As of this writing, there has been six negative travel advisories on the Philippines during the past couple of days from first world countries. These travel advisories were issued by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and France, and warns of an “imminent terrorist attack” on populated urban areas.
‘The Rolando Mendoza Hostage-taking Disaster’
First of all, I have no doubt that these incidents are an offshoot of the national disaster that was the Rolando Mendoza hostage-taking incident. That incident highlighted to the whole world the incompetence of the Philippine National Police, and of this Administration.
This had emboldened Islamic Militants to think that not only can they carry off a terrorist attack successfully in the country, but that they could get away with it, too.
They probably thought while watching that incident, “these guys are morons. We can outsmart, and outwit them. Yes, this is a country a good country to attack.”
And the timing could not have been worst, as it is occuring during the Christmas season, when people tend to go out and flock into major urban centers, particularly the malls.
Even if no attack is carried out, the threat alone could result in people starting to act and spend conservatively, which could have a severe effect on the economy. The Christmas season is where consumers are expected to spend a lot of money, and if this expectation is not met due to these threats, then the prospect of a negative impact on the economy is very high.
What’s worst, is that this Administration does not seem to know how to handle the problem effectively. It has primarily reacted DEFENSIVELY, ranging from trying to “talk”, or make “dialogues” with the countries that issued the warnings in the hopes of “changing” them, to downplaying or downright dismissing the threat.
Well, I have news for Aquino: Those countries are not out to ruin the country’s image just for the sake of ruining it. These are first world countries, and the fact that their intelligence sources have all came to the same conclusion about the same time on their own separately indicates that the threat is probably very real.
The solution, is to tackle the problem head-on, and solve it. Talking (which is what this Administration seems to be good at), or dismissing the threat won’t make those countries retract their warnings.
The resources of the country’s entire Armed Forces and the Police should be used to neutralize the threat.
And making some token arrests here and there to show that something is being done won’t solve the problem either. The government needs to coordinate and cooperate with these countries, ask their assistance if need be, and catch the terrorists. Then they have to verify with these countries if the problem has, indeed, been solved.
Instead, you have this Administration acting defensively, and whining about the negative travel advisories. This, I feel, reflects what we can expect from Noynoy’s leadership, or lack of it, from hereon. It shows his lack of problem solving and management skills. For the sake of the country, I hope he steps up to the challenge.