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Dec 07

The Long View: Playing to the gallery


The Long View
Playing to the gallery
By Manuel L. Quezon III
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:29:00 12/07/2009

 

PALACE megaphone Cerge Remonde during his crudely scripted press conference yesterday repeated one cherished Palace talking point – that Cory Aquino created the monster known as Andal Ampatuan Sr. Remonde can count on being further amplified by the Palace’s assets in media, but a quiet, respectable voice set the record straight on Dec. 2.

Fr. Eliseo Mercado Jr., writing in his GMA News.tv blog, pointed out “Datu Andal Ampatuan, Sr. was already the ‘ruler’ of Maganoy during the time of Ferdinand Marcos. President Cory Aquino in 1986 removed him from office and deprived him of access to the security forces of the state after Edsa 1. But in the first election under the 1987 Constitution, Datu Andal Sr. became the undisputed Mayor of Maganoy.” According to Mercado, “The turning point for the Ampatuan clan happened during the 2001 local elections. With the full support of the PNP and the AFP, Datu Andal had beaten the incumbent Maguindanao Governor and the 1st ARMM Governor, Zacaria Candao.” And then there was 2004, when Ampatuan Sr. “delivered” for the President and 2007 when he delivered for Team Unity including his fellow warlord, Chavit Singson.

The point isn’t that Remonde lies, but rather, he lies on behalf of a President selective about the law.

On May 28 of this year, as Lakas and Kampi were grafted together to formalize the Frankenstein Coalition, the President gave her marching orders: “Let us also make the alliance between the local government units and the Armed Forces of the Philippines a major campaign plank, especially in the local elections.” She asked “administration candidates to take this up as a key governance thrust, and openly support those who pledge to push peace and development, and oppose collaborators of those who seek to use violence to overthrow government and to impose their obsolete ideology on the people. In 2010, let us have none of our LGUs flirting with the enemies of the state. And let us show those who continue to do so as undermining their communities and their Republic. I am confident that with you working with me now under one political name and banner, we can further strengthen our partnership in pursuit of the people’s welfare.”

Our hard-working and prayerful President then began to provide the administrative nails to hammer into her proposed plank to disguise its warped nature. Secretary Ronaldo Puno began making fire-breathing statements about rounding up hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of loose firearms, particularly in Muslim Mindanao, even as he joined the glittering array of peace-loving officials in the senior leadership of PaLaKa on June 10 as their vice chair: Undersecretary Luis “Chavit” Singson as chair for Region 1, and Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan for ARMM. All these gentlemen enthusiastically applauded – and, indeed, made possible – the anointing of then-Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr. as the President’s chosen successor, even as their party co-chair Puno continued his National Gun Control Program to seize 5,726 firearms in the hands of criminal elements, 15,676 supposedly held by “threat groups,” and, in Jolo alone, 100,000 illegal firearms.

Just how selective the effort was, all along, was finally revealed after Teodoro’s efforts to broker a political truce between the Mangudadatus and the Ampatuans failed, and the Ampatuan Massacre took place. Yesterday the AFP and PNP catalogued, with shock and amazement, the vast arsenals of the Ampatuans they’ve unearthed: a howitzer! Three armored vehicles, with two more missing! Enough arms to equip a battalion, maybe two! Unbelievable! We never knew!

In the meantime, of course, by now ex-defense chief Teodoro had maneuvered the expulsion of the formerly warmly welcomed Ampatuans from the Frankenstein coalition even as minor Palace megaphone Lorelei Fajardo cooed this didn’t mean a clean break with the Ampatuans. But they’d really gotten too big for their britches: time to anoint a replacement, which Teodoro did, embracing the Mangudadatus.

Jesus Dureza very helpfully published his diary of events as Andal Ampatuan Jr. was whisked off to Manila: ground fire as the helicopters ascended! An M-60 machine gun casing on the chopper floor as evidence!

Evidence for what? That these weren’t just psychopathic mass murderers, they’re something much, much more! A rebel clan! That’s it! And so, their enhanced status required an enhanced response. Martial law!

Megaphone Le Cerge was, of course, inconveniently asked, “any regrets?” because the Palace had so avidly supported the psychopaths previously. None, he smoothly replied, and went on to silkily sing the President’s praises. Such will! Such determination! And the AFP’s General Pangilinan ventured to suggest it might be nice to extend martial law in Maguindanao all the way to the elections to make the exercise “credible.” Provided Congress approves, of course. But, smoothly assured the AFP, even if shorter in duration, government will run after the rebels – “slowly.”

Meanwhile the President has created a Commission against Private Armies which will surely receive the warm endorsement of PaLaKa top brass, including Singson. And as bona fide, Palace-certified rebels, the Ampatuans, from Zaldy in martial law-free General Santos City to Andal Sr. in his non-military hospital confinement, can begin to negotiate on par with the MILF and the CPP-NPA. Multiple murder and conspiracy to commit murder can be subsumed under the crime of rebellion, with the possibility of amnesty.
And the country is cheering her on. The rebel clan is on the run; their arsenals are in the hands of the AFP and PNP with the addition of weaponry not bearing official imprints; evidence has been seized, and irrelevant evidence filed away as secret. Win-win!

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  1. AdB

    Watch out! If there’s one military officer today who would make an excellent martial law hitleresque executive, Boygee Pangilinan will be it.

    From the time he was a 2nd lieutenant in the employ of the late Gen Arturo Boy Enrile, Boygee Pangilinan always believed that to whisk Pinas in shape, there was a need for martial rule.

    Boygee, ambitious, ruthless and cunning (who also happened to be a turnback of Class 78) sought out Gloria in 1998. He believed that after Erap’s term, Gloria would be next president and he wanted to be there.

    Boygee Pangilinan spied on his fellow officers after Gloria insisted that the defunct counter-intel agency should be revived (despite Gen Efren Abu’s retisence).

    There’s one man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Fortunately, he also happens to be one of the most unpopular military officers in the AFP. He survives, thrives and moves on at a very quick pace because he doesn’t hesitate to lick the ground Gloria walks on.

  2. Hustisya

    It is totally rediculous that those silly GMA apologists are now blaming Cory for the monster they created. A dead heroine will not be able to defend herseld with such reckless and irresponsible unsubstantiated accussation, made and aired just a few months after the nation mourned her untimely death.

    Thanks to Fr. Mercado who revealed that their accusation was exactly the opposite of what they averred, and that in reality, Cory even replaced the evil monster Andal Ampuan Sr when she rosed to power after EDSA I.

    Now, it has become even clearer to us that that the chief mad scientist who created the evil monster Andal Ampatuan, Sr. is no less than Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President Of The Republic Of The Philippines, who by her power as President and in her utter fondness of the Ampatuans, armed them to the teeth and provided them awesome stature as the rulers and lords of a turf which even bear their names.

    THe Ampatuans, in exchange to the accomodation and genorosity of the Administration, have delivered to GMA and all the candidates she endorses, including those who are incumbent in the Senate, the “votes” they needed, regardless of the nature and means such “votes” been accumulated. The Ampatuans played some starrer’s role in the epic “hello garci scandal” that rocked the nation’s conscience.

  3. DailyManila

    No wonder the government is so silent about who provided the Ampatuans with guns and ammos. Sen. Biazon urged the government to look into this issue after the military discovered the huge cache of firearms and ammos.

  4. manuelbuencamino

    In 2006 Gloria issued Executive Order 546 “for the mobilization, training and arming of CVOs as local armed auxiliary units working under the supervision and command of the Philippine National Police (PNP) “to counter terrorist threats.”

    And we know that the local governor, for all intents and purposes, gets to pick the police chiefs in his province. So Gloria Arroyo’s EO 546 legitimized private armies.

  5. FreeSince09

    They are now being praised for the Monster they create. It’s like EDSA all over again.

  6. istambay_sakalye

    onli in da pilipins !!! 😉

  7. zbaszyn

    Mr. Quezon, maybe in the future you can also do an in depth analysis(and hopefully an unbiased one) of the role played by the Commonwealth Government of President Manuel Luis Quezon in exacerbating Muslim-Christian tensions in Mindanao.

    You have most likely read this study written by Bonnie Harris about the plan of the Commonwealth Government to systematically resettle Filipinos from Luzon and Visayas to the less populated areas in Mindanao.

    http://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/marcuse/classes/233ab/zbaszynmanila/HarrisCysnerZbaszynManila.htm#mindanao

    Here’s a quote from her article:

    Accumulated bitterness between the Moros inhabitants and the ever increasing Christian Filipino population on Mindanao resulted in an acceleration of violence throughout the decade of the 1920s. The Muslims rejected Filipino government officials as the U.S. appointed more and more Philippine nationals to civil service positions in Mindanao. The creation of the Philippine Commonwealth Government in 1935 gave complete control of Mindanao over to the Commonwealth Officials, a political condition vehemently opposed by the Muslims.

    Throughout these opening decades of the 20th Century, all Western colonial powers with Muslim populations feared the impact of Islamic insurrections in their territories. Muslim leaders in Mindanao threatened secession from the Philippines if religious guarantees for their Islamic laws, customs, and traditions were disregarded. Muslims were offended as their own religious tribunals to adjudicate legal matters under Islamic law were shut down. As Christian Filipinos from the northern islands continued to settle in the thinly populated areas of Mindanao, tensions grew and Quezon was anxious to find solutions to what he perceived was an ever present problem of Muslim dominance in the south. President Quezon’s “generous” offer to resettle Jews on Mindanao was another proposal with political overtones that sought to place the Jews as a buffer between the Christians and the Muslims… It was also thought that the presence of the refugees could also countermand the thousands of Japanese settlers, whose presence in the southern region of the Philippines posed another threat to the Commonwealth government. 119] Quezon and the Commonwealth Government believed a program to settle large numbers of refugee Jews would help further their own plans to resettle Filipinos from the northern areas of Luzon and Visayas and it was believed that both groups would stimulate the economy in the south and protect the area from Muslim dominance and Japanese infiltration.

  8. istambay_sakalye

    gibo was sec of dnd for how long? and he has no knowledge about those private armies??? tell that to the marines!!! one more reason why he does not deserve to be president. liar, liar, liar
    pants on fire. what can i say, he is indeed a “gma’s man”.

    gma administration has become very predictable, what ever those clowns say in public, the opposite is the truth.

  9. UP n grad

    Should it be the case then that Congress should decide to follow the will of the people? It looks like what the Filipino citizenry wants is exactly what GMA has done — quick arrest of the Ampatuans and the disarming of the Ampatuan private army.

    With regards the technicalities about “Martial Law”, the citizens do not have time nor brainpower to go through the nuances of insurrection, rebellion, lawlessness. The citizens are depending on their elected representatives in Congress to thread this line between “..following the Constitution” and “doing the right thing”.

    As luck has it, the Filipino voters have Jamby Madrigal, Noynoy, Robert Jaworski, Enrile, Victor Sumulong, Arnulfo Fuentebella, Walden Bello, Vincent Garcia, Satur Ocampo, Mong Palatino, Simeon Kintanar, Raul Gonzales Jr, Eduardo Zialcita, Mikey Arroyo… citizens from all corners of the country have elected their representatives to represent them with these decision-making.

  10. The Cusp

    The time under the 1986 constitution has now exceeded the time spent under Marcos. There comes a point when the symptoms of the problem can no longer be ascribed to

  11. mlq3

    I’ve written fairy extensively on this, starting with

    Repulsion Colonization

    In 1996. You may also want to look at some entries in this blog:

    http://www.quezon.ph/2004/04/03/musing-on-mindanao/

    http://www.quezon.ph/2007/08/17/thoughts-on-mindanao/

    http://www.quezon.ph/2008/08/07/the-march-of-folly-in-mindanao/

    http://www.quezon.ph/2008/08/15/greater-malaysia/

    http://www.quezon.ph/2009/07/10/notes-for-a-prospective-article-on-the-emerging-politics-of-a-national-identity-in-progress/

    Two articles I recommend are:

    http://philippinesfreepress.wordpress.com/2006/07/30/re-constructing-colonial-philippines-1900-1910/

    and by the same author,

    http://books.google.com.ph/books?id=nwDzRHOc7cwC&pg=PA56&lpg=PA56&dq=abinales+philippines+free+press+manuel+quezon+mindanao&source=bl&ots=Q41Y7bQoni&sig=Hw9_7KrVcYcadwFOo8P0UqYRfow&hl=en&ei=iqscS9O0HYWusgPf24iIBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CCQQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=&f=false

    another view is here:

    http://morolaw.blogspot.com/2007/10/examining-nexus-between-philippine.html

    in brief and without necessary nuances, my view is that the formation of a nation state for a time included the cooperation of a significant segment of the moro leadership, on the assurance they would play a significant role in national affairs; at the same time the underpopulated nature of national territory in mindanao required a policy of colonial settlement; the objective being the formation of a secular state along modern lines, with traditional moro royalty adapting to a secular political role and the transition augured by the state no longer recognizing a sultan of sulu -the heirs being unable to settle on one without anointing of one or the other of the successors by the state. by the 1960s this was faltering, both because traditional moro leaders were being challenged by fellow moros with a secular moro identity in mind, later in the 90s especially, by the idea of fundamentalist approaches to identity and moro self rule. the crisis at present is on several fronts, and i personally have discussed the possibility of moro independence or commonwealth status.

  12. The Cusp

    … a previous dispensation. There are definite failings in the way our present system is designed that have led to the re-emergence of warlords and private armies to which the present administration has been both a beneficiary and victim of.

  13. LovelySoul

    Sunday evening, 6 Dec. 2009

    Well, shocking as it can be. It seems that another “can of worms” was uncovered. Whether the Ampatuans was created a monsters by Mrs. Aquino or Mrs. Arroyo is immaterial now. The monster had grown to a Godzilla. The focus should be on how to dismantle and render impotent this so-called monster.

    He (Ampatuans) was fully armed with blind followers and arsenals of weaponry. Almost all his clan are in government service. They have used government issued property (backhoe) and guns in the commission of a horrible crime, not to mention reigned of terror and massive impunity all these years.

    Now, Mrs. Arroyo boldly implemented a tool to effectively capture and bring this clan of murderers to justice. How can you do that without any bloodbath, shoot out confrontations or uprising from his blind followers? Mrs. Arroyo needs an unhindered way of investigating the very inner sanctum of a powerful warlord who for years acted like God that if you intend to file for candidacy you and your family will be eliminated never to be seen anymore. She needed to wield her powers in such a manner where these monsters are left without defense.

    Declaration of Martial Law is the best avenue to take. Innocent citizens, judges, witnesses, prosecutors, investigators, members of the media and others will be protected from harm and intimidation. Ultimately, along the way these monsters will be disarmed and ill-gotten wealth seized. The once proud and ruthless monsters will be down on their knees but no mercy will be granted. They have to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for crimes committed.

    The judgment at “Nuremberg” will be repeated, so to speak. Or similarly, another Saddam Hussein was brought to justice after years of abuses and relentless cruelty against humanity.

    Talking about whose president created and cuddled such monsters is considered moot. It already happened. Let’s move on to bring justice to the 57 + 2 babies slaughtered on November 23rd, 2009. Don’t let any presidential candidate use this horrible event as their ticket to sit in the Palace.

    Mrs. Arroyo maybe one who does not have anymore vested interest. She is leaving the presidency soon. She could have easily take it and just don’t do anything further.

    But this will be Mrs. Gloria Arroyo’s “Ultimo Adios” to the victims. To bring the perpetrators to justice and to bring peace in that horrible Maguindanao which became the haven of the worst humans who ever lived. Did I say “humans”? Pardon, I mean “monsters” or rapists or criminals. There is no strong adjective to correctly describe them.

    We pray that this dark pages in Philippine history will not repeat itself ever again. My fervent prayers and sincerest condolences to the many victim’s families. Saying Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all will be inappropriate. But know that the good Lord is with you in your time of sorrow. HE will work wonders and those monsters will pay here on earth and in after life. Their souls will never find peace even if hell freezes.

    One suggestion to the Philippine government. The seized assets of the Ampatuans must be liquidated and cash compensation must be handed out to the victim’s families.

    It should be done as soon as possible. Majority of the victims are sole breadwinners leaving behind young children, elderly parents, young brothers and young sisters hoping to go to college. Please do not subject these victims to double injury.

  14. FormerlyPhilwoSpEditor

    The move was most unsurprising, yet one begins to wonder or fear what would happen if we are in the midst of another Martial Law for the entire country again… Most certainly not going to sit down for that to happen.

    I still believe it was baseless, if the threat of Rebellion is to be used as a basis for the declaration, many areas in the Philippines would have been under it, such as ARMM or NPA-dominated area, even Spratlys from what the Chinese are doing with constructing a base in there. Or earlier times, such as the fiasco with the all-out MILF offensive or two coup attempts in PGMA’s term. Sadly, we already know most details about it and the masterminds behind it, but I have a feeling or better yet, signs of the movements of the government would lead to whitewashing the entire incident.

    And yes, GIBO should never have ran… seeing this, and AFP supplies are unearthed, makes you see how incompetent this Hand-picked lackey of Gloria really is… Ondoy and now this…

    I say, remove Martial Law at once!

  15. FormerlyPhilwoSpEditor

    @LovelySoul:

    There are other means and powers the Chief executive can use in order to maintain order and provide Justice. The three past presidents faced with problems of the same magnitude have never declared Martial Law in any part of the country. A state of emergency would have sufficed. It is deeply done in bad taste, a struggle to whitewash the entire incident.

    When you read the art. 7 sec. 18, it clearly states rebellion or invasion in the clause, yet their basis is only “planned” formations in rebellion, without much basis or fact. Until they have provided clear evidence and not just the Maguindanao incident, as a basis for Martial Law, then it would be very unjustified. Just my opinion in your statement.

    And seizing their assets would help in pulling them down, but a speedy and transparent serving of justice would be the best recourse, in general.

  16. LovelySoul

    FromerlyPhilwoSpEd, sorry I can not agree with you. The atrocity, the mutilation of women’s vaginas. the killing and raping of pregnant women. This is not only horrendous crimes against Filipinas but has deeply shocked women all over the world.

    When you are dealing with ‘monsters” who are equipped with arsenals of weaponry and followers who will not hesitate to shoot your vagina or penises, then, that is a wake up call that a ‘Kid’s glove” will not work.

    My question to you, if one of the victims was your mother or wife or sister, what would you do? When someone could kill 59 innocent people just because they intend to file their candidacy then, these mass murderers must be dealt with extreme caution and potent strategy to spare a blood bath.

    When Mrs. Arroyo declares Martial Law, then she is essentially protecting every one from a possible genocide.

    No one could predict what may or may not happen. Much more, no silver bullet could prevent another massacre. But based upon the horrible way the slaughter was done and the obvious intent to discard the bodies and vehicles of the victims,
    then, any good thinking president must act and implement preventive tool to avoid any bloody confrontation.

    You are not dealing with petty pickpocketeers. You are dealing with a Warlord who took upon himself to eliminate anyone who will be an election opponent and along the way also killed innocent members of the media, just to get rid of any witnesses. Please wake up! Tell me if one of the victims is your mother or wife or sister whose vaginas was raped and afterwards was mutilated and bodies discarded like unwanted garbage.

    Don’t get hang up with articles. 57 people were killed. Those victims were crying for justice and someone listens, Mrs. Arroyo and the whole world.

  17. Carl

    “i personally have discussed the possibility of moro independence or commonwealth status.”

    *******************************************************

    Manolo, why limit independence to Moros? How will Commonwealth status work?

  18. guy fawkes

    @lovely soul:
    i understand your sentiments, however, we must look at the situation in the long run. yes, martial law will indeed provide immediate results by disregarding warrants of arrest, etc. but the only legal charges that the perpetrators can be charged against (i think, i’m not a lawyer, correct me if i’m wrong) is rebellion, not multiple murder. those are two very different charges. bear also in mind that amnesty can be granted to rebels. notwithstanding the motives of GMA, martial law is a band-aid solution to a problem that requires surgery.

  19. guy fawkes

    @ lovely soul:
    addressing your statement with regards to my feelings if it where to happen to someone i care about, of course my initial reaction (if not much more as it is now, though i am not related to any of the victims) would be blood from the ampatuans. but having my initial feelings abated, logic broke through. i realized that i want justice, not just any semblance/appearance of justice (as this swift arrest that martial law has brought upon) to quell indignations but actual justice that would really penalize and incarcerate the perpetrators to the full extent of the law.

  20. dikat

    Atty Pablito Sanidad in an interview with ABS-CBN Baguio just mentioned that RA 6986 is “AN ACT ESTABLISHING A HIGH SCHOOL IN BARANGAY DULOP, MUNICIPALITY OF DUMINGAG, PROVINCE OF ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR, TO BE KNOWN AS THE DULOP HIGH SCHOOL, AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFORE”

    Really sloppy…

  21. FormerlyPhilwoSpEditor

    @LovelySoul

    Ditto on Guy Fawkes statement there. I still trust the Supreme Court to an extent, compared to leaving it in the hands of the “President”.

  22. SoP

    Gloria is sucking up all the oxygen in the Philippines. I can’t stand her! It’s like I can’t breath with her up there in the leadership podium. I just can’t wait for the handover to next president!

  23. UP n grad

    waiting for the handover to next president….

    SoP: you mean you are not one of those who believe that GMA will remain in Malacanang after May2010?

  24. SoP

    If she did it will be EDSA 4 no doubt. And EDSA 4 will be like EDSA 1 and 2.

  25. UP n grad

    Where will GMA get “civil servants” to take over the Maguindanao local government?

    The Ampatuans who used to be the Maguindanao government have been put in jail (and some of the Ampatuan clans who are embedded in Maguindanao courts and baranggays have to be re-assigned, too). when “Maguindanao martial law” is lifted, then Congress (or GMA) has to remove Ferrer and the other military officials, but where does she get the replacement civil servants?

    IF… IF a civilian-led local government can not be put over Maguindanao, then be ready to entertain what has already been mentioned — that the military runs Maguindanao all the way thru May2010 elections.

  26. mlq3

    The autonomous region for Cordillera seems to be working. Many possible variations are proposed for the Moros, one I often hear is the Quebec model, where they can send their trade/investment missions, or the Belgian model; still another harks closer to China’s one country two systems. Really, to my mind it depends less on Manila and more if the Moros can unite under home-grown leadership: they came close under Misuari but he squandered the opportunity.

  27. SoP

    Jesus Christ Manolo don’t talk about Maguindanao in Quebec-model-trade-investment-one-country-two-systems-whatchamacallit-Belgian-model technical jargon, it’s embarrassing. They’re a fucking poor little province for chrissakes! I believe they’re in the top three of the poorest provinces in the Philippines, with a poverty incidence of 50%. So before we get carried away with models and paradigms and trade and investment missions talk, we should go back to earth and remember that one in two people there are poor as, with the province having no viable economy and it’s run by tribal warlords with chips on their shoulders. And their muslim.

    Just let the fucking army run the place for a while.

  28. zbaszyn

    Thanks for your response.

    Another interesting story for you or for ABS-CBN News to do a feature on, even in the distant future, is the role that was played by the ABS-CBN network( and the other media companies owned by the Lopezes pre-martial law) in the election victories of Ferdinand Marcos in the 1960s. If you recall, a Lopez was Marcos’ running mate and all showbiz personalities under contract with ABS-CBN were required to campaign for the Marcos-Lopez ticket. There is old newsreel footage of ABS-CBN stars campaigning for Marcos on the network’s musical variety shows. The Lopezes had a very public feud with Diosdado Macapagal then, possibly because they were worried that their oligarchy at that time would be disbanded, and so they threw their lot with Marcos.

    The irony of course is the politician they cultivated and supported through their media empire would later on turn against them. ABS-CBN and the Lopezes portray themselves as victims of martial law(which they were, of course) but what is largely forgotten in the country’s history is that the Lopez family, in the years prior to martial law, were among Marcos’ most influential and strongest supporters, and their media network (TV, radio, print) played an instrumental role in Marcos’ early election victories.

    I’m not pro-Arroyo, or anti-Arroyo, or pro-Lopez or anti-Lopez, I just think it’s an interesting part of the country’s history that few people know about.

  29. mlq3

    You may be interested in this entry, apropos a study on the Lopezes:

    http://www.quezon.ph/2008/05/29/malakas-at-mahina/

  30. mlq3

    This was in reference to Muslim Mindanao as a whole, SoP.

  31. Brian_B

    “Jesus Christ Manolo don’t talk about Maguindanao in Quebec-model-trade-investment-one-country-two-systems-whatchamacallit-Belgian-model technical jargon, it’s embarrassing.”

    Everyone has his own defense mechanism. In Manolo’s case, every holocaust gets the Quebec-model-trade-investment-one-country-two-systems-whatchamacallit-Belgian-model treatment.

    “Just let the fucking army run the place for a while.”

    Totally agree with this. It’s the best solution to prevent bloodshed.

    As an aside MLQ3, what do you think about the Negros reaction (threat to rebel) against Cory back in the 80s? Do you think she should’ve declared Martial Law in Negros and gotten rid of the hacienderos?

  32. LovelySoul

    Monday, 7 Dec 2009, To Mr. Guy Fawkes, I thank you for your voice of reason and sentiments. I myself, is not related to any of the victims, however, as part of a civilized international community, I was deeply shocked by the immensity and atrocious way the 57 + 2 babies were slaughtered. I was moved to tears when I viewed the bodies of the victims and also upon learning that the gentleman, Mr Mangudadatu’s horrendous loss of his beloved wife, 2 sisters and aunt. Also, a boy who lost his brother who was the only breadwinner of the family. I was so upset that this happened all because a person needed to file his candidacy.

    Since that day, I was haunted and have nightmares as to how much horror, terror and pain and bloody messed was inflicted on the victims before they were killed. Pregnant women raped and killed and buried with their unborn probably still ALIVE and can be saved. These events makes me so mad that all my friends advised that I stay away from those news any further.

    However, I refused to be an spectator. The victims needed a voice. You sound like a very sensitive person. Please be a strong advocate for justice. Please do not join the bandwagons of self-serving skeptics and incompetent bureaucrats who are always too quick to blame Mrs. Arroyo.

    They blame her if she does not act. They blame her if she acts. But in reality those people are just “armchair” critics who does not really contributes to the betterment of their country. They just nit-pick on anything that could be picked. Their cackling like chickens and does not have any
    accomplishments to show for. They sit in Senates and hoping to also sit in the Palace but have no resume to show how effective and qualified they are.

    This time of extreme emergency, they could be united and show a strong front that the government will not tolerate such horrible acts. But NO, they chooses to bash the president and run their big mouths hoping that she fails just so they will look good and be presidentiables. In the meantime, let’s forget about the 59 dead bodies. Dirty politicking and grandstanding must go on.

    Where in the world will you hear that a Warlord will not hesitate to kill for a position of power that pays so little maybe, in remote African nation like Darfur or Congo? However, the Philippines should be above that, being a country that produces champions like Manny Pacquiao and heroes like Efren Penaflorida but of course the Filipino politicians are the ones that will bring shame and disgrace to their country. People whom you elect to serve and protect but will also be the ones who will murder you in cold blood.
    Utterly shameful.

  33. J_AG

    The feet of GMA fits this shoe perfectly.

    “Crimes against humanity, as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, “are particularly odious offences in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings. They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy (although the perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy) or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority. Murder; extermination; torture; rape and political, racial, or religious persecution and other inhumane acts reach the threshold of crimes against humanity only if they are part of a widespread or systematic practice. Isolated inhumane acts of this nature may constitute grave infringements of human rights, or depending on the circumstances, war crimes, but may fall short of falling into the category of crimes under discussion.”[1]

  34. The Cusp

    I truly pity the Maguindanaoans who have never experienced true democracy or rule of law. They have lived under the paternalism of the local warlord and now have to suffer under military rule.

    The key question in all this is why couldn’t the authorities enforce justice without having to impose martial law? Is it inconceivable for that to happen? How can they exercise self-determination if all they know is a system where one commander says “I am the State.”

  35. ramrod

    So martial law in Maguindanao is justified, considering the cirscumstances (do we have an alternative?) as the violence and potential repercussions must be stopped.
    I believe further debate on the subject is a waste of time and money…I’m pretty sure the powers that be have a plan and timetable for this military intervention. Let them do their job, and lets listen to Aroroyo, her immediate solution, long term solution, and exit strategy. Pinning her to a defensive corner will not solve anything, let the government do their work…then we evaluate and decide if we still want them at the helm…

  36. The Cusp

    Depending on whether you view the conflict on purely legal grounds (as Christian Monsod does) or on political economic terms (as Francisco Lara does), you will come to starkly different conclusions with respect to the justification of Proclamation 1959.

    I was simply commiserating with the locals whose only lot in life seems to be either to live under the protectorate of a corrupt chieftain or under potentially abusive armed forces who are being tasked to arrest the very bands that national government policy was complicit in arming to begin with.

    When the dust settles, there will most likely be a new “strongman” who will carry on where the last one left off in collusion with national leaders. The alternative would have been to allow the rule of law to take its course without political or military intervention something that does not seem possible.

  37. karl garcia

    Let us see,play it by ear.

    The fear of some is the acquittal from rebellion because of one great example : Nur Misuari and that only happened very recently.

    Now as crimes against humanity was mentioned.
    Let us review the bill that passed in the bicam last october.

    “According to Tañada, the reconciled version of the measure:

    1. Defines and penalizes crimes against International Humanitarian Law, genocide and crimes against humanity;

    2. Provides for criminal and administrative liability of commanders and other superiors under the principle of command responsibility;

    3. Provides protection to the civilians, non-combatants and witnesses as well as reparations to the victims;

    4. Provides that the crimes defined in the law are not subject to prescription; and

    5. Provides for the universal jurisdiction over persons, whether military or civilian, suspected or accused of the crimes defined and penalized under bill, and designates the RTC as having original and exclusive jurisdiction over the international crimes punishable under the law.”

    I think because of what is going on, this bill would not see the light of day.

    @lovelysoul,

    I agree with your sentiments, but I also want to see if real justice will be served by Martial law.

    So far here are my observations.
    because of martial law stigma.
    many poor people left to the neighboring provinces,also
    small and micro business and even big business closed shop. For those who remained anong gagawin nila maghantay ng relief goods.

    now as to justice for the monstrous acts.
    if they are not charged those arrested will go free and if charged those who can afford will just post bail afterwards.

    The Davao hospital incident might be used as a grounds for the writ of amparo.

    Those are just possibilities, so I rather play it by ear.

    And hope for the best, but sorry I have to expect the worst.

    .

  38. ramrod

    karl,

    I’m willing to bet big money that they will play the rebellion bit for as long as they can and then drop the charges due to insufficient evidence, by that time everybody has forgotten about the massacre already, then they drop the other charges for lack of evidence and absence of credible witnesses. Filipinos have a very poor memory, we’ll get over this soon and move on, Gloria’s tacticians know this all too well.
    Meanwhlie, as Gloria’s supporters still dominate congress, “tuloy and ligaya!”
    What can we do, make a lot of noise? If staying in power is justified by merely being able to hold on to it because of intellectual, leadership, organizational, wealth, and poplitical strength (and everybody is too whimpy to do anything about it), then we’ll be seeing more of Gloria and her minions until she dies of old age. Sort of like warlord herself but on a legal and larger scale…

  39. Carl

    “Do you think she should’ve declared Martial Law in Negros and gotten rid of the hacienderos?”

    *******************************************************

    Marcos was the only leader who could realistically have done away with the oligarchy and all the warlords. But the oligarchy and the warlords simply switched loyalties to Marcos and were allowed to merrily fester on like a huge gangrenous pus in our society.

  40. karl garcia

    Ramrod,

    re:poor memory

    I agree.

  41. GabbyD

    @ramrod

    justice sec says the rebellion and murder charges are different cases

  42. ramrod

    GabbyD,

    They can file several charges altogether, as long as they can drag the hearings, neutralize the witnesses (discredit, silence, buy, etc., whatever you do with witnesses – they’ve had so much practice handling whistle blowers and exposes). These charges will drop like the thongs of Quezon Ave prostitutes given the right price. But if they can pin everything on the Ampatuans (or MILF) leaving their hands clean, the fall guy gets it. Then there’s always the “lost command” angle, like “these murderers acted on their own, I have no control over them, I too condemn this heinous act!” bit…

  43. ramrod

    What I can’t figure out is why they haven’t traced the source of the weapons yet. The AFP has strict SOPs for documenting inventories, etc., somebody was sure to have signed for the release.

  44. Marilou

    I read about the Cory-created-the Ampatuan-monster myth in Newsbreak online. Does this mean that somebody from Newsbreak is working with Malacañang in perpetuating the myth? I hope not because I actually like this online news site for its investigative style of reporting. I was disappointed though that their article actually insinuated that Cory was to blame for the Ampatuans rise to infamy.

  45. Hustisya

    @Marilou, the next thing that they will do is claim that those who were murdered and tossed to the digging and backhoed without mercy were farmers of Hacienda Luisita and blame Noynoy for the Maguindanao Massacre.

  46. Hustisya

    THen they will claim that Martial Law currently imposed in Maguindanao is a postdated decree signed by Cory herself and that GMA has nothing to do with it.

  47. Hustisya

    And when GMA becomes speaker, she will stand in the podium and passionately call for the lifting of Martial Law and for the release of all Polital Detainees ( the Ampatuans included ) eh di bida na siya, tuloy pa ligaya niya with the Ampatuans.

  48. Hustisya

    This is the reason why GMA is insisting on filing rebellion charges against the Ampatuans. Para ang category nila ay “Political Detainees”, therefore, in the future can be pardoned and released in the spirit of National Reconciliation.

    EVIL at its DIRTIEST.

  49. Carl

    Nene Pimental, who was DILG Secretary under Cory Aquino, has stated that he and Peping Cojuangco had a hand in building up the Ampatuans to counter the pro-Marcos Moro elements, such as the Sinsuats. Of course, he never foresaw the monsters they would become.

  50. Hustisya

    That is part of the myth they wish to sow. Fr. Mercado clearly said that upon Gory’s ascension to the presidency, she removed the Ampatuans and replaced them with OIC. That was very, very clear.

    Be as it may, who were the ones who created a monster out of the Ampatuans? Who armed them? Who game them unlimitted political concessions, which even came to the point that the Ampatuans named their turf after their very name? Who benefitted from the terror the monster sow? Who delivered the illegitimate votes? For whom and what for?

    The answer seems to point to point to the current tenant of Malacanang.

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