Friday, November 30, 2007

Protracted Peace Dialogue

Mindanao has been a battleground for a continuing senseless armed conflict wasting away development efforts and lives of innocent people who have been caught in the middle. All parties to it have their reasons why they wage armed struggle and minus their respective political agenda, no one is ready yet to buy the idea of peace and development. With that, shedding of blood that takes respite during truce, will definitely continue unless a long and lasting solution to the conflict is achieved. But I doubt it if we can have peace sooner. My musing is that, if we can afford to kill and get killed for peace, why can't we sit down for the same goal instead together we push for a protracted peace dialogue?

Electoral Process

I was rummaging into my digital file and found this editorial cartoon I drew for the 14 May 2007 election and decided to dump it here too. The cartoon called on voters to vote according to dictate of conscience.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

On Alston's UN HR Report

Another development that would certainly bring the entire nation and the current governance to rethink or double-work on law enforcement is the the final report of Philip Alston released last November 26.

The report looked into the summary killings victimizing leftist activists and cited Davao City for its long record on summary killings involving young offenders.

The report displeased the military in Mindanao and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte when he was described in the 23-page report as "helpless" in the face of countless killings by the much-talked about Davao Death Squad (DDS) - a shadowy armed group that preys on petty crime suspects by stabbing or shooting ala sparrow unit their victims.

For the military, the report has "sweeping and inaccurate statements" saying that indeed there were military elements who committed crimes but these were on their own and therefore cannot be sweepingly charged as sanctioned by the AFP.

There are many sides of a story. But the answer to all of these issues or summary killings for that matter are simple - stop the extra judicial killings in the country with resolved political will.

Senator Trillanes

Yesterday, the Magdalo group drew the attention of the nation when they walked out of the court room and holed up in Manila Peninsula Hotel for about 6 hours before they surrendered to the army/PNP. In the presence of media, they issued press statements calling on all filipino people to take side with them or to their cause - and one of these is for GMA to resign. At first, we thought that this time it was going to be a do or die scenario for his group as he was quoted as saying he expected for the worst. Maybe, by worst his group referred to their eventual surrender.

Senator Trillanes and his group Magdalo erred in reading the situation. Although there are rambling grievances beneath the ground over the alleged graft and corruption of Arroyo administration - the people whom he was calling on to support them are not generally restless or impatient. Not yet. Moreover, people this time are not organized. The people or the masses, to him, who were caught unaware, were not ready for whatever action his group was cooking up.

Although he won in the election, it did not mean that he could easily muster a groundswell of supporters or that there were sympathetic masses backing him and his causes. If the people voted for him, I strongly believed the people gave him the chance to bring all his good intentions to the legislative hall - and not through violent means or one-sided saber-rattling.

With the pardon of Erap, I thought that the Magdalo group would be seeing freedom sooner or later under the context of reconciliation. Why not? And instead, devote more time on working what we can do for this country through meaningful and doable laws.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Economic Upswing

The three giant oil companies in the country today is poising to inflict another blow on the consumers – the public in general – when they poise to impose another round of oil price increases. Remember that we have the oil industry deregulation law which was at first analyzed by proponents to improve the fuel prices, among others, because of the supposed entry of new players. But this is not what is happening now. Instead, the oil industry is fully controlled by the three giants. Maybe, this is one of the indicators of PGMA when she told the press about our economy on the upswing – everything will go upswing as a domino effects of OPIs. Prices of basic commodities will naturally follow suit and fare per kilometer will go up because the poor drivers can no longer tolerate to live side by side with the new fuel price. As usual, business firms will be affected but we know they can get away with it by passing the impact to the consumers in two manners – by refusing to give salary and wage increases and/or increasing products and services. For PGMA, all these indicate for economic upswing.