Philippines: Political vendetta seen in new terror threats vs. Puerto Princesa
Vedetta Terrorism: Political fugitives allegedly using 'out of work terrorists' in revenge campaign
Manila: Palawan's Edward Hagedorn, Puerto Princesa City's Mayor, issued a warning to local residents to be on the lookout versus a series of terror threats. The plot may be part of a plan, to seek revenge versus the popular tourist Philippine destination.
Puerto Princesa, which recently, won a major international competition, the New 7 Wonders of Nature, and, hosted the US-PH military exercises Balikatan. "We see a number of groups who may be working together behind this - one common goal - revenge." local military officials see also the likelihood of rogue members of a rebel group behind it.
"We are monitoring the threat which may be the work of political groups who are now increasingly working with known terrorists in seeking revenge for warrants of arrest that were issued against them." Hagedorn told reporters in Palawan.
Mayor Hagedorn told journalists in Palawan, that a series of text messages were sent to his private phone number. These warned of new explosions early next week, Hagedorn speaking to Redemto Anda a journalist and popular Palawan broadcaster, in Anda's report to the Philippine Daily Inquirer that, “We are taking these threats seriously. We don’t want a repeat of the scare bombs last month that could harm our growing tourism sector,”
Hagedorn also said he is working closely with a moderate Moro former separatist group who have made peace with the Philippine government to tap into the their membership base to seek out those who have skills the "Political vedetta" angle is being closely looked at, may be attempting to hire for this new scare and revenge campaign.
A number of political figures charged with a series of corruption related cases and a high profile murder case of a environmentalist broadcaster who exposed many of the cases now filed or under investigation. The crimes the group stand accused of range from overpriced or kickbacks in construction projects to forged receipts and ghost deliveries to murder.
Meanwhile, the National government is taking no chances, and has stepped up efforts to go after those believed to be funding the campaign as part of a political vendetta versus Palawan. "The People of Puerto Princesa and the Philippines do not deserve this - they have been examples of hard work of local government and civil society cooperation to save and preserve the environment and are now reaping the rewards from tourism. This group wants to destroy this, to terrorize them for crimes they can easily face in court. Why? what else are they hiding they fear may come up in the hearings?" A local NGO leader speaking on condition on anonymity for fear of reprisal.
MURDER AND MALVERSATION at root of plots
A number of criminal cases have been filed for corruption. Some going after former officials who among other things abused and misused the Oil and Gas tax share of the province in what the Philippine Ombudsman's offices call syndicated mismanagement and wholesale corruption with a large number of contracts going to a single or small group of contractors during the term of former President Gloria Arroyo.
The ombudsmans office, in Manila, cited simple cases of malversation, where a dinner receipt was forged to change a figure from around 3,000 pesos to just over 300,000. Palawan corruption cases are also linked to a campaign to root out and reform local government. "We are not going to be intimidated by threats in our fight versus corruption." The office of the Presidnets spokesman said in a text message. "It only shows how desperate those people are to divert attention from cases filed."
"These are cases we are now following up and we want to see those behind this brought to justice." DOJ Secretary Laila De Lima told reporters in Manila.
"Palawan's anti corruption case are major blow to those officials who have made a living off of public coffers, most happened in the past administration and are an example of what happens when some officials go bad, we are working on these cases and assisting the Ombudsman." De Lima said in a recent interview.
Palawan New 'Scare plot' part of dangerous bedfellows:
"There may a collection of strange and dangerous bedfellows behind this, we have a cabal of wealthy political figures who hate any success has, since, their own areas are lagging behind in development in-spite of huge levels of funding poured in by the national government in big ticket projects." Projects that allegedly per the Ombudsmans office show were plagued by wholesale corruption,
"Now charged in court, they want to punish those who want to bring them to justice." A senior now private security analyst, formerly a member of the Philippines National Security council, who has studied the case has found further more indications of abuse by these officials. "It is terrorism in defense of corruption."
Not the first case of Bombs in Politcal vendetta's in PH
In 2007, the House of Representative or Batasang Pambansa bombing occurred on the night of November 13, at the National Assembly Complex in Quezon City, Philippines.
The blast killed Congressman Wahab Akbar and Marcial Taldo, a staff member of Congresswoman Luzviminda Ilagan, and wounded Ilagan, Congressman Pryde Henry Teves, and two others.
Following a extensive investigation that led to the arrests of the three suspectes, subsequent police forensic and follow up disclosed "damning evidence" against the slain representative's political rivals, citing the trail of events and direct involvement in the planning of the attacks,
Government prosecutors filed charges against the slain Basilan congressman's political rivals and a bomb maker who had ties to outlawed extrmist abu sayyaf group. But the bombmaker said his involvement was only in building the bombs which in a statement he did not where it was to be used.
Admiting he moonlighted on the project to 'augment his income." the case is still pending and Philippine government authorities note is a classic case of 'terrorist trained bombmakers for hire."
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