Abu Sayyaf standoff – case of lifeboat ethics?
The stand off, to tell it like it is, may now be reduced to a case of lifeboat ethics. A single option among many is the best possible solution if we are to situate it in its ordinary moral context. And this is that, we must choose who to save – it is as simple as that.
So, do we pull out government forces in exchange of Andreas, Jean, and Eugenio walking out free? Do we order troop offensive to get the ASG – dead or alive – even at the risk of innocent lives become part of collateral damage?
Either way it goes, it can only result in – Mission Accomplished or in Mission Failed. Certainly, there is no more superior force that can overcome the resources of the government in this childishly ‘hide and seek’ armed feud.
As soon as fireworks start, we can start to count the casualty toll on both sides of the armies – presumably more AFP/PNP troops killed than ASG militants – by simple mathematical given.
Is the government not ready enough to win or to lose against the backdrop of an entire universe – all eyes and ears – watching how the end-game scenario unfolds? Is Malacanang still finding a way out of the noose given the possible international repercussions if Swiss Notter and Italian Vagni get killed in the action?
Come to think of it, the entire hullaballoo spanning 76-day of indecision must now come to a close. Task Force Comet cannot buy more time. The ultimatum has already expired. The message of the ASG has already reached the Papacy that the Pope himself and the leaders of their own governments have already raised the humanitarian plea.
PGMA is commander-in-chief and it is judgment call for her to act now.
This is not the first time ever that ASG has kidnapped largely foreign guests, asked for ransom, behead some of their captives, killed their victims. The ASG group has marked points in history when they have carried out their lawless, criminal activities with impunity such as bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, extortion, etc. And the government is always pushed to the wall – unable to do what it is supposed to do.
Why is the AFP always suffering from infantile paralysis?
If government troops accomplished to kill Khadaffy Janjalani in September 2006 in Jolo Island and Abu Sulaiman in January 2007, who is it that the Philippine military cannot capture if it decides to? Sulu or Jolo are not too far away from the reach of government if it intends the basic delivery of goods and services, isn’t it?
While Mindanao in fact heavily subsidizes Luzon or imperial Manila, this island near Malaysia or Indonesia is shortchanged due to chronic neglect. Did not analyst Rex Robles rightly say that if only the Muslims are given livelihood along with their Christian brothers, then peace will reign as well?
Due to the beclouding uncertainty and the cutting the open communication wire, sense of distrust can only build greater tension than can be managed. The government through their various spokespersons – Dick Gordon, Ronnie Puno, Pong Biazon – never stop from registering their views across the viewing universe thus making known their motives.
The AFP/PNP after all, are already in the attack mode having gone back to the cordon area and as if to await only final orders from the high command – whoever calls the shot. If the government is not willing to grant the demands of the ASG, there is no time to waste but to act promptly in accordance with wisdom of the field military commanders.
Truly, Sen. Dick Gordon may well stop from talking to the point of blaming anyone who appears to cross his plan such as in when Gov. Tan declared a state of emergency in the entire province. Dick was quick to cast the blame.
Even Gordon’s dual personality as – officer of the PNRC and member of Senate actually have nothing to do with this crisis that is well within the proper cognizance of only the Armed Forces of the Philippines. It escapes comprehension what he is doing in the middle of the conflict through some armchair role-playing. Why indeed did he criticize BGen. Sabban who was consequently relieved from his command when this is the officer best in the know what to do, who to capture, how and when?
Viewed differently, if there is a higher scheme of things, it just might be possible that the government is simply trying to court favor from President Baruck Obama of the strongest military empire of the world.