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Dec 08

Martial Law konfrontasi

Xw

Together with Edgardo Angara and his former martial law nemesis, Juan Ponce Enrile (who, however, dangles a face-saving proposal for Congress to reduce the time frame of the proclamation to less than 60 days), Joker Arroyo among his senate peers, is foursquare behind the President’s imposition of martial law. The leading lights of the ruling coalition in that chamber, Ramon Revilla Jr. and Lito Lapid, have yet to form an opinion. The rest oppose.

Tomorrow at 4PM, the Senate and the House of Representatives assemble in Joint Session to tackle the President’s imposition of martial law on most of Maguindanao. While it would have seemed logical, given the Constitution’s requirement for Congress to convene without need of call, within 24 hours, to deliberate on any proclamation of martial law or suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, Congress hasn’t moved with alacrity now that both have come to pass.

This early on, House officials are saying the public should expect a raucous session (“chaotic” is one word being bandied about).The Supreme Court, in the meantime, has deferred issuing a restraining order but has expressed awareness of the need for prompt action by giving the government only five days to submit its comment on the consolidated cases questioning the imposition of martial law.

I. The documents

To help readers follow tomorrow’s debates, reference to some documents are in order and some issues that might arise.

First, some background readings on martial law. There’s Fr. Joaquin Bernas’ July, 2009 series, What is martial law? (1) and What is martial law? (2) and here is a portion of the Records of the Constitutional Commission of 1986, in which Commissioners discussed what would constitute rebellion: should it require overt acts or could the chief executive act on a perceived danger or risk of a rebellion?

Record of the Constitional Commission, Vol. II, Pp. 411-413

Then there is the President’s Proclamation 1959, which imposed martial law on Maguindanao except for MILF camps in the province. The document itself was marred by a typographical error, see Raissa Robles’ blog for details.

Then there’s the President’s Report to Congress, in compliance with her constitutional obligation to submit a report to Congress within 48 hours of martial law or the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus being proclaimed (she did both).

PGMA Report on Proclamation No. 1959

(Update)

A few hours after this entry was originally posted, the Palace sent a four-page communication to Congress informing each chamber that the President wanted to amend her report. Here’s the communication:

Amendment to the Report on Proclamation No. 1959

Ermita asked that the sentence on Page 11 of the original report (“More importantly, a separatist group based in Maguindanao has joined forces with the Ampatuans for this purpose”) be amended to read as follows: “The Ampatuan group, backed by a formidable group of armed followers, have since used their strength and political position to deprive the Chief Executive of her power to enforce the law and to maintain public order and safety.”

The amendment was supposedly done for clarity.

(end of update)

Congress, acting as one body (tomorrow’s session will be like reliving the Batasan Pambansa of the Marcos years, with many of the same characters) will be tasked with approving, rejecting, or modifying the President’s martial law proclamation and her suspension of the writ. The Supreme Court for its part, tasked with evaluating the factual basis for the proclamation has already manifested, through its spokesman, that it contests one of the President’s assertions (see SC contradicts Palace on judiciary in Maguindanao).

Winnie Monsod herself, tackles other assertions made in the report:


For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

II. The issues

A good summary can also be found in Business Mirror’s Government’s basis for martial law,

The first issue is whether the President was correct in imposing martial law. As a believer in the interplay of two court -that of the Court of Public Opinion and the Court of Law- I believe everyone, from the Executive to the Legislative to the Judicial Departments are taking the Court of Public Opinion into consideration as this is plays out both in Congress and in the Supreme Court. My view is that public opinion is divided, and that even those who approve of martial law in Maguindanao are careful to point out theirs is a conditional support: it shouldn’t be extended, either in terms of the 60-Day timeframe imposed by the Constitution, or in terms of territory; and most definitely, should not be used to help keep the ruling coalition in power or to expedite amending the Constitution.

The debate on the question of whether the President was correct in imposing martial law in turn seems to be focusing on two things. First, whether the President’s actions were in keeping with the situation on the ground: was martial law the only recourse or the correct action to undertake? And second, whether her decision complied with relevant laws: the Constitution as the basic law and the Revised Penal Code which defines rebellion. Lawyers are wrangling on whether rebellion actually took place, or even if it did, when it began.

Here’s Atty. Edwin Lacierda summarizing this issue:

For example, Jesus Dureza’s four-day Maguindanao diary contains two items that could either weaken the administration’s assertion of rebellion or strengthen it, both from the same day, “D-DAY, Nov.26 (Thursday)”:

6:00AM–Early morning, government forces took over and occupied the ARMM facilities and other buildings and premises in Maguindanao province. Armed elements loyal to the Ampatuans were taken by surprise and gave up their firearms without resistance…

11:40AM, Helis took off enroute Gen Santos City… But again something happened. About a few minutes airborne and while still climbing and gaining altitude, I first noticed some flapping sound outside. I thought, maybe some loose parts of the chopper. The noise kept coming, intermittent. I looked down and maybe I saw flashes but I was not sure. Suddenly the Huey banked sharply to the right and simultaneously, several short bursts from our two Huey gunners at the back. The bursts startled all of us. The evasive maneuver by the pilot also jarred us. All of us kept our heads low as the Huey steeply climbed. My staff Jerry and Col Mac who were seated beside the open Huey doors ducked. The soldier at the back shouted, “ground fire, sir”. We still climbed. The flapping sound from outside could not be heard anymore. The gunners later told me ground fire sounded like flapping from the air.

The evasive action and the machinegun bursts were SOP. At 2,000 feet altitude, we cruised. That’s when I saw on the Huey floor an empty shell from the bursts of the M-60 machinegun on board.

I picked up the empty shell, then pocketed it for good luck.

(See also Teodoro forewarned of ‘massing’ by Ampatuan followers: it will be interesting to see whether the public decides to focus on his, so far, unnoticed role in the whole thing, from the time he tried, and failed, to broker peace between the rival clans)

Fr. Joaquin Bernas in his Monday column What powers can the President use? believes in both forums (Congress, whether it decides on the basis of law, or administration opinion, or public opinion; and the Supreme Court deliberating on the basis of facts and law) that,

In the face of all this, the President has chosen the martial law option. I do not see either the Supreme Court or Congress revoking her decision now. Moreover, if she asks for it, Congress can extend martial law beyond 60 days.

He suggests that the Revised Penal Code isn’t necessarily the sole basis for determining if rebellion took place in Maguindanao:

The Penal Code says: “The crime of rebellion … is committed by rising publicly and taking arms against the Government for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to said Government or its laws, the territory of the Philippine Islands or any part thereof, of any body of land, naval or other armed forces, depriving the Chief Executive or the Legislature, wholly or partially, of any of their powers or prerogatives.”

If the Penal Code is to be followed, the government would have to show that what is happening now satisfies the definition of rebellion as a criminal act. A crucial fact to verify would be whether there has been and there is an ongoing “rising publicly and taking arms against the Government” to achieve at least one of the enumerated goals.

But is rebellion as a criminal act defined in the Penal Code the same as rebellion for constitutional law purposes? My view is that it is not. My view is that the requirement of “rebellion” for purposes of constitutional law is satisfied if there exists an armed force whose activities have the effect of preventing the government from implementing its laws in any part of the Philippines.

On the other hand, Atty. Edwin Lacierda, in an open letter to fellow lawyers who graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University, believes that Fr. Bernas has modified his past opinions and that his present views don’t bode well for securing justice for the massacre victims:

This opinion is dangerous! First, any public official with his security escorts who is not happy with a government sanction, barricades himself in his provincial building and prevents government work without claiming to have disowned allegiance to the Republic can now be charged with the crime of rebellion and not merely sedition.

Second, it is elementary that in a criminal case, one has to prove all the elements of a crime. Otherwise, the case will be dismissed. In Bernas’ opinion however, even if the Ampatuans do not remove their allegiance from the government, there is already a case for rebellion. But that will not wash in the courts. If there is no proof that Ampatuans have seceded from the Republic, there will be no case for rebellion and the charges will be dismissed. And last night, I understand that they have professed their loyalty to the Republic and to GMA. So, where is the rebellion insofar as the criminal prosecution is concerned? A Motion to Quash will be sufficient to dismiss the case.

Which brings us to the second issue: whether the President’s proclamation of martial law will help propel what most people really want: justice for the victims in the Ampatuan Massacre.

The recent acquittal of Nur Misuari whose attack on the military and civilians in 2001 led more than 100 people dead, brings up anxiousness in some quarters that rebellion charges might lead to murder charges for the Ampatuan Massacre being subsumed and if the government case for rebellion ends up dismissed, it will result in the murder charges being dismissed as well. The Department of Justice claims this won’t be the case. The Justice Secretary, however, while forcefully insisting she wouldn’t merge the charges during the FOCAP press conference yesterday, afterwards publicly mulled over the implications of the massacre taking place as part of a rebellion: in that case, she opined, the murder charges would be subsumed into rebellion charges.

This will be tricky going for the government. Talking to foreign correspondents, Interior Secretary Puno was emphatic about negotiations still continuing to bring the Ampatuans back within the fold of the law and allegiance to the government; the resolution of a political problem, however, brings up troubling questions of whether this would be at the cost of prosecuting the Ampatuans for murder. Much depends on what the eventual government timeline for events is, hence my pointing out Dureza’s diary and the failed Teodoro negotiations with the clans and tip-offs of what they were up to.

The clan patriarch, Andal Ampatuan, Sr. was whisked away from a private hospital to a military one, and remains in government custody, which has the added benefit of his being unable to reach the media. This is relevant not in terms of prosecuting murder, but in terms of his being incommunicado offering the government the comfort of knowing he can’t spill the beans on certain aspects of the formerly close relationship between the Ampatuans and the President, the military, and the police; neither can the clan comment on what, exactly, is revealed (or suppressed) in terms of the raids on their various properties.

III. What’s at stake

My own views are outlined in my columns, A necessary provocation, Caught in the act and Playing to the gallery, and this previous entry, Outflanking her enemies (June, 2009) . I consider the “analysis of the Ampatuan massacre” by Bertini “Toto” Causing as extreme and improbable in terms of it’s neatly tying everything together. But still, Philippines faces tough questions over alliance with warlord as an Agence France-Press report points out.

I’d like to share a summary of opinions I got from contacts in the ARMM, and they basically amount to this: the region has been under martial law for forty years, and the clash between the government and the Ampatuans has more to do with power blocs colliding and less with ordinary Moros who are trying to keep from getting trampled in the tussle. That securing justice will be thwarted if government’s solution to slaying the monster it created, is to then anoint a successor to the Ampatuans as paramount warlord clan.

Gail Ilgan, in Disarm the dangerous, pointed out her misgivings about demands for immediate action and by the military, to boot (pardon the pun):

I believe TV, radio, and newspaper personalities who are weighing in on this matter should disclose their personal assumptions on institutions they trust and not trust that warrant their goading the military to do police functions. They should come out and say that they do not believe the PNP to be up to the task and that is why they insist for the soldiers to take a more proactive role beyond the Army’s show of force in Sharif Aguak that is intended “to provide ready support to the police in the eventuality of the outbreak of violence.”

Of course, we all understand that TV, radio and newspaper personalities are cautious about coming out to say that police credibility at this moment is below sea level and that arresting the Ampatuans is a job they expect the military to do. And I do not believe it’s because of their ignorance about the distinction between police and military functions. Or is it?

They’re pussyfooting on their assumptions that Maguindanao’s Finest is incredible because such would logically lead to publicly advocating for the declaration of martial law in Maguindanao. Martial law anywhere in these islands is a specter no self-respecting media practitioner in the human rights age would openly suggest to bring back. But reading between the lines, martial law in Maguindanao is what these TV, radio, and newspaper personalities feed to the public as the appropriate course of action in order to “arrest them all” and make the rest of us feel at peace.

We want peace, no arguments about that. Personally, I agree that the best way to do it is for all of us to recognize the Highlander rule: There can only be One. There should only be one armed force in these islands. Every other armed force has to disarm or be disarmed for peace to a reality.

In Martial law in Maguindanao: The genie is out, ANC’s Glenda Gloria ponders the implications of the military stepping in:

It is easy to romanticize martial law, especially when it covers a limited area, as something the government must do to finish off a clan and bring to justice those responsible for the worst crime ever committed against non-combatants in recent history.

It is also easy to forget what – or who – really gets empowered by martial law. It is certainly not the judiciary, or a Cabinet department, or the barangay executives. As an Army colonel put it in an interview: “It was already ‘martial law’ in Maguindanao before government signed the declaration. We’ve been in control of the province since after the massacre.”

Of course, the generals will say that’s a lie. Over the last few days, joint police-military units have uncovered armories disguised as warehouses, sleek firearms, and thousands of ammunitions – all government-issued – that could rival the military’s. Authorities have been churning out classified information about the documented strength of the Ampatuans’ private armies – personnel, firepower, their hideouts.

Are they telling us they didn’t know?

In recent years, the bulk of police and military resources – logistics, intelligence, combat – have been geared toward key conflict areas in Muslim provinces, Maguindanao among them. Because intelligence is intense toward the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (whose base includes Maguindanao), it therefore becomes unthinkable for private warehouses and huge armories (even if underground) to be left undetected by security forces, unless they’re playing blind.

And any Army or police officer worth his salt will not deny that since 2001, no battalion, brigade or division commander or police director in the area got assigned without the blessings from the patriarch, suspended Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr.

One proof of this is the case of an Army colonel, who had managed to prolong his stay in the area despite charges he had been pocketing Cafgu funds, among other questionable acts. It took an AFP-wide “cleansing” of the Cafgu battalions 2 years ago for him to be finally relieved from his juicy position of arming, training, and “disciplining” the Ampatuans’ Cafgus. Yet, the AFP dropped any charges against him even after a thorough probe.

Imagine him watching TV news nowadays from the comforts of his military desk. Imagine all cops and soldiers previously assigned to the province listening now to their superiors who, after each operation, express shock at the “mind-boggling” firepower of the Ampatuans.

Watching all these raids is akin to seeing a scorned but pampered wife finally – after many years of playing deaf and blind – confronting the other woman in her palatial home and confiscating all her jewelry.

It’s a sickening feeling, made worse by the fact that now deployed in Maguindanao are young officers – idealistic, passionate, patriotic to the core – who in due time will find out all about this. And who, because of martial law, will be made to believe that civilian governance has been an utter failure. And who, because of martial law, will be made to believe that indeed the military can rule – efficiently and effectively.

This isn’t some misplaced, unfounded fear. Just look at how the Gringo Honasans, the Danny Lims, the Sonny Trillaneses, and the Ariel Querubins began their journey as young men.

Two other pieces also make for informative reading. Here’s another one by Gail Ilagan, Tectonic movement, in which she zeroed in not just on the Ampatuans, but the dynamics between organized power blocs in the area (it is significant, based on this article, that the President’s martial law report points to MNLF or ex-MNLF alliances established by the Ampatuans, while government itself in its martial law proclamation tread carefully around the MILF and its camps):

Me – well, I refer to the Ampatuans as the ambulance. You happen to be on the road when their long line of black, expensive cars is out, you had better take the wayside and let them pass. Not only are their drivers trained to get ahead of every other car, one lives in fear of getting too near something that invites mortar fire.

As their cars are viewed, so too are their mansions. I suspect that if houses in Juna and Nova Tierra were movable, the residences next door to the Ampatuan fortresses would have relocated. Failing that, the neighbors must have raised their life insurance premiums to protect the next generation.

But that is all about the Ampatuans in Davao. The Ampatuans in Maguindanao are a different story.

In Maguindanao, the order of things is for them to be at the upper end of wealth distribution and that is where they have been for some time now. Such was the order of things when Maguindanao became part of the ARMM. Today, the Ampatuans hold political power not only in Maguindanao, but also in the ARMM.

It hasn’t always been that way. At least four former high-ranked commanders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) I talked to last year understand that the 1996 Final Peace Agreement carried a gentleman’s agreement for the ARMM governorship to always be in MNLF hands. This would allow for the political will to push for the realization of the terms of the 1996 FPA. For a while, they said, that gentleman’s agreement was honored.

Then, as former MNLF combatants settled and took leadership in mainstreaming their resident communities in synergy with government efforts for social uplift, development work kept them busy and gratified that they slowly laid down their arms at their own volition. After more than a decade of investing in peaceable efforts, the MNLF brought itself into a position where it would be hardpressed to take up arms again. And today, the governorship of the ARMM is not in the hands of the MNLF. This state of affairs does not make the former MNLF combatants very happy. They feel that without the ARMM leadership in tune to the spirit of the 1996 FPA, the peace agenda would not be served or pursued.

It seems that the national government does not share the MNLF’s concern with the 1996 FPA and its erstwhile intentions. It is however concerned with its peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Today’s ARMM governorship is a reminder to the MILF that the national leadership has a power base in the contested territory.

With the MNLF alienated from the corridors of government power and the MILF reminded that theirs is not the only Muslim might in the ARMM, some semblance of order indeed is in place, one that serves the interest of the current administration. There is little by way of commitment to the peace process that the PGMA administration has demonstrated so far, save for lip service. It does seem interested in a semblance of order, for things to stay the way they are. For, with the wealth distribution glaringly disparate, with violence always a threat in the horizon, with the unending post-conflict rehabilitation needs just crying out to be met, Maguindanao and the ARMM keep development funds coming in.

And here’s Francisco Lara’s article on how the whole thing came to pass:

Collusion and Collision in Muslim Mindanao

Additional in-depth readings are Muslim rulers and rebels by Thomas McKenna and John Sidel’s Capital, coercion, and crime: bossism in the Philippines.

21 comments

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  1. Jes

    So are you are you against martial law in Maguindanao?

  2. Jes

    So are you for or against martial law in Maguindanao?

  3. The EQualizer

    The Two Undecided SenActors Have Now Taken Strong Positions On Martial Law:

    “Lalalala lalalal lalala lal lal lalalalala la lalala lala la lalalalala lala lalalalala la. Lalal la lal lalal lalala lalala lala lalaalalalala lala lala laalalaaa laalaaa laaala lalala lalalaalala lalala lala laala lala lalala lala lalala lalalaa lala lalaalalaaala. Lalala. Lalala lala lalalaalaalaa lalala laaa, lala laaalaa lalala lalalaaa? La. Lalalalalala. Lalalalala.LA!”

  4. Hustisya

    The palace averred with emphasis that the Ampatuans are still their friends.

    Now, if we give extraordinary powers to the friend of the Ampatuans, would that help the victims or the Ampatuans?

    In the summary execution of 58 individuals mostly journalists, it appears that GMA should be included as among those who are liable for this carnage.

    GMA was the demonmaker.She was the one who armed these beasts. She was the one who provided them with political concessions and unlimited power and they were even able to mark their towns after their own names. She was the one who was benefited by the illegitimate votes these demons deliver to her.

    So why rest martial law powers to the very person who started this culture of terror all along? How can you expect the demonmaker herself would bring to justice the monsters she created? If you give martial law powers to the demonmaker herself, I think we are in a more serious trouble.

  5. DailyManila

    I think a lot of people have overreacted regarding this issue. While both houses have not yet discussed the merits of the report and the validity of the proclamation, we should just… go back to Facebook and play Farmville.

  6. DailyManila

    Jeez, what do you expect to hear from Lito Lapid? Bong Revilla is busy promoting his Panday sequel.

  7. Brian_B

    It seems to be an undeniable palusot, perhaps to make holes for the ampatuans (exile na lang siguro in the end) and for GMA to extend her term. Worse, it take the attention away from the massacre, which should be everything.

  8. d0d0ng

    “So why rest martial law powers to the very person who started this culture of terror all along? How can you expect the demonmaker herself would bring to justice the monsters she created? If you give martial law powers to the demonmaker herself, I think we are in a more serious trouble.”

    ===============================================================

    That is not how SC thinks that we are in “more serious trouble”
    1. No TRO issued against the Martial Law proclamation.
    2. Martial Law is temporary (will end in 60 days), not permanent.
    3. Joint session of Congress can revoke the proclamation.

    GMA already cast her lot against the Andal Ampatuan Sr by:
    1. Putting him behind bar
    2. Dismantling his private army and retrieving his arms cache.
    3. Declaring martial law.

    There is no turning back, the remnants of Ampatuans are turning into their MILF relatives. Martial Law does not cover territories under MILF command. Maguindanao is the stronghold of both 105th and 106th MILF bases.

  9. d0d0ng

    I am against Martial Law. But in Maguindanao’s case, where massacre was committed, the evidences were suppressed, huge arm inventories were buried for later retrieval, relatives were moved to MILF controlled areas, the only functioning government to secure both witnesses and evidences to put the Ampatuans to trial is through the protection of military and martial law.

    Two months is more than enough to get the case going for public safety.

  10. J_AG

    MLQ3, so where the people massacred simply collateral damage in this so called constructive rebellion?

    Nur Misauri got off recently and many people were killed in his act of rebellion. Also collateral damage?

    The chain of command of the men who initiated this rebellion used to end at the Office of the President.

  11. The Cusp

    This is a peace and order situation not a national security one. The declaration of martial law is a way to mask the inherent weakness of the state apparatus in prosecuting its case against the perpetrators of the massacre.

    In pandering to “public clamour” for the arrest of all concerned, the administration is once again resorting to short-cuts and skirting the proper legal remedies that will undermine justice and the rule of law in the long-run.

    Why is it doing this? Is it because of (a) its distrust for the police and judicial establishments? or (b) it needs to buy some time in order to forge a new “elite bargain” (F. Lara’s words) with a new clan? or (c) it needs to shore up support for its candidates?

  12. The Cusp

    We now see the result of a long-held policy of using local warlords and militias to maintain the peace in a conflict ridden region.

    Instead of propping up political clans as a counterforce to the rebels which has led to gun-running and all sorts of illegal activites, we should have used ground forces to “clear, hold and stand”, beefed up local law enforcement units and improved the delivery of services. The same infrastructure would have allowed for clean, honest and peaceful elections.

    Had we done this years ago and not tried to fight a war on the cheap, there would be no need for the current “clean up operation”. The country needs to take a calculated risk in addressing the long-running conflict by financing an honest to goodness “surge” in security and development effort because in the long-run it will be more costly for the current state to persist.

    So much development assistance has poured into the region, which might have ended up in the private accounts and palatial homes of these warlords. What we have lacked so far is a clear, comprehensive strategy and the political will to do the right thing by the people in that war-torn region.

  13. ramrod

    So much development assistance has poured into the region, which might have ended up in the private accounts and palatial homes of these warlords.
    —————————

    …not just the warlords…this has been going on for a long time, some people look forward to the benefits (monetary) that comes with position and the millions in retirement “pabaon.” Mess with this and you mess with the system, you become the odd-man-out and will be dealt with accordingly…put in the freezer…mess with this and you will be treated as one who threatens the institution…

  14. ramrod

    We now see the result of a long-held policy of using local warlords and militias to maintain the peace in a conflict ridden region.
    ——————————————-

    There are some things that these militia can do that will make our soldiers cringe and vomit, and this “things” are needed to sow terror as a deterrent. Its like we’ve given up appealing to reason in enforcing peace and order (?) that we need people who can do inhuman things to keep everyone in line. Lets face it, who among us can do what these moros can do to each other?
    Who among us can really say we will kill you, your wife, your unborn child, your mother, your grandmother, your yaya, and your mother-in-law (of course the last one would be a favor) and actually do it?

  15. ramrod

    These “third force” of “blocking force” or “militia” or “Cafgu” whatchamacalits will literally cut you to pieces, some even will eat your guts, heart, brains, liver, intestines, cut off your manhood and put it in your mouth and then display your severed head for all to see…if this doesn’t make people toe the line, nothing will…strangely enough, this still doesn’t deter some people from kidnapping? hmmmm?

  16. The Cusp

    The revolving doors and “pabaon” system was of course the result of an executive whose legitimacy depended on the support of the armed forces to enforce it–the result of short-cutting the constitutional processes (when will we learn to avoid taking short-cuts!).

    It is easier to replace a corrupt colonel or general than it is to remove a corrupt warlord just as it is easier to discipline an erring soldier than it is to disarm a militia member. Despite the weak capacity of our army and bureaucracy to deploy resources as part of a peace strategy, there is no viable alternative as the present situation has shown.

  17. ramrod

    These “militia” or hated groups now have been our valuable assets in the “war against terror,” even the CIA can only turn green with envy at how efficient and effective they can get intel, they have the most effective interrogation skills in the business.
    These people have been protecting us from the “real” enemy, the international terrorists bent on world domination, the JI, etc,. They have been protecting our way of life, watching the wall, preserving democracy…even preventing the country from sliding into economic and god knows what by another actor-turned-president…
    In medical terms, they are the “beneficial bacteria” the colonic flora that prevents the growth of the bad bacteria that will threaten to infect the whole body. They just stay in one area, easy to isolate, easy to control, and have been having their way until these “media people” spoiled everything…
    …we need these people, we can’t do it ourselves (?)

  18. karl garcia

    I believe TV, radio, and newspaper personalities who are weighing in on this matter should disclose their personal assumptions on institutions they trust and not trust that warrant their goading the military to do police functions.

    Then these lines to conclude the article

    We want peace, no arguments about that. Personally, I agree that the best way to do it is for all of us to recognize the Highlander rule: There can only be One. There should only be one armed force in these islands. Every other armed force has to disarm or be disarmed for peace to a reality.

    First the author is lamenting the military doing police functions then concluding that there should only be one armed forces.

    I don’t know is this a suggestion for dissolving the AFP and replace it with Philippine National police Army, Philipppine national Police Navy,Philippine National police airforce,etc.

    The that would be police doing military functions.

    I am for doubling or tripling the police force and proper distribution,but I am against any suggestion to eliminate the armed forces just because they are part of the problem.

    I know this is all about dismantling private armies,sure why not.

    Let us not forget the time bomb of our funding our military retirees through budgetary appropropriations as
    I have mentioned time and again. The meager budget of 1.2 Billion dollars that gibo is complaining about does not even include the the entire amount that covers pensions.

    for 2009 dnd budget was 56 billion php

    a whopping 41 billion goes to personnel services
    I dare say almost the same amount go to pensions.

    Increase the budget of the AFP and many will cry foul.
    So I doubt that even if you add personnel to compensate for the private armies,that there budget would be increased as much.

    on another note, our dear representatives are now asking each other to review the armm budget because of the many mansions, i doubt if that will amount to anything.

    Kasi pag budget hearing ganito ang scenario
    budget for so and so amounting to blah blah blah
    any questions?

    if none then let’s proceed.

    tapos alam na natin closed door ang bicam ng budget so anong review review ang sinasabi nila?

    Anong ginagawa ng COA display lang?
    Yun ang reviewhin nila budget ng cOA at ombudsman.
    makikita nila kakarampot lang.

  19. ramrod

    This looks like good material for a novel someday, some writer will eventually overcome the fear of going to these places, interviewing prople, soldiers, politicians, MILF, militia members, and put all these rural legends together, mix it up with international exposure, its going to be a good read…

  20. The Cusp

    “Elite bargain”: Francisco Lara’s description of the national govt’s collusion with local warlords.

    “Faustian bargain”: the Agence-France Press description of the military-CARGU alliance.

    Maguindanao massacre: a case of overlord over-reach in the scope of the elite bargain.

    Martial law: a case of over-reaction on the part of Malacanang in addressing the resulting power imbalance.

    The Puno principles (as a basis for Martial Law):
    Warlordism + Paramilitarism – Nationalism = Rebellion

    The Glenda Gloria recipe (for a coup d’etat):
    1. Create a martial law solution. 2. Apply it to a combustible situation of conflict and corruption. 3. Mix it with idealistic young lieutenants. 4. Allow it to boil over for a few years.

  21. AbysmalSpecter

    As always, things are easier said than done. I wonder if those who are against the declaration of Martial Law could advance viable alternative?

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