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OPINIONS

Bloody days for cops and soldiers

Ninfa Leonardia What is happening to our police and military? Only last Saturday seven Marines were killed in an ambush allegedly by Abu Sayyaf bandits in Jolo. The Marines were said to be on a test mission and were not supposed to search out the enemy and engage them in battle. But their attackers, not being professional soldiers with respect for the rules, just took the opportunity of firing at them while they appeared defenseless, obviously in an attempt to show how strong they continue to be.

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The bodies of the victims had not been buried yet, when another attack, this time on policemen, was staged by another group, identified to belong to the New People’s Army in Nueva Vizcaya. The ambushers had set a landmine that exploded when the pick-up vehicle carrying the policemen passed by, and in the confusion that followed, heartlessly fired at the cops, adding to the casualties. The latest reports yesterday said eight policemen died and several others were wounded.

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Now, the policemen were on a very innocent mission when they were attacked, so brutally. Their superiors later disclosed that they were on their way to a hospital where they were to undergo the medical procedure called electro-cardiogram, which is a requirement for their jobs. Both this incident, and the previous one, despite being launched by different rebel groups, could only be regarded as attempts on their part to show force, and convince the people that they still have the capacity, and the firepower to hit and kill.

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Even if one is not a student of military or police strategies, one still cannot help wondering why our soldiers and cops had been mowed down like sitting ducks in those ambushes. Surely they knew that those areas where they were passing through were infiltrated by enemies of the state? And how were they regarded by the people in those places, that nobody had cared enough to warn them of impending danger? Were the residents friendly to the rebels and hostile to law enforcers and protectors? This is quite mystifying, to say the least.

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Who is this Louis Biraogo who is so intent on running after Senator Loren Legarda? What has she does to him, or who is motivating him to dig out so many unsavory stories about her? Isn’t it enough for him – and to his patron, if he, indeed, has one – that his earlier alleged “exposes” had already affected her ranking in the latest election for senators? It couldn’t be just political ambition, because the lady has already declared that she is no longer interested in a higher position. Has she stepped on someone’s toes, or does she threaten another’s dreams?

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Well, Legarda is not only a seasoned politician, but also an experienced journalist, having been one of the most popular TV personalities before she decided to join politics. Could she have created deadly enemies along the way? But she knows how to parry the blows, and we hope she can vindicate herself from all this. She has immersed herself in politics, and should know how dirty it can be, and how many snakes and serpents lurk along the way. All we can advise her, and the rest of them is, as the French would say it, “En garde”, be careful.

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I like to repeat or quote from an old story I had read, whenever I hear someone complain about how tricky and evil and cunning some politicians can be, so that they will be wary about any promises to be good, to forget everything and “work together” for the good of the country. I say that if you are dealing with a known traitor, steer clear away, because, like the proverbial leopard, they will never change their spots.

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The story is about an American Indian who was about to cross a stream when a snake slithered up to him and asked him to carry him across as he could not swim. “But you are a poisonous viper, and you will probably bite me”, the Indian said. “No, no,” said the snake, “How can I when I will be grateful to you?” So the Indian picked up the snake and brought him to the other side, where it promptly bit his hand. “But you promised not to bite me!” He wailed as his hand began to swell. But the snake, crawling away, shot back, “You knew what I was when you picked me up!” before it disappeared in the grass. So, to politicians like Loren L, and the rest, recognize the snakes out there, and never listen to their promises. En garde!*

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