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Sunday, September 22, 2019
BACOLOD

Ombion: US war on terror and PH governance

Perspective

NEEDED the 9/11 2001 attack on World Trade Center and the Pentagon to create a so called “enemy of the US state”, “terrorists”, “communists” to bolster its military industrial complex production of weapons of mass destruction and to hype the need for strongman politics in the world and Asia.

Since 9/11 the US under George W. Bush had ignited low to high intensity wars throughout the world to carry out regime change in hostile countries, and hunt down “terrorists” and “communists” within and outside the US territory.

It also created homeland security agency to red tag and hunt down enemies and critics of the state. It unleashed a vicious campaign to create a paranoia that there is a terrorist in every US citizens’ community and more in immigrant groups under the direct instruction from so called global terrorist organizations.

Ramos tried to ease the internal conflicts by waving the flag of peace. The administrations of Estrada, Arroyo and Aquino, however, were the first collaterals of the US war on terror by echoing the hunt for the reds as the main concern of their governance.

The Duterte administration briefly tried, or so it appeared, to take a different path from its three predecessors. But late in 2016, it was already clear that the administration was heading the same route despite President Duterte’s verbal attacks albeit skewed on the US.

DILG chief Eduardo Año, a seasoned anti-red warrior, has repeatedly demonstrated his bias on national security program than good governance. He is obviously amused by the success of the US Homeland Security Agency, so much that he wants to replicate it in the country by seeking to convert the DILG into some sort of a Department of Homeland Security and Local Government (DHSLG).

The anti-terrorism and anti-insurgency character of the homeland security is de facto operative since Secretary Año assumed the helm of DILG, in consonance with the leadership of Secretary Lorenzana and Secretary Esperon in the DND and NSC respectively.

By its proposal, Secretary Año is sending the signal and wanting to make us believe that the main problem confronting our country today is our national security whom he believe is under serious threat from terrorist groups and the much bigger revolutionary armed movement of CPP-NPA-NDF.

He stretched his argument by implying that local good governance would only be good and acceptable to the Malacañang if it aligns with the anti-insurgency and anti-terrorism “whole of nation approach” strategy (WNA) prepared by the National Security Council and the Department of National Defense.

The WNA core concept is the mobilization of the major departments and attached agencies, including their respective logistics and infrastructures, to support the AFP and PNP’s main campaign to crush armed insurgency including the red tagging and attack on the legal left activists and critics of the administration.

Ow, excuse me; armed insurgents are not main reason for the growing anarchy, violence, injustice and poverty in this country. It’s the other way around. The few terrorist groups maybe, because they have long been rumored as creation of the CIA and the AFP to have reason for waging expensive counter terrorism wars.

The continued momentum of armed insurgency in many provinces, the rapid rise and spread of administration critics, and increasing restiveness and resistance of the farmers, workers and urban poor to government policies and programs are due to the obvious deepening of corruption in the government, bad governance in many LGUs, the beholden of many DILG field officials to local politicians and warlords, the worsening labor exploitation and oppression, the massive sell out of lands to mining companies and foreign agro-industrial corporations, culture of impunity on extrajudicial killings, the rise of imperial Davao where new set of administration cronies enjoy dipping their hands in big government projects, and many others.

To turn DILG into a DHSLG may have some positive thing like strengthening further its having a primos interpares stature so it can direct effectively the major programs and services of the government to really addressing the roots of armed rebellion in the country.

But to do so for the purpose of strengthening the government institutions for war on terror and campaign against armed insurgency will achieve nothing because it is insurgency is not the problem, but the eradication of all the social and structural basis of poverty and injustice.

The latter would only drag the entire state bureaucracy to a war it can’t win, a war it repeatedly failed to win because it is fighting the very forces that thrive on their mastery of control over the very roots of war, not on war stratagem itself.

It would make a world of difference if DILG and the people in Malacanang, dedicate themselves to transforming the central government and especially the LGUs as institutions of genuine participatory democracy, not showcase of some hollow participatory governance exercises.

Well, maybe I am just assuming too much and so positively.

Still I don’t lose hope things would come out better after sometime; but when and how I don’t know.


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