Pintakasi is how the war in Basilan between the Abu Sayyaf and the military contingent has been described by Major General Dolorfino who also sort of promised or hoped that this vicious problem is finished by the end of the year. According to his theory of pintakasi, the more the war is taking too long, the more the enemies increase in number – “habang tumatagal, dumadami lang sila”. Apparently, what explains this is his hypothesis that the Abus have symbiotic relationship with other armed groups in that place if not with the populace itself as some of these are their own relatives.
With such an admission, how then can the good major general expect to bring that vicious armed conflict to a close? What could seem to be the basis of his self-fulfilling prophecy? Could it be to impress upon the listening universe that as the officer in charge to bring about peace, he should exude that confidence that the military is in full control? In the context of so-called psyops (for psychological operations), such gentleman’s posturing seems permissible. But let us see.
This general is saying further that in fact, the Abu Sayyafs number only all of about 80 and the number has been dramatically reduced to half with what they have so far inflicted upon them claiming even to have killed their top leaders who were in fact affiliated with the dreaded JI. Now that the Abu Sayyafs number only about 40, what should stop MGen. Dolorfino from getting his mission accomplished? So while at this orgy, more military troops will be killed as the Abu Sayyafs reconfigure their strength and alter their tactical plans.
So what does this amount to?
For one, are we to keep this ‘balance of power’ for so long as possible in the eyes of the international community?
Obliquely viewed, perhaps, this concept of pintakasi espoused by this officer in the AFP has the same reverse application in the defense or military establishment. In the same vein, while the military overfixates itself in this guerrilla war against the Abu Sayyafs on a kind of installment basis, the more does AFP have to increase its recruitment to the point an AFP does not find anything wrong with recruiting homosexuals. This is unprecedented in its long military history.
Something is clearly out of proportion here. We are supposed to have over 150,000 strong AFP and if there is only about 40 Abu Sayyafs to ‘disenfranchise’, why can’t the work begin and end? Could this be the usual leverage to siphon off aid from the world policeman that is the US? Is this what the Balikatan Exercises or Visiting Forces Agreement really all about?
From the outline, something can be done to resolve, once and for all, this Basilan nightmare that has exhausted a lot of material resources, exacted death toll to not a few officers and men, and damaged government and private properties. This is not to count all the innocent lives of men and women and even children caught in the crossfire and resulting from the rather moronic policy of the Marines.
This peace in Basilan can be achieved. An integrated approach to the problem is the solution and it can really come handy provided however there is a determined policy to bring it to its final closure. Absent that, the orgy keeps coming back. All it takes is a high moral resolve to put an end to a pestering vicious highly localized conflict – sans politics, sans propaganda.
What is our good defense secretary really doing in this direction, if any, pray tell? It is hoped that a time and point is reached when the whole population of the Abu Sayyafs would have become – zero. And zero population control for the Abus means true and lasting peace.