What about the civilians, General Esperon sir?

I couldn’t help but react right away upon reading reports from the national media about the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ reported “readiness” to possible spillover of violence in its punitive operations in Basilan.

GMANews.tv reported that Philippine military chief Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr mouthed that government security forces have been pre-positioned to avert any possible spillover of violence once the “punitive actions” against selected members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) start in Basilan.

OK, I must stress I’m not a true-blue peace advocate. I do not know every facet of this situation considering the many things hidden from the public, including the media.

I’m just a Davao-based reporter who happens to publish this blog far from Basilan. I even have difficulty finding “Tipotipo” on the map.

But it speaks only of common sense to figure out that in any war, it is the civilians, not the military, who are at the receiving end of greater violence and hardships. And I believe no amount of military “pre-position” could avert violence if war erupts in Basilan (which means also in mainland Mindanao because the MILF is primarily in the mainland.)

Whatever happened to the vow to uphold the “primacy of the peace process” and the joint probe topbilled by the International Moniotoring Team in the island-province?

Positioning in Basilan is a psywar tactic. Pulling out, though would ease tension, could be viewed by the military as a wrong call.

But don’t you think it is pushing the peace process mechanisms too much to the edge and had become a threat to long term national security in itself?

Well, I also have questions to the MILF leadership.

Since there are no reports against it, I assume it is true the AFP violated the truce by not coordinating with the MILF.

What makes for a legitimate encounter between two forces who signed a 10-year ceasefire agreement?

Are you sure you do not know who did the beheading? If you conducted your own investigation, may the unsuspecting Mindanawons know the findings?

These questions hang on my mind.

It is not difficult, however, to understand the quest for justice for the beheading.It should not come, also, in the way like playing with the fire of war as proclamations from both sides resound.

I raised it to feed my opinionated convictions on the situation in Basilan, especially if the sincerity of both parties to commit to peace for the long haul is put at the pedestal.

There could only be two outcomes as Leo Tolstoy’s book remindes this Mindanawon — war and peace.

If the pronuncements and actions flow towards war –that is enough reason to prove we are not heading to peace.

How come the parties cannot walk the talk on the peace process “no matter what it takes?”


About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

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