Entire Pinoy Army and U.S. Advisers Can’t Stop 300 Terrorists in Philippines
By Faith Marie de los Santos
Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), an Islamic terrorist group founded in the 1990s with funding from Osama bin Laden, detonated a bomb at 6:55 p.m. outside the Cleopatra commercial store at Serantes St., Jolo, Sulu. Jolo Island is a southern volcanic island of Pilipinas, with a population of 300,000. It is part of the Sulu Archipelago, which some native and Islamic groups (Moro National Liberation Front) claim should be independent from Pilipinas. Yes, folks, ASG is a wing of Al-Qaeda.
Killed in this latest attack were a teacher (Deonila Undug Asiri) and a street vendor (Sindao Mangilala), and among the 14 wounded was a five-year-old child.
The explosion occurred two hours after the police provincial director of Sulu pulled out police personnel conducting checkpoint and patrol. The explosion was created from ammonium nitrate fuel oil (ANFO) placed atop a generator located outside of the store.
Abu Sayyaf Group has also committed a string of kidnappings to earn easy money. They most notably kidnapped Evangeline Taverisma last year. She was a old healthcare worker (midwife) who was walking home at 3 PM from duty. The police in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) did nothing at first. The villagers and other health workers protested with strikes before the woman was finally released two months later and subsequently rescued.
The strings of violence are too numerous to list here.
However one of the purposes of this article is to create awareness: the United States has pledged $144 million dollars and another warship to the Philippines this year. The U.S. has usually been the Philippines’ largest foreign investor, with about $6.6 billion. Two-way U.S. merchandise trade with the Philippines amounted to $17.3 billion. USAID programs total around $211.3 million per year. In 2006, the Millennium Challenge Corporation granted $21 million to the Philippines for a threshold program addressing corruption in revenue administration. Meanwhile, the Philippines had to shut down 10 embassies due to budget issues. Is any of that money being used to stop the violence in Sulu? Perhaps the islands should be granted full autonomy and independence. If not, they need to be locked down.
One would think that the United States would have some more “interest” in purging terrorists from Sulu. It’s possible that the CIA has told Washington that the terrorists there pose no threat to the United States itself because they have low end technology and are fighting for their “independence”? Which, of course, is two-faced and hypocritical. After all, United States citizens are told that Iran is a threat to the U.S.
How about sending in the drones?
Anyway, I think something is fishy about the whole situation between both governments. It’s true the Sulu police and Filipino army crack down on the terrorists with air raids and shoot-outs, but it doesn’t solve the problem long term.
Just thought I’d spread the word here on the DailySkew because you won’t see this on CNN, FOX, or Drudge.