Friday, August 29, 2008

Intellectual Cowardice and Treason

“In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: Not necessarily to Win, but mainly to keep from Losing Completely” – Hunter S. Thompson

That quotation, taken from the Uniffors (Union of Filipino Foreign Service Officers) website, shows the truth long known by career diplomats in the Department of Foreign Affairs: that the swines and pigs who are rising in the institutional ladders of power and fame are the ones ruling the country today.

By extension, the intelligentsia is no different since these spokesmen for the ruling system are ensconced in high and mighty positions, and are quoted and propagated by mainstream media.

I note two of these intellectual emissions of the ruling class’ mentality who are attempting to find a way out of the national, political and economic dilemma they’ve put this country in by their sponsorship of Edsa-style “people power,” particularly Edsa II.

A recent headline report by Felipe R. Salvosa in Business World entitled, “RP’s fight vs poverty lags in Asia” from baseline year 1994, cited Vietnam in 2006 as doing vastly better with only 16 percent classified as poor against the Philippines’ 29.5 percent based on a $1.25 poverty line.

In it, Vietnam was found to have reduced its poverty level by 4 percent each year compared to the Philippines ’ half-a-percent, which is pathetic even when compared to Indonesia ’s 2 percent.

What is the difference between the economic policies of these three countries that makes the Philippines the laggard? Well, Vietnam is socialist, nationalist, protectionist and a self-sufficiency-striving economy while Indonesia still protects its people through subsidies and controls. The Philippines , meanwhile, is only full of…liberalization and free trade.

Salvosa’s report, which quoted “esteemed” Edsa I and II economist Solita Monsod, cited the latest Social Weather Stations poverty survey and estimates of UP economist Arsenio M. Balisacan “who found that poverty worsened between 1997 and 2006 with even lower thresholds…(with) estimates pegg(ing) the number of poor people at 26.9% of the population in 2006, from about a quarter in 1997.”

Monsod, in response, blurted: “That starts from the Estrada administration” -- a factually twisted, blame-shifting ploy that betrays a real but still suppressed sense of guilt, which also reeks of intellectual dishonesty, given the fact that President Joseph E. Estrada only won in 1998 and moreover took office in June of that year!

Clearly, the spike in Philippine poverty was due to the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997, which occurred under the administration of Fidel V. Ramos. Philippine growth plunged to zero as the economy imploded. It was even Estrada who brought back four percent growth in 2000, only to be unconstitutionally deposed in a coup disguised as “people power” in January 2001 before momentum could ever pick up.

Plus, less than six months before that, Estrada had already succeeded in his “all out war” against the MILF, reclaiming authority over its 46 camps.

Still, in another historical twisting of facts, Philippine Star columnist Billy Esposo denigrates this now widely-acclaimed decisive victory of Estrada against the MILF. His ludicrous “Listen to Estrada and lose Mindanao ” piece forwards the view that the MILF had not really been defeated by Estrada.

Yet even an idiot knows this cannot hold water as the Mindanao situation back then steadily pacified after Camp Abubakar ’s fall, with MILF chair Hashim Salamat running to Kuala Lumpur for refuge.

Nonetheless, as if wanting to make all the AFP men and civilian fighters who died in the past turn in their graves, Esposo now argues that Filipinos cannot defeat the “US-backed MILF.”

By saying that “a US-supported MILF can wage a war that we can hardly afford to fight -- especially if there is no superpower to support us,” Esposo exposes himself as a coward in every sense of the word; a coward who moreover hides in the face of imperial oppression and subversion; and a coward who limits his imagination in the midst of vast diplomatic imperatives, such as alliances with Venezuela and other anti-imperialist South American countries, which I have written about at length -- among other options to counter US domination such as strengthening ties with China, Russia and India.

As for Esposo’s “utak polvora” tag, shouldn’t it apply more to the MILF than the government forces under Estrada? It’s been the MILF using violence -- a fact that has long stripped Murad or Eid Kabalu of any moral basis for protesting the “all out war” against their atrocities. What’s more, Estrada was able to wage a successful campaign while suspending offensives during Ramadan -- a far cry from the policy nowadays.

In all, Marcos and Estrada defeated the rebels; it was Edsa I and II that brought them back to life.

Up to now, Esposo has never accepted my challenge to a public debate. But then, why should he when he is the “star” columnist of an Edsa tradpol-owned mainstream paper who lobbied for the passage of the Epira by handing out millions in grease money to his fellow greedy tongressmen?

I’m telling you: The scenario in Mindanao today has been cooked up right after Edsa II, just as the 2003 Iraq War was planned by the neocon Project for a New American Century (PNAC) in 1997-98 -- developments that had been the crux of my “Kosovo in Mindanao ” article as early as 2003.

So I’m telling you this now: A huge atrocity against both Muslims and Christians in Mindanao is in the works by neocons for this September’s Ramadan to serve as basis for accelerating international intervention by Blair and the OIC, and the entry of “international peacekeepers.”

Thus, our response with other nationalists is to prevent the Filipino people from losing out completely in this battle against Balkanization. Armed with truth, we, the descendants of Bonifacio and Rizal, can get out acts together -- over the carcasses of the swines of intellectual cowardice and treason.

(Tune in to: Talk News TV on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 3, Tuesday at 8:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with guest, Cuban Amb. Jorge Rey Jimenez; Kape’t Kamulatan, Kabansa on 1098AM, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.; and Suló ng Pilipino every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the same station. Also, check out:

Monday, August 25, 2008

Discernment and Nationalism

The past week of skirmishes between the AFP and so-called “lost command” elements disowned by the MILF shows the inanity and futility of negotiations with these so-called “insurgents.” The MILF will not even feign control because these groups are clearly moving in cadence with its political agenda -- this time committing atrocities so grave as to make the international headlines. Moreover, the MILF has never consolidated under its wings other Bangsa Moro factions such as the MNLF, the Ampatuans and the Dimaporos, because they have all objected to its claims. So what is there to negotiate with the MILF then? Verily, capitulation calls by such miniscule groups as the “Black and White Movement” only serve to follow the US-MILF-GMA conspiracy.

As the days pass and debates rage over the Arroyo-MILF MoA issues, the stronger the arguments against appeasement and capitulation become. The MILF has been exposed as an empty phantom claiming as its “force” elements that it cannot command, and the “ancestral domain” proposition has been shown to be a vacuous conception, indefensible in moral and historical terms. The best argument we have heard is from our reader and radio volunteer Ka Ferdie who said: “If we are trace the ancestors who first established a high level of civilization in this archipelago, (these were) the Sri Visaya and the Majapahit empires in the first and second millen(nia) that were not Muslim nor Christian but Buddhist, Hindu and Animist in religious orientation.”

Domains and property concepts mutate through historical evolution but in the end, these are fixed by the social, economic and political imperatives of the times. The original migrations to the archipelago tens of thousands of years ago, like those of the Aetas and Negritoes, do not count in the “ancestral domains” claims at all because these have become impotent cultures. As new migrations arrived taking over the rich agricultural lowlands, the old communities retreated to the hinterlands, which had no value until the Industrial Revolution started the rush for minerals and ores. And now that even marshes and seas are coveted for natural gas and oil, Western energy and political powers have begun to redefine such domains to circumvent the need to deal with national entities.

The main question for the Filipino people in the aborted Arroyo-MILF MoA is: Shall we allow hundreds of billions of dollars of natural resources that form part of this nation’s wealth to be taken away from the many citizens of this country and given to foreign greed and a few self-serving bandit-leaders for their own aggrandizement? We should have asked this question even earlier, when the Mining Act was being reviewed by the Supreme Court, which finally decided to give it away to foreign interests. But the issue was not as highlighted as the Arroyo-MILF MoA because it did not involve a bandit group passing itself off as a “state” and claiming large tracks of land where Christians had properties and interests, like in Zamboanga and other cities, which really inflamed the Christians there.

From all accounts, the MILF is only a paper kris as shown by the numerous times the AFP has demolished this so-called force. But behind it is a real power in its staging of the geopolitical wayang kulit on the Mindanao stage -- the US . And so the paper kris waves about menacingly even when it signifies nothing. Time and again, history has shown that the so-called Muslim insurgency cannot sustain itself without direct support from the US and its agents as in the Michael Meiring episode, which implicated the CIA in the Davao bombings of 2003 and Operation Greenbase, where junior officers were ordered to grenade Muslim mosques. Thus, the real enemies of peace and stability in Mindanao are the foreign powers.

I am deliberately repetitive in citing the Michael Meiring incident, where the FBI whisked off the American bomber back to the US, prompting Davao Mayor Duterte to tell Ricciardone, “I just would like now to make it clear, to inform…the US Ambassador and some morons there in the national government who are handling these FBI agents that you better not do that again here or I will have you arrested,” as well as, the Operation Greenbase exposé as these are crucial to discern what is really happening in the tense areas of Mindanao. Those preaching capitulation to the MILF never discuss these pivotal moments of subversion and terrorism because the only power that can overcome this foreign menace is the power of nationalism.

On my Destiny Cable TV interview last week with retired Commodore Rex Robles, he said: “I know this will sound corny but the answer to all the problems is ‘Love of Country’.” Right away, I caped it off with, “When the Filipino people begin to think of country in terms of their bunso (the youngest child in the family), their grandchildren and great-great grandchildren and their future, then it will not be corny anymore.”

The Sabah we lost to the Malaysians gave them the wherewithal to build the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur , so let’s not lose the Liguasan Marsh and the Sulu Sea wealth this time around. I also make this appeal to the AFP leaders and men for in the end, it is they who will help decide if we remain an impoverished vassal or become a rich and free nation.

Grudgingly, the AFP is still cause for both hope and frustration. For if there are nationalist military leaders like Gen. Danilo Lim, there are also careerists and opportunists who have surrendered their souls to foreign powers, repeatedly abandoning their nationalist comrades whenever the US bars real change by throwing its support to any one of its corrupt local puppets.

We must henceforth learn from South American military-backed nationalist movements, like in Venezuela , which engaged their civilian populations in decades of political education and have now won their liberation from US imperialism. For this reason, the November 29 Movement and this columnist are starting the “Free Danny Lim” movement to symbolize the new AFP and its nationalism.

(Tune in to: Talk News TV on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 3, Tuesday at 8:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with guest Atty. Alan Paguia on the MoA-AD; Kape’t Kamulatan, Kabansa on 1098AM, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.; and Suló ng Pilipino every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the same station. Also, check out:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Crushing their “Plan B”

Mabuhay and congratulations to the nation for thwarting the underhanded Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the Arroyo government and the MILF -- both US puppets -- to dismember parts of Mindanao and steal our immense patrimony.

These conspirators, led by the oil powers behind the US establishment, saw their plots in disarray from the enraged reaction of the Filipino people. But they will soon regain composure and shift to “Plan B,” which is to sow fear and chaos, and sensationalize local and international news by way of deliberate and planned atrocities or bombings leading to two directions: (a) Cha-cha and variations of it for Gloria, and (b) deployment of “international peacekeepers” pursuant to the strategic plan of the US and MILF once the latter gains “belligerency status.”

Inasmuch as we have read the moves of these conspirators to dismember Mindanao long before, as evidenced by our “Kosovo in Mindanao ” piece five years ago, we are more than able to calculate their next moves today.

Truly, we’ve kept pace with these conspirators’ every move in the past decades, such as their patterns in “Balkanizing” Yugoslavia and in breaking away Kosovo, and their oh-so-similar move of separating East Timor, which eventually led to “invited” Australian “peacekeepers” acting as referees in a brewing civil war, but in actuality, are there clamping down on nationalist elements that demand their birthright to the East Timorese continental shelf oil.

Knowing the plans of these conspirators can also help us avoid the traps they have set to sink us further in a quagmire of “perpetual fraternal war.”

During my interview with retired Commodore Rex Robles for our Tuesday Talk News TV show, I was educated on the various modes of destabilizing a country. He narrated a session with some American intelligence officers who said that one of their methods is just to start giving free arms and ammunitions to various local communities, which invariably find their way to domestic quarrels to criminal and political-ideological conflicts.

This then led me to Operation Greenbase, where junior officers were instructed by military top brass, apparently working under US State Department direction, to lob grenades into mosques to trigger ethnic tensions, as exposed by Senator Trillanes and the Bagong Katipuneros (a.k.a. Magdalo) at Oakwood.

I also recalled the episode with Michael Meiring, the American who was severely injured by a bomb he was assembling in Davao ’s Evergreen Hotel, which coincided with the series of bombings in Davao , including the one at Sasa Wharf , which were then blamed on “Muslim separatists.”

Meiring was subsequently rushed to hospital for treatment, but when Mayor Duterte et al. were about to launch an investigation, the US Embassy swooped down on the facility, paid Meiring’s bills and sent him posthaste back to the US.

Mainstream media in the Philippines has been quiet about Meiring, but we’ve always reminded everyone about this. Google “Michael Meiring” and you will find many articles on the “CIA operative” living alternately in Houston and in Colorado .

But just the same, the US now has the MILF and its “lost command” to do these bombings and other atrocities.

The evil and subversive operations of the US and the MILF would be easy to quash if the Philippine government were genuinely after establishing stability and order. Yet the greatest tragedy today is the fact that the Arroyo regime is in cahoots with these forces that seek to dismember Mindanao .

After failing to slip the MoA past people’s attention and scrutiny, Gloria Arroyo and her various minions are now obfuscating, creating smokescreens by alternately claiming the MoA has been “aborted” or to be “renegotiated.” The latest statement from Ermita, however, that there will be a “review” only means Gloria will still ram the agreement down the throat of this nation, using the argument that peace is still “cheaper” than waging war -- a really cheap argument that harks back to ex-presidential spokesman Rigoberto Tiglao’s remark in 2002 that returning the camps to the MILF and reviving “peace talks” was cheaper than war.

What these knuckleheads still refuse to admit is that at that time, the MILF was no longer a threat! Ah, but maybe that’s why Michael Meiring had to enter the picture -- to give the “Muslim insurgency” a shot in the arm.

Seriously, though, after eight years of Arroyo’s “appeasement” but still with countless lives lost, including that of 41-year-old PMAer Col. Benitez, how can the cost of her “peace” be accounted for?

Perhaps, one only has to dig deeper to realize that the Arroyo regime, like the Cory Aquino government, is contaminated by agents of influence of foreign governments like Norberto Gonzales, who twice brought back to life dead rebellions -- those of Nur Misuari and Hashim Salamat. Not surprisingly, he has had the “red carpet” in Sabah since his “Light-a-Fire” days, courtesy of Malaysian intel.

To defeat the dismemberment conspirators’ “Plan B,” we need to first demolish the MILF leadership as President Estrada did in 2000, to strip the US, Malaysia and Gloria of one of their pawns. We must invigorate diplomatic ties with rising anti-imperialist governments in Venezuela , Bolivia , Paraguay , etc. and evolving “multi-polar” world powers such as Russia and China to counter US domination and subversion. We must accelerate development of the wealth of Mindanao and democratize its fruits. And with the region’s natural resources so plain to see, every bank in the world will scramble to be the first to extend it loans. But for these to happen, regime change must first transpire. Above all, we must not allow the situation to become a Christian-Muslim fight but focus instead on the nation’s crusade against the three-headed US-MILF-Gloria hydra.

As our OFW compatriot Lourdes Ceballos said: “This ‘deal’ you say between the US and Gloria to sell out ‘Philippine sovereignty’ is food for thought that calls for action by Filipinos wherever they are, such as the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) scattered all over the globe…There (lies) the danger of separating the rich natural resources in Mindanao from the total wealth of the Philippines as one nation. Peace and progress in Mindanao should be worked out by Filipinos without the dangers posed by viewpoints involving religion, ancestral territorial domain, and foreign influence.” Hence, our clarion call, “Pilipinas para sa Pilipino!”

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Saving Mindanao … and the Nation

It is now popular knowledge that the US has struck a deal with Gloria to sell out Philippine sovereignty in exchange for its silence over her bid for term extension. At stake here are: 1) control of at least $570 billion in gas and oil reserves, and 2) the Filipino people’s right to choose its leaders and periodically vote on issues of national concern. Specifically, the oil and gas wealth alone means P273,888 for each Filipino man, woman and child -- the value of which will increase in the future. Such a scheme will likewise perpetuate the kleptocracy and plutocracy of Gloria Arroyo’s ilk and US-backed oligarchs for years and years to come.

For over a decade now, the US has pursued a program of setting up physical and social infrastructure in key cities and provinces in Mindanao -- a process which has accelerated the past five years. Filipinos often wondered and joked about these huge US projects in places like General Santos. Highways were built so wide and thick that engineers say they can accommodate the landing of the largest air transport vehicles.

It’s been a puzzle, really, why such an area known more for its tuna and sardines would need a highway that could land a Lockheed C-5 Galaxy. Clearly, the US has been making very strategic, long term investments in Mindanao for purposes that have never been fully revealed.

In the cloak-and-dagger of international geopolitics, few things are really what they seem. The motives for “magnanimity” of US physical and social investments in Mindanao , as well as, those of other parties, however, have begun to be revealed -- thanks to the national blowback on the Arroyo-MILF Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MoA-AD).

It began with Hashim Salamat’s 2003 letter to the war-monger Bush which marked the change in the MILF’s standing from a mere rebel group to a front for US imperial and economic hegemony.

The US dangled the “terrorist” tag on the MILF until that pleading letter gave the two common cause in the “ancestral domain” supposition, which in effect cedes a third of Mindanao of over twenty-million people to the MILF, which does not even have any basis for claiming to represent over two million Muslims in the country’s third major island.

While some official Muslim population estimates reach four million, doubts are raised by the likes of former QC Mayor Jun Simon, whose experienced reckoning halves the bloated Comelec voters’ list, which gives a more accurate real figure. But then, a nation-state is still not a cake to be cut up for each party to own; for if it were so, there would be no nation and republic to speak of.

Also, given that modern society favors meritocracy in social standing and stewardship in land use, the concept of inherited “ancestral domain” is most repugnant because it is, in essence, archaic and feudal. The historical fact is that Philippine “ancestral domain” was long demolished by the arrival of the conquistadores and the prayles.

Incidentally, the United States Institute for Peace (USIP) is at the forefront of pushing the “peace process” on the basis of the MILF’s “ancestral domain” and is headed by former Ambassador to the Philippines, Richard Solomon, who also heads the Political Science Department of the RAND Corporation -- an institution branded as “America’s University of Imperialism” by Chalmer Johnsons, University of California professor and CIA analyst.

Thus, the MILF forces have become mere mercenaries of the most oppressive force in the world.

Aside from exposing its own paucity and losing whatever respect is left of it, the MILF, along with its tactical allies like the NDF and some groups of the “rejectionist” mold have been caught in their own web of contradictions.

Many have wondered why Satur Ocampo graced the Arroyo-MILF signing ceremony in Kuala Lumpur and his subsequent tepid responses as the nation raged in anger.

Last Saturday, too, a picture of a certain Sister Arnold with placards signed KPML and SNLK came out in a newspaper front page reporting their support for the MoA-AD. When I called Prof. Dodong Nemenzo to clarify, he attributed this to the groups’ “tactical alliances” with the MILF.

From its end, the NDF has always pursued a “destroy the national government and AFP at all cost” policy as it allies with the MILF and gets trapped by the US ’ global divide and rule ploy. As a result, the NDF and some “rejectionists” have been caught in the dilemma of supporting the dismemberment of Mindanao and the nation, and unwittingly supporting the real US interest of sustaining military bases and exploiting the rich resources in Mindanao .

Mindanao can only be saved if the AFP leadership, the Muslims and Christians of Mindanao, and the entire Filipino people unite to drive off the almost fully entrenched talons of the foreign predator in Mindanao .

My position is to win over the AFP and government rank-and-file to act as one against US hegemony and corrupt domestic instruments such as Gloria Arroyo, and liberate the wealth of this country from foreign hands, earmarking them for nation building and people’s prosperity.

Arguably, this is the only window in our history where this is possible as the US is at its weakest.

The appeasement of the likes of Jose Montelibano’s “peace at all cost” column is deceptive because the MILF peace pact will just be the root of a wider perpetual war, in the same way that the good works of Billy Esposo in exposing US imperialism are being negated by his continuing bigotry against the national leader who had already solved the MILF problem in his re-claiming of Camp Abubakar in 2000.

Let us draw inspiration from the recent South American victories over US imperialism, like the electoral win in Paraguay of the anti-US former bishop Fernando Lugo, that country’s newly-inaugurated El Presidente. Let us all realize that unity -- among our people and the AFP -- is what it takes to save Mindanao and the rest of our nation!

The Daily Tribune

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A “traitor class”

The act of treason in the so-called “peace” agreement on “ancestral domain” initialed by emissaries of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Kuala Lumpur did not happen overnight.

It was the culmination of over two decades of build-up of treasonous acts by the ruling class that runs the power structure of Philippine society today, which began unfettered with the triumph of Edsa I. That turnover of power from the increasingly independent Marcos regime (that opened ties with China and Russia ahead of many Asean countries) to the plutocracy of the “traitor class” of pro-US elite doomed the country to serial economic rape and now, the blatant Balkanization of its resource-rich Mindanao.

When Cory Aquino took power, one of her first deeds with Butz Aquino, Nene Pimentel and Norberto Gonzales was the return of the vanquished Nur Misuari from exile and the restoration of the MNLF. This, despite the fact that thousands of Filipino soldiers had died to stop the MNLF from dismembering the Republic during Marcos’ time. And so, it got rehabilitated in just a matter of months, effectively reviving the conflict in Mindanao .

Aquino then went on to remove all projects and programs aimed at economic independence -- the scuttling of energy projects like the BNPP and hydro-electric plants, the downgrading of irrigation and agricultural productivity programs, and the privatization of public utilities, which Fidel V. Ramos accelerated while helping the Carlyle group broker many privatization schemes.

Sadly, the only moment in the past 22 years since Edsa I that there was an unambiguous re-assertion of the country’s sovereignty was the victory of the “one country, one flag” principle over the insurgents and secessionist movements that have plagued this nation. This was when President Estrada led the Armed Forces of the Philippines to crush the MILF and took over its headquarter, Camp Abubakar, and raised the Philippine flag there in July 2000, with its sun and three stars, including the one for Mindanao, and the color red that spoke of valor.

But when Edsa II deposed Estrada eight months later, the process of restoring the MILF began anew. Gloria Arroyo returned all its camps, including Abubakar and then, the US even changed its rhetoric versus the group.

From all angles, Edsa II was a pale version of Edsa I, with no more that a hundred thousand or so gathered by Cardinal Sin and “civil society” to demonstrate before the Edsa Shrine. That stage-managed “people power” gathering was already frittering away when then chief of Staff Gen. Angelo Reyes herded the major service generals into a waiting van. He explained, only when the van started running, that they were joining the oust Estrada move and “withdrawing support” from their duly- and popularly-elected commander-in-chief.

In doing so, Gen. Reyes even blurted, as narrated by Air Force Gen. Benjie Defensor, “Gentlemen, we are committing treason.” Even with the full knowledge that they were being traitors to their country and their oath, all still silently acquiesced. Just what are these supposed men of valor made of?

Among these Edsa II military personalities, you have a certain Victor Corpus, a lieutenant from the Philippine Military academy who betrayed his AFP institution by joining the NPA and aided in the killing of fellow AFP soldiers. After being caught, he rejoined the AFP, only to later join a coup d’etat against a duly-elected president of the Republic, which then led to his promotion as general and the country’s top intelligence post!

Once out of government, Corpus then subverts his erstwhile boss by prodding a subaltern under his DENR office, Jun Lozada, to bear witness against her while holding on to office -- the workings of a consummate traitor?

Aside from these men in uniform, equally confusing is another Edsa II partner, the National Democratic Front. Its leader, Satur Ocampo, has not for one second condemned the MILF land grab, which is on top of the fact that its self-proclaimed “nationalist” leader, Luis Jalandoni, is a Dutch citizen.

But then again, Gloria Arroyo herself is no stranger to treason. When she was President Estrada’s VP and social welfare secretary, she plotted -- by her own taped admission at a COPA awards night after Edsa II -- with five generals to overthrow Erap. Sitting and listening to Gloria Arroyo boast of her treachery were the “alta sociedad,” business and government officials, religious leaders and more military and police officials -- all reveling in the treason and treachery against the Republic, the people and the principles of democracy and popular sovereignty.

Of course, when Gloria proceeded to parcel out the economy, our energy and water resources, as well as, our roads and mines to foreign companies, they all rejoiced even more.

Going on eight years now since Edsa II, the country has slid in the United Nations Human Development Index, from No. 77 to No. 90. Surely, there is no better measure of the negative consequences of Edsa II’s subversion of the democratic will than this. Throughout these eight years, we all know that the US has been pumping dollars in Mindanao to win “hearts and minds” for a “peace” that will further impoverish the Republic and immensely enrich it and its allies, the British and EU’s oil and gas firms.

Our Friday column last week reported the estimated 1.3-trillion cubic feet of gas reserves in the Liguasan Marsh valued for at least $570 billion and the yet un-estimated oil deposits in the Sulu Sea .

When the US finished off the Katipunan revolution in the Fil-American War, butchering an estimated 1.2 million Filipinos, it wiped out an entire class of brave and nationalistic leaders as well.

Like in Iraq today, they had established a “traitor class,” which in turn, continues to spawn a “traitor culture.” Prof. Alan Paguia’s research reveals that while the Americans co-opted Aguinaldo with 1,058 hectares of land, with his generals netting 800 hectares each, they have taken trillions of dollars out of the country since then -- a fact Professors Serafin Quiazon and Emmanuel Yap remind us of.

Inasmuch as they took billions away from the Philippines in stealing Sabah , they’ll even take hundreds of billions of dollars away if they succeed in this “ancestral domain” fraud.

Fortunately, the adverse reaction to the barefaced land grab in the MILF “peace settlement” seems to have evoked revulsion and rekindled patriotism among many Filipinos, even among some in the “traitor class.” It has certainly inflamed nationalism all over the country. Let us seize this opportunity to forge ahead with the nationalist “Last Revolution,” and forgive the repentant ones from this “traitor class” should they join this patriotic struggle now.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Ambassador Kenney – MILF coddler.

In 2003, I wrote a column entitled, “Kosovo in Mindanao ,” referring to the Balkanization of Serbia and Kosovo with the full backing of Western powers. With Kosovo having been part of the Serbian national territory, which functioned as a multi-ethnic, multi-religious society for a thousand years, the latter fell apart when the US-British led NATO campaign broke it up. Undeniably, Western powers armed and funded the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) to start its separatist movement. And here in today’s Mindanao, the MILF’s US , British and Malaysian allies are similarly backing this otherwise toothless group. True enough, when the MILF land grab was deferred by the Supreme Court TRO , US Ambassador Kristie Kenney quickly expressed deep disappointment.

“It’s disappointing but not something you can’t continue to work through,” said Kenney on the heels of the aborted agreement-signing that would have granted a separate state to the MILF. Why is the US Embassy interfering in the country’s internal affairs, particularly in this highly charged separation of part of the nation’s territory? Indeed, the American ambassador has only proven that she doesn’t have any qualms in showing her office’s true intent in praising the most unpopular economic policies of Gloria like the rVAT and now, the sellout of Mindanao territories. Thus, US intentions are now exposed for what they are -- subversion to exploit and gain control of parts of Mindanao to loot our national patrimony.

For his part, Alejandro “Ding” Lichauco pinpoints the international oil powers, a.k.a. the Western oligarchy, as the ones trying to control Mindanao ’s riches. Why this huge interest? Liguasan Marsh in Central Mindanao alone holds 1.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas worth up to $600 billion. Likewise, oil deposits, connected to the submarine structures from which Sabah draws its oil and other fossil fuel resources, lay waiting in the Sulu Sea . These reasons, and more, should already prompt Filipinos to understand who the real enemy is.

The MILF is a mere shell, an empty cloth puppet with the hand of US-British and oil powers moving MILF Chairman, Murad Ibrahim, as well as, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and others in the “traitor class” like Esperon to do their bidding.

Some Filipinos just can’t fathom the apparent stupidity of Gloria and Esperon in accepting this “peace agreement” that is not merely a virtual but an actual sellout of the Philippines . But more than that, I contend that this is a fait accompli the Arroyo government was presented with by Bush and company, an ultimatum for the sudden acceptance of Gloria’s request for a visit to Bush last June, in exchange for the silent acquiescence of the US to whatever gimmick she may use to extend her term.

Hence, it’s no longer a mystery why the People’s Initiative (PI) and the Cha-cha started moving simultaneously underground as the GRP-MILF “peace agreement” rolled in Kuala Lumpur . That being the case, Satur Ocampo’s ambiguous, non-condemnatory position on the US-MILF land grab also becomes suspect. Is the NDF in cahoots too?

Few Filipinos know that the US had delisted the MILF from its roster of terrorist organizations even while the latter and its different disguised affiliates like the Abu Sayyaf continued to sow various forms of terror in Mindanao ’s countryside.

Why then did the US do this, on top of having USAID through Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) pour in “aid” in the tens of millions of dollars over the years and set up a shopping mall in Cotabato City and countless waiting sheds marked, “Donated by USAID,” which, according to veteran Mindanao hand and former Mayor Jun Simon, smacks of a political campaign for US presence in these areas? Perhaps, a few hundred million in “aid” is dirt cheap considering the hundreds of billions of dollars to be tapped from Mindanao ’s riches?

Ostensibly, the MILF leadership is just a puppet paper tiger -- its fangs already pulled out in June 2000 by President Joseph E. Estrada and the AFP in the half-year “all out war” campaign, which resulted in the organization’s complete rout, the GRP takeover of Camp Abubakkar among others, and the flight of its late chief Hashim Salamat to Kuala Lumpur. But all these were laid to waste in January 2001 when Estrada got deposed by a so-called “People Power II,” which saw the instant resurrection of the MILF, the restoration of its camps, and the increase of its funds. Even more telling is that this power grab was actually a project of the US State Department, which had American corporate backing coursed through Cardinal Sin and the Makati Business Club.

In recent history, another instructive parallel to what’s happening in Mindanao is East Timor . When Portugal withdrew from East Timor, Western powers allowed Indonesia to take it over to stop Marxist guerillas. Throughout Indonesia ’s rule, however, the West continued to support the guerilla movement, Fretilin, and raised human rights and independence issues on and on. When the West was ready to tap the East Timor shelf oil, it yanked Indonesia out then propped up sham democratic leaders like Jose Ramos-Horta. Then, when rebellions sprouted, Australia (the US-British deputy in the Pacific) sent in “peacekeepers,” who now actively hunt down indigenous rebels opposing Australian control and those who demand a fair share of East Timor ’s oil resources for native East Timorese.

What action we take as a people on the Mindanao crisis today determines the fortunes of Filipinos for the next 25 years. If 40 years ago, the Jabidah project to regain Sabah had not been scuttled by inept intelligence trainers and the irresponsible exposé of Benigno Aquino, Jr., our nation would not have become the poor man of Asean today. Once we strengthen Filipino sovereignty over the trillion dollar resources of Mindanao , we will not only pay off our $60-billion foreign debt but have resources for development, growth and real prosperity for generations to come. We don’t have to be poor, hopeless and doomed. Our dream of prosperity makes imperative our fight and triumph against the US , British and the local “traitor class.”

This is the time to fight “The Last Revolution” against the MILF coddlers, especially since the US is losing South America, is muddled in Iraq , Afghanistan , Pakistan and Iran , and has lost in Central Asia ; with the local traitor class of oligarchs, corrupt trapos like Gloria, traitor soldiers like Esperon being utterly discredited. If we do not fight, we lose everything. In a hard fought victory, we gain everything -- “To arms then, countrymen!”

(Tune in to: Talk News TV on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 3, Tuesday at 8:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Kape’t Kamulatan, Kabansa on 1098AM, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.; and Suló ng Pilipino every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the same statio

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Planting the Seeds of RP’s Financial Revolution

What’s the point of GMA’s SONA boast of a P1.4-trillion national budget for next year -- a huge jump from 2002’s P778 billion to last year’s P1.2 trillion -- if the national poverty numbers continue to grow in leaps and bounds? In 2007 alone, the Philippines ’ ranking in the United Nations Human Development Index plunged to number 99 from number 77 in 2002, notwithstanding our budget’s hefty 50-percent increase over the past six years.

Poverty surveys like Pulse Asia and SWS, as well as, the government’s own National Statistics Office and National Food and Nutrition Council studies show escalating poverty and hunger incidence in the country. These days, 60 percent of Filipinos already rate themselves poor while 2.9 million families suffer from abject hunger.

Despite these, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) last week even prided itself for having “increased” the country’s international reserves. BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said the country’s gross international reserves (GIRs) reached $36.6 billion at end-May from $36.4 billion at end-April. Given that the country’s GIRs stood at $25.6 billion at end-May last year, this year’s figure translates to a 43-percent-increase year on year.

But why are these reserves being increased on borrowed money, at a time when the people are experiencing financial drought from increasing oil and food prices, higher interest rates that choke industry and dislocate employees, and a gyrating peso? Aren’t reserves supposed to be used during rainy days, in times of need and crisis?

Well, that’s because RP’s finance management is topsy-turvy and contradicts common sense. GMA and her fellow neo-liberals’ policies are like illusion mirrors in carnival houses, presenting distorted and grotesquely twisted images of reality. And as this fun house is run by the IMF-WB, along with its international and local banking mafia, the BSP only sees the country’s finances from this distorted view vis-à-vis “bankers’ mathematics” of our debt, currency and economic policies.

Even as the national budget balloons, the country gets poorer and poorer because the budget growth is merely based on more borrowings, which prompts the BSP to print more debt-based pesos to mop up dollars that are then placed into reserves. Invariably, both increase the profits of international and local bankers.

The way the present financial system works is, sadly, the way the IMF-WB likes it. Still, with this perverted economics’ detriment to our nation, why is the BSP not being made to answer for it? Simple. It’s only answerable to the IMF-WB; not to the Filipino people or its government.

The Philippine Constitution, written by the cabal of Joker Arroyo’s wife, the Jesuit Bernas and Cory Aquino’s other clones, created Section 20, Article 12, which stipulates that the BSP, being supposedly “independent,” should be run by a board consisting of seven members, two of whom are public officials appointed by government, with the majority of five being representatives of private banks. This, in effect, puts the BSP under the control of the banks, and not the Republic of the Philippines . Which then brings us to what financial empire founder Mayer Rothschild said 200 years ago: “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws.”

As proof, let us consider the following: Local bankers, with their enormous clout, got exemptions from the Agri-Agra Law mandating banks to lend 25 percent of loanable funds to farmers, by simply buying government Treasury Bills. Then, in 2005, bankers got National Treasurer Norma Lasala fired for opposing the late BSP chief Rafael Buenaventura’s transfer of government securities custodianship and authorizing fees to the Philippine Depository and Trust Corporation, adding billions in cost to government and profits to five favored private banks, namely: the Bank of the Philippine Islands, the local units of Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank.

Don’t let the “ng Pilipinas” tag of the BSP fool you; it’s there to hoodwink people into thinking it’s a public institution. It is no different from the US Federal Reserve board, which is neither federal nor public, with a so-called “independent” board comprising seven members whose names are nominated by the private District Federal Reserve banks to the US president, who then does not choose from outside this list.

The US Federal Reserve Chairman has always come from the private banking sector and is never independent. Perhaps, the Federal Reserve is only independent in that it has never been audited by the US government thanks to the 1913 US Federal Reserve Act. In the same way, the BSP has never been audited by our CoA either.

“But aren’t there enough people who know this and who would expose it?” the layman would often react. As the Rothschilds have said, “The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits or so dependent on its favors that there will be no opposition from that class…” Thus, our doctors of economics or finance from UP, Ateneo and UA&P who want jobs and consultancies from these banks and their subsidiaries, or the IMF-WB think tanks, just keep quiet and join the plunder.

Since we do not count among their servile ranks, let us expose the ones in control of the US Federal Reserve: Rothschild Banks of London and Berlin, Lazard Brothers Bank of Paris , Israel Moses Sieff Banks of Italy, Warburg Bank of Hamburg and Amsterdam, Lehman Brothers Bank, Kuhn Loeb Bank, Chase Manhattan Bank and Goldman Sachs of New York .

Notice the preponderance of Jewish names? Now you know why Obama immediately spoke at the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) after nomination. These bankers control the IMF-WB (note that the IMF chief is always nominated from European financial circles) and the US Federal Reserve. The BSP is just an adjunct of these larger instrumentalities of the global finance oligarchy.

A real Philippine Revolution requires that the people understand this fundamental financial reality, and the key to an independent financial system is to control the value of one’s currency independent of these foreign powers, as well as, the flow of capital in and out the country -- the way China, Vietnam, Venezuela, and other truly independent countries have done.

The financial revolution is the start of the national revolution. President Estrada, General Danny Lim, Senator Trillanes, the Bagong Katipuneros, Grace Padaca, Among Ed, et al should study this and realize that “good governance” is not enough for real change. We need radical change in our financial set up. Like Hugo Chavez’ nationalization of Banco de Venezuela, we need to return the power to issue credit and money to the people through the State.

(Tune in to: Talk News TV on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 3, tomorrow at 8:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with our topic, “Kosovo in Mindanao”; Kape’t Kamulatan, Kabansa on 1098AM, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.; and Suló ng Pilipino every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the same station. Also, check out:

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Regret and Redemption

“Regret is insight that comes a day too late” is something that best describes my friend’s sentiment these days. As a Christian and adopted son of Mindanao who comes from the disillusioned Edsa II ranks, my friend got all the more riled up after learning about the GRP-MILF’s agreed postponement of the ARMM elections. “Nakapagngingitngit” (provoking teeth-gnashing dismay) was how he expressed disgust over Gloria Arroyo’s green light for the usurpation and land grab. All Christians in Mindanao , he says, are just as enraged too.

In between expressions of regret over Erap’s unconstitutional ouster, my friend pleaded me to urge Estrada to take the lead against this deal -- in the same way the former leader led the 1999 trouncing of the MILF, when the Philippine flag was successfully hoisted in Camp Abubakkar after its takeover.

Fortunately, this regret didn’t come too late as I was told, upon consulting President Estrada, that the agreement rushed by Gloria Arroyo, Esperon and the MILF won’t amount to very much. For one thing, one congressman explained that it’s still a long process and chances are, the MILF and local politicians are only buying time to perfect their new cheating mechanisms. Of course, there is that widespread suspicion that Gloria just wants to time the exercise for her Cha-cha plebiscite.

But whatever their schemes are, it seems President Estrada’s rightful place in history has become more and more etched in stone that even my atoning friend, who was once active in Cardinal Sin’s “Anybody But Erap” campaign, is now batting for his restoration.

Pulse Asia ’s July 1 to 14 poll on the public’s “presidential preference” shows non-candidate Erap second only to incumbent Vice-President Noli de Castro for the 2010 presidential elections. But what’s more significant is that Estrada’s statistical advantage over De Castro has now bowled over to the social class that once treated him as its “pariah,” preferring him over Noli and almost every other candidate.

This finding does not mean President Estrada is interested in running; it only indicates that if indeed the opposition cannot field a singular candidate, then Estrada can quickly gain the lead once he announces his decision to run, being within striking distance of Noli.

All this puts Noli in a dilemma because if, as expected, he is anointed by Gloria and Kampi, he will be the recipient of the kiss of political death from the most hated political leader of all time. And he would be more foolish to think that he can get support elsewhere.

The Lakas party of FVR will surely keep him out since from within, there are two wannabes, Dick Gordon and Bayani Fernando, who’ll work to squeeze out some mileage for themselves. Although Noli was a guest candidate of Lakas once, he never wanted to join as he believed he can win solely on his popularity. That may be true for a senatorial run, but for the vice presidency up, a party organization is vital.

Good thing President Estrada can still count on his Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino and the parallel Jeep ni Erap, whereas Noli, without any organization, is just left by his lonesome -- a talking head that has remained so all this time.

What’s more, my friend, possibly mirroring the change of heart of some of his erstwhile comrades, is now a confirmed believer in President Estrada’s leadership. But it took a sea change in his way of looking at things to come to this, thanks to eight years of betrayal by Gloria Arroyo of the hopes and aspirations of the well-intentioned in their group.

Indeed, as James Joyce once said, “A man’s errors are his portals of discovery.” And I see that this nation of earnest and honest Filipinos has begun to see through these portals. The only ones hard-pressed to admit their errors to come around and reconcile with truth are those, like my favorite anti-Erap nemeses Billy Esposo, Tony Abaya et al, who’ve made it a matter of personal pride to still demonize Erap.

This is relevant in that Erap is an important and unavoidable issue in any process of national redemption. I have held that if a national leader elected by eleven million Filipinos and officially proclaimed President of the Republic can be subjected to such indignity and injustice, nobody else in this country is safe from unthinkable persecution.

Hence, the summary killings, the regular travesty of the electoral process, the institutionalization of corruption in the judiciary (the latest evidence being the bribery issues in the Court of Appeals involving Meralco), among other things, have made this plain for all to see.

As long as the injustice against Estrada persists, the injustice against all of Philippine society continues. Justice for Estrada is justice for the Filipino people. To give Estrada his due is to give every Filipino the same. All the forces and personalities that have put him through his ordeal are the very same ones now putting the entire Filipino nation under the yoke of oppression, deceit, and exploitation.

Thus, the result of the survey exonerates Estrada from all the accusations against him, and by itself is already redemption for the Filipino people. If Estrada decides to run in 2010 to ensure the full redemption of the nation from the clutches of hypocrisy, perfidy and economic-political tyranny, it would be an end to the wicked years of Gloria Arroyo and the victory of the democratic weal.

To paraphrase Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize recipient: “In the course of our nation’s history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fears and give hope to each other. That time is now.”

That new level of consciousness is what my friend, former Mayor of Quezon City Brigido “Jun” Simon has attained; as has the rest of society by looking through the portals of experience and historical truth -- to guide them toward the hope-filled destiny this nation deserves. Verily, Estrada and all suffering Filipinos are awaiting the rewards of that final, national redemption.

(Tune in to: Talk News TV on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 3, Tuesdays at 8:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Kape’t Kamulatan, Kabansa on 1098AM, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.; and Suló ng Pilipino every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the same station. Also, check out: