Tale of the absurd
When the story first came out last week about a group of Magdalo soldiers arrested while on a shooting training in Clark, I had a hunch paranoia got the better of government authorities again and that the activity might have something to do with job in war-torn foreign countries.
I had done some stories on private armies providing security for contractors servicing the United States military and their allies in Iraq and Afghanistan like Blackwater and DynCorp and I know that they have applied for permission to use some parts of the former US bases, Clark and Subic, for training their personnel.
Since the job was security in a hostile environment, those companies prefer applicants with military and police training. It was not a surprise to me the soldiers were Magdalo members.
The trainors were New Zealander Anthony Newman and Steven Curtis Rossiter, a former member of the Australian special forces, the report said.
But yesterday, Mariano Villafuerte, son of Rep. Luis Villafuerte, gave the story a destabilization angle.
Villafuerte, the son , who is executive director of a hardly-known office, Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC), said the ex-soldiers were nabbed while “training to conduct destabilization activities” and also ‘extricate’ Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Brigadier General Danilo Lim and other soldiers detained at the Camp Crame Custodial Center on rebellion charges.
Jesus! Trillanes is right. He said in a statement issued by his office, “That Villafuerte fellow must either be crazy or high on something.”
Trillanes said Villafuerte’s tale is “absurd” and “misleading”.
First of all, only one of the six soldiers is a member of Magdalo. Even if all of them are Magdalo members, it is still absurd. Six enlisted men to “extricate” Trillanes, Lim and 17 other Magdalo men from a highly-fortified detention center inside a police camp guarded by three companies (about 150 men) of the PNP’s Special Action Force? It’s simply ridiculous.
“To immediately conclude that I am planning to commit terrorist acts because a Magdalo member is undergoing training for overseas employment is totally absurd and can only be concocted by a very imaginative mind,” Trillanes said.
The senator added that “It has become a consistent tactic of this administration to use disinformation to distract people from its heinous plots against our people, such as the on-going Cha-Cha railroading and the early relief of General (Alexander) Yano as AFP Chief of Staff.”
Trillanes is going for file a Senate resolution today to investigate the matter. That’s good so we can verify if its true that it’s actually a “shake down” operation by the younger Villafuerte who allegedly want the firing range property for his own Blackwater-type business.
One of the current owners of the firm that has the legal right on the property is Sel Yulo, the controversial housing czar of former President Estrada.
Or maybe we can get an explanation why the mention of the name of Bong (Mariano’s nickname) Villafuerte, as head of an office against organized crime led someone to ask , “Isn’t jueteng an organized crime?”
I was puzzled. Why, what has jueteng got to do with Villafuerte? I didn’t get an answer.
If Villafuerte, the son, is looking for destabilization activities, he does not have to look very far. His father, president of Gloria Arroyo’s political party KAMPI, has filed a House resolution to convene itself into a constituent assembly without the participation of the Senate to amend the Constitution.
The senators have warned Villafuerte and his associates that what he is pushing is unconstitutional and could destabilize the country.