Another alarmist headline about Mindanao

JEERS TO the Manila Bulletin for its Feb. 28  banner headline that proclaimed that a “New Mindanao war begins”.

It reported how thousands of civilians in Datu Unsay, Maguindanao are evacuating as the all-out offensive by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) engaged Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

The paper reported that “AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang declared an all-out offensive against the BIFF to protect communities from the Muslim rebels. In response, BIFF spokesman Abu Misry Mama said yesterday that they will also launch their own all-out offensive against the military in various parts of Mindanao.”

However, the paper mentioned only  the fighting along the Cotabato-General Santos National Highway, particularly in Sitio Quarry, Barangay Iganagampong in Datu Unsay.

Many netizens criticized the alarmist headline for implying that there is a new war in the entire Mindanao region, when the all-out offensive  affected only some areas.

“Davao is also in Mindanao–is there a war there? Stupid writers!” a certain Gerry Stein commented on the article.

“Over exaggeration (sic). Isolated case what’s happening in Cotobato. Nothing new and overreaction. This could ‘stir up’ hatred and hostility between Christian and Muslim,” commenter rickgo wrote. “Always exercise cautious (sic) in writing information and not to promote hatred.”