Monday, October 27, 2008
We cannot do just what Tony Blair did with the Irish Republican Army (IRA) during the height of its hostile struggle. The Philippines has a different context because rebels thought they have measured the capacity of our armed forces, that they know too well enough to challenge the government. The IRA was knowledgeable of the supremacy of British weaponry and intelligence, but ours, considering a string of futilities which illustrate the inefficacy of our weaponry, demanding for their laying down of arms will bring the government into a moment of ridicule (please be reminded of Ameril Umbra Kato’s video on Youtube, as well as Commander Bravo’s statements in an interview with ABS-CBN). And if any strictures are imposed upon the MILF these could even stir people’s sympathy towards the latter which would let them gain more support and protection from the townspeople of Mindanao.
The MILF is demanding for a self-governing territory deemed analogous to independence. In order to pluck them out of such fantasy, the government must find a way to first exhaust them of reasons and then make them appear to be mistaken until the rebs, and not the GRP, would at last be the ones to look for a tunnel of escape from a miserably ignominious position. Although at first glance this seems to be next to impossible the GRP panel should make this a foundation of the ensuing peace talks. We have to build from this essential ground a lot of strategies and corresponding alternatives that would put the separatists in a crucial checkmate urging them to recognize the entire pursuit as useless.
Monday, October 20, 2008
In times like this, peace and security must be paramount to any historic claims being laid on the table by any group of people or zealous individuals. Unless rights are violated by the status quo government, a call for the creation of a self-governing state that makes the personality of a nation ambiguous as to its structure is unnecessary, especially when citing nothing more than just historical facts. Moreover, there are many unmerited ways by which the proponents of the BJE handled the deal. First is its secrecy and the uncalled-for authority trespassing the Constitution in the GRP side of the negotiation panel, as has been reasoned out by the Supreme Court. Also, the hostile means by which the MILF attempted to extort the GRP to make such concession violates the proper conduct during negotiations.
Perhaps some of the critical failures of the negotiations are its overconfident negligence and sheer defiance of existing laws. First is the failure to provide a free flow of information of what has been provided in the MOA-AD for the clear and conscious understanding of the masses. This is mandatory to every Local Government Unit especially of the affected areas as what is enjoined by E.O. No. 3 and RA 7160 (The Local Government Code of 1991). What they did instead was put the text of the deal in total secrecy which was all too dubious. Second is the mistake of making any guarantees by the government especially the requirement of a Constitutional amendment to make it suitable to the MOA-AD. The SC decision relates such an act as untenable, as it puts the highest law of the land in subservience to a mere agreement. Third is the failure to enforce at least a conditional pact with the rebels to strictly observe cease-fire during negotiations and make a subsidiary agreement with them to preserve peace and order in their ranks and to assist the AFP in preserving peace and order in the community. Fourth, they overlooked the importance of outlining their spheres of command responsibility that could have covered even break-away groups, that the supposition of lost commands should be condemned as an excuse for the MILF’s indifferent answer to some of their commanders’ inhumane actions. It makes the rebels answerable to what should really be the obligations of their central leadership. Fifth is a deficiency of a GRP-MILF war tribunal which should have been set to deal with this problem and exhort the MILF to respect the rules and regulations of the peace process, that otherwise any violation of the negotiation’s terms (terms which should have also been delineated and signed as a fair pre-condition for both sides before panel talks began) including undermining, ridiculing or the dismissal of such rules, would be imposed with utter nullification of the whole peace negotiations earlier. This is to check them from any deviation from the peace process, and could have avoided the catastrophe inflicted during the deal’s temporary restraining period.
The MOA-AD has been scraped but Filipinos praying for national integrity should not be happy with the outcome. Returning families are finding it hard to mend their lives and livelihood destroyed by the then-tottering peace negotiations, and if only the government had the foresight to make preparation for this serious repercussion, the destruction it wrought in Mindanao could have been reduced. The GRP had its eye focused on the deal alone, and when it paid attention to the side effects it relied solely in military might, ignoring the uses of well-drawn house rules with the MILF that can put a barrier between negotiation and war; that could have stopped the rebels even before they could wreak havoc or, if left unstoppable, would have immediately terminated the useless process under a narrow-sighted, if not ignorant presidential adviser on the peace process.
And now, what about history? It might seem to be superficially valid but the truth is that it has been used as a pretext for over a number of years. It is a cloak which, if being put aside by the MILF and other enchanted proponents of the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity, will leave a void in the argument on why a large part of Mindanao should cry for self-government. Tyranny? Racial cleansing? Class distinction? Marginalized minority? Why, the Muslim people, of all the minorities in the Philippines, are the best represented in many sectors from business to politics; we cannot say that they are that marginalized compared to dozens of other native tribes which now suffice themselves by co-inhabiting with others or still dwelling in the fissures of modern civilization. There is nothing more visible than the fact that the MILF and other proponents of the MOA-AD have their varying reasons. It is not that some kind of nationalism invaded the MILF’s steel-cold hearts, but that their hearts thump for a territory wherein they will have a new chance of building power and enforcing xenophobic laws, something which they couldn’t do under the leadership of Manila, that is why they are struggling to tear away a pound of our nation’s flesh. Only that the impact this struggle for power left to the common people of Mindanao an illusory promise made of selfishness and vanity and mistaken to be a search for national identity.
I am confident that had the BJE been implemented, the “resolved” issue of peace will be replaced by the issue of human rights.
Finally, though it is hard to conclude whether this is the last of the attempts to chip away a part of the South, for the meantime it is quite a relief that the curtains of this théatre de l’absurde have finally been closed once and for all.
Monday, October 6, 2008
The financial machine has been ignited. The United States is now onto an unprecedented rescue plan to salvage its troubled financial system. Many believe, amongst them the most sarcastic journalists and critics who in one way or the other view the world in the lenses of division, that this is analogous to a short descent to socialism. Detractors of democracy are celebrating down south. The likes of Hugo Chavez and the ailing Fidel Castro will declare victory as their chief ideological adversary is on its knees before the god of Socialism.
For the US, the decisiveness of the situation disregarded any symbolic representations of the economic bail-out. For many decades capitalism has been treated as “good” and socialism, as a way of Communists, “evil.” The US is known to have imposed very strenuous measures against any signs of socialist appearance. But now that nationalization of select financial institutions has taken place (even though we can describe it as temporary), critics are one that finally laissez faire democracy has proven itself fallible for once in a while.
Indeed there is no perpetual system of government. At any point in history one is ought to deteriorate, cease, and then resume, or if not, be dead forever under the weakness of its administration or the inevitability of the situation, if such situation cannot be solved at all. Resurgence of such principle may be a sign of the country’s political might, and therefore right now the time is not ripe to conclude that the Stars and Stripes has really fallen down into the abyss of democratic reneging. Thank God there is no malicious McCarthy who will take advantage of the catastrophe.
If I have been a critic of the United States before, it is not that I wish it to break under financial pressures and hurt its people. My spite is not aimed towards its citizens, but rather towards a tyrant of foreign policy under whom nations have suffered. Right then, even before all this Wall Street mess began I have treated the George Herbert Warlord Bush administration a USSR-incarnate, and his seating indifferently while the greedy higher class is munching at the enthusiasm of the homeless two years ago reminds me of Bourbon-style governance. And the $700 billion bail-out package from the pockets of the taxpayers to pay for the abuses of gigantic firms is like saying, “dammit, they gotta eat cake in their own expenses.”
I have no idea whatever scenario analysts have predicted in the ensuing bail-out period, whether it will cost the US so dearly or whether it will not; on second thought the fact that it has afforded a $600 billion war in Iraq makes me doubt that it will not get back to economic normalcy so quickly, should I be wrong then much has been lost and the present generation will carry the burden to their graves. In case it happens, the Red ideologues will again sound their victory. Any negative repercussion of the massive economic rescue plan will send the US into a crumbling state especially when trust in the credit concept dwindles down to the abnormal.
The silent little Communists, nationalists and authoritarians are watching. God lend Imperial America grace otherwise the hostile nations will contest for power in the ebbing of the bald eagle's supremacy. If the US has made use of soft power in achieving its spheres of influence, who knows that they may frustratingly go with the opposite?