The biggest loser PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 08 January 2012 15:20

By MENARDO WENCESLAO

Year 2011 had elapsed, still the kidnap-for-ransom syndicates in areas of or adjacent to Moro Islamic Liberation Front territories are actively operating without letup. It is plainly incredulous to even think that that the MILF field commanders are not aware of the existence of the KFR syndicates as in every case of kidnapping that had been carried out, their escape routes always end up in the MILF-held territories.

It therefore partakes of a classic tomfoolery for the MILF to offer their assistance to the government in running after the syndicate. As if that is not insulting enough, nothing came out of this offer as no suspects had been turned over and no victims recovered through their efforts.  What is contemptible and incomprehensible is that government forces are prevented from pursuing the suspects.

This untenable condition will persist if the peace accord is not reached. Ergo, in the meanwhile the kidnap gangs are having their holidays. An Australian national became the latest victim. His abductors have demanded millions of pesos in ransom. We are losing in so many fronts because of this iniquity. We are losing face in the international community since we cannot deal with criminals and criminality in areas where secessionist fronts are. We are losing
opportunities to develop the conflict areas and therefore deny the communities and the employable youths their prospects of a stable future.

Secessionist struggle will never ever succeed in a sovereign state where equal opportunities and freedom  are guaranteed. There might be lapses but these are isolated. Even the desire to establish an autonomy is ensconced in our constitution for the regions that are predominantly populated by Muslims. The autonomous government, in its infancy, may have some defects because those who held the power of governance thought that the region is their fiefdom and they can do whatever they want with the billions of pesos earmarked for the regional government. These anomalies will not be there forever because many of those accountable are already facing prosecution. In short the supremacy of the law is eventually upheld.

Secessionism will not rev up progress and therefore will not open opportunities. It will not bring peace and stability, instead conflict and unending chaos. Only those who cannot live in peace are rewarded because in the state of belligerency which they want to propagate they are the authority and they hold the purse. Those who want to live in peace and eke out a decent livelihood are in a constant state of fear and despair.

Unfortunately, however, this state of instability and chaos is perpetuated. Kidnapping is tolerated as if it has become a way of life. Today it is an Australian national, tomorrow another victim. Even a simple wage earners like teachers have become targets of this organized criminal which found sanctuary in secessionist-held territories. The biggest loser here are the peaceful citizens, who even as they are either Muslims or Christians, have nothing to do at all with the futile struggle of the secessionist fronts.