PNOY, in Mapapasano, could say, “As the buck stops here, with me, in Mapapasano, I take full responsibility; I regret my failed effort to check terrorism, and I will answer to history.” He has a little over 500 days to be kicked around.
No one is infallible. Errors occur in combat, like in the Charge of the Light Brigade in Balaclava (1854), Bay of Pigs (1961), Beirut (1982), Black Hawk Down (1993) and Iraq in this millennium (2003), which led to ISIS. Recklessness? Or audacity?
One Light Brigade survivor died at 70, run over by a train, a less glorious way to go than the fate of the 118 fatalities in Balaclava.
In Mamapasano, there might have been rashness, and certainly there was brutality by a ferocious enemy. We cannot praise the Gallant 44 enough. But, again, I find myself in disagreement with the Inutil, OK, Integrated Bar of the Philippines which described the Muslims as murderers. The raiders went to enemy lair, to kill, and some of them got killed. Had they expected a brass band and letsong baka?
There are orphans and widows on both sides. The IBP is a body of lawyers, trained to verify first . . . instead of taking out ads which would further needlessly alienate Muslims.
Funds are raised for the 44’s families. Why not also for the civilians killed on the other side? Muslims are people too, like you and me, they laugh, they cry, they weep, they dream, etc.. Subject to verification, it is reported that “residents of Barangay Tukanalipao were preparing for their daily activities when SAF commandos entered the community and opened fire at the house of the Panangulon family,” killing Sarah, 5, while her parents, Tots and Samrah were wounded. A farmer was killed and the body was found with his eyes gouged out. Five others were killed while leaving a mosque. PDI, Feb. 4, 2015, p. A7, col. 1. True? We need verification.
But, the IBP and the generous fund-raisers should realize it was not only the Gallant 44 who left widows and orphans.
I am against Veep Jojobama Binay’s suggestion that the IBP probe the tragedy; it has shockingly prejudged “the brutal murder of the 44 police officers of the PNPSAF.” PDI, Feb. 3, 2015, p. A7, col. 3. Any IBP probe would be tailored to suit this appalling and shameful premature ejaculation.
Many other soldiers get killed daily. 600 Muslims were killed in April 1906 in the Crater Massacre in Jolo traceable to the long-standing conflict between Christians and Muslims.
The widow of the Japanese just executed by the ISIS spoke not only in grief, but with pride.
Rochefoucauld says no quarrel would last long if the fault were only on one side. Continuing to minimize Muslim hurts and losses, as if Moros were children of a lesser god, would not help.
As I said above, yup, PNoy should acknowledge that the buck stops with him.
I took the position that the Moros were in Mindanao before they were displaced by those from Luzon and the Visayas. MABINI member Donna Z. Gasgonia emailed me, to share her feelings and info gathered through the years, echoed by Bono Adaza the other night on Bro. Eddie’s Diyos at Bayan.
“The Moros have never occupied all of Mindanao. They are confined to the islands in the west and some patches of western Mindanao. Most of Mindanao has been occupied by the LUMADS, non-Moro, non-Christian, but indigenous peoples. The LUMADS have fought the Moros and Christians since time immemorial that is why they continue to claim their ancestral domains.
“Indigenous peoples communities have been raided by the MILF – stealing farm produce, robbing, killing and taking them as hostages. These indigenous peoples look to the AFP and the PNP for protection. In many instances, they came to their rescue. In several instances, help came too late. BUT, the indigenous peoples kept their trust and confidence in the Philippine government, never the Moros or the MILF. Just like the Luzon and Visayas settlers, the Moros came from the Visayas and other islands, parts of western Mindanao. The MILF claim to Cotabato, Palawan, Zamboanga and many other areas is a sham. That is why I joined Gov. Pax Mangudadatu when he went to the Supreme Court to question the constitutionality of the MOAD.
“The indigenous peoples of Mindanao, after a long legal struggle were finally recognized through the IPRA Law – main author Sen. Flavier, with prior legislative proposals by Senator Santanina Rasul, and Senator Joseph Estrada; the proposed legislation of Sen. Rasul and Sen. Estrada was objected to by Sen. Drilon, but Sen. Flavier kept the struggle alive and got the vote during his time.
“I hope people will NOT DISREGARD the indigenous peoples who actually occupied a vast majority of the lands in Mindanao, and fought against the Moros and Christians. The indigenous communities in Western Mindanao islands have embraced Islam but do not call themselves Moros nor do they identify themselves with the MILF or the MNLF. They have their own distinct indigenous culture – not Tausug, not Maranaw, not Maguindanaoan. Many more, especially those in central, northern, southern and eastern Mindanao have embraced Christianity. These people live in peace under the protection of the AFP and the PNP. Yes, there were and continue to have clashes with rogue AFP and PNP. But, like many Filipinos, we must recognize the efforts of our men in uniform when they lose their lives to enforce the law.
“The question that must be answered is: What is Marwan, an international terrorist, doing inside MILF territory? And why are police officers, going after an international terrorist, attacked and killed by the MILF? These are the most important questions that must be answered.
“However, I join others who ask another question: Why did President Aquino not go to Villamor for the arrival of the bodies? The Internet is awash with photographs and newsbits about Obama cancelling appointments to go to the airport for the arrival of fewer than 10 American soldiers who died in the war; for going back to salute a Marine he passed.
“The last question may be answered by a sincere apology, an admission of a serious mistake in judgment.”
Defeat is an orphan. And we Christians should stop looking down on Moros and Lumads. And orphans of any kind.
But, the other night, on TV, I associated myself with the dream of Miriam Ferrer and Amina Rasul. “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.” Ted Kennedy.