Investigate finances instead of talking PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 01 June 2017 13:55

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

 

Los Angeles, CA. — Even more than the military, most politicians talk about winning the war on terrorism. I can see their faces on television and listen to their threatening voices on radio. Can we really win the war against a bunch of disgruntled souls that think that blowing themselves up and taking dozens of people with them will lift them to heaven, or that murder is a glorious way to redeem a dark life?

Marawi is now like the city of Mosul in Iraq besieged by a murderous lot determined to raise havoc and hell in Mindanao, the land of the truly brave and courageous. But this city is about to be “liberated” by the soldiers and police, and the Maute Group may soon be extinguished as a violent force. But if this gang falls, there will be other groups that will sprout to recruit violent young men.

We live in a country of a little over 100 million people. It takes only a handful to blow up the pretense that the law enforcers can ever honestly guarantee the safety of the people. Now that violence has again reared its ugly head, it has cast nervous, telescopic eyes to every corner of the street.

Many homegrown terrorists are petty criminals, the police say, who have spent their young and confused lives in gang life. Most of them are school dropouts, or uneducated. The only formal education they got was how to fire a gun and kill.

Mindanao has been attacked, bombed and brutalized by marauding terrorists for decades. Those raids should have provided the government and the commander-in-chief useful lessons for self-preservation. We have been confronted with senseless human trauma from which Mindanao shall never recover, not even with the constant assurance of peace and security. Friends and relatives have perished in these senseless, bloody attacks. We have kept their memories alive because that is the only thing we can do. There will be no gun salutes or sounding of the taps for them, no medals of courage or the Order of Sikatuna. We can only offer prayers for their eternal repose and light candles for them every All Souls’ Day.

It’s not a coincidence, but happenstance, that Islamic militants torch communities and open fire on innocent civilians days before Islam’s holy month of Ramadan. Usually, it’s done on a Friday or a Sunday. Zamboanga got bombed or attacked most of the time on a Sunday.

Since, like I said, politicians talk too much and too loud about ending terrorism, they should first determine, if the military cannot, who is (are) financing these bands of blood-thirsty men. Where do they get their funding? Who’s bankrolling their terror plots? What kind of high-caliber weapons are they using? Russian-made, Chinese-manufactured? What? Where exactly are their training camps? Who’s training them to make bombs, fire those rocket-launchers and, maybe, fly a helicopter?

Every year, we listen to army field commanders and congressmen utter that immense progress has been made to dismantle the Abu Sayyaf, Maute Group and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. Todo pendehadas! It’s turning out to be the other way around. The soldiers are the ones getting killed, massacred and ripped apart.

Police Director General “Bato” de la Rosa, the National Bureau of Investigation, National intelligence Coordinating Agency and other security and intelligence agencies should put their minds together to investigate the terrorists’ finances. It is always the conclusion that these terror groups derive their money from kidnapping-for-ransom and extortions. But I suspect there’s a deeper well from which they draw their finances.

Whoever chairs the committee on public order, peace and security and national defense in the House and the Senate should jointly call for an inquiry to get to the bottom of things. Without money, these groups cannot exist, for how will they feed themselves, buy guns and load up their gears with bullets, grenades, etc.

El Presidente did the right thing by declaring a state of martial law in Mindanao for 60 days, or less. Let’s see him operate as our commander-in-chief by going door to door and getting the high-powered, sophisticated illegal guns in the hands of warlords and private armies. Let’s watch him wipe out Basilian and Sulu of rebels, bandits and terrorists as he promised during the campaign. Six months, right? Let’s watch him conduct himself as El Presidente not as Rodrigo Duterte. And may God be with you, sir.