Friday, August 9, 2013

Why the Mindanao Bombings are (probably) not a "Diversionary Tactic"

I had one of those Coach McGuirk-like "I'm just learning this as I'm saying it" moments a little while ago after commenting on the latest column by my friend Jojo Robles at the Manila Standard Today, and I think I made a validly-debatable point: As much as the suspicion that the recent rash of bombings throughout Mindanao (five in the past two weeks) are a diversionary tactic to draw attention from the growing "pork barrel" corruption scandal is understandable, given the now almost non-existent credibility of President BS Aquino III and his Administration, it is highly unlikely that they are anything but the terrorists attacks they appear to be. As I commented earlier:

...What people are missing, I think, is the dire implications of them [the bombings] -- the "peace deal" is a sham, not accepted by a significant number of the people affected by it, and these bombings are the start of an even more unstable period in Mindanao. That's why the government is soft-pedaling the issue: They're so hung up on their "achievement" [with respect to the agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front], having anyone realize or their having to admit it was so much hot air would be a PR disaster.

Think about it -- if it really was intended as a diversion from the "pork barrel" scam, we would be hearing about nothing but the bombing spree. As it is, it looks like the Administration is between a rock and a hard place (and they deserve to be) with two really bad situations on either side. That's why Ignoy made the lame pronouncement the other day that the fertilizer scam [a corruption scandal allegedly involving former President Arroyo and supposedly worth about P728 million] was worse -- he's got nothing better right now.
Of course, the fact that no one has claimed responsibility for the bombings, and that the Manila-based Imperium seems less than adequately concerned about stepping up public security or even investigating the incidents only heightens suspicions that something else is going on. That presumption, however, is in some ways almost as inhumane as the government's blowing up its own citizens to cover up a massive, organized plunder of public funds would be. With few exceptions, every prevailing attitude right now -- government lack of interest and public suspicion alike -- overlooks the fact that real people who have no part in these greater affairs are being blown to bits for some reason. Finding out what that reason is and who is acting on it should be the priority right now.

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