GMA Plays Tough: Fighting Terrorism; Takeoff

By Lobo, Fred M. | Manila Bulletin, June 11, 2001 | Go to article overview
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GMA Plays Tough: Fighting Terrorism; Takeoff


Lobo, Fred M., Manila Bulletin


TERRORISM, referred to as the cancer of the modern world, has reared its ugly head once more, personified and perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf in the Southern Philippines.

The series of kidnapings staged by the group has irked and embarrassed the nation, prompting President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to play tough, to the point of seeking with the military and police leadership a "permanent solution" to the problem of terrorism.

It is indeed wise to play tough and prepare against terrorism on a longterm basis. The "terrorist menace" has been and will be with us, declares Walter Laqueur in his book "The age of Terrorism."

Experts agree that terrorism is here to stay through the use or threat of violence, as a method of combat of strategy to achieve political or economic goals, ruthless and non-conforming to humanitarian norms, and using publicity as an essential factor in its strategy.

Hence, the government must come up with effective long-term strategies in chocking terrorism, as done by other countries like Israel and the United States.

More so that the terrorist threat amidst us endangers national security and peace and order as well as causes embarrassment, bad image and other negative consequences.

Playing tough, with due consideration for the safety of the hostages, is correct. Studies showed that "the more terrorists are in prison (or better still dead), the lower the violent level." Plus appeasement never proved beneficial, according to experts.

"The power of the state is infinitely greater than that of terrorists, and it will always prevail, provided there is the determination or the ruthlessness to do so," Laqueur has pointed out.

To eliminate terrorism, several approaches have been suggested by Laqueur and other experts.

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GMA Plays Tough: Fighting Terrorism; Takeoff
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