TO punctuate the forgetfulness of the people at the Palace, our headline yesterday said “Palace calls on Filipinos to be vigilant–PH TO JOIN GLOBAL FIGHT VS. TERRORISM.”
This is typical of the mentality of BS Aquino. It’s as though everything that happens to him is happening in the universe for the first time. Every event is unique to him. It’s like a child in a sandbox lost in his imaginings or in his room playing one of those electronic war games. But the more awake Department of Foreign Affairs, run in its website a large headline in bold all caps but without an accompanying report under it: “PHL REAFFIRMS SUPPORT FOR GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM.”
Yes, “reaffirms.” Not “join” as if our country is entering the anti-terrorism war for the first time.
Every presidential administration from Ramos, Erap, Gloria Arroyo and even this one of BS Aquino, has been at war with terrorism. We are not only now “joining” the global fight. In many ways, we could be said to be the very first country to really declare war on terrorism.
President Estrada and other people who saw things correctly considered the Moro Islamic Liberation Front friends of BS Aquino as terrorists. He launched an “all out war” on the MILF and the government armed forces captured the MILF’s camps, including its main headquarters, Camp Abubakar, where the topmost officials of the MILF were residing and holding office, directing their war against the Philippine government. But Erap’s all-out-war policy came under severe criticism by human rights groups here and abroad, whose advocacy was also supported by the World Powers through their Manila embassies. So he had to stand down–and allow the MILF to regroup and become strong again.
Here is a quote from an article, “The Philippines and Terrorism,” dated April 2004 in the Jewish Anti-Defamation League website. We chose it among hundreds of others published 10 years ago because it is published by Jews, who have been among the first victims of Islamic extremists, jihadists and terrorists. We cite it to disprove the idea dominant in the minds of forgetful or ignorant people that only now in the dysfunctional Aquino presidency are we Filipinos engaged in a war against terrorism.
The article’s first sentence is as follows: “The Philippines is a strong political, economic and military ally of the United States and a close partner in the global war on terrorism. With the spread of Al Qaeda across the globe and the growth of the Al Qaeda-linked South East Asian terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), the stability and security of the Philippines and US Philippines counterterrorism efforts take on a new urgency.”
‘Terrorist groups in the Philippines’
The article also has this section titled “Terrorist Groups in the Philippines” which begins with this sentence. “There are four major terrorist groups active in the Philippines today: The Moro National Liberation Front, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Abu Sayyaf and the New People’s Army. The first three are Islamic groups that operate primarily in the south of the nation, where most of the country’s Muslim minority live. The Communist New People’s Army operates in the northern Philippines.”
It also says: “The MILF is suspected of training JI members at MILF training camps in the southern Philippines….It is also suspected that early funding and organizational support of Abu Sayyaf was provided by Osama Bin Laden associate and brother-in- law Muhammad Jamal Khalifa. In 1997, the US State Department designated Abu Sayyaf a foreign terrorist organization.
“In January 2002, Filipino police arrested Indonesian Islamic extremist Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi, 31, a self-confessed member of Jemaah Islamiyah and an Al Qaeda explosives expert. Following his arrest, Ghozi led Filipino authorities to a large cache of arms and explosives in Mindanao and told a Filipino court that he planned to use the explosives for jihad attacks in Asia. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison. In July 2003, Al-Ghozi escaped from prison and in October 2003, Philippine forces tracked him down and killed him. In November 2003, the Philippines arrested Taufik Rifki, who reportedly admitted he was the financier for a Jemaah Islamiyah training camp in the southern Philippines.
“Most recently, in February 2004, Filipino Jaybe Ofrasio, 31, was arrested in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and charged with funneling money to JI.”
There are other easily accessible sources showing that our country has been at the forefront of the war against terrorism, including Wikipedia.
It’s really stupid and infuriating to hear Aquino and his people talk as if the only time we Filipinos are lifting a finger against terrorists is now, under the leadership of this ineffective, hypocritical, untruthful and, in fact, treasonous, president.