Military officer among the casualties in Mindanao fighting

A military lieutenant colonel, Angel Benitez, was among those killed in the latest fighting in Mindanao. A military officer I talked to said the situation is serious.
“This will not stop in a few days’ time,” he said when I asked if I should consider going to Mindanao. “It’s time to go if you’re considering that.”
It will not be your usual, conventional warfare ala-Braveheart with the combatants lined up against each other. He expects the MILF to attack one town after another, retreating after each attack. But the attacks will not stop, he said.
Last Friday, after the oral arguments in the Supreme Court, one of those we talked to said they were planning to file a motion to intervene this week. They want the Supreme Court to lift the temporary restraining order and allow the MOA to be signed. The people will be consulted in the plebiscite, he said, and the MILF will respect their voice.
And if the Supreme Court junks the MOA as unconstitutional? It would be hard to tell, he said, what “the hopeless” will do. Now people are dead and dying, and the clashes are not yet over.


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