Islamist terror a big political issue in the Philippines
The president of the Philippines is facing political blowback for his failure to retaliate agianst Muslim terrorists. A few weeks ago, during a ceasefire, Islamic secessionists massacred 13 Filipino soldiers in an ambush, captured 6 others and subsequently slaughtered them, making a total of 19 murders.
The President of the Philippines, Noynoy Aquino, blamed the military after the atrocity. He ordered a stop to the hot pursuit of the killers and reaffirmed his commitment to talk peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the group responsible for the massacre. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports that, "The generals couldn't believe what they were hearing... instead of asking them to come up with a plan to retaliate against the massacre, he blamed the commanders."
Col. Parlade suggested the one-sided ceasefire be lifted. Pres. Aquino expressed "disgust" over the suggestion and fired him. The MILF proceeded to commit more ambushes, resulting in more dead soldiers and other innocents.
The Filipino people were outraged by the attacks, a recent poll showed that "7 out 10 Filipinos favor an offensive." Many Filipino statesmen agree, one being Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who said, "It is time to untie the hands of our soldiers and authorize them to fight the MILF on equal terms and not handicapped by the so-called peace talks characterized by treachery and deceit."
Pres. Aquino's appeasement evolved into something unimaginable when he admitted that he gave the Islamic secessionists 5 million pesos in aid (roughly 125 thousand dollars). A group called Justice for Basilan 19 said: "The President should be held accountable for the allocation of financial aid to enemies of the state which in legal terms is treason, an impeachable offense." An effort in the Philippine congress is currently underway to do just that.
The Aquino government's actions have also led to talks of a coup in the military. When a Commander-in-Chief allows Islamic rebels to kill soldiers and civilians without retaliation, and then admits to financially aiding the enemy, one is surprised coup talks are the only thing that's happening.
If Pres. Aquino (or perhaps his replacement soon) really wants to move towards a lasting and secure peace, he should declare an all-out war against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and all other violent totalitarian groups, with the clear goal of stamping them out permanently.
As is with the entire civilized world: The Philippines can only win peace by destroying, not appeasing, violent entities wishing to impose totalitarianism to an entire people.