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Monday, February 9, 2015

Clear and Present Danger: Philippine Setting


By Erick San Juan

SAF-massacreOnce again our nation is undergoing a very rough sailing towards attaining yet another attempt to bring peace in the south. This time around, more than 44 precious lives were sacrificed in order to deliver a ‘mission’ that up to this time is filled with ‘mystery’. So many questions left unanswered and speculations going around via the social media.
One glaring ‘speculation’ is the role of foreign cloak and dagger operators in the said Operation Wolverine.

According to Jerome Succor Aba, spokesperson of Moro human rights group Suara Bangsamoro, said that they were able to interview a 40-year-old farmer in Brgy. Tukanalipao, Mamasapano. The witness said he saw at least one body of a ”blue-eyed”, Caucasian soldier minutes after the deadly encounter that led to the deaths of at least 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Aba declined to reveal the name of the witness for security reasons.

“They (civilian residents of Brgy. Tukanalipao) were the first ones to arrive in one of the two areas where the encounters happened,” said Aba. The civilians arrived in the area after troops of the MILF withdrew to the Islamic Center in Sitio Inubog, Brgy. Pembalkan, Mamasapano, he added.

The farmer was even able to touch the nose of the dead soldier, Aba said. The farmer described to Aba the said soldier as “blue-eyed”. (Source: Kenneth Roland A. Guda, http://pinoyweekly.org)

Another source said that the caucasian was not an American but a Norwegian. Another said he’s a foreign looking Filipino. Americans were most of the times suspected by so many people because of their visibility and the leak of information coming from the US patriots and netizens.

Ka Satur Ocampo wrote in his column at Philippine Star last saturday, Jan.31 – “Oplan Wolverine” sounds so different from the familiar-sounding names of the series of AFP counterinsurgency projects over the years: Oplans “Mamamayan,” Bantay-Laya,” “Lambat-Bitag,” and the current “Bayanihan.”

Wonder not about its provenance. Consider this: the US has tagged “Marwan” as a top terrorist and offered a huge reward for his physical elimination. It’s logical to assume that “Oplan Wolverine” was drawn up by US counterterrorist planners.

Reports say, in September 2014 US operatives gave definitive information to “ranking police officials” on the exact location of Marwan, evidenced by photos taken by CIA drones). A plan was hatched – with explicit instructions from the Americans not to share the info with other Philippine security agencies and to coordinate only with “government troops posted along the highway on their way to their mission.”

That was what the SAF forces claim they did last Sunday. But President Aquino, in his address to the nation, blamed the SAF commander – who had been reporting to him directly – for failing to follow his instruction for “maximum coordination.” A case of insubordination? Or did the SAF obey a more powerful superior that led them to disaster?”

This is the crucial question that has to be answered by whatever fact-finding body that the government wish to create. It would all lead to the question of practicing transparency and accountability by all parties involved in order to give justice to the Fallen 44 of the PNP Special Action Force and other casualties, even though Malacanang has already denied the involvement of the US military in the operation.

That is why Atty. Harry Roque in his article last week at the Manila Standard cited that “because PNoy was out to please his American benefactors to whom he has surrendered Philippine sovereignty through the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, it is only but logical that four American GIs were sighted in the area. Obviously, since the Americans so badly wanted to capture the suspected terrorist as in fact, they offered a bounty of no less than two hundred sixty million pesos for their capture, it is but logical that Uncle Sam be on the ground to supervise the manhunt. And like PNoy, the Americans also did not anticipate that the MILF, because it has been receiving almost all of its Official Development Assistance intended for the country, would turn against the men that it has enticed to capture their enemy.

Clearly, the Mamasapano massacre has brought out a number of crucial policy issues that we, PNoy’s bosses, would now have to resolve. Foremost of these is the extent that we would go to serve America’s interests in the region.

Frankly, many people have not heard of the two terrorists most wanted by the Americans until the massacre. Were the lives of more than 40 of our fellow Filipinos worth the botched effort to capture these alleged terrorists? I do not think so.”

Yes, this same policy issues had put the entire country in jeopardy since we joined the ‘coalition of the willing’ in the global war on terror (GWOT) which gave way to the American troops to have access to our territory and in the process put us in the crosshair of every enemy of Uncle Sam.

When are we going to escape the clutches of the mighty eagle when in every change of leadership this nation has undergone, there are always collaborators that has put the lives of every Filipino in danger.

It looks like the pattern of chaos in the Crimea-Ukraine war is being staged in Mindanao. You have to watch the movie or You Tube and review – Clear and Present Danger. A de javu of funeral and betrayal. While appearing to honor those who serve, a deadly betrayal by a political leader was served to the massacred US troops. The soldiers in the movie even attempted to call for reinforcement but to no avail.

A strategic analyst told me today that the plan has a signature of treachery. “Use carrot, confuse them all, let them fight each other and rule the leftover.”

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