I found this article over at the Daily Tribune, a high circulation and reasonably independent newspaper in the Philippines.
With continued talk from Malacañang of an “all-out peace” in Mindanao while the military pursues the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) commanders who led their fighters in attacking civilians in Mindanao provinces, killing them, including children, former President Joseph Estrada in a radio interview yesterday stood firm on his position that eradicating the separatists’ activity is the only solution to peace in Mindanao.
At the same time, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) finally condemned the recent spate of rebel Muslim attacks on civilians in Mindanao. But it was evident that despite the condemnation, the OIC did not condemn the MILF but its alleged “wayward elements.”
Well, no surprises from the OIC,
then, and no attempt, you will note, to define just what “wayward elements” actually are. Are they “wayward elements” simply because they killed civilians, including children, as opposed to soldiers or police, or are they “wayward elements” because their actions made the MILF Muslims look like the bloodthirsty crazies that they actually are? Maybe they are “wayward elements” simply because they disrupted the carefully planned Muslim takeover, masquerading as a peaceful solution, being brokered by the disreputable Islamic supremacist Malaysian government.
It was also evident that the OIC wants peace negotiations to resume, and for the Philippine Government (GRP) to grant the MILF its ancestral domain as stipulated in the aborted Memorandum of Agreement on ancestral domain.
The OIC group’s Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu condemned what he called “illegitimate acts conducted by wayward elements” of the MILF.
In a statement Ihsanoglu expressed his “concern over reports that the Philippine government intends to freeze the draft agreement, which came about as a result of strenuous, long and sincere efforts by both sides.”
He also said it was “unfortunate to let undisciplined elements from the MILF determine the course of negotiations or halt the peace process.”
See, I was correct. These “undisciplined elements” (presumably, also, still “wayward”) are getting in the way of the grand Muslim game plan: such behaviour might just wake up the Filipino kaffir before the takeover is complete.
For his part, Estrada pointed out that the Philippine government may not achieve its aspiration for President Arroyo’s “disarmament, demobilization and rehabilitation (DDR) of the MILF as a condition in a peace agreement when the MILF is pushing for secession and independence in establishing an independent Islamic state in Mindanao.
Estrada stated that too many civilians and Filipino soldiers have already suffered from the attacks of the MILF, citing statistics of killed and wounded soldiers as well as of evacuees while stressing that these attacks must be put to an end.
In a press statement, Estrada said: “So many innocent civilians, including priests, women and children, both foreigners and Filipinos, have been kidnapped, raped and tortured by the MILF. How can we continue to tolerate these crimes against our own people?” Estrada added.
He clarified that during his administration, the GRP also underwent extensive peace talks with the MILF before going on an all-out war with the MILF and that his government only decided to pursue an “all-out war” when, upon reaching an agreement, the MILF within three weeks of signing the agreement attacked the town of Kauswagan and burned six children to death.
It then became clear that the MILF was not sincere in its quest for peace but sincere instead in its quest for power and secession, and employing terrorist acts in the area.
Now we get to the nub of it. A kaffir, and an influential one at that, has finally woken up and realised what is going on.
“I am deeply concerned for our brothers in Mindanao. It is very regrettable that the efforts of our soldiers and the success of the all out war during my time was put to waste by the current administration when it allowed the MILF to return, upon the incumbent President’s assumption into office,” he said.
Estrada also clarified that he is also an advocate of peace but maintains that peace cannot be attained in Mindanao as long as the secessionists remain and are entertained.
Malaysia has agreed to extend the presence of international truce monitors in Mindanao for another three months in a bid to reduce the skirmishes betweengovernment forces and the MILF.
The decision was made during the meeting in Kuala Lumpur this week between government and MILF negotiators in the presence of the Malaysian government, who have been brokering peace talks between the two sides.
Pah! As if the Malaysian Government, with its deeply entrenched Islamic world view and its record of persecution of non-Muslims in its own country, could be anything other than a conniving schemer deliberately misleading the democratically elected Government of the Philippines. The Malaysian Government simply wants to find a diplomatic way for the MILF to get what it wants and if a new Muslim state can be created along the way, then so much the better. To misquote – in this instance diplomacy is simply war fought with different weapons.
Philippine troops also yesterday overran another MILF stronghold, while taking Camp Bilal, but Commander Bravo [MILF] who is said to hold that camp, was nowhere to be found.
In a related develop-ment,Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro yesterday expressed alarm over the resurgence of a Christian- vigilante group that warned the Moro rebel group to stop its assaults and terror attacks in Mindanao or else the military will also go after them and that the Ilagas face consequences.
Teodoro stressed that the resurgence of the Ilaga group is not a solution to revive the peace and order situation in Mindanao.
Ah-ha, so other kaffirs have woken up, too. Good for them! “U.S. Charge d'Affaires Joseph Mussomeli issued a statement referring to Mindanao's borders as "so porous" for lawless elements that could make the southern Philippines as the next Afghanistan.
Calling themselves the "Bag-ong Ilaga" (or new Ilaga), the first group of vigilantes came out early last week, giving local reporters copies of their videotaped press conference and a press statement declaring their mission to eliminate "terrorists."
The “Bag-ong Ilaga” vigilantes said that they are "desperate" that government has failed to preempt terrorist attacks and vowed to meet “terrorists” "eye for an eye."
Named by the vigilante group as “terrorists” are the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Abu Sayyaf, Pentagon and Jemaayah Islamiya (JI). Both the MILF and MNLF are however armed political groups fighting for a separate state; Abu Sayyaf and Pentagon have figured as crime syndicates while JI is suspected by the U.S. as a “terrorist network” in Asia.
The press statement signed by one "Kumander Dapay" (superior eagle) also warned all Muslims to avoid helping the Moro rebel groups so they would be spared from vigilante vengeance.
Reacting to the report, the armed forces’ Task Force Davao (TFD), a battalion-strong counter-terrorist unit based in Davao City, threatened to arrest the members of Bag-ong Ilaga. A TFP colonel however asked the group to instead help the military gather information about suspected terrorists.”
(That italicised quote is from this site.
But Malacañang’s chief lawyer says there is nothing wrong with the reactivation of the anti-Muslim vigilante group following atrocities committed by the MILF.
Department of Justice (DoJ) secretary Raul Gonzalez saw nothing illegal with the revival of the Ilaga, a Christian vigilante group, to protect innocent civilians from the atrocities of the MILF “It’s not illegal to form a group. They have not done anything wrong or any criminal act that would warrant the filing of charges against them.”
Gonzalez stressed that the so-called Reform Ilaga Movement could be held liable if its members engage in extra-judicial killings because it is against the law.
The justice chief said that arming oneself for protection is not a crime and [if] one has the corresponding license and permit to possess a firearm.
Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Loren Legarda for their part, said the resurrection of the Ilaga, that has been dormant for decades now, just adds unwanted religious elements in the Mindanao conflict, a throwback to the situation in the 1970s.
Excuse me! Exactly who is adding “unwanted religious elements” to this conflict? What Senator Defensor-Santiago and Senator Legarda are actually saying is exactly the same old guff which our Western politicians are peddling – don’t antagonise the Muslims, the Muslims have a case, we’re the bad people, we mustn’t fight back, let them have what they want, anything for a quiet life! Oh, and of course: keep the money coming! Honestly, what is it about Islam and Islamic violence which sends otherwise sensible politicians (well, as sensible as any politician ever is) into a tailspin of appeasement and grovelling.
To be fair to Senator Defensor-Santiago I must add more of what she said:
“Definitely it’s going to exacerbate the armed conflict. I will not even call it an insurgency I think that because of the declarations of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) owning these rouge [rough?] commanders, or these other operatives that demotes the situation from insurgency to a mere situation of banditry. As they say in international law, a situation of an armed conflict,” said Santiago.
“It might prove terminal to these MILF leaders because Ilagas are composed of Christian settlers who are determined to defend their settlements against what they look upon as marauders. They do not agree with the claims of the MILF or MNLF members that these members have a sovereign to their homeland. They believe that it is the Ilagas who have their homeland in Mindanao, because they were the original settlers there.
Well, and so they were. Muslims came along much later.
I suppose, also, that I ought to be fair to Senator Legarda who said:
“We should allow our soldiers and the police to do their jobs. We cannot allow civilians to take the law into their hands because that will only worsen the problem. The level of violence and atrocities in Mindanao got ratcheted up because of the tit-for-tat mentality in the 70s fostered by numerous armed groups. We must learn from that mistake and nip this problem in the bud,” she said.
However, I don’t very feel charitable about these remarks for what is actually being said is that it is the Christian resistance which is the problem – not the violent Muslim fanatics, and, frankly Senator, I don’t buy that!
Senator Defensor-Santiago also said that:
“[...] the ongoing armed conflict in Mindanao falls solely under domestic law and penal code, not international law.
Many presidents have already tried their best and could not solve the problem. It seems to be intractable as other inter-domestic problems of our conflict,” Santiago said in a press conference.
The Muslims are a minority in Mindanao the majority are now Christians, so they can claim protection only in the name of an indigenous community as protected by our constitution. But they cannot claim that Mindanao is completely theirs in near sovereign terms.
In the first place, the constitutional provision on sovereignty of national territorial integrity prevents any Muslim group from claiming the right of cessation.
“I understand some of them had gone to that extent. They believe that since they are suffering, they can secede from the Philippines and that’s not allowed by the Constitution. They’re only allowed an autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao. Now autonomy is defined by our Constitution by exclusion. It excludes certain areas from evolution to the autonomous region and the autonomous region as envisioned by the Muslims today by the MILF and MNLF goes beyond the limits of our constitution.”
Note that ‘now’ in the first clause of the first sentence of the third paragraph. That is a deliberate attempt to mislead. Mindanao has always been a majority Christian province. Before colonisers from the West arrived it was a tribal area, but it certainly was never a Muslim area.
However, here is some sense from another Filipino Senator:
Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, on the other hand, said there should be no slowdown in the military operations against the MILF even if Ramadan is approaching.
“If they will ask for my two cents opinion, we should not think of religious rights to impede restoration of law and order in the country. At this point it will be counter productive for the military or the government to be talking about ceasefire. Otherwise, it will betray their weakness if they have any weakness,” Enrile told reporters during the weekly Kapihan sa Senado [coffee with the senators].
Personally, I think, as far as the government is concerned, law and order must be maintained and restored,” he said.
Enrile, however, stood opposed to the reported planned move of Malacañang to seek the assistance of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to help break the stalemate in the peace talks.
“I can only go back to history. This is an internal problem and we should keep it at that. We should not internationalize it. We negotiate with our recalcitrant elements in the country in other venues. But we must always maintain that this is an internal problem and we should not allow other national interests or international personalities to get involved in solving our own internal problems,” he said.
However, Muslim terrorist groups such as the MILF will continue to operate throughout the Philippines and other Asian countries. It doesn’t take a genius to see what they are up to. With the backing of such atrocious human-rights abusers as the Government of Malaysia they hope that they can nibble away province after province from the free countries of South-East Asia and establish the dead hand of an Islamic hegemony all across the region. Here, as elsewhere, they are using our own concept of human rights against us. What is more, these Islamic terrorists are deliberately attempting to twist history and they are, with some success, persuading otherwise reasonably sensible people such as Senators Defensor-Santiago and Legarda to help them.
Don’t get me wrong. I am, at least at the moment, no supporter of Bag-ong Ilaga. I well remember the indiscriminate atrocities committed by the original Ilaga movement in the 1970’s. However, given the atrocities committed by the MILF against Filipino Christians I’m not sure that I couldn’t turn into one great big supporter of the Bag-ong Ilaga very easily – especially if they kept out of the violence and simply supported the Government line.
Then again, and let’s be honest here, perhaps the only way to tackle Muslim violence against us, and, let us not forget, it is violence of the most primitive kind which is being waged against us, is by meeting that violence head on with violence of our own against them! I do hope not, but I can’t find it in my heart to condemn those Filipino Christians who believe that it is – not given their long years of attrition and suffering at the hands of those Islam inspired mad and bad men who have raped, kidnapped, tortured, murdered and terrorised the inhabitants of Mindanao and other places.
Turning the other cheek is my preferred option, always, for that is what the one true God commands me to do. However, in this case I do have some little sympathy for those who have had enough and say ‘praise The Lord and pass the ammunition’. Just how much violent persecution can you expect a decent Christian to put up with?