Monday, April 27, 2015

THE BBL ENIGMA



What is intended to promote unity and harmony in the Country, is precisely dividing the people in general.  What is envisioned to bring about peace and progress in Mindanao is not exactly making people in Mindanao jump for joy, neither pacifying the fears nor resolving the reservations of the people in Luzon and in the Visayas.  Thus stands the enigma of the BBL proudly promoted by the present administration and fervently affirmed by its well-rewarded supporters.

It is anything but a secret that in Mindanao itself, there are non-friendly groupings such as the well-known MNLF, the fearsome ASG, the dangerous BIFF plus apparently other newly-emerging militant groupings – in addition to MILF that precisely pushed the MNLF aside with the support and patronage of the incumbent administration.  The above-said major groupings may not be exactly warring factions among themselves whereas one apparently simply comes from another – as a mother gives birth to a child.  One thing however is definitely certain, viz., there is more than but one armed group in Mindanao other than the MILF that has come to fore recently although the MILF remains the centerpiece of the BBL.

So arise some reasonable questions as the following:  How come the ruling administration is trying to forge an agreement with but the MILF?  Are other said gun-owning and toting  groups expected to but humbly submit to the BBL MILF in the event that the latter rule in Mindanao with the patronage of the reigning administration?  Will there really be peace in Mindanao when most of the people there are neither Muslims nor exactly MILF constituents or sympathizers?  In other words and in the sphere of ground realities, is the BBL really the way to justice, peace and development in Mindanao?

It is a matter of record that the BBL envisioned blessed phenomenon was precisely accompanied by the SAF manslaughter that took place precisely with the deadly participation of some MILF and BIFF members.  This is interesting – if not actually disgusting:  Talking about peace here with killings going on at the same time somewhere.  No wonder then that although the administration tries to lord it over, the legislators however are markedly divided on the pro and contra of the BBL – while the justices are on the watch about its constitutionality they will certainly be asked to pronounce upon in due time.  Meantime, Mindanao is anything but in peace long since and up to now.

There is another nagging question – after the 2016 elections.  If and when the BBL were eventually approved by all the branches of the Philippine government, if and when the coveted Peace Prize is eventually obtained by someone at all costs, what happens next?  Will the in-coming administration continue to support and promote the BBL?  Will there be true and lasting peace in Mindanao?  Will this Region be an example of social harmony plus its accompanying socio-economic development?  Interesting!  

Friday, April 24, 2015

JUST THINKING



Call it a problem, a difficulty, a dilemma.  Consider it an enigma, a riddle, a paradox.  Look at it as a puzzle, a predicament, a perplexity or whatever.  The standing and glaring fact is that Mindanao has long been a long, serious and even deadly phenomenon in the Philippines – since time immemorial.  One regime after another, this and that government comes and goes in the course of time, all these notwithstanding, the same national serious and lasting issue does not only continue to exist but in fact becomes even worst in significance and consequence in the course of time.  It is bad enough when Countries are at war with one another.  But it is definitely much worse when one Nation like the Philippines is at war with itself.

Questions thus come to fore:  How come so many ways and means have been tried, how come so much effort and so many endeavors have been made but to no avail?  In fact, there was that well-known Agreement made that was eventually unmade.  In addition thereto, there was even that famous invasion made but to no avail eventually.  And now there is the widely publicized and fervently proclaimed BBL authored by the Executive Department undergoing long inquiry by the Legislative Department – and probably later on to be submitted to the Judicial Department for constitutional diagnosis.  And assuming the Law has been legislatively affirmed and constitutionally confirmed, would this mean that the Mindanao paradox would be good as resolved?  In other words, would the BBL mean unity and peace, harmony and order in Mindanao?

JUST THINKING… Would the Mindanao problem be resolved with basically political moves by the national government?  Would the Mindanao issue be neutralized by mere national legislative means?  Would the Mindanao dilemma be dissolved by a national agreement with but one of the dissenting factions therein?

JUST THINKING… Should the Mindanao problem be instead resolved by an honest-to-goodness realistic and determined socio-economic development through profitable business and industry at the direct instance of the national government?  Should the Mindanao dilemma be instead responded to by the pursuit of justice, peace and order by the national government?

JUST THINKING…  It is a fact that Mindanao lacks much power which is basic in economic progress and development.  It is a reality that Mindanao is now regularly hard hit by the climate change that brings about either the lack of water for irrigation or over-abundance of water that spells destruction.

If something like the BBL will surely bring about industrial development, economic progress, social order and harmony, then it stands to reason that some kind or another BBL – like BANGSA VISAYAS LAW (BVL) and BANGSA LUZON LAW(BLL) – be also enacted and implemented the sooner the  better.

Just thinking…

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

WANTED: PUBLIC OFFICIALS FOR PUBLIC SERVICE



Given the way a good number of public officials – from the local to the national levels – not only indulge themselves in attending to their own self-service and in building their family welfare, not only in protecting but even in promoting their partisan political interests, and considering their indolence and even downright incompetence, it is evident that this Country needs an equally good number of industrious and able, specially honest and trustworthy politicians.  In the latter’s absence, it becomes understandable that the Filipinos will continue to wallow not only in poverty but also in misery, not simply live in destitution but also fall in despair.

And it is quite predictable that the people in general could easily rise up in exasperation and anger – without talking about another “EDSA” or something the like.  It is understandable then that one “Survey”  after another, reveals the progressive dissatisfaction of the general public – specially as far as their supposedly Superior General or General-in-Command  is concerned.  He talks big but delivers little.  He speaks of vision but is short-sighted.  And the worst part of it all is that he thinks, speaks and acts as if he were infallible.

Public utilities now nonchalantly operate as private enterprises.  Public highways are made to earn much from their users as a matter of course.  Not only electricity but also water are money-making businesses.  And there are not only direct but also indirect taxes paid when buying and paying for practically anything – from cradles to coffins.  This is not to mention the so-called “Sin Taxes” for drinking one’s problems away, for smoking to forget one’s hunger even for a short time.  So it was that even in the very old times, Caesar” already got what belonged to him as well as what belonged to others.  And so it is that even in those very distant times, the “Tax Collectors” were anything but endearing.

The so-called modern “Chain of Taxes”  is both a wonder and a curse:  A small can of sardines is taxed for the fish therein, for the tin-can used to contain it, for the manufacturing expenses to make it, for the transportation charges, for the electricity used in the public as well as supermarkets, for the gains of the capital investment, for the profit of the seller, etc. etc.  Question:  Where is all that money continuously and mercilessly collected by the government?  Where is all that earnestly and forcefully accumulated money supposedly intended for public welfare, for the common good?  Where is the money? How much went to infrastructures and how much went to the private accounts of rather infamous public officials?      

In the event that the elections would take place in 2016, in the event that the Philippines is still made up of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, in the event that the poor could afford not to sell their votes, and in the event that all the votes cast will be duly counted, then, all you competent, trustworthy and industrious individuals – with the required constitutional attributions plus sound personality traits – please become candidates for public offices.  PLEASE!

Monday, April 20, 2015

THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUTH



Truth is reality.  Truth is actuality.  Truth is factuality.  It says what someone or something is, and what the same is not.  Falsehood says what someone or something really is not.  Lie forwards but deception, productive of distortion, causative of falsification.  Truth affirms what is just, counters what is unjust.  As truth liberates, falsehood chains, locks, shackles the peddler of lies.  This is why it is said and rightly so, that “The truth shall set you free,” while a lie places the liar in shackles.

And this is why truth cannot be at the side of those who engage in hypocrisy, those who indulge in thievery, those who wallow in criminal acts.  And this is why even children are taught to tell the truth.  And woe to adults who are liars.  That is why one lie requires another lie, and another lie, until the liar is caught up in a chain of lies.  As a rule, it can be said that nothing less than experience affirms that no lie stands alone as it needs and demands other lies in its attempt to appear as the truth.

It is interesting to note and remember that truth seems to have a life of its own.  In other words, while liars  may take their lies to their graves, sooner or later, the truth – the whole truth and nothing but the truth – reveals itself to those left behind.  So it is said:  Hide truth.  Cover up the truth. Bury the truth.  But lo and behold, sooner or later it finds ways and means to reveal itself and expose the lie, to free itself and reveal the liar.  This is why not so long ago, someone said and rightly so:  “Liars:  Beware of truth!”

In more ways than one, lie is a necessary ingredient of graft and corrupt practices in government as well as of cheating and deceiving in private enterprises – not to mention swindling neighbors, double-crossing friends.  Reason:  All the said offenses are premised on lies.  And the one and only test of the worth and merit  of the Judicial System as a whole is if it searches for  and finds the truth in the heaps of lies and deceptions.  So it is said, and rightly so:  “In the absence of truth, there is no justice.”      

All the above bring to mind not only the infamous phenomenon of the so-called “hocus-pocus” in the COMELEC, the big magical practices in CUSTOMS, the fatty “Pork Barrel” – under different names and forms – in the LEGISLATURE, etc., etc., etc., the common denominator of all which are lies after lies after lies.  While all these big and numerous lies can remain for now, time will surely come – such as after 2016 – when the truth will uncover them all in their naked realities.

And the now infamous as well as odious MAMASAPANO MASSACRE is still wallowing  in lies after lies.  Why did it happen at all?  What made it take place?  Who is ultimately responsible for it?  After so many hearings and inquiries and reports – plus more to come – the truth is not yet known because lies are still in command of the hideous event.

And this is saying absolutely nothing about the BBL.   

Friday, April 17, 2015

SIGNS OF HOPE



Yes, the political scene in the Country is anything but a reason to celebrate, a phenomenon to jump for joy.  Yes, the political culture imbibed by the Filipinos in general is certainly neither that inspiring nor that convincing to proclaim.  But yes, signs of hope there are for politics in the Philippines to be commendable and wherefore acceptable.  While there is no room yet for optimism, neither is pessimism in order.  And this promising eventuality is anchored on different  factors such as the following:

More and more simple people are poised to vote wisely, i.e., over and above the wealth and popularity of the candidates.  In addition to this, they are also more conscious of the necessity of having their votes duly counted through credible means.  They feel that they had enough political gimmickry among the candidates whose election into office precisely made their already poor life and simple living even more miserable.

More and more civic-minded Filipinos share their time, talent and resources through healthy volunteerism in the formation of organizations and movements primarily intended to inform and guide the voters on voting wisely by knowing the candidates better as to their persons and credentials.  The truth is that the voters in general are already aware of what crooked politicians eventually do to their already difficult lives.

More and more non-traditional politicians are elected into office  in the same way that more and more young and idealistic, trustworthy and competent candidates for public office are emerging, challenged as they are by the evils brought about by power and money politics.  Together with the Filipinos in general, they feel that they themselves – their own families included – already had enough of dirty politics.

The above-cited more positive and inspiring signs of hope in the eventual transformation of Philippine politics for the common good and public welfare of Filipinos, are neither but dreams nor but mere imaginations.  The rallies for a better government – which is the same as saying the quest for better political officials – are staged not only in Metro Manila but also in the different regions of the Country.

But just the same, it is good to remember the wise saying:  “One step  at a time, goes far in a day.”  In other words, such a huge and widespread viciousness in Philippine politics can be effectively counteracted by the salutary pairing of duly-informed and civic-minded citizens plus upright, competent and working politicians.  The plain and simple truth is that if the citizens themselves allow crooked, incompetent and avaricious politicians to govern them, complain they may not because such an odious political reality is in effect their own making by their social indifference, civic passivity.

Again:  No!  It is not really hopeless.  Philippine politics can still be transformed into what really is politics and what it is really for.  The incumbent Supreme Politician – given his misdirected interests plus disabled vision – is doing much to awaken the Filipinos to be politically vigilant.