Too old to be partying

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) celebrates its founding
anniversary on December 26, 2009. The CPP under the theoretical guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse Tung Thought was reorganized after it broke away from the original Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP-30). The CPP which through its armed component the New People’s Army(NPA) has been waging a protracted people’s war against the Philippine government since 1969 in order to establish a Maoist state. Proving inutile attempts by past administrations to effectively destroy the communist insurgency.

This recent celebration also mocks the Arroyo administrations so-called deadline to wipe out the NPA by 2010 under. Through the Armed Forces of the Philippines(AFP) previous Oplan Bantay Laya 1 (OBL1) and currently under the OBL2, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines(GRP) has utterly failed in destroying any one of the CPP’s 100 guerilla fronts nationwide. The OBL’s have also been linked to the assassination policy of the AFP of civilian activists.

Post Soviet CPP

Marxism-Leninism, although repudiated by other countries in the Philippines even after the fall of the Soviet Union. Despite the failure of socialist countries, a protracted people’s war is still waged in the countrysides. Largely as a result of social and judicial injustices, the NPA function as an alternative government. The rebels organize a shadow government which collects taxes and metes out punishment committed against the revolutionary masses. Often burning properties against those who do not pay their “revolutionary taxes”.

Furthering the Struggle

They are further poised to expand within the next five years. According to their website, the CPP is intent on expanding their mass base. They seem to have also adopted of infiltrating government positions. Exlained by this article.

Warlord’s Faux Pas

What is so indignant of about the Maguindanao Massacre really?

From activists, rebels, soldiers, journalists and politicos; death mayhem and chaos are part and parcel of everyday Filipino life. We wake up each morning and hear gruesome news stories about some poor schmuck nga gi-ihaw sa eskinita(stabbed in the alleyway) and become apathetic. Like smelling crappy feet, we become used to the stench and slog on.

Yet this massacre is one for the books. This wholesale murder, a hallmark in global and Philippine history has breached an unspoken code of conduct amongst warlords. As mlq3 eloquently states:

Those unable -or unwilling- to fight fire with fire, who cannot or will not confront warlords and high officials on their own terms -because the powerful have all official and unofficial venues for the redress of grievances in their pockets or because, even if on par with a rival, one is unwilling to call that rival’s bluff- have relied on three antidotes to violence: womankind, the media, and the law.

All three manifested themselves in the decision to send that ill-fated caravan to the Comelec office. Mangadadatu sent female relatives: “Buluan Vice Mayor Ismael Mangudadatu’s wife Jenalyn, his sister-in-law and currently Mangudadatu town Vice Mayor Eden, their youngest sister Bai Farina and his cousins Zorayda Bernan, Raida Sapalon and Rowena Ante Mangudadatu,” as reported by Mindanews; and the lawyers sent to accompany them were women as well: Connie Brizuela and Cynthia Oquendo, who were also slain. Among the conventions that govern clan and political-related violence in the region, is that women, children, and the elderly are off-limits as targets.

And then, there was the media, including both national and regional reporters and correspondents: the glare of publicity and attention is generally considered enough to make even the most hardened of warlords take pause. And, indeed, the story was a big one: the colossal might of the Ampatuans actually facing a challenge.

All three -women being off-limits as targets of political or clan violence; media’s ability not only to cover stories, but to guarantee, in a sense, safety for those who bring their stories forward; and of the law, both in terms of the Mangadadatus pursuing a perfectly legal objective -filing candidacy papers- and of lawyers themselves as persons not to be targets, ceased to matter when the massacre began.

These conventions, crap no filmmaker, reportes or novelist I’ve heard has written do exist. Yet one has to be close to appreciate the gravity and subtleties of the existing political bushido. So for all those who view the Philippines through the spectrum of foreigners or conyos this singular act of barbarity is worth raising cries for. Even for a semi-barbaric country like the Failippines.

Micro, Macro

Reading up on a provocative piece of Manolo’s Marcos on Retrospect got me thinking. In his last line the strength and weaknesses of Marcos was as much the political weakness and strength of our culture.

“(confusing form with substance, ignoring how the means by which power is acquired is as important as how you use it, tolerance of his supporters’ mistakes; his using armed force to compensate for some political weaknesses)”

Confusing form with substance – now theirs a mouthful. How many times are parents (mine even more so) obsessed with grades as opposed to actual education. Filipinos are so obsessed with titles and ranks. The words attorney, principal and doctor have to be used for the “professional” to be acknowledged.

Ignoring how the means by which power is acquired is as important as how you use it. Again this ties in with the much vaunted observation of ranks and gradations. Who gives a rat’s ass how you got the diploma (some professional forgery) as long as you get the diploma? Kwarto, Kwatro o Kwarta (Sex, Failure or Money) ? Screw it!

His using armed force to force to compensate for some political weaknesses. A favorite of fathers and “disciplinarians”. Although the country hasn’t reached the point of cultural maturity the truth is this has got to stop. How many times have we substituted political executions in exchange for holistic reforms? How long will warlords continue to rule by subjugation and the their subjects to shiver – or be dumbstruck in line?