Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Praise be to love, for love, like sadness, is a great and glorious poet.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT ON THE ANCESTRAL DOMAIN ASPECT OF THE GRP-MILF TRIPOLI AGREEMENT ON PEACE OF 2001
In another part of Kolambugan, in Barangay Kulasihan, the rebels
shot at houses at around 4:30 a.m. PO1 Dexter Salvacion and a companion, Ricky
Sulicar, were gunned down while riding a motorcycle. Also killed in Kulasihan
were a cab passenger, Ricardo Gil, and an unidentified woman.
In Kauswagan, two passengers of buses that were either
torched or fired at were killed. Seven farmers also were slaughtered apparently
while attempting to flee. Some of the dead were left lying on the streets for
Television footage Monday showed mayhem in one smoldering
village as residents ran for their lives, jumping over the fence of their
houses. Burned-out vehicles littered the streets.
A force of around 80 heavily armed MILF men slipped at 2 a.m. into Maasim, a
coastal town of around 50,000 people in Sarangani in another part of Mindanao.
They ransacked a pharmacy and a pawnshop, set several shops ablaze and strafed
buildings, said Chief Supt. Felizardo Serapio. Two civilians were killed—pedicab
driver Joelito Omas and James Varon.
“It appears that several MILF sub-commanders are not controlled by the MILF
leadership and just using the peace process as a blanket to launch violent
attacks against the people of Mindanao,” he said.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
The ceremony in the Bird's Nest was without doubt the best-ever I saw since I was mature enough to watch the Sydney Olympics back in 2000. Yet the part that impassioned me was the parade of the 204 nations (I think Brunei failed to register on time). I was filled with awe seeing the flamboyant march of different nationalities brimming with pride under their respective flags.
Much had the ceremony become dream-like to me as I saw the presence of nations in discord and unrest participating under the theme of One World, One Dream. I was in silent tears upon seeing Georgia and Russia, the two Koreas, Iran, Israel and Palestine, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Myanmar, China, and most of all my nearly-separating country the Philippines walk in that parade which united the world, and wished that may we truly reach world peace. Never mind the controversies of the games; the lipsynching 9 year-old and the eye-stretching Spanish basketball team photo, this is rather extraordinary especially at a time when the world is swept by political chaos.
I realized that the attendance of countries implied a hidden message that somehow each of them wanted to be embraced by the world no matter what differences they have. It is a message desiring to bind us all; hundreds of nations with a single yearning of becoming to be one.
God please give us wisdom to know how.
"Run, brothers, your race,
Joyful, as a hero to victory.
Oh millions be embraced!
This kiss for the whole world!
Brothers, beyond the star-shield
Must a loving Father dwell." (Friedrich von Schiller)
Peace to the wide world! =' (
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Switching channels I went over yet another crisis brought by ethnocentric delusion in South Osettia, a province in the Republic of Georgia which is struggling to secede from the country who has just tasted its sovereignty not long ago. It makes no surprise that when the Georgian parliament declared a state of war last Saturday, Russia, who has been too anxious to assist secessions from its former regions pledged to back the Osettian struggle, deploying its Black Sea fleet off the Georgian coast.
It is noteworthy that George Herbert Warlord Bush, Jr. has expressed his deep “concern” about the catastrophe. With Georgian troops concentrated in Iraq to support his war, too few are left to defend the young republic, which makes it necessary for US to call for the pacifying of the situation. Yet the catch is that at a period when US-Russian relations are thought to have been getting more civil than before, will Georgia become a factor to severe their ties again? So ring the hints in my ears, just like the Star Wars theme indicating Darth Vader's entrance.
The Volokh Conspiracy's Ilya Somin has raised some points regarding the moral legitimacy of Osettia's secessionist struggles. He argued that secession must be seen on a “case by case basis,” and should be devoid of any precedents because such movements have their relatively differing causes or grievances doing justice for the separation. Hence it is without sense for a region to try to detach itself or create a self-governing institution or entity when in fact it has suffered no oppression under the status quo government. Furthermore, Somin also reasoned out the legitimacy of a separation according to the government to be established.
He also goes on to explain that:
"The worse the existing government and the better the new one the secessionists are likely to set up, the stronger the justification for secession. A secessionist movement that seeks to establish a new state in order to engage in repression is very different from one intended to defend its own people against oppression by the central government. "
Now let us go back to the Bangsamoro. The BJE proposal, which smells like secession in the most delicate sense (although Esperon rebutted that it isn't going to be like that), is built on soft ground, when reality has it that Philippine status quo does not suppress either of the Muslims’ rights or liberties. There is no segregation nor ethnic cleansing, neither gestures of racism that can provide them just cause to express the necessity of ”federalizing” away from others. It is clear that the MILF, who goes on blackmailing or taking hostage barangays in North Cotabato are acting only for their sole interest, and not for those who constitute Muslim Mindanao, whose immediate cry is PEACE.
The key variable is the relative quality of the central government as compared to the new regime the secessionists seek to establish.
The yearning for an Islamic nation is in itself a guise of racism, especially when it emanates from a source whose temperament is characterized by the extreme tendencies of emphasizing Muslim supremacy that may curtail or even take away the freedom of religion, among other important human liberties.
BREAKING MESS UPDATE: PGMA finally verified the fear of sensible Filipinos: the country must be converted to Federalism in order to solve the chaos in North Cotabato. Charter change in order to make things up? Should the Constitution be submissive to alter itself for such situation when there are other means to make peace? That clever...
ANOTHER UPDATE: The military says that 7 North Cotabato villages are now wrenched from the hands of the MILF, and some of its displaced population are going back to their homes.
Friday, August 8, 2008
The last time I wrote about the Bangsamoro I described the whole idea as “inchoate,” and I base it on a variety of reasons. One is that the agreement is raw enough, being unstudied in many parts thus the inability to conform to the laws of the Republic. Second is that its Muslim proponents aren't that good enough in exercising authority without guns mounted on their shoulders; an RPG is an integral part of a body just like a dextrose is to the critical. They are needed to be taught not to run with deadly items such as scissors and armalites, or those unfriendly-looking bazookas especially with masks on like the Al-Queda who enjoys rolling the camera with these weapons (it reminds me of those politicians who spend their time before the cam too and then leave the country massacred by the blades of sloth and corruption).
Furthermore, that Mess of Agreement appears only to enhance the long failed expectations on the first ARMM. Isn't the failure already a hint that a similar one will never work out as well? An extension to feed their thirst and give the miserable people to the care of warlords? I am not into suggesting that the only way possible is to engage them in armed warfare because unlike Churchill's era today no such thing is inevitable. There are always several means save for Federalism (unless She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is no longer the President) which the cerebrums of our politicians are meant and are verily obligated to formulate.
Dylan Thomas says it, “Rage, rage against the dying of the light!” Let us apply it in a different context, “Rage, rage against the dying of Reason and Common Sense!” before the people exclaim, “Rage, rage against the Machine (government)!”
The Second World War had illustrated how appeasement led to the recognition of one party's weakness (in our contemporary case, the GRP) and the other's stimulated ego soaring to exaggerated heights. Our national integrity is already at odds in conciliating rebels by ransom (the MOA is a ransom that provides a win-lose result with the obfuscated IPRA as the ground for agreement.) Let us cite as example the 1938 Sudetenland to know how appeasement failed the expectations of peace. Sudetenland (of the former Czechoslovakia) was in no way similar to the present-day Moroland but the point is that when Hitler obtained the German-populated Czech region through negotiations of appeasement with Britain's Neville Chamberlain and France's Edouard Deladier (I think Benito Mussolini was also part of it) after threats of war, the German Fuehrer accrued a big boost enough for him to extend his aggression from Czechoslovakia to almost the entire European continent. That is something we should remember, among other instances which world history is ample of.
As the concluding part of this ranting let me leave you with three worst case scenarios:
WCS # 1: If the MILF achieves their BJE the fate of all Mindanao is left hanging by a thread waiting to fall to the laps of its dynastic sultans and military oligarchs. Encroachments will amplify and the island (-state) runs into civil war.
WCS #2: The ego of the MILF rises to the point that they will challenge the GRP's authority over Mindanao, eventually yearning for ultimate independence. The Malaysians will assist their cause and if triumphant, the Bangsamoro will become a Malaysian commonwealth, then later on a province like Sabah.
WCS #3: We will also call for the Aeta Juridical Entity, Dumagat Juridical Entity, Magahat J. E., or even more like the Christian J. E., etc. (The IPRA stating that in order to be called indigenous we must remain uninvaded by colonizers??? Naaaaaahh! Didn't they believe in the transformation through intermarriage and the conversion to Catholicism?)
Related entries from the blogosphere:
from DJB's Philippine Commentary
an aggregate of posts with some analyses from Manuel L. Quezon III
Monday, August 4, 2008
Just how close have they studied the consequences of the preliminary agreement to be signed tomorrow by Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front? Are the silenced people of the Moro “homeland” prepared to see themselves under a brand new government of military oligarchs who for years have stood their grounds against each other? The absence of an apparent leader will result to a war of factions similar to that froth of hostilities already brewing and spewing in Baghdad. The government who would be closely monitoring the juridical state endowed with a regional security force (that would surely be used as clannish or partisan bodyguards) will find it soon imperative to sound an alarm after threats of infantile destabilization in the Bangsamoro, paving the way to more breakaway groups and imminent extremism.
To understand the future of Mindanao we must understand its present status. The numbers of dissenting groups have long lurked in the shadows, and they are waiting for the slackening of the Moro ties to the GRP before they re-emerge into the political battlegrounds. History has it that what they cannot attain by law they struggle to take hold by force. I wonder how many of the 712 villages fear the same.
Indeed, whatever decision emanates from their partial plebiscite it would certainly bear the reflection of a people’s fear of the ensuing chaos or support to their faction, but rarely hope. The Bangsamoro Juridical Entity designed to satisfy the MILF fighting for ancestral domains is no more than mere appeasement to the rebels and without any clear benefit to the people of Mindanao.
The fact that the people of Mindanao cannot integrate themselves into one society with solidarity disproves what a columnist once told me about them feeling more of a nation than northern Filipinos. How come. Just like Christians, Muslims do have irreconcilable warlords contesting interminably over an awful lot of reasons such as patches of land, supremacy and hegemony, familial friction or even want of revenge. They don’t seem capable of being a nation inasmuch as they kill their own blood, and abduct their own kin, appearing more like fortified islets with cannons pointed at each other. With such disposition they cannot be successful in integrating themselves into one society built around unity despite diversity. There is no commonality. The acrid fumes of dissension tend towards warfare, terrorism and separation. These are the signs of a new Baghdad, a new Iraq.
The Arroyo government will probably have the advantage in this issue. By Jove, she will have the reason to declare a state of emergency as her political alarmists ring amidst the escalated tension in the chaotic Mindanao, some presumptions of secession for instance or terror metastasizing to the north, and therefore achieve the legitimacy of suspending the elections in 2010!