How we can look at Mamasapano PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 09 February 2015 11:44



Since the Philippines experienced the tragic Mamasapano incident late in January 2015 we have heard and read   a wide range of reactions   and post-mortem commentaries on the incident.  Even while several probe bodies are still to carry out their task to look more deeply into the incident and come up, hopefully, with a more definitive and reliable narrative on what happened and why, we already have a lot of talking heads finger pointing and putting blame on a number of personalities.

I can understand why. The BBL is something that many Mindanaons hope will bring to Mindanao the peace that we all long for. But the Mamasapano tragedy is now seen as putting a big stumbling block in our journey to peace and thus most of the reactions have been emotional. Those who have been against the BBL from the beginning are now in a “I told you so” position and making sure that others know about it. Those who support the BBL are extremely downhearted and cannot help but  feel the seeds of despair about seeing peace in Mindanao in their lifetimes taking root.

I am no Cassandra but let us take the Mamasapano incident in a more objective perspective. There are many questions that need to be answered but  these questions will be answered only when the probes are done with their inquiries.

Without intending to belittle the police force that engaged the BIFF and MILF forces let us keep in mind that the SAF knowingly went into “enemy territory” and was eventually badly routed, resulting in the death of 44 members of the SAF. The inquiry hopefully will show whether this was due to careless implementation of military strategy or the treachery of the other side.  In referring to the death of the 44 the word “massacre” has often been used but “massacre” can be looked at  from  two perspectives.

It would also be good to remember the wisdom that is  expressed in many aphorisms and adages.

“God writes straight in crooked lines.”  “Hope is a theological virtue .”  “Rome was not built in a day.”  “Fall seven times stand up eight.” And I might add one I just made up - “One gusty wind does not make for a Yolanda.”

It is in times of testing that we realize our own resolve to achieve our goal. If peace in Mindanao is something that we sincerely seek then we should accept that Mamasapano is   a huge block in the road we have taken to peace  but a block that will not, should not, stop us from our journey.

With God’s grace we will get there.