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 And, most especially, the military equipments are outdated.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




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.

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!


Andrea…naghihinagpis na Ina

Andrea …

Naghihinapis na Ina

(para kay Andrea Rosal)

ni Apolinario Villalobos


Dinakip dahil sa mga kasalanan daw na ginawa niya

Subali’t walang napatunayan maski ni isa sa kanila

Ang tumatak lamang ng malalim sa kanyang pagkatao

Ay pagiging anak ni Ka Roger, isang rebeldeng pinuno.


Sa kalagayan niyang kagampan, buntis ng ilang buwan

Sa malamig na semento ay natutulog, doon sa kulungan

At sa hirap na inabot, nadamay ang batang walang malay

Kaya nang nailuwal na…lupaypay, malamig, walang buhay.


Kung kaylan naibuwis, buhay na walang kamuwang-muwang

Saka nagtuturuan, nagsisisihan ang mga may bitukang halang

Palagi na lamang bang ganito ang mangyayari sa mga Pilipino?

Nayuyurakan ang karapatan, na may gawa, sariling gobyerno?


Tatlong oras, sa kanya’y ibinigay upang masilip mahal na anak

Hindi sapat na panahon upang mukha nito, sa isip niya’y tumatak

Di rin pinayagang maihatid niya ito sa kanyang huling hantungan

Wala siya nagawa kundi maghinagpis sa mapait niyang kapalaran!