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Friday, 27 October 2017 13:45

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

San Jose, CA. — Thus declared the national defense secretary: “After 154 days of the siege of Marawi by the Daesh-inspired Maute-ISIS group;

“After a week since the Commander-in-Chief’s declaration of the liberation of Marawi, we now announce the termination of all combat operations in Marawi.

“In crushing thus far the most serious attempt to export violent extremism and radicalism in the Philippines and in the region, we have contributed to preventing its spread in Asia and gave our share to maintaining global peace, stability and security.

“We hope that this operational achievement in Marawi in the Philippines will be the catalyst that shall bring to the fore future cooperation and partnerships, not only against terrorism, but also those that shall defeat other regional and global security threats.”

Malacanang and its highly-compensated trolls are engrossed in extolling the heroism and bravery of our soldiers and policemen in the Marawi war that threatened to consume Mindanao in flames and bullets, while the senate is frittering its precious, expensive time away investigating corruption in the customs bureau, deadly fraternity hazing, smuggling and what-have-you, instead of jointly, with the executive department and the judiciary, addressing the immediate threat to our country’s sovereignty and freedom. Domestic terrorism, cyber warfare and blood-thirsty jihadist groups and their sympathizers should be their foremost concern.

From the Marawi experience and the Zamboanga siege in 2013 (a September to remember), congress should strongly consider enacting a Patriot Act to define domestic terrorism. Zamboanga, for example, has been intimidated so many times in the past by terrorists, calling themselves freedom fighters. They tried, but failed in all instances to coerce our population and government by conducting bombings, kidnappings, raids on our villages and even carrying out assassinations. Security, not poverty, ranks as the número uno priority of El Presidente’s government — one that is about to be transformed into federalism, a political mechanism seen to erase (hic) corruption.

The U.S. National Counter-terrorism Center recently said the array of terrorist acts around the world is “broader, wider and deeper...” It said that although multiple factors mobilize homegrown terrorists to commit violence, ISIS’s large-scale media and propaganda efforts will likely continue to reach and influence them...

The attack of Marawi and the siege of Zamboanga should tell Malacanang and Camp Aguinaldo that our soldiers and law-enforcers must prepare for a new age of terrorism. Yes, arming our armed forces with weapons and war materiel donated by China and Russia is part of that preparation. But what happens when these imported weapons run out of bullets? Do we buy the refills?

It’s a wholesale brand of terrorism that can flatten an entire city and cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians. To this, the government cannot be tepid. The surge of terrorism in our beloved country, particularly Mindanao, is real. The Abu Sayyaf, unless totally erased - as promised by El Presidente — will never cease to be a terror threat.

Has the war in Marawi come to an end? You tell me.