Act of War, the PH Government and the Quasi-State MILF

A few days ago, I posted this comment (and the youtube clip below) on a libertarian Facebook group called UntitledFreedom and Responsibility. This online group promotes free market system, individual responsibility, lower taxation and limited government. I’m one of the group’s long-time, active members.

For those afraid of the term ‘all-out war’, here’s an alternative– people forming groups and arming themselves in order to defend themselves, their children and their properties against ever-expanding Islamic terror groups.

Let them kill each other.

But what’s the use of not calling offensives against terrorists ‘war’ or ‘all-out war’ when the terrorists who are determined to massacre civilians and to expand their armed capability have been calling it that way a long, long time ago?

The post attracted comments from free-marketers like my friend Nonoy Oplas, one of the most effective and most ardent advocates of free market system in the country. 

‘War’ policy is one point of disagreement between me and Mr. Oplas. I believe in war of self-defense, such thing exists, while Mr. Oplas argues that “war means all out expansion of PH government.”

Now I am posting this blog to further solidify my arguments against the unconstitutional Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and the ‘moral equivalence’ mentality of those who oppose government action against organized terrorism or rebellion.

Here’s Mr. Oplas’s reply to my post:

Untitled

Untitled2

Here’s my response:

“Because all out war means all out expansion of PH government.”

The question is, what is the primary role of the government? I believe in the State’s fundamental role is to protect people’s rights. On individual level, we know that the role of the government is to catch, to stop, to prosecute, and to penalize ‘individual’ criminals. State agents (e.g., policemen, soldiers, etc.) are sanctioned/authorized by law to use any means, including the use of ‘force’ (e.g., search and seizure, guns and even combat, if necessary) in order to protect people’s rights. Of course, the use of ‘legal’ force must always be within the state’s constitutional powers/principles. That is, state agents cannot simply search people’s houses and arrest criminals without judicial warrants.

But what if the ‘criminal’ is not an individual but a group of armed terrorists who have a notorious history of kidnapping, beheading and mass-murdering innocent civilians (particularly non-Muslims)? What is the role of the state with regard to this matter?

However, to better understand this seemingly complex issue, we must consider the following facts:

  1. There are armed groups (most probably an alliance of highly armed groups) that are determined to wage war and kill people.
  2. These armed groups (or an alliance of highly armed groups) have thousands of members– and the number is counting. They are determined to recruit more members.
  3. They are determined to get more arms and to build a stronger army that can match ours.
  4. They are determined to fool or deceive the government by disingenuously entering into ceasefire and ‘peace’ agreements with the main purpose of recruiting more members and building a more stronger army for a future war.
  5. They have a history of mass-murdering, beheading and kidnapping people.
  6. They get funds from transnational terror groups and even countries that are known for sponsoring international terror networks.

Remember, these groups have been resorting to evil, illegal means (kidnapping, beheading, terrorizing civilians and violating ceasefire agreements, etc.) to scare the public and our spineless government officials.

Again, the question is: How will the government respond? How will the government respond to armed rebel/terror groups composed of thousands upon thousands of FANATIC members?

We are not just dealing with individual criminals or armed syndicates here. We are dealing with armed QUASI-STATES that have access to international funding (from both terror networks and state sponsors) and that have a growing influence, both locally and internationally.

Yes, we have made the MILF, its predecessor and other rebel groups in Mindanao QUASI-STATES, and they are not merely individual criminals or criminal syndicates. They are QUASI-STATES with semi-functioning governments, officials who have access to our governmental bodies (congress, executive office, etc.) and growing international support, local base, financial backing, army, and arsenal.

Take a look at what happened in Mamasapano. The mere fact that our police force did NOT HAVE OPEN ACCESS to the area ‘seized’ by the MILF clearly indicates three alarming facts:

  • That the MILF and BIFF are growing QUASI-STATES, and thus our government has diminishing control over the area and other areas controlled by the terror group and its allies or pseudo-allies.
  • That the government is NOT dealing with individual criminals in which protection process might simply require judicial warrants, arrests or even a ‘slight’ use of legal force. They are dealing with a warmongering pseudo-state in which strategic– and not merely reciprocal– response requires deployment of soldiers and effective weapons.
  • That we have LEGITIMIZED MILF’s and BIFF’s quasi-state status and standing in the international community, thus solidifying the fact that we are not dealing with individual murderers but with a well-funded, well-armed, highly pampered army that is determined to overthrow Philippine sovereignty in Mindanao.

Yet again: How do you solve a problem like the MILF, which is undeniably a quasi-state or belligerent state?

You may call strategic response ‘war’ or ‘all-out war’, but the government has constitutional duty to protect people not only against criminals but against organized terror networks/groups as well.

Does this rights-protecting duty of the State end once it’s faced with a more organized enemy like the MILF or even the BIFF?

Really, because the argument that ‘all-out war’ could lead to expansion of government and that there are other means to deal with highly armed and organized terror groups other than resorting to ‘war’ implies the following:

  1. That the one defending itself (government) and the aggressor are equally guilty of act of war.
  2. That act of war cannot be committed without necessary response from the state or entity being attacked.
  3. That the rights-protecting power of the state applies only to individual or petty criminals and not to groups or entities initiating an act of war (or even by war proxies like the MILF, as there are clear circumstantial proof that the group is  getting support from Malaysia).
  4. That the term or concept act of war has NO objective meaning at all.

Now, it is important for us to understand that the only reason why people in Mindanao are still safe from these warmongering Jihadists is because the latter are not yet fully developed, politically and militarily. Try to give them fighter jets and weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and try to cripple the Philippine armed forces’ capacity to respond– they would take over not only Mindanao but also the entire archipelago like ISIS did in Iraq and Syria.

Afraid of the word ‘war’ or the term ‘all-out war’? No problem. We can actually try to send individual soldiers to MILF territories and serve warrants like policemen do to ordinary criminals. But will that stop these organized armed terror groups from achieving their goal, which is to build a new Islamic state in Mindanao? Actually we tried this approach a thousand times. Again, look at what happened to the SAF44 whose mission was merely to arrest an international terrorist being coddled and protected by the MILF. They were massacred amid ceasefire agreement. Or, they were butchered like sitting ducks because spineless appeasers in the government who were afraid of violating the moro-moro peace agreement ordered them to stand down.

Still afraid of war? Don’t be. They have already declared war on you/us a long, long time ago.

Thing is, ‘war’ is just a word. What matters is what ACTUALLY happens in the real world. If you don’t respond to force, chances are you might get hurt or killed. The word can be broadened into terms with technical meanings, like ‘cold war’ or ‘war of aggression’, ‘limited war’, etc. But what really matters is the nature of the aggression initiated by one group and the necessary means used by the other to repel such force or aggression. Because if you still call the latter (act of self-defense) ‘war’, then that’s simply treason to the people defending themselves. 

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