SC chief PUNO says US ‘War on Terror’ mindless

Maybe there is something about a Supreme Court Justice’s robes that brings out the intelligent capabilities of a man. Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno denounced the US War on Terror and its terrible effects on the human rights and justice system in the wold, especially in developing countries like the Philippines.So what is happening? Is the Puno family distancing itself from the Arroyo family? Pray, tell.

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FROM:    Inquirer.NET

Headlines / Nation

SC chief says war on terror mindless

RP rights violations linked to US strategy

By Leila Salaverria
Inquirer
Last updated 05:41am (Mla time) 04/23/2007
MANILA, Philippines — Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno has denounced as “mindless” the war on terrorism, saying the US strategy to root out terrorists anywhere has led to violations of human rights in the Philippines.

In an impassioned plea for respect of human rights, the country’s top jurist also warned that a state hobbled by credibility problems and corruption would not be able to protect civil liberties.

“The war on terrorism has inevitable spillover effects on human rights all over the world, especially in countries suspected (of) being used as havens of terrorists,” Puno said. He added this had led to the taking of legal shortcuts.

“These shortcuts have scarred the landscape of [human] rights in the Philippines,” he said.

The United States has hailed the Philippines as a major ally in its war on terror in Asia and has been training Filipino troops in the campaign against foreign-backed extremists operating in southern Philippines.

“The threats to our national security and human rights will be aggravated if we have a state weakened internally by a government hobbled by corruption, struggling with credibility, battling the endless insurgence of the left and the right, and by a state weakened externally by pressure exerted by creditor countries, by countries where our trade comes from, by countries that supply our military and police armaments,” Puno said.

“A weak state cannot fully protect the rights of its citizens within its borders just as a state without economic independence cannot protect the rights of its citizens who are abroad from the exploitation of more powerful countries.”

Puno spoke at the commencement exercises of the University of the East last week, and a copy of his speech was e-mailed to reporters by the Supreme Court information office.

Eliminating the evil

Puno said that terrorism was terrible enough “but the mindless, knee-jerk reaction to extirpate the evil is more discomforting.”

He added that the “quickie solution is to unfurl the flag, sing the national anthem, and issue the high-pitched call to arms for the military and the police to use their weapons under the theme ‘victory at all costs.’”

He said laws limiting individual rights in the name of state security had been passed.

“To put constitutional cosmetics to the military-police muscular efforts, lawmakers usually enact laws using security of the state to justify the diminution of human rights by allowing arrests without warrants, surveillance of suspects, interception and recording of communications, seizure or freezing of bank deposits, assets and records of suspects,” he added.

“They also redefine terrorism as a crime against humanity and the redefinition is broadly drawn to constrict and shrink further the zone of individual rights.”

RP’s anti-terror law

Puno made no specific mention of the Philippines’ own anti-terror law, the Human Security Act of 2007, which allows warrantless arrests, surveillance and seizure of bank assets, among others.

His statements were the latest to emanate from a judiciary which several times in the past had expressed concern over the violation of civil liberties in the country.

In previous decisions, the Supreme Court had struck down presidential or state directives involving security matters. These included President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s imposition of emergency rule last year and the so-called calibrated preemptive response policy allowing police to break up street demonstrations.

It also voided the recent arrest by the police of leftist leader Rep. Satur Ocampo.

Puno also said the acts of terrorists also violated human rights but they should not be the sole focus of the people’s attention, pointing out that terrorism tended to draw attention because of the “cinematic impact” of violence. ……

FOR FULL STORY, GO TO  http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view_article.php?article_id=61881

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MNLF’s Malik calls for Jihad, OIC says stop fighting, RP gives 1 Million peso bounty

Philippine Military Put Up P1-M bounty for MNLF Commander Ustadz Habier Malik in Sulu

Dureza to MNLF: ‘Deal with Malik’

SULU FIGHTING: Arroyo tells military: Pursue MNLF rebel

AFP rejects OIC plea; P1-M reward up vs Malik

OIC urges gov’t, MNLF to stop fighting

 

MNLF Commander Ustadz Jabir (pronounced Habir) Malik is at it again. Last February, he made the headlines when he detained Metro Manila military commander Major Gen. Ben Dolorfino and his group in his camp in Sulu for two days.

Malik got a promise from the government that the oft-postponed Tripartite Meeting among the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Republic of the Philippine Government (RPG) would be held in March in accordance with the provisions of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement signed in Jakarta. The meeting was originally scheduled for November 2006 but the Philippine government kept on asking for postponement.

The event was passed off by the Manila government as a mere friendly gesture by Malik. Government spokesmen said that the officials were merely invited to spend some time in the camp. There were rumors however that a ransom money was paid to Malik. At any rate, Malik was presented by the government as a legitimate MNLF commander.

It is now April and there is no indication of any Tripartite meeting in the offing. And so, Ustadz Malik and his men attacked military camps in Sulu. Presumably, he is only fulfilling his promise / threat to Dolorfino and his group.

All of a sudden, Malik is depicted as a “rogue” MNLF commander allied to the Abu Sayyaf, Al-Qaeda and all the terrorist groups in the world.

The government is, as usual, offering a One Million Peso bounty for the head of Malik. For his part, Ustadz Malik called for a Jihad (Holy War) against the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Smack in the middle of this brouhaha is MNLF chieftain Nur Misuari, who is under detention by the Philippine government. Malik is a known Misuari supporter. But the government is now saying that Misuari refuses to have anything to do with Malik.

The OIC has called for a stop to the hostilities but the Philippine government simply brushed aside the OIC call.

That the OIC is inutile regarding the Palestinian issue, the invasion and Occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq and the harassment of Iran regarding its nuclear policy is understandable. It is not easy to fight a superpower like the USA, especially when most of your money is deposited in their banks. But surely, the OIC cannot be afraid of the Philippines. Millions of its people depend on Arab money to live. And the OIC does not need the Philippines. If they want to go R&R in Southeast Asia, they can always go to Thailand or even Singapore and Hong Kong.

As the United Nations of the Muslim World, it is incumbent upon OIC to help solve the Mindanao Problem, but to the betterment of the Bangsa Moro and not to its detriment.

RP bid for OIC observer status

It appears that the Philippine government has not given up on applying for an observer status at the OIC, replacing the MNLF.

How in the world could the Philippine government convince the Muslim world body that it represents the interests of the Bangsa Moro people? After killing the Moros, dispossessing them of their lands and properties or in other words, raping the Bangsa Moro, the government wants the Muslim world to make them protectors of the Bangsa Moro. Really, such gall!

If the OIC will grant the Philippine government observer status, then all hope is lost for the Moro people(s). And all hope is lost for the Ummah.

 

clipped from globalnation.inquirer.net

News / Breaking News

RP bid at OIC not imperiled by Sulu clashes–DFA exec

By Veronica Uy

INQUIRER.net

MANILA , Philippines — The Philippines’ bid for observer status at the Organization of Islamic Conference should not be imperiled by the clash between government forces and those of Habier Malik, a commander of the Moro National Liberation Front, an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.

In any case, the Philippines ’ bid will not be taken up at the OIC conference of foreign ministers scheduled in Islamabad this May, Rafael Seguis, DFA undersecretary for special concerns, said in an interview.

Seguis said OIC senior officials in a recently concluded meeting failed to come up with rules that would cover applications for observer status.
He said this was the reason why the Philippines’ bid could not be taken up.

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Mindanao is crucial part in War on Terror — UK official

See also : Freed Iranian diplomat claims he was tortured by the CIA in Iraq

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George W. “Lone Ranger” Bush’s “Tonto”, Tony Blair, and his men have set their aim on Mindanao. Months after giving a tough lecture saying that Britain needs to have military power, Tony Blair appeared weak and feeble against Iran. Now, Tony Blair seems to want to gain back some of that tough guy image.

 

Also, the US had to give up their captive, Iranian diplomat Jalal Sharafi, to facilitate the release of the British Marines. (US officials deny this allegation.) Perhaps as part of the payback, UK has to give at least lip service to Bush’s War on Terror in Mindanao.

 

Poor Moros. First, the Americans gave their (the Moros’) sovereignty and territory to the Filipinos. Then they are dispossessed of their lands and resources by the migrant settlers. Then came the revolutionary war of the 1970s. But with the signing of the Tripoli Agreement in 1976, the war was “suspended”. With the Aquino and Ramos administrations, the Occupation of Moroland by the Philippine military intensified and later erupted into Erap’s ‘All-Out War’. With Bush’s War on Terror, the American troops returned to what was once their “Moro Province”. And now, the British are coming!

 

Really, give the Moros a break! The Abu Sayyaf is a creation of the Philippine military and the CIA. This has been very well documented. Even a Philippine court ruled that one of the co-founders of Abu Sayyaf, Edwin Angeles, was a Philippine Deep Penetration Agent whose actions – including murders and kidnappings – were sanctioned by the Philippine government.

 

And even if the Abu Sayyaf is truly Al-Qaeda linked, the Philippine military has boasted that it has practically finished off its leadership. So what is all the fuss about?

 

If the Philippine government (and the US and British governments) truly want to have Abu Sayyaf finished off, all it should do is to ask the ARMM (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao) Governor and officials to police its region and get rid of the terrorist group.

 

Why can’t people see things plainly? ARMM is supposed to be autonomous. The Abu Sayyaf is just a rag tag group of bandits. Anywhere in the world, this would have been a mere police matter. So why is it treated differently? Why is the Philippine military involved? And why is the US military involved? And now, the Brits want to take a piece of the action, too. Why? Why? Why?

If the Philippine Police could not handle Moro outlaws — the Kamlon rebellion and the Rizal Alih siege are two examples –, then let the Moros handle their own problem. Let the Autonomous Moro government (ARMM) solve the problem.

It is so strange that the Abu Sayyaf members are allegedly hiding in ARMM territory and yet the ARMM government is not allowed to go after them. And yet, the Abu Sayyaf is allegedly a super terrorist group which everybody wants to capture.

 

It is time for this Abu Sayyaf ‘moro-moro’ (Filipino stage play, usually anti-Muslim) to stop. Bring down the curtains on this horrible farce and help the poor Moros live in peace – not rest in peace.

Without a peaceful Moroland, there can never be real and sustainable progress and development  in the whole Philippines.

 

 

clipped from globalnation.inquirer.net

Mindanao is crucial part in war vs terror, says UK official

By Veronica Uy

INQUIRER.net

Last updated 06:50pm (Mla time) 04/09/2007

MANILA, Philippines — Mindanao is geographically crucial to the fight against terrorism, making it a place that the “world watches very carefully,” said a United Kingdom official who was in the country during the Holy Week.

He said that like the terror camps in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and Western Sahara, Mindanao is near many other terror targets and very difficult to police.

”Mindanao is really also geographically very convenient for them [terrorists] because it’s very close to a number of countries in the region, which they’d like to do a lot of damage to, whether it’s Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Australia,” UK Minister of State Dr.
Kim Howells MP told a small group of reporters.

Howells said terror groups like Jemaah Islamiya take advantage of Mindanao’s geography, moving their people, their money, and their weapons across the islands.

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9 soldiers, 1 civilian slain in Army base shooting rampage

For the full text, go to http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/regions/view_article.php?article_id=59206

clipped from newsinfo.inquirer.net
9 soldiers, civilian slain in Army base shooting rampage
By Julie Alipala
Inquirer, Associated Press
Last updated 03:10pm (Mla time) 04/08/2007
ZAMBOANGA CITY — (2ND UPDATE) Nine soldiers and a civilian were killed in a shooting rampage inside a patrol base of the 35th Infantry Battalion in Barangay (village) Silangkan, Parang town in Sulu around 3 a.m. Saturday.
Major General Nehemias, commander of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division based in Zamboanga del Sur, said that as of Sunday, it was still not clear who the shooter was or if there was more than one gunman.
Torres said shots rang out during a power outage in the camp and troops from a nearby area rushed to the scene and found nine soldiers and the unidentified civilian sprawled dead on the ground.
Pajarito said initial investigation also showed the gunfire came from “an entrenched bunker,” near the detachment. The detachment is adjacent to a water source in the area.
The bodies of the victims might be brought to Zamboanga City anytime.

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Bush offered Blair to ‘scare’ Iranians

According to this news story, US wanted to scare the Iranians but UK refused. Blair is educated enough to understand what would have happened had Bush planes were let go to “scare” Iran. Bush must really have hated keeping a low profile during the 2-week-long drama.

Well, now, Blair had started badmouthing Iran (see here ) and mounted his own media stint with the released soldiers. I suppose we can expect to hear more from Bush now.

For the full text, click here .

 

 

clipped from www.dailytimes.com.pk

US offered UK to ‘scare’ Iran

LONDON: The United States offered to mount aggressive air patrols over Revolutionary Guards bases during Iran’s standoff with Britain, but was rebuffed by London, The Guardian newspaper reported on Saturday.

Citing unnamed diplomatic sources, the daily said that Pentagon officials offered a series of military options, but Britain told them to keep out of the affair and instead tone down armed forces activity in the Gulf.

One of the options involved combat aircraft patrolling over Iranian bases to show how serious the incident was, the newspaper said in a front-page story.

On March 20, three days before the 15 British marines were seized by Iran, a second US aircraft carrier group arrived in the region.

At London’s request, the two carrier groups, totalling 40 ships plus aircraft, changed their exercises to make them appear less confrontational, the newspaper said.

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