EIGHT THOUSAND AFP MENÂ armed to the teeth, canons and mortars, tanks and armed steel vehicles plus an trigger-ready Coast -Guard around the sea – is the “war situation” the 400-men terrorist group the Abu Sayyafs are todayÂ facing in Sulu.
Of late, they had forced millions in ransom, beheaded both kidnapped victims and dead soldiers and killed 15 government men in a massive clash in Patikul Sulu last week. President Digong Duterte has had it-and declaredÂ a “full scale” war vs the terrorist-bandits.
“Leave no man standing”, seems to be the order of the commander in chief.
Last week , for days , Metro Manilans did not go to the malls due to an intelligence leak that suicide bombers will detonate themselves inside those malls through the Abus. This was allegedly confirmed by a relative of General Ronaldo “Bato” de la Rosa.
So while the authorities were not looking, they bombed the Night Market in Davao City as if to taunt the president who just challenged media to go and enjoy the peace of his home city.
That is the real danger of modern-day terrorism. Their cell supporters are scattered everywhere -which is quite apart from their consolidatedÂ heavily-armed forces in Sulu.
Immediately, President Digong Duterte, careful not to tinker with the discredited Martial Law, just declared a “State of Lawlessness” -allowing him to move armed groups anywhere in the country to quell disorder or threats to peace and order. The political and civil liberties of citizens remain intact.
But as theÂ Secretary of the Cabinet “Jun” Evasco told Bol-anons gathered in Manila Sunday, Digong is the type of a man who will decide not on the basis of fears or threats.Â He just declared ” he will not change his way of doing things and working. ” In fact, the Laos and Indonesia visits from September 8-11 will go on as scheduled.
Of course, common sense , dictates that the security of the presidential family: the president, Mayor Sarah and Paolo have been fortified. The restlessÂ son “Baste” does not stay still and keeps traveling.
This will be the “new normal” for the coming days. In a state of siege and war. All will have to move with caution and with extreme prejudice to suspicious persons and strangers with murder in their eyes.
Congregating in public places like malls and markets may not be a good idea. Proceed with caution in everything we do.
Without unnecessarily raising the specter of supreme danger, as the guns and canons fireÂ intensify in Sulu, the more watchful we should all be in all places outside that province.Â It is a modern -day plague we have to face. Terrorism.
Terrorism already claims victory by the mere instilling of fear in the populace andÂ by radically altering our daily lives. We willÂ give the terrorists that victory in a silver platter if we behave like hostages to their criminal threats.Â Business as usual- we should be- but with more skepticism and healthy suspicion towards men with bad intentions.
More than that -we should cooperate with the armed forces for their security checks and report any unusual developments in your area. the War of Terror is on.Â Be watchful and mindful.
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AMID THE FRIGHTENINGÂ bombs of war and the groans of dying men and women, today, September 4, Sunday, Mother Teresa (a living saint in her lifetime) will officially be canonized as another Saint Teresa in the Vatican.
Popularly known as Mother Teresa, a Macedonian of wealthy means- decided to enter the nunnery at the age of 18. With a special permission of Rome, she founded the “Missionaries of Charity”Â in the poor country (then) of India in Kalkota which has nowÂ 5,000 members world-wide. One of the biggest religious congregations in the planet .
Founded on love, compassion and charity (spiritual and material) , its love for the poor and the unloved can be found in 139 countries expressed in orphanages, hospicesÂ and homes for pregnant women and the mentally ill.
Her theme of “hearts to love and hands to serve”Â made her a model of those who want to “light the fire of love and peace throughout the world. The Nobel Peace Prize winner wasÂ once asked:” You want to contribute to world peace? Go home and love your families.”
Mother Teresa is most quoted for herÂ speaking in simple words yet with profound meaningd. In the slums of India where she started- she had nothing- she had to write on the dirt with a stick to teach the poor children in Kalkota.
In 1997, already frail and bent, Mother Teresa died-serving the poor. So impressed was Pope John Paul II of her global influence that he waived the years needed to work for the canonization of a person into just 18 months after her death.
Unless one dies a martyr for the Lord, a candidate for sainthoodÂ must have at leastÂ two validatedÂ miracles. In Santos, Brazil , in 2008, a man with multiple growths and fluidÂ in his brain (Marcillo Andrino) – went out of the operating room (without surgery) having been healed by the intercession of the Mother. This prove to be the second miracle.
His wife wasÂ also painfully toldÂ byÂ the medics that because of the tons of medicine Marcillo had taken, they would no longer be able to conceive a child. Six months later, she became pregnant.
A great rejoicing it is today in Rome and the rest of the Catholic world as Mother Teresa isÂ officially declared a saint. Pope Francis, who has aspired for a “poor church for the poor” considers the new saint as the defining figure in modern church history.
So has St Mother Teresa been, so shall she forever be. Her call to all of us : ” Find yourÂ own Kalkota”. SHALOM!