JUNE 29, 2012 (INQUIRER) ON TARGET By Ramon Tulfo (photo) - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DND) says China has pulled out its ships from Scarborough Shoal.

But the Department of National Defense (DND) says this is not the case.

Ano ba talaga, kuya?

Which should the public believe, the DFA or the DND?

* * *

Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo says the Jordanian TV reporter, Baker Atyani, and his Filipino crew, who went missing, are in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf bandit group which gained notoriety for its involvement in kidnap-for-ransom cases.

But Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin insists that Atyani and his companions were not abducted.

Again, which should the public believe, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) or the DND?

* * *

If the government cannot put its act together, blame it on Malacañang.

That’s one sign of weak leadership.

President Benigno Aquino III blames his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, for all the flaws in his administration to cover up for his weak leadership.

* * *

If Atyani was not kidnapped, then why would Secretary Gazmin say that the military would launch rescue operations should it be ordered to do so by the crisis management committee?

Why save people from their supposed captors when there was no kidnapping in the first place?

Doesn’t that sound weird?

* * *

The government should not worry too much about the fate of the Arab journalist.

If Atyani is being held hostage by the people he was supposed to interview for his TV network, that’s his fault.

It serves him right.

He was warned against meeting with the Abu Sayyaf but he was hardheaded.

What’s more worrisome is the fate of his Filipino cameraman Ramelito Vela and audioman Rolando Letrero, who risked going on a dangerous mission in order to put food on the table for their families.

* * *

If Atyani was not kidnapped, the military and police in Sulu should be wary of ambuscades to be launched by either the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) or the Abu Sayyaf.

For all we know, the MILF or the Abu Sayyaf invited the Jordanian journalist to come to the country to show the weakness of our security forces.

During the Marcos administration, foreign journalists filmed or photographed Moro rebels ambushing military convoys.

I got hold of a copy of a Soldiers of Fortune magazine during the Marcos years (I forgot which issue it was) and I was appalled to see a series of photos showing Moro rebels in ambush positions by the roadside, followed by an Army truck approaching and being blasted by a land mine, and then rebels stripping dead government soldiers of their possessions.

During the martial law years, a foreign TV crew was also allowed to interview Moro rebels and the government later regretted it.

The foreigners showed how Moro rebels ambushed a military convoy and seized the belongings of the dead soldiers.

An Army officer, whom I won’t identify, said that had he known the TV crew’s intentions, he would have ordered his men to kill them.

“Mon, we were put to shame before the whole world,” my friend said.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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