It’s Payback time

The attack killing and mutilating the bodies of 14 Philippine Marines has angered the Philippine public.

The marines were searching for Father Bossi who had been spotted on Basilan Island when they were surrounded and attacked in the jungle by armed “insurgents” believed to be from the MILF.

But now, the Philippine Armed Forces are now preparing to reenter the area in force to find the AbuSayyaf group and the rogue “MILF” forces behind the unprovoked atrocity.

Immediatly after the reports of the atrocity came out, the MILF spokesmen claimed the Marines were “trespassing”, and that locals merely were defending themselves.
However, the strength and number of “insurgents” (estimated to be over 100) in the attack suggest another scenerio: a planned ambush, where the AbuSayyaf group was the bait that led the Marines into the trap.

Complaints of trespass by the Marines is not valid, since Basilan is not in the MILF controlled area, as Senator Biazon pointed out. If trespass had occured, the MILF had several other options, including complaints to the government and simple notification to the Marines of their error.

Since the complaints of trespass have been dismissed, the MILF spokesmen is now claiming the Marines had beheaded an Imman in the village of TipoTipo, and insists that the “International Monitoring Team” and the government needs to investigate that atrocity too.

This story, not reported until several days after the attack on the Marines, is highly suspicious to say the least, but is simply one more piece of disinformation that will be released to Musilm countries in hopes that they can pressure the Arroyo government not to respond to the attack.

If this were merely death in battle, perhaps the MILF could talk their way out of this one, as they have done in previous episodes where they broke the ceasefire. But the mutilation tipped the scales of public opinion.

Even Bishop Cruz, a well known critic of government corruption and it’s “extrajudicial killings” wrote:

It is not enough for them to kill people. They consider necessary to still decapitate them. They even felt the need to desecrate the bodies of their dead victims. This is inhumanity at its worst. This is barbarism at its best….

What was done to the Filipino soldiers by people living in the Philippines and benefiting from Philippine resources went beyond the area of understanding, the sphere of tolerance and patience. The atrocity rightfully demands the recourse and application of commutative justice. … the government may not simply look the other way, make nice talks, shakes hands here and abroad.

That last part refers to the presence of other Islamic countries trying to assist in the peacemaking conferences, who alas often look the other way when their charities send money that is diverted into weapons or used to support the radicals.

Mutilation as a means to enforce terror is one of the tactics used by the AbuSayyaf group, and kidnap victims, including the recently kidnapped road workers. Like in Iraq, Indonesia, Thailand and other places where AlQaeda trained terrorists are involved, civilians are beheaded to induce fear in civilians. The idea is that in democratic countries, the civilians can pressure their government to give in to demands rather than risk more such horrible deaths.

Such mutilation might upset the effete Italians and terrorize the Bali Hindus, but this is the Philippines, the land of Rizal and Ninoy Acquino.

Officially, the government is saying that they are not going to blame the MILF for the attack, but only seek justice in finding the “rogue elements” who helped the AbuSayyaf kill and mutilate the Marines.

In reality, it’s payback time.

The MILF now has a choice: start really helping the government find Father Bossi and surrender their rogue elements behind the attacks, or face destruction of the peace movement.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

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