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The forgotten front
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on July 12, 2007 261 Comments 13 min read
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This is only a hunch, but the foreign blogosphere seems far more interested in Philippine rebels behead 10 soldiers (see grim photos published by the Mindanao Examiner) than Filipino bloggers, particularly when it comes to commentary (simply reprinting entire news stories doesn’t cut it). What’s particularly interesting is this:

The government initially blamed Abu Sayyaf or renegade MILF militants for the kidnapping. However, the Roman Catholic news agency AsiaNews said criminal gangs were probably responsible for the abduction.

“The theory that Abu Sayyaf is behind the abduction of Fr Giancarlo Bossi does not hold water,” the news agency said. “Rather, from what we know, he is being held hostage by a gang of criminals.”

Among non-Filipino bloggers, the mood among the interested is grim unsurprise, as shown by Little Green FootballsThe Perpetual Malcontent, for one, seems exasperated by the AsiaNews story. WuzzaDem.com doesn’t think the American media is going to give the story the attention it deserves. as Minnesota Central puts it, there is a global war going on but media (including Bush-friendly media) doesn’t want to admit it. PrariePundit points out that while perhaps not very well known to Americans, the American-assisted campaign against the Abu Sayyaf represents “one of the most successful counterterrorism/counterinsurgency effort of the post-9/11period,” although the killing of the marines represents “a serious setback.” The blog relies heavily on Peter Brookes’ “The Forgotten Front,” which says,

The good news?

U.S.-Philippine operations have significantly weakened the terrorist group. Philippines forces have killed two senior ASG commanders since last December. One was sold out by an ASG member-turned-informant, motivated by the State Department’s rewards program.

Once 2,000 fighters strong, ASG’s been whittled down to around 200 to 300 today. As a result, its trademark bus and local market bombings have dropped off, as has its once-lucrative kidnapping practice. The threat has clearly receded.

But why has this operation shown success?

Indirect Approach: The United States isn’t doing the fighting. Philippine armed forces are – 15,000 of them, with 300 U.S. troops “advising and assisting.” Our forces are not only teaching counterinsurgency tactics and nighttime operations, they’re instructing the Filipinos to collect, analyze and fuse intelligence – even when it comes from a high-tech U.S. Predator drone.

This puts the local Philippine forces in the lead – and gives them the training and battlefield experience to provide a lasting capability that will endure long after the U.S. troops head home.

Hearts and Minds: A significant effort has been made to win local hearts and minds. U.S. and Philippine civil-affairs, humanitarian aid and exercises are helping separate the ASG from the general population. During regular joint “Balikatan” military exercises, Americans and Filipinos build roads, schools, water plants and piers that allow locals to build a better future for themselves – and instill trust and confidence in Manila.

Defense Reform: In 2002, the Pentagon undertook a bilateral program to help the Philippines identify much-needed defense reforms and boost our ally’s armed forces’ professionalization.

That extends to unsexy but vital areas such as maintenance and logistics. In 2001, Philippine military helicopters were mission-ready just 15 percent of the time. Today, those helos are ready for counterinsurgency 80 percent of the time.

Stick-to-itiveness: Despite up and downs in the bilateral relationship (especially when Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo withdrew forces from Iraq), Washington stuck to eliminating the ASG. Resolve makes a difference.

But the real question, it seems to me, is whether 10 Philippine Marines died at the hands of the Abu Sayyaf, or fell prey to a criminal gang. Philippine Commentary points to TV reporter sees empty houses before all hell breaks loose and gives a rundown of what happened; he’s particularly irked that the MILF issued a statement that the whole thing was in the nature of a command and control snafu, that they bore no responsibility but were quite gleefully willing to pick up weaponry from the battlefield.

if they were slain by the Abu Sayyaf, then did the terrorist group intercept the marines as they actually went after the bandits who have the Italian priest, or are the terrorists in league with the bandits, or trying to grab the bandits’ hostage? Whichever way you look at it, it seems a case of bad leadership on the part of the marines.

Let me say I am not a believer in the “see, people are dead! for their sake, abandon all your misgivings about current policy to fight terrorism!” way of arguing or thinking. I believe that this sort of argumentation strays very close to a terrorist mindset.

The President’s been making fire-breathing statements: 1st targets: Rogue AFP men, Reds, terrorists when it comes to the anti-terror law, which yesterday’s Inquirer editorial said should be reviewed now, rather than later. Study the law before making dire predictions, Palace tells critics of Human Security Act.

To help you figure out whether the opposition is valid or misguided, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of Geronimo L. Sy’s efforts to explain the anti-terror law’s provisions.

Meanwhile, AFP troops back in NCR.

In political news, on the evening of my last entry, the Comelec had already made a sudden volte-face: after Comelec flip-flops on Zubiri proclamation, it became COMELEC defers Zubiri proclamation. And just when the public was already set to cheer or jeer (see Winners make losers. Losers make excuses and starfish hands and Tinkie Fantasy for contrasting views) now Comelec in a bind over proclamation (I don’t buy Sarmiento’s logic). Anyway, for now, Koko Pimentel gears up for final stand.

Also,even as JDV: Secret ballot you want, secret ballot you get, there’s a twist: JdV supporters oppose secret vote proposal in choosing speaker while Garcia: JdV lost moral ascendancy for Speakership (on related matters, De Venecia son hit on broadband deal and GMA presses JdV to make Mikey energy committee chairman); in his column, Efren Danao says he think de Venecia still has the edge, but also goes into an educational description of an oft-used political word, “caucus”:

A caucus is held mainly to prevent a bloody or protracted confrontation on the floor. It is not true that only members of the same political party can hold a caucus. Members of different political parties belong to a coalition, whether administration or opposition, can hold a caucus. It can also involve both the majority and the minority, as in an all-Senate caucus which is held quite often.

Any one who says a caucus to settle the speakership issue is redundant because the official balloting will still take place on July 23 ignores the real nature of a caucus. It is a parliamentary tradition that any decision arrived at in a caucus will be binding on every one present. If Pabling wins at the caucus, JdV’s supporters will go for him on July 23. JdV is being true to parliamentary tradition when he said he would personally nominate Pabling on July 23 should Pabling win in the caucus. Those who do not want to be bound by any decision contrary to their own sentiments usually avoid caucuses like a plague.

Here is an addendum to the issue of secret balloting for the speakership as proposed by the Garcia camp. In my column last Monday, Rep. Raul del Mar of Cebu City said that secret balloting is contrary to House rules that prescribe roll call voting. Rep. Arthur Defensor explained why the rules called for roll call vote. Art, whom I also covered at the regular Batasan, stressed that a roll call vote is needed to determine who should belong to the majority and to the minority. Those who voted for the winner will constitute the majority and those for the loser, the minority. Definitely, the members of the majority and the minority could not be ascertained in a secret balloting.

Overseas: China executes former food safety chief over fake medicines. And Dr. Enzo von Pfeil gets interviewed on whether and how another Asian financial crisis could take place. Elizabeth Wilner suggests that in American politics, there aren’t any second chances anymore.

My column today is You get what you wish for; my Arab News column for this week is Nuclear Option Is Back on the Table in Philippines.

A brilliant passage from Manuel Buencamino’s blow-by-blow account of how the administration targeted Gringo Honasan and then, when Honasan became cooperative, suddenly pulled a rabbit out of its legal hat:

Susmaryosep! If a finding can be pulled out of a hat to let Honasan off the hook, why couldn’t the same be done for Trillanes?

Was it because rather than doing a Gringo, Senator Trillanes swore he would investigate extrajudicial killings, reopen the Garci case and continue to work for Mrs. Arroyo’s impeachment?

No, said government mouthpieces. Under the principle of equality before the law, Senator Trillanes deserved the same treatment as a pedophile who was twice elected to Congress while in detention and who, recently, received a commutation of sentence from a close family friend, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

There’s no need to detail the absurd Trillanes/Jalosjos parallel. Suffice it to say that mounting an 11-year-old girl to satisfy one’s perverted craving is not the same as mounting a mutiny against corrupt military leaders.

There is a difference between patriotism and pedophilia; between a man who stands for his beliefs no matter what and a trapo who stands principles on their head whenever it’s expedient. There is a difference between “de jure” and “de facto” ; between the rule of law and the rule of outlaws. But this regime wants you to believe “there ain’t no difference.”

Time and time again, this regime has used the law to mock the rule of law. And it has never hesitated to substitute a putative sovereign’s will for the sovereign will of the people. But this regime wants you to believe “it ain’t so.”

The same Justice Gonzalez who pulled that rabbit out of his hat, is the very same Gonzalez in this news story: Justice chief relieves Velasco from Burgos case. More in Burgos prosecutor sacked after tagging Isafp agents.

As Erap trial judges reach consensus, there’s the view of Billy Esposo that the ads, etc. are actually an Estrada supporters’ plot. He says something I believe to be true:

How many out there will be willing to risk life, limb and fortune to fight and die for Joseph “Erap” Estrada? It is one thing to sympathize with Estrada the jailbird or vote for the candidates he endorses. But to suggest that millions, or nay, even just thousands of people are willing to confront the State’s armed and police forces over a guilty verdict for Estrada is stretching the limits of the imagination too far.

Then he goes on to suggest that

Before the ad came out, no one had really challenged the fairness of the Sandiganbayan in handling the Estrada plunder case. Up to that day, the public had generally given the Sandiganbayan the benefit of the doubt that Estrada will get a fair trial and verdict.

But after the ad came out, the Estrada camp went to town to claim that a guilty verdict has been rigged. This tends to erode the public’s trust in the capability of the Sandiganbayan to render an impartial verdict. It leads the public to conclude that the Arroyo regime had already gone out of its way to force the court to render a guilty verdict.

In a way, the brand of justice that Secretary Raul Gonzalez had accustomed us to expect has conditioned the public to become cynical of court verdicts in the Arroyo era. Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had cast the seeds of that kind of justice that Gonzalez sows, so she only deserves to reap that sort of public cynicism.

But think again – did you really believe that the Arroyo regime would be so stupid to place that kind of an ad? Common sense will tell you that ad creates an information environment that bolsters only the kind of thinking that the Estrada camp would want to promote.

A point to consider, though I’ve never been keen on the “they’d never be so dumb to do that!” argument. You really never know. For every act of brilliance, or at least breathtaking boldness, a political player’s capable off, there’s always the chance that a blunder can take place. Tony Abaya thinks the middle class has been permanently antagonized by the Estrada camp (I agree):

Given Erap’s past history of colluding with the comrades – not out of ideological commitment, but out of his personal desire to be freed from detention and cleared of the plunder charge – whatever violence is generated by a guilty verdict will not elicit support from the middle class, which avoided earlier efforts to entice them in 2003, 2005 and 2006, no matter how unpopular President Arroyo has become.

A not guilty verdict would embolden Erap and his entourage to try again, for the fourth time, to topple the Arroyo government, but such an enterprise is not likely to generate sympathy and support from the middle class, especially since the economy is doing fairly well and very few, if any, would want to do anything to muddy the economic waters, at least not for such undeserving persons as Erap and his communist allies.

Today’s Inquirer editorial says the trial’s been political from the start, but that the court’s handled things fairly well; see also the views of Marichu Lambino. Personally, I think people have made up their mind either way, but that one court people will end up respecting will be the Supreme Court -and the Sandiganbayan verdict will most likely be appealed, anyway.

An interesting column by Connie Veneracion on how she teaches.

In the blogosphere, even as columnists like Nestor Mata weigh in (pro Villar) bloggers ponder the Senate merry-go-round: big mango wonders which matters more, romance or practicality.

Placeholder on how giving up anonymity doesn’t necessarily mean one has to give up privacy.

Thanks to J. Dennis Torres and fmontserrat for the endorsements.

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  1. devil,
    what’s the matter? does the truth hurt? is it so implausible that we are now the victims of undeserved prejudice? we need that anti-terror law even just to protect our reputation, to prove to the world we are not necrophiliacs.
    (look that one up if you dare devil!)

  2. This blog is as loud as a combat zone. It’s not about policies. The Philippines is practically a feudalism, and the armed forces is one of the presidents most powerful vassals. They’ll want those “Moros” heads and they’ll eventually get it, whatever new policy gets signed or doesn’t get signed.

  3. jeg:wordpress automatically sets comments with external links for moderation by the blog owner. this is an anti-spam measure.

  4. Dean,

    Sorry to disappoint you but no one cares about Pinas – even with this bad news, nothing doing to get the world to even remotely take a peep in the direction of Pinas. So save your breath!

  5. arbet:that’s right. i asked a question: what’s the best solution (or something like that). your answer: let’s take them to task. i don’t have to be witty to see that that is as non-responsive as any answer can ever be. and i’m not being witty. i’m just taking you to task.

  6. jaxius, the matter about the “anti-gma cynics” not giving a hoot about the beheading of ten of our young heroes (indeed they were heroes, at least in my book), did not originate from me. as i pointed out, i was voicing my concurrence with rom’s observation, but that whereas he was complaining against bloggers in general, i narrowed my subject to anti-gma bloggers that dominate this blog. still, i think you have a point about unfairly making a blanket criticism vs. ALL gma-haters in this blog on that particular subject. in any case, they know who they are, and i have absolutely no reason to believe that you are one of them.

    i agree with you that we suffer our grief in different ways. many of us mourn in silence, with dry eyes and sometimes with a wan smile on our lips. yet, many others are vocal about their sadness, shedding copious tears for all the world to see. i refer again to those miserable souls who are quick to put the blame on people or groups they hate for so called “extra-judicial” killings as though all the victims were truly innocent men and women of peace. at the risk of being redundant, i also call to mind those who gushingly lionize and anoint as “heroes” individuals who, for questionable motives, “squeals” on others when the dubious information fits the applauding party’s personal or political agenda.

    i salute you for your unwavering faith in our government and the afp. as a brother attorney, you, along with others in other professions and callings, are at the forefront of every effort to uphold the rule of law – and that includes constructive critique on how it is administered by our government, and of the individuals we have entrusted it to.

  7. DJB,

    what truths? that we are..

    “automatically in the big leagues of that subterranean class of savages?”

    sorry, but in the state of the world as it is, we don’t even rank as high as some other countries in the world. (if you only count those 17 heads…) of course, no country could ever equal the US in carnage…

    “We are the Porno Stars of the Real World of Snuff films?” really? and?

    “We are National Geographic material.”

    in what sense?

    “We are head-hunters, as of old. We are savages and amoks worthy of having new calibers invented to deal with our savagery.”

    contrary to your belief, a small group of bandits beheading marines does not contitute US (Filpinos as a whole) and those things you said, are not the “ineluctable” message going into the world about us. if anything, it only sends the message that we have a great internal problem, and that the rest of our populace is anything but savages to be an enemy of them…

    Why, when you think of JI do you immediately go into paroxysms of prejudice and think all Indonesians are savages? How abt Hitler? Does he goad you into uncontrollable urges to shout to the world that all Germans are barbaric? Where do you draw the line from being patriotic and just being another rabid flag waving absolutist?

    Protect our reputation? And for that we need what?

    Do tell me, are we like Afghanistan that we harbor the criminals who did this?

    Then what is there to be defensive about our reputation? Do we not in fact fight against this kind of idealouges and idealogy?

    “look that one up if you dare devil!”

    sorry. but nothing in your post is worth looking up. i may have said i abhor high falluters and their words, but that doesn’t mean im illiterate or weak vocabulary wise..

    ah. the memes. sarcasm does tend to be inconspicuous to those being targeted by it…

  8. All,

    Why are you not worried about the probably consequences of all of this? The military will get even. Terrorists will go for an immediate escalation of events and bomb Manila or another big city.

    This is not a political situation. If you know anything about the marines, you know they’ll get even. The militant moros have done something they’re probably regretting now.

    Their only bargaining point is that Italian priest. If they have him, they’ll never let him go now.

  9. “automatically in the big leagues of that subterranean class of savages?”

    This doesn’t make any sense. Nor this: “We are the Porno Stars of the Real World of Snuff films?”

    Your words are running amok.

    “We are National Geographic material.” Who isn’t?

    And isn’t cultural self-flagellation so passe already? “We are head-hunters, as of old. We are savages and amoks worthy of having new calibers invented to deal with our savagery.”

    And who the heck cares about the world? We should take a leaf from the Americans and focus on our own lovability? So humbug this: “These are the ineluctable messages about us going out into the world.”

  10. “Why do I get the feeling that the paper supports the Abu Sayyaf even if it agrees to call them savages?”

    I share the same feeling and assessment of the news – the way it was slanted and presented. I got the feeling they favor the Abu’s and MILF.Dunno why.

    I hope this is not the papers’ way of contributing to nation building, or their way of pulling down the country to chaos.

    The media in this country just lacks…lacks many things for ex, objective reporting, responsibility, etchics etc.

  11. For example, news article has this:

    “This lack of public support at the local level and the ambiguousness of the “enemy” make it difficult to root out the causes of insurgency, terrorism, even crimes of opportunity like kidnapping. All the more reason to forge a fair deal with the MILF. ”

    What does this mean?

  12. Bencard,
    There happens to be a directline between capitulation in Baghdad in the Angelo de la Cruz case and Basilan’s beheadings this week.

    So don’t be standing in the shadow of your Moral Lilliputian. You’ll only get sunburned.

  13. n,

    the prose of these people boarders on opacity. But – and I’m just making a wld guess here – I think it means “We surrender!”

  14. djb, beheading is a centuries-old practice of these people and antedates your homespun moralization. why don’t you establish that “connection” instead of blaming the “liliputian” next to the “Moral” giant that you claim to be?

  15. The target of all my rhetoric is this:

    the SELF-LOATHING of the Filipinos.

    Which blinds them even to the horrors of beheading
    and paralyzes them into blaming themselves for it
    and justifies the terrorist acts as the result of “root causes” or bad govt policies, of our indifference to the suffering Moros, or we quibble with each other’s English Composition, Vocabulary and Comprehension, our tastes in prose and Emily Post, pretending we don’t hear in our own heads the clear message of these events.

    Baghdad has found its way to Basilan on its way to Manila.

    This is just the beginning. Not even those comfy media mavens will recognize their old lifestyles from now on.

    Wars are not always obvious and Peace is full of comforting legend.

  16. BrianB,

    I agree with you about the meaning of that prose.Further, I also wonder why they put in quotation marks the word: enemy, in that paragraph. I am now wondering, whether that paper read by most of us, treat the ABUs as its “enemy” in quotation marks, hahaha, or I am just paranoid.

  17. bencard,
    Rape and murder and pillage are also “centuries old practices”. My moralization towards them is also “homespun”, learnt at my mother’s knee. Why? Where did you get yours?

    But GMA cannot eat her cake and have it too. Always she has acted in her own selfish interests. But Isnilon Hapilon got the go ahead for gleeful decapitation this week from GMA. they know about her penchant for paying ransom for political convenience (it all started with Dos Palmas when she ransomed billionaire Reghis Romero, with the same Isnilon Hapilon being in the merrie bande of bandits clutching Gracia Burnham–he had just helped finish off Guillermo Sobero). She blamed the SuperFerry 14 bombing on “pranksters” because she was too busy with Garci, in April 2004, to avenge 116 bombed and drowned Filipinos.

    Uhmm, is this enough of a “connection” yet, bencard?

  18. “Baghdad has found its way to Basilan on its way to Manila.”

    pointing out a self-evident truth? or is it really?

    everything is melodramatic with you, but none strikes a chord.

    do not actuate your opinions as the feelings of others. self-loathing? you should hear yourself. rabble rousing for a misguided cause. those who value life and liberty will neither be blinded by sheer sympathy bec they think those who did the beheadings were justified by virtue of their suffering being largely ignored nor justify it themselves simply bec they think root causes or bad govt policies are to blame.

    Though you are right. This is just the beginning. By the way people like you are warmongering everywhere around the world, polarization is not too far off down the road. You do not see the events crystallizing into a fearful future. The farthest that you can see is from the edge of your nose. Ignorant of the fact that reaching out to those still not swallowed by the monster that is extremism is the key to this war, and not further alienating them and pushing them into the extremists arms. Even the jihadists needs a choice freed from fate. Everyone is born human. Not Muslim, Christian, or Jew.

    I once met a muslim w/o knowing she was one. It wasn’t as hard as anyone thinks to befriend one and actually be close to one. All the barriers are inside our head. It is not the people behind the idealogy we need to defeat, but the idealogy itself. all organizations continue to survive bec of a system of recruitment or replacement of old members with the new. it is within this base that we must strike. a choice is all people need to choose what is good and what is evil. we must give them that.

    The kind of war that the neo-cons unleashed just stoked the fires more, and strengthened this power base.

    “you cannot quash an army that fights like a ghost…”

    Wars are always obvious. Only those filled with wrong notions of peace fail to see it.

  19. Bencard,

    As commander-in-chief gma has been a dismal failure. Look at the officers and men she has persecuted as mutineers: they’re still wearing their battlefield medals won in Kauswagan and Isabela against the ASG and the NPA.

    But the Oakwood Mutineers should really be looked upon as Whistleblowers who were turned over to their mortal enemies in the Top Brass by the very president in which they mistakenly put their trust to set things right.

    Oh, how they know, about dud ammo!

    They were proven right in the case of the bagman Gen. Garcia, but here they have been courtmartialled and dishonorably discharged.

    Good! That’s just the way they do it in the movies. They are civilians again and can speak the truth without permission. I want to know why they really mutinied. And so do the 11 million who voted for Trillanes. Could it really be for Erap’s sake? Or Gringo’s, or “to seize state power” that such men of studied and proven lethality, captured a floor of the Oakwood Luxury Hotel and Restaurant?

    Even you won’t be such a raving fan of GMA when the truth comes out, methinks.

    I want a transcript of that fateful midnight meeting between Antonio Trillanes and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo that seems to have precipitated the Oakwood Mutiny.

    With that piece of the puzzle, my dear Watson, we may yet see a ten megapixel picture of Planet Lilliput. I can’t wait…

  20. Devil,
    Beware of jousting with melodrama, lest catharsis overcome you. Ideas arrive as contraband, but before you know it, you’re wearing them like designer jeans.

  21. mr. bocobo, i hope you have something to anchor your loose imagination. you can indulge in your nether world of warped self-righteousness, but i think you are recklessly threading on dangerous minefield just to win a useless argument. i hope you are in full possession of your faculties and know the consequences of your gratuitous innuendos against the president.

    you write as though you have an insider’s information on the “oakwood mutiny”. i would love to see you subpoenaed to testify at trillianes’ trial for all the world to hear what you have to say under pain of perjury. i think its time people with mouth as big as their ego be made to account for the words they spew against others, presidents or not.

  22. DJB

    no. ideas are seeds. they grow in fertile land. you cannot “wear” it unless you’re sufficiently compatible with it. it will not take root, unless your heart is ripe for it. you are molded by events and remembrances, genes and inheritance, fate and chance. these things till and plow the land that is your mind. some ideas flower more than others, others die or are supplanted bec they lacked nourishment or are uprooted by a more powerful idea taking root.

    this is the center of my “meme.” to defeat ideas, you only had to deprive them of nourishment, or introduce in the land a much more powerful idea to supplant the one you’re aiming to defeat.

    the war on terror then, is definitely being waged on the wrong front.

    wear them? what a silly way of portraying them.

    and have no worry abt me succumbing to catharsis. i already had. this is me arising from it. there is a despair larger than life which swallowed me before. suffice to say, that made me see things in a clearer way.

  23. bencard,

    Keep your panties on. I am only inferring from Trillanes’ own testimony before the SENATE Select Committee investigating the Oakwood Mutiny in July and August, 2004, The transcripts are in the public domain. You will hear these charges from him as a senator of the realm, not a blogger in a comment thread.

    Your problem is you don’t appreciate the difference between a public office and its mere tenant. which is why you think oakwood was gringo style putsch. it wasn’t. it was a whistleblowers panic.

  24. so, everything that trillianes say is gospel truth for you, huh, bocobo? what do you expect from a guy accused of treachery? the problem with you is that you believe everything you hear that fits your own purpose and foist it on others. what arrogance! i’ll keep my “panties” on if you cease using your wife’s skirt.

  25. and , bocobo, you think trillianes’ defensive allegations, untested under the crucible of evidentiary rules, became indubitable truth once he managed to become a senator? to paraphrase lincoln, one hundred million angels swearing to the truth of a false statement will not make it true.

  26. Bencard, ang tapang mo naman! Si DJB ay si DJB, pero ikaw, sino si bencard? A poster without a true identity! Probaby a paid GMA supporter or one of luli’s tuta. Nasa US pa! He he, ang tapang ni bencard.

  27. wala sa tapang yan, realista, nasa katuwiran. dito sa lugar namin walang dean, dean kung wala sa lugar. wala ring bully o mayaman, o may katungkulan sa gobyerno! e bakit kayo, ang ta-tapang ninyong magmura sa presidente. sino ba kayo?

  28. Bencard,
    It’s not so much that I “believe” Trillanes as much as the theory fits the facts much better, seems more natural, is a lot more logical and natural explanation of all the things that happened and which came to light. It passes the test of Occam’s Razor. The theory feels right. Of course it is only a theory, though by your reaction, which was similar to mine at first, it does seem to make you wonder too…doesn’t it? The Oakwood Mutineers were really whistleblowers that Gloria betrayed to the Top Brass.

    Let that stand as our hypothesis, shall we, and allow the Future to test it?

  29. BTW, let no one have any illusions that they can have ANONYMITY on the World Wide Web. Everything you say or post here is “on the record”.

    The Web is Man and Machine. The Men are smarter than the Machines, yet the Machines are smarter than the programmers, being driven by a logic and necessity that is there for unrelated reasons having to do with the solid state chemistry of silicon and its impurities.

    Being all connected, merely means the addresses of all participants are known.

    But it is the connection that is important, for what happens here is not litigation, but osmosis.

  30. the Maguindanao senator has been proclaimed. if his mentor gloria was garcified in 2004, the last to be named senator this year was bedolized (also possibly, ampatuanized).

    now, NOT doubting an obvert cheating plainly because an individual is the beneficiary of that fraud would probably be coined ZUBURY (pronounced zu–ber–E).

    migz ZUBURIED, for he buried the cheating for the sake of his winning…

  31. mr. bocobo, you are presenting it as a conclusion of fact, not mere hypothesis. i don’t care how it looks to you. obviously, i see it differently. so don’t talk like you have a handle on the “truth” and then back down and call it what it really is – a theory. that “it feels right” to you does not justify your conclusory assertion’

    btw, i don’t know why you feel you have to warn me (or anyone else) about “illusion of anonimity” in the www. i never have that kind of illusion, and i welcome any kind of confrontation with any one who gets offended by what i write. i take what is given me but i can dish out the same in return.

  32. Do Big Mike and GMA now have their “Reichstag Moment.”

    By virtue of the emergency powers given to some people’s favorite poster boy Adolph we got to inculcate the words Gestapo, fuehrer and blitzkrieg in our everyday language. That became known in history as Adolph’s finest hour his “Reichstag moment”

    Big Mike and GMA can now order their minions to arrest anyone without a warrant. Even under the constitutional rules governing the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus under martial law the authorities have only three days to hold anyone without a warrant.

    The rules of arrest w/o warrant now enshrined in law under the Human “Security” Act is exactly the same as the rules under martial law in the Constitution.

    There has been a lot of smoke and mirrors employed by the the authors and supporters of the so called “Human “Security” Law.
    From the perspective of the dynamics of Jeffersonian liberalism and the continuing evolution of Anglo-Saxon common law that is the basis for Constitutional Law this is a regression to the past. U.S. Republican constitutional law evolved from British parliamentary law. The Brits remain to have the Queen as head of State but are ruled by Parliament headed by the PM. They have no constitution.

    When talking about the evolution of liberalism this most important point escapes most people. The U.S. system goes way beyond the British system of guaranteeing individual civil and political rights.

    There is no law in the U.S. that suspends the writ of habeas corpus for citizens of the United States unless martial law is declared. Right now even the right of the state to delve into private communication of U.S. citizens is sacrosanct. Probable cause will have to be established first.

    The Human “Security Act in the Philippines using the same principles embodied in the Philippine Constitution as drawn for U.S. Constitutional law can therefore be challenged. The Chief Justice of the SC called it a mindless law.

    Timothy McVeigh blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma. A day care center for babies was located in the lower floors. Hundreds of men, women and children were killed. He simply wanted to send a message of his version of hate.
    He was from Buffalo, N.Y. The U.S. federal government did not invade Buffalo nor did they impose emergency measures to bring him to justice. There are many people in the U.S. who share his beliefs.

    Congressman Ron Paul (Republican) of Texas who is running for President in the first debate of Republican Presidential candidates declared that the 9/11 incident was blow-back for the U.S. for their continued imperial actions in the Middle East. He does not get media play in the mainstream media for his stand. He is a conservative in his political beliefs.

    The MNLF/MILF and their offshoots or groups that have broken away from them evolving now for more than 30 years are now labeled Muslim terrorists by some.

    Now we claim that if the state had preemptive tools like what is in the HSA the encounter that happened would never have happened.

    Then they point to the Valentines day bombing and the Super Ferry incident wherein no forensic evidence has been established pointing to individuals or groups.

    The reason I mentioned McVeigh is that diligent and painstaking forensic scientific work was done to link the guy.

    I personally know family who lost member in 9/11 who got back a wedding ring from the rubble that was all sifted for remains and evidence.

    It remains to be criminal investigative work that solves these crimes of mass murder.

    The U.S. government under Bush branded this struggle the “War on Terror.” Even the Brits stopped using this brand because it causes more problems that it solves.

    Transnational criminal activity of mass killings under the guise of an international Muslim insurgency is a stretch. Every Muslim crazy and for that part Christian crazies are all coming out of the woodwork.

    To use it as a pretext to protect a state is to give unwarranted powers to the singular player in the state who already has a monopoly on the use of violence. To circumvent the rule of constitutional law for a perceived threat that might happen without identifying the threat based on facts is dangerous.

    Even the American Jihadist analogy using the RICO statutes is a wild stretch. Rocky “The Bull” Graviano gave up John Gotti to the Federal Government that sent the so called “Teflon Don” to jail. “The Bull” was the hit man that Gotti used to take over the NY then controlled by Paul Castellano.

    They got he guy without having the abolish the writ of habeas corpus. Once again relentless police work and enforcement.

    In this country where the heads police and military owe their power and economic base to Big Mike and GMA you have no existing state structures to enforce and implement the rule of law. They are only written in law books. The system of patronage power which is endemic in this weak state make the rule of law a myth. We are ruled by the way these men who use the laws to oppress.

    Into this breach we suddenly have military men questioning the power structure. Trillanes embodies this new development.

    I do not envy this man’s position. He got almost 12M votes. He has a mandate for change. I do not know what will happen or whether he can use this small opening to enlighten or fool the people. Let us hope he uses this political capital diligently otherwise he will simply be co-opted by the structure.

    The elite of this country who are mainly of the merchant and commercial class have no loyalties to the state. In fact they are the main reason and bar to the development of capitalism in this country. The Sy’s, Gokongwie’s, Tan’s, Ayala’s and the rest of the old elites are the continuing anachronism that is a contradiction to the rise of a truly national industrial elite that can only happen under a strong and effective state under the rule of law.

    The unfortunate middle have to move to more effective states. There is no room for them here. Effective states require a strong economic base.

    The next three legacy years for Big Mike and GMA will be the most interesting part of their rule.

  33. Our dear soldiers, strong and true
    Forever we shall remember you
    You who protect us in war and strife
    Now you’re bodies bereft of life

    You whose deaths fills us all with pain
    We won’t forget you, it shall remain
    We commend your bodies to hallowed ground
    Where your brethren of valor and honor abound

    Against our enemies who know no rules
    You tread the path even feared by fools
    Where barbarians severed your hands and heads
    Though you still be living or already dead
    Thinking you’ll be reserved a place in hell
    But your spirits have risen wherever you fell
    And they have entered God’s/Allah’s holy throne
    Where you are most fitting to a place of your own

    And as we wail and shed our tears
    We shall not waver, we shall not fear
    For as your widows and orphans shall cry
    “Papa gave all so the Republic won’t die!”

    And as this land we need to save
    We won’t surrender, we shall be brave
    For though the fighting has yet to be won
    So that this country may remain as one
    Rest now our soldiers, we say to you
    Your duty is done while ours continue
    And though this nation will grieve its loss
    We know you’ve died for a most noble cause

  34. HVRDS,
    Sorry, but it’s obvious you have NOT read the HSA. You suffer from several major conceptual lapses:

    (1) The crimes of terrorism and conspiracy to commit terrorism, are much more difficult to prove than any of the component criminal acts (which by definition must be crimes already punished under the Revised Penal Code.) You also have to prove fear and panic in the populace and an intent to coerce the govt thereby. And if you fail…

    (2) Law enforcers are penalized in 25 provisions of the law with prison terms, monetary fines and administrative sanctions for various lapses. Terrorists are penalized in only four provisions of the Act’s 62 Sections. Such human rights protections do not exist in the laws like the Antiwiretapping Law.

    (3) Jeffersonian privacy and liberty are expanded in this law. In the Antiwiretapping Act, there were no categories of persons excluded from Court-ordered surveillance (available from an RTC). Now even though you can still do surveillance and wiretapping by getting authorization from a Special Division of the Court of Appeals, but you cannot do it to:

    (1) lawyers and their clients; (2) doctors and their patients; (3) journalists and their sources; and all business correspondence.

    Reichstag Moment my foot, hvrds!

  35. I count forty (at least) specific instances when a law enforcer can get up to 12 years in jail and be perpetually barred from public office for “violating human rights of suspected terrorists”…but check this out…

    In one particularly ludicrous provision, (Section 23) we have this:

    Section 23 The police or other law enforcement custodial unit who fails to comply with the preceding paragraph to keep an official logbook shall suffer the penalty of ten (10) years and one day to twelve (12) years of imprisonment.

    12 years for failure to keep an official logbook?

    That’s fascism? This is our Reichstag Moment?

    Here pull my other leg too. It hurts.

  36. It’s a booby trapped law! If I were a law enforcer, I would be CRAZY to try and use this law. Imagine I could go to jail and the People would have to pay a huge fine whenever someone I charge with terrorism is ACQUITTED. That 500,000 fine per day could make a lot of terrorists and judges very rich.

    As for the much feared wiretapping, read the law folks! It’s only allowed for a nonextendible time period of 60 days, after which the police have to TELL the surveillance target that he has been surveilled, and they have to make all the surveillance data available to the target in case he or she wants to sue the police for “infringement of liberty.”!

    That’s nice. If I were a terrorist, I would merrily communicate innocent chit chat with my terrorist contacts, then AFTER I get notice that I’ve been surveilled I know I can safely do the real job coz the cops have to close up shop when the authorization expires in 30 days, and in 60 days if they get the extension.

    It’s an anti-anti-terrorist law.

    Allahu Al Akhbar!

  37. wow, that’s a lot the anti-terror folks up there have to fear abt. but thanks to their zeal and dedication to their job, im sure they’ll MAKE SURE they don’t get fined and/or penalized w/prison terms and/or disbarment from govt service by making sure never to inform the court that they’re planning to wiretap/arrest someone. that way, no record at all would exist of their involvement. and if they get accused of detaining someone missing, why, just use the tired old formula “who us? we don’t know anything abt that, and we didn’t issue any order like that.”

    and just to cover their bases, if the arrested person turn out to be totally innocent, and they’ve already held him past the 3 day deadline, then its jz old snafu for poor detainee. no evidence, no crime.

    it’s a shopping spree for govt cronies. seizures of property and default of ownership if convicted. that’s a lot of motivation to have someone convicted even if they’re innocent. esp if the suspect is rich.

  38. Hopefully, this will be my final version.

    Our dear soldiers, strong and true
    Forever we shall remember you
    You who protect us in war and strife
    Now you are bodies bereft of life

    You whose deaths fill us all with pain
    We won’t forget you, you shall remain
    In our hearts and in our minds
    To your sacrifice we shall not be blind

    Against our enemies who know no rules
    You tread the path even feared by fools
    Where barbarians severed your hands and heads
    Though you still be living or already dead
    Thinking you’ll merit a place in hell
    But your spirits have risen wherever you fell
    And they have entered God’s/Allah’s holy throne
    Where you are most worthy of a place of your own

    And as we wail and shed our tears
    We shall not waver, we shall not fear
    Because your widows and orphans cry
    “Papa gave all so the Republic won’t die!”

    And for this land that we must save
    We shall not falter, we shall be brave
    For though the fighting has yet to be won
    So that this country may remain as one
    Rest now our soldiers, we say unto you
    Your duty is done while ours continue
    And though this nation will grieve its loss
    We know you’ve died for a most noble cause

    We commend you now to hallowed ground
    Where your brethren of valor and honor abound
    And after the parades and the speeches are done
    The gratitude of your people shall never be gone

  39. There is no debate on whether a law on terrorism is needed. The problem with the HSA is that it was poorly made.

    Even without any decree, the State has the inherent right to protect itself. The need for the law is to hasten the process and hopefully, ensure that the rights of the accused and the general welfare will be protected even at the lower levels of government. Without an anti-terror law, all cases involving police power in the prevention of terrorism may have to be settled in the SC. The length of time to get there could afford the perpetrators more chances to obtain its sordid goals or escape prosecution. It may also cause greater abuse to the wrongly accused. These, among other things, demand that an anti-terror law be passed.

    Unfortunately, the government’s response is a bad law. For one, the HSA, deceivingly, does not cover those who just wish to make a statement by blowing up a ship load of people. Christian and Muslim haters, gay bashers and other bigots who do not direct their acts towards any illegal demand from the government, no matter how widespread, are not under the purview of the HSA. While groups have to be judicially declared as terrorists, helpless individuals may be proceeded against without going through the benefit of such examination by the courts. And the statute is just adorned with vague words.

    Not only was the law poorly crafted, the people, moreover, know the politics behind its passing. When Malacanan Palace starts to implement it, the labor unions, NGOs and peasant groups better watch out. The MILF and the NPA will survive this one. It is the progressives that faker Soc-Dem Norberto Gonzales wants.

  40. Bencard,

    “wala sa tapang yan, realista, nasa katuwiran. dito sa lugar namin walang dean, dean kung wala sa lugar. wala ring bully o mayaman, o may katungkulan sa gobyerno! e bakit kayo, ang ta-tapang ninyong magmura sa presidente. sino ba kayo?”

    Lumilipad ang isip mo!

  41. thank you, justice league, for your beautiful tribute to our heroes. it actually brought tears in my eyes without even noticing it. may their supreme sacrifice be not in vain. may it soften the hardest of hearts, and may it inspire our people to work harder for peace so that we may all live in liberty. justice and brotherhood, for all time.

  42. We commend you now to hallowed ground
    Where your brethren of valor and honor abound
    And after the parades and the speeches are done
    The gratitude of your people shall never be gone

    Amen!

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