We are again seeing political violence in the Philippines: Abusayyaf on the run, but bus bombing continues…It’s the MILF linked extortioners again..

Two bombs went off, one in a bus, one shortly afterward (a sign of AlQaeda) killing two children and injuring over fifty people. Shortly afterward, a third bomb was found, and a man running away from the bus was arrested.

But a JI (an Indonesian terror group linked to Alqaeda) linked suspect was found running from the scene..and the MILF whines: don’t persue them and hurt us…but two little girls were killed in the first bombings, so one expects a vigourous hunt for other Jamal Ismael suspects, who brought bomb making expertise to the Philippines when they fled the successful clampdown by the Indonesian government.

There is a big overlap between criminals and these groups.

I lived in Africa (two different countries) when similar “insurgencies” existed. Often sociopaths joined the movements, and then went on to do their own thing. Using the “revolution” as an excuse, they would rape attractive girls, steal things, kill business owners who refused to pay them bribes, etc. In Africa, our hospitals were “protected” by local “insurgents”, (we “bribed” them with medical supplies) yet even such protection did not stop a kidnap/murder of one of our nuns by one of the group.

Of course, killings funded by politicians and businessmen of political rivals or those defending the people’s rights not to be exploited continues. But they are not a danger to the general public (except if you are caught in the crossfire)
And the NPA, which relies on locals supporting them, will still bomb electrical stations, kill a barangay leader, kidnap a business man, yes. Bomb a market, no.

But using modern terror bombings to blackmail businesses is a very real danger in the south of the Philippines, and it is a danger that the government is very busy trying to stop.

On the other hand, it isn’t big news in the Philippines, any more than the daily shootings in the US make headlines there.

We have other things to worry about: Our problem is root knot disease in rice, swine flu, and dengue fever


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

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