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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Mamasapano Tragedy


By Erick San Juan
SAF-body-bagThe aftermath of the Mamasapano tragedy has far greater effects than the event itself as far as the PNoy administration is concern. After the release of the reports from the Board of Inquiry and the Senate, more questions were raised. Questions directed to the people in Malacanang as to the role of PNoy and the personalities in his loop. And even the role of the United States in the Oplan Exodus is being questioned and because answers from the people in the PNoy’s cabinet are vague, speculations from different sectors are raised especially from the netizens.
One such comment from the netizens is that the president is playing the US card by capturing high-valued terrorists and at the same time the Malaysian card in relation to the so-called controversial ‘secret deal’ with the MILF. Unfortunately both cards has underlying ‘agreement’ at stake. One with the US which is the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and the Bangsamoro Basic Law that will create the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity for the MILF which was perceived to have the backing of Malaysia.
Such analysis was written by Gregory Poling for the CSIS publication “Southeast Asia from Scott Circle” (Aftermath of Botched Philippines Raid Should Concern Washington , March 19, 2015), he wrote: Both Manila and Washington have trumpeted the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement signed in April 2014 as the cornerstone of a new era in the bilateral security relationship. The agreement would see rotations of U.S. ships, planes, and personnel at Philippine bases, much as U.S. Marines have been doing in Darwin, Australia, in recent years. That rotational presence will allow greater joint training opportunities, boost Philippine capacity, and provide the United States with a forward-deployed presence to respond rapidly to crises in the region. It might also provide an additional deterrent to Chinese aggression in the South China Sea, and is therefore crucial to Manila’s goal of establishing a “minimum credible defense” posture to discourage Chinese adventurism.
The defense security agreement still needs to survive a challenge before the Philippine Supreme Court. Filipino legal experts largely agree that by the strict letter of the law, the court should find the agreement constitutional. But concerns bred by the Mamasapano massacre could well feed into any concerns the justices might have about the access granted by the agreement. And with the Philippine judiciary still not an entirely apolitical institution, the weight of public pressure or opposition from influential lawmakers, especially just a year out from a presidential race, cannot be discounted.
The Mamasapano carnage could also have long-term implications for whether and to what degree the Philippines can be the security partner the United States hope it can be. The Aquino administration has made modernizing the navy and air force a top priority, recognizing that the Philippine military must look more to external threats than internal ones. The assumption that the peace process in the southern Philippines will be successful has underpinned that modernization effort. A lasting peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) would not resolve all of Manila’s internal security concerns—it would still have the communist New People’s Army, the Abu Sayyaf terrorist network, and several Moro splinter groups with which to contend—but it would allow a significant realignment of forces and focus.”
Is history repeating itself? How many times that Uncle Sam’s security and defense relations with our country is endangered because of some fateful events that are not expected? This time it’s different, thanks to the internet because people are much aware of what is really happening in our country. Like I always say, you cannot hide secrets for long. Through the use of the social media and the patriotic bloggers all over the worldwide web, secrets will be revealed in due time.
In the midst of the controversial passage of the BBL (aka BaBaLa), plus the waning trust rating of the present leadership and the growing social discontent are clear signs that the administration of PNoy should listen and be sensitive enough to answer the cry of his true boss, the Pinoys.

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