The ISIS, NPA, and Federalism

The ISIS, NPA, and Federalism

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

With the rumor that the Mindanao-based terrorists have been admitted by the ISIS into their fold, there is a need for all Mindanaoans – Christians, Lumads, and Muslims to close ranks. The common enemies of the Mindanaoans this time are the ISIS and their local followers who are viewed as terrorists. There is now a need to forget differences in culture and Faith. Instead, Mindanaoans should think and act as Filipinos. The Middle East-based terrorists are no different from the local NPAs whose current leaders act more like outlaws than defenders of peasants. There are pockets of areas in Mindanao that are still under this group’s shadow. The rash of terroristic acts sowed by NPAs clearly shows that they do not have ONE common leader who calls the shots.

 

The ISIS converts are blind to the fact that this group of terrorists that they admire is being disowned by some Islamic sects. And, for Communism, the ideology is no longer popular even among the Chinese of mainland China. It is no longer viewed in its pure form, as its leaders have learned to absorb a bit of democratic advocacies. The Communists in the Philippines is not even supported by the Communist Party of mainland China. The local Communists live on the sweat and blood of farmers who are forced to pay “taxes” which in reality are “tongs”….hence, the act of extracting “donations” from farmers is actually, “extortion”.

 

The federal system which has a “self-governing” characteristic of government is the best that Mindanaoans can have to effectively fight the ISIS and its local cohorts, as well as, the NPA. The fervor for self-preservation would be strongly felt by Mindanaoans if they, themselves, will do the act of protecting themselves with the support only of the national military. They will be better motivated to fight for the preservation of their stakes on patches of land which their grandfathers have driven down the once marshy land. Add to that the historic claim of the Lumads, the Iranuns, Maguindanoans, and  Maranaos.

 

Mindanaoans must not allow the proliferation of terrorism in their midst for the sake of the future generations. For decades, there had been so much suffering and deprivation. Mindanao today, is in dire need of a united stand against the evil hands!

 

Tolerance should be Respected

Tolerance should be respected

By Apolinario Villalobos

There is nothing wrong with tolerance which even the people’s pope, Francis is practicing. It is important however, that we should recognize and respect such. It should be noted that our rights end where the rights of others begin. Tolerating the ways of others should not mean that they are given the right to go beyond the line beyond which others dwell on their own rights.

In this regard, it is important that religions should be tolerated and respected – not abused and ridiculed. The latest bombing of Charlie Hebdon in France is a clear manifestation of how some people can have the temerity to ridicule other people’s religion, this time, Islam. The bombed group even has the gall to justify their act by mentioning that the new pope had his share of ridicule, but the latter did not react. How can these people forget that human beings differ in their degree of tolerance?  …or better, people belonging to different races differ in character from each other? Why can’t these French just ridicule their fellow French, for fun?

Most importantly, religion is such a sensitive issue deserving utmost respect. Its spirituality deserves the highest degree of esteem, as it deals with a person’s total being – his life and relationship with his Creator. And, nobody has the right to question such faith.

The Islamic State issue is more than annoying enough that it even disheartens some Muslims who go against the violent ways of the said movement. Comparing faiths at this time is uncalled for and can just worsen the heating up friction between the Christian and Islamic faiths. Groups of so-called “concerned intelligentsia” are nothing but hypocrites who cannot even discern the simple meaning of the “Golden Rule”.

Finally, the best act that one can do if he desires to go beyond boundaries of differences is by simply extending a hand beyond them for the sole purpose of helping.

Do We Really Understand What Our Faith Stands For?

Do We Really Understand
What our Faith Stands For?
By Apolinario Villalobos

The fanatics who aver to be faithful Muslims, the ISIS group, kill people, as though they’re killing chickens. They look at themselves as Islamic messiahs. An elegant lady I know never misses Sunday Mass, but lets out a barrage of ear-splitting cuss as soon as she reaches home just because her housemaid forgot to water her favorite orchid. A Bible-toting house-to-house evangelist, a friend of my kumpare, never speaks to her neighbor, a single mom with three kids, just because the kids have different fathers. And, there’s another friend, a “faithful” born-again Christian who hosts weekly Bible reading in his home, but he never tires of finding faults in everything that his neighbors do, including the officials of the homeowners association of the exclusive subdivision where he lives.

The problem with man is that, he never makes God as the center of his life. For man, God is just among the “must do” in his list of activities. That is why, for the week, only one day, the one allotted for the worship finds man as seemingly “Godly”. And, for the rest of the week, he becomes ruthless in his ways, or to put it mildly, he gets off the track of goodness.

“Inconsistent” best describes man as regards his faith. Such truth is some kind of a pill that is hard to swallow, as the saying goes, but even the pope, himself, Francis, admits to being inconsistent in his faith. No man is born a saint. He may be innocent as an infant, but as he grows, he becomes influenced by his surrounding, and that includes even his parents and siblings.

Man is vulnerable to temptation but such vulnerability should not be made as an excuse to deviate from the Right Way. True faith can be equated with our honest and sincere effort to make God as the center of our life. In other words, there should be a constant awareness of His presence all the time, everywhere. Everything that we do should be God-centered…regardless of our religion.

It is difficult to be consistently and sincerely faithful, but we can try our best, at least. On the other hand, those who do not believe in His existence, should stop blaming Him for every misfortune that befall them.