BATANG MINDANAW: Who Should Take the Blame?

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/20 August) — On July 26, an explosive device went off in a commercial area in Cagayan de Oro, leaving six dead and 28 wounded. On August 5, a car bomb exploded in Cotabato, killing eight and injuring 40 others and on August 7, another bomb exploded early in the morning in Midsayap. Fortunately, it went off prematurely, harming nobody.

All these attacks happened within a span of 12 days.

For several days, news of this spate of bombings was all over the papers, radio, and television.  The stories were enough to strike fear, especially among those people living in Mindanao.

The anxiety caused by the consecutive attacks was further compounded when, for the first time in Davao City’s history, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte decided to put the city’s Kadayawan festival on hold.

Who really are the perpetrators of these attacks?

Speculations as to who were responsible for these are widespread and varied but there is the general tendency of some people to link these attacks to the Muslim community.

I beg to differ.

I find it highly suspicious that the recent bombings worldwide are in one way or another connected to the Muslim community.

They seem too convenient to be a scapegoat to be the real people behind the horrifying scenes.

I say this in the light of recent events worldwide, particularly in the Middle East.

On August 1, 2013, CNN’s Breaking News reported how CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) is engaged in a massive intimidation campaign to keep what happened in Benghazi, Libya a secret. This referred to the attack made on the US Embassy in Libya on September 11, 2012 which killed four Americans, including US Ambassador Chris Stevens.

An insider has revealed that CIA is reportedly giving monthly polygraph tests since January this year to the CIA operatives who have been assigned to Benghazi at that time to know whether or not they are talking to the media or Congress.

This is not a normal procedure.

According to former CIA operative and CNN analyst Robert Baer, polygraph tests are usually done every three to four years, never more than that.

This attempt to force silence on the CIA operatives and prevent them from collaborating with the Congress is therefore unprecedented.

While CIA spokesman Dean Boyd has asserted that the agency is being open to the Congress regarding the Benghazi operation, U.S. Representative Frank Wolf finds the silence and lack of information greatly disturbing.

In light of all these recent findings, I find the spy agency’s actions questionable as well.

If indeed CIA is related to the attack on the US Embassy in Benghazi, then it implies that this and other similar attacks such as those that have happened here in Mindanao are merely staged to frame up the Muslim community of crimes they didn’t commit and promote what some people have termed, ‘Islamophobia’.

So is the United States indeed involved in the bombings that have happened recently in Mindanao?

Would they really resort to hurting civilians and framing up people just to justify before the American people their increase in military spending despite the global economic recession?

Are they staging these attacks to justify the war they are waging against terror—wars that ironically still harm the innocent instead of protecting them?

Everyone, not only those from Mindanao, should be critical of the rising number of terrorist attacks that seem to be so conveniently blamed on the Moro groups.

It is high time that people pursue these questions, for the answers to these could either shatter every illusion that the majority has of U.S. as a savior or prove their views on the Muslim community right.

It would also answer why many bombings here in the country have remained unsolved over the years.

Not only that, it would also put an end to the discrimination and stereotyping the general public has of the Muslim community.

Someday soon, things will unravel and truth will prevail, but we can only hope that by then, it wouldn’t be too late.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Batang Mindanaw is the youth section of MindaNews. Contributions to this section are welcome. You may send your articles, essays, features, poems, short stories, photographs to [email protected] and [email protected].  Jeffer Joy Orteza, a third year AB Mass Comm student at the Ateneo de Davao University, wrote this piece for her class in Print Media: Principles and Practices)