War has once more broken out in Mindanao, and it has been greeted with fear, apprehension and puzzlement.

Part of the puzzle is whether Mrs. Arroyo is still commander in chief, and why, despite her announced policy of holding peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the military persists in undermining that policy, this time through an offensive that from all appearances could have been avoided.

Apparently not consulted at all before the military attacked the MILF camp in Pikit, North Cotabato, Mrs. Arroyo had ordered a stop to military operations on February 11. Despite that order the military continued to pound the camp with artillery and to advance from their positions.

A military spokesman, and not Malaca

Prof. Luis V. Teodoro is a former dean of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication, where he used to teach journalism. He writes political commentary for BusinessWorld.

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