PHILIPPINE INSURGENCY: Can it be solved
Insurgency in the country did not grow out of the barrel of the gun. It is not even a product of cultural or political idiosyncrasies. It may reflect a bit socially but it is more complex. It is something deeper than meets the eye. If someone believes that its terms can be ended with a whistle then the fellow is not of this world. This social malady actually emanated more from discontent.
Let us tackle the NPA led communist insurgency. While it can be said that its forces of 260,000 strong partisan believers were whittled down to about 26,000 to date, the hard core remain basically the same. The group will wage war until it grabs political power; until it assumes the role of government. And there is nothing in between their struggle, no gray areas whatsoever. They have pseudo organizations (NDF/Bayan/CPP) that serve as listening posts, branches in society expressive of their involvement in social affairs, even as participants in local and national government affairs, but these are merely terms of concerns to project relevance in the consciousness of the people. Now, how do we deal with this force?
And then there is MNLF which became MILF and which later reappeared as BIFF. There were several break away factions like Abu Sayaf. All these organizations and its subgroupings came directly from Islamic bloodline. While they are not the kind that would intend to take over government, they merely wanted their areas undisturbed by government. But government does not want to capitulate its armed wing in favor of Muslim armed components. That is where the problem lies. Now, how do we deal with this force?
For sure, the problems posed by these groups present a challenge to political leadership. If by peace means that rebellious forces or those labeled as insurgents would throw away their firearms, with full stretched arms raised above their vowed heads, the cinematic kind of surrender, then we are only feeding our thoughts with wild imagination.
Insurgencies are born out of desperation, disgruntlement and dissatisfaction with the way society is handled.
The communists believe that the capture of the State is an indispensable prerequisite for implementing a system of political, economic and social communism—towards a classless society. Marxism does not subscribe to duality of purpose or hitherto collaboration with any other system. That is the hard line position.
Muslims on the other hand are resilient. Their strategies consisted of adaptation, fusion, sometimes resistance when threatened, but a realistic acknowledgement of the reality of their Muslim minority status in non-Muslim states. Unlike their Christian counterparts, they never proselytize.
It is easier to deal with Muslims than talk peace with NPA although ideological refinements has long been dismissed with the collapse of communism in the Eastern Bloc as expressed in the politics of USSR. It is only communism, the Red China version, which maintains the purity of its purpose although it has been seen as revisionism as pursued by its former Chair Deng Xiao Ping who has been quoted to have remarked when questioned regarding his political posture on transnational incursion when he said that “I don’t care whether the cat is black or white, as long as it catches the mice!” China has since ascended as a superpower in global politics and economy.
Now, where do we situate our posturing when it comes to the pursuit of peace? Government is not in a position of strength while negotiating if it is saddled with internal weaknesses. Peace advocates in government cannot hold their head up when issues regarding large scale corruption haunts almost all members of Congress! President Du30 as a good and brilliant leader, on his own, no matter how adroit he could be, could only make promises but could not bind it formally unless he will be provided with progressive legislation. This he cannot do if the legislature has lost its integrity.
There will be peace albeit a temporary one and full of compromises. Membership in the cabinet for Leftist bloc is one. Passage of BBL is another. But it would be lasting if the President will set aside Congress since most of its members would just be very busy in court defending themselves from their involvement with Napoles’ scam and related irregularities.
President Du30 is lily clean, damn honest and is perceived as a no-nonsense leader. He has the respect of a renewed Armed Forces, the loyalty of a revitalized Law Enforcement pillar and the devotion of the populace.
With a clean hand, government will be able to pursuit lasting peace. The rebels would be very willing to lay down their arms not in surrender but in complete submission. Their leaders would have no other option but reckon. The rebels would find their role as cadre of a new political force and watchers of an efficient bureaucracy. Through their respective representation, they can fashion out a law that would be very responsive to advancement in the quality of life.
For a defined period, the President must have to rule by decree. There is no other way. Let’s call it Federalism or Parliamentary government, whatever. The goods will be there.
There will be peace and harmony. Crime will no longer pose as major obstacle but merely as a nuisance. Competence will rule and prosperity will abound.
Yes, insurgency can be solved and senior citizens like me will be very lucky to bear witness to this development.