So many times we Filipinos have been subject to “diversionary tactics” in the past that certain problems now, though real, are thought of nothing more than a theatrical act. I’m speaking in terms of two political issues plaguing our country – the pork barrel scam and the Zamboanga armed conflict.
Let’s say the Zamboanga armed conflict is a diversion orchestrated by the government from the pork barrel scam. It is a weak one then, since the situation itself has lead people back to thinking about the scam – “If not for the monies stolen from the nation, our military would have the resources to defeat the rebels”. On the other hand we could think, if not for the Zamboanga armed conflict, then the president and the Department of Justice would have prohibited the exit of some of the accused through judicial orders, including Representative Rodolfo Plaza, and Atty. Gigi Reyes. But then again, crisis or not, the administration would still be soft, given the fact that some of their allies are involved in the scam itself.
So, the Zamboanga armed conflict is real and not an orchestrated diversionary tactic. The government does not need it to protect the accused, because they have been defended from the start. If not for Benhur Luy, then nothing would have happened, and the administration would still be issuing a budget for the PDAF, including their allies involved in the scam. They struck strategically, when the government is the weakest and committed to another issue. Given that these two issues simultaneously occurring, the government must strengthen itself and address both issues at the same time. We are watching you deal with these two issues.
Just to give a background, the Zamboanga armed conflict is said to be the result of Nur Misuari’s disappointment over the 2012 Bangsamoro Framework Agreement (which you can read more about here), from which his group, the Moro National Liberation Front, was left out. Only the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, was recognized. In other words, it is a classic case of obscuring and failing to make policy inclusive, which lead the excluded faction to rebel. I admit I wasn’t looking and I guess many of us didn’t care until this happened. So now, we owe it to our brothers and sisters in Mindanao to ensure that they live in a peaceful and democratic society by making sure that the government would be more careful, inclusive and engaging in the future policy and governance processes that they will embark on, after the crisis. Meanwhile, we can donate and help them through the following networks (I know it’s hard to trust now because of the pork barrel scam, but again, the armed conflict is real and hurting our fellowmen and women, so let’s help):
Update! Here are more ways you can give to the Zamboanguenos: (Updated 25 September 2013):