Archive for the ‘Moslem’ Category

New Pakistani president’s war against terror & the need to secure nuclear weapons

September 7, 2008

Pakistan enters a new phase in governance with the election of Pres. Asif Ali Zadari, 53 year old widower of slain leader Benazir Bhutto who died on December 27, 2007. His landslide win on September 6, 2008 is immediately greeted by a huge suicide explosion near Peshawar, a troubled northwest part of the country killing at least 35 and wounding many more. Militants allied with the Taliban claimed responsibility for blowing up a pick-up truck that counted a teacher, a guard and seven police officers among the dead. AP (09/07/08, Khan, R.)

Called Mr. Ten Percent for alleged corruption during the Bhutto administration, Zadari who is considered as a pro-Western liberal is expected to follow Pervez Musharraf’s anti-terrorist efforts. Hard on insurgency in this violence-prone Moslem nation, Zadari’s position is in line with the American campaign against Islamic terrorism in neighboring Afghanistan. But he faces pressure to balance the local crack-down down on militants and his support for United States which recently led a controversial assault against rebels in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

I’ve been impressed by some of the things he has said about the challenges that Pakistan faces, about the centrality of fighting terrorism, about the fact that the terrorism fight is Pakistan’s fight and also his very strong words of friendship and alliance with the United States,” Condolezza Rice said. AP (09/07/09,Ahmad, M.)

Washington is closely concerned with the future of Pakistan with its arsenal of nuclear weapons. With the power to scrap the parliament and appoint army officers, Zadari heads the civilian-military committee which oversees Pakistan’s nuclear arms. It remains to be seen how much influence Zadari has over the powerful military and the citizenry. Photo Credits: S@jj@ad; Maxi_Leo)=0=

Land domains and the language of peace

August 31, 2008

As pretty as the sea shells that dangle in the wind along pristine shores of Gubat, Sorsogon, the sound of Bicol is as musical as Waray. It’s the language of neighbor-islands that is as wonderful as the photo of polished cowries adorning the shell décors crafted by Gubatnons in the Southern tip of Luzon.

To me, it’s not the differences in how we speak that counts, but the similarities that can help us move on as a nation. By the similar language we speak, we must be blessed in harmony the Warays.

In Apolonio Baylon’s insightful explanation why geography is important in the ultimate solution of the Mindanao strife, I find language as a plus factor for peace. Do Moslems and Christians speak the same language too? We all must seek such commonality more than our difference. We must transcend beyond ethnicity and religion to overcome the barriers of bias and hate.

Sharing a language and redefining territorial boundaries as proposed in MOA-AD may determine how much gold the earth’s bowels can give us, but in finality, the initiatives for peace between us is the way to go in coming to terms with each other— in banishing animosity in our soul. Greater than ourselves and undoubtedly more precious, we must all work for peace. =0=

Frog on the cross: insensitivity that they can’t do to the Moslems

August 29, 2008

In an environment of rising religious insensitivity, intolerance and persecution, a museum in northern Italy approved the display of a frog on a cross, the sacred symbol of suffering and redemption among Christians. (Photo Credit: AP/Seehauser,O.)

Negating religious sensitivity, the museum keepers insist on art freedom for showing a tasteless crappy “sculpture” that cause revulsion and sadness to many— not only to Christians worldwide, but to people of all backgrounds. They seem proudly convinced they are doing the right thing.

For fear of being nuked or killed, they couldn’t do such cowardly act and double standard with the Moslems if Islam’s Prophet Mohammed were to be portrayed in that insulting manner. Such affront to a particular religion must not be tolerated. Hyping a controversy that is likely to cause divisions, is the last thing responsible people need at a time when the world seeks unity, charity, and peace. =0=

PAF: A lone cargo plane for a thousand brave men

August 27, 2008

The Philippine Airforce (PAF) faces a significant blow in the crashing of a C-130 cargo plane in Davao, Philippines on August 26, 2008. One of only two remaining cargo planes that fly, the craft went down while on a military mission in Southern Philippines, killing its pilot and crew under yet-to-determined circumstances. It raises the possibility of terrorism or sabotage.

The C-130 is essential in ferrying military hardware and men in the country, particularly in war-torn Mindanao where Islamic separatist MILF and Moslem rebels are waging a fight. The plane serves as an over-taxed workhorse of the air for years—- one of only five, three of which are grounded for repairs.

Believed to have died, those on board at the time of the downing of the plane are as follows: Major Manuel Sambrano, the aircraft’s pilot; Captain Adrian de Dios, co-pilot; Flight Technical Sergeant Constantino Lobregas; Staff Sergeant John Arriola; Staff Sergeant Gerry Delioso; Staff Sergeant Felix Pedro Patriarga; Staff Sergeant Patricio Claur Jr; Staff Sergeant Aldrin Ilustrisimo and Staff Sgt. Perronilo Fernandez. GMA TV NeWs (08/27/08)

The PAF, its military dependents, and civilians rely on the C-130 as means of travel in the islands. With thousands of ground airmen and personnel who are battle-ready and willing to defend the country, an acute lack of equipment, like a loss of a plane, is a crashing blow to the military which needs both force and air. It raises anew the need to upgrade the air defense of the country =(Photo Credit: Pikitbulag)=0=

Terror in Mindanao & the Move to Divide the Nation

August 12, 2008

First, it was 6, 500, then 80, 000, next 100,000 and now 130,000 civilians. That’s the staggering number of innocent people reportedly displaced by the ongoing conflict between Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels and Philippine government forces in Mindanao.

“Military planes pounded for the second day yesterday areas forcibly occupied by Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels in North Cotabato, raising the number of displaced persons to 130,000.

At least 2,000 Army, Navy and Air Force soldiers are being used against some 500 “marauding” rebels from the 105th Base Command under Umbra Kato, said AFP vice chief Cardozo Luna, head of a task force undertaking the clearing operations.” Malaya (08/12/08, Reyes,V)

“The separatist MILF has been fighting for its own homeland in Mindanao for decades. A deal it was to have signed with the government last week on the size of its future territory fell through after the Supreme Court ordered it stopped pending a decision on its constitutionality.

Tensions have arisen as a result, with some MILF men deciding to occupy some villages in North Cotabato, including those that are predominantly Christian.“ Manila Standard Today (08/11/08, Panares, JP; Solmerin, FS.)

Mixing abuse of discretion, ulterior motives, incompetence, and questionable sense of nationhood, MILF leaders and government negotiators have made the Moslem problem worse, in spite of well-publicized maneuvers to bring peace to Mindanao. At the expense of innocent people including non-Moslem ethnic Filipinos and Christians, Islamic rebels demand concessions that are difficult to reconcile with the constitution. To grant them, some say, is tantamount to treason.

Amidst protests from lawmakers and concerned Filipinos and contrary to the law, they nurture separatist ambition whose goal is to establish their territory and break away from the country in total disregard of other Filipinos living in the region. As a result, the signing of the controversial memorandom of agreement (MOA) on ancestral domain (AD) between MILF and the government in Kuala Lumpur has been put on hold by the Supreme Court.

For the erratic handling of conciliation—ineffectual diplomatic moves, on-and-off armed engagements, and unusual appeasements given to the rebels, the government shares the blame of the unresolved conflict. Photo Credit:Reuters