Latest Stories


Abolish intelligence funds


Why didn’t the military detect the presence of armed rebels moving into Zamboanga City just before the attack on that western Mindanao city?

That big a number of men and arms couldn’t have escaped detection.

The military leaders in Western Mindanao were obviously sleeping on the job.

They were probably dining, wining and who knows what else they were doing, while their enemy was sneaking up on them.

It’s understandable for soldiers to suffer defeat at the hands of a superior enemy, but it is unforgivable for soldiers to be caught off-guard by the enemy.

*  *  *

As usual, there was a failure of intelligence before the Zamboanga City attack.

If the money that is supposed to be spent to pay “assets” or civilian spies were spent on their intended beneficiaries, the military would have been alerted on the impending attack.

Intelligence funds, just like the congressional pork barrel, should be abolished because these are not being used for its intended purpose.

They probably go into the pockets of high-ranking military officers.

Intelligence funds should instead be given directly to battalion commanders in the field who should be made to account for every centavo.

A battalion, which is composed of 500 or more men, has its own intelligence unit (S-2).

If soldiers in the battalion got killed in an ambush or firefight   because their officers pocketed the intelligence funds, their surviving comrades would probably shoot their commanders.

*  *  *

The President is walking on a tightrope, but he is handling the Zamboanga City crisis on an even keel.

As AFP and PNP commander-in-chief, he could have ordered an all-out attack on MNLF positions to punish the Moro rebels, but he didn’t because he wanted innocent civilians out of harm’s way.

There were reports that most of the civilians the Moro fighters were holding as shields were “willing hostages” but how could the President know that?

The President’s maturity as a leader showed in the Zamboanga incident.

*  *  *

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas are trying to outdo each other in the Zamboanga crisis.

They can’t be blamed, though, for playing to the gallery because the situation is giving them the opportunity to show their worth to the public and, of course, to the Big Boss.

But Vice President Jojo Binay and his son, Makati Mayor Junjun, can’t be forgiven for grandstanding because they had no business being in Zamboanga City.

No matter what the father-and-son tandem say, they were obviously campaigning for the 2016 elections.

It stinks.

*  *  *

The P10-billion pork barrel scam is very painful to Filipinos.

But the revelation should also be cause for rejoicing because this huge theft of people’s money by men they elected to office will no longer be tolerated or repeated in the future.

As Senate President Frank Drilon said: “We see this as part of the cleansing process. We will exert every effort so we can restore the confidence of our people in this institution of democracy called Congress.”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Benigno Aquino , intelligence funds , Jejomar Binay , Junjun Binay , Mar Roxas , Military , Philippines , Politics , pork barrel scam , Voltaire Gazmin , Zamboanga attack

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’–report
  • Pakistan library named ‘bin Laden,’ as memory fades
  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Sports

  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • Marketplace