The spate of bombings that rocked Mindanao last week has sent multiple wrong signals to the international community. The reputation of the entire country is again badly hurt by this mayhem. And on the economic side, the ramifications have far-reaching impact on the country that can hardly be quantified by statistical data.
Seven people were killed and dozens were wounded when bombs exploded in Cotabato City, Jolo, Sulu and Iligan City last week. The military, though they don’t have strong proofs, has blamed the terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for the attack.
In an evil-made catastrophe like this, it is so easy to name the usual group as the primary suspect but truth can be stranger than fiction. What if officials are barking up the wrong tree? What if the attack is a self-inflicted wound carefully devised to fulfill a hideous political plan?
Making bombs and detonating them does not require a Harvard degree. Today anyone who has the right ingredients and the correct manual of instruction can produce a powerful bomb at one’s room. So bombing is not an exclusive domain for terrorist groups. And even if a terror group would claim responsibility for the attack, that cannot be treated a gospel truth. In propaganda war, lies can be repackaged as obvious truth.
Reports are spreading like wildfire that the Arroyo administration may use the Mindanao situation to justify a declaration of martial law. How pathetic if that would happen.
Although a declaration of martial law is not entirely impossible. A regime that has insatiable appetite for power would not hesitate to tear the country apart if only to perpetuate its evil plan.
It is easy to nurse mistrust on the present dispensation knowing of its previous reprehensible undertakings. The initial attempt to change the form of government through a constituent assembly even without the participation of the Senate is telling us how desperate the current leadership of clinging onto power. It will be of no surprise that power madness can quickly metastasize into merciless violence.
It is also easy to decode the long-term political motive of the present administration. Why would a president of the country, the highest elected post in the Philippines, seek a lowly congressional seat at the end of her term limit? With all the signs and warnings of political waywardness ever pervasive, anything can happen today and in the coming months before the 2010 elections – that is if there is an election.
This country is not new to earth-shaking turn of events. It is better for our people to brace for the worst.
The ultimate threat to the survival of our democracy is not that we have too many enemies to face in the battlefield – it is when our most deceptive and destructive enemy happens to be among us and within us.