By: Ben Emata

Recent news reports revealed that some Malaysians and Indonesians militants were among those slain in gunfight with our soldiers in Mindanao. This case should alarm our government and move to strengthen security on our shores more especially in Mindanao which is very near its Asian neighbor. I am afraid we will wake one day and our country is gone to the hands of the invaders.

To be more specific, Jolo and Tawi-tawi are at the tip of the archipelago and just an hour or two, by high powered kumpit or motorized banca, People in this region travel without immigration processes, passport or visas as if they are within the country. It is even very difficult to distinguish if they are Filipinos or whatever because they appear to be similar in race. We must know that we came from the Malayan race and as such we stand perfectly the same with them with reference to height, brown color, hair, eyes, etc.

We differ in language but some Malaysians and Indonesians speak Pilipino too just like some of us who also understand their language. This makes matter worse or complicated thus allowing free flow of people in the area anytime of day and night.

I remember many years ago when I used to travel regularly to Zamboanga and Jolo and met a friend. He was actually an Indonesian but he speaks our language. He helped me buy an accordion, batik clothes, blue seal cigarettes and other items from Indonesia. One time I was tempted to sail to Sabah and into Malaysia but I changed my mind for fear I would be arrested for illegal entry.

I am very much concerned about our doors in the south because anybody has the liberty to pass through anytime of day without travel documents. Since this can be done, bad elements or militants from our neighbors can invade our country without much difficulties. And to prove my points, it happened in the past until this day without any incident.

I would suggest that we should be more alert around shores by putting up military bases that could response when militants strike. We must install big guns and fighter jets around and be on red alert 24 hours a day. There is no better alternative than being ready to defend our place. I hope Pres. Duterte will think about procuring a nuclear submarine to safeguard oceans.

We must also hire more soldiers to be deployed in dangerous areas in Mindanao. We need real strength in our military to be very effective in this troubled world. We should learn lessons on preparedness from World War Two experience. We can avoid being caught flat-footed if we are ready and strong. BEN EMATA Bennexx News Sevice

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