POSTSCRIPT / August 17, 2008 / Sunday


Philippine STAR Columnist

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What? The Constitution must conform with MoA?

DANGEROUS: Seeing how they habitually run roughshod over the Constitution whenever it gets in the way, a citizen wonders what kind of people are running this country.

The signing (“initialing”) of the Memorandum of Agreement with the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front to lay the basis for a Bangsamoro state being carved out of the Philippine Republic has been attacked on constitutional grounds.

The ensuing debate has forced to the surface the fact that Malacanang would rather amend or revise the Constitution to conform with the MoA instead of the other way around — instead of making sure the MoA signed with the rebel band hews to the Basic Charter.

To Malacanang, the MoA is apparently more important than the Constitution. In the Palace, that “scrap of paper” is treated as a superior document.

This is dangerous thinking.

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PEACE PROCESS?: How many crimes have been and will be committed in the name of Peace?

I cringe whenever I hear Executive officials and their allies say, like dumb instruments in sympathetic vibration, that the signing of the MoA on Moro Ancestral Domain is part of a “peace process.”

I almost weep when I hear them accuse those criticizing the agreement of blocking the alleged “peace process” and stoking war fever in the South.

Their statements hissing out from one side of the mouth are more nauseating than the sob stories of insatiable oil ogres blaming imagined “under-recoveries” for the padding of the pump prices of their petroleum products.

How can an MoA negotiated and signed in bad faith (one party plotting to inch closer to breakaway statehood and the other scheming to buy comparative calm until 2010) lead to a just and lasting peace?

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USIP PROJECT: Pity US Ambassador Kristie Kenney who has to deny, out of duty, that the United States helped bring the Philippine government and the MILF to the negotiating table for a “peace process” that has led to the MoA.

The ambassador’s denial does not erase the fact that the US State Department, under which she operates, had contracted the quasi-government United States Institute of Peace to look for a way to co-opt violence-prone Muslims before they are lost into the embrace of Al-Queda terrorists.

Convincing the Manila government to play along was no problem since the Philippines has always been a client state whose decades of groveling and begging for GI crumbs has prevented its sovereign spine from growing.

Titled “Toward Peace in the Southern Philippines,” the USIP special report on that Philippine Facilitation Project (2003-2007) tells it all. You can read it at my website.

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WHY THE MILF? But, as Postscript keeps asking, is the MILF the authentic voice of the disparate elements sought to be included in the aborning Bangsamoro state?

The answer is No! The MILF band of a few hundreds cannot claim to represent that sector of the population. If we go by the book, the true representatives of Bangsamoro are the duly elected leaders of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Elective ARMM leaders went through the democratic process and thus enjoy a popular mandate. There is nothing more authentic than the droves of sovereign voters walking to the poll precincts to make known their choice of leaders.

In stark contrast, the command profile of the MILF has a high trajectory only because it bursts out of the barrel of the gun. Take away their weapons and they are nothing.

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BRIEF AFFAIR: Why then did the US favor the MILF and not any other Muslim group?

First of all, the MILF leaders formally asked the White House that they be anointed (and also not to be included in the US blacklist of terrorist organizations).

Secondly, in fast-moving scenarios, the US is not known to be that discerning in picking long-term allies. Those it perceives to be willing to be used at the moment are usually preferred.

But it would be dumb to conclude that the US will have long-term mutually satisfying relations with its MILF boys, or with the Bangsamoro state when it is established as a full-fledged state.

The Jew-dominated US power structure will not allow such deeper cordial relationships with the Muslim-controlled Bangsamoro Juridical Entity. The ongoing affair of the moment cannot last.

* * *

GULLIBLE: Remember the US-based political foes of Saddam Hussein who regaled the White House with tall tales of weapons of mass destruction, mass disaffection of an oppressed people, and, of course, the exiled oppositionists being the true voice of Iraqis?

The rest, as they say, is history.

Wanting to boost his sinking political stock by going to war and avenging 9/11 victims, Bush systematically demonized Saddam, invaded Iraq when he thought world opinion would allow it, and sank into the Mesopotamian quagmire.

Bush believed the Iraqi charlatans who wove tales he loved to hear. He thought that American troops and his Iraqi puppets flown to Baghdad as liberators would be welcomed by cheering, flower-tossing multitudes. It did not happen.

But the US can afford to make costly blunders. It can even set up dictators if that is to its national interest. Anyway, it can always discard them like a dirty rag — like it did Ferdinand Marcos — when they have outlived their usefulness.

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of August 17, 2008)

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