It is no news to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) about the corruption in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), as reported by Pulse Asia in its March 2011 Ulat ng Bayan (Report to the Nation). We know it ever since, because substantive number of our firearms and ammunition were bought from military officers or middlemen traceable to the AFP. Imagine bulky deals passing through airports, wharves, checkpoints, and detachments without being noticed or searched. This highlights how deep-rooted and well-laid illegal arms deal in the AFP was taking place for years. And we are not speaking here of hundreds of thousands of pesos, but the figure was in millions.
- 30 March 2011
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- 22 March 2011
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In less than 24 apart, President Noynoy Aquino has achieved a feat in getting two of his important agenda for the House to approve passed: Impeachment of Solicitor General Merceditas Gutierrez and the ARMM poll postponement. These are indeed examples of the presidential political will needed to run a nation. The head of state has a thesis in his mind that he wants to prove it is the right thing to do. Generally unknown and untested, however, expect opposition from many quarters especially the vested interest groups, or those who savor the status quo. But the leader must be forthright in showing the correct path that he is threading and persevere in getting it through.
- 16 March 2011
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The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) through its peace panel is reaching out to non-Moro groups in Mindanao (and Manila). The reasons are manifold: first, we want to fill-in the gaps, even if it is not our responsibility but government’s, to communicate and dialogue, build bridges, and make convergence with them to pave the way for the just settlement of the Moro Question and the armed conflict in Mindanao; second, let them understand the content of and consequently what is in store for everybody in the MILF draft on the comprehensive compact (We are using the MILF’s January 27, 2010 draft presented to Seguis-led GPH peace panel and not the latest draft presented to Dean Marvic Leonen on February 9, 2011); and third, we tell them to tell the MILF which part of its proposal is inimical or harmful to them; so the MILF can consider them seriously and promptly. We want to face our critics now rather than when an agreement is about to be signed or after it is signed.
- 07 March 2011
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The Middle East is in turmoil and very clearly the people-powered movements are in lead roles. Many old ruling cliques, both military and aristocratic, are falling apart or at least their foundations are shaking. Tunisia had already given way to a more popular new power; in Egypt, however, the military is still calling the shots but they cannot hold on to this indefinitely.
- 01 March 2011
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The chaos, anger, and bloodshed currently sweeping several Middle Eastern countries are cases of rulers losing completely their clout with their peoples. Instead of love and devotion, the peoples are left with no choice but to cut the remaining tentacles and attachments with their leaders, who turned heedless to their welfare. The leaders keep enriching and enjoying themselves, while their peoples continue to reap the fruits of poverty, repression, and disempowerment or disenfranchisement. There never was real consultation or people’s participation in running their affairs, contrary to what Allah has enjoined upon every Muslim: “The affair of the community is by consultation.”