HAZARD

In the recently concluded Palaraong Pambansa held in Koronadal, South Cotabato, two sports officials died due to the extreme heat.

It’s not true anymore that it is fun to stay in the sun and play sports to stay healthy.

More deaths have befallen the Palaro participants,  yesterday the contingent from Isabela, Cagayan figured in a bus accident, killing two athletes and three supervisors. Forty others are injured. Our prayers for those who have gone away.

On to positive news on the palaro, a Davaoeño kid won a gold medal in boxing. Goes to show that Mindanao produces great boxing proteges. Keep it up, boys.  You might become world champions in the future.  But please, don’t ever think of running in politics when you have success in your heads.

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A kite wire reportedly caused an army chopper to crash in Lapu-Lapu, Cebu.  Soldiers are befuddled that a kite can be a weapon of mass destruction.

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THREE STRIKES

STRIKE 1: After saying that the Abu Sayyaf threat has diminished with the demise of its leaders, the military is now resurrecting these ghost in its assault in Sulu on April 13. No Abu has been caught or killed, instead 50,000 residents from eight municipalities have been displaced.

Scores of victims: Abu = 0. Civilians = 50,000. Loser = Peace

read Patricio Diaz’ comment on Sulu conflict

STRIKE  2: The military launched an air attack on a village in Davao del Norte in an effort to track New People’s Army that staged a daring raid of a prison armory during Easter Sunday.

Score: NPA dead = 0. Livestock and bananas = many.

read story here

STRIKE 3: The military reported the death of nine-year old Grecil Buya in an encounter in New Bataan, Compostela Valley. The military initially claimed this girl was an NPA who engaged them in a firefight.

Now they are singing a different tune, saying the girl is actually a student, and that the father is an NPA.

No apologies have been issued to the family of the girl.

A girl is dead. Her family is aggrieved. But the victims are now the accused.

Grecil

Propaganda = a lot. Justice= 0

The peacemaker?

The AFP is putting a peacemaker to head its division in the volatile Maguindanao area.

The man is Maj. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer, former chief of the 1st Infantry Division or Tabak Division in Western Mindanao, who will now trade places with Maj. Gen. Nehemias Parajito on the helm of the 6th Infantry Division.

Reports of his conflict management skills will be put to the test, as he arrives at a time where clashes between the armed forces and the MILF in Midsayap, North Cotabato have led to the evacuation of 4,000 families. The situation has been much tense and harrowing for the Moro people there as noted by this report.

Heart for Mindanao?

By coincidence or by purpose, two Davao dailies last Saturday ran feature articles on the two military generals based in Southern Mindanao.

Sunstar featured Lt. General Rodolfo Obaniana of the newly created Eastern Command in Mindanao. Mindanao Times ran a cover story on Gen. Ernesto Boac of the newly created 10th Infantry Division, which operates in Southern Mindanao and Socsksargen. (I’m afraid there is no link for the Mindanao Times article. Try to grab their March 10 issue)

If you get to read those articles, better note that both are written in the same manner, detailing their histories and military records. And finally ending with the commanders speaking that their hearts long for peace in Mindanao.

Whatever these articles are spinning about hearts for peace, bombs and bullets are still flying all over Mindanao. It takes more than these articles to bring the message into action. read article