End it! PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 13:43

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

San Jose, CA. — Can this band of criminals calling themselves “Abu Sayyaf” be stopped permanently? The war on terror in the south started years ago — 1991 to be exact — when this band of barbarians began to attack peaceful communities and started collecting civilians for ransom. Many innocent civilians have died in the onslaught. Then President Erap leveled Camp Abubakar, the main camp of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). He was about to launch an offensive against the Abus, but was thrown out of office before he could press the attack button.

This bunch of incredulous, murdering individuals have beheaded soldiers, priests, their captives that include young adults, and repeatedly raped their women hostages before releasing them. The “get-them” order of El Presidente will be bloody, as already dozens of soldiers and terrorists have died in sporadic encounters in the backwoods of Basilan and Sulu.

As always, the Abus have been operating in pocket-sized groups, making it harder for our soldiers to pin them down all at one time and wipe them out from the face of the earth. Many more soldiers and Abus will die, and civilians in the crossfire won’t be spared. El Presidente cannot step back an inch, otherwise more trouble will fill that vacuum.

At this point of the campaign, American military technology should be requested by our government. Remember how Abu Sabaya and his men were spotted riding on an outrigger by a drone and blasted them to kingdom come?

The media should also be allowed to cover the campaign in the front lines to document the eventual destruction of the Abus. There is fear that pervades Basilan and Sulu that the criminals would turn their ire on other communities in   the Zamboanga Peninsula to stall the campaign and give them time to regroup, recruit and re-arm.

The polls have not indicated this, but the Basileneos and Suluans and the general population of Mindanao are pinning their hopes on a democratically-elected government that has vowed to end all forms of criminality in six months. An extension to this self-imposed deadline will be sought. While President Duterte cannot run again (it’s too early to tell) as mandated by the Cory-tailored constitution (that is about to be ripped apart in favor of a new one that will install a new system of government that which Alvarez and co. are pushing for) he can definitely win with bullets, bombs and the courage and bravery of our soldiers.

As for my beloved Zamboanga, the city of flowers, exceptional food, unique dialect, spectacular tourist sights and beautiful lasses and fine-looking gentlemen — we’ve been in this violent situation before, not just once but many times over. We’ve seen people blasted to death, their limbs scattered all over the bombing sites. I can’t say that our nightmares are over until we get those murdering thugs. Our city went into a period of instability as past governments weren’t able to halt the criminals’ incursion in peaceful communities in the east and west coasts to pick their hostages. These criminals may have imposed their own interpretation of Islam.

El Presidente must see an end to the Abus. He cannot relent, nor take back his commands, as he does with his words (goma-goma) and often angry, off the cuff pronouncements and say he was just joking. He has been going from one military camp to another to shore up support from the military. The campaign against the Abus is not a farce.

Yes, people will be driven from their villages and will temporarily settle in the cities where security of their lives is guaranteed. And in Malacanang, El Presidente watching the “war” unfold, will tackle with his cabinet endemic corruption in government, western-supported economy, high underemployment, poor public service, acute housing shortage, poverty, illegal drugs (hic), smuggling, illegal gambling, prostitution, human trafficking, horrible traffic in metro-Manila, very shabby public transport system, etcetera. They all need to be addressed pronto. Six years is too short to fix things. Without resolving the above, it is impossible for the Philippines to move forward.

Before the Abus can expand their footprints in places and try to increase the pace of their barbaric cruelty as were the Huns, they should be pulverized and sent to hell, as El Presidente had said. God be with you, sir.