Murphy’s Law says: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Tangled by this law, the two presidents; PNoy and Duterte burdened their presidency with guilt.
On August 23, 2010, Murphy’s Law poked its fang on PNoy’s throat. The bus hostage crises provoked by a sacked Police Insp. Rolando Mendoza resulted in the death of eight tourists of Hong Kong nationals at the Luneta Grandstand. The people involved in the botched hostage drama; P’Noy, the DILG, the Manila police, the news media, the rubberneckers – each of them, pitched in their boo-boos. Nobody saw it was a simple nut case. The disgruntled police booted out in the service because of extortion. He wanted to be reinstated. Authorities didn’t assess that and waited for it to unfold to a bloody conclusion.
On September 9, 2013, the breakaway MNLF faction, the Bangsamoro Republik tried to raise its flag in Zamboanga City after declaring independence on August 12, 2013, in Talipao Sulu. The hostile intrusion ballooned to a humanitarian crisis. As the siege involved hostages, it impelled the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and the PNP (Philippine National Police), to save the hostages and expel the MNLF. Urban warfare followed because of the standoff. Then Zamboanga City kneeled for days.
Here is the kicker.
Three days before the incursion, the AFP got an Intel reports that the MNLF breakaway faction deployed troops to four nearby coastal areas. The Intel reports ignored. Or they didn’t appreciate the value of the information. Over 100,000 people displaced because of the siege. Occupations disrupted. Civilian lives compromised.
Murphy’s Law’s teeth bite again.
The failed appreciation of the intelligence data of the Zamboanga siege stayed in the safe, perhaps. Or never opened. Because if the military did, the lessons of Murphy’s Law during Pnoy’s time have factored in, in Duterte’s dispensation. Sad to say, it was not.
Could the national security experiences related to the past administration unworthy of notice because of politics?
The Murphy’s Law teeth, stung, too, Duterte’s Martial Law in Mindanao with a twist. The military intelligence report said the Maute-ISIS inspired terrorists planned an attack on Marawi City before Duterte’s trip to Russia. Apparently, it was ignored. Or complacency took hold. Instead of convening the crisis management committee, if there is such an entity in the military to design contingency plans mitigating the effect of the impending siege, looked no one considered it. They let it pass. The question is why they have known there was an Intel report, the personages who will decide how to quell the Maute terrorist attack were part of a junket that went to Russia.
That’s the same pattern as the past administration did. So, Murphy’s Law thrives in their midst. And disaster ensued. And now, the Duterte’s administration thread the same pattern.
Some people would give Duterte the benefit of the doubt why he declared Martial Law for the whole of Mindanao instead of just limiting it to Marawi. It could have been his desire to solve finally the problems about illegal drugs, rebellion, corruption in one swoop. The problem is, the scourge of the previous Martial Law made people wary.