Achieving consensus

The weekend’s big news, of course, was the large pro-President rally (read Amando Doronila’s analysis) and the resignation of Silvestre Afable, Jr. from the Cabinet, in order to focus on Teresita Deles’s job (update: Vicky Garchitorena and Corazon Guidote have just quit). Perhaps the real news was a clarification from the bishops that their pastoral letter wasn’t pro-President. Oh, and the text message claiming Garcillano left Subic on Thursday on a Lear jet bound for Singapore.

Today’s pundits (print and blogosphere) present:

JB Baylon calls for reexamining all our institutions; Ellen Tordesillas reports worries of state-sanction secession; Jove has some scoops: first, the President headed off an attempt to remove her from office by her cabinet declaring her as incapacitated; second, that this effort fell apart because while many sympathize with those that resigned, they also feel sorry for the President; third, he surveys the people now surrounding the President. Afable, according to him, is simply miffed over new appointments; best to watch, Jove says, are Defense Secretary Nonong Cruz and Labor Secretary Pat Sto. Tomas (at the time of the resignations, not a few journalists who have come to respect Cruz, wondered why he didn’t quit, too; I had a chance to work with him briefly and do admire him). Let me tell you, this blog entry of his is really juicy.

The Inquirer editorial and Torn and Frayed (who wins the prize for most colorful descriptions of the President: first it was the President-as-barnacle, now it’s the President-as-Thunderbirds puppet) seem to be on the same wavelength: the President is campaigning for office, again (at the last public event I saw her at, someone there was disappointed because the President was quite remote and unapproachable; someone else sniffed, “well, she’s no longer in campaign mode, you see.”). Newsstand makes a pointed reference to that stupid “the Philippines is lousy” e-mail rant.

The late Stephen Jay Gould, the author of such best-sellers as The Panda’s Thumb, once wrote an essay in which he argued there was no contradiction between science and religion. An opponent, in attacking his essay, did summarize its essential argument well:

Stephen Jay Gould makes the extraordinary claim in March’s Natural History Magazine that there is no conflict between science and religion. According to Gould, science and religion occupy distinct domains or magisteria. Science covers the empirical universe; religion deals with questions of moral and spiritual meaning and the search for ethical values.

Unfortunately, all I can find online are attacks on Gould’s arguments, although this is a very good, ultimately critical, but balanced, discussion. but I myself think the idea has great practical merit. In observing, and commenting on religion, one must approach religion according to its own rules, and accept its own, inner, logic. That is why, in tackling anything Catholic bishops say, for example, I strongly feel one has to begin by looking up relevant terms and ideas in the Catholic Encyclopedia. To do otherwise would lead to a flawed understanding (for example, in discussing the law, one must understand what lawyers mean, and assume others to understand, when they use legal terms).

Newsstand, for example, does precisely this both in a published revision of a blog entry, and the explanatory blog entry. His view is that it is wrong to view the recent bishop’s statement as merely the result of politicking by the Papal Nuncio. He arrives at this conclusion by looking at the workings of the hierarchy, and by the methods the hierarchy has resorted to in dealing with politics, according to a moral framework, over time.

In my column today, which is a revision of a blog entry, I try to look at the question of secession from the point of view of those using it as a means to exact leverage in the ongoing national crisis. As we spend the coming weeks, even months looking at events, we have to try to understand the players according to their own world-views.

Lawyers, for example, are bound by the law, though there are some that will tend to have a more restrictive interpretation than others. A good demonstration is the consistent manner in which Sassy Lawyer has espoused a contrarian position to some other lawyers; no better demonstration exists than the difference between her views (which I respect, though I disagree with them), and that of a former Justice of the Supreme Court, who has come out in favor of resignation in his Sunday column. Other lawyers, like Edwin Lacerda, advocate other views in the present crisis, such as his assertion that a Truth Commission is a Trojan horse. Punzi also has a skeptical take on a Truth Commission. Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ, on the other hand, is both a lawyer and a priest, and makes use of both vocations in his column today (he concludes: no revolution, at least, not now).

A sociologist like Randy David will use the theories and methods of his discipline to make sense of events. Journalists, of course, will have a different take on events, including going against the lawyers, if necessary, to achieve what they view as an end in keeping with the ultimate aim of their profession. The readers of journalists, in turn, can take either whimsical or grim views of what the journalists are up to. A fact: journalists naturally gravitate toward widening the boundaries of discourse, creating new definitions for applying media ethics (Jove and Tina are good examples of this phenomenon, because unlike myself, Jon Neri or Howie Severino, they didn’t begin in the print media). Billy Esposo tends to view things from a marketing angle. Belinda Aquino uses an academic’s perspective (with a fresh take on an old theme: instead of a revolution eating its children, we now have a people eating their leaders). Newsbreak has an article on the proponents of Federalism. And do check out the Institute for Popular Democracy, it has essays that are thought-provoking.

Individuals who seek to understand what others say, and who seek out a common ground, limited as it might be, are engaging in the ultimate aim of politics, which is consensus. Sylvia Mayuga says the process of communication, which is the bedrock of both politics and consensus-seeking (and achievement) is healthily underway.

Incidentally, Edwin Lacierda has an interesting entry on the Chief Justice’s role in a future impeachment case (and beyond: he brings up the tantalizing possibility of the President’s Cebu bailiwick being co-opted by a Davide-led revolt). The more I look at the impeachment option, the more I understand why it’s such a booby-trap for everyone concerned. La Vida Lawyer, though, thinks the case against the President has gotten stronger.

Here’s my preliminary score card:

Vote to Convict
Franklin M. Drilon
Francis N. Pangilinan
Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr.
Rodolfo G. Biazon
Luisa P. Ejercito Estrada
Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada
Panfilo M. Lacson
Alfredo S. Lim
Jamby A.S. Madrigal
Sergio R. Osmeña III
Ralph G. Recto

Vote to Acquit
Edgardo J. Angara
Pia S. Cayetano
Juan Ponce Enrile
Richard Gordon
Manuel M. Lapid
Ramon Revilla, Jr.
Miriam Defensor Santiago
Manuel B. Villar, Jr.

Not Sure
Juan M. Flavier
Joker P. Arroyo
Ramon B. Magsaysay, Jr.
Manuel A. Roxas II

Impeach: 11
Don’t impeach: 8
Not Sure: 4

Needed to convict: 16
Votes to go: 5
Votes needed to prevent: 9 (Angara, Cayetano, Enrile, Lapid, Revilla, Santiago solid: 6; Gordon, Villar, soft: 2); 4 unknowns most likely will tend toward “no”; so let’s presume against impeachment at the start are 12!

Blocs to watch:
a) Drilon: will influence Pangilininan, Biazon
b) Arroyo: will influence Recto, Villar
c) Magsaysay and Flavier: studiously ignored by the President (until the recent crisis), will vote similarly
d) Gordon and Santiago are essentially wildcards

Postscript: I’m appending an e-mail from reader Erineo Cabahug, who argues for Mindanao independence. I don’t agree fully with him, but he has put a lot of thought into his points.

Dear Mr. Quezon,

History and economics weigh heavily in favor of Mindanao independence, making its occurence inevitable. Even though Gloria Arroyo’s spin doctors are making a travesty of this noble aspiration by implying that such an event will only materialize if she is ousted, Mindanao independence makes too much sense to be trivialized by political gimmickry. Some Mindanao leaders may allow themselves to be used by a beleaguered President for selfish and myopic ends, but most Mindanaons know that this issue is far bigger and more important than President Arroyo. It defines themselves and their future. Please allow me to explain as briefly and as candidly as possible:

A) History –

1. The concept of the Philippines as a state is a colonial creation. The Philippines, under its present borders, never existed in pre-colonial times. Visayans had their own language and culture, apart from Luzon. Mindanao was more closely linked, culturally and linguistically, to Borneo and her southern neighbors. The borders of the Philippine archipelago were created by the Spanish colonizers. Taiwan and Palau may have even been included, had they not been ceded or sold to other colonial powers. The Philippines is an artificial state, composed of several ethnic groups or nations that were lumped together by colonial powers. Because there is no inherent bonding between the major ethnic groups, there will be an increasing tendency towards partition.

2. The name, “Philippines”, is an insult. It brands the country as the legacy of a colonial monarch. It suggests vassalage and obeisance. No wonder that Muslims, who were never subjugated by the colonizers, find the appellations “Filipino” or “Pilipino” degrading.

3. The excessive centralization of power and wealth in Manila is a colonial legacy. Spanish colonizers, lacking funds and manpower, found it more convenient to rule the archipelago from a central seat of power. The islands were left to fend for themselves with token support, battling marauders and disease, while still remitting produce and tribute to the central government. This concept was continued by the Americans and, upon independence, appropriated by Manila’s elite. External colonization was replaced by internal colonization. Mindanao suffered the most from this historical injustice. Landless peasants from Luzon and Visayas were dispatched to Mindanao to take land from the natives. Political cronies were granted vast logging concessions, indiscriminately cutting down huge forest reserves. Multinationals set up large plantations in the island, paying their taxes and duties to the central government. Mindanao was seen as a convenient source of food, raw materials and export dollars. And a captive market for Manila’s factories and business enterprises. Colonialism was supposed to be an anachronism. But it exists in modern-day Philippines via an overcentralized structure of government which concentrates power, wealth and privelege on only one region. This unjust and discredited system is what makes secession so appealing.

B) Economics –

1. Years of corruption and mismanagement have brought the Philippines into severe economic distress. It is saddled with a tremendous debt burden that barely enables government to keep operating. It can only survive if it keeps on borrowing, sinking it further into debt. It is a vicious cycle at best, spinning uncontrollably towards disaster. When the central government is unable to satisfy the most basic demands of the regions, dissatisfaction turns into mutiny. This is beginning to happen. It can only deteriorate further. Economic fall-out leads to disintegration. Not even the once-mighty Soviet Union could prevent itself from breaking up after its resources were strained by the cold war.

2. Regions like Mindanao are self-sufficient, with economically sound fundamentals. Food is not a problem and agricultural exports can provide much-needed dollars. Resources for energy and power are available. Mindanao will not only survive by seceding from the central government, it will flourish.

3. Mindanao needs to conserve and maximize her resources. After her forests were denuded, with nothing to show for it, measures like the Mining Act threaten to deplete mineral resources, with little compensation. While investments in mining are encouraged, there must be sufficient revenue to compensate Mindanao for the loss of resources.

4. Secession is a way out of bondage to the national debt. Mindanao will not have to totally renounce debt, but it can demand for a fair accounting of its share. Mindanao’s debt load will surely be disproportionately smaller than the rest of the country’s. After all, Mindanao had nothing to do with white elephants like the mothballed nuclear plant and the behest loans of Presidential cronies. Liberation from debt is, by itself, enough impetus for Mindanaons to demand independence. They will free their children and grandchildren from being indentured to poverty. There will be hope instead of despair.

In trying to be brief, I cite only some of the reasons why Mindanao will someday achieve independence. These reasons are based on sober observations of the past and the present. The objective and logical conclusion is that Mindanao will be much better off if it breaks away from the Philippine Republic. The Left, most notably the National Democratic Front, will denounce my assessment. But they have another agenda, which has nothing to do with hope and upliftment, and everything to do with imposing a foreign ideology which will not flourish in an independent, prosperous Mindanao. The Right, especially the neo-colonialists from Manila, will deplore the loss of a convenient milking cow that a subservient Mindanao represents. However, to the average Mindanaon, the question now is no longer, “Can we afford to be independent?” but, “Can we afford not to be independent?”.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely yours,

Erineo Cabahug
Nell Ave., Bronx
N.Y. 10462

Manuel L. Quezon III.

36 thoughts on “Achieving consensus

  1. erwin, that’s what I’m thinking, too, but I can’t see any sign as of yet, that she’s pro-conviction.

  2. so far pia cayetano is on the fence. a disppointment actually. so smart yet … on the fence.

    mar roxas will do that which would benefit his pending run for the presidency. i’m not sure he has the country on his mind. his silence amidst troubled times is disturbing.

    why do you think angara would vote to acquit and recto would vote to convict?

  3. masha: angara is more likely sympathetic to the president, although his son is against the president; i think angara is more likely to support the ramos plan because it’s the sort of thing that would appeal to him; although if really awful things get revealed he may decide to vote against the president. recto has his ears to the ground, not least because vilma santos can tell him where public opinion is going, and also because of his closeness to joker arroyo.

  4. thanks! kala ko kasi his fpj and erap connection would automatically side with the convict people. si recto naman, has been on gma’s side when the tapes came out. so kala ko kay gma siya. politics talaga.

  5. Masha: mga hunch lang iyan ha, just my gut feel, wala pa naman akong nanakausap sa kanila. Si Joker lang, and at the time sabi niya ayaw niya mag comment kasi he might be a senator-judge.

  6. My goodness, counting up the Senate votes again. That takes me back.

    Interesting what you say about Angara–like Masha, I would have thought he would be a cert to vote for convict.

    I am a bit confused by Joker, who seems very cross at the protestors for not being as brave as himself and Senator Tanada during martial law.

    Mar is an interesting case and I think Masha is on the money there. His survival instincts stood him in good stead a few years ago when he was, I think, the first cabinet minister to resign from Erap’s cabinet, so how he jumps will be a barometer. A few years of steady economic growth under a pro-capitalist president would be the perfect springboard for his own campaign in 2010, so my hunch would be that, so long as he thinks Gloria has the numbers, he’ll stay.

  7. torn: I was puzzled by Joker as well, until I reported my conversation with him to some people who have known him for a long time. But of course, they said, he’s a lawyer, and he wouldn’t want to put his eventual vote in question. His view that the opposition is leading from the rear, too, is significant, and helps explain why the opposition is viewed with such skepticism.

  8. Speaking of the opposition..this bunch is very difefrent from the past. Mga pikon lang karamihan ang oposisyon ngayon…sa tingin ko lang naman. Kung tutuusin, malaki kasalanan nila sa taumbayan during the last election. kung nagkasundo sila noon (at hindi nag ego tripping) na mag field ng iisang kandidato, hindi ganun kadali ang pagkapanalo (?) ni GMA. They are hardly what you could call the “true” opposition with everything they’ve been doing since.

    Joker is right, they are leading (?) from the rear…sneaky almost…

  9. i hope it reaches the impeachment trial and let’s watch it unfold. it might even be more historically significant than edsa 1. I’m no pundit, but i believe the trials can make or break this country.

  10. mita, this was a point i made as far back as the victory of estrada. with 60% of filipinos against him, one major reason he won was the disunity of his foes. it was also a reason why gma’s victory in 2004 was plausible. it is one reason she’s still in power.

  11. Let’s go impeach!
    It would be interesting what happens now and who’s gonna make ‘pakulo’ once this hullaballoo reaches the Senate. I am excited to see how da tatlong itlog would fare and behave …

  12. good evening.
    just noted the correct use of sen. pangilinan’s name francis, not francisco as written in your cv.

  13. Enrile will acquit? I thought the impeachment complaint will also accommodate North Rail Project; JPE has some I-told-you-so reservations there.

  14. Jerwin, but his reservations, from what I understand, aren’t going to be the ones included in the amended complaint; besides which, he is in the same boat as the President, having said hello, garci, too.

  15. MLQ3 can you please forward this comment to that letter sender of yours?

    I vehemently dont agre with the guy from mindanao. Who is he to conclude that all people from mindanao wants it if he is in New York eating popcorn while watching tfc and that makes him an expert on mindanao secession? one word LOL!

    Yeah right about this “No wonder that Muslims, who were never subjugated by the colonizers, find the appellations “Filipino” or “Pilipino” degrading.” I know lots of muslims that refer to themselves filipinos in front of some foreigners. But I also know lots of muslims who loves to hate their fellow man because they think we eat pork and we are unworthy to share a label with them. By the way why didint all the muslim joined the abu sayyaf? or MILF? or MNLF? or you for example didint join any of those groups? If you people really want to secceed because of your reasonings THEN JOIN THEM. You know why you didint join? because you are all talk.

    Mindanao as a milking cow? How about mindanao as a tourist scarecrow? How about the reason why it is hard to get a visa because of the trouble in mindanao?

    Mindanao cannot survive alone much more o its stability and security so dont kid yourself. Like China is very near to us and a war between US is possible. Can mindanao defend itself without its brothers? if the answer is yes then go ahead.

    I dont hate mindanao but I hate the people who kept on talking about seccesion and lots of bullshit facts about this and that and how can they make it and stuff. They are the ones making it difficult for their fellow mindanaons. I also hate these so called experts on the mindanaons feelins if they themselves are far away from mindanao. btw may you before you say these things are you sure yung blod mo walang halo at purong puro kang taga mindanao?

  16. Hi Manolo,
    Would you discount the possibility that those favoring conviction on your list would change position? Say Drilon, for old times sakes, or Osmena?


  17. Alex, yes of course. the list is my view on how people will vote at present. it could change from day to day once the trial begins.

  18. Ed’s reply is exactly what gives Manila people a bad name. I do think the person writing mlq3 put in a lot of thought to his letter, as mlq3 points out. Being an expat may make a person more discerning. When you’re away from the fray, there’s a chance to be more objective. To say that Mindanao only makes it hard for people to get a U.S. visa is self-centered and naive. Mindanao is much more than the Abu Sayyaf. It is also about being the food basket of the Philippines. It is also about being the biggest producer and exporter of coconut and palm oil. And the producer of all the exportable bananas and pineapple in the country. And believe me, those are huge. Those bring in large amounts of badly needed $$$! Without Mindanao’s exports and the OCW’s, maybe the peso would be @ P100 to $1. Unless you had lots of $$$ stashed abroad, maybe you wouldn’t need to bother about a U.S. visa anymore. Mindanao is also about respecting different cultures and languages.

    In the diplomatic front, Mindanao has good relations with Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and even Australia. Geography makes them logical partners. It does not need the Philippine Armed Forces for protection. It doesn’t even have to take sides in a war between China and the U.S.

    From his family name, I assume the person who wrote mlq3 is of Cebuano descent. Cebuanos have stronger kinship with Mindanao. But whether they are of Ilonggo, Ilocano or Waray descent, the people that I know who grew up in Mindanao feel that Mindanao is their homeland. And they know how to deal with the Muslims.

    I live in Cebu, but I have close relatives in Mindanao. I am aware of the situation there. Maybe people like Ed need to go to Mindanao to see it for themselves.

  19. Hi Mr. Quezon,

    I read your column in inquirer on secession. So far, you’re the only Manila columnist I’ve read who seems to understand the sentiments of people outside Manila. However, I think that there is really a genuine feeling among people in the Visayas and Mindanao that they’d be better of by themselves. Manila, they seem to think, is just getting in the way.

    I don’t think the Visayan common man is not opposing their politicians because they support a tactical move to promote decentralization. I think the common man is not opposing the secessionist politicians because he does not feel offended by it, as any nationalist would.

    If nationalism is based on a common history or a common language, then the absence of a sense of belonging to the Filipino nation in people in the Visayas and Mindanao is not surprising. You mentioned in your column that Cebuanos fought valiantly for the Republic. But how many Cebuanos know this? I, for one, would have not have known this if someone did not give me Resil Mojares’s book last Christmas.

    The other reason, I think, is the national language. It’s ironic–the language envisioned in 1937 seems to be a hindrance rather than a promoter of unity. National language implies that it is the language representing a nation. Naturally, the better you are at the national language, the closer your identity is to the identity that nation. In the Philippines, the national language is called Filipino. The relationship between language and being part of the nation is thus made even closer: it’s almost saying you have to speak Filipino to be Filipino.

    Everyone in the country, except Tagalogs, will sooner or later realize that the national language is not his native tongue. That puts him in a weird situation. He knows that it’s good to love ones language (especially after being threatened of smelling like fish if he does not). He also knows that his ancestors have been speaking a language for hundreds or even thousands of years which is not the Filipino language.

    Linguistic nationalism rests on the premise that ones native tongue gives one his identity. A Frenchman’s native tongue is French; a German’s, German; an Englishman’s, English; and Filipino’s would presumable be Filipino. One would then be led to think… If my lolo and my lolo’s lolo did not speak Filipino, would they have been Filipinos? If my native tongue is not Filipino, am I Filipino? I am forced by the educational system to learn Filipino. Does that mean I’m forced to be Filipino? Am I Filipino? Maybe not…

  20. I dont need to go to mindanao for I can send sms to friends that live there. Based on your reaction it seems you favor seccesion. as I point out why didint MILF,MNLF, Bangsamoro something something succeed? They want what you want. I asked lots of friends if they really favor seccession as you described it but they said no. I asked a tausug if he really wants to have a mindanao republic but told me it will never happen. For he as a muslim thinks its better that the power rested in manila than the landlord christians living in their midst.

    As I said earlier PEOPLE WHO LIVE FAR AWAY FROM THE SAID PLACE, cannot claim any expertise in it. Guess what Im an ilocano living here in manila for 2 years na. I have lots of friends from mindanao that can attest to the fact that they dont want to stay away from manila. You know why? Because people like their leaders doesnt give a lot of shit about them. They told me ” the talks of seccession will only prosper if they will really include us muslims “.

    as for you can see I dont need to go to mindanao, to know what the fck is happening in that place. If you want the real news go to quiapo to the barters area and ask a bloke what is happening in mindanao. you will be surprised to find out that your relative’s news is a perpective of a colonist and not as a native.

  21. You cannot get a good perspective via SMS. You are listening to a very small segment. And Quiapo isn’t Mindanao, by a long shot.And of course, you never have 100% consensus on any issue. I myself favor a federal system. However, I have noticed that the notion of independence, which was taboo some years ago, is catching fast. Probably because of the mess the the government in Manila is making. Even friends of mine from Manila are disgusted with what is happening. We are the only country that has not yet recovered from the “Asian Crisis” of 1997. Thailand, where it all began, is way ahead of us. Vietnam will soon outpace us.

    As for Cebuanos, talking to people and reading and listening to commentaries makes me conclude that they prefer a system wherein they are not dependent on events in Manila. Federalism would probably be preferred, but there is also a segment now talking of independence. If politicians in Manila want a train wreck, fine. But they should not drag down the rest of the country.

    Regarding your views about people living far away, remember that the Philippine Revolution was hatched by intellectuals like MH del Pilar, Jaena, Luna and Rizal who were then living in Europe.

  22. “Regarding your views about people living far away, remember that the Philippine Revolution was hatched by intellectuals like MH del Pilar, Jaena, Luna and Rizal who were then living in Europe.”

    Yeah and they went and died here. They talked the talk and walked the walk.

  23. Ed, an unsolicited comradely advise. First, it might be wise if you dispense with the use of the foul language in responding to those who wrote back.

    If you notice, you are the only one in this particular discussion who resorts to such rhetoric — it is not only a mark of immaturity, it also insults your fellow debaters who are trying to engage your arguments in a respectful, mature fashion. You already got them interested in your arguments that they have no right to talk about secession if they do not join the MILF or MNLF. Take theirs seriously naman; they’d expect the same deference while you argue your position passionately. Besides, I think serious discussions of events
    is what MLQ wants to happen in his blog.

    Second, you might also want to step back and ask yourself why are some Mindanawans (in and out of Mindanao) arguing passionately in favor of secession. The letter-writer MLQ quoted extensively may have a lot of his data wrong (which I agree), but he also does have something interesting to contribute to the discussion here. He has obviously done some reading about Mindanao history. I myself am curious why certain myths about Mindanao — like the idea that the island has been fighting against imperialists, Manilenos, etc. for over a hundred years now — still persists as a myth. Why do people like Erineo Cabahug still believe that this is all Mindanao history is all about?

    Finally, Mr. Inting does have a point regarding Rizal, Marcelo del Pilar, etc. They after all help build what is now the Philippines. Again take his response seriously naman and engage him on his grounds. Wise cracks like “Yeah and they went and died here. They talked the talk and walked the walk.” simply hints that you really know very little about our history. It may also reflect on how much (or very little) you have developed as a mature person. Salud.

  24. Thank you, Jojo. I don’t like censoring discussions but if people make racial slurs (I’m quite angry about the people attacking Capangpangans) or simply cussing at people trying to have a decent exchange of ideas, you may wish to move to another blog.

  25. I am sorry if anyone was offended by any comments I made. I only wanted to express agreement with the letter-writer on some points he reaised, particularly on the economic points about Mindanao and the Philippines. I am also in total agreement regarding the overcentralized structure of government. I believe these are legitimate concerns.

  26. Im not cussing at anyone particular. “as for you can see I dont need to go to mindanao, to know what the fck is happening in that place”

    “Because people like their leaders doesnt give a lot of shit about them. They told me ” the talks of seccession will only prosper if they will really include us muslims “.”

    I maybe immature (because Im only 23 and didint finished my high school.) but read enough that any talk of secession constitute to treason and bloods. I have to say these fcuk words and shit words to stress my anxiety and stuff.

    Seccession is very dangerous and it is an abomination. I am against it because I who maybe didnt finish my high school but a member of CAT will be called upon to shed my blood to defeat this secessionist. I seem to remember our officer said, that in times of war or any civil war we as CAT will go to that war. Every Mother and father will bleed because of it.

    I kept on stressing my point if a majority of muslims and christians living in mindanao wants to secceed in manila can do so by JOINING THE MILF, MNLF, ABU SAYYAF. This groups want to create their own republic but WHY DIDINT A LOT OF PEOPLE JOINED THEM? because majority dont want to.

    and yes this ” “Regarding your views about people living far away, remember that the Philippine Revolution was hatched by intellectuals like MH del Pilar, Jaena, Luna and Rizal who were then living in Europe.” ” Yeah right comment. He cited some examples that I have high respect for ( even though some claimed they are also bad guys) They really talked the talked and walked the walked. read it carefully and follow my comments and my views about These people from abroad commenting craploads of stuff and still do not do anything about it but claiming because of their dollars they have every right to say things that we must do and stuff. I believed The Lunaz, Jaena, Rizal went back here to do something what they talked about. They could have do some TNT stuff but didint. These kinds of people have the every right to comment and spew seccession talks not those so called experts who live from afar.

    I dont apoligise for my remarks, if you read it carefully i hope you get to see my poijt even if I cant express it cleanly. but I do apologise if you are hurt by my remarks because it is what it is and it is called reality

  27. Edwin, thanks for the response. I understand your anguish about the possibility of being send to Mindanao should war there start again. I lost two of my best friends from childhood because of their families were too poor to send them to college. They were drafted to fight the war in 1974 and were killed in Cotabato and Jolo.

    But you also have to realize that after years of feeling expoited and ignored a lot of people from Mindanao — me included –feel that perhaps there is a better option than simply staying with the Republic. The MNLF and the MILF have shown us one of the ways to realizing that option; perhaps there are others. One of the things a prominent Muslim scholar — Prof. Abu Syed Lingga — is proposing is that to resolve this issue once and for all, a Mindanao-wide referendum asking everyone born and or living in Mindanao to vote whether they want to secede or not (now this completely different from the recourse to arms by the MILF and the MNLF0. Why doesn’t Manila allow for such popular initiative to be undertaken as this would decisively settle the issue?

    The point is to understand why such sentiments persists and to try to convince advocates of separatism that it is not a wise move. But I again suggest you lose the foul language so people can take your arguments more seriously.

  28. “The point is to understand why such sentiments persists and to try to convince advocates of separatism that it is not a wise move.” – I couldn’t agree more, Jojo. Separatism is an extreme measure. Human beings are rational, and would not be driven to extremes unless there were reasons. It is best to analyze the reasons and correct the irritants.

    Your point about a referendum also makes sense. Personally, I think an honest-to-goodness federal system would remove a good portion of the irritants.

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