Posted tagged ‘insurgency’

INTELLECTUAL PROSITUTES FIESTA IN COÑO P-NOY REGIME

April 24, 2011

INTELLECTUAL PROSITUTES FIESTA IN COÑO P-NOY REGIME

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

A feast of coño cronies, global oligarchs, dirty political operators, crocodile Dundy punks,…and intellectual prostitutes. This is what we can make of the P-Noy Aquino regime.

There is a hyper-conservative or fascistic mood to knock down political adversaries in the name of ‘good governance’, by witch-hunting crooks. Witch-hunt crooked enemies, but not their cronies such as those in the transport department.

Let us refresh those moments more than a year ago, during the electoral campaign period, through an article I wrote then about intellectual prostitutes.

[Philippines, 18 April 2011]

…NOYNOY’S INTELLECTUAL PROSTITUTES

Prof. Erle Frayne D. Argonza
University of the Philippines

Good day from Manila! Magandang hapon!

I just intercepted a note that has been circulating via the email circuits, which echoes the endorsement by certain economists of moralistic leadership standards and the presidency of Noynoy Aquino. Let me share some notes about these economists, which I hope will induce some reflections on the readers and would-be voters.

You see, I felt the itch to burst with guffaws at the economist endorsers, but had to restrain myself as I was surfing inside a commercial cyber-shop. The immediate scorn and ridicule I felt for the economists who endorsed Noynoy was their nauseating projection of (a) independence of mind and (b) moral purity.

I could say this matter-of-factly, that those economist endorsers…is a coterie of intellectual prostitutes who are so at home with receiving fat consultancy & analysts’ pay in exchange for enriching the purses of corporate carpetbaggers. Their independence is paid independence; their moral purity, delusional hogwash.

Those same economists have made no qualms in implementing the dictated policies of the IMF-World Bank that widened social inequalities and led to ballooned the poverty levels in the past, to note: (a) liberalization, (b) privatization, (c) deregulation, (d) tax reforms, (e) reduced budget for social services, (f) wage freeze (both private & public employees), (g) devaluation of the peso, and (g) increased prices of utilities.

Save for those NGO carpetbaggers…the Paderanga-led endorsers naturally sit in corporate boards as ‘independent directors’ (I feel like vomiting!). Well, since the energy & other sectors were deregulated, big biz players such as Mirant et al, came in and, believe it or not, appointed one to three of the so-called ‘independent directors’ appearing in the pro-Noynoy list of endorsers to the corporate board of the former.

In the case of…social workers from the ‘soc-dems’ or non-Marxist social democrats, the carpetbagging venues are those NGO coalitions where fat “juices” from debt swaps have been funneled in the past. There was the Peace Bonds racket, to recall, which initially amounted to a billion 1st tranche, guaranteed by the Finance Department, hence making many involved experts blissfully happy from the 1990s to the present.

If you think Gov. Salceda is truly (a) independent-thinking and (b) morally pure, better think again. Salceda is implementing couples of Big Projects in his Albay backyard, thanks to his close affiliation with the incumbent president, worth P10 Billion more or less. He is a MASTER OF KABUSUGAN, as laymen would put it, and his greed has been moving up in exponential fashion. Besides, he was a most fatly paid marketing economist for the corporate world before he joined the GMA regime.

Inside the academe, the likes of Paderanga, Taguiwalo, and other professors, have hardly been known for doing research projects as a ‘labor of love’ thing. Being well connected to corporate and ODA paymasters, their researches and publications are deeply tainted with the vested interests of their funders. [ODA= Official Development Assistance]

Having established their niches in their big-paying clientele—Big Business, Big Foundations, Big Banks, Big NGO networks, Global Development Agencies—it is but natural that those same morally puritanical economists put their foot forward in the Noynoy Team (they used their connections to leverage their getting into the team) and practically dictated the TOR (terms of reference). They were to join the Purissima faction of experts who were then with GMA, but who bolted away as early as 2005 yet.

Coming from different factions of experts, I could just surmise the great difficulty in getting them to draft the agenda of Noynoy Aquino who was catapulted to a presidential timber by sheer historical accidence. Surely enough, words reached my ears that the factions couldn’t see each other eye-to-eye, a truistic situation that bogged down the drafting of the agenda in late Sept to October of 2009.

…Upon reviewing the Noynoy agenda of governance that was published in the major dailies, I was so aghast at the rather sub-standard quality of the content. It was a mere hodge-podge of motherhood statements, spiced up by cut & paste items lifted directly from the 1987 Constitution. Honestly, such a document can be prepared by mere undergraduate students in the University of the Philippines, given a 1-day workshop time frame, while it took the experts almost two (2) months to accomplish!

…To share an anecdote: A co-partner of mine in the consulting & academic world, Dr. Cesar Mercado (he heads the Devt. Ctr. for Asia Africa Pacific, was former UN official, and is globally known), was offered by a graduate student of the UP SOLAIR a participation in the drafting of the Noynoy agenda. Dr. Mercado outrightly declined the offer, and he need not bother to call me up for the fat-paying consulting work in the Noynoy camp. He simply replied that he was busy.

That was how desperate the Noynoy Team was for a draft agenda, for Noynoy just didn’t possess the competence to draft one. In contrast, the other presidential candidates (Villar, Bro. Eddie, Nickie Perlas, Gordon…) already possessed analytical and practical frames that they developed throughout their careers, and so the role of consultants if ever was merely to critique, edit, incorporate methodology of implementation, and polish. The latter candidates don’t need to hire a huge coterie of experts like Noynoy and Erap did, but utilize merely 2-3 consults at the most.

…Lastly, hardly had Noynoy won, and those prostituted minds were already clawing on each other like competing crabs, as per reports reaching my attention. They will likewise claw on each other in grabbing juicy government sub-sectors and agency posts, and will be stabbing each other to get the boss’ attention when they sit in power.

Let me toss the capsule query: are such intellectuals indeed independent-minded and morally pure? Are they worth leading the institutions of state for the sake of ‘walang korupsyon’ and/or good governance? Will Noynoy be on top of them, or will they be on top of Noynoy?

[20 September 2010]
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COÑO POWER IN AQUINO GOVERNMENT

April 19, 2011

COÑO POWER IN AQUINO GOVERNMENT

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Coño kid Noynoy Aquino is now president of the Philippines for almost a year. During the campaign period yet, I was already apprehensive of the handiwork of coño operators who were born with a ‘golden spoon’. They are those kinds who went to school with the purpose of displaying wealth and flashy cars, and were subjects of my scorn as a college student.

Just recently, P-Noy bought a sports car worth millions of pesos. Though supposedly a used car, just sporting that kind of vehicle would already raise eyebrows in many quarters. For accompanying that car is the lifestyle that goes with it. It is the lifestyle of lotharios, drug addicts, socialites, and every kind of derelict person you can think of out there, who surely live it dirty.

Now that the coños are in power, what have you to say? Will the same coño socialities throw cakes to the poor in order to solve poverty, as Marie Antoinette believed was the correct solution to pauperism?

[Philippines, 14 April 2011]
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VILLAR: EMBODIMENT OF ‘PHILIPPINE DREAM’

Prof. Erle Frayne D. Argonza
08 January 2010

The social forecaster J. Naisbitt, among the sharpest observers of cultural innovations worldwide, declared in his book Megatrends Asia that the ‘Asian dream’ is the global dream of the moment.
Realizing this gigantic power shift, Naisbitt challenged the youth of the West to “go East!”

If we were to localize the global trend of ‘Asian Dream’, we can find this in the capsule term ‘Philippine Dream’. This is the dream of any struggling child to live a future of abundance, a dream that was once championed in America (‘American dream’) but which has been lost along the way, a dream that has found root finally in our own motherland.

My contention is that, if the Philippine state would refurbish its nauseating image as a ‘weak state’, it would find a fresh start in electing a president who is an embodiment of the ‘Philippine dream’. Luck of all luck, the Nacionalista Party’s own top leader, Manny Villar, fits squarely into this ‘Philippine Dream’ mold.

The Manny Villar narrative is practically saying to our compatriots that nobody has to leave the country for overseas job in order to live abundance in everyday life. Stake it out in the country, live to learn well, be daring to be innovative and pioneering, and one will rise like a phoenix from the ashes of poverty.

Do not wait for opportunities to drop from the sky like ripe guavas descending on the mouth of a proverbial Juan Tamad. Build the opportunities, and be daring to re-engineer yourself in the process to keep on bringing you up to the next level of success.

Such is the sterling truth exemplified by the Villar narrative, which is indeed splendidly impressive and worth a plethora of accolades. Only Villar fits this mold among the couples of presidential candidates, most of whom are the typical coño kids who treat the poor folks as utilitarian objects for vote-gathering purposes. Not only did Villar soil his hands in creating opportunities for housing and urban development, he was also among those noblesse legislators who built enabling measures to widen the latitudes of social equity and economic prosperity. And yet no coño kid is he amid his abundant life!

I remember the coño kids on campus as highly scorned spoiled brats who are in the university largely to display wealth and who condescendingly regard their schoolmates as lizards and rats. A few of them did I make friends with, those who can be remolded to a life of social relevance, even as I was among those self-supporting students (I was a full scholar) and grew as a militant activist. Well immersed among fellow intellectuals, I only had but expletives reserved for the coños.

Today I am among those who ask: what right has a coño to be president of the republic? A person who grew up in a mansion and couldn’t soil his hands in work deserves to be a leader of colonial era government, and such an era is long gone!

I would ask the same for a vice-president: what right has a coño to be vice-president of the country? Isn’t Loren Legarda, who now teams up with Manny Villar, the most fit for the job since she embodies the ‘Philippine dream’ and all the sterling qualities of a talented and competent Pinoy who has risen from the hovels and lead a prosperous life?

An emerging market such as the Philippines has most to gain from electing highly competent top officials who embody the ‘Philippine dream’ and/or ‘Asian dream’. Conversely, it would be disastrous to elect Inquisitionist coño kids who in fact are mere smokescreens for crocodiles.

I am a firm believer in the ‘Philippine dream’ or ‘Asian dream’, and I go for a Villar-Legarda team for 2010.
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Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs & website anytime!
Social Blogs:
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POVERTY: PH LINGERING ACHILLES HEEL

April 14, 2011

POVERTY: PH LINGERING ACHILLES HEEL

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Let me follow through on the hunger report by reflecting on poverty once more. Ph is an economic boom episode and its chief exec Noynoy Aquino has been in power for almost a year since installation. Yet hunger grows amidst relative abundance!

Government statistics has to be massaged anew so as to make it appear that poverty has been going down. The ‘doctorates of statistical massage’ should better do their jobs well, as the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations clearly show a hunger rate of 20%. It’s so self-evident that poverty breeds hunger, so the growing hunger means poverty is growing too, isn’t it? Commonsensical a stuff!

Below is an article on poverty that I wrote while the election period was still going on last year. Since last year, poverty hasn’t shrunk!

[Philippines, 08 April 2011]
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POVERTY: PHILIPPINES‘ ACHILLES HEEL

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Poverty is the Achilles’ heel of the Philippine state, and will be so for at least two (2) more decades. Amid the appreciable growth the economy has sustained so far, with the national economy doubling in just eight (8) years during the incumbency of president Gloria Arroyo, poverty remains very high.

If we go by the yardsticks of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Bank, the Philippines has been performing fairly well on wealth production as a whole, so much that the country graduated to a middle income status by the turn of the century. No more a poor economy by world standards, yet the country’s poverty increased from 28% in 2001 (when Arroyo took over the presidency) to 33% today (per latest government statistics).

Paradoxical, come to think of it, that while the economy has been growing and had moved to middle income status, more people have become poorer. Tough, very tough, is the task of mining for the ‘gini in the bottle’ that would reduce poverty considerably to a negligible 5% or less, a level that is easily manageable and where state and communities can simply decide to fully subsidize the remaining poor.

Whether the Philippines can meet the UN’s Millenium Development Goal of cutting poverty by half in 2015 seems much clearer now to social forecasters: the dream is elusive and unattainable. Not even if the economy will double again from mid-2009 to 2015 which is a most likely development.

The Philippines’ poorest happens to be the rural populations, notably the fisherfolk sector where malnutrition runs the highest rate (2/3 of children/families). Rural population is now down to 34% or 1/3 of the population, while the urban peoples comprise 66% or 2/3. Urban to rural poverty ratio is 1:2.5, meaning that for every 1 poor person in the cities & towns, there’s an equivalent of 2.5 persons in the countrysides.

The message is clear to the next government (formed by the new president after the May polls this year) that the attack zone on poverty should be the rural population. Both antipoverty and anti-hunger programs should be initiated at very high levels in the countryside to be able to bring down total poverty by a large degree.

Failure to solve rural poverty in the long run redounds to perpetuating insurgency. Even if the present insurgent groups would concur peace pacts with the state, new insurgent groups will emerge again in the foreseeable future should the rural folks remain paupers.

Urbanization is now moving up, and with its growing eminence has come the rise of new cities. Citification has seen the incomes of communities treble by leaps and bounds, thus permitting the same communities to spend on infrastructures and social development.

Left to themselves, without massive migrations from rural folks, the cities can accumulate enormous income surpluses to solve unemployment, poverty, and malnutrition (both hunger and obesity). Philanthropic groups consequently rise from civil society and market players, and boost surplus production for solving poverty.

However, such is not the case even as the migration of the poor from the countryside to the cities continues in steady waves. So this brings us all back to the challenge of solving poverty right at the backyards where the poorest are most concentrated. This means that the food producers shouldn’t be left out in the development game, even as rural development should be brought to its next level.

Goal-wise, the realistic target is to reduce poverty from 33% in 2009 to 25% by 2015, or an average of 1.33% reduction per annum. Means-wise, an appreciable mix of good governance, right socio-economic policies, and strengthening of institutions would do a long way to bring down poverty altogether in the short run.

Urban population will grow to 70% around 2015, while rural population will go down further to 30%. With lower rural populations to manage by then, there is no more reason for government not to be able to do something to solve poverty. And we say government, because the increase in poverty largely came from governance-related factors such as poor absorptive capacity (to handle large budgets), inefficiency, graft, poor inter-governmental coordination, and low political will to pursue audacious solutions to daunting problems.

In 1989, this analyst wrote an article “Prospects of Poverty Alleviation in the 1990s,” a piece that I delivered as a symposium lecture at the University of the East (Prof. Randy David was also a speaker). At that time, poverty was a high of 49%, while urban to rural poverty was 1:2.1.

Since 1989, we have seen poverty reduced from 49% to its present level of 33% (a 5% increase since 2001 though), although rural poverty moved up paradoxically during the same period. Poverty reduction is not really impossible, as evidenced by the huge reduction across a 20-year period. Bringing it down further to 25% by 2015 is a doable target.

So let us see how the nation will fair under the next government of the republic (after May polls), when we see a new set of political leaders and cabinet members installed to power. As I’ve mentioned in earlier articles, my standpoint is that a nationalist coalition, such as what the present candidate Sen. Manny Villar, is most equipped with policy paradigm and tools to deal with the Achilles heel of pauperism, aside from the competence and visionary acumen of the noblesse senator.

By nationalist, I mean that of moving towards a regulated market and fair trade, with high propensity for ‘physical economy’ policies. We can no more return to the days of liberalization policies that saw the economy crash down in ’83-’85, stagnate for a time and grow again before hitting the next recession in ’97, and finally move up to middle income status only after a turtle pace struggle taking three (3) decades.

Liberalism and its propensity to be pro-Big Business and Big Landlord is a big no in our fight against poverty, whether in the Philippines and other nations of the globe. In my country, nationalism is the antidote paradigm and social technology watershed to reverse decades of liberal policies and solution to poverty. I’ve been echoing this theme since my teenage years yet, and remains steadily anchored on it.

[Philippines, 20 March 2010]
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Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs & website anytime!
Social Blogs:
IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com
UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com

Wisdom/Spiritual Blogs:
COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com
BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com

Poetry & Art Blogs:
ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com
ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com

Mixed Blends Blogs:
@MULTIPLY: http://efdargon.multiply.com
@FRIENDSTER: http://erleargonza.blog.friendster.com
@SOULCAST: http://www.soulcast.com/efdargon

Website:
PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA: http://erleargonza.com

POVERTY: PH LINGERING ACHILLES HEEL

April 11, 2011

POVERTY: PH LINGERING ACHILLES HEEL

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Let me follow through on the hunger report by reflecting on poverty once more. Ph is an economic boom episode and its chief exec Noynoy Aquino has been in power for almost a year since installation. Yet hunger grows amidst relative abundance!

Government statistics has to be massaged anew so as to make it appear that poverty has been going down. The ‘doctorates of statistical massage’ should better do their jobs well, as the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations clearly show a hunger rate of 20%. It’s so self-evident that poverty breeds hunger, so the growing hunger means poverty is growing too, isn’t it? Commonsensical a stuff!

Below is an article on poverty that I wrote while the election period was still going on last year. Since last year, poverty hasn’t shrunk!

[Philippines, 08 April 2011]
#########################################

POVERTY: PHILIPPINES‘ ACHILLES HEEL

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Poverty is the Achilles’ heel of the Philippine state, and will be so for at least two (2) more decades. Amid the appreciable growth the economy has sustained so far, with the national economy doubling in just eight (8) years during the incumbency of president Gloria Arroyo, poverty remains very high.

If we go by the yardsticks of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Bank, the Philippines has been performing fairly well on wealth production as a whole, so much that the country graduated to a middle income status by the turn of the century. No more a poor economy by world standards, yet the country’s poverty increased from 28% in 2001 (when Arroyo took over the presidency) to 33% today (per latest government statistics).

Paradoxical, come to think of it, that while the economy has been growing and had moved to middle income status, more people have become poorer. Tough, very tough, is the task of mining for the ‘gini in the bottle’ that would reduce poverty considerably to a negligible 5% or less, a level that is easily manageable and where state and communities can simply decide to fully subsidize the remaining poor.

Whether the Philippines can meet the UN’s Millenium Development Goal of cutting poverty by half in 2015 seems much clearer now to social forecasters: the dream is elusive and unattainable. Not even if the economy will double again from mid-2009 to 2015 which is a most likely development.

The Philippines’ poorest happens to be the rural populations, notably the fisherfolk sector where malnutrition runs the highest rate (2/3 of children/families). Rural population is now down to 34% or 1/3 of the population, while the urban peoples comprise 66% or 2/3. Urban to rural poverty ratio is 1:2.5, meaning that for every 1 poor person in the cities & towns, there’s an equivalent of 2.5 persons in the countrysides.

The message is clear to the next government (formed by the new president after the May polls this year) that the attack zone on poverty should be the rural population. Both antipoverty and anti-hunger programs should be initiated at very high levels in the countryside to be able to bring down total poverty by a large degree.

Failure to solve rural poverty in the long run redounds to perpetuating insurgency. Even if the present insurgent groups would concur peace pacts with the state, new insurgent groups will emerge again in the foreseeable future should the rural folks remain paupers.

Urbanization is now moving up, and with its growing eminence has come the rise of new cities. Citification has seen the incomes of communities treble by leaps and bounds, thus permitting the same communities to spend on infrastructures and social development.

Left to themselves, without massive migrations from rural folks, the cities can accumulate enormous income surpluses to solve unemployment, poverty, and malnutrition (both hunger and obesity). Philanthropic groups consequently rise from civil society and market players, and boost surplus production for solving poverty.

However, such is not the case even as the migration of the poor from the countryside to the cities continues in steady waves. So this brings us all back to the challenge of solving poverty right at the backyards where the poorest are most concentrated. This means that the food producers shouldn’t be left out in the development game, even as rural development should be brought to its next level.

Goal-wise, the realistic target is to reduce poverty from 33% in 2009 to 25% by 2015, or an average of 1.33% reduction per annum. Means-wise, an appreciable mix of good governance, right socio-economic policies, and strengthening of institutions would do a long way to bring down poverty altogether in the short run.

Urban population will grow to 70% around 2015, while rural population will go down further to 30%. With lower rural populations to manage by then, there is no more reason for government not to be able to do something to solve poverty. And we say government, because the increase in poverty largely came from governance-related factors such as poor absorptive capacity (to handle large budgets), inefficiency, graft, poor inter-governmental coordination, and low political will to pursue audacious solutions to daunting problems.

In 1989, this analyst wrote an article “Prospects of Poverty Alleviation in the 1990s,” a piece that I delivered as a symposium lecture at the University of the East (Prof. Randy David was also a speaker). At that time, poverty was a high of 49%, while urban to rural poverty was 1:2.1.

Since 1989, we have seen poverty reduced from 49% to its present level of 33% (a 5% increase since 2001 though), although rural poverty moved up paradoxically during the same period. Poverty reduction is not really impossible, as evidenced by the huge reduction across a 20-year period. Bringing it down further to 25% by 2015 is a doable target.

So let us see how the nation will fair under the next government of the republic (after May polls), when we see a new set of political leaders and cabinet members installed to power. As I’ve mentioned in earlier articles, my standpoint is that a nationalist coalition, such as what the present candidate Sen. Manny Villar, is most equipped with policy paradigm and tools to deal with the Achilles heel of pauperism, aside from the competence and visionary acumen of the noblesse senator.

By nationalist, I mean that of moving towards a regulated market and fair trade, with high propensity for ‘physical economy’ policies. We can no more return to the days of liberalization policies that saw the economy crash down in ’83-’85, stagnate for a time and grow again before hitting the next recession in ’97, and finally move up to middle income status only after a turtle pace struggle taking three (3) decades.

Liberalism and its propensity to be pro-Big Business and Big Landlord is a big no in our fight against poverty, whether in the Philippines and other nations of the globe. In my country, nationalism is the antidote paradigm and social technology watershed to reverse decades of liberal policies and solution to poverty. I’ve been echoing this theme since my teenage years yet, and remains steadily anchored on it.

[Philippines, 20 March 2010]
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Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs & website anytime!
Social Blogs:
IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com
UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com

Wisdom/Spiritual Blogs:
COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com
BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com

Poetry & Art Blogs:
ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com
ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com

Mixed Blends Blogs:
@MULTIPLY: http://efdargon.multiply.com
@FRIENDSTER: http://erleargonza.blog.friendster.com
@SOULCAST: http://www.soulcast.com/efdargon

Website:
PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA: http://erleargonza.com

PEACE TALKS BETWIXT PH GOVERNMENT & REBELS RESUME

February 8, 2011

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

We have a glad tiding of news coming from the Philippines as the stalled peace talks between government and rebel groups will resume again very soon. A heartwarming news this one is, as Filipinos are now very sick and tired of local wars. It’s time that total peace be achieved very soon.

To recall recent history, Maoist and Muslim insurgencies broke out in the Philippines way back in the early ‘70s. Martial Law, declared in 1972, was instrumental in further swelling the numbers of insurgents, leading at one point to conflicts bordering civil war proportions.

The Maoist New People’s Army, military wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines or CPP, a ragtag band at its inception, grew to a huge size across the major island groups along the way. Smaller factions split off from the CPP-NPA, it shrank in size in the past decade, yet it continues to be a threat to the central government.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF was a splinter group from the Moro National Liberation Front or MNLF. The latter, original Muslim insurgency group agreed to a negotiated peace settlement in the ‘90s yet, so only the MILF eventually pursued the old dream of an independent state for provinces where Muslims have a strong presence. While the MNLF held a secular ideology, the MILF was largely a sectarian, Islamic movement.

Talks between both rebel groups and government stalled during the incumbency of the Gloria Arroyo regime. It was unfortunate and tragic a consequence of failed talks, as battlefronts across the islands continuously experience ambuscades and confrontations between warring forces. Collateral damage had already downsized, but it continues to be a phenomenal consequence of the hot wars.

I just hope that the peace talks won’t be for show, like a zarzuela of sorts. Like most compatriot Filipinos, I have grown tired of the wars though I see legitimacy in the advocacies of the insurgents. I myself am of the opinion that social causes are at an all-time relevance, yet these social causes can be fought for through legal and electoral means.

Filipinas has already urbanized across the decades, and urbanization is proceeding at a rapid pace. 2% of folks are added to urban population every year, while 2% are deducted from rural population during the same period. At 68% urban population today, Filipinos can better be convinced about pursuing social causes and advocacies via the ‘urban way’ of mass movements, civil society, and electoral contests rather than the bloody armed way of the old rural Philippines.

The Maoist Left and other Left groups have already proven the relative success of the ‘electoral way’ to institute structural and economic changes. It may be time now to fold up all rebel groups from the most secularly-oriented groups to the most sectarian-fundamentalist groups. The rugs under our feet are changing and the pace of change is fast, so ideological blocs should be fast enough in retooling themselves and co-directing the compass of change via the ‘urban way’.

Meantime, Norway has committed itself as a 3rd party to the talks with the Maoists, while Malaysia has done the same to the talks with the Muslim rebels. The Filipinos down the ground welcome the peace talks, and wouldn’t squirm at the venues of talks whether these be domestically located or overseas. What matters most is peace talks are resumed and warring parties are holding genuine dialogues.

So far, confidence-building measures were already done by the Aquino regime, with the release of political prisoners from the Left. Not only that, even the political prisoners from the military rebel group Magdalo were also released (the mutiny group is ragtag/no peace talks are necessary between it and government). Development projects in areas covered by Muslim rebels are being scaled up.

A nice beginning for the year 2011 indeed, as the crucible of dialogue pervades among warring camps. Let dialogue be the strategic expression, as conflict folds up and is consigned to historical archives.

[Philippines, 06 February 2011]

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WILL PHILIPPINE INSURGENCIES END SOON?

May 16, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Magandang hapon! Good afternoon!

It is still poll day as of this writing, as the day’s polling time has been extended till 7 p.m. Poll-related incidence had accordingly dropped by 200% since 2004, an encouraging development amidst a backdrop of systemic violence.

What I’d reflect about this time is the insurgency question: whether the country’s decades-old insurgencies will cease after the installation of a new national leadership. The communist and Bangsamoro insurgents have been conducting peace talks with the Philippine state for a long time now, and there’s no question that insurgencies’ end is in the wish list of diverse stakeholders.

In a society where trust has been torn asunder by the prevalence of polarized mind frames for centuries now, it is understandable that insurgencies will persist for some time. Building mutual trust and confidence is therefore a sine qua non to the end of insurgencies.

Economistic apperceptions of insurgencies, such as to account them solely to high poverty incidence, would hardly hold water. Canada, for instance, is a prosperous country with good governance in place, yet a part of it (Quebec) almost bolted away from the Canadian state.

Addressing poverty, which is now at 33-35% incidence rate, is surely a must, added to food security. There is no denying that this has been on the agenda of peace talks, aside from the options for the livelihood of combatant insurgents when they go back to the mainstream in the case of a political settlement.

What we can see from the economistic discourse is that addressing poverty and social injustices would be good approaches to re-building trust and confidence.  During the first two (2) years of the new political dispensation, there has to be a trickling down of incomes to enable poverty reduction, which should convince the insurgents of the sincerity and competence of the leadership in handling the socio-economic malaise of our society.

Furthermore, there has to be relentless efforts made by civil society, church, state, and philanthropic groups to build a culture of tolerance and peace. Peace talks shouldn’t be left to government and insurgents alone, in other words, but should involve the broadest sector of society.

The building of mutual trust, confidence, and contextual building of peace and tolerance, will redound to constructing greater civility and cooperation. A ‘dialogue of civilizations’ is a broad manifestation of a culture of peace and tolerance permeating the private sphere, which is a cherished human condition by the peoples of the world.

Insurgents are incidentally growing old, and are getting weary of the war itself. They want peace, and this is a boon to the peace talks. In our day-to-day conduct of affairs as a people, we should continue to build trust in the private spaces of our lives. This, we hope, would encourage insurgents to forge new social arrangements with us on a people-to-people basis, a step that would bring us closer to a high-trust environment.

We must also continue to exert pressure on the Phiippine state and insurgents to continue to dialogue and put a time limit to the peace talks. Peace talks have already dragged on for decades, so maybe it would prove fruitful to put a time cap on the talks. We can use organizational instruments that we have, such as professional, crafts, and civil society groups.

Let us hope that we don’t have a hawkish regime forthcoming. A regime of hawks would be anachronistic to the overall trend today of higher expectations for peace and a sustained dialogue between state and insurgents.

We are all running against time today, even as we citizens of an war-torn country are tired and weary of the wars. New weapons of mass destruction, such as the Tesla Earthquake Machine or TEM, are moving out of assembly lines, and sooner or later they would be traded via organized crime groups to hot-headed insurgent and jihadist groups locally.

A wish indeed, let us hope that the two (2) insurgencies will be settled finally, with the former rebels integrated into the mainstream to participate in parliamentary politics and civil society engagements. This will give us breathing spaces we need to concur more social cooperation and economic amelioration in the short run.

With the large insurgencies gone, the police & military forces can then focus their efforts on clamping down jihadist movements that we perceive as illegitimate or criminal groups. In no way should government negotiate with groups that possess warped sense of community and are unwilling to recognize the full import of dialogue and tolerance.

[Philippines, 10 May 2010.]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

MOA BETWEEN GRP & MUSLIM REBELS (MILF)

August 15, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

 

The controversial MOA between the GRP (Philippine government) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which calls for the establishment of a Bangsamoro ancestral dominion or area in Mindanao island, was supposedly signed recently. Detractors were able to delay the signing by petitioning the Supreme Court for a restraining order.

 

Mr. Iqbal, a top official of the rebel group, pronounced thereafter that the MOA is already a done deal, that no Supreme Court order could stop its implementation. Maybe the rebels better prepare statements that would somehow allay the fears of detractors of the MOA, detractors that include Muslim residents of Zamboanga City.

 

Amid the amicable spirit behind the drafting, the non-signing so far had led to new rounds of hostilities in the affected areas. See the MOA highlights for your briefer view.

 

[06 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to yahoo.com database news.]

 

 

Highlights of MOA between government, MILF

 

Philippine Star – Tuesday, August 5

The memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain whose signing today was ordered stopped by the Supreme Court would authorize the so-called Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) to negotiate directly with foreign governments and set up its own police force.

 

Aside from expanded territory, the BJE under the MOA will also be given control over natural resources found within 15 kilometers from the shoreline of BJE territories.

Beyond 15 kilometers, control over key resources like oil and minerals will be shared 75-25 between the BJE and the government.

According to the MOA, the core of the BJE covers the present geographic area of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, including the municipalities of Baloi, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan, and Tangkal in the province of Lanao del Norte that voted for inclusion in the ARMM during the 2001 plebiscite.

The MOA said a plebiscite would be held to decide the possible inclusion of 735 barangays in Isabela City in Basilan, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur, Lanao Norte, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Zamboanga Sibugay and Palawan.

Under the MOA, the BJE will also establish a system of governance suitable and acceptable to the people under its jurisdiction.

“The parties agree that the BJE shall be empowered to build, develop and maintain its own institutions, inclusive of civil service, electoral, financial and banking, education, legislation, legal, economic, and police and internal security force, judicial system and correctional institutions, necessary for developing a progressive Bangsamoro society, the details of which shall be discussed in the negotiation of the Comprehensive Compact,” the MOA said.

The MOA said the BJE is free to enter into any economic cooperation and trade relations with foreign countries, provided that these alliances will not put the Philippines in conflict with other nations.

“Without prejudice to the right of the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity to enter into agreement and environmental cooperation with any friendly country affecting its jurisdiction, it shall include the option to establish and open Bangsamoro trade missions in foreign countries with which it has economic cooperation agreements and the elements bearing in mind the mutual benefits derived from Philippine archipelagic status and security,” the MOA said.

It also stated that the Philippine government shall “take necessary steps to ensure the BJE’s participation in international meetings and events such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other specialized agencies of the United Nations.”

“This shall entitle the BJE’s participation in Philippine official missions and delegations that are engaged in the negotiation of border agreements and protocols for environmental protection, equitable sharing of incomes and revenues, in the areas of sea, seabed, and inland seas or bodies of water adjacent to or between islands forming part of the ancestral domain, in addition to those of fishing rights,” according to the MOA. – James Mananghaya/Philstar