From the Website of INQUIRER
Intelligence report not heededWHY DIDN’T the military and the police act on an intelligence report about a threat to abduct foreigners on Samal Island?
Had the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police done so, the kidnappings of three foreigners and a Filipino woman would have been averted.
The reason given by Col. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesperson, was that the intelligence report was “two years old.”
In short, when the AFP—as well as the PNP—received the report two years ago, the island was placed on high alert, as gleaned from the statement of Colonel Padilla.
But the AFP and PNP became lax after the threat was not carried out during that watch.
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If there was ever any alert at all on Samal Island as a result of the intelligence report, then that shows how inefficient our military and police establishments are in handling security threats.
Threats to life and property should be handled thoroughly, not in a casual manner.
It’s understandable for an army to be defeated in battle, after a thorough preparation for war, because in a contest there is always a winner and a loser.
But it’s unforgivable for an army to be defeated because it was unprepared for war.
What if the raid was conducted by a commando unit of a foreign government on any of our cities or towns?
That would have been much more disgraceful!
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How long did the authorities react to the abduction after the report was received by the police and military?
Apparently, they were sleeping on the job, because the abductors were given such a long headstart they were already able to reach their home grounds in Sulu province while the authorities were still scouring for them in the seas and mountains off Davao province.
A speedboat that supposedly carried the kidnappers and their victims was seen landing in Patikul, Sulu, while the search was going on in the provinces of Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley.
“Ang tatanga n’yo, mga pare ko!” (How dumb can you get, guys!)
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The successful raid on Samal Island might embolden the Abu Sayyaf—if they indeed are the culprits—or other groups to stage forays into other places in the country where there are plenty of foreign tourists.
The areas most vulnerable to raids because of the number of foreign visitors who go there in droves are Boracay in Antique province and the diving resorts and bay front hotels in Palawan province.
The guards at Palawan’s chic Amanpulo resort, a favorite playground of Hollywood stars and other celebrities, must be doubled, even trebled.
Needless to say, vigilance must be observed in these places on a 24/7 basis (24 hours, seven days a week).
After the raid by the Abu Sayyaf on the Dos Palmas resort in 2001, I received reports that the resort off Puerto Princesa City was not really the target of the bandit group.
The real targets were the resort hotels in El Nido and Amanpulo.
I was told that the Abu Sayaff got lost along the way and they thought they were in El Nido or Amanpulo.
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What are we up against?
The insurgency problem, kidnappings by the bandit group Abu Sayyaf, the runaway high crime rate, a high rate of addiction among the youth and adults alike, anarchy in the streets because of the horrendous traffic jam, to name a few.
We need a strong leader who can solve all these problems, not phonies and patsies like the people who have already signified their intention to run in 2016 .
We need Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte, who has made the once turbulent city in Mindanao practically drug and crime-free.
But he has no money and machinery to support a national campaign.
Let’s assure him of our all-out support by attending the rally to persuade him to run at the Rizal Park in Manila at 2 p.m. today.
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