Recently, Bishop Oscar Cruz expressed his observation that the Zamboanga Crisis is a mere diversionary tactic to stray the people’s attention off the PDAF scam. Other netizens share the same sentiment.
However, I think that to say that the Zamboanga Crisis is a conspiracy machinated by people involved in the PDAF scam and the Palace is an exaggeration. That’s stretching the imagination too far. And that’s coming from me who is not a big fan of this administration.
First off, the MNLF problem is a long-standing issue which predates the current pork barrel scam issue (although of course the pork barrel problem has been in existence too long before). The Zamboanga Crisis was a crisis waiting to happen because of the fact that Nur Misuari’s group was not included in the current Bangsamoro Framework Agreement (or so he felt that way, hey, the guy had his chances but he blew it big time). It’s bound to happen even without the PDAF scam being exposed. And that has always been Misuari’s rhetoric since his ARMM days were over.
Second, financing a war costs money too. Who would spend that much to back the rebels to wreak havoc in Zamboanga? And why Zamboanga? Why not Manila if they really want a diversion?
Third, it would really be more prudent to investigate before making allegations of conspiracy like this one. I think people who are alleging conspiracy have the burden of proof to establish the existence of such a conspiracy. Such allegations will only cause further confusion among the people. It will divide people’s attention. Especially so that many people out there can be easily fooled into believing conspiracies without asking first for proof.
My advice is, give due attention to both issues. Sure, the Zamboanga Crisis is a diversion but was it conspired upon? I say not. Instead of coming up with conspiracy theories, people should highlight these issues instead. Let’s not be tunnel-visioned on only one issue – though this is really a typical Pinoy attitude, we have short attention span. I guess this is where the media, people of influence, the middle class?, come in. They should serve as the people’s mentor, the people’s bridge to correct information, and basically serve as a balancing force. Because really, why do conspiracy theories persist? It’s because conspiracy theorists know that somewhere someone is bound to believe or to agree with them.
But this is just me speaking, how about you? Do you think the Zambo Crisis is a conspiracy?
Okay, so we have someone fanning this theory, albeit a different take. This time, the conspiracy is not between the Palace and the MNLF but between Senator Enrile and MNLF. The proponent of this theory is none other than Senator Defensor-Santiago. She said:
“According to the whistleblowers, Enrile reportedly gave some P400M of his PDAF to Napoles NGOs. Thus, in the buzzing public mind, Enrile could easily afford to spend P40M on the Zamboanga rebellion as a diversionary tactic. The public should consider his background as defense secretary during martial law, with a proclivity for coddling former police and military officials, and a feckless ambition to rewrite history,”
Well, this is more or less her opinion. She did not present evidence or any proof though.
But this made me think, is it really possible for someone to finance that war?
I think so. I mean, it’s not that far fetched anymore considering that when media people were interviewing the captured MNLF rebels. A lot of them were claiming that they were forced, against their will, to go to Zamboanga. Some of them thought they will be working there, as they were promised with jobs, instead, they were given arms. Plus, why is MNLF not giving any statement about this alleged conspiracies?
So it is really possible to pay off the MNLF Commanders (just pay the “right” people) because these are the guys who can mandate their unwitting pawns. Conspirators do not have to pay every soldier.
But still, I will have to go against this theory. Why would Enrile go to such an artifice. If he’s willing to spend P40M in the Zambo Crisis, why won’t he just use the same amount to pay off assassins to kill Napoles or anyone whom he thinks is threatening him. Why turn to MNLF for a diversion? Why Zamboanga? Why not Manila where they can disrupt the Senate or the local courts? Why not just pay off people to stage some local bombings in Manila (hey, they did that during the Marcos era – and allegedly, Enrile was the mastermind [but Enrile insists he himself was a victim of Marcos, pfft]).
Anyway, let’s see how this issue develops in the coming days. Who knows, the good Senator Defensor-Santiago might have some evidence up her sleeve.