Print and broadcast media are still in high gear over Oplan Wolverine. Yes, there’s a lot to be said but still it is imperative to view these against practical and difficult realities and the rarely straight path in the quest for peace. And what timing that the Mamasapano encounter happened right after that girl child’s question, why does God allow children to suffer?, to which Pope Francis said there isn’t a definite answer. Same with covert operations (especially those, nowadays, with the objective of ridding the world of terrorism).
I will sound callous saying this but the general public need to see that the deaths were not 44 out of 44 but rather 44 out of 400 SAF men, more or less a 10% casualty rate which is still within what can be called a successful operation, data wise.
We also need to see that the MILF isn’t exactly cherubims or seraphims. If I were an MILF, it would be stupid of me, a betrayal of all I stand for and my comrades, to give up who I’m protecting without putting up a good fight or defense. Naturally I will meet the raiders with such rage. In fact, the Bible advises that one should be as cunning as, if not more than one’s enemy. On the side of the SAF/PNP, to coordinate with the world before the operation is to forget cunning and expose the force to more casualties. On the side of the MILF, it called on it’s ally (BIFF) to back it up. Cunning as we can see here is a two way street.
It is therefore dangerously naive to believe and insist that wanting peace comes without blood shed, for it does (even so called non-violent protests such as hunger strikes are in fact violent in the sense that the act deliberately harms the protester’s physical and psychological being).
The general public need to realize that amid the economic growth the country is experiencing, there is also an ongoing war, drawn out wars in fact, being fought right in the neighborhoods. Amid the fiestas and pageantry there is bloodbath on a daily basis somewhere, much of it so the rest of the country will know peace.
News is that the objective of the Mamasapano mission has been partly attained, with as mentioned earlier 10% casualty on the side of the friendly force. That for me is success and bravery, and as a citizen who desires a terrorism free environment both for myself, my children, and loved ones, I am grateful for the 400 who chose to do the mission and humbled by the 44 who died. The world we have (made) is rife with complexities and the imperfect best everybody can make of these situations is that,
IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS, IT IS A QUESTION OF BALANCE
– The Pitfalls of U.S. Covert Operations, The Cato Institute
And nobody has this concern uppermost in mind than the President. Sending out 400 men to secure 20M Filipinos is for me the right decision regardless of the standing agreement with the MILF (who was first to break the agreement anyway by protecting a non-friendly hence both sides are quits so to speak). But how is it that he is being singled out again and pressured to step down (the same fate that befell former President GMA though he is unlike his predecessor)? Even Marcos, who we call a strongman, a dictator, was unable to eradicate factionalism and insurgency in his time. As all the Presidents after him.
Why don’t Filipinos for once support their President (and this one isn’t a dictator nor known to be corrupt) until the end of his term? What would we gain by asking him to step down right this minute? Do we as a nation have a better solution to this decades old problem of insurgency and lately terrorism creeping in?