COMMENT| PNP-SAF intrusion in Maguindanao, an unlikely scenario in a federal state

IF WE WERE  in a Federal State, the uncoordinated presence and intrusion of the PNP Specail Action Force (SAF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao would not have happened.

In the aftermath of the so called “misencounter” with the MILF troops, I’m amazed by the reactions of our fellow Filipinos in Luzon, Metro Manila in particular, which points the blame to the MILF. Further, I am appalled on the officer or officers order to the group of “highly trained” cops to enter a no-man’s-land and claim to arrest a terrorist that have been dead for 3 years. And lastly, it is wrong to say that this has no effect or bearing in the continuing talks for the BBL passage.

Reading social media threads, I somehow see and still feel the narrow mindedness of my fellow citizens up north that MILF is a brute/uneducated/war mongering group. Some, asked that ex-President Erap Estrada all-out-war strategy be used again, by the love of God! You have not experienced war nor taste the hardships of refugees my friends, please be mindful of the struggles of us MINDANAOANS for lasting peace. Most of the time, Manila-based politicians and military personel, use Mindanao for their own gains.

In 2003, Davao City was hit by two major explosions, the Airport and Sasa Wharf bombings. Allegedly, this was not done by MILF, Abu Sayaff, or JI, but by military personnel that wanted their intelligence funds increased. Hence, state sponsored terrorism.

Furthermore, as I listen to the imperialist newscast of national television networks, I am surprised that all the angles in the news points out that the police were heroes. YES, I agree 100% to that. But how about the officers and aspiring generals, as alleged, who led this raid? Will they use that $5 million dollars reward to fund some politicians campaign in 2016?

Somebody has to pay, if you are the Secretary of the department that mandates the PNP and the PNP Chief as well, you should step down.

Another scenario is that, these generals would not like the Bangsamoro Basic Law to prosper as they will loose their foothold in Mindanao. Yes, we have waring clans, warlords and berserkers… but let themselves deal with it, the most important thing we give them is freedom, the freedom that they have an absolute right to before the Spaniards came, and the freedom they ought to have in the future.

As the constitutionality of the BBL is about to be tested by no less than the embodiment of the constitution herself, Sen. Miriam Santiago. The incident puts the BBL in bad shape. I hope and pray that the BBL will prosper, if we need to change the 1987 constitution, so be it. But once we do so, we do it holistically.

The so called Maguindanao misencounter would not have happened if we were already in a federal state. As the BBL and other Federal countries have, each state have total control over their lands including the army and police. Nonetheless, the National Guard is always ready but will never intrude somebody’s territory in an uncoordinated effort!

Finally, Yes Mindanao by virtue of territory is part of the Philippines but the culture will never be the so called Filipino a name from a Spanish colonizing king.

Bangsamoro is a nation, very much different from our own. Let us understand and cherish the diversity and fruits that it gives us, not only to Mindanao, but also… yes, you… Manileños, from Luzon and Visayas as well.

(Paolo Anota is a reporter from a TV Station based in Davao City)

Posted in Opinion