|Will Cocoy Tulawie taste the first rule of law justice in Sulu?|
Sulu is always synonymous to a break-down of law and order in governance. No matter how hard the Local Government Units in trying to portray the images of Sulu as "Wow Sulu!", the images that have been painted since the time of the Spanish's failure to conquer Sulu are already indelibly written in the annals of history and in the people's hearts and mind.
It is in Sulu where the disrespect for local authorities is strong. The locals still solve their problems the old way, the way they are trained to do by experience: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a limb for a limb. Barbaric, but so biblical.
The spate of violence the disrespect for the rule of law causes engenders many other compelling and complex problems, foremost is poverty. Poverty happens because of the decrease of opportunity for a good-paying job to sustain one's family. The violence has created a palpable feeling of fear in the investors' heart that they are led away from Sulu.
Some locals brave establishing business but only to be discouraged a year later finding themselves paying multiple taxes -- to the government and to the criminals. Extortion, kidnapping, and rape are frequent occurrences to sustain the vicious lifestyle of violence of the hardened criminals and one-day millionaires.
Some of the criminals use religion as their facade to justify their wrongdoings, such as extortion and kidnapping. Many kidnapped victims had become "Mutawwa" after their release because of the rigid training the kidnapped victim got on religion while in captivity.
|The Lucky 9 Group and one of their reported woman victim.|
The Lucky 9 Group, though one of the acknowledged members of a Kidnap-For-Ransom group loosely called the Abu Sayaff, is still untouchable. Technically, the group is not yet criminal since nobody is filing charges against the group.
Aside from the Lucky 9 Group, there are other groups that engage themselves in the shady business of kidnapping in Sulu. It's like gun-dealing and mafia-like activities in other countries, complicated and in vogue. Recently, they are doing cross-border kidnappings thrice in five months that should have confirmed the tag of Sulu as the "cross-border capital of the Philippines."
The successful kidnapping activities always baffle analysts. But the archipelagic geography of Sulu Islands almost always ensure the successful transport of kidnapped victims from Sabah. Besides it is now clear that the presence of various middlemen, including some military colurums, who gain a lot of money out of kidnapping, makes the criminal activity of kidnapping almost like peeling bananas.
There are a lot of "theories" put forward, invariably a result of too much thinking about the problem, resulting to more wild and vivid speculations and allegations. Let us not mention all of them here.
Suffice it to say, that because of the presence of a nice policeman by the name of PCI Junpikar Sitin, the Chief of Police in Jolo, the people of Jolo is now starting to respect the rule of law, starting to feel that there is law.
|The Chief flanked by beautiful ladies of #BassaKao.|
Now some law and order is being felt, and it is hope that this will be sustained until the Jolo people be freed from their ignorance of the law. Whether we like it or not, there is a maxim that says "ignorance of the law excuses no one."
Governor Sakur Tan also has long ago started to educate the people of Sulu on how the rule of law should operate by putting Mr Cocoy Tulawie on trial.
The trial attracted international coverage because it was fresh and unexpected. But one can always observe that the views express about the trial are always one-sided. Mr Cocoy Tulawie and friends seem to be doing all the punching in the social media, albeit punching at the air since the Governor Sakur Tan and his friends are not there to defend their side.
The decision of the Governor's side not to engage in public forums about the trial is again a respect of the rule of law. It is always encourage not to use other medium than the courtroom in attracting sympathy to one's case once it is already running in full force at the court of law.
But that should not mean that the plaintiff is doing nothing. In fact, their groups are successful in making secret dealings to all and sundry to discourage support for Mr Cocoy Tulawie's case. Mr Cocoy Tulawie may have now felt the loneliness after being left out by many past supporters and friends. Well, he is in jail anyway, right? What can you do?
It is always of interest to the Tausug how the Cocoy Tulawie's case grinds on viz-a-viz the education of the people of Jolo towards total respect for the rule of law.
|Gov Sakur Tan showing his wound after the bombing which he alleged Cocoy Tulawie masterminded.|
To end this piece, let me take the liberty to post in full an FB sardonic blog of a person known as Maria Clara de Hesus in Facebook:
THANK YOU, SAKUR TAN
Thank you, Abdusakur Tan for turning Sulu as the kidnapping capital of the world. Thank you for exposing your people to the horrors and trauma of day to day violence and insecurities. Since you have catapulted your family dynasty into power more than five years ago, there has never been a day in this province when we had no kidnap victim. Unlike the previous years when the targets of kidnappings were only rich businessmen, tourists and journalists, you have succeeded in turning kidnapping as a cottage industry in the entire province of Sulu. Now, the kidnappings have become so widespread and indiscriminate even kindergarten students, nurses, vendors, mothers, toddlers and drivers have become easy targets of kidnappings. Even your own Provincial Treasurer has not been spared of this catastrophic malady.
Magsukul tuud, Governor Tan, for protecting and harboring the Abu Sayyaf kidnappers. Thank you for providing legal assistance to kidnappers like MUHAMMAD SALI SAID GANIH whom you have caused to be released from detention at Camp Bagong Diwa. Sali Said truly deserves your help because he proudly admitted that he was the one who kidnapped Ces Drilon and Octavio Dinampo. For that single kidnapping mission, MUHAMMAD SALI SAID GANIH and his cohorts easily earned Twenty Million Pesos from ABS-CBN. As Governor of the Province, I commend you for extending legal assistance to the Abu Sayyaf Group. That is why these terrorists could never be crippled despite the highly sophisticated counterterrorism efforts of the military and police because there are local chief executives like you who help them.
Aside from your own battery of lawyers from Zamboanga City and Makati, I can’t thank you enough for successfully prostituting and bastardizing the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos by using its legal aid program to facilitate the release of the Abu Sayyaf kidnappers. Thanks to the former Chair of the NCMF and the lawyer-Commissioner who heads the Legal Department, they have served you and the Abu Sayyaf very well by tampering court records and government files in order to free MUHAMMAD SALI SAID GANIH and his cohorts at all cost. It’s a pity that these Tausug NCMF officials are now implicated in the pork barrel scam to the tune of 515 million pesos. The double talk of these officials are so glaring, such that one hand talks about halal certification while the other hand is involved in piggery projects for the pork barrel of corrupt congressmen.
Thanks to your former election lawyer who now heads the Department of Justice, you have managed to use much needed government resources under the Witness Protection Program to protect and provide shelter and financial assistance to the Abu Sayyaf. It is only in Sulu where terrorists and self-confessed kidnappers get this kind of privileges while ordinary Tausugs live in constant fear that a child, wife, sister, brother, husband, student and girls could be the next kidnap or rape victim?
Thank you, Governor Tan, for being the most consistent spoiler of the peace process among all living and non-living Moro politicians. You are really true to your kind. For how can you allow the status quo to be changed when you are the biggest beneficiary of this highly violent and dangerous society? What will happen to your private armies if you allow change to happen? What will happen to the kidnapping industry if you allow peace to flourish? What will happen to the Internal Revenue Allotment funds that come steadily and regularly every month even if the Province does not spend for education and basic services for its people? How can you support change for good governance when you have already perfected corruption and oppression?
Thank you for using all known tricks to secure the much-coveted exemption from the “matuwid na daan" policy and the much ballyhooed reform in the ARMM. I am very sure you will also move heaven and earth in order to defeat the Bangsamoro in the plebiscite vote for the Basic Law. You have effectively rendered President Noynoy Aquino and his self-appointed ARMM governor as inutile in your sheer power and limitless influence and resources. And you will succeed in shaming the President in what he has committed in the peace agreement because Sulu is definitely untouchable under your reign.
Thank you Sakur Tan for putting behind bars Cocoy Tulawie. With his incarceration, human rights is dead in Sulu. No one will dare investigate, document and report human rights violations anymore. Sulu is now a free country for murderers, rapists, kidnappers, marauders, terrorists and looters who are enjoying your protection with complete impunity. Nobody will dare complain, nobody will dare stand for justice, nobody will speak for truth.
Thank you very much for generously paying 3 top-law firms in Makati, Manila and Zamboanga City to ensure that human rights defenders like Cocoy Tulawie will rot in jail. Thank you for spending millions to pay off witnesses and bribe police and fiscals to make sure Cocoy Tulawie will stay in prison at all cost.
But thank you too for creating an emerging Nelson Mandela for Lupah Sug. Thank you for bringing his case as a major concern of the international human rights community. With every manipulation, bribery and harassment that you inflict on Cocoy Tulawie and his family, you have helped him obtain the sympathy of the civilized and humane world that does exist outside Sulu.
Above all, thank you for boldly showing up in court last April 4, 2014 in the trial of Cocoy Tulawie and for swearing before the Holy Qur’an that you will only tell the truth. The cold transcript of stenographic notes of your testimony are living proof at how you lied to your teeth. Thank you for going to the extent of trading your own soul in exchange of your temporal and short-term political interests. Thank you for demonstrating before the public what kind of a Muslim you are. You can only be assured of God’s curse with what you have done. Thank heavens divine justice cannot be bought. Thank you for committing the biggest blunder of using the Qur’an to show to the world what a pathological liar you are. What a show of desperation. What a perfect example of intoxication of power. Indeed for “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?”