In My Eyes: by Edward B. Antonio
There are evil Muslims as there are evil Christians.
There are terrorist Christians and Muslims.
But faithful Christians condemn all manners of evil deeds such as cheating, treachery, adultery and murder. Islam preaches love, truth and morality. It condemns all manners of terrorism. Christians in the country also profess such beliefs.
Most of my friends are good Christians, fellas.
But I also have good Muslim friends, particularly my suki DVD disc provider, Amron and his wife, Arlene. They always give the best services whenever I go there at their stall in the market.
But not all Christians and Muslims are faithful to their beliefs.
Many of them do not practice their religion’s teachings. In fact, I can conclude that their differences in religion is a key factor for the war in Mindanao, the latest of which is the Mamasapano tragedy resulting in the massacre of 44 members of the PNP’s elite Special Action Force (SAF).
I join the country in its outrage of the massacre, fellas.
I also demand justice for the Fallen 44, if not, a retaliation. I always believe that too many different armed forces will not lead us to peace. I go for former Joseph Estrada’s all-out-war versus all the rebels in Mindanao when he neutralized all 46 MILF camps, including the MILF’s main camp, Abu Bakar during his term. There should only be one unified armed forces to attain harmony.
But we can no longer change history, fellas.
We always abide by the “wisdom” and decisions of the people whom we elected to lead us. There are many countless criminal and terroristic attacks made by Christians to this country, one can always look at the records of detained prisoners inside our prison cells where there are around 90% Christian prisoners who know they are Christians but do not know why they are called such. The list would be long, not to include those wanted people lurking around and those who could not fall into the police’s traps. Our country never runs out of these kinds of Christians and the very few people mentioned in the evening news reports are only few.
We can also include to the long list murderer politicians and elected lawmakers.
When our leaders steal the money intended for social services such as funds for medicine, relief goods, education, infrastructure and housing to name few, they kill the people slowly, either physically or morally, and we do not even notice it! The view came to light only when the Napoles issue came out and the three honorable senators were sent to prison.
But that is just opening the lid of the corruption kettle, fellas.
You try to scrutinize all those COA reports in all the government’s agencies and you will be surprised of the extent of corruption in our country. So world notorious is our country’s corruption that Pope Francis’ most telling advice to our country during his papal visit was: “Please stop corruption in the Philippines.”
But there are some bits in history that the Muslims are also known for their treachery.
On October 10, 1977, the country went to rage when 34 uniformed men were traitorously killed by MNLF rebels in Patikul, Sulu. It is known as the Patikul Massacre and has been one of the darkest chapters in Philippine military history. The 34 massacred men were led by General Teodulfo Bautista of the 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division, along with 5 colonels.
Only one survived to tell the story. He played dead and survived.
On that fateful day, Bautista and his men, aboard two army trucks, arrived at the town’s public market to meet with MNLF leader Usman Sali to arrange for the surrender of the latter and his men. A peace pact was also one of the agenda on that day. Bautista’s men became suspicious why the town seemed deserted, in fact, it should have been a busy place since it was a marketplace. Nevertheless, they put up a long table for the negotiation to be discussed. Hours later, a smiling Usman Sali and his men arrived.
Suddenly, a rebel shouted “Dapa!” Sali hit the ground and his MNLF contingent fired at the hapless soldiers, killing them on the spot. Bautista and his fallen comrades were also hacked afterwards.
The massacre outraged the country, but Sali escaped.
Two other prominent men who escaped the massacre were then PC Chief General Fidel Ramos and General Salvador Mison. Prior to Bautista’s tragic meeting with Usman Sali, both officers were invited by Bautista to join him in the “surrender” of Sali and his group in Patikul, Sulu. Both officers would have gladly complied but earlier appointments prevented them from joining him. It turned out it was a meeting with death.
Another of those treacherous Moro rebels’ atrocities happened on January 5, 1989 in Zamboanga.
General Eduardo Batalla, PC Commander in Western Mindanao, summoned rogue cop Rizal Alih to Camp Cawa-Cawa to shed light on the death of 7 people. Alih reported to Batalla, took him as hostage and summoned his men who slipped to his side. Negotiators Santanina Rasul and Ramon Mitra tried to resolve the situation and during the negotiations which took several stages, Alih treacherously killed Batalla. A battle raged for several hours but Alih escaped.
Back to the Fallen 44, one of the most touching stories tells of the last hours of PO2 Nicky Nacino, Jr. who was one of those who perished in Mamapasano last January 25. Sensing that no reinforcement would be coming and death was imminent, he texted his wife to send him a P100 load so he could talk to her before he dies. Nacino left his wife with their baby in Aurora last December, never to come back.
Another fallen officer died holding his cellphone with the image of his family.
Based on initial investigations, the rebels made sure all the SAF officers were dead. They were also shot at close range on the head, rendering their cadavers almost unrecognizable.
Such was the brutality and inhumanity of the MILFs who massacred the Fallen 44.
General Leonardo Espina was right when he said: “Because we did not coordinate with you, will that be an excuse for you to kill my men?”
In the wake of this tragedy, justice must be served, fellas.
First, the MILF hierarchy must return all personal belongings, (looted uniforms included) guns and equipment they took from the policemen.
Second, the MILF must surrender all those involved in the massacre, their commanders included, and be tried before a court.
Third, those found guilty must be punished according to law.
And finally, the MILF must show its sincerity in forging peace by helping the government in eradicating the BIFF in Mindanao. It must also stop coddling terrorists and surrender all terrorists hiding or trying to hide in their controlled territories.
Only then should the government return to the peace negotiating table.#