Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Dy Political Dynasty Back in Power

COMELEC just removed Grace Padaca from the governorship of Isabela Province, Philippines, and claimed that Benjamin Dy won by 1,051 votes in an election that saw hundreds of thousands of votes cast.

The Dy clan has ruled Isabela for three decades -- 30, as in THIRTY, years.

Talk about the Manila government encouraging clan and warlord dynasties. COMELEC had absolutely no compunction about turning over an entire province to another warlord clan dynasty. Shameless. Truly shameless.

Btw, the Ampatuans in Maguindanao reportedly own 28 mansions in an area characterized as one of the most impoverished in the whole country. Arms caches unearthed consist of the most modern and most expensive in the world.

Where is the money coming from? Where did it come from?

An unremarked news report about the US suspendings its development programs in Maguindanao provides a clue.

Check out www.philippines.usaid.gov/programs_usaid_mindanao.htm. which lists all of said agency's programs in the area, including Maguindanao.

Here's a quote from its listing of "successes:"

4,500 disputes settled by community-based volunteers
81 clan conflicts settled in rido-prone provinces

Who are these "community-based volunteers" and how did they settle those disputes? Through heavier firepower? -- #

Monday, December 07, 2009

A Propensity for Tyranny

De-Facto POTP Macapagal-Arroyo tends to overreact to events. Her Presidential Proclamation 1959 imposing martial law on Maguindanao echoes the hysteria of her PP 1017 which imposed a state of national emergency on the country in 2006.

PP 1959 nullifies the lesson of the Maguindanao massacre, which killed not only 57 people locally but also seriously crippled civil liberties nationally.

A wise government would move heaven and earth to revitalize the processes and observation of civil liberties – not impose a higher dimension of armed might and capability for violence on the people of Maguindanao.

The Philippine military is no respecter of the Philippine Constitution. It owes its allegiance to whoever funds its various departments and divisions and personnel – from warlords to the US government.

The Philippine military does not see the Filipino people as its ultimate commander-in-chief. As a matter of fact, it does not see one commander-in-chief but rather a whole ladder of commanders-in-chief, from political clan dynasties down to the corner sari-sari store owner who gives the soldier free drinks.

Military rule over Maguindanao will bring no relief against warlordism – just as military presence in the rest of the country brings no respite from warord clans.

That said, the lessons of the Maguindanao massacre appear to have been thoroughly lost on the political system itself. The senatorial slates of mainstream political parties are so heavily peppered with “names” – daughters of, sons of, cousins of…

Mac-Arroyo herself, not content with heading the government since 2001, is running for Congress and doing so virtually unopposed. Hoy, ale, tama na; mayaman ka na; mayaman na kayo. Ano ba? Will someone please run against this woman?

Shameless. Kapal-muks and, in the aftermath of the Maguindanao Massacre, intolerable.

We must see this burgeoning of political dynasties as part of the re-feudalization of the political system that imperialist globalization has wrought in the country. The latter destroys not only national economic borders but also the national sense of one-ness and identity.

One can only hope that the Filipino voter will respond in a tremendous backlash of disgust and vote for the unknown, unfamiliar and for programs rather than names. One can only hope, likely in vain, that such votes will be counted accurately -- or just counted. -- ##