Saturday, August 23, 2008


The shit has really hit the fan, and oh what an aw-ful mess Doña Gloria and her "peace-niks" have made.

Take a look at her most recent pronouncement. By the time you read this article, she or her toadies in Malacañang may have flip-flopped again.

"These recent developments in the South lead to a change in the basic premise of our peace efforts...The focus of our talks shall shift from the armed groups to the communities...from negotiations to dialogues with the communities, or government conducting authentic conversations or dialogue with the people," the Doña intoned on the day three former presidents joined in commemorating the 25th anniversary of Ninoy’s martyrdom.

Hello? Come again? So now government admits there were no "authentic" consultations with the stakeholders – the residents of Mindanao, before she ordered Esperon to sign for and in behalf of the government, in Kuala Lumpur? And how, pray tell, will government dialogue now with the communities? Madam Doña, they are running in fear of attack from the MILF "lost" commands, the guys Murad and Iqbal claim they did not authorize to go into merciless rampage the past week. Now that the military and police forces are in hot pursuit of the "enemy," she orders "dialogues" and "conversations"?

Yet the day before, after the Chief of Staff, Gen. Alexander Yano ordered the soldiers of the people to go after the perpetrators of the Lanao massacres and the Saranggani pillage, as rightfully he did, Doña Gloria, tantrums and all, had to assert her "majestic" and "take-charge" superfluity by going on a post-facto "declaration of war" against the marauders. She "ordered" the troops to the field, and nobody in Malacañang whispered to her that Yano had already done his job. They must have trembled at her imperious temper. Baka batuhin sila ng laptop, o sipain ‘yung kaisa-isang teleprompter ng palasyo.

Ah, but her terms have taken a 180-degree turn. Where before August 5 she was fawning all over in meek surrender to the terms of the Bangsamoro, now she’s talking about "disarmament, demobilization, and rehabilitation, or DDR".

Hello? Come again? Disarm the Muslim community? That means war.

Demobilize the MILF, and other secessionist groups? You’d have to go to war to do that.

And rehabilitate? Only after the war is concluded, and government prevails.

Erap did that in 2000, and every peace-nik in town, as well as guys like Bill Clinton, bade Erap to hold his peace. Erap asked Ben Diokno to prepare a President’s budget for 2001 that would have been an "affirmative action" blueprint to "rehabilitate" and develop Muslim Mindanao, confident that he would overrun Busra and Abubakar. He did. But months later he was deposed, not by the Muslims, but at the instance of an ethnic Ilocano from Ciudad Fernandina en Nueva Segovia, Chavit Singson. Erap demobilized, partly disarmed, and vowed to rehabilitate. But Edsa Dos came, and Gloria allowed the MILF to reclaim their camps, re-mobilize and re-arm. From a vantage position of strength which the hapless Erap bequeathed her government, she went into a position of weakness, and allowed foreign interests to intrude in the "interest of peace." Thus, her meek acceptance of the terms of the MILF, which for all intents and purposes, were terms of surrender.

Erap won the war, Gloria lost the peace.

Now she wants to wage war. Down to the last soldier of the Filipino people? Down to the last Christian? In the hope that her "iron will" (kuno), and her newly-found "toughness" (kuno na sab) can terrorize Umbra Kato and Commander Bravo? If there is any word to describe the madness, it is certainly most discombobulating.

And her toady who is primus inter pares among her other toadies, the once tough guy from Balayan in Batangas tamed by the shrew from Iloilo (ask him who I refer to), says "disarmament is an essential ingredient in finding the elusive peace in Mindanao". E ganun pala naman, barakong kabayan, e bakit hindi ninyo ginawang kondisyon bago kayo mag-MOA-MOA?

Former Senate President Frank Drilon, Senator Mar Roxas and I were trying to make heads and tails of the discombobulation that is Doña Gloria’s MOA, while waiting for the mass for Ninoy to begin at the Don Bosco Church last Thursday morning. Mar thought "her boys just did not know what they were doing" and they just "fell all over the place". Frank thought otherwise. "There must be method in the madness", the former Senate President said. "Hindi naman siguro sila ganoon ka-tanga", he observed.

Either sheer incompetence, or a methodical, diabolical plan to play with Mindanao fire to promote her political interests.

Now that Mindanao is on fire once more, thanks to Doña Gloria and her bumbling peace-niks, with an eerily silent Norberto Gonzales and his Jesuit mentor lurking in sinister ever-presence like the Penguin and the Joker in a Batman noveleta, how else do we describe the "puzzlement" but discombobulated?

With the lives of everybody in these benighted isles in nervous discombobulation as well, even as innocent lives are wasted in Mindanao because of the folly of poor governance or the mischief of diabolical minds.

God, where are you?

Malaya,August 23, 2008