Laying The Basis For Peace, Or War (Or Worse)?
I’d already written my main blogpost for Sunday and reviewing the images from Zamboanga and Basilan: President Arroyo condoling with the newly-widowed and the orphaned kids of the two dozens soldiers, several of them newly-minted unit commanders just two years out of the PMA.
But I was struck by this portion of the Philippine Daily Inquirer editorial:
… it is imperative that our armed forces ponder whether there is such a thing as an isolated offensive versus any single group. The collision of an ancient martial culture, tribal loyalties and the security of the state has been proven, time and again, to be costly to all concerned.
Was it prudent, then, to launch an offensive on the eve of peace talks in Malaysia? Did this military recklessness make sense? Only if seen as a way of proving to the Americans that the AFP means business – and is racking up expenses due to the fighting – and in terms of keeping the Philippine Marines and other military units the administration mistrusts bogged down in fighting so they won’t be affected by the new wave of scandals that show officialdom’s callousness to the poverty of the people.
This follows the piece from Bulatlat.om which ominously reported that Malacanang “is scuttling its scheduled resumption of peace talks with communist rebels.”
Zooming out, what is unfolding is ominous: the escalation of the two insurgencies with ten months and counting before the 2010 elections.
Is this a set-up to justify emergency rule, or worse?
We have to ask, we MUST be vigilant.