Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume 2, Number 40 November 10 - 16, 2002 Quezon City, Philippines
That we live in troubled times is an understatement if one considers that the social crisis besetting the country is made worse by the open declaration of war against all those who oppose the administration.
DANILO ARAŅA ARAO
the powers-that-be, the current all-out war against the Communist Party of the
Philippines (CPP) is an integral part of their war against terrorism.
the European Union (EU) agreed with the United States' labeling of the CPP as a
foreign terrorist organization, according to the Philippine government, should
force the revolutionary leaders to go back to the negotiating table.
CPP predictably junked the idea of resuming peace talks within the framework of
capitulation and surrender, and instead vowed to continue the armed struggle.
The group remains open, however, to negotiations, provided that previous
agreements are honored like the 1992 Hague Declaration that defined the
framework of the peace talks.
Spokesperson Gregorio Rosal, in a Nov. 5 statement, stressed that the armed
struggle will continue as long as the basic problems of the country remain. He
dismissed the proposed amnesty program as deceptive and simply part of the
government's ploy to quell the armed struggle without addressing the roots of
the eyes of government
the appreciation of the national situation differs depending on where one
Arroyo administration recognizes the crisis besetting the country but at the
same time insists that this is only temporary. All that is needed, according to
government officials, is for the people to support the government and give it a
is already in the offing, says the powers-that-be, but there are elements who
are against it and are moving heaven and earth to deny the people the fruits of
the administration's hard work.
the eyes of the Arroyo administration, those who are against the government are
"social termites" and terrorists who must be pursued and destroyed.
surprisingly, the administration declared all-out war against its enemies both
real and imagined. For the administration, the so-called enemies of the state
are responsible for the spate of bombings in Manila and Zamboanga and that these
are meant to embarrass and destabilize the current administration.
reaction to this, security has been tightened in areas like shopping malls and
airports. There are plans to pilot test the National ID system in Baguio and
Cebu. The National Security Council (NSC) is also considering the issuance of
firearms to barangay tanods (community guards) and making them members of the
Citizens Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU). According to the NSC, this will
help in the surveillance of suspected terrorists.
the same time, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine National
Association of School Services Organizations tagged as "high-risk
areas" of terrorist attacks five universities in Metro Manila --- the
University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Polytechnic University of the
Philippines (PUP) in Sta. Mesa, University of Santo Tomas (UST), Far Eastern
University (FEU) at University of the East (UE) in Recto. The authorities admit
that these are considered "high-risk areas" due to the presence of
"militant groups," particularly student organizations.
the administration is conditioning the minds of people that the suppression of
rights of perceived enemies is necessary to achieve development.
is no different from, say, the deregulation of the oil industry and
privatization of the power sector where people, particularly those with low
purchasing power, are told to make sacrifices for now since low prices and
better services will happen eventually.
powers-that-be see the need to quell social unrest and consequently use the
terms "terrorist," "communist," among others, in an attempt
to remove the credibility and legitimacy of the struggle for social change. In
doing so, the administration eventually promotes a culture of conformity and
this context, the resurrection of policies that were junked in the recent past
does not come as a surprise -- the National ID system; "total war"
policy and the use of paramilitary groups like CAFGU; and even the Mutual
Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) which is no different from the controversial
Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) in 1997.
the much-ballyhooed "strong republic" of the Arroyo administration
only results in the further violation of human rights. This makes the crisis
besetting the country even more unbearable for the poor.
the same time, however, the current state of affairs provides the social
condition for strengthening the people's resolve to join in the struggle for
As the polarization of social forces continues and the administration fails to heed legitimate demands like decent living conditions, the people begin to understand the context of the struggle and the contradiction that exists within society. Bulatlat.com