The back to back bombings in Mindanao which claimed several lives and injured numerous other will now put a test the government’s credibility in handling the crisis.
The first test is whether or not the intelligence services, with all the resources allocated for Intelligence was able to get a sense of this bombing offensive. With 600 Million Pesos under the Office of the President, 270 Million Pesos in the PNP and 118 Million Pesos under the AFP, it is highly questionable why the series of attacks seem to go on without the authorities unable to give a clear picture of who is responsible.
The second test is whether our law enforcement agencies is able to investigate the bombings effectively and conduct arrests of the suspected bombers. Bombings are crimes that leave evidence behind and competent investigations will lead to at least an indication of the profile of the bombers.
The third test is the authorities’ ability to prevent further attacks. While the bombers had the initial advantage of surprise, the authorities now have the luxury of expectation. By this time, it should already be anticipated that the series will continue therefore measures should be put into place in order to enhance security and deter further attacks.
The fourth test is the government’s credibility in convincing the people that this is not part of a sinister grand plan to impose emergency rule. With all the talk about the administration doing its best to extend its tenure with scenarios ranging from amending the Constitution to sowing disorder as a basis for emergency rule, the people cannot be blamed for even considering that the bombings are the handiwork of operatives with a political objective. How the government will convince the people that this is not part of a grand political plan will depend on whether they pass or fail the first three tests.