Easter Sunday Morning - 2006:
I was up to watch the "meeting" sulubong procession this morning on TV at about three thirty when I while waiting did my normal email search and saw something from a "stringer" of mine down in Zamboanga.
It seems in a set of Police and Military raids since last Thursday have uncovered two cache's of explosives. The first in a ice plant the second in another part of the city notorious for "illicit' activities.
C-4 explosives, 300pcs of blasting caps from of all places India and many more other electronic timers were uncovered.
A few days before in a clash a group of major ASG figures who were involved in the a 2005 bombing were "encountered" by the military on a small island off of Zambo- two were killed.
Sources in the police here tell me they believe the ASG is pushed to a new level of emulating "sectarian" violence directed at Catholics and Christians similar to activities in other areas in SE Asia like Poso and Suluwesi.
The War vs. Terrorism - is still a major story here even if in terms of attacks it pales in comparison to the battles and daily bombings in Iraq. But what is common here are arrests and seizures by Police and the Military vs. Those seeking to create violence. Success is measured in the number of arrests and devices seized.
Journalism being what it is- when ever I pitch stories about good jobs done- it winds up on some editors out pile in the USA- such a shame- with all the bad news success in the fight versus violence is something I think at least should be covered.
There is so much innovation and so much done right in keeping a lot of the attacks of balance- but - for some reason nobody - at least in the mainstream media world can seem to want to keep reporting on the good work done.
I'm cynical perhaps - but- I think this is where media seems to fail in a big way- by emphasizing only the failures - such as when a successful operation is carried out by those on the side of extremism - they fail to consider that they have become perhaps the biggest propaganda machine of the other side of the war. Ironic isn't it? Considering - that at least in my case - that's where this major conflict began for the USA.
Funny how hard it is to pitch a "good job done..." Story - perhaps its all the fault of those major journalism colleges concepts of reporting must place a high emphasis on failures first and finding conflict instead of looking for solutions along with the problems. Oh well... At least those blasting caps and devices found are out of circulation. For now police and the military here and in the southern Philippines are on renewed "heightened alert".