Archive for the ‘Iligan City’ Category

I Was Not Surprised When Erap Was Deposed In 2001

November 28, 2008

I was not surprised when Erap was deposed in 2001 by the supposed “EDSA II”. I got an inkling of it way back in 2000.

Filipinos invariably talk about elections. In a gathering in Ibalon in 2000 there was a talk of who will probably succeed Erap after the 2004 elections. Of course the majority said that Gloria is the frontrunner being the sitting Vice-President and a former topnotcher in Senate elections. The somebody shot back, “What made you think Erap will finish his term”.

The person was close to some powers as is some of the other members. “What is the lesson of EDSA?” The same person answered the question, “The military is pivotal“.

That set me thinking. And watching.

Soon the “I Accuse” speech of Sen. Guinnago came out. Next came the Villar “touchdown”. Afterwards, the impeachment melodramas in the Senate that was broadcast live nationwide. After that, “Itsa Dos”.

A friend asked me why I was not high on Gloria (like most of the educated then). Told him I lived in Iligan City and “isinusuka sila doon ng tao“. Gloria spent her early years there. It was the place where her mother practiced medicine and it is where their true ancestral house in located (not in Pampanga unlike what most people supposes).

I asked a relative why. “Masama ang ugali. Manggagamit“. And it is said that the place where one came from knows the person best.

The person added, “Gloria never forgot the humiliation of her father. She idolized him.” I didn’t know then if the words were a warning to me.

And that got me thinking of the Harry Stonehill case and the subsequent canning of then Secretary of Justice Jose Diokno.

“Think of it, mga padi. If Gloria succeeds Erap in 2001 and wins in 2004, that is 10 years. Lot of time to really do something”.

But I don’t think now that the person really knew then how black Gloria’s bones are.

Was The MILF Suckered Into War?

August 30, 2008

In 2000, I was a keen observer of Erap’s war against the MILF. I was then living in Iligan City and information was readily available because  to forestall accusation of bias the media in Northern Mindanao practiced real free press where all sides were free to ventilate their side unrestricted. Showing of “hot” videos of the fighting and destruction and free discourses became the order of the day. That happened for a week until the government can no longer take the heat and  clamped down on the media by threatening to file sedition charges against the TV and radio stations.

But comparing the 2000 war and today’s war I am amazed by the current speed and comprehensiveness of the military advance. It is as if they have been ready all along to take the offensive. In 2000 though the military has already 38 batallions in Mindanao (by Erap’s own admission) they had to wait for several more batallions before attacking headlong the MILF strongholds.

Or is this the case of the military taking advantage of advanced technology provided to them by the US like satellite imagery, GPS tracking and sigint (signal intelligence)  tracking? News reports of the recent past shows Moro fighters in Sulu and Tawi-tawi complaining about this and as a result they find themselves being outmaneuvered in their own lair. Even Ka Roger, the CPP spokesman became media-shy after his close escape where he charged it was due to his being monitored through his interviews by media through his cell phone.

The government knows knows very well the psychological profile of Commander Bravo of being a hothead and having a history of defying their central leadership. Lanao residents won’t be surprised by his show of force following the cancellation of the MOA signing. Was the government counting all along on this so that there will be a ready excuse? Is the order to capture Commanders Bravo and Kato just a ruse to attack the other bases as the MILF is now charging?

If this is true then it means the MILF was suckered into war, a war that they cannot win. Will this mean that they will again lose territory like in 2000? The irony of this is that they are now at the losing end of the propaganda war and a perfect excuse was found to raise new paramilitary units.

It seems that GMA’s government promised the MILF something that really cannot happen if the reaction of the Supreme Court and the Christian body politic will be the gauge. And what the MILF got was not a signed document of peace but war.