Pacete: Terrorists in our midst

As I See It

IN A recent past, I was invited by San Carlos City Tourism office to give lecture on “Tourism and Terrorism” to policemen. It was well attended and our discussion was crispy considering that San Carlos City is a recipient of international awards.

Sociologists define terrorism as the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objective. Under the Duterte administration, the New People’s Army has been categorized as terrorists. This raised several eyebrows.

The University of the Philippines Cultural Dictionary for Filipinos written by Thelma B. Kintanar and associates simply tells us that the New People’s Army is the armed group of the radical left. That could be the reason why our government has a strong campaign against NPA members.

I told my policemen participants of the following typology of terrorism as a review of what they have learned in their Criminology subjects (just a review): political terrorism, nonpolitical terrorism, quasi-terrorism, limited political terrorism, and official or state terrorism. Political terrorism is a violent criminal behavior designed primarily to generate fear in the community, or a substantial segment of it, for political purpose.

Nonpolitical terrorism also attempts to elicit fear by means of violence, but is undertaken for either private purposes or gain. We have the case of private armies or mercenaries terrorizing their targets. Quasi terrorism are those activities incidental to the commission of crimes of violence that are similar in form and method to true terrorism but which nevertheless lacks its essential ingredient ... skyjackers, hostage takers.

Limited political terrorism is committed for ideological or political motives, but which are not of a concerted campaign to capture control of the state. Vendetta type of execution is employed here. Official or state terrorism occurs in nations whose rule is based upon fear and oppression that reach terroristic proportion. Historians say that Marcos did that.

The new third stage of terrorism is media terrorism. This refers to random attacks on anyone based on ‘collect-attack or attack-collect’ strategy. In this ‘war game’, one person’s terrorist is another’s liberator. My sharing could have given the policemen new insights on terrorism. The war on terrorism could be terrorism in a war.


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