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 And, most especially, the military equipments are outdated.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.