Tuesday, February 03, 2015

MILF, BIFF, and the Fallen 44, Part 3

This is a continuation of my exchanges with friends in my fb wall on the subject. My comments here are slightly revised from those  origially posted in  fb.
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8. Does the peace agreement say that the MIs are allowed to harbor internationally wanted terrorists?

The peace agreement implies that if the PH government suspects that there are wanted terrorists in the MILF area of jurisdiction but are protected by splintered groups and are outside of MILF chain of command, then the govt should coordinate with the latter so that the wanted terrorists can be flushed out and prosecuted. In the case of the SAF operation, they distrusted the AFP, they distrusted the MILF, they even distrusted the acting chief PNP, and went on their own.

From the Inquirer report, SAF informed only the AFP around 3am that day, on their way to Mamasapano, 5am they announced that they have killed Marwan, before 6am as they retreated to go back, firefights started, SAF asked for reinforcement belatedly. By 9am, 44 officers were dead.


9. That "global terrorism" tagged instituted by the americans is a canard, just so they can justify their hunt everywhere and involved everyone else to their paranoid cause…. Sinasama lang tayo sa global-global terrorism na yan. What we have here are just domestic rebels, brigands and thieves!

I think there is some truth to this assessment. There is high paranoia in  the US government after 9/11 and  hence,  the large-scale  invasion of  Iraq and Afghanistan, among  others. Many of these Islamic militants are just after money, hence the kidnapping for ransom, land grabbing, etc., using religious or political “causes” as cover for their criminal and robbery activities.

Anti-terrorism expert and friend, Prof. Rommel Banlaoi says many fighters who killed the Fallen 44 were splintered groups of MILF guys, like BIFF and the Justice for Islamic Movement (JIM). He added that JIM is more draconian than the BIFF.

10. It is more accurate to say that many JIM members participated in the firefight with SAF.

So some local Islamic militants are laughing at the PH government, laughing at the MILF, laughing at the public. If more people will call for throwing the peace agreement, these militants will be laughing even harder. More violence and war, more bombings and killings, forever if necessary, that's what they want. Many Filipinos are now playing and dancing into their cards.

11. If MILF cannot make the JIM, BIFF, ASG, MNLF, and others toe the line, what make s you think it can after BBL?

Some people think the MILF is a God or a paternal leader to all these groups? The reason why BIFF split from MILF, why JIM or Bangsamoro  Justice Movement (BJM) split from the BIFF, why ASG  split from MNLF, or  MILF split from MNLF, is because they have differences among themselves. BIFF can tell MILF, “you want us to follow you? Precisely that we left is because we do not  want to follow you.”

12. how you can all justify the brutality committed by these groups against innocent civilians; communities and yes the military and police forces too ...so we should be very grateful they did not strike for 5 years?

Who justified brutality? For me, the main reason why I do not support any war is precisely that any escalation of the conflict will surely, 100%, escalate the brutality from each side. If PNP-AFP kills some BIFF/JIM/other rogue elements, these groups will kill civilians whom they suspect as informers or pro-government.

And yes, we should be grateful there was no strike either from the MILF or AFP over the past 5 years. You are not happy with that? You wished there were dozens or hundreds who died over the past 5 years because of  continued shooting and fighting? Weird.

13. Islam is fundamentally a violent ideology pretending to be a religion.

My friend who said this has visited Jakarta, the capital of the 4th largest country in the  world population wise and most of the people in Indonesia are followers of Islam. I’m sure he did not see or experience violence there, or read continuing violence by believers  of  Islam over non-Muslims like Filipinos, Thais, Singaporeans, etc. People should be careful in generalizing. They may be fanning more hatred and  unwittingly inviting counter-violence in your statements.

14. statistics on how land prices in Mindanao correlate with how many Muslims are in the neighborhood.

I think this news provides some leads.

"The value of investments on hold due to the fighting, in the real estate and agriculture sectors, is estimated at "billions" of pesos...
Malaysian businessmen due to arrive on Monday to inspect sites in Cotabato city have cancelled their trip,... Jordanian businessmen looking to invest in up to 50 hectares (123 acres) of banana farms left abruptly on Sunday without finalizing a deal... Singaporean and Malaysian partners seeking to replicate their mini shopping mall business in Johor Baru said they were postponing their investment." http://www.interaksyon.com/.../mamasapano-scaring-away...

It is NOT the number of Muslims who live in an area that determines business feasibility and land prices. It is the peace and order, the absence (or at least minimum) of shooting and killings. The peace agreement is something that is very useful to have more local and foreign businessmen, more job creations, to come to ARMM and neighboring areas. Now many people want to throw away the peace agreement? Reason should prevail over emotion.

15. prices are depressed because of perception of violence, it would correlate very closely to where the Muslim communities are.

Zamboanga city has a big Muslim population and I think land prices there are higher compared to Catarman in Samar or Oslob in Cebu or other lesser known municipalities in the country which have minimum if not zero Muslim population.

16. In Indonesia (and Malaysia also to a certain extent), one cannot post anti-Islam opinions on facebook.

True, and it shows that these Muslim governments can allow facebook, youtube, twitter, gmail, etc. Non-Muslim China or N. Korea will not allow its people to post anti-Muslim, anti-Christian, anti-atheism, etc. because those social media are banned in the first place. So if one is talking about dictatorship and political intolerance, he/she is barking at the wrong tree. Try also posting anti-Hindu comments in certain areas of India, or anti-Buddhist comments in certain areas of Cambodia or Nepal, or even Thailand and see what will happen.
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See also: 
MILF, Fallen 44 and Rule of Law, February 01, 2015 

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