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Thursday, February 21, 2019
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Pacete: Terrorism and bombings in Mindanao

AS I SEE IT

TERRORISM is a form of violence having specific objectives. Kill a few and terrorize a thousand. When there is terrorism, there is a climate of fear. This also serves as a psychological weapon to attain a specific political, social or ideological goal.

Bombing is “bomba,” explosion that destroys. In the 70s, when we spoke of “bomba,” that would refer to third class movies wherein the actors and the actresses would show enough skin and meat to excite moviegoers who prefer to feed the bugs (for men only).

Bombing in our own era is “dangerously dangerous” because it is done by terrorists as a goal-directed violence. We could still remember the crashing of two commercial places in the north and south towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and the Boston Marathon Bombings in 2013. We don’t forget the nerve gas attack on a Tokyo subway station in 1995 that left 12 people dead and more than 5,500 injured.

In the Philippines, we have bombings in Mindanao. The suspects are the terrorists – could be Muslim Filipinos, Christian Filipinos, and children of dead terrorists, political warlords, or government troops. These are all allegations depending on who is talking. Some believe that these are Muslim groups who opposed the creation of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. For them, Muslim terrorists are freedom fighters. The NPAs are tagged as Christian terrorists.

TIM! That is Mindanao – the land of promise, the land where the natives were dislocated, the land where warlords dwell, the land where investors become rich, and the land where election results could be magic. Those are the many faces of Mindanao, and now, the bombings. The incident here reminds us of the African conflict diamonds. Really, there is something in Mindanao!

President Digong ordered for the massive attack on the possible headquarters of the terrorists... land, air, and sea mobilizing a battalion-size of our troops involving the PNP and the Armed forces of the Philippines. President Digong seems to follow the “pulbusin ang mga kaaway formula” of President Erap. This to-whom-it-may-concern-strategy’ may cause collateral damage at the expense of innocent civilians.

We are made to understand that we have the elite forces in the PNP and AFP. The best way is to deploy them using the commando style of assault – no much noise, no much expense, less damage, and bull’s eye result. If the terrorists are using skill and accuracy, our government troops can do the same and even perform better.

Terrorism is real and terrorists want to seize political power, win a specific concession through conceived bargaining, demoralize society by showing the weakness of the government, obtain recognition for their idealism, embarrass the government forces, prevent legislation from being enacted, extract revenge, and effect a change in government through a civil war, revolution, or war between groups.

These are dangerous threats. We have to be analytical in believing. Friends or enemies could be terrorists. Mindanao is just a laboratory.


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