Aquino-MILF Pact A Curse on the Nation

Rather than a legacy of peace, President Aquino’s pact with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front contained in the “Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro” will be his curse on the nation. The consequences of the pact, renewed violence in Mindanao and even terrorist attacks in urban centers, will outlive his term, and will be one of the biggest headaches of the next president.

We have to disabuse ourselves of the naive, sappy “give-peace-a-chance” mentality that peace accords always lead to the silencing of guns. From Neville Chamberlain’s 1938 Munich Agreement with Adolf Hitler, to the 1973 Paris Peace Accords that led to the fall of Saigon, to the 1995 Dayton Agreement that ended the Bosnian War but led to the “ethnic cleansing” in Kosovo, ill-conceived peace pacts in the world’s history have often led to greater hostilities. Violence after failed peace pacts intensifies as the parties claim that they were betrayed, infuriating their fighters to fierceness. (more…)

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Framework agreement for PH dismemberment

Read the actual document itself, not just the mawkish “peace-is-at-hand” articles, and you will see that the “Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro” President Aquino yielded to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front is clearly a roadmap for the republic’s dismemberment.

No wonder the Moro insurgents are ecstatic: The pact calls for the creation of an MILF-controlled state within a state—precisely its main aim in the past decades. Bannered by the Islamic invocation “In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful,” the document even reads not as a pact between a sovereign secular state and a rebel group but as an MILF manifesto. (more…)

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The PCSO case: so brazen, so ruthless

The charges against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo involving Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds represent the most ruthless move of President Benigno Aquino III to persecute his predecessor, one that brazenly mocks our justice system.

Given that Mrs. Arroyo’s health has deteriorated drastically in the past months that an attending doctor diagnosed her condition as life-threatening, the arrest warrant recently issued against her points to a diabolical plot: a murderous one. Have we come to this? (more…)

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Economics of martial law and people power

Every year in September, in a ritualistic way the tale is told: A Dark Lord imposed his will on a hapless people, but then a messiah sacrificed his life to embolden Filipinos to topple the regime in 1986.

That’s a fairy tale, its old, overused storyline that of a Lord-of-the-Rings kind of entertainment, enough for medieval men, and for small minds today to explain the past. But reality is always, and in all ways, complex. (more…)

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DFA: another institution damaged by Aquino

By bypassing the foreign affairs secretary in the crucial foreign-policy episode confronting the Republic, its territorial claims against the People’s Republic of China, President Aquino has debased the Department of Foreign Affairs, adding to the growing list of institutions he has damaged.

To salvage his dignity, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto del Rosario has no choice but to resign his post, unless of course he relishes it so much. How can he delude himself and remain at his post, when Mr. Aquino, together with his secret special envoy Antonio Trillanes and one-time special envoy Mar Roxas, had practically broadcast to the planet that he had been merely this administration’s equivalent of a PR officer? (more…)

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Robredo’s revenge

What the late Secretary Jesse Robredo could not accomplish in life in the past two years, he did through his death: the removal of Undersecretary Rico E. Puno from the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the end of the latter’s hold over the Philippine National Police.

This is not facetiousness over Robredo’s tragic death but a condemnation of the treatment he got under President Aquino, who reduced him to a figurehead at the DILG by de facto putting the PNP under the command of Puno, Mr. Aquino’s shooting-range buddy and confidante. (more…)

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Colleague even accused Sereno of plagiarism

I can understand former Associate Justice Florentino Feliciano’s doting defense of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in his letter to this paper (Inquirer, 9/8/12).  However, facts should prevail over one’s fondness for a protégé.

Mr. Feliciano insists that Sereno was the government’s co-counsel in the case the German firm Fraport brought against the government at the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (Icsid). However, I refer Mr. Feliciano to three documents, copies of which he can acquire through Google. (more…)

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CJ’s mental health in question

We have to squarely confront the issue, since the Supreme Court represents the rule of rationality, the foundation of any civilized society. My apologies to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, but she brought this on herself, because of her greed for more glory, not content with her appointment—itself already undeserved—as associate justice in 2010.

A more principled, moral person—or even one just in touch with reality—would have declined her appointment as Chief Justice, which is as clear as day not due to President Aquino’s concern for the judiciary but to his wish to control it. (more…)

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Sereno lied on her track record

“Fresh start,” “Excellent choice,” “Sereno’s big task”—the headlines were on the appointment of Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno. C’mon now.  Wasn’t the story that the appointment was so unexpected and shocking that no one, not even any of President Aquino’s most ardent apologists, had expected he would make such an in-your-face decision? Wasn’t it so controversial that nine of the 13 Supreme Court associate justices boycotted the swearing in of their unwanted Chief?

Isn’t it so obvious that Sereno’s real “qualification” was that she was the only nominee Mr. Aquino could be 100-percent sure would do his bidding? She has proven this beyond doubt in the last two years, especially when she outdid Hacienda Luisita’s lawyers in arguing for P10-billion compensation for the President’s clan. (more…)

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Marcos let Ninoy have his surgery abroad

It’s pure terror, and you’d have no idea of the horror unless you’ve experienced it: You gulp for air, and there’s nothing there.

A 65-year-old grandmother has gone through such horror, and lives minute-to-minute with the fear that it could happen again. The two titanium plates implanted in former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo neck have been displaced, causing her to choke at a wrong movement of her neck. A renowned doctor has warned that her condition can even cause her sudden death. She had three operations here, one lasting eight hours, another 14 hours. Yet her condition has worsened. (more…)

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