Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fishes, Bloody Fishes

The fishmonger comes by everyday. He walks down the street shouting out and we go see what he's got in his basket for sale. Usually he has large uncut fish or maybe a few clean fillets.

 Sometimes he has squid or maybe even crabs or shells.

But this morning he had something different.

Bloody fish fillets with flies all over the meat!  And what a stench!  The sickening smell of fish and blood made me almost vomit up my breakfast.  And look at the scale.  

Covered in blood!

Couldn't he clean the fish off after he cut them??  It's disgusting, unhealthy, and unprecedented. How many flies have landed and laid eggs in the meat or rubbed their legs together in the blood? Who wants to buy something so abominable??  Take a close look at the first picture and you will see the fishmonger, who is not the same guy selling these bloody fish, has clean and bloodless fillets.  What's wrong with this guy that he can't wash his bloody fish?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Will There be NationwideTerror Attacks on June 30?

Twice now purportedly classified messages from the AFP have made their way into my Facebook message box.  The content of each is the same.  The first message arrived in my box June 20th but at the very top there is a date that looks like either June 13th or 18th 2017.

The second communique arrived June 27th but is dated June 25th.

The content of both messages is essentially the same but I have transcribed only the second message leaving in all grammatical errors.

1. Reference: RIS from NICA6 with Subject: Joint ISIS, Maute Group and BIFF elements to launch major attacks on 30 jun 17. 
2. Per above reference, RBIT on 30 jun 17, the joint ISIS, Maute Group, and BIFF elements will reportedly launch a major attacks in key cities nationwide targeting churches, shopping malls and other populated areas. The terrorist groups will also hijack petroleum lorry and LPG delivery trucks to be used as vehicle bombs. The suicide attacks will reportedly be carried out by foreign terrorist. 
    Relatedly, around twenty (20) members of a special Maute unit who graduated from an explosives training sometime on November 2016 have already been emplaced in their respective targets nationwide to simultaneously launch attacks during the Friday prayer or “Jumaah.” Accordingly, mosques will not be spared from the attacks. 
3. This Brigade will deploy troops in key areas to secure vitals installations particularly the oil depot’s in Bacolod City and Amlan, Negros Oriental. While the rest of the Army troops are currently conducting massive combat operations in the Island. 
4. In this regard, request the availability of our City and Municipal Police to conduct random checkpoint for at least three (3) shifting daily from 28 Jun to 03 Jul 2017. Areas to be conducted are along the national road of Negros Island Region to prompt the planned action of the terrorist groups.

All three of the signatories check out.  There is a Von Ryan T Gomez and a Jamie R Datuin and an Eliezer Losañes enlisted in the AFP. The Von Ryan Gomez who comes up in a Google search is a 1st Lieutenant and not a Captain but he is associated with Central Negros. He is both an author and a subject on this AFP wordpress blog.

A search for Lt. Col. Jaime R. Datuin brings up this Facebook post from 2014.

The third signatory, Eliezer Losañes, comes up in this story from Philstar and he is directly linked to the 303rd Brigade.
BACOLOD CITY , Philippines  – Local government units (LGUs) in the Negros Island Region are being urged to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in their areas in support of the anti-terrorism drive of state security agencies.  
The call for the installation of CCTV cameras was contained in a resolution approved by the regional advisory council of the Philippine National Police (PNP). 
The resolution sought the installation of CCTVs at the entry and exit points of the towns and cities as well as in areas of convergence. 
This developed after the Communist Party of the Philippines ordered its armed wing, the New People’s Army, to launch more attacks in response to the government’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao.  
Col. Eliezer Losañes, chief of the Army’ 303rd Infantry Brigade, said yesterday that they have intensified their combat operations.  
Losañes assured the Negrenses that the island’s coastal villages have been secured with the help of the PNP-Maritime Command, Philippine Navy and Coast Guard.
How legitimate is the information?  Will there be large scale terror attacks nationwide on June 30th?  I don't know.  Why is this information even being leaked and why is not being leaked on a grander scale if it is indeed legitimate?  No one is reporting this information as far as I know.

It's not impossible that large scale attacks have been planned and will happen.  The government admitted that they knew in advance about the Maute Group's plan to siege Marawi.

Absolutely nothing was done with this information.  Duterte flew off to Russia to hobnob with Putin and the attacks were allowed to proceed.  We saw this same situation in Bohol where the AFP were tracking Abu Sayyaf, knew they were in Bohol and ignored the threat.

PNP Chief Bato knew there was a threat but AFP Chief Año did not???

Duterte is on the record saying his presidency will be a bloody dictatorship and that he will declare martial law if he wants to.

With no recommendation to do so from his top security advisers Duterte declared martial law last month in Mindanao and threatened to extend it nationwide if he saw fit to do so. What's to stop him from allowing nationwide attacks to happen just so he can impose marital law nationwide? Last week he said to be prepared for ISIS retaliation and more bombings.

What's coming down the pipeline for the Philippines? Does Duterte know? Will there be nationwide terrorist attacks on June 30th? We all better hold onto our butts!

Martial Law: It's A Success!!

One month of martial law.  And its a success!!  Break out the beer and lechon!
Malacañang on Friday said President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of martial law in Mindanao has succeeded in preventing the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from establishing a base in the Philippines, even as government troops continued to battle the group’s sympathizers in Marawi City. 
“We don’t go by ratings, but we do say we actually preempted the establishment of a wilayat (Islamic State province) [in Mindanao],” Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing in Davao City.
Yeah!! What do you think of that naysayers??  Martial law has been a success and soon everything will be back to normal and we won't need martial law.
Officials, however, still could not say when the president would lift the declaration, which some sectors fear, would embolden the military to commit human rights abuses and to suppress civil liberties. 
Abella, however, did not directly answer if the government would revoke or extend military rule once it reached its two-month effectively period next month, saying the decision would depend on military advice.
Well let's just wait and see.  Only four more weeks until martial law phase one ends.  If phase two does occur will Duterte be apologetic?
Didn't have any choice?  The AFP said they had everything under control. Maybe you can't really trust what the AFP says. They haven't met any self-imposed deadlines for clearing Marawi of terrorists. They have had a tank stolen.  And they don't even have proper equipment. They have to reinforce their tanks with wood to protect them from antitank RPGs!
Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, spokesperson of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, said tank commanders had decided to cover armored vehicles with planks of wood for added protection against fighters belonging to the Abu Sayyaf, Maute group and their allies. 
The wood serves to disperse the impact of an antitank warhead before it hits the steel shell of an armored personnel carrier (APC) or a tank. 
“Our commanders took the initiative to innovate and ordered that all armored vehicles be reinforced with additional protection so it can withstand the antiarmor capability of the enemy,” he said.
Why doesn't the AFP have proper armour on their tanks? There is a time and place for "Pinoy innovation" and it's not the battlefield.  Why don't they have proper equipment? 

In a report by GMA News' Emil Sumangil on "24 Oras" on Friday, soldiers used cartons and thick planks of wood against the the rocket propelled grenade (RPG) or the shoulder-fired anti-tank weapon of Maute group members. 
The military said the same improvised equipment was used during the all-out war in year 2000.
Ah, ok. It's just military strategy.  Imagine how much more successful their strategy would be if they had actual equipment and did not have to improvise the same way they have been doing for the past seventeen years! (Seventeen years and they can't get proper equipment??)

Will Australian spy planes even make a difference if they don't have good equipment on the ground?

Part of the reason martial law has been declared a success is because the terrorists have been contained and fighting has not spilled over into the surrounding areas.
Duterte is marked for death.  Davao is targeted next.  Maute and BIFF are likely working together. And the President says prepare for ISIS retaliation and more bombings in Mindanao.  If that's success I don't want to know what failure is.
Retired police officer Rodolfo “Boogie” Mendoza, who is now the president of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence, and Terrorism Research, doesn’t see any end soon to the conflict in Marawi City. 
(We haven’t seen if there would be any rapid conclusion because it’s only been a month, the campaign isn’t over yet, so the effectivity can only be measured if there’s broad support from the people of Mindanao.) 
Opposition lawmaker Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, who has asked the Supreme Court to nullify the martial law declaration in Mindanao, said military rule made things worse. 
“There is extreme misery and horrific conditions particularly in Marawi because of the extensive inordinate show of might of the military, the police authorities, which has really displaced tens of thousands of civilians not to mention destruction of private public properties and loss of lives,” he said. 
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, an administration ally who was part of a recent humanitarian mission to Mindanao, is among those who have called for a congressional investigation on the plight of the evacuees and those displaced by martial law. “There is now a grave humanitarian crisis in Marawi and Lanao del Sur,” he said. 
Mendoza said the goal of containing terrorism in the area has yet to be achieved.
“There is extreme misery and horrific conditions particularly in Marawi" so what better thing to do than have a ceasefire for the Muslim celebration of Eid'l Fitr. Give everyone a few hours of non-misery.
Nothing lasts forever though.
Back to the battlefield boys. Cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war.  Give 'em hell! You few, you happy few, you band of brothers—for whoever sheds his blood with you shall be your brother.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Fake News and Memetic Warfare in the Philippines

It is a fact that the Philippines is awash in fakery.  Fake coffee, fake honey, fake name brand shoes, fake designer clothing, fake diplomas and documents, fake DVDs, fake rice, fake smiles, fake electronics, is there anything in this country that is genuine except for the corruption, pollution, and loud BOOM BOOM BOOM of karaoke and fiestas??

Naturally with all this fakery "fake news" fits in quite well.
Months before issuing a pastoral letter against fake news on Wednesday, June 21, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) published its Pastoral Guidelines on the Use of Social Media. It comes with an appendix on websites "carrying fake or unverified contents." 
In a country where fakery is accepted as an everyday fact of life it's not any surprise that "fake news" would be accepted and protected. But some have gone beyond simply decrying the crusade against "fake news" as censorship and an attack on free speech.
In the face of formidable power, the weak devise mechanisms to fight back in order to survive, or maintain sanity. When confronted by the public transcripts of dominant power, the oppressed resort to creativity. 
Their resistance could find expression in parody, where the tormented can turn the tormentors into materials for laughter. 
Antonio Contreras' thesis is that "fake news" is a way for the marginalised and oppressed to fight back against their oppressors. He believes that what was once an elitist space, the internet, has now become a space where the ordinary people can congregate and have their voice heard.
Another face of creativity is seen in the colonization of the internet by the ordinary people. 
Social media and the internet started out as an elitist space, which only those who could afford handheld gadgets and laptops could inhabit and frequently circulate. Maria Ressa’s Rappler used to lord it over internet-mediated news. 
However, the entry of cheap mobile phones and of free internet enabled the ordinary people to invade the internet and consequently, social media. This turned the internet into a technology that was weaponized by the powerless and the marginalized to fight the dominant and the powerful. 
Eventually, armed with creativity, ordinary people gradually turned Facebook from just a page on which to post selfies and food porn into one where they could become participants in political discourse. It became a place where they could express their political grievances. They turned Facebook into one big carnival, where memes making fun of political figures exploded without mercy. And here, ordinary people were ruthless not only in their creativity but also in their ability to ridicule.
He goes on to admit that truth of "fake news" is of no consequence since the purpose is to destabilise the regime and assert the power of the oppressed and that anonymity is key to being able to disseminate "fake news."
James Scott has argued that one of the strategies used by the weak is rumor whose potency to undermine and destabilize the established and dominant power rests on its having an anonymous source. Rumor, by its very nature, doesn’t have to be true, since the objective is not to assert a fact, but to destabilize the truth that is convenient to the powerful. 
It is here that trolls descended into social media, taking advantage of the very nature of its technology, which enables anonymity to launch an attack. 
This development has destabilized and challenged established institutions. This array of creative strategies of defiance and resistance, often anonymous and without accountability has undermined the monopoly of the journalist to report news, of the intellectual academic and professional expert to dispense knowledge, and of the political elite to exercise power.
He is right about anonymity. The internet provides a cover of anonymity. Anonymity is empowering. On the internet anyone can be anyone and is free to say anything with little to no repercussions. But anonymity is also frustrating since no one can be sure who is wearing a black hat or a white hat or even no hat at all.

Who is authoring these "fake news" websites? Is it the ordinary people? Of course not. The ordinary person is too busy trying to take care of his family. He does not have time to sit in front of the computer all day coding and writing. Nor would he have the money to purchase domain names or the computer equipment needed or the type of internet connection needed to keep up the game of "fake news." To be a blogger or internet reporter means an almost 24/7 obsessiveness to keep up on trends and to disseminate information. The authors of these websites have coding skills to create the pages as well as time to write article after article and then promote them on various social media sites and the money to purchase the domains and equipment while still being able to provide for themselves. They are by no means ordinary people. They are well funded and well skilled. Buying a P20 load with unli-Facebook isn't going to enable someone to craft a blog or memes.

That is not to say that ordinary people don't create memes or participate in the creation and dissemination of fake news.  It's easy to create memes.  It's also easy to share a link. It's not so easy to author a blog or a news site. Though its easier than it may seem since anyone can write a blog on a number of free platforms you still need lots of free time to keep at it and produce anything worthwhile that will get thousands of views. How do these sites even get enough promotion that they do receive thousands and even millions of hits? Who is really promoting these "fake news" sites?

His assertion that "fake news" or rumour has the purpose to destabilise or challenge established institutions contradicts his first assertion that "fake news" is a way to maintain sanity.  It is important to remember that "fake news" is passed off as real news and not satire. Satire is a way to maintain sanity.  Think of political cartoons as an age-old method of satire to maintain sanity and reveal the truth. Comedy has always been a method to peer back the veneer of lies all in the name of having a laugh.

So which is it?  Are people seeking a way to empower themselves by having a laugh or are they seeking to overthrow the existing order?

That anyone would seek to destabilise the the existing order is troubling.  Who is seeking this end and for what purpose? Are the ordinary people seeking to destabilise and challenge the existing institutions?  The ordinary Filipino will not even complain about bad service at a restaurant or ask their rude neighbour to turn down the loud karaoke yet Antonio Contreras would have us believe that the ordinary Filipino citizen is seeking to destabilise and challenge the existing political order through memes and blogs! What do they stand to gain from doing so?  Whether or not the existing institutions are desirable or not is not the question here.  The question is "cui bono?"  Who benefits?

And how does "fake news" destabilise the existing order away? In the Philippines the current order is Duterte and his party.  The Yellows are out.  So what purpose do fake stories about Leni Robredo's daughter being arrested for drugs, Triallnes and Alejano's gay wedding in the Netherlands, that the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Duterte,  or that Bill Gates has invested 20 billion dollars in the Philippines serve?

And how about one of the most egregious instances of "fake news" in recent months?

How does this bit of "fake news" empower the powerless when even the powerful fell for it?

How does this provable lie empower anyone? By distracting the public from the fact that the government knew in advance of the attack on Marawi?

Did the Duterte administration plant this story about Aquino and Trillanes as being the brains behind the Marawi attack in order to take the heat off them since they knew it would eventually come out that they had prior knowledge of the Marawi attack? So much for empowering the people through satire!

So much for "fake news."  What about memes?  What is a meme?
meme (/ˈmm/ MEEM) is an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures.
So all these pictures with funny text are supposed to transmit ideas from one mind to another and shape individual behaviour. Ideas about the incompetency and corruption of the government or certain people. Ideas about how great Duterte is. Ideas about how martial law is great and if you disagree you are a traitor.

Typical meme
Who is making these memes?  The ordinary people?  Antonio Contreras would have us believe so but it's not likely. Has he ever heard of meme warfare or memetic engineering? In March 2017 Wikileaks released CIA documents revealing their plans for meme warfare.
Recently surfaced CIA documents reveal that the military are going to create a “Meme Warfare” division tasked with controlling the minds of the American population. 
According to US defense documents, memes can be used to win wars and influence the general population. 
In a paper published in 2005 by Michael B. Prosser, the U.S. military are able to weaponise and diffuse memes in order to “defeat an enemy ideology and win over the masses.”
Now this may seem to be US-centric but we know from the past that the CIA, as one of the fingers of the deep state, works on a global scale using psyops to mold populations to their liking. Why wouldn't organisations in the Philippines or with an economic or political stake in the Philippines take a lead from the CIA and use their tactics in an effort to shape public opinion?  
Memetic engineering is a term developed by Leveious Rolando, John Sokol, and Gibron Burchett based on Richard Dawkins' theory of memes.
  • The process of developing memes, through meme-splicing and memetic synthesis, with the intent of altering the behavior of others in society or humanity.
  • The process of creating and developing theories or ideologies based on an analytical study of societiescultures, their ways of thinking and the evolution of their minds.
  • The process of modifying human beliefs, thought patterns, etc.
Cognitive scientists, cultural anthropologists, behavior scientists, and game theory experts must be included as professional meme-wielding-gunfighters on future battlefields. The US must recognize the growing need for emerging disciplines in ideological warfare by ‘weaponeering’ memes. The Meme Warfare Center offers sophisticated and intellectually rich capability absent in current IO, PsyOps and SC formations and is specifically designed to conduct combat inside the mind of the enemy. Memes are key emerging tools to win the ideological metaphysical fight .
So who is making the memes?  I don't know but to say that the Filipino people are part of a complex psyop in order to shape their minds and behaviour is not out of the question. Mocha Uson was hired by Duterte for that very purpose!
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has caused a stir by appointing Margaux Justiniano Uson, a blogger known for posting “sexy” videos on social media, his new assistant secretary of the Presidential Communication Operations Office. “Mocha,” as she is known, will run the federal government’s social media.
Mocha Uson is a meme warrior and a memetic engineer paid by the Duterte administration to shape the minds of the Filipino people in a way that is favourable to the Duterte administration. Mocha Uson is a psyop.

And let's not forget that Facebook, the source of so much "fake news" and so many memes, the website that Antonio Contreras calls a once elitist space and now a space for ordinary people, has morphed from neat little website crafted in Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard dorm room into data collection tool of the CIA, NSA, FBI, and every other intelligence agency around the globe. Oh and its also a psyop!
Over 600,000 Facebook users have taken part in a psychological experiment organised by the social media company, without their knowledge.  
Facebook altered the tone of the users' news feed to highlight either positive or negative posts from their friends, which were seen on their news feed.  
They then monitored the users' response, to see whether their friends' attitude had an impact on their own.
"Fake news" is perfidious and dangerous because it is lies. It's not satire. It's not comedy. It is flat out lies and people are too gullible to discern the lies from the truth. We should always seek to speak the truth whatever it may be. Lies do not empower anyone. Lies disenfranchise everyone from the powerful to the powerless. There are enough lies to be had in the Philippines.  We do not need more lies under the guise of "power to the people!"

Antonio Contreras would do good to look into the history of COINTELPRO or even Operation Mockingbird which were and are both deep state operations within the US intelligence cabal to infiltrate and subvert organisations and influence popular opinion through the media. Psychological warfare is not a conspiracy theory.  It is a fact of modern life!
Psychological warfare (PSYWAR), or the basic aspects of modern psychological operations (PSYOP), have been known by many other names or terms, including MISO, Psy Ops, Political Warfare, "Hearts and Minds", and propaganda.[1] The term is used "to denote any action which is practiced mainly by psychological methods with the aim of evoking a planned psychological reaction in other people".[2] Various techniques are used, and are aimed at influencing a target audience's value system, belief system, emotionsmotivesreasoning, or behavior. It is used to induce confessions or reinforce attitudes and behaviors favorable to the originator's objectives, and are sometimes combined with black operations or false flag tactics. It is also used to destroy the morale of enemies through tactics that aim to depress troops' psychological states.[3][4] Target audiences can be governmentsorganizationsgroups, and individuals, and is not just limited to soldiers. Civilians of foreign territories can also be targeted by technology and media so as to cause an effect in the government of their country.
One thing is certain.  These "fake news" websites are not the creations of the ordinary public. Antonino Contreras' shallow analysis of "fake news" as resistance is muddied with so much Marxist theory that he fails to see the bigger picture which is that outside powers use and manipulate people all the time and for their own nefarious purposes. Even the so-called "resistance" is bought and paid for! (See COINTELPRO)

At best "fake news" websites are opportunistic ways for clever scam artists to make money by having a gullible public click and share the links.

At worst they are evidence of deep state operations meant to conquer and divide the public. The watchers are watching to see what everybody's reaction is and they continue to push things further as they always do.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Cost of War is Surrender

How long has the Philippines been at war with communist insurgents and Islamic terrorists?  Since at least 1970.  That's 37 years.  And what of the cost?
The Mindanao war has cost the Philippine government a staggering P2.013 trillion during the 31-year period from 1970 to 2001, an amount nearly equivalent to the P2.606 trillion 2015 national budget. 
The years of fighting had killed nearly 120,000 people, excluding the tens of thousands of wounded from both sides and civilians caught in the crossfire. It was a bloody conventional warfare as the MNLF forces directly attacked military camps and installations.
2,000,000,000,000 pesos!!!  That's only from 1970 - 2001. How much more has been spent in the past 16 years? And why has this war been allowed to continue for nearly 40 years now? Could the leadership of the AFP be that incompetent that they can't get a few terrorists under control within 40 years? And how about the government who is deluded enough to think peace talks will solve anything.
The war ended when the Philippine government and MNLF signed the historic peace agreement on Sept. 2, 1996 during the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos. 
But the 1996 peace accord was disrupted when the breakaway group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) protested the signing and continued its war with the government.
A ceasefire was signed in 1997 but this did not last long when a new administration under President Joseph Estrada declared an all-out war against the MILF in the summer of 2000 after the rebels launched several attacks on military and civilian population.
It was only during the time of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that peace talks between the government and the MILF resumed sometime in 2004. 
However, fighting erupted anew in 2008 when the controversial Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) about to be signed was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. 
It was only in 2009 that the peace process reopened during the remaining six months of the Arroyo government and was pursued by a new administration under President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd in 2010 that resulted in the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) between the government and MILF on March 27, 2014.
Its a rollercoaster ride of war, ceasefire and peace talks, war, ceasefire and peace talks, etc, etc, ad nauseam.

Who cares if the MNLF is committed to the peace process. Of course this group wants peace rather than annihilation. Why would the government, after spending trillions and after losing the lives of thousands, seek peace with these murderous terrorists?  Why would they give them a piece of Mindanao as their own autonomous region? Why would the Philippine government sanction a terrorist state in their midst? After all the time, money, and lives wasted in the war against Islamic terrorists why would the government surrender? 

The MNLF is not committed to peace. If they were they would surrender unconditionally. They MNLF is committed to watching the Philippine government capitulate to their demands and hand over to them their very own state! And the government is stupid enough grant their wish.

Duterte said he and the MILF leaders would meet on Monday to hold “frank” discussions on the provisions of the BBL.
“The BBL has been completed. And the MI (MILF) will give it to me, I will sign it during the Eid’l Fitr,” the president told reporters in Cagayan de Oro City last Wednesday. 
He was referring to the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to be celebrated on Monday. 
“We made a promise to the (MILF) that it would be on time. And we’ll meet in Malacañan on Eid’l Fitr,” Duterte said. 
“It would be better to be frank. It’s time to be candid and to be brutally frank. What is this? (Will this) document (be) the floodgate of peace in the land of Mindanao?” he added. 
The Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), a panel with representatives from the government, the MILF and local stakeholders, has completed the draft BBL earlier this month.  The measure aims to form a new Bangsamoro political entity with enhanced political and economic powers
The blood of thousands of innocent Filipinos cries out from the ground!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Jeepney Art 2

Jeepneys are decorated every kind of way.  Enjoy some more Jeepney art.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

AFP Planned to Defeat Maute by June 2017

While searching for something else I stumbled across a very interesting article from January 2017.
ARMED Forces chief Gen. Eduardo Año has given the military six months to defeat the terrorist groups Abu Sayyaf, Maute, and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said yesterday. 
The new deadline can be extended up to the end of the year. 
“That is our target… If we can do it in six months, good. If we cannot do it in six months, we can extend it (deadline) up to the end of the year,” said Lorenzana after a joint New Year’s call of the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces in Camp Aguinaldo, which was attended by top defense and military officials. 
Año said the objective is to “significantly defeat” the three groups. “Significant defeat means we have rendered them, their capability very minimal.” He said 51 battalions are operating against the groups. 
Lorenzana said the deadline is realistic, given the support of residents and local government officials. 
“We will just have to do all we can, combining military operations and developmental projects to end what they are doing,” he said. 
Lorenzana said the military will take a new approach in dealing with the three groups, including the assignment of new military to commanders to lead the campaign “so that we’ll have new fresh approach in ending these lawless elements.” 
He declined to discuss the other measures, saying operational plans may be telegraphed to the groups. “We’ll just do it,” he said. 
“We are going to do something new or innovative to finish this problem (of terrorism) once and for all,” said Lorenzana. “For the record, our goal is to defeat the Abu Sayyaf and Maute (in six months).” 
As to the BIFF, Lorenzana said, “Its also six months.” 
Año said the military will craft a program to encourage the community to give more assistance to government troops. He said the community is important in monitoring potential terrorists. 
The Abu Sayyaf, composed of around 300 to 400 men, is operating mostly in Sulu and Basilan. The Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf is holding 27 foreign and Filipino hostages and has been linked to bombings and beheadings. 
The Maute Group, which has about 200 to 300 followers, is behind some high-profile atrocities, including the September 2 Davao City bombing that killed 15 people.
The BIFF is also involved in bombings and extortion activities. The group is composed of around 300 to 400 members, mostly former members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
The three groups pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria about two years ago. The military said there is no indication the ISIS has recognized these groups as affiliates. 
Año’s predecessor, now retired Gen. Ricardo Visaya, also aimed to defeat the Abu Sayyaf during his term -- from July to December but failed. The Abu Sayyaf even intensified its kidnappings during the period.

Pretty funny in light of the circumstances now six months later with a declaration of martial law in Mindanao because the Maute group attacked and occupied Marawi  City.

The leadership of the AFP is quite full of themselves.

How many decades have they been battling commies and Mulisms?  How many arbitrary deadlines have they set and missed? Have they ever completed a goal on or before time?

What's really sickening is how overconfident they are of the whole situation.  The support of residents and local officials?  You mean the residents and local officials who are enabling the terrorist groups to operate?

And never forget that the government had prior knowledge of the Marawi attack and did NOTHING! So much for wanting to defeat Maute!

And how about in April when the AFP was monitoring the movements of Abu Sayyaf as they snuck into Bohol?  Remember that?

How can AFP Chief Eduardo Año possibly say he wants the AFP to defeat the terrorist groups within six months and then do nothing about it when a real threat arises, a threat they knew about because they were monitoring the groups movements??  You can read about the failures of what happened in April 2016 here and here. Año knew about the threat Abu Sayyaf posed to Bohol, did nothing, and then lied about it to the public. What a disgrace.

Read the last sentence from the article again.  While the AFP previously said they will defeat Abu Sayyaf in six months, Abu Sayyaf was intensifying its operations. Same thing with Maute. AFP says they will defeat Maute in six months and things have only intensified and the region has erupted into chaos.

Oh well its all good because as Lorenza says:
If we can do it in six months, good. If we cannot do it in six months, we can extend it (deadline) up to the end of the year
It's like he doesn't even believe the AFP can do it and already has an excuse planned for their inevitable failure.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Noise: Squatters Village

Previously I have written about loud church noise and loud barangay fiesta noise but today I want to tell you about something a little more sinister:

Loud bass-heavy music blasting out of stacks of speakers in the yard of some poor shanty in a squatters village.

What's up with this anyway?  How can these poor people afford these sound systems?  And why are they sitting around listening to loud bass-heavy music?  Do they really find BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM-BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM to be relaxing? Who listens to techno outside of the club?

Karaoke and awful pop music is very popular in the Philippines it's a wonder they don't listen to that.

I think I know the answer why. The Philippines at heart is a deeply pagan nation which worships idols and is superstitious beyond many other peoples.  Despite the Spanish Catholics sowing their religion the Filipinos never became Christians.  They simply appropriated the trappings of Roman Catholicism and blended it with their native animistic religions.

We can see this with Sinulog which is supposed to be a religious festival where they worship the idol Santo Niño but it's really a dance festival!  They are dancing to loud music just like they did before they were civilised and just like the tribes in the mountains of northern Luzon do to this day.

So when the Filipino turns up the bass loud enough that it can be heard miles away its more than just loud music.  The loud music touches the deepest religious impulses in the Filipino psyche.  It fires up the collective unconscious allowing him to participate in the memories of his ancestors who danced naked around bonfires to the sound of loud drumming before the hunt or after the hunt or when propitiating the gods.

Or maybe they are just rude people who don't care about the well-being of their neighbours and who cannot comprehend the consequences of their actions.  Who wants to hear loud bass all day?  But no one complains and that just compounds the problem.  If enough people complained and said turn it down then it might just get turned down.

And if they still refuse to listen?  Well just go on over there and turn it down yourself.