Sunday, July 12, 2009

Will the AFP preserve Philippine territory?

After the aborted signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MoA-AD) crafted by the United States Institute for Peace (USIP) and Gloria Arroyo, should any thinking Filipino still have doubts about the US ’ wish to rob every ounce of our true, materially valuable wealth? The people seethed over the plan; and for a rare moment there, the AFP (which had sacrificed thousands of lives in Mindanao ) rumbled with a unanimous sense of outrage. Gloria Arroyo knew better than to confront the indignation head on and feigned “no knowledge of the details” while the Supreme Court halted the signing of the agreement and finally declared it unconstitutional. MILF “elements” then went on a rampage, displacing 300,000 civilians and killing scores along the way.

Months later, with those events still unresolved, the recent bombings in Mindanao are but a continuation of the atrocities, be they by “rogue” MILF or other groups like the Abu Sayyaf. Although these elements--who, no matter what intelligence sources say, have mutual links one way or another, even with the MNLF--still do not have the economic base to sustain their expensive firepower, the weapons used by these groups, despite still being inferior to the AFP’s that are sustained by billions of taxpayers’ money, have never run out, courtesy of foreign supporters. Plagued by divisiveness in their own ranks, as seen in the MNLF-MILF split decades ago and the countless “rogue” groups, these rebels possess neither the ethnic nor ideological cohesion their movement once had before Marcos neutralized them with military and diplomatic success in the mid-1970s.

From being a respectable anti-imperialist force, these Muslim rebel groups have now deteriorated into pawns of US neo-colonialism in this part of the world. The late MILF chief Hashim Salamat’s letter to US President George W. Bush on January 2003 undoubtedly signaled this collaboration. Salamat, who wasn’t writing from a base in the Philippines at the time of his exile in Malaysia, where he had been given protection ever since President Joseph Estrada pummeled Camp Abubakar, clearly did not have the support of our local Muslim population for him to have sought succor from Uncle Sam. Today, another indication of MILF’s role as one of the many puppet-agents of the US in destabilizing and “Balkanizing” nation-states is the current US ambassador’s open hobnobbing with MILF leaders.

The August 5, 2008 signing of the MoA-AD was only scuttled because closet political and military patriots, even in the administration, leaked out damaging details of the document, and exposed the complicity to treason of various parties, including the US and British ambassadors, and even the Bayan Muna congressmen. What stopped it, aside from the furious reaction of the population, was, for the first time in a long, long time, the military establishment seemed ready to unite with its more idealistic and nationalistic young officers to take action against this, forcing Gloria and her MILF allies to backtrack.

But it was not a full retreat as events would show; just a shift to new flanking tactics. Since January of this year, 38 attacks and two major terror bombings that killed over a dozen and wounded scores of civilians still remind us of how the MILF considers the MoA-AD to be already “a done deal,” and how it would resort to terror acts as blackmail. And, as if on cue, US Ambassador Kristie Kenney sheds tears for the victims before news cameras, and appeals for “peace talks,” which the USIP--an advocate for carving out a BangsaMoro Juridical Entity (BJE) for the MILF--has been force-feeding on Filipinos. Gloria Arroyo then starts a scare campaign in Metro Manila by raising a veiled Martial Law threat, after which the CIA chief comes a-visiting, with a July 30 Obama-Arroyo meet immediately floated. After Obama’s repeated snubs of Gloria, she must have given them a lot for this to have materialized.

Gloria, with the MILF, will give the MoA-AD-created BJE to the US and American Big Oil. Filipinos will lose the estimated $580 billion natural gas reserves of the 220,000-hectare Liguasan Marsh, a figure once intimated by US engineers to Nur Misuari. But the trillions of pesos worth of natural gas isn’t the only prize, as billions more of Sulu Sea oil are at stake, which the MILF will lay claim to after it establishes its own naval force under the BJE. What’s more: The US would want to get its hands on deuterium in the Philippine Deep so that when technology allows hydrogen to be used for all the world’s energy needs, it can cash in on it as well.

Gloria has shown that she is willing to give anything and everything to the MILF and the US for the right price--her continued stay in power. Meanwhile, the US --no matter who heads it--has shown that it is willing to deal with anyone to get what it wants.

While the nation can get to the bottom of this treasonous deal, we cannot stop it without our patriotic officers. The potential of the AFP to liberate the country was demonstrated when its recalcitrance succeeded to temporarily force Gloria and the US to shelve the MoA-AD. Now that they are about to take their two steps forward again, will the AFP help our nationalists and patriots put a stop to this once and for all?

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