Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A good reason to believe

Anyone actually believe that the "Morong 43" are *only* community health workers? I hate to sound like Mon Tulfo but based on how the CPP operates (and other sources) there really is a good reason to believe that the training being done in that compound is not just for some innocuous NGO. Like the military spokesman said they're the equivalent of the "DOH of the NPA."

But "a good reason to believe" isn't the same as a reason to raid, capture, detain, and torture those people.

"A good reason to believe" is a signal to intensify intelligence gathering. And by "intelligence gathering" I mean actually spying and getting useful information; maybe even infiltrating the organization. Capturing the NPA's "DOH" may present a short-term tactical advantage but it doesn't help the greater cause. You could win a battle by cutting off medical help, but no one wins wars that way -- especially in the age of media.

Right now the military has lost the public mainly because they botched this job grandly. Notice that no one calls the detainees "suspected NPAs" or "rebels?" They're all "health workers" even if there are only 4 doctors in the bunch. They've won the first round and gathered more sympathy than is probably warranted.

People online are missing the point: the problem is not that the military mistakenly, in an act of paranoia, raided a seminar of "health workers," the problem is with the way these people were captured, detained, and treated. Whether NPA combatants or not, they should've been treated humanely and with full respect for the rights guaranteed every citizen.

The problem is with the way the NPA problem is being handled by the military. Treating it as a "war" just leads to atrocities and to thinking in terms of tactical advantages (if not just plain "hurting them devils"). Treating it as a crime forces one to follow the law, gather evidence, and build a case against the criminals while respecting their rights.

What the military (and by extension the government) needs to do is show that they're better, that they're humane, that they can help people out of poverty so that instead of being driven to overthrow the government, potential rebels can start working to actually help their families and neighbors. I've a good reason to believe that just might work. Sure beats the hell out of beating the hell out of "health workers."

1 comment:

eRLyN said...

sana lang nga di ganon ung pagkahuli at sana i treat nila ng maayos kahit suspected npa members.