Saturday, August 8, 2009

Coup d' etat in the Philippines

Rigoberto Tiglao in his column Rebellion from the Barracks, dissects the cause of upheaval by the junior officers in the Armed forces of the Philippines during the incumbency of President Cory Aquino on 1989. Sonny Melencio in his column, "The Military Coup d' Etat and the Left's Alliance with the Military", discusses the failed Coup d' Etat' in February 2009 under the Arroyo administration and tried to analyze the cause of the alleged unholy alliance between the military and the leftist movement.

What Tiglao and Melencio, however, failed to look into is the cause of the dissent and the background of the leaders involved in the revolt. What drives these leaders to decide to lead an upheaval, should also be appreciated by the ideals and the cause that these revolutionaries have been fighting for. What sparked these people to act. Both Tiglao and Melencio discussed the matter purely in its academic perspective.

To look into the cause of unrest is simple - good governance and transparency. History will tell us that revolts arises because government failed to govern its subjects in addressing common concerns, such as - poverty, injustice, equal opportunity and whenever democracy is being suppressed to hide the truth. In other words . . . a leveled playing field.

The leaders of the failed coup d' etat' unquestionably possesses the highest degree of patriotism, determined to take supreme sacrifice to defend what they believe is right and patriotic act because of their past experiences as we mentioned in "Pata Shall Not Fall Again . . ."

In both upheaval, even during the time of President Marcos, the military officers involved in the movement can be identified from those who fought gallantry in Mindanao, specifically the members of the elite Scout Ranger Regiment and/or the composite team of military warriors who have experienced Mindanao campaign against the secessionist movement. No doubt these soldiers possesses the highest degree of patriotism willing to take the supreme sacrifice to defend a country with their lives. Their frustration from a seemingly different world of politics, injustices and abuse of power, however, drives them to lead a revolt outside the bureaucratic norm.

In the international scene on the other hand, the United States government, which has a long economic and political ties with the Philippines, stays at the background warning leaders in government of the impending problem and their official position in cases of extra-ordinary occurrence in the political scene of our country. Historically, in the book "Philippine Reader", by Daniel Schirmer and Stephen Shalom - in May of 1985 CIA Director William Casey, visited President Ferdinand E. Marcos in MalacaƱang. before the 1986 People Power Revolution. Many suspects that what has been discussed was the impending state of our country's internal security.

The same is true with the recent visit of Leon Panetta, CIA Director under Barrack Obama Administration. Many suspects that Panetta's visit is not just a matter of security concern on anti-terrorism. To others the political jitters caused by a spate of bombings in Mindanao that many fear may spill over to Metro Manila was not the only matter which were discussed. Many suspects that security estimates which concern the country's internal security was discussed as well and the position of the United States on the matter. Oher influential figures warned about the consequences if ever the present administration declares "Martial Law", which were the reason advanced by the junior officers involved in the Auckwood Mutiny".

The recent acquittal by the Military Tribunal of the 11 suspected coup plotters is a welcome development to heal the wounds and divisiveness in the military caused by political turmoil. However, to entertain the bid of the prosecutor to re-open the case will only re-open the wound, which is about to heal with the upcoming election, that many would like to put to rest for us to move on as one through the ballots. A sad epoch in our history, which history alone shall judge. A country so divided brought about by political turmoil and not so orderly transition of powers from the Estrada Administration to the Arroyo government. Let us move on as one and let history take its course to judge the events that transpired. Election is the best option to move on as one nation, to place unfinished issues in its proper forum and perspective, for its objective resolution. Let history takes its course.