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ROUGH CUTS | Who (or which) is the tool here?

Vic N. Sumalinog

THE military unit that has operational jurisdiction of Bukidnon Province is seemingly drawn into some kind of debate with certain sectors because of the claim by the alleged wife of slain New People’s Army (NPA) top man in Mindanao George Madlos AKA Ka Oris, that he was slain in an ambush and not in a legitimate encounter with government soldiers.

     We could not help but wonder why these people are making a lot of fuss about it. The government is at war with the rebels in the same manner that the rebels are at war with the government. After all, that is what they (rebels) want — to replace the present system. In fact it is when the rebels employ such strategies as ambushing patrolling or mobile soldiers, or planting improvised explosive devices (IED) that the rebel attacks exact heavy casualties on the military and even civilians.

     And in almost every such incident the government would always invoke the agreement arrived at in a Geneva meet that seeks a ban on the use of such instruments of war that could lead to mass destruction to lives and properties. And as always it has not been complied, more specifically by the anti-government forces.

     In the case of the death of Ka Oris, there is no need to argue that he is one of the leading personalities in the war waged by the supposedly ideologist rebels. Hence, in this protracted war between and among fellow Filipinos, anyone from either side of the warring factions who gets killed or maimed by whatever means is a casualty of this senseless war.

     Besides, the guerillas being long known to be the “inventors” of ambushes as a strategy in fighting the enemy, we believe, do not have any moral authority to chastise the military, their main enemy in the undefined battlefields, for using the same war scheme that they themselves are using most often.

     That is assuming that indeed there was no encounter between the group of Ka Oris and the military, and that what actually was done was an ambush on a motor-riding enemy.


     We are extremely happy with the report that Davao City is now considered a low-risk area as far as the level of infection of the Corona Virus Disease (CoViD) is concerned.  Of course we have no reason to doubt this positive change in the category of the city because the report emanated from the University of the Philippines-based OCTA Research group that is very much involved in the government efforts to contain the pandemic in the country.

     Attendant to the lowering of the risk category of Davao City is the easing of the various restrictions imposed by the local government on its people and the operation of the city’s businesses.

     What seemed most welcome are the lifting of the curfew in the entire city and the mayor’s Executive Order banning the sale of liquor and drinking intoxicating beverages in public. Another is the easing of people’s movement and allowing eateries and most amusement enterprises to accept customers, though still in limited numbers.

     While we can consider this development a major reason to celebrate, still we have to help the government extend its reminder to the most number of people that it is still not the appropriate time to be complacent. We need to continue what somehow has slowly evolved into a habit of observing the minimum health protocols to save us from any risk of being infected by the dreaded CoViD.


     Now, who is that sane person who would disagree on the prevalent observation that the current political battle grounds have already shifted to the more accessible and potent ones – the various communications platforms in the cyber media?

     Yes, where before the people depended mostly on the mainstream broadcast and print media for updates on politics and the performance of their party and favored politicians in surveys – commissioned or not –as reported by the print and broadcast on radio and television, today through the social media each one biased follower can even create his or her own survey, come up with results according to his or her own objective, and post it on such platforms as Facebook (now Beta), twitter, Messenger, Instagram and others.

     These platforms in the cyber media are the fastest and apparently the most effective in influencing the people’s mindset.

     Sadly however, the availability of these technology-driven communications vehicle is now the one that is leading people to make erroneous choices of leaders they have been looking up to for them to attain their shared or individual aspirations for themselves and the country.

     Ironically, contrary to the common notion that the new platforms are used as the people’s tool, it now appears that it is the people who have become cyber media platforms’ tool. Agree with us? Think deep readers.                              -30-




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