controlling passage into South China Sea, thus effectively putting in check whatever plans the Peoples’ Republic of China (PROC) might have enroute to the Mainland US and across the Pacific. It would also enable the Yankees to monitor every movement of men and cargoes between the west and countries like Japan and the two Koreas . Its’ conduits are Malaysia and Australia , whose interest in southern Philippines is to prevent entry of unfriendly forces into the Land Down Under.

For Malaysia, brokering the peace talks between the government and the MILF means it has effectively installed a buffer against every attempts by the government to pursue its’ territorial claim over the State of Sabah, which the heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu had effectively ceded to the Philippine government.

The marginalized and impoverish Jesuit-led social democrats (SocDem) led then by the late Fr. Jose Blanco and now by Fr. Archie Intengan and National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales are reportedly the ones orchestrating the balkanization of Mindanao, in an effort to find their congregations’ place in the sun. Hence, they are allowing themselves to be used by foreign powers in deploying a strategy, which is the reverse of what the Jesuits allegedly did in East Timor, where the Christians drove away the Muslims, while in the Philippines, they are the minority Muslims who want to lord it over, if not to drive away the enormous Christian population of Mindanao.

Truth to tell, the government knew from the very start that the peace formula they are trying to spouse wont work, but it has to employ the strategy nevertheless, to show Uncle Sam the importance of covering her tracks when it is time for her to go.

God bless the Philippines !

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Free Mindanao taking shape?

Free Mindanao taking shape?

By Erick San Juan

By any equation, a Mindanao that is free from the grips of imperial Manila is looming in the horizon. This prospect continue to lurk, despite the issuance by the Supreme Court of an order temporarily restraining the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) peace panel from signing a pact with the Mindanao Islamic Liberation front (MILF), in effect, granting territory and an ancestral domain to the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE).

A TRO is just another TRO. It is just as good as when it is in effect. One granted a TRO is given by the court, a timeline within which to obtain, a writ of injunction, and after further legal skirmishers, the court may, if it finds merit, grant a certiorari that would give permanence to the legal restraint.

Signed or not, the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) which had been initialed earlier by both the GRP and the MILF, can not guarantee that peace would be forthcoming. In fact, civil war threats are still real and strong. As the TRO provide impasse, the protagonists maneuver themselves into tactical, legal and moral positions.

Migrant mindanaoans maintain that they would rather be free and have their own version of an independent state in Mindanao, rather than succumb, or get subjugated by a numerical minority whose claim to fame is a deal with people from imperial Manila, who do not even have personal stakes over the region.

In many parts of Mindanao, there is no more doubt that civilians have started preparing for war. Both the aborigines and the migrants have begun arming themselves and are installing the warning systems in their respective villages.

Ironically, once the government enters into a peace accord with the MILF, Nur Misuari’s MNLF could pull out of government and become the next enemy. This would turn into a classic merry-go-round.

For one, known leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), who are already part of the Philippine government, have clearly stated that they strongly oppose the signing any kind of a pact with the MILF, because that would, in effect, be supplanting them. In fact, the MNLF warned of dire consequences once a pact is signed with its break-away armed group.

As soon as the independent Republic of Mindanao becomes a reality, credit for its emergence should accrue to the region’s somber-thinking leaders – those who are not plagued with any political obsessions – Christians, Islamic and pagans alike.

But having an independent Mindanao wouldn’t come in that easy. Blood has to be spilt. Brother against brother. Some kind of an ethnic cleansing is one possibility that couldn’t be discounted, due to a prevailing bias again and between tribes and groups. There is bound to be some kind of a civil war, a situation where if you are not with us, then you must be against us – clearly, an enemy.

When that bloody exercise takes place, blame it first to the agenda of powerful nations behaving like puppet-masters to hungry Filipino politicians and religious Rasputins, whose lust for power billows even through their ears – public officials who would dare sell even the soul of his countrymen, if only to stay at whatever they now occupy.

As soon as we start hearing bursts of gunfire in rapid succession, punctuated by a series of bomb blasts, cannon and grenade explosions, treat it as a signal that this gory scenario is beginning to unfold.

There is no more doubt that even the magistrates have seen the wisdom in the arguments raised by the local officials of Zamboanga City and North Cotabato in seeking to compel the GRP peace panel to cease and desist from perfecting a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) it had earlier initialed with its MILF counterpart in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Most, if not all of the provincial governors and mayors of the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), have joined the ranks of those opposing the inclusion of Sultan Kudarat, Palawan, Zamboanga-Sibugay, Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato in the moro homeland.

The alleged secret ante dated signing of the MoA last July 27 will agitate the Mindanaoans more. By now, Malacanang should start seeing the smoke signals emitting from the south. Tomorrow might be too late.