(Photo shows houses torched by MNLF bandits loyal to Nur Misuari)
The Israelis are said to be the chosen people of God. Of course, many will disagree. But my main point here is their deep devotion to God and nerves of steel have enabled the Israelis to deal effectively with all sort of adversities through the years. In 1968-1969, for instance, Israel was attacked from all sides by its Arab neighbors. But the Israelis valiantly fought back and won. The country remains surrounded by Arabs, but it always deals firmly and decisively against any attacks, instilling fear among its numerically superior Arab neighbors.
In the Philippines, rogue MNLF elements, under Nur Misuari, continue to wreak death and destruction in Zamboanga and has paralyzed the entire city – without any valid justification or provocation. The government continues to pursue peace – but apparently to no avail. President Aquino has threatened to use force as a last resort.
I believe that more than simply using soldiers and policemen against the MNLF bandits, the government should consider firmer and more drastic moves such as the following:
1] Drag Misuari – at gunpoint, if necessary – in the middle of Zamboanga city and make him call on his followers to lay down their arms and surrender
2] If Misuari refuses to appeal personally to his followers, the military should gather his next of kin and use them as human shield against rogue MNLF soldiers. The latter anyway are still holding about 200 innocent civilians as human shield. Tit for tat strategy.
3] Gather the next of kin – wives, children and parents – of the MNLF bandits and ask them to make a personal appeal to their wayward family members to lay down their arms and surrender
4] If the MNLF bandits still refuse to surrender, their next of kin should then be considered as human shield by government forces
5] After their surrender, they should be immediately charged for rebellion and jailed – to send a clear and strong message to everyone that criminals will be made to pay for their crimes
Evil men, like Misuari and his followers, don’t seem to recognize and understand reason and a sense of decency even in combat.
It’s clear that they want to do their talking through the barrel of a gun – not through negotiations or diplomacy.
Many non-combatants have already lost their lives, properties destroyed and the international image of the Philippines damaged seriously by the heinous crimes perpetrated by Misuari and his gullible followers.
Misuari and his followers should therefore be dealt with firmly and harshly.
Forced evacuation ordered in 5 Zamboanga villages