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JESS DUREZA to be blamed for the 'sellout'

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JESS DUREZA to be blamed for the 'sellout'

Post  Admin on Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:03 pm

On Target
Jess Dureza to be blamed for the ‘sellout’

By Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:03:00 08/09/2008

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The Moro Islamic Liberation Front was reported to have withdrawn its troops from nine villages in North Cotabato after the government gave it an ultimatum.
But what about the houses, crops and farm animals the rebels allegedly burned down, destroyed or slaughtered during their occupation. Will the government not make them pay for them?
It’s doubtful the government panel in the peace talks with the MILF will even consider including the degradation in North Cotabato in the agenda when the talks resume.
The Arroyo government is too busy trying to appease the MILF for the aborted signing of the memorandum of agreement with the rebels in Kuala Lumpur.
* * *
The Arroyo government is perceived to be a wimp by the MILF. That’s why the Moros can afford to mess with it.
The unsigned memorandum of agreement that would have given the Moros virtual independence affirms the perception of weakness of this government. The signing of the memorandum was stopped by the Supreme Court.
But the MILF does not recognize the decision of the high court, saying it was an internal problem within the government.
In other words, as far as the MILF is concerned, the memorandum of agreement arrived at between it and the wimpy government panel is already in force and effect.
* * *
Peace Adviser Hermogenes Esperon is not entirely to blame for the “sellout” of Mindanao to the Moros since he’s new in the job of negotiating with the MILF.
A big part of the blame should be laid at the doorstep of Jess Dureza, who was the chair of the panel negotiating with the Moros before he was appointed presidential spokesperson.
Esperon just picked up from where Dureza left off.
Many people in Mindanao, especially Christians, consider Dureza a “traitor” for their perception of giving them to the Moros.
Dureza is a has-been politician who always lost in his bids for elective posts in Davao City.
He got into the Arroyo administration after he hitched his wagon to the brothers Tommy and Nick Alcantara from Davao, who are very close to the Arroyos.
Dureza has a lot to answer for to his fellow Mindanawons.
* * *
The military and the police high commands should have realized by now that armed civilians are needed in fighting the New People’s Army and MILF.
The Arroyo government cannot do anything but allow civilians in NPA and MILF-infested areas to fight since the civilians will be arming themselves anyway even without permission from the government.
The right to self-preservation is inherent in all human beings.
* * *
Of course, armed civilians will have to be strictly supervised by military or police cadres.
When the hostilities in Mindanao broke out in the early 1970s, the government was not prepared to fight.
The Marcos government had to train thousands of military recruits to fight in Mindanao.
Who held the line in Mindanao while the government in Manila was training soldiers for deployment to the beleaguered island region? Civilian armed groups like the “Ilaga” in Cotabato.
A retired Marine general who was a young officer in the 1970s said that, if not for the civilian armed groups, Mindanao would have been overrun by the Moro National Liberation front.

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