Lessons from Marawi Tragedy and the Ongoing NPA Operations

Lessons from Marawi Tragedy

And the Ongoing NPA Operations

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Infiltration as a terroristic act has definitely succeeded with the Marawi City devastation as the latest manifestation. The ISIS-professing Maute Group recruited insiders and used them in waging terror in the city in their effort to overthrow the government and replace it with the traditionalist Islamic faction. The group enticed many young Maranaos to join them with tempting huge monetary reward equivalent to the Filipino executive wage. The New People’s Army (NPA) has used this tactic, albeit with threat, instead of financial persuasion. This bandit group has infiltrated remote villages and employed threat in their recruitment campaign and extortion.

 

The Philippines is helpless against terrorism despite the declaration of the government that everything is in order as far as security is concerned. Such assurance is ridiculous because the country’s coastal fronts are pathetically protected by the inadequate facilities of the Philippine Navy and Philippine Coast Guard. Many forested areas and remote villages have become lairs of bandits and rebels. Military outposts in remote areas are inadequately and inconsistently manned….beefed up only when there are reported attacks by the unfriendly elements. And, most especially, the military equipments are outdated. Add to that the dwindling number of combatants. The aforementioned are reasons why the Philippine military is very far from being successful in their drive against the Abu Sayyaf based in Basilan and the splintered NPA that turned bandits….and now, the Maute Group. There is a clear indication that the military need for manpower and equipment must be given attention soonest as possible.

 

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BUDGET? WHY MUST DUTERTE HIMSELF SHOULD ACT, BEFORE SOMETHING IS DONE? IS THE COUNTRY IN THE RIGHT HANDS OF “PROTECTORS/DEFENDERS”?

 

Not taking things for granted is what I mean by the “lesson” that the Armed Forces of the Philippines should learn from the Marawi tragedy and the NPA operations. The AFP brags about its accomplishments based on the number of dead police and soldier, and promises to fulfill commitments on certain dates. Unfortunately, the promises remain as unfulfilled promises.

 

To help Duterte maintain a reputable image, the AFP should stop making promises and act more appropriately…period.

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Martial Law for Mindanao is Long Overdue

Martial Law for Mindanao is Long Overdue

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The gruesome killings in Marawi, the encounter at Bagumbayan (Sultan Kudarat), between the MILF and the Philippine military, the pockets of bombings in southern Mindanao are all indications that the sitting president, Rodrigo Duterte is being challenged as to how far he can bend backward without straining his spine. He has been tolerant for some time and he did it more than enough. It is high time that he should flex his muscles.

 

When he took over the land’s highest position from a lenient president, he did not lose time in calling for cooperation. But because of his obvious plan to rid the country and the government in particular, of crooks, practically, everybody with selfish motives became apprehensive. Turncoats and opportunists who thought Duterte is no different from the past presidents are shocked by his steadfast and feisty moves, so now, they are having second thoughts if they would still support him or finance his detractors which some are already doing.

 

How can Martial be not applicable to a country like the Philippines, especially, Mindanao where unrest is already brewing? How can “due process” be applied to the case of a terrorist caught red-handed while about to detonate a bomb? How can “due process” be applied in the case of  drug-deranged and useless citizens who rape innocent young women, and even elders, fit to be their grandmother? How can “due process” be applied in the case of drug lords who have constructed drug laboratories right under the very nose of conniving law-enforcement agencies? How can “due process” be applied in Marawi City where gruesome killings are being committed by the Maute Group? The supposedly “due process” has just created animosity among the victims of criminals due to delayed application of justice.

 

HIHINTAYIN PA BA NA KUMALAT ANG TERORISMO SA VISAYAS AT LUZON…LALO NA SA MAYNILA?

 

Clearly, there is a concerted effort to oust Duterte from his post. And, those who have conceived this evil design could be the concerned parties whose selfish interests have been railroaded.  Again, Martial Law for Mindanao is long overdue. Why worry if you are not guilty?

 

And, obviously, the terrorism in Mindanao is no longer hinged on religion but politics and money!

 

 

Our Unsafe World

Our Unsafe World

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Our world is so unsafe today that even billionaires are not secure behind the thick and high walls of their home. Their palatial abode may not be burglarized due to tight security but they may have acquired diseases from excessive vices that can certainly shorten their life…vices that involve “creations” of man such as alcoholic drinks and synthetic foods.

 

The atmosphere is so poisoned that the rainwater is no longer safe to drink. The air is permeated with heavy carbon dioxide that even the so-called organic vegetables that are not raised with fertilizer are still not safe to eat. Chicken in poultries are fattened with growth-enhancing feeds and so are pigs and cattle.

 

Fruits are sprayed or swabbed with chemicals so that their shelf-life can be extended. Marine fishes are soaked in formalin to make them look fresh and so are vegetables such as okra, tomatoes, eggplants, slices of young jackfruit (langka), and many others. Fishes filleted and dried (daing), as well as, sardines are also soaked in formalin to make their scales shiny and enticing.

 

The government that is supposed to protect us can no longer be trusted with confidential information due to careless and corrupt “public servants”. The most important link between diverse humanities, the internet system is also prone to hacking which jeopardizes the security of users. Even the guy sitting next to you in a bus, could be a mugger.

 

The eroding cultures of peoples result to the overall weakening of human character and his virtual self-annihilation.

 

The Crooks in our Midst

The Crooks in Our Midst

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The crooks in today’s world are known by several names – skimmers, hackers, scammers, pickpockets, pimps, fakers, drug lords, drug pushers, etc.

 

There are jet-setting crooks who bring their dubious trade in other countries. In the Philippines there are foreigners who are ATM machine skimmers, and who successfully entered the country as tourists. Some of these are bomb-making experts who ply their trade in many countries for varying handsome fees….with some already in the Philippines sharing their knowledge with local terrorists in the name of religious advocacy. Filipino pickpockets travel to Hongkong and the casinos in the US to ply their trade.

 

In Manila, particularly, along the stretch of Recto Avenue, fakers of documents, openly solicit clients. Not far away is the Avenida where pimps approach moneyed-looking guys who are shown photos of supposedly “virgin” and pretty and still, supposedly “young students” who need money for their tuition fee. And, of course, among these crooks are the pickpockets, with some of them decent-looking.

 

Air-con buses that ply the provincial routes from Manila are not spared by fake evangelists who deliver lines from the Bible and then approach passengers to ask for “donation”. And, another group of bus-hoppers is composed of distraught-looking guys and women who show Xeroxed copy of death certificate of supposedly relatives whose remains could not be interred due to lack of funds. I encountered several crook women who showed photos of supposedly members of their family and who are in the hospital and who badly needs financial assistance.

 

Fly-by-night tour operators have their own kind of modus operandi to successfully swindle sucker tourists, both local and foreign. They advertise too-good-to-be-true cheap tour packages to popular tourist spots complete with several days stay in first class resorts or hotels….payment is online, as the transaction has been made in the same way. Soonest as payment is made, the swindled client is left hanging in the air, as not even the promised transfer service did not materialize.

 

Other crooks in our midst are those who can’t seem to have a peaceful mind until they have borrowed money from “friends”, and without any intention to pay. I consider them “leeches” as they suck blood from their trusting friends. Unfortunately, many of this kind are supposedly educated, professionals who know that what they are doing is wrong, yet, they persist on exploiting others.

 

There are many more crooks, as those I mentioned are just some of them. Every one could have been a victim in one way or another, and through small or big deal….as the world is full of them!

 

 

On Being Exposed to Various Facets of Life

On Being Directly Exposed to Various Facets of Life

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

One can learn by browsing through the pages of books and at the present time, by viewing documentaries on TV channels. The knowledge gained out of those is “secondary”, unlike when one experiences first- hand occurrences in life which then, makes him or her some sort of “authority”. Among these instances are those that involve being in the midst of a depressed area, befriending hoodlums and other shady characters, travelling to interesting and unlikely destinations, eating extraordinary foods, going through grueling experience, etc.

 

In the same manner, sensitive posts such as those in the DILG, DSW, CHR, and many others should be occupied by people who have gained first-hand experience so that they can come up with ideas and decisions, based on “experience”….as much as possible. Unfortunately, various appointments in the government posts are based on “referrals” of friends, associates, or out of gratitude. Later, these appointees, as expected, are proved to be inadequate in carrying their job, and worse, are corrupt!

 

On the other hand, some may say that a doctor need not be sick of any malady to be able to prescribe a medicine. But then, prescribed medicines are not sure balls to cure as patients are asked to return after a certain period of time to check if what have been prescribed were effective. This situation is in contrast to the shared testimony of patients themselves, who got cured by certain herbs…but which medical “authorities” prohibit.  That is why despite the testimonies of those who have been relieved by herbal medicines, for instance, that go with an advertisement, what follows is a harsh precaution from the DOH that the “medication” has not been proved as effective!….so, why allow the inclusion of the testimonies, if that is the case?…or why allow the ad to be played at all, as it will just create confusion? Relative to this was the practice in the earliest civilized nations, such as those mentioned in the Bible. The practice involved exposure of the sick to the public to attract the attention of passers -by, hoping that among them, one or several who had similar disease and got cured would stop by to give advice.

 

Today, in the Philippines, some people who have not even stepped on the ground of a depressed area have the temerity to speak about poverty and life in slums despite the limitation of their “exposure” to TV screens and news gleaned from pages of newspapers. They are the detractors of Duterte in his drive against illegal drugs. All they know are just the words “death” and “extra-judicial killings” without even going any further as to the “who” and “why”. They read and view news that the killed guys are from depressed areas or slums. They never get to the depth of the story, especially, on what the drug-hooked criminals have done and could still do if left to roam the streets peddling drugs from their police protectors and evil suppliers, to their equally impoverished neighbors.

 

These detractors will never understand the situation that resulted from the negligence of the past presidents, because they, who speak about the EJK, only go as far as the air-conditioned malls and drive around the city in their airconditioned car. The furthest that they may have gone to are the touristic destinations where they spent their expensive jaunts. They have not even tried eating in sidewalk carinderias or have taken coffee in makeshift open-air “cafeterias” along side streets of slums.

 

WHAT I CANNOT UNDERSTAND IS THAT DESPITE THE FACT THAT MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION BENEFITS FROM THE DRIVE OF DUTERTE AGAINST DRUGS, THIS MINORITY MUDDLE HIS EFFORT INSTEAD OF JUST OBSERVING FROM THE SIDELINES AND GIVE HIM A CHANCE….THEN JUDGE HIM AT THE END OF HIS TERM. UNDERSTANDABLY, THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY ANYTHING, BUT THEY ARE NOT HELPING THE DEMOCRATIC EFFORT OF THE PRESIDENT FOR THE MAJORITY WHO, LIKE THEM HAS ALSO THE RIGHT TO BE PROTECTED BY THE SO-CALLED DEMOCRACY…ESPECIALLY, AGAINST THE CRIMINALS!

Choices in Life

Choices in Life

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

We should be prepared for the consequence of whatever bad choices that we made in life. Admittedly, however, there are occurrences in our life that we did not choose, and which we view as part of our fate, one is being born in poverty. But, we cannot be impoverished for life if we give way to our desire to struggle for the better. In this effort, however, we need the support of our parents. If they fail to give it to us, we can always look around for inspiration. At this juncture we can ask ourselves, “if others can, why can’t I”? And, finally, it’s only us, who can choose to be a self-made person, if we want it.

 

Some people want to take a shorter way in achieving what they want in life – success, instant pleasure or money. Those who want success in earning a profession commit frauds such as plagiarism in coming up with their thesis. Those with jobs who want promotion make evil designs that include stepping on others. Those who want to have instant pleasure or money, practically do anything at the expense of their honor and future.

 

We make choices along the way of our life – consciously, which makes us alone, who are accountable for such. It is for this reason that impoverished drug pushers should never blame the government for having neglected them, so that they were forced to sell illegal drugs, as they do not want to die of hunger. They made the choice to experience instant joy from drugs that made them first as drug addicts, and later as pushers to sustain their vice. But when the threat of death knocks at their door, on bended knees they cry a river of regrets!

 

Those in the government, and who took the risk of dipping their hands in the coffer of the government, should face the consequence of trials to prove their misdeed. I admire, however, the brash courage of these corrupt in defending themselves, tooth and nail, to prove their “innocence”. Such courage is honed by time, what with many years of being blindly trusted by voters who shamelessly sell their precious single right to vote for a pittance!

 

 

 

 

Ayaw Tumigil ng mga Ma-dramang Outdated na Obispong Katoliko

AYAW TUMIGIL NG MGA MA-DRAMANG

OUTDATED NA OBISPONG KATOLIKO

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Sa halip na ang nakasulat sa mga tarpaulin ng mga maiingay at ma-dramang obispong katoliko ay, “HUWAG KANG PUMATAY” na ang tinutukoy ay si Duterte, dapat ang nakasulat ay, “TIGILAN NA ANG PAGGAMIT AT PAGBENTA NG DROGA” na ang tinutukoy ay ang mga drug addict, drug pusher, at drug lord. Ikalat nila ito sa lahat ng sulok ng bansa. I-require ang mga simbahan nila sa bawat bayan at lunsod na gumawa. Dapat ay naghahatak sila ng mga tao patungo sa simbahan sa pamamagitan ng pagpapakita ng mga ugaling dapat tularan, sa halip na tingnan lang ang paghihirap ng mga nagugutom!

 

Dapat ay utusan din ng mga maiingay na Obispo ang mga pari nila na pumunta sa mga depressed areas at gumawa ng sarili nilang “plead campaign”. Kasama ang mga Barangay officials, ipinun nila ang mga suspected at drug addicts na ayaw magbago sa basketball court. Para marami ang pumunta, mamigay sila ng bigas at sardinas…. at condom. Lumuhod ang mga pari sa harap ng mga inipong addict at drug pushers, pwede rin silang humagulhol. Yan ang dapat nilang gawin kung gusto nilang mag-drama upang ipakita sa mga tao na silang mga naka-sotana ay si Hesus dito sa mundo. Sa totoo lang, para sa akin, ang similarity nila kay Hesus ay ang damit na mahaba na kung tawagin nila ay sotana. Pero ang mga Muslim ay nagsusuot din nito, at hindi sila nagkukunwaring si Hesus!

 

Dapat ay tumigil na sila sa kaiingay dahil putok naman sa mga balita ang tungkol sa ginagawang rehabilitation centers at tumulong pa nga ang China. Sa kabila ng problema sa budget, pinipilit ng gobyerno na ikalat ang mga rehab centers sa buong bansa. Bakit hindi tumulong ang simbahang katoliko sa proyektong ito dahil malaki naman ang kinikita nila? Kung ayaw ng mga obispong punahin sila kaya nadadamay ang BUONG SIMBAHANG KATOLIKO, tumigil na sila dahil napapahiya lang ang ibang Obispong matatalino at may malawak na pang-unawa!

 

Bulag sa katotohanan ang mga maiingay na Obispo sa katotohanang may mga pasaway talagang mga drug addict at drug pusher na ayaw magbago na nagbebenta pa rin ng recycled drugs. Maraming kuwento ang lumutang tungkol sa mga sumuko at nagpalista bilang pagsunod sa panawagan ng gobyerno pero ang ginawa nila ay bilang pakisama sa mga kaibigang taga-Barangay, pakitang-tao lang ang nangyari. Ibig sabihin, hindi sila seryoso. Sa isang operation ay may nakumpiska pa ngang droga na milyones ang halaga. Lahat ng iyan ay laman ng mga diyaryo at nababalita sa radyo. Ang gusto yata ng mga obispong ito ay pumikit at magsawalang-bahala na lamang ang mga pulis kung tawagan ng mga kapitbahay mismo ng mga drug addict at drug pusher na nirereklamo.

 

Bukod tanging si Bishop Tagle ang tahimik. Kung magbitaw man siya ng salita ay may kabuluhan at angkop ang mensahe. Hindi siya tulad ng ibang tumanda na sa pagsuot ng sotana ay animo wala pa ring alam sa mga tunay na nangyayari sa kapaligiran. Kung sa bagay ay hindi yan nakapagtataka, dahil sino bang pari ang pumupunta sa mga depressed areas upang magpakalat ng mga salita ng Diyos? Ang ibig kong sabihin ay ang mga “tunay” na squatters’ area na ang mga dinadaanan ay maputik at ang mga bahay ay yari sa mga karton, lumang yero, tarpaulin, walang kubeta, walang kuryente at ang mga batang naglalaro sa kalye ay nanlilimahid sa uhog na tumutulo mula sa ilong, walang damit, at bundat ang tiyan dahil sa malnutrition. MAGSALITA TUNGKOL DIYAN ANG MGA YUDI…..NG mga obispong maiingay! Kung may konsisyensiya sila, kalampagin nila ang gobyerno tungkol diyan, lalo na ang DSW, at makipagtulungan!

 

Bilib pa nga ako sa mga babaeng misyonarya ng ilang simbahang protestante na sumusuyod sa mga sidestreets ng mga depressed areas upang mamigay ng mga babasahin. Ang ibang mga pari naman ng Kristiyanong Orthodox ay nakatira pa mismo sa gitna ng mga lugar na ito, kung saan ay nandoon din ang kanilang maliit na kapilya. Ang mga ministro naman ng mga Christian Churches ay umuupa ng kahit maliit na puwesto upang magamit na sambahan sa mga lugar na malapit sa mga taong mahihirap. Lahat silang nabanggit ko ay hindi nagpapanggap na ang tinatanggap nilang donation na pera ay love offering para sa Diyos kundi tulong sa mga taong ministro na nagsasakripisyo, dahil kailangan din nilang kumain upang mapanaitili ang kalusugan at maipagpatuloy ang kanilang ginagawa…..ganyan lang ka-simple ang paliwanang…walang drama!

 

ANG MGA MAIINGAY NA OBISPONG KATOLIKO ITO ANG DAPAT ISAMA NG MGA PULIS TUWING MAY RAID SILA. TINGNAN KO LANG KUNG HINDI SILA MAGKANDA-IHI O BAKA MAGKANDA-TAE PA SA KANILANG SOTANA KAPAG NAKIPAGBARILAN NA ANG MGA PULIS SA MGA BANGAG SA DROGA!

 

(DISCLAIMER: HINDI LAHAT NG OBISPONG KATOLIKO AY MAINGAY, PARANG BULAG KAYA MISTULANG TANGA, HIGIT SA LAHAT AY MA-DRAMA. MAY ILAN, LALO NA SI BISHOP TAGLE NA KAPANI-PANIWALANG TUNAY NA KATOLIKO. ANG MGA NILAHAD KO AY PANSARILING PANANAW AT OPINYON… WALANG SINO MANG DAPAT MAGKWESTIYON. KUNG MAY GUSTONG MAGREKLAMO, MAGKITA NA LANG KAMI SA IMPIYERNO! ANG GUSTONG BUMATIKOS DIN SA MGA MAIINGAY NA YUDI…..NG MGA OUTDATED NA OBISPO GUMAMIT NA LANG NG MAS MAKULAY NA MGA SALITA.)