Friday, July 06, 2007

Perpetrators and protectors

IT’S almost a month now since the abduction of Fr. Giancarlo Bossi, a PIME missionary (Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions) for working for the Prelature of Ipil in Mindanao.

The Philippine Army has been in pursuit operations from day one; and so were the forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front(MILF), who a couple of days ago gave up the search, reportedly, for “political reasons”. The Italian government, too, through its ambassador has been moving the high heavens in search of the Italian priest.

Even the Pope and the local hierarchy have released statements pleading for the priest’s release. But nothing has mattered, so far. To date, no one has said a word. No group has claimed responsibility. And the government is not making any dent except that it keeps talking to the media about buying or begging more huey helicopters to modernize its army—which has been accused lately of killings and disappearances.

The mother of abducted Jonas Burgos did not blink in frontally accusing the military for the disappearance of her son of late. Speculations are on the rise.

Whether the government is playing a political agenda or simply incompetent—or all of the above—it always merits the centerpiece of the accusations. And quite reasonably so, because why in the world would it tract down militants or government critics with arrests warrants issued 20 or so years ago but brush off latest abductions with “the military has nothing to do with it” alibi?

If really the military has nothing to do with the disappearances, is it any license to just sit back, relax and watch the world go by while nursing the big bellies of generals with people’s taxes? Quis custodiet custodies is not even the issue here. It’s just that people are finding it even harder to distinguish between the perpetrators and their supposed protectors.

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