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.