Monday, March 30, 2009


Note: Re-Published, nailabas ang artikulong ito matapos ang isang taong panunungkulan ni Gov. Among Ed.

Anong ibubuga ni Gov Among Ed kina Vice Prsident Noli de Castro, Senador Manny Villar, Loren Legarda, at Chiz, mga kinukunsidera at palagiang lumalabas sa SWS, Pulse Asia survey! Una, bukud sa hindi ito makikipagsapalaran (magso-solicit) sa mga PEKE, BUGUK, personality oriented, hati-hati at parti-partidong LAKAS-CMD, KAMPI, NPC at NP, para makakuha man lang ng pondo at bilyung pisong campaign funds mula sa big time corporate elite, Drug at Weteng Lord, wala sa kanya ang pinakaLOLO ng mga padrino sa bansa, ang mga BILYUNARYONG si Ricky Razon, Danding Cojuangco, Lucio Tan, Henry Sy, Bong Pineda, Aboitiz, Gaisano at higit sa lahat ang pamilyang MACAPAGAL ARROYO.

Pangalawa, kung sakaling irecall ni Mikee Arroyo, Pineda at Lapid sa Pampanga at maging pampulitikang MARTYR si Among Ed at mapasama sa 2010 national election, panigurong pagtatawanan lamang, pagkakamalang nasisiraan ng bait, lalamunin lamang, kakatayin lamang, aakusahang kurakot, chickboy, ide-demolition job ng tinatawag na LOCAL MACHINERY (TRAPO) ng big 4 presidentiable candidate si Among Ed.

Ganun kabuluk ang sistemang pulitika at election sa ating bansa. - Doy Cinco

(Below Photo: Among Ed;


by Fernando Villarca Cao / INSTITUTE OF POPULAR DEMOCRACY (IPD) / June 2008

When the news broke out several weeks ago that President Arroyo had appointed erstwhile Pampanga Governor Mark Lapid to head the Philippine Tourism Authority, a minor executive agency, it was clear that the second phase of the battle in Pampanga was about to begin.

Without significant tourism credentials and with graft cases still pending against him, the appointment of Mark Lapid should be seen as a way to mollify the Lapid camp in exchange for whatever plan is in the works. In the most likely scenario that a recall elections is currently in the offing, such a move effectively gets the erstwhile governor out of the way for a mano-a-mano slugfest between two contenders. It must be remembered that the main reason why Father Ed Panlilio or “Among Ed” won as governor was that the formidable Lapid camp and the more-formidable Pineda camp neutralized each other and split the vote during the 2007 campaign. Among Ed’s victory margin of 1,147 votes may have been freakish and phenomenal but a convincing mandate it never was. Such a narrow margin must have terribly whetted the appetites of both the Lapid and Pineda camps to take another shot at the province’s top post.

And another shot through a recall elections seems very, very likely. Since any tenant in Malacanang is bound to have a long memory, the memory of the political embarrassment caused by Among Ed’s media disclosure of the P500,000 payola scandal only several months back must still be causing certain blood pressures to rise. Besides, the fact that a last minute interloper managed to wrest the province’s governorship against two of the President’s most loyal supporters is a fact that most likely never sat well with the hubris of the most powerful Kapampangan in recent years. It is not Isabela or Naga, after all, but Pampanga, the President’s and her father’s own backyard so the stakes have always been high.

Thus, when Among Ed two weeks ago pulled off a surprise by filing plunder charges against the patriarch of the Pineda camp, alleged gambling don Bong Pineda himself, he may not have been intentionally raising the ante but merely calling the already high-stakes bet. All this time, he must have been aware of the busy plans of his political enemies so in response he boldly took the offensive as the best defensive move. Whether this move will prove to be a brilliant maneuver or an incredibly careless one, only later events would definitely prove. One thing has been made clear, though, by Among to foes and friends alike---he wont go down without a big fight.

But chances are, go down Among will in the next few months. The forces arrayed against him are just too many, too irresistible and too passionate. With the Vice Governor against him alongside almost all (except one) of the town mayors, all the members of the Provincial Board, disaffected business groups and prominent individuals like erstwhile supporter Lolita Hizon, and even some members of the clergy, Among Ed’s current base of support is a pitiful shadow of what it was gloriously once during the storied 2007 campaign.

The technical legal impediment to a recall upon which some supporters rest their hopes that no recall proceedings could be initiated---that regarding the recount suit precluding any other suit from being concurrently entertained by government bodies---may prove to be not much of a security blanket after all. Remember that Comelec had just been reorganized with the appointment of two new commissioners. In any case, that body had never been known to be a bedrock of fair play and integrity. Of course, the final hope lies in the Supreme Court with the esteemed Chief Justice Puno at the helm. But even there, the ultimate rule is the number’s game.

A Malacanang bearing down and wheeling and dealing to oust Among Ed is something that must be assumed as a given at this point. People may call it revenge but to paraphrase that classic saying---that’s what they are in power for. In the 2007 elections, it simply could have been

way too distracted by the goings-on in other parts of the country for it to belatedly realize and prevent the impending upset in Pampanga. Now with a single dish on its plate, it would be fair to assume that Malacanang’s best and most experienced political tacticians and operators will be deployed to Pampanga in a recall election.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Among Ed will most likely lose, and lose terribly, any recall elections. It must be noted that the number of voters who cast their ballots in Pampanga during the 2007 elections was actually lower than previous elections. This was not due to voter disinterest certainly but most likely due to that tactic employed by both the Lapid and Pineda camps in their respective bailiwicks---of buying people off not to vote for either one of them. In a recall elections between two protagonists, expect the votes for Mark Lapid to be harvested by Among Ed’s opponent, whoever that person might be. Expect also the active participation of the town mayors in any campaign. This fact alone ought to be frightening because the mayors can now devote their full concentration on their local constituencies in a manner unfettered by the exigencies of their own political campaigns.

And so the questions that must be asked are: Why did it come to this? How could one of the greatest upsets in Philippine electoral history unravel in a matter of months? What lessons can be learned in this entire episode? While thorough and exhaustive answers to these questions deserve book-length ponderous manuscripts, below are some preliminary points that must be considered in any event. (Photo below: Bong Pineda,

In the first place, Among Ed’s victory margin of 1,147 was so tenuous to the point of being Pyrrhic. Simply put, except for the true believers in Among Ed’s camp, such small margin left everybody unconvinced about his actual mandate. In politics, any sign of weakness, however small, is fair game to be exploited and pounced upon so that such weakness will become bigger and bigger to the point of fatality. Early on, Among Ed called out the Pineda camp to accept defeat and not pursue an electoral protest. Such calls were naturally ignored. But then again, how could a Filipino politician really do that? Especially with the truism, masquerading as a joke, that nobody loses an election in this country for the simple reason that losers had merely been cheated out of victory.

The crusading spirit that played such a magnificent role during the campaign also must also be held into account with this turnaround. The appointment of novices such as Atty.Vivian Dabu to such a sensitive post as Provincial Administrator, for instance, and Among Ed’s insistence on her when groups eventually called on her to quit, lost many actual and potential allies who were helping and could have helped Among Ed in his administration. It did not help any that Dabu’s snobbish, no-bullshit personality honed by years of being a litigator was a stark contrast to Among’s gentle and affable style. All in all, it did not matter that they really meant well despite appearances to the contrary. People saw the new faces at the capitol as sanctimonious crusaders that not only hated sin but virtually condemned also the sinner.

Ultimately, Among Ed’s total inexperience in politics and his long vocation and training as a priest has a lot to do with the situation he now finds himself in. At least Cory Aquino of the original EDSA had some sort of long familiarity and training in realpolitik as the wife of a master politician in the person of Ninoy Aquino and had able backstop support in the political Cojuangco family of Tarlac. Despite his crash course at the Ateneo School of Government, it would not be unfair to say that what moves Among Ed is still his ecclesiastical training that makes use of Divine Reason not as an ultimate frame by which things and events ought to be viewed but as primus, an Alpha and Omega. Many times, as erstwhile ardent supporters would narrate, Among Ed once he had made up his mind on something would be as easy to convince to another position as one would an enigmatic rock---solid, serene and obstinate. As such, Among Ed was not built for consensus-building, for give-and-take, for tactical improvisations and other minimum requisites that make up even the smallest-time, barangay-level politician.

It had been joked many times over that somebody like Joe De Venecia (and traditional politicians in general) could convince the unwitting to buy Quiapo bridge with his smoothness and glibness. Presumably, Among Ed would never even think of anything remotely close to that. He would rather offer to people the bridge to heaven for free, if they swear to and fulfill a moral life by not lying, cheating, stealing or killing. In this temporal world, however, such a moral life is perhaps what is only needed for government to truly serve the interest of the Kapampangan people, bring peace and development to the province, and engender the fullest potential of humankind that can only be had by serving God.

In all likelihood, this is the deepest essence of Among’s offensive against the Pineda camp and which may well totally backfire on him, what with the intense reaction such an offensive had provoked among the local officials in that camp. He must have sensed that with all forms of pervasive evil in his midst, the littlest compromise would defeat his biggest purpose. And thus, like the catacomb Christians of pre-Constantine Roman empire, Among Ed had dug his feet in the middle of the coliseum and had shown that apart from God he is not afraid of anything and anyone. Come slay me, he appears to dare everybody, and oblige me in my martyrdom.

And so it seems inevitable that once the Pampango gladiators start to unleash their beasts and move in for the kill, they would find an almost too-willing martyr who for his defense will only invoke God and good governance. Some in the gallery might protest loudly or they might not at all. It won’t matter though: the thumbs down signal had been already given, the beasts of war have already been unleashed and are now hurtling towards their prey. The only thing that could save this would-be martyr is an act of mercy from the Empress herself. But having fought many battles and winning them all, the ruthless Empress is beyond mercy. In fact, she had waited for this moment far too long already!

And here lies the greatest, most compelling, irony. In slaying this unarmed prophet of good governance, Malacanang will inadvertently create its ultimate antithesis: a very powerful icon of reform. And in doing so, this impending outcast prophet in Pampanga---uncompromising against evil, faithful to his God and fellowmen, and magnificently glorious in defeat---might just well be the nation’s hottest political icon come the 2010 elections.

"Fernando Villarca Cao served as Deputy Director at IPD. The paper was produced as a contribution to the thinking and debate about Pampanga politics. The paper should not, however, be read as representing the only or even the main viewpoint within IPD of the complex situation in the province."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ang Laban sa North Triangle

Norman Patino / 4 Marso 2009

Ang laban para sa paninirahan ng mga maralitang naninirahan sa North Triangle, Quezon City ay mahirap ipagtagumpay kung sariling kapakanan lamang nila ang isasaalang-alang. At mahirap pansinin ng mga kinauukulan ang interes ng mga maralita kung ang kanilang pagkilos ay limitado lamang sa kanilang parokyal na interes at walang epekto sa kabuuang planong ipinatutupad na.

Ang North Triangle ay isang malawak na lupaing pinapaligiran ng EDSA (mula West Avenue hanggang Quezon Avenue), ng Quezon Avenue (mula EDSA hanggang Quezon Memorial Circle) at North Avenue (mula West Avenue hanggang QMC). Hugis tatsulok ang erya na sa isang dulo ay ang SM North at ang bagong tayong Trinoma Center; sa isang dulo ay ang Manila Seedling Garden at sa isa ay ang Parks and Wildlife. Sa North Triangle matatagpuan ang Lungsod ng Kabataan (Children’s Hospital); ang Philippine Science High School; Tanod-Bayan at ang North Terminal Station ng MRT. Sa gitna ng North Triangle ay ang kulumpon ng mga bahay at barung-barong ng mahigit walong libong maralitang ilang taon nang naninirahan dito.

Ang North Triangle ay kasama sa grandeng plano ng pamahalaang Quezon City na gawing commercial-business district (CBD) ang parteng ito ng lungsod. Ang plano ay katulad ngunit mas malaking Glorietta sa Makati City kung saan nakakulumpon ang mga establisyementong komersyal, serbisyo, banko, conduminium, parke at iba pa. Karugtong ng planong ito ang komersyalisasyon ng East Triangle at ang Commonwealth Avenue. Ang may pangunahing puhunan sa grandeng plano ay ang higanteng korporasyon ng Ayala. (Larawan; Manila's Central Business District CBD)

Katunayan ay nagsimula na ang implementasyon ng plano sa pagkakatayo ng Trinoma Center sa dulong hilaga ng North Triangle. Sa Commonwealth Avenue na kagyat na nakatumbok sa Quezon Memorial Circle ay naitayo na ang UP-Ayala Techno Hub Center, ang Puregold superstore sa bandang Luzon Avenue at kalaunan ay sisibol ang bagong mall sa dating Our Lord’s Grace Montessori. Inaantabayanan din ang Metro Rail Transit 4 (mula Edsa North hanggang Quiapo Doroteo Jose via Quezon Av) at MRT -7 na kokonekta sa Edsa-North Av MRT Station at Tala-Tungko via Commonwealth Av – Quirino Av., San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan.

Habang naka-tuon ang maralitang naninirahan sa North Triangle sa partikular na interes nila sa paninirahan ay unti-unti naman silang napapaligiran ng mga nagtatayuang proyekto ayon sa plano. Kung baga sa basketball ay unti-unti silang ina-outbox ng kabuuang plano.

Ang interes ng korporasyong Ayala sa North Triangle ay estratehiko. Sa papasikip na imprastruktura ng Makati at Pasig, ang North Triangle ay isang estratehikong sentro para hagipin ang lumalaking aktibidad pang-ekonomiya ng Quezon City at alternatibong sentro para sa populasyon ng Caloocan City, San Mateo at Marikina sa bandang silangan at San Jose del Monte sa bandang hilaga. Ang estratehikong interes naman ng lokal na pamahalaan ay ang tiyak na kita mula sa buwis. Ang korporasyon at lokal na pamahalaan ay malaki na ang naipundar na kapital para sa preparasyon ng proyekto at hindi sila makapapayag na ang engrandeng plano ay may kahalong simpleng pabahay para sa mahigit limang-libong maralitang simple lamang ang kakayanan sa buhay.

Sa kabilang banda ay estratehiko rin ang interes ng mga maralitang naninirahan sa North Triangle. Una, dito na naipundar ng mga maralita ang kanilang pamilya at kabuhayan. Ikalawa, nakataya sa laban nila ang karapatan sa paninirahan at kinabukasan. At ikatlo, kung mabibigo silang ipagtanggol ang kanilang lugar, siguradong mapapadpad sila sa malayong lugar na walang kasiguruhang makapagpundar ng panibagong buhay. Noong 1999-2000 ay marami sa mga maralita ang pumayag magpa-relocate sa Erap City sa Montalban, Rizal. Pumayag sila kapalit ng programang-pabahay at libreng shuttle bus mula at pabalik ng Erap City at SM North para sa mga nagtatrabaho. Kalaunan, marami sa mga ito ay nagsibalikan sa North Triangle dahil sa natigil ang serbisyo ng shuttle bus. Maliban sa mga nagsibalikan na dating naninirahan ay may kasama pang mga naunang na-relocate sa Erap City mula sa ibang lugar sa Maynila.

Nagkaroon ng mga bugso ng paglaki ng populasyon ng mga maralita sa North Triangle nang proyektuhin ng pamahalaang lungsod katuwang ang Department of Transportation na gawing sentrong-terminal at sentrong-bagsakan ang North Triangle. Ang proyekto ay hindi nagtagal dahil mahina ang itinayong terminal ng mga bus; nagbago rin ang plano ng MRT para itayo ang grand terminal station nito. Hindi rin naging accessible ang itinayong bagsakan ng mga bulaklak, lokal na produkto sa probinsya at mga handicraft. Nawala ang proyekto pero nag-usbungan ang mga maralita sa lugar. (Larawan: WN / James D. North Triangle informal settlers, 2009/02/01/2bf533b1c1332bc..)

Ang adbokasiya ng mga maralita ng North Triangle ay ikonsidera ang kanilang karapatan sa paninirahan sa balangkas ng mixed-use land plan sa pamamagitan ng high-rise low-cost housing. Iginigiit din ng mga maralita na sila ay reserbang lakas-paggawa na handang ma-empleyo sa iba’t ibang establisyementong serbisyo at komersyal. Subalit ang labanan ay hindi lamang naipagtatagumpay sa pamamagitan ng paggigiit ng karapatan at alternatibong plano. Kailangan din ang estratehiya at taktika katulad ng ginagamit ng sabwatang korporasyon at lokal na pamahalaan.

Isang multi-sektoral na kilusan ang kailangang isulong sa North Triangle. Ibig sabihin, kailangan makipag-tulungan at makipag-koalisyon ang mga maralita sa iba pang sektor na apektado ng plano. Nandiyan ang Philippine Science High School (Pisay) na hanggang ngayon ay tutol na ibenta ang titulo nito sa lupa sa korporasyon. Ang lupang kinatitirikan ng Pisay ay resulta ng pakikibaka ng mga guro at estudyante ng eskwelahan bago pa mag-martial law. Sa kabilang banda, kailangan ng mga opisyales, guro at estudyante at alumni ng Pisay ang suporta para labanan ang anumang presyur na gagamitin sa kanila para ibenta ang lote.

Ang administrasyon ng Veterans Memorial Hospital, ng Tanodbayan, at ng Manila Seedling Bank ay patuloy na sinusuyo kasabay ng presyur mula sa iba’t ibang ahensya ng pambansang gubyerno para bigyang ispasyo ang plano. Kalaunan ay posibleng tamaan ng banta ang Children’s Hospital at ang Parks and Wildlife at ang mga maralitang naninirahan sa East Triangle at Barangay Capitol.

Ang labanang legal ay mahalaga pero kailangan ang mga kolektibong aksyon para makalikha ng presyur. Ang kolektibong aksyon ay yaong hindi lang nakapatungkol sa isyu ng sektor kundi nakatuon din sa operasyunalisasyon ng kabuuang plano. Ang mga aksyong may epekto sa kabuuang plano ang siya mismong lakas-pulitikal ng mga maralita para harapin sila ng mga kinauukulan.

Ngunit pundamental na rekisito rito ay kung paano makaalagwa ang mga maralita sa parokyal na balangkas ng kanilang pagkilos. Katulad ng iba pang maralitang komunidad sa Metro Manila, ang isyu sa paninirahan ay naka-konteksto sa development blueprint ng local na pamahalaan at negosyo. Kung gayun, ang maralita ay hindi lang dapat umakto bilang aping squatter kundi isang aktibong mamamayan na may boses sa planong pang-kaunlaran. (Larawan; NUPCO protest in Damayang Lagi;

Kung hindi makaalagwa ang mga maralita sa parokyal na pagkilos hindi rin sila makakawala sa organisasyunal na sigalot na tuwinang kinakaharap ng mismong hanay nila. Ika nga, kung makipot ang ginagalawan mo, malamang kayu-kayo ay maggigitgitan kundi man mag-aaway-away para sa ispasyo.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Can Alternative Reform Candidates for President win in 2010?

Joel Rocamora, Institute for Popular Democracy, March 21, 2009

An Open Letter to Harvey S. Keh and other friends of reform

I understand why you and other friends of reform want "a God-fearing, morally-upright, effective and ethical leader for our country in 2010". The sins of the ruling Arroyo clique are so all-encompassing, so pervasive that our only possible response is moral outrage. But the distance between taking a stance for morality and electing a president cannot be shortened by choosing moral leaders as candidates.

If we float candidates we must make sure they want to run and not feel like people are running after them. If we then launch a candidacy, we must make sure we have the capability to run a serious campaign, not coast on wings of hope and moral fervor. US$5 contributions from overseas Filipinos sounds nice, but to get your US$30 million target you have to get 6 million people to contribute! If you set unrealistic targets, you set yourself up for failure, and the people you inspire, for a hard fall.

We all want a reform president in 2010. Repairing the damage from nine years of corrupt misgovernment by GMA will require leadership from a president who can use the powers of the presidency for refor

m. To elect such a president, all reformers have to work hard. To begin with, we have to come to an understanding about the nature of the electoral terrain in 2010. Even if the Comelec succeeds in modernizing ballot counting, election contests will remain substantially the same. The Philippine electoral terrain has been shaped by trapos for over a century.

Results of national contests are determined by what some call "trench warfare", the struggle for support among local politicians, and the "air war" of competing TV and radio advertizing. Because we do not have political parties with real programs, there are no issues in national elections. Our task as reformers will be to assert the importance of issues of reform in the 2010 elections. This can best be done by supporting a candidate who is competitive in both "trench warfare" and the "air war", who gets an edge over his rivals by building a new source of votes, people who want reform.

The 2010 election will not be anything like February 1986 when the one-on-one fight between Marcos and Cory Aquino was as close to a fight between "good and evil" as we will ever get. In 2010, there will be at least three and possibly four serious candidates and a bunch of also runs. There will be temptation to take the politically debilitating "lesser evil" stance. As reformers, we should instead look for the candidate who is more likely than the others to organize reform if he wins. We should come in now and help to shape his campaign.

Picking a reform candidate is not enough. We need to build a reform constituency which can do the following interrelated things: (1) Shape our candidate's campaign around the importance of reform, (2) Transform our reform constituency into a factor in the election by forcing other candidates to compete on the issue of reform, and by mobilizing serious numbers of voters. Ten million might be unrealistic, but five million added votes can win the election, (3) Sustain our reform constituency to support struggles for reform after the election. Even if our candidate wins, he will continue to need our support in pushing reform.

I have several problems with your position, Harvey. (1) I agree with Gov. Panlilio “that we should have one reform candidate; otherwise, we will get a president that we do not like.” If you are serious about supporting Among Ed, you should not float other possible candidates. (2) You should make sure the people you float are interested. Governor Padaca and Mayor Robredo are both Liberal Party members who support Mar Roxas for president. Chief Justice Puno has said he is not interested; he is needed where he is. (Photo: Pampanga Gov Among Ed)

Among Ed's position is the wisest. “I will go for whoever will represent a genuine reform constituency,” he said. “It does not necessarily have to be me. If there is a more appropriate candidate, why will I present myself? I look at my role now as more of one of the convenors of a genuine reform coalition.” The candidate is less important than the reform constituency. But to get our reforms close to reality, we need to elect a president. The sooner we decide on that candidate, the better. Floating many candidates will not get us closer to that decision.#

Thursday, March 19, 2009

ASG fund raising campaign activity

Doy Cinco / March 20, 2009

Mukhang wala ng katapusan ang kidnapping at terorismo ng Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) o “lost command” sa Mindanao. Mula sa Lamitan Siege, Sipadan Hostage, kidnapping kila Arlene de le Cruz at Cez Drilon, Fr Bossi, ang asasinasyon kay Cong Akbar,  Rizal Day bombing ng LRT,  Supper Ferry at  Batasang Complex hanggang sa low profile kidnapping ng mga teachers, ordinaryong basurero at mamamayan, bata, matanda at kababaihan. Ngayon, patuloy ang fund raising campaign ng ASG at nagkataong high profile staff ng ICRC, isang non-alligned at respetadong institusyon sa mundo ang nakasalang. (Lawaran: 3 ICRC hostages, arlyndelacruz.

Sa kabila ng sinasabing may ilang batalyon tropang militar (di kukulangin na 2,000) ang sa ngayo'y nakadeployed sa Basilan at Sulo,  hindi pa kasali ang ilang libong para-military-Cafgu at Intelligence Unit mula sa iba’t-bang sangay ng AFP ang sa ngayo’y walang dudang nagbibigay assistance sa combat operation, at labas pa rito ang clandistine o sikretong military operation ng mga tropang Amerikano na alam naman ng lahat ay nasa likud ng AFP, nanatiling malakas at buhay ang ASG. At kung tama ang datos ng AFP, "mga 60-80 lamang daw ang bilang ng ASG sa lugar." (Larawan sa ibaba; Photo shows Abu Sayyaf terrorist leader Albader Parad in this video grab. (Reuters)

Ang sabi ng isa kong kaibigang muslim na aktibista, “fund raising lang daw at malapit na ang 2010 election.” Dagdag pa niya, ang isa pang kontrobersya, si Commander Parad, ilang kumander ng ASG at mga kilalang namatay sa “engkwentro” sa pagitan ng ASG at military ay "mga dating military asset, inalagaan upang pagkakitaan, gamiting strategically laban sa MILF at MNLF,” sirain ang lehitimong adbokasiyang “genuine awtonomy at self determination ng mamamayang Moro.” May ilan naman ang nagsasabing “diversionary tactics,” guluhin ang mamamayan sa tunay na isyung bumabagabag sa country.

Ang isang malaking tanong ay kung sino ang supplier ng armas (M16, M14, mga toneladang bala, mortar) ng bandidong ASG? Para sa mga tagaMindanao, ang kanilang duda, mga "PAKAWALA ng ilang matataas na opisyal ng AFP ang ABU SAYYAF GROUP sa Mindanao, lumaki ang sungay at kalauna'y ‘di na nito makontrol."

Mula pa nuong 2002, ilang SONA (state of the nation address) na ni GMA, hindi mabilang na pagmamayabang na sinasabing “mahina na, on the run na ang ASG sa Mindanao. Kaya lang, ang nagdudumilat na katotohanang may “mahigit kumulang na 400 pang mga bandidong ASG sa Sulo Archipelago at Basilan ang kumikikig at namamayagpag.”

Kung maisasama sa collateral damage ang 3 ICRC staff at may delikadesa sila  AFP Secretary Gilbert Teodoro,  DILG Sec Puno at Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, magbitiw na sila sa tungkulin sapagkat sa ilang taon sa pwesto, parang inutil at wala sa kanila ang command at decision making ng buong mga kagawaran. Para kay Pres Barack Obama at US State Department, dahil nagsasayang lamang ng resources, panahon at incompetent ng mga generals sa larangan, bilang command responsibility, alisin na rin sa pwesto ang commander in chief, si President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ang Komunidad at Kilusan ng Mamamayan

Doy Cinco / Ika 12 ng Marso, 2009

Mula ng maibagsak ang diktadurya at nanungbalik ang ispasyo sa demokrasya, nagbago (above ground) ang arenas ng labanan at nagbigay puwang ang pagsasakapangyarihan at demokratisasyon sa mga pamayanan. Dahil sa iba’tibang konteksto at kadahilanan, ang paghahanap ng kalulugaran at katuturan sa buhay, may malaking bilang ng mga “aktibista at dating aktibista" sa kanayunan at kalunsuran ang naingganyong lumahok at nag-engaged sa lipunang pulitikal o kilusang demokratiko. (Larawan: 1986 Edsa Revolution)

Kagyat man ang resulta o pangmatagalan, sa pamamagitan ng partisipasyon sa lokal na pamamahala at eleksyon, malaki ang nagampanang papel ng komunidad at kilusan sa balanse ng kapangyarihan at mundo ng pultika.

Mahalagang maging mulat ang (aktibong) mamamayan sa balangkas ng partispasyon at galaw ng lokal na pulitika, tulad na lamang halimbawa ng; proseso ng pagdedesisyon at demokratisasyon sa pamamahala, ang dinamismo sa loob at labas ng institusyon, ang pagbalangkas ng planong pangkaunlaran, pagmonitor sa programa at proyekto, ang galaw ng tradisyunal na pulitiko at iba pang isyung direkta at di-direktang nakaka-apekto sa komunidad.

Marami sa mga lumahok, kundi man natalo sa halalan ay nagpatuloy na makipag-engaged sa kilusang pulitikal at tradisyonal na kilusang mamamayan. May malaking bilang ang pumasok sa mundo ng lokal na pulitika at halalan; may nanalo at may naipwesto sa poder, may naging tagapayo (consultant), community organizer (CO), pangangasiwa ng kampanya, organisasyon, edukasyon at propaganda at ang iba’y sinasabing “nalamon ng kabulukan ng sistemang pulitika.”

Sa kalagayang pinag-iiba ang mundo ng pulitika (lokal na pulitika) at mundo ng kilusan ng mamamayan, karaniwang tinitignang “bara o balakid sa pagbabago at banta sa katatagan ng kilusang mamamayan ang mundo ng pulitika.” Sa lipunang ideolohikal, “ang kasagraduhan at rasonableng balangkas ng direktang demokrasya (direct democracy) ay ‘di hamak na mas matimbang kung ikukumpara sa moda ng representatibong demokrasya na sadyang walang katotohanan at pawang huwad na kumakatawan sa mamamayan.” Kung progresibo nga naman ang mailulukluk sa lokal na kapangyarihan, ang existence o reason for being ng kilusan ay mawawalang saysay.

Mahalagang mabalanse ang balangkas ng "direkta at representatibong demokrasya." Kung magkakatulungan, may koordinasyon, ugnayang (lokal na pulitika at kilusang mamamayan) at magkatuwang na ipatutupad ang reporma sa lokal na pamamahala at partisipasyon, malayo ang malamang na marating sa pagbabago, delivery of basic services, demokratisasyon, bagong pulitika at pagpapalakas ng kilusan ng mamamayan.

Ang Komunidad

Bukud sa isa itong sistema, ang komunidad ay ang pagsasama-sama, isang koleksyon o grupo ng mga tao. Maraming dimensyon, pang-teknolohiya, pang-ekonomiya, pampulitika, pang-institusyon, pang-ideolohiya ang komunidad. May iba’t-ibang paniniwala, idea, konsepto, mga pinapahalagahan at modelo ng pakikisalamuha. May mga komunidad na nasa survival mode (matira ang matibay) at nasa humanitarian crisis situation (man made at natural calamity). Kung ikukumpara sa sitwasyon 60s-70s, may malaking ipinagbago ang mga komunidad.

Hindi homogenous at lalong hindi binubuo ng iisang sektor ang komunidad. Ang mga tao ay labas-masok, lumilipat ng tirahan, nananatili at higit sa lahat, patuloy na nagbabago. Ang komunidad ay binubuo ng maraming sektor, paksyon; may makapangyarihan at may kinukubabawan (marginalized), binubuo ng iba’t-ibang uri, may iba’t-ibang antas o dibisyon, kompetisyon at maraming tunggalian at sigalot. Nagpapakita lamang na ang komunidad ay isang kabuuan, o higit pa sa kabuuan ng mga parte ng malawak na pamayanan o kumunidad. (Larawan: Manila's urban poor slums/ taxonomy/term/7)

Ang malaking hamon ay kung paano at sino ang makapag-organisa, makaka-pamuno, makapagbibigay serbisyo, makapag-impluwensya't makakapagsakapangyarihan sa mamamayan at komunidad, hindi lang sa panahon ng eleksyon, bagkus sa buong panahon, araw-araw na takbo ng pamumuhay, pulitika at panlipunang kalakaran.

Nagbabagong Konteksto

Totoong nakaapekto ng malaki sa mga grupo ang sitwasyon at arena ng labanan. Bagamat nililinaw nating hindi ito nangahulugang humina at namarginalized ang kabuuang kilusan ng mamamayan sa komunidad. Sa katunayan, maraming nakakalat na mga “bagong kilusan ng mamamayan" ang nag-usbungan at kinilala sa kasalukuyan. Depende na lamang kung may kakaibang pagtinging naliligaw, pagtinging tunay at hindi tunay, pagiging repormista at rebolusyunaryo. Sa daming nagsulputang kilusan, maaaring nagkaka-iba-iba ang hugis ng identidad, porma ng kolektibong pagkilos, interest at tipo ng organisasyon. Maaring sabihing hindi na ito tulad ng tradisyunal na inaasam-asam nating partido, campaign advocacy oriented at kilusang pang-sektoral.

Bagamat may mangilan-ngilang tagumpay sa sektoral na patakaran, hindi ito naisustina bunsod sa kahinaan ng kilusan, ng mga institusyon at batas na gumagabay at inplementasyon. Sa totoo lang, ang tradisyunal na sektoral na paraan ng pagpapakilos ay hindi rin gaanong lubos na nakalikha ng pagbabago sa komunidad at impluwensya. Bukud sa sustainability, magastos at highly subsidized ang kampanya at mobilisasyon, factionalism at watak-watak, mahinang pamunuan at sapilitang inu-ugnay ang sektoral na isyu sa pambansang panawagan at istrukturang nais na baguhin sa lipunan. Mga tradisyunal na isyung muling binubuhay, isinasakay sa isyung sektoral at may layuning patindihin ang tunggalian sa uri at ideolohikal na pampulitikang panawagang ”wasakin at ibagsak ang mapang-api at elitistang estadong hindi naglilingkod sa mamamayang” sa paraang insureksyon at armadong pakikibaka.

Karaniwang ”top/down ang approach” ang mga isyung pinanghawakan ay kadalasa'y niluto, pinangunahan at inisyatiba ng partido o mga katuwang na NGOs. Sa pamamagitan ng mga ”facilitator o mga experto sa larangan ng kampanya,” isinusubo ang nalikhang isyu ng NGOs/partido sa mamamayan na kung tutuusin ay kay hirap ipanalo, lutang at kay bigat unawain, hiwalay pa ang kontrobersyal na usaping ginagamit lamang ang mamamayan upang pagkakitaan at pondohan mula sa international funding agencies.

Dahil top/down ang approach, natural na mauuwi sa pananaw na istruktural na pagbabago (vertical projection) ang lunas at katugunan. Ito marahil ang ilan sa mga kadahilan kung bakit hindi naging mahalaga ang komunidad at hindi na popularisa ang paglahok sa lokal na pulitika at electoral na pakikibaka ng tradisyunal na kilusan mamamayan.

Sa absense ng kilusan ng mamamayan, nagawang humalili, namanipula at naimpluwensyahan ng pulitiko (Trapo), political clan at warlordismo ang maraming komunidad sa buong bansa. Ang dating itinuturing balwarte ng kilusang mamamayan ang siya ngayong pinamumugaran ng elite at traditional na pulitiko. Sinamantala ng mga TRAPO ang kahinaan at pagiging watak-watak ng kilusang nag-aagawan at nagkokompeyensyahan sa isa’t-isa, sa iisa at sa lumiliit na bilang ng sektor sa komunidad.


Sa nagbabagong kalagayan ng mga komunidad, ang isang popular na kombinasyong malakas na kilusang demokratiko at baseng elektoral ang makapipigil sa paglaki ng kontrol at paghahari ng tradisyunal na pulitiko sa mga komunidad. "Sinasabing nasa lokal ang labanan at pinanggagalingan ng lahat ng kapangyarihan at dominasyon. Nasa lokal nagsisimula at nagtatapos ang kapangyarihan at pagsasamatala. Nasa lokal mahuhubaran at mailalantad ang patuloy na pamamayagpag ng tradisyunal na pulitiko. Nasa lokal magsisimula ang malakas at sustinidong pagkilos laban sa katiwalian, pang-aabuso at pagsasamantala.. Nasa lokal magmumula ang isang malakas at tunay (genuine) na grassroot movements, isang kilusang malakas, popular, sustinido, nagsasarili at sa sama-samang kumikilos ayos sa basbas at panawagan ng komunidad at mamamayan."

Ang hamon sa ngayon ay hindi na lamang simpleng debate sa tactical na pakikihamok (diversification of areas of engagement), ang usapin ngayon ay kung sino ang may malawak na baseng komunidad at kung sino ang may wasto at epektibong may basa (reading) sa nilulugarang konteksto. Ang hamon sa ngayon ay kung paano kikilalanin ang mas malawak na diskurso sa politika, demokratisasyon, pang-ekonomya't usaping panlipunan.

Hindi na lamang usapin ito ng pagiging “rebolusyunaryo, advocacy for reforms, ang pagiging repormista o isahang pagtingin ng mga bagay-bagay (plurarity at katangiang diverse na kalagayan). Ang isang malaking katanungan ngayon ay kung paano mapapaunlad ang kapasidad ng mamamayan bilang mamamayan (political at civil citizenship), bilang social citizenship at bilang isang komunidad na may imahinasyon, mapanglikha at compassionate!"