I had been wanting to write about my feelings and thoughts about the horrendous events that led to the massacre of 44 Special Action Force commandos of the Philippine National Police last Sunday, 25 January. I had been constantly weeping with every news bit, feeling the pain (or maybe not even an iota of it) of loss as if I was a family member, too. My heart feels just about ready to burst with emotions over the whole thing.
Into the second week and there has been no clear admissions from the government or the BIFF / MILF on what, how and why things happened the way they did and who will answer for it all. And that is why any Filipino who gives a damn, whether they be simply asking, looking for an answer or extremely heated and agitated, pushing for an all-out war, is on his/her chosen platform on the internet, venting his/her frustration.
And this brings me to how I was able to cohesively form my thoughts and finally put them down in words. A friend’s status update on Facebook started it all. I am not dissing his views, nor am I wanting to pick a fight with him. He does have interesting views but those views do not really sit well with what I believe because of what my logic tells me. No one has to agree with me here. And I have no wish to pick a fight. Like I said, I am just laying down what I think.
I shall present the thoughts in he said-she said fashion, his version being the screen cap. Here goes…
1. Yes, Filipinos, do continue to send criticisms along PNoy’s way and that is exactly what he deserves because he is accountable. He had knowledge of the ops, he said so himself, and as Commander in Chief, any botched operation, especially one as big as this, falls on him. He gave the go signal, he should be able to own up to it. Not point fingers.
2. Yes, they knew part of the job would be getting shot and dying. Slaughtered, even. We all know that too. But to (mis)quote one of the SAF commandos who aired out his frustration in a forum with Mar Roxas, how can this country be worth dying for when the government cannot protect its warriors? That sentiment, to me, goes beyond the Mamasapano clash. Have you seen our force’s equipment? They’re pathetic. How do you defend your country and your constitution with such? Bakit sila kailangang mamatay samantalang pwede sanang nakapagpadala ng reinforcements para maiwasan silang mamatay? On that note, bakit tayo nagkakanlong ng mga teroristang may kakayahang pumatay sa ating mga kawal at sa ating mamamayan nang walang kahirap-hirap?
3. It was not a misencounter. It was a botched covert ops. This was not planned properly or if it were, it included the shootout. If you ask me, the men were sent there to be ambushed. More than being killed, they were executed. Mutilated. Robbed. Am not a military analyst. Am just a writer obsessed with the military and its tactics and I can’t help but turn the events over and over in my head. These men were commando elite forces. Elite forces do not commit mistakes as big as this. It would have been impossible for them to not know what the terrain was or who lived there. It simply did not make sense.
4. Not all Muslims are bad people. In fact, many Muslims advocate peace because that is what Islam teaches. But these extremist Muslims who claim Mindanao to be their home have become terrorists out for blood. The policemen were not supposed to be there? ‘Yun na nga ang pinagtatalunan. Because they were supposed to be there. They were going to serve an arrest warrant for the international terrorists who have been hiding in that area. We Filipinos are not desired by them? I’m sorry, but aren’t they themselves Filipino? Where do they live anyway? Besides, give them their own piece of land dahil iba sila ng relihiyon? Paano kung humiling din ng ganyan ang INC? O ang mga Chinese na narito sa Pilipinas? Autonomous region na naman? This is the Philippines. Not Luzon Republic or Visayas Republic or Mindanao Republic. Live with it. Or leave it be. We can accommodate each one’s differences, create laws to protect these individual rights where religious practices are concerned but what they want is more than just too much.
5. I dunno about the other whiners who criticize our laws. I have not enough knowledge to diss what’s in that compilation of regulations na subject to individual interpretation naman and easily circumvented especially if the offender is a (high-ranking) government official. My desire is simple. I want peace but I don’t want us, I don’t want this government mollycoddling bad people – Muslim, Christian, Filipino, foreigner. Evil knows no race. The MNLF, the MILF, the BIFF… what have they done for me to believe they are not there to sow terror? That they have not been sowing terror even with the ceasefire agreement? When it comes to this BBL, can we think things through and make sure that this law does not let the terrorists have the upper hand? Why is the government kowtowing to their demands? Ah, oo nga. Dahil mas advanced ang weaponry nila. And they are all over the country. If the government does not give them what they want, they will start killing whoever it is na hindi kasapi sa faction nila. Muslim or Christian. Do we want that?
I am a Filipino and whether I am Christian or Muslim is beside the point. I live in this country. If I die in this country, if I die because of war, I would scream for the same justice the SAF desire – make this country worth dying for, dear government. Bigyan niyo ng proteksyon ang mamamayan niyong may totoong malasakit sa lupaing ito.