ROUGH CUTS| Sowing intrigues

THE WHOLE day of Holy Thursday last week we visited some fifteen Roman Catholic churches in various parts of Davao City. And we included those churches in barangays located in the city’s rural areas like Tagakpan, Mintal, Los Amigos and Catalunan Grande among others.

     While our church visitations or Visita Iglesia were actually intended to fulfill our religious obligations we found ourselves unintentionally comparing the rural barangays hosting the churches we visited – at least in the aspect of maintaining cleanliness and beautification.

     Our choices as co-winners are barangays Quarry and Tagakpan in Tugbok district. Why, because we found their well-paved roads lined with shady trees and beautiful ornamental plants apparently maintained with regularity, thus allowing them to grow to its fullest.

     Besides, the orderliness of the road easement appears to be a product of love from disciplined residents who, we believe, must have realized that it is also their responsibility and not just that of the government, to ensure that their barangays are highly livable.

     And yes, according to our 12-year old grandson, the orderliness of the two barangays we have mentioned could only be the product of the initiative of the barangay captains and other officials. We readily agreed with his observation because we are fully aware that nothing positive can be attained by any barangay unless its officials lead on the quest for its fulfillment.

     We have no idea who the barangay captains of both Quarry and Tagakpan are, and of the barangay between the two. But we are whole heartedly extending our congratulations to them and their officials, as well as the residents of the mentioned places for their unity to make their respective area so pleasant to see by anyone who has the opportunity to visit there.

     And if we have to add the beautiful Catholic church of Tagakpan and its sprawling compound it would not be surprising to any visitor in the area to find heaven on earth.

     Congratulations! We are hoping that if there is an in-city “Lakbay Aral” for barangay officials in the future its organizers should include as itinerary the barangays we have mentioned here.

—ooOoo—

     Wednesday last week also, a national broadsheet had for its banner headline the story about the clash of some Abu Sayaff members and the combined military and police elements in Inabanga, Bohol Province in the Central Visayas.

     In its sub-caption the newspaper intimated that the “invasion” of Bohol by some members of the Sulu/Basilan-based terrorist group happened a day after the military told the public that it saw no terrorist threat in that part of the country despite a US Embassy warning.

     Our reading of the use of those words in the sub-caption is that it created an impression that the military is clueless of the activity of the Abu Sayaff notwithstanding the US warning. In other words, some people may consider such coinage of words in the sub-caption as intrigue-laden.

     To us however, even if the military and the police knew about the movement of the members of the terrorist group, they still did the right thing in not confirming the threat as well as the possible specific target area of the Abu Sayaff.  Had the military and police leadership emphatically confirmed the entry of the armed group to any of the Central Visayas provinces it could have created panic on the residents of the province, city or town concerned.

     On the other hand, it will also give the terrorists the opportunity to change plan and divert their target destination to a place or places not mentioned by the military and the police. So, in such situation there is likelihood that they could have proceeded to resorts that are lightly guarded, or where tourists both locals and foreigners were unsuspecting.

      As they say in military or police operations, deception is sometimes a necessary evil if only to conceal the moves of protagonists and ensure success. That is, that the military’s denial could have led the Abu Sayaff members to be complacent thinking that their movement has not been monitored and no measure was in place to track them down upon their landing in Inabanga.

     Thus, from where we are perched, we view the insinuation that the military and police had been blind-sided or outwitted by the Abu Sayaff because of their issuance of a statement that they saw no terror threat in the Central Visayas area despite the US embassy warning is unfair.

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