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!