August 13, 2008 § Leave a comment
Sa paggunita ng pagkakapaslang ng dating Senator Ninoy Aquino sa 21 Agosto, maglulunsad ng isang “cultural show” ang civil society. Ang nasabing concert, na lalakuhan ng mahigit 50 bandang Pinoy, ay isang aktibidad na dapat lamang lahukan ng lahat, sapagkat ito’y isang paraan upang maipakita natin ang ating pagka disgusto sa kasalukuyang kalagayan ng ating Inang Bayan.
Tunay nga, na ilang taon na rin ang nakalipas, (mahigit 25 na nga ba?) nang paslangin ng mga ahente ng rehimeng Marcos ang nagbabalik sanang senator Aquino. Matapos na mabasa ng kanyang dugo ang tarmac ng airport, tatlong taon ang lumipas bago tuluyang nagapi ng Sambayanang Pilipino ang diktador na si Macoy. Nanatili ang ningas ng sakripisyo ni Ninoy hanggang sa administrasyon ng kanyang asawa, ngunit, unti-unti itong nawawala sa paglipas ng panahon.
Mayroon pa bang kahulugan sa buhay ng Pinoy ang sakripisyo ni Ninoy? Naaalala pa kaya ng karamihan sa atin kung ano-ano ang mga tunay na kadahilanan bakit pinilit niyang bumalik sa Inang Bayan? Malinaw pa ba ang mga eksenang bumulaga sa atin sa kanyang pagbulagta noon sa tarmac?
Tulad ng nakagawian na, gugunitain ng mga television networks ang mga huling eksenang nilahukan ni Ninoy. Ipakikita duon ang mga kuha sa kanya ng isang batikang cameraman nang siya’y kunin ng mga AVSECOM na mag-ka-cut dun naman sa kuhang nakabulagta na siya’t walang buhay sa tarmac. Kung makapagsasalita lamang si Ninoy mula sa langit, ito kaya ang nais niyang paggunita sa kanya?
Mas nanaisin siguro ni Ninoy na ipakita ang naging bunga ng kanyang sakripisyo. Mas maganda siguro kung balikan natin ang mga eksenang kung saan halos isang milyong Pinoy ang nagpunta sa EDSA pagkatapos ng tatlong taon, para kilalanin ang kanyang sakripisyo.
Maganda sigurong ipakita na umusbong ang Bagong Pinoy mula sa dugong ibinuwis ni Ninoy at iba pang mga bayaning Bayan maitaguyod lamang ang demokrasya sa ating bayan.
Sa 21 Agosto, gugunitain sa isang concert ng mga banda ang pagkamatay ni Ninoy. Siguro, liban sa pagsasayang kultural, huwag sanang kalimutan ng mga organizers ang pagpapaliwanag sa kahalagahan ng sakripisyo ni Ninoy.
Namulat tayo dahil kay Ninoy at sa mga bayani ng bayan na ibinuwis ang kanilang buhay alang-alang sa kalayaan.
Nagising tayo dahil kay Ninoy at sa mga bayani ng bayan na nakibaka sa larangang giyera alang-alang sa kapayapaan.
Nag-alsa tayo dahil kay Ninoy at sa mga bayani ng bayan na isinakripisyo ang kanilang kinabukasan upang manumbalik ang katarungan.
Ngayong nagsusumidhi ang kabulukan, ang korupsyon, ang kawalang hiyaan ng ating mga tinatawag na lider ng bayan,
Ngayong binubusabos tayo ng mga mandaraya dahilan sa ating kawalang ganang kumilos.
Ngayong ninanakawan tayo ng harap-harapan ng mga nagpapakilalang lider ng bayan,
Ngayong tila pinapatay tayo dahil sa mga polisiyang maka-sarili ng mga galamay ni Gloria,
kailangan pa ba natin ng isang Ninoy para tayo mamulat?
Kailangan pa ba ng ilang giyerang pamumunuan ng mga bayani ng bayan para makamit ang kapayapaan?
Kailangan pa ba ng isang Ninoy upang maharap natin ang maladambuhalang kampon ng demonyo sa pangunguna ng isang demonyitang sanggol para sa panunumbalik ng katarungan?
Hindi na. Sa kamulatan natin sa mga kaganapan, sa ating nadadanasang hirap bunsod ng katiwalian, kabastusan, at kawalang kahiyaan nina Gloria, kanyang pamilya sampu ng kanilang mga galamay, hindi natin kailangan ang isang Ninoy.
Kailangan natin ng isang milyong Ninoy na tatayo, magbubuwis ng kinabukasan at susuong sa bukid ng pakikibaka hindi alang-alang sa kanilang sarili, kundi alang-alang sa kanilang mga anak, mga apo at mga magulang.
Ang Laban ni Ninoy noon, laban mo rin ngayon!
August 9, 2008 § 1 Comment
Gloria’s bright-haired boy Mike Defensor is on a roll today. Yesterday, he bagged a US$ 150 MILLION contract to exploit the natural resources of Zambales. “Nothing irregular,” says the former student activist-turned-influence peddler-turned turncoat. ” I’m not in government anyway.”
He might be right, says Senator Francis “Cheez” Escudero, Mike’s long-time friend and compatriot in the pseudo “Spice Boys” of the 12th Congress. Yet, Cheez says, the people might not view this as something good, since it smacks of bad taste.
The Black and White Movement (BWM) already gave a thumbs-down to Defensor since days ago, he was the Task Force head of the opening of Naia 3. Nothing bad, again says Defensor. He resigned from that post before he signed this exploitation deal with the Chinks.
Well, I’m not surprised with the nonchalant way Mike answered this issue. Mike has lost whatever principles he had when he compromised himself with Gloria. For Gloria and her gang of evil men, there’s nothing wrong with something done within the bounds of the law. Mike did’nt violate any law, so quo vadis?
What escapes Mike’s mind is the fact these malicious things being thrown at him, among them, the insinuation that he bagged the contract because he’s Gloria’s man. Hey, nothing wrong with that either, I imagine Mike saying, this is just business. All business.
This is why Filipinos hate this administration so much. As what New Philippine Revolution wrote many entries ago, these men who governs with Gloria already lost that prime Filipino value of “hiya”. They already sold their souls to the highest bidder, that is, these Chinese. Mike and the rest of Gloria’s crew don’t care if they sell every mountain, every valley, every river, every stream, or even every Filipino for as long as it “does’nt violate any law”.
I can’t really blame Mike for doing what he did. Gloria’s a goner. She’s on the eve of her power. And she might lose it before 2010. So, Mike and the rest of the gang will stop at nothing to get themselves rich beyond measure.
Poor Filipinos! They are being sold by these guys to the Chinese and in the future, to the Americans and the Middle Easterners. Before, it’s just the Singaporeans and the Malaysians.
Time to sharpen our shears. The time is ripe for the harvest.
August 9, 2008 § Leave a comment
I just can’t understand why Mar Roxas decided to stake his reputation by uttering that stupid war-mongering stunt lately. Roxas is an elected Senator. For him to say that against those who support the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral domain is beyond my comprehension.
Was it a desperate publicity-hugging statement? If that’s it, it failed. Roxas just got exposure from Manila Times. It was not even mentioned in the Inquirer, nor the Manila Bulletin.
Was it just to create awareness that he can be presidential? That one also failed and exploded in his face. That remark was not presidential–it was stupid. For him to dip his fingers in an emotionally-charged issue is utter stupidity.
Mar just lost millions of votes. And for what? For a mere 15 seconds of fame.
He should fire his publicist. That’s not the way to go.
August 9, 2008 § Leave a comment
I remember one meeting I had with a Tausug sometime in 2000. As a television reporter, I was assigned to that war-torn province to cover the Sipadan Hostage crisis. During a lull, I decided to go to the port of Jolo and make a features report.
As I was walking there, looking at some interesting things to write, I bumped into a teenager. He’s working as a porter. He’s about eleven or twelve years of age. And he’s supposed to be going to school.
I asked him why he’s working when he’s supposed to be studying. And I got a learned answer.
” There’s no need for me to study,” the boy told me.
” Why? Are you not interested in knowing how the world works?”
“No,” he said nonchalantly and continued doing his work. ” I hope you don’t mind, but why? Why have you lost all interest about studies.”
” Well…let me tell you. Will being a learned man give me food? Will it change my lot in this life? Will it ever change the land of Jolo? No.”
” Our country is being occupied by invaders of an unknown culture. Before, my parents say, Jolo used to be a thriving trading center. When Marcos made Zamboanga as the hub of trading, Jolo suddenly became irrelevant. Our town slowly disintegrated. Now, we are left with crumbs. We have nothing to do. We have nothing to eat except these salty fish which we, ourselves, get from the sea. Those who gave our freedoms are learned men. Now, do I want to be like them? I’ll cut my head and stab my heart if I become like them.”
I was stunned. This boy knows an alternate history that even I, a journalist, did’nt know. He was actually telling the truth. That is the history of his town.
When others like him shout it to the world, the world says “its extremism”, “its terrorist message.” Why? Is telling it like it is, being rebels?
August 6, 2008 § Leave a comment
If you notice the main issue opposing the GRP-MILF deal, you’ll notice one oft-repeating word: “dismemberment”. Most analysts, unfortunately including United Opposition Spokesman Atty. Adel Tamano (a born Muslim by the way), say they oppose the deal because it would cause the division of the country, which, they say, contradicts the Constitution.
I dare say, what dismemberment? What is to be dismembered when there’s no integration in the first place?
Beyond the legalities or the definition of a territory within the constitutional purview, did we, the Filipino People, really considered the Bangsamoro people as Filipinos? Are these people from Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, Jolo, Zamboanga and all the rest of Moroland even considered themselves Filipino?
Did these people inhabiting Moroland act, live and breathe like Filipinos? Do we really integrate or assimilate their culture with our prevailing one?
When ask how do we describe our country, most of us would say “we’re the only Christian nation in Asia”, right? That statement alone shows you how isolated, how disjointed, how clear the distinction is in the minds of most Filipinos. Yes, it could be a factual statement, but it is not accurate. That statement already excluded 3 million born Muslims and millions more of reverted Muslims (or what we call “Balik-Islam”).
Face it–these people constituting the Bangsamoro People–have a different system of beliefs, have a different tradition, have a different culture that totally opposes or contradicts the prevailing culture. What most Filipinos consider as legal, most are contradictory to Bangsamoro beliefs. The Bangsamoro is different. The Bangsamoro is unique. The Bangsamoro is not Filipino.
People opposing this deal do so because they’re afraid they’ll lose their powers. More than property rights, these people got wealthy enslaving the Bangsamoro. For decades, they enjoyed the fruits of the land, exploiting the natural and human resources of Mindanao, for their own. And what happened to those whom they enslaved?
Extreme and widespread poverty leading to widespread dissent and a long-standing war that has threatened the lives and futures of the Bangsamoro people. In all provinces of this country, Mindanao is the most impoverished, especially Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, Jolo and Zamboanga.
Those claiming “royal blood” oppose this deal because they’ll lose whatever “divine claims” they have over the Bangsamoro. I dare say, what right do they have to claim proprietary property claims to these Muslim lands when it is illegal to claim ownership of land under Islamic law in the first place? Besides, what “divine right” do they have when they have’nt done anything to uplift the lives of their fellow Bangsamoro in those lands which they claim to be theirs?
And those in the United Opposition who oppose this deal do so because, face it, Gloria can claim credence to this as the only president who successfully resolved the Bangsamoro Question. I oppose Gloria and want her out immediately, but, in this issue, I fully support her and the peace panel. The Opposition reject this deal because the deal is a landmark deal that Gloria can claim as her perpetual legacy to the peace issue.
The Opposition says government is entering into the deal with an insincere intention. They say government can’t deliver its promise. How do they know? Are these “oppositionists” now claiming to be psychics? I mean, how do they know that government can’t deliver? And besides, that’s the problem of the MILF right? If government can’t deliver its promises, then, government is liable to the MILF and the international community.
Opposition says they reject this deal because it would lead to charter change. I don’t believe that. MILF peace panel member Atty. Michael Mastura says that the deal only recognizes the right of the Bangsamoro to have their own state. And even if Gloria do want charter change, I don’t think she’ll succeed in it because people would definitely oppose any change other than resolving the Bangsamoro question.
We all need to give peace a chance. Those who want war, like North Cotabato Vice Governor Ed Pinol and the Lobregats of Zamboanga, let them be damned. Peace adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. is right–if the MILF imposes its rights under the deal in the future, the AFP does’nt have any right to intervene on their behalf. Let the MILF resolve these problems. It’s their territory anyway.
Let me say one thing–we need to consider this deal as a necessary small step towards the ultimate solution to the Bangsamoro question. For after this deal, there’s no more we can expect from this but a long debilitating war. And a war at this point, would affect everybody, Filipinos and Bangsamoros.
August 3, 2008 § 1 Comment
On Tuesday, members of the government peace panel and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will sign a historic deal. This deal will lead to the establishment of a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE), an entity which would grant sovereign rights to the MILF on “ancestral domain”. The ancestral domain, in this case, covers parts of Zamboanga, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu. The GRP peace panel agreed to give the Bangsamoro political, economic and even police powers to the MILF under this deal.
This early, some hailed this as a landmark deal which could probably end the Moro secessionist struggle in Mindanao. Others, like traditional Moro families and wealthy Christian landowners, have registered their protests. They see the landmark deal as property encroachments which could potentially lead to more violence at the onset.
As PinoyObserver wrote some entries ago, this is just a start of the Bangsamoro struggle because after this, I expect an escalation of violence between and among groups with various interests in Mindanao. Expect the Mindanaoans to wage war against each other, starting with an interacine conflict between Moros themselves. This is expected since Mindanao has been under the grip of traditional “royal families” and Christian land owners and caciques whose interests will definitely be affected and even end should this deal pushes through.
There will be a period of great instability and turmoil, but this should not hinder nor discourage Arroyo from signing this deal. For the costs of such turmoil rests in the shoulders of the MILF, not the government. The MILF will have a greater struggle ahead of it, owning to the firepower that these groups have ranged against it. The MILF should persevere and should not deter from the reason of its formation—the creation of an Independent Bangsamoro State.
In general, the deal will greatly benefit not only those under the BJE but also the entire nation. The potential of foreign investments from both China, the Middle East, India, the United States and Europe is there. Mindanao is underdeveloped. With a new government to be administered by the Bangsamoro themselves, anything is possible there.
Now, the Bangsamoro can build its own megacities, create jobs, create opportunities for everyone. The Bangsamoro can build investment sites. The territory to be given to them has enormous potential for development and growth. The area is rich in mineral and oil resources which, if developed, could potentially increase investment and further grow and modernize the Bangsamoro state.
However, this is just a small step. The growth and development of the BJE will take years before we finally enjoy its fruits. For now, the Bangsamoro People will have to prepare themselves against those who don’t want progress. These groups have enslaved the Bangsamoro people for centuries. The enslavement have kept Mindanao underdeveloped and poor. For the Bangsamoro People to end it, it would need the Help of God to shackle those chains that have impoverished its people.