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
8-18-2008

2 comments:

Eterio said...

The one who really suffers now is our real Hero Ninoy Aquino who is replace by Edsa2 Hero Chavit Singson the Deputy National Adviser of Jueteng activities.

Vitzme Davao said...

Thru out the country, except at the doorsteps of the wealthy, there is hopelessness, anger, and indifference...

MOA-AD is treason pure and simple. Why is Arroyo and her mongrels not being punished for this?

It is time for the new katpuneros to move, move swiftly, w/o string attach, a move to save the country, to bring back hope...

The country is dying....we are being evicted by the wealthy ones from our land, our only land....