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Fighting terrorism

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The move of the Aquino Administration to strengthen its program against and in defeating terrorism is noteworthy. While terror organizations and the number of adherents to include their benefactors have been drastically cut down our own experience tells us that the remaining elements are still vicious and are still determined to launch attacks especially on civilian targets.

Just recently an incendiary grenade exploded in General Santos City while the Abu Sayyaf terror bands continue to paunch on kidnap-for-ransom targets. The agenda is clear. Bombing activities are carried out to tell the world that they are still very much around while kidnap-for-ransom tells us that they are running out of financial assistance from their traditional benefactors. The neutralization of the terror kingpin Osama bin Laden effectively cut the conduit of terrorist funding and likewise scuttled the organized operations of the terror band.

It is noteworthy that finally the executive branch finally took a more circumspect move and asked the lawmakers to prioritize and put more teeth to the  anti-terrorism law so that it can be used as a tool by law enforcement agencies to thwart terrorism. The events that are still transpiring around us warned of  threats of terrorism which demands sustained vigilance are resolve to eliminate the threats.

President Benigno S. Aquino III has overlooked the significance of two laws – An Act to Further Strengthen the Anti-Money Law and the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012 – which he signed prior to his State of the Nation Address but just the same we give him credit to finally confront terrorism by way of boosting our intelligence communities to identify and prevent financial transactions related to illegal activities and those that undermine global security.

There are parallel initiatives that the government has put in place to combat terrorism within the Philippine borders which is aligned with the frameworks adopted in other countries. These are: Effective law enforcement by strengthening the regulatory regimes for firearms and explosives and financing terrorism, and the arrest and neutralization of human tools or perpetrators behind terrorist acts; Stronger institutional mechanisms and enhanced capabilities of law enforcement agencies and security agencies, and active participation in international cooperation against terrorism; and De-radicalization or counter-radicalization of the intent to commit terror acts by addressing poverty and poor education, which are considered roots of the problem.

We take cognizance of the role of Japan and ASEAN member-states for taking the lead in organizing the dialogue on counter-terrorism to put forward the implementation of joint projects in transport security, border control and immigration, maritime security, public involvement in countering terrorism, and capacity building on legal affairs. We too are not forgetting and setting aside the long standing border crossing agreement of the Philippines and Indonesia to guard their common borders against pirates and degradation of common marine resources  caused by poachers and finally as an effective means to defeat terrorism that hounded both countries.

By Menardo Wenceslao




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