Republic of Malaysia | International Campaigns Resources

September 19, 2008

Martial Law | Blogged

2. MILF Calls for Jihad

(Kaya mo bang takutin ang tuso?)

The MILF is suddenly calling for Jihad after government troops have been overrunning their camps one after the other in a seemingly all-out-offensive to capture two MILF commanders who led in the massacre of civilians in various provinces in Mindanao. According to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, religious leaders in Lanao are calling for a Jihad in fighting oppressors against Islam. This calls for holy war were made in sermons of religious leaders during Friday congressional prayers as posted in GMANews.Tv.

Malacanang however dismissed such claim by the religious leaders of Lanao provinces as a political gambit. According to Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita there was no basis for the call since the pursuit was only for the roque MILF commanders and it has nothing to do with religion. Ermita further explains that this is only an attempt to involve and turn said military action (for the capture two MILF commanders wanted by the law) into a religious conflict when it is not. He also said since there is no actual religious conflict between the Christians and Muslims to justify it, a Jihad could not be waged.

But if you ask former President Joseph Estrada, what is needed is to wage an all-out war against the MILF; something which Malacanang rejects. Ermita said that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s policy should be the one to be followed instead which is to continue the peace process rather than risking more lives and damages of property in an all-out war. While former president Estrada believes that an all-out war is the solution, the Arroyo’s administration is not, it will be more beneficial to continue with the peace process. Besides, an all out war may connote that the government is “at war with our own citizens.” And this is not necessary since only a small portion of the rebel group is involved.

Former Senate President Franklin Drillon however called on the government and the MILF to go back to the negotiating table and find creative ways to resolve the issue on the discontinuation of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD). The government and the MILF must exercise patience if both want to achieve a lasting peace in Mindanao. “I have not lost hope. As long as we do not forget that we are all Filipinos, with the Philippines as our only country, the end to the conflict will always be in sight,” said Drillon.

May patutunguhan ba ang pag-uusap?

Isa lang ang hinihiling ng pamahalaan ang isuko ang dalawang commanders, Bravo at Kato, na siyang pasimuno sa pagpatay ng maraming civilians at pagkasira ng maraming kabuhayan at ari-arian at itigil na ng militar and kanyang opensiba laban sa mga MILF. Ngunit ito’y imposibling mangyari.Sa isang banda ay pinatunayan din ng military na kayang-kaya niyang lipulin ang MILF kung gugustohin.

Ito yata iyong ipinupunto ni Erap, former president Joseph Estrada na itodo na ang all-out war at nang matapos na ang gulong ito at manahimik na ang Mindanao para naman umunlad ang pankalahatang ekonmya ng rehiyon. Hanggang may gulo, walang mga investors na papasok at maglagak ng capital para magtayo ng mga negosyo na siya ring pakikinabangan ng mga tao in terms of taxes and employment.

Maganda sana ang layunin ng mapayapang pagu-usap kung may sinsiridad ang bawat panig, ngunit tila wala yatang interest ang bawat isa na magbigay. Matagal nang ginagawa ang mga ganitong kaparaanan para makamtan ang kapayapaan ngunit habang tumatagal ay lalong binabale wala lang ang pagu-usap. Kaya tama rin ang panawagan ni Drillon na maging pasensiyoso ang bawat panig at mag-isip ng mga bagay na talagang makakatulong sa pagsulong ng pang-matagalang kapayapaan.

Ngunit bakit Jihad ang iniisip ng mga MILF, dahil ba sa gusto nilang lalo pang magkagulo ang Mindanao sa pagdamay ng relihiyon na hindi rin namang isyu dito. Nananakot ba ng MILF? At kung gayon na nga ang iniisip ng Bangsamoro, handa ba ang military ditto? Sabi nga iba, hindi naglakas loob ang mga nasa panig ng gobierno na ipawalang saysay ang Kasunduang MOA-AD kung hindi niya kaya itong harapin. Sa ganitong sitwasyon wala na marahil ang patutunguhan ng pag-uusap, paikot-ikot lang tayo.

So What if President Arroyo Declares Martial Law

(Gumigiling na ang Makinarya ng Pulitika para sa 2010)

So what if president Arroyo declares martial law; is there anything you can do about it? Does she have a strong control of the armed forces to rule this country devoid of democracy? Should she decide to declare Martial Law and bring back life the dark ages of the Marcos era, what will happen to her critics, to businessmen who never supported her, to politicians who participated in all the legal means to unseat her, and to the leftist organizations, etc. will they also experience solitary confinement in jails and abuse from their military captors?

This is exactly what everybody fears now that the President’s term is coming to an end each day passing by. The president knows at the end of her term, she might be facing a lot of corruption related cases that may be filed by her opponents against her. And today her critics are closely watching every move she makes. There is always that fear and suspicion that she may use the armed conflict in Mindanao as the reason for declaring martial law before her term ends.

In relation to this former defense secretary Avelino Cruz Jr. sounded his fear that President Arroyo might use the recent conflict in Mindanao for the declaration of emergency rule. He asks the public in his interview over the ABS-CBN News Channel to be extra vigilant and ward off any attempt to declare emergency rule.

Former Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz resigned as the defense chief two years ago due to disagreement with the Arroyo’s administration on some issues particularly charter change. Since then nothing much was heard from him till his recent interview where he said:

“There is always temptation that’s why we have to be vigilant that, that doesn’t happen because that is not going to be very good for the country.  It’s better to be on the extra side of caution in this matter.”

But Malacanang, as usual, said that Cruz’s statement of fear and allegation of Arroyo’s declaration of emergency rule is baseless.

On his part, Press Secretary Jesus Dureza believes that Cruz is out of touch with the Mindanao situation since he left the defense department two years ago. Cruz probably is not aware on the extent of influence and control of Malacanang to the situation in the south. Or he may be simply having sour grapes because of is departure from the defense department. Besides, Cruz is now supporting a presidential aspirant and that his statement may have something to do about it.

Nevertheless, Cruz still believes that the Armed Forces of the Philippines may deny Arroyo’s administration support should the same declare emergency rule. “I don’t think the AFP [would] go along just in case somebody has the insane idea of trying to do that,” he said.

Gumigiling na ang Makinarya ng Pulitika

Ayaw ko mang isipin pero tila gumagana na yata ang makinarya ng pulitika sa 2010 election sa paglutang nitong si former defense chief Avelino Cruz upang pagsabihan ang publiko na mag-ingat at maging alerto sa mga nangyayaring kaguluhan ngayon sa Mindanao baka magamit pa ito ng Pangulong Arroyo upang magdeklara ng emergency rule. Kulang na lang sabihin niya na Martiaw law dahil ito naman ang tinutumbok ng kanyang pahayag.

Bilang isang consultant ngayon ni Mr. Palengke (Senator Mar Roxas) na nagbabalak  tumakbo sa pagkapangulo ng Pilipinas sa 2010, hindi mo maiaalis na pamumulitika lamang ang mga ganitong pahayag upang mapansin ang kanyang pinaglilingkurang presidential aspirant, hindi kaya? Sabagay hanggang walang malinaw na batayan, puro pananaw lang naman ang lahat na ito.

Pero may isang bagay na nakababahala sa mga naging pahayag ni dating defense secretary Avelino Cruz, ang pagkabigo ng pamahalaan na pondohan ang ating Hukbong Sandatahan para mabili ang mga kagamitang panggiyera na kailangan nito upang protektahan ang mga komonidad ng mga sibilyan sa Mindanao. Marahil ang tinutukoy ng dating hepe ng depensa ay ang pagkabigo ng military na protektahan ang mga sibilyan nang unang salantain sila ng mga rebeldeng MILF sa Lanao, Cotabato at Saranggani.

Bagamat kinontra naman ito ng nakaupong hepe ng ating depensa nasyonal na si Ginoong Teodoro na may sapat naman daw na kagamitan ang ating hukbo, kitang kita pa rin ang pangangailangan ng AFP kagaya ng nasabi ni Avelino Cruz na 500 military trucks at medium-lift vessels. Lalo na ngayon na may bumagasak pang C-130 transport plane ang AFP, mas nadarama ng militar ang mga ganitong pangangailangan.

Sa tutoo lang, tama nga din naman itong mga ipinupunto ngayon ng dating National Defense Chief Avelino Cruz dahil napapanahon. Ngunit sa kanyang kalagayan ngayon bilang adviser ng isang presidentiable, lumalabas lamang na may political undertone nga ito, hindi kaya?

Sa isang banda wala ring masama na maging maagap at mapagmatiyag tayong lahat. Sino nga ba naman ang nagnanais na ideklara ng Pangulong Arroyo ang state of emergency kung hindi man ay martial law dahil lamang sa maligalig ng kalagayan ng Mindanao?

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