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Summer of KFR

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Ambuscades and kidnapping. These have become commonplace in Central Mindanao, particularly in Maguindanao, where recently members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front waylaid a group identified with the Mangudadatu clan. The victims appeared to be just workers who are building a farm-to-market road for a remote barangay. Their only fault was that the territory was said to be within the jurisdiction of the MILF and that building a road, even if these would help settlers in transporting their farm produce is considered an intrusion into their domain.

This is one more despicable act of barbarity. It is not farfetched that those who ambushed these workers which the suspects perceived to be men of Mangudadatu are remnants of the private army of the Ampatuans who have joined the renegade elements of the secessionist front.

There is sense and credence in what observers have articulated and written that for as long as the mainstream MILF kept on hedging to isolate these group of murderous band, the volatility of the condition in Central Mindanao will remain to be in a delicate balance.

What aggravates these all is the increasing number of incidents of kidnap-for-ransom. Each day, the syndicates have become bolder that unless the community will not come to the aid of the peace keeping force the situation will eventually graduate into the scale reminiscent of and had become a way of life and flourishing industry in Somalia.  This is actually not farfetched considering the fact that most of the members of the Organization of Islamic Countries are suddenly beset with internal problems that looking after and providing funds to extremist Islamic elements in other countries are no longer part of their agenda. The government peace keeping force should expect incidents of KFR to escalate especially when conflicts, to include the clans wars, also go from bad to worse. When the source of clandestine foreign funds suddenly dries up, expect the syndicates and the other radicals to go hunting for victims to be traded for ransom. The summer for kidnap-for-ransom has arrived.

By Menardo Wenceslao

 




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