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Batang MILF by: Maribeth Q. Galindo September 29, 2008

Posted by beth95 in Thoughts.
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                Last September 14, 2008, I watched one of my favorite shows of the ABS-CBN entitled “Rated K” hosted by Korina Sanchez which is aired out in the television every Sunday at 6:30 p.m. But that particular night I was shocked with what I saw in one of their episode entitled “Batang MILF”. MILF is popularly known as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, an extremist group found in Mindanao. All the while I thought that all members of the said group are all in the right age or old enough to decide for themselves but my thinking was proven wrong when I saw Korina interviewed two very young children who both members of the group. Korina calls them Walid Ander who is 15 years old and Abdullah who is 12 years, these two young individuals are one of those MILF children who undergone trainings as the video aired out for national television. I filled with mixed emotions at that time when I saw the video. I felt pity, sad, sorry, angry, and confused when Walid said during the interview that he dreamed also that someday he wants to be a professional and Abdullah on the other hand said that he is willing to die for what he believed in.

                Upon seeing their innocence and hearing their words, I felt pity on them because at that early age, these children are supposed to carry pen, paper, book and play in school and be taught the basic foundation of learning and yet they were in the mountains and trained to carry deadly weapons such 45 caliber, M16 and a high powered arms like RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade) use during wars and usually operated by an adult only.

                 I felt sad too because these two young children are trained to kill and willing to be killed for the said ideology being inculcated into their young minds. I don’t know if I am using the correct term “ideology”. Moreover, I felt sorry for I can’t do something for the situations of these children who were brain washed by the olds except to include them in my prayers. I felt angry somehow to the parents when Abdullah said that it was his father who encouraged and trained him. Ideally, I perceived parents are supposed to be the one who would send their children in school. Encourage and direct at the same time guide their sons/daughters to come up with their dreams and help these dreams come true but it’s not with what I saw. I just really don’t know of what is the psychology of these parents who loved to see their children participating in the bloody battles and trained their children to be the future killers. I don’t know if they are in the right line of thinking. Thus, I don’t want to point my fingers of who should be blamed for the said situation. Rather, I felt confused of who should take care of helping these young to become an asset instead of a liability.

                Is it the family? What if the family is economically deprived thus, could hardly eat three times a day, cannot send their children to school, cannot provide medicine if their children get sick, parents don’t have any permanent job or no fixed income and other sufferings, how could the said family takes care of their children properly? How can these children of the rebel group recognize and appreciate good if they do not experience that life is good itself.            

                Is it the government? Government is another institution that is expected to take care of the young. How could the government then help these young if the basic services that they should give to the people like infrastructure, health, education etc. could hardly reach to the far flung area that needed it most thus, the budget of the said services goes into the pocket of some greedy politicians. How could these young children of the rebel group know that there is government if they themselves have not see and felt the government? How about the church that is supposed to strengthen the spiritual aspect of the people but it seems, the institution itself is engaged already in politics. The school that that is supposedly the second home of the child and the teachers are supposedly the second parents of the child too, how can they help the young if the standard of teaching is deteriorating?                  

               This realization of mine gave me a deep thought and I asked myself, Are there any hope for these children that are trained to be the future killers to be saved and live a normal life? What do you think readers? Can you still see light for these young? Do you think you too have the responsibility? If you think you have, what can you do? Try to ponder on it…..       

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