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The Daily Tribune

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Weather balloon EDITORIAL 12/14/2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

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The lifting of martial law was the expected result of the total inability of the Arroyo administration to justify Presidential Proclamation 1959 which used rebellion as basis for military rule in Maguindanao, which the world now calls the massacre province.

The Cabinet men and security officials Gloria sent to the Congress joint session appeared lost in explaining the basis for the proclamation. They tried to rationalize the inability of government institutions to function in the province as a result of fear of members of the Ampatuan.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.classicposters.com/commentary/20091214com1.html

Will they, or won’t they? FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 12/14/2009

Will they, or won’t they?


Ninez Cacho-Olivares

With martial law in Maguindanao lifted, and with the congressional joint session ending without members of Congress coming up with a vote — for or against martial law — the focus of attention will now be on the justices of the Supreme Court (SC).

Will they tackle Presidential Proclamation (PP) 1959, .... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

A good tax idea gone awry ZOOMING IN Rudy Romero 12/14/2009

A good tax idea gone awry


Rudy Romero

Realizing that not enough roads were being built in this country and that the roads that existed were falling apart due to inadequate maintenance, some members of Congress thought of passing a law that would correct that situation. Their bill became the Road Users Act of 2005.

The new law, which was patterned after similar laws.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.classicposters.com/commentary/20091214com3.html

GMA backsteps: People move forward DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 12/14/2009

GMA backsteps: People move forward


Herman Tiu Laurel

Gloria Arroyo calculatingly takes one step back to avoid a showdown on the logic of her martial law order. The reasons used for this most extreme martial measure just wouldn’t hold. Even her apologists in and out of government couldn’t make a case out of it. The Ampatuans are simply no match for the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The Philippine National Police by itself would have already sufficed, if only the national leadership really intended to quell the latter’s ragtag army. Also, given that these barbaric elements have proven to be more amok than your typical rebels, even psychiatrists from the National Mental Hospital could have done a better job of taking them in.

Frankly, I am really not as hepped up about the Ampatuans as some of the hyper-emoters out there in both print and broadcast media. The gruesome murders of the 57 by the Ampatuan mayor and his gorilla crew are short of what the MILF elements did in the wake of the scuttling of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain in August 2008, when it rampaged through the provinces of Cotabato and Lanao del Norte, and killed at least 70 men, women and children. This cannot even come close to the hundreds of beheadings perpetrated by such elements or their surrogates over the decades.

Neither am I impressed with the Yellows’ feigned rage against the “warlords,” for I am constantly reminded of how they stroke with the utmost gentility their own favored warlords, who like one, has been pointed to by widows, widowers, and orphans alike for the murders of their kin.

Chavit Singson is known to travel with over a dozen armed guards, some say up to 20, wherever he goes. How many he has in his Ilocos Sur balwarte is the subject of speculation, but arms numbering to hundreds is not unimaginable. Chavit’s political nemesis Rambo Rafanan has accused him of the murder of his wife and child. The wife of a slain Pasig businessman has openly pointed to Chavit as the mastermind of her husband’s murder. The family of CoA auditor Agustin Chan, too, has accused the former governor of being behind the death of Chan and his driver.

But through it all, Chavit has never been seriously investigated by the Yellow regimes. The Yellow pundits don’t write about him and his many alleged crimes either, nor call for the serious pursuit of his culpability. In all, this warlord has so far been untouchable — a clear sign that he remains “their” warlord?”

Government, as the central pillar of a state and an expression of the people’s sovereignty over the nation’s territory and affairs in a democratic system, should be the center of power in order to conduct and mediate the multifarious and often conflicting concerns of society. Such is the case in successfully growing and liberating societies — from China to Venezuela, Singapore to Malaysia — in contrast to failing societies that suffer institutional disintegration.

Sadly, we are a society and a country lorded over by lords, whether they are of the neo-colonial, financial, jueteng, political, religious, media or your run-of-the-mill variety. Power is in their hands; and, at different levels, there are different lords that control one form of power over another.

The Yellows (Taong Dilaw) accentuated in 1986 the oligarchic counter-revolution they misnamed “people power.” Yet, the devolution of powers and of police control to local governments; the appointment of unelected OiCs (such as Ampatuan) while ousting elected leaders (such as then San Juan Mayor Joseph Estrada); the liberalization of the economy that promoted the dumping of imported commodities; the privatization of public assets to a dozen or so oligarchs; the devolution of health and other services to the detriment of the poor; and the re-tribalization of Mindanao, with Cory Aquino restoring Nur Misuari, ad nausea, all formed part of the first Yellow regime that started the disintegration of our institutions and economy. Soon, the programmed breakdown accelerated, with FVR boosting the MILF while sabotaging AFP modernization, etc. and peaked with GMA and all her heinous transgressions.

So as the nationalist-revolutionary perspective holds all these anathema, all patriotic and nationalist Filipinos, who understand the dire consequences of allowing this process of institutional disintegration to go unabated, must take two steps forward in this struggle. We must remember that it’s not just against Gloria Arroyo but a war against all the lords of exploitation and oppression.

The nation should thus unify under one power — the Republic and the Rule of Law. The Ampatuans, Mangudadatus, Chavit Singsons, oligarchs, religious potentates, media moguls, and foreign overlords must all be made to step aside. A nationalist citizens’ coalition with the patriotic elements of the AFP can then reestablish the supremacy of a single state and republic truly of, for, and by the people; and it can be achieved by a revolutionary government without even invoking martial law.

Gloria Arroyo has taken one step back. The people, with their nationalist-revolutionary perspective, must now take two steps forward.

(Tune in to 1098AM, Sulong Pilipinismo, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Global News Network, Destiny Cable Channel 21, Talk News TV, Tuesday, 8:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. on “2009 Year-ender: Last Words on ClimateGate and the Systemic Warlord Problem”; also visit http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.classicposters.com/commentary20091214com4.html

(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

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