Here and There

MILF under Kato-Bravo — terrorist group

By Gerry Garcia

THE government has released P2 billion and additional millions more for selected congressmen and senators, allegedly for their farm-to-market roads projects.

These farm-to-market roads money, intended for countryside development, derisively touted by administration critics as “farm-to-pocket” projects, have reportedly been released to the Department of Agriculture, chairman of which, Secretary Arthur Yap is running for senator in 2010.

Even if the polls are still too far away, what’s “too far away” for Pinoy, who can’t help playing X’mas carols when the yule season’s still 4 “ber” months away!

These FMRs allocations are sizeable additions to the yearly pork barrel funds of P70 million per congressman and P200 million per senator. And they can wangle for more from cabinet members and other agency heads during budget hearings.

No wonder a senate seat always offers the most tempting prize to ambitious or aging celebrities from the screen world who wants to enter politics.

There are assuring words from Senator Ping Lacson, though, who claim to have taken no centavo at all from his pork barrel share.

Ping has said the opposition will not waver in its mandate of exposing irregularities in government no matter how tiring and frequent . . . and boosted his pledges with reminding the government it can not survive through the learned helplessness of Filipinos . . . and that the potency of people power revolts is still intact.

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Christian and moderate Muslim leaders have branded the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain as “sell-out” . . . and condemned its use to blackmail the President into signing the MOA in exchange for allowing establishment of Bagsamoro juridical entity.

And now come the Armed Forces of the Philippines warning the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to stay out of the way of “intensified military actions against two rebel commanders responsible for deadly attacks on Christian-dominated communities in North Cotabato and Lanao del Norte early this week.

AFP Commander Brig. Jorge Segovia said the military has stepped up operations — including air sorties — against Amirel Umbra Kato and Abdulla Saber Macapaar alias Bravo who led the attacks that left more than 30 people dead and thousands others displaced. The AFP’s avowed to intensify military operations in order to hold in abeyance the MILF’s murderous attacks and to hasten early capture of the two rebel leaders drew attention from a concerned body — Amnesty International (AI) which condemned the MILF’s attacks in Mindanao and Lanao del Norte.

AI’s Asia-Pacific director, Zafirl, said the MILF, as perpetrators of the dastardly attacks, should be held responsible.

Accusations, in fact, of the MILF being a group no different from the Muslim terrorists who led the 9/11 terror attacks against the USA … have become common and especially marked last Thursday when the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attack was observed by the free world.

(Readers may reach columnist at sundaypunch2@yahoo.com. For past columns, click http://sundaypunch.prepys.com/archives/category/opinion/here-and-there/ For reactions to this column, click “Send MESSAGES, OPINIONS, COMMENTS” on default page.)

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