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New onslaughts of soldiers in Basilan

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(BY: REV. BERLIE G. YAP) Barangay eMedia’s Isabela City correspondence Joel Zanoria reported yesterday, to its freshest, about the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) who clashed against the government troops killing 6 soldiers, that included one officer, in Sumisip, Basilan Province.

The ASG engaged a team of soldiers of the 64th Infantry Battalion which was sent to secure a development project in the province at about 7:30 in the morning of Sunday, November 2, 2014.

Said soldiers were conducting a security patrol in Sitio Mompol of Libog Village, and suddenly, out from nowhere, more or less than 20 heavy armed ASG members fired against them. The clash continued until 45 minutes of heavy exchange of fires.

The recent incident can possibly pose one general question in the mind of any average peace-loving Filipino. The infra projects done by the government, like this road development in Sumisip, is for the alleviation of the people in the place but why would some locals, who are armed and call themselves ASG, disrupt it and even kill those who are securing the project?

Did they not think at least that those that will be affected, again, at the event of abandonment will be, possibly, their very own families? When good cemented roads will connect all the remote and far flung places of the province, development shall definitely happen. The number one to benefit its results shall be them, and for the record, not the soldiers nor their families.

It’s a mindset dilemma. These infamous bandits only think bloodbaths and short-term gratifications as the only way. They never consider that what they might be fighting against could actually be the real answer of their long quest for equity.

The solution of poverty is not arms, education is! The writer wishes honestly for the younger generation in these areas can have better access and opportunities to finish education that they can become catalyst too for lasting peace and prosperity, and the eventual transformation of their province.

Barangay eMedia salutes the bravery of those killed soldiers and extends condolences to their loved-ones and families. Their sacrifices were not in vain. Who could tell that in four to five generations from now, Basilan can become a different place? The Caribbean was used to be known as a stretch of pirate waters but is now a paradise in tourism or Australia which used to be a colony of English convicts but is now wealthy and one of the recognized powerful countries in the world.

No doubt, there are still Basileño dreamers, and there are many of them. They too envision inside their hearts to see a peaceful and prosperous Basilan Province. Just imagine if the potential of this island, in terms of agriculture, fisheries, mining and etc, can be unleashed!

But because of its peace and order problem, Basilan has been denied of their supposed worthy breakthroughs. But time is not yet late, good chances and opportunities do not stop to knock at the very doors of those who have the abilities to introduce true, genuine and sincere reforms.

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chron. 7:14

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