The Atrocities and Anguish of War

Like many others, I am following the Congressional “investigation” of the Mamasapano, Maguindanao incident. We appreciate the efforts of the Senate in ferreting out the truth. It was also exhilarating to see the MILF Chair Mohagher Iqbal being grilled by the Senate investigatory body.
I know that the atrocities of war are indescribable. The Mamapasano incident were 44 members of the PNP’s elite Special Action Force (SAF) were mowed to death exemplified the horrors of war.
For instance, the beheading and execution of the Filipino guerillas in public during the WWII were haunting memories of those who survived the armed conflict. The holocaust in Europe that saw the genocide of millions of Jews in the Nazi gas chambers has written the history of wars in blood and inexhaustible rage.
Nothing is more gruesome than the manner of execution employed by Vlad Dracula a.k.a “Vlad the Impaler.” The Impaler gradually kills thousands of enemies by piercing a sharpened wooden pole on the midsection of the body. The wooden pole is then planted upright on the ground with the pierced body dripping in blood as the victim gradually gasp the last breath of life. Vlad Dracula was said to eat his lunch in the middle of the pierced body amid the sounds of excruciating pains, moans, and groans of the dying enemies.
But, whether the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are at war is disturbing. Following the signing of the Framework Agreement and Cessation of hostilities, everybody now thought that the skirmishes between the MILF and the government forces have come to an end. The Framework Agreement was bolstered with the drafting and the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), a proposed law that details the manifest destiny of the Moslem community in the country.
The BBL outlines the manner in the creation of the “Bangsamoro Entity.”Under the BBL, the “Bangsamoro Entity” would replace the existing Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) after the creation of the Entity is approved through a plebiscite.
Aside from the creation of the Bangsamoro Entity, the BBL also outlines the disposition of the MILF fighters. One of the provisions call for the integration of qualified MILF fighters with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The “decommissioning’ of the MILF firearms is also one of the most sensitive agenda under the BBL. The word “decommissioning” is used instead of “surrender” in observance of “mutuality between the government and the MILF.” Actually, the BBL defines the Bangsamoro Entity in its entirety as an embodiment of the social, political, and economic aspirations of the Moslems in the South. Thus, perhaps, the early approval of the BBL becomes a necessity for both the Moslems and the government to attain “lasting” peace in Mindanao.
While the approval of the BBL already becomes a done deal, the Mamapasano incident, however, has stalled its timetable. Out of fairness, the BBL could move only after the probe into the Mamapasano incident shall have been completed. One intriguing question ‘though: Will the BBL pushes through if the result of the investigation prove inimical to the interest of the people and the government? Let us wait and see.
By the way, this corner wish to congratulate SSS Vice President Edwin Alo, of Northern Mindanao, for the opening of the new SSS branch in Lapasan. The Social Security System (SSS) is one of the mandates of the state to “protect and promote social justice” to Filipino workers here and abroad. The opening of the new SSS Branch in Lapasan, Cagayan De Oro City is a feather in the cap for the SSS regional office here. -0-


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