Mindanao carnage: Will the brutal police massacre put an end to the misguided fantasy of #Bangsamoro autonomy?

Inquirer columnist Rina Jimenez-David called it a mere “wrinkle” in the “peace process”. “Disheartening” news that is a “cause for concern” is how she describes the massacre of 50 members of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP’s) elite Special Action Force (SAF) allegedly by elements of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). For his part, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas referred to it as a “misencounter”.

It is interesting how Filipinos cheer the victory of Kurdish forces against the Islamic State in Syria half a world away today but make such lightweight remarks about crimes against humanity occurring in their own backyard. It is easy to issue statements all the way from Imperial Manila that these police officers “died for their country”. If that were true then we should ask whether the way the Philippine government under its president Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III also honours the hundreds of thousands of Filipino soldiers and police officers who, over the last several decades, died fighting these Moro bandits.

Bodies of police officers killed by Muslim rebels being recovered from the site of the massacre.

Bodies of police officers killed by Muslim rebels being recovered from the site of the massacre.

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The answer to that question has been known since the so-called “peace negotiations” with the MILF began. That the Philippine government, in cahoots with its Malaysian “broker”, would negotiate with a terrorist organisation is nothing short of a spit on the graves of the Filipino warriors whose blood was spilt in Mindanao fighting the Philippines’ Muslim insurgency.

Yet, the negotiations pushed along — seemingly fuelled by President BS Aquino’s vanity-inspired quest for a Nobel Peace Prize to white-mark the vast blot that is his failed presidency — despite mounting evidence that the entire framework and approach was flawed, perhaps illegal even. That no less than the Philippine president would personally meet with the leader of a terrorist group, MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim back in 2011 had a fishy smell all over it…

A few years after that initial meeting, we now know that he did disregard the Constitution and entered into a contract with the MILF even without the approval of Congress and the judiciary. Here’s the part of the Bangsamoro agreement where some legal experts agree that BS Aquino may have overstepped his role when he represented the Philippine government:

Part 7, para. 4, subpara (b) provides that one of the functions of the Transition Commission is “to work on proposals to amend the Philippine Constitution for the purpose of amending and enriching in the Constitution the agreements of the parties whenever necessary without derogating from any prior peace agreement.”

The above section indicates that amendment of the Constitution is needed to make the agreement legal. Which makes some people wonder why BS Aquino and his staff were already euphoric after the ceremonial signing was held recently. They are very good at celebrating without yet seeing the results of their efforts.

As usual, actions that should have been put into effect long ago (recognising the illegality of this political stunt), before disaster struck, are only now being implemented. Lawmakers who are part of committees reviewing the Bangsamoro Basic Law bill have suspended hearings pending the results of an investigation into the incident. According to Senator Bongbong Marcos who heads these hearings, “A peace settlement cannot be legislated under the threat of such extreme violence.”

You don’t say.

It is interesting to note that this “threat of such extreme violence” would only now be recognised — now that 50 police officers are dead. When there has been no disarmament of Islamic terrorists in Mindanao, there will always be a threat of “extreme violence” there. A US State Department advisory issued in mid-November 2014 warns Americans to “exercise extreme caution if traveling to the main island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines.” Furthermore…

Separatist and terrorist groups across Mindanao continued their violent activities, conducting bombings and kidnappings, attacking civilians and political leaders, and battling Philippine security forces. In particular, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) remain active in the Cotabato City area, and in the Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat provinces, where the government maintains a state of emergency and a greater police presence.

One wonders how, despite coming this far into the process of implementing a Bangsamoro Basic Law presumably hinged on the ability of MILF leaders to control its armed forces, violence originating from Islamic terrorists continues to crush spirits in Mindanao. The disturbing thing that emerges from all this is that the Philippines continues to be plagued by a deadly rogue force still running wild in Mindanao and had this police massacre not happened, the Manila government would have continued to barrel along the same path towards a law that gives legitimacy to these terrorist groups.

Why do people need to die before lessons are learnt in the Philippines? It seems that, in the Philippines, hindsight’s lessons are habitually written using the blood of people who suffered senseless deaths. And even so, none of these lessons seem to ever sink in.

[Photo courtesy XinHuaNet.com.]

51 Replies to “Mindanao carnage: Will the brutal police massacre put an end to the misguided fantasy of #Bangsamoro autonomy?”

  1. In the real world , this just does not happen. Where somebody who was so unaccomplished in life despite being in the “right” family did nothing in 50 years to distinguish himself. No businesses and no responsibility. Somebody with no impact on society does not simply become Nobel Peace Prize material. But we are not in the real world. We are in the Fantasy Land of a real life fairy. The Emperor has no clothes and no hair. A moron is at the wheel. His mother dying did not make him smart. Go ahead listen to Jimenez- David or Randy David or Mar Roxas or Jim Paredes. They are all in on a complete moron.

    1. @Gogs
      That also applies to those noytards on fb especially those paid hacks of the malacanang morons group.
      They don’t care about those that have died since they insist on blaming them instead of holding their bald idol accountable

    2. @Gogs
      That also applies to those noytards on fb especially those paid hacks of the malacanang morons group.
      They don’t care about those that have died since they insist on blaming them instead of holding their bald idol accountable for what happened.

    3. In the real world, France, millions of people take to the streets in a show of solidarity and demand action.
      In the Philippines everyone stays at home and hides.

      1. France isn’t the Philippines. (Of course that was your point, but you used it to bash and bash and bash, not giving a fuck about detail.)

        We don’t even know what precisely happened to the SAF in Maguindanao, while the attack on Charlie Hebdo and that kosher store in Paris is pretty damn straightforward.

        1. Filipino soldiers and Police were killed by the Islamic Radical Terrorists called MILF…this is what happened. The MILF territory was CEDED by : Aquino, Roxas, and the rest of the YellowTards, to be a part of the MILF/ISIS Caliphate territory…this is what happened…

        2. I am one of the few Pinoys here or elsewhere who is willing to let go of Mindanao if peace can be achieved that way. It does require the rebels we’re talking to to be on their best behavior, but yeah.

      2. @ YAWN, U may want to reconsider the ‘FRANCE’ remark.See this article and its link: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/01/17/proof-terror-plots-hoax/

        but regardless of the facts in the ‘Je suis Charlie’ matter, it is true that the BIFF/MILF are bent on the separation and governance of Mindanao by Muslims.IDK, but I say let em kill each other,then go in ,throw em all in a ditch(sound familiar?LOL)and carry-on.The NPA has a real ‘political ideology’ behind their cause and its based in secular political ideas.These Muslims are just religious zealots that need to be made to realize that religion serves no purpose in the public realm and that they are free to worship who-ever BUT, keep it to thmesleves.Sharia Law? NO WAY !

        1. Exclusively “religious”?

          While religious sentiments have always been prominent in the case of Mindanao’s rebel groups, a nationalist agenda does lurk beneath the surface — recall that Mindanao as part of the Filipino political entity is a recent one, dating only to the American occupation.

        2. @ Pallacertus, SO??? are you going to stipulate that because the way things were, before the new ‘entity’ was there,that things must revert to it again? Have you no perception of progress? That the constitution of the country stipulates separation of church and state/(at least I think it does, based on my knowedge of the USA constitution and the borrowing of it by the RP)?
          Time marches forward and if you are constantly looking behind you , you will be constantly tripping over what is in front of you.

  2. I’am curious, if you were given the opportunity, how would you then solve the Mindanao crisis? (pardon me, if this has already been answered by one of your articles)

    1. Just like General Pershing supposedly did during WWI (it hasn’t been confirmed but it can’t be proven false either), to deal with the muslims causing him problems during the war, he had a set of Muslims who were attacking him as prisoners. He commanded his soldiers to dip their bullets in pigs’ blood and had them kill all but one of the prisoners with the blood-soaked bullets. He ordered to have those bodies buried with the intestines of the pigs and told the survivor that more was to come if they continued their aggressions. There is no decency with these animals. You have to fight savagery with savagery.

      1. — and because word gets around and taboo is still taboo no matter how many pigs you slice and no matter how many Muslims you shoot with pig-coated bullets… congratulations, your Pershing just maddened even those Muslims who were prepared to assist him?

        This cultural insensitivity is why we still have troubles in the Middle East. Armies barge in, shoot the place up, don’t give a shit about custom and tradition, don’t even care about collateral damage, storm out.

        And still we wonder why there are terrorists.

        1. The Islamic Radicals want to RULE the whole world. This is their religious/political agenda. They want an Islamic Caliphate (ISIS), in our modern world, like the old Ottoman Empire Caliphate.

          Suicide bombings, wars, fighting and killings will continue; unless/until they are all eradicated…

        2. Bullshit. Not even ISIS is going that far even in its depraved fanatical depths, and now (so Middle East observers say) they’ve withdrawn from Kobani.

          As for our Muslim insurgents here: there have been no religiously-tinged invasions by people from Mindanao (in fact the opposite was true throughout the Spanish era). Even today they only want self-rule (even though sneaking a de facto declaration of independence through Congress is less than salutary); they have no designs on Luzon or the Visayas.

    2. Mindanao crisis been around for decades. Current government paraded around like they already solved it . They all gave credit to an unaccomplished , insecure , delicate spoiled brat.

    3. Even if humanity solved the problem of poverty, hunger, and all the worldly problems – wars and bloody fights will still exists.

      There is no hope of stopping it. Only when the sun explodes and all of us perish.

  3. BS will likely have that price. The Norwegians, who are those giving it, has pumped in at least 10 billion pesos just fore the negoation of the former deal, that was turned down by SC.

    Now EUSSR are sending more money (double up)fore “projects”.

    The price and the money come with a demand: Please the moros. And flip gov are willing to pass the cost to the the non moro of Mindanao.

  4. Just another day in the slaughterhouse.

    Just think last week the British government issued a travel alert advising Brits not travel to the Philippines as it’s too violent.

  5. As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.

  6. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OMBJD94BCnM

    PNP-Special Action Force being pinned down to death without mercy in Maguindanao by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) is not misencountered.

    MISENCOUNTER – is accidentally or unknowingly come into conflict with (an enemy, army, etc) in battle with few injuries & casualties.

    Why explain it merely as a MISENCOUNTER? the more appropriate (exact) term or best way to describe the images/video with mutilation is:

    MASSACRE – indiscriminate and brutal slaughter of people.

    SLAUGHTER – the killing of a large number of people in a cruel or violent way.

    CARNAGE – killing of large number of people.

    BLOODBATH – an event in which many people are killed violently.

    Government is not taking Peace & Security seriously. They seems to side with MILF and tends to TRIVIALIZE the issue or diminish the gravity (great importance, seriousness) and significance to all our lives. And dismisses them as being too small to fret about?

    If you trivialize the safety & security concerns of the Philippines, our people might not realize how dangerous and susceptible to attacks or violence our nation has become. Hence, full attention towards finding the solution to the conflicts will not be properly resolve until situation get worse or war amongst us breakout.

    Why our soldiers didn’t help cops in Maguidanao?

    Because their hands were tied by the government’s ceasefire agreement. No retaliation? No Justice?

    1. “MISENCOUNTER – is accidentally or unknowingly come into conflict with (an enemy, army, etc) in battle with few injuries & casualties.”

      FYI” “Misencounter” is not a word or term in the English language and, until now, is NOT used to describe any Military event or situation. Roxas is so stupid he had to make up a new word… The Correct term/s would be “FRIENDLY FIRE” (if the MILF can still be considered as friendly), “Green On Blue”, “Blue On Blue”, Etc…

  7. “A mere wrinkle?” That ruined the day for me. So the deaths of your country’s policemen are merely “gusot”?

    Heaven knows how deeply I hate every single SOB who comprises our Establishment. Politicians, journalists, “intellectuals”, and all the others who have run this country to the ground – a curse on all of them and their way of thinking.

    Forget Jews, Muslims, gypsies or any other scapegoat, I’m very much willing to send these callous SOBs to the gas chambers for their BS. They can all die horrible deaths for all I care, and I won’t shed a single tear.

  8. Another day, another alphabet soup Islamist/separatist organization. When will the government learn it’s being had. I’s not like anyone elected these terrorists. None of these groups have any legitimacy to speak for the people in Mindanao. It’s mind-boggling how we keep trying to bargain away our sovereignty just for temporary peace and quiet.

    1. +1

      Impunity is rife, just as banditry, blood feuds, and clan one-upping are, in the Islamicized areas of Mindanao. That, is the reality on the ground. That is the Moro culture.
      No amount of peace talks nor peace deals, not even a separate Moro state, is going to bring amity to the region.

  9. Unlike most of you here, I am a peacenik when it comes to Mindanao, and thus support any peace initiatives that will resolve the ceaseless wars between the government and the rebels.

    Unlike most of you here, I am prepared to treat the MILF, BIFF, etc. as equals in the negotiating table provided that they disown their Islamist and terrorist affiliations and any and all dastardly doings they have done (alone or in concert with other rebel groups) in the name of Bangsamoro or Allah or whatever.

    Unlike most of you here, I am prepared to advocate whatever solutions may be arranged to achieve lasting peace and to finally at long last pave the way for the economic and resource development of what has been ironically called “the land of promise” — up to and including a two-state solution, whether or not those solutions are ultimately ruled as unconstitutional. I will even support a constitutional amendment or even a new constitution that would adequately address the situation down south.

    What I am not prepared to accept or tolerate is the forging of a peace settlement under duress. Neither am I prepared to accept or tolerate the possibility (a remote one, but let me indulge) of an armed rebel group currently forging an peace deal with the government having no control over its rank and file.

    1. you might want to retract some of your statements. have you read about the bangsamoro bill?


      hey. i’m all out for peace but the provisions are just ludicrous and it won’t work since there are multiple muslim factions. deal with one and you anger the other. and this isn’t isolated in Mindanao either. You can see this everywhere from Europe to the middle east.

      1. That statement does depend on which side is begging for peace and which has plans to continue waging war. That much I can say.

    2. Well said there Pallacertus. I admire your open-mindedness.

      Unfortunately, I’m beginning to wonder whether its peace these rebels want or just personal benefits.

    3. Surely you are aware that the MILF (or MNLF for that matter) rank and file is made up of brigands, ergo shenanigans are generally left unchecked.

  10. Aquino Gene is flawed with collaboration with the enemies of the Republic.

    Benigno Aquino , Sr. – Japanese Imperialist collaborator.

    Benigno Aquino, Jr. – NPA collaborator and supporter.

    Benigno Simeon Aquino III- MILF/ISIS collaborator. He ceded part of Mindanao to MILF/ISIS Caliphate.

    Lives of Filipino soldiers do not matter, to Aquino, Roxas and the rest of the YellowTards.
    These People: Aquino, Roxas, and the rest of the YellowTards are the REAL enemies of the Philippine Republic. They are ceding a part of the Philippine territory, to the Islamic Radicals to be part of the ISIS Caliphate.

  11. Why aren’t we killing them right now!? As far as I understood this Bangsamoro “state”, the PNP still has to keep the peace over these parts. So why the hell are they being killed?!? Why are we allowing this?!?! Aquino does not realize that their deaths are a slap on the face of the so-called commander-in-chief!!! Why does he allow the peace process to continue? Doesn’t he see that the MILF is just playing us for fools?! This is just idiocy. That Mar Roxas in calling this a “misencounter” insults the dead police. Where is Purisima? It should have been his life not theirs!!!

    1. And what about the Chinese? What would their impression of us be after hearing that our police have no power over some parts of the country?!?

    2. Because seeing a landmine is not the same as stepping on it.

      What happened in Maguindanao is a very great provocation. Noynoy should’ve followed the chain of command and informed Roxas and Espina of his plans to capture Marwan and Usman; Purisima shouldn’t have been chosen to head the SAF group tasked to capture the terrorists; the BIFF shouldn’t have been coddling known terrorists. (Whether or not informing the BIFF of the government’s plans makes sense is something that I cannot evaluate at the moment.)

      Still, to respond in kind on the basis of spotty intelligence is not going to produce good results in the long run — at the very least, the ones on the other side of the negotiating table are making an effort to talk to us.

      I’m not saying that this whole bloodbath should be washed over; on the contrary, the government has the right to bother the BIFF/MILF/MNLF leadership with demands to surrender those responsible for the deaths of so many police officers into the hands of the Philippine government as a sine qua non for continued talks. But what happened that day in Maguindanao must not be allowed to derail the prospects of a peace settlement.

      Compromise from both sides must rule the day (and the next) if both sides want peace.

  12. This Country, its Government and sadly its people are FUBAR to allow this to happen! Why people are not out in the streets right now protesting against this insane Government is beyond me! For those unaware, FUBAR stands for Fucked Up Beyond All Reason.

    1. Superior firepower works if all civilian sympathizers are dealt with harshly. Like, Filipino-American War-level harsh. Or else Tamil-Tiger suppression-level harsh.

      Yes, we can do that to civilians caught aiding or thought to be aiding the rebels, and yes, it can be effective — but must we?

      I say, let’s not cross that line.

        1. I was born here and was reared in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda. (Metaphorically speaking, if that weren’t obvious enough.)

          There shall be no cleansing of any kind. None. None whatsoever. Even now the BIFF can turn its back on Marwan and Usman by turning them over to government custody — peace can yet be at hand — may pag-asa pa —

        2. I agree with the approaches the gov’t has extended to the rebel groups for they show our real intent to realize peace but I’m not going to agree with the so-called ‘cleansing’.

          Cleansing will only show we are no different from them.

        3. Why? You are dealing with animals with guns who are not willing to compromise. The only true way to remove dangerous elements like these is to be put down. Only give as much mercy equal to what these rebels have so far which is little to none.

        4. Nothing wrong on putting down or defeating the enemy. But ‘cleansing’, which I take as ethnic cleansing is a no no. Barbarism will never correct another barbarism.

  13. I agree with Mack. Soft and Easy approach did not work for “Decades”, its time for a different approach. If they want ALL out WAR, i say we give it to them. Better sign me up for the Carnage.

  14. Back in the day, when the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) headed by Nur Misuari reigned supreme in Mindanao, many considered the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as the more rational, tolerable and acceptable entity to engage in negotiation with.

    But all along the suspicion remains that both groups, while led by different personalities, are really the same in character and spirit. When eventually the MNLF got discredited and lost the appeal the emergence of the MILF was inevitable.

    With Misuari removed from the picture there was expectation that peace will now be possible in Mindanao. Alas, it was not meant to be.

    The suspicion is true: the MILF is just the modern version of the MNLF minus the firebrand character of Misuari.

  15. We need to accept the fact, that it is impossible to merge with these Muslim group as one nation.
    These groups has some family, relatives therein and blood is thicker than water.
    Whatever negotiation will be made, they will not follow any constitutional changes, as they are one family. They even have some connections in and outside government.What they did to the policemen are HARAM. How do they know the Laws of ALLAH. They only follow the LAWS of money and their guns.

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