As far as I can recall, even during the American colonial period an agreement had been forged between the Moro people under the Sultan of Sulu and the US government. This was called the Bates Treaty. But it was shortlived having been abrogated by the US government, because in the first place it was not meant to last but just as an expedient move to “divide and rule” the Filipinos. At that time the US was at war with the Filipino revolutionaries. They wanted to concentrate their armed forces in Luzon. And so the Bates Treaty was a tactical trick to hold the Moro armed resistance at bay, while they were busy trying to crush the Filipino revolutionary forces in the north.
Amidst the innumerable occurrences in our social context which elicit differing perceptions and reactions among the citizenry, it is inevitable that confusion ensues. The ordinary citizen on the street is bound to ask, as did my friend Lito: What is the real score, my friend—what President Pinoy claims that the country’s economy is improving? Or what the government critics say that life among the people is getting worse?
I’m just wondering how your prescribed ideolopical antibiotic to combat corruption can be effective when for a long time this social illness has deeply metastasized in our political system? We cannot also say that none of our leaders had ever possessed some nationalistic consciousness since they started to rule our country…?
The scandalous issue of Corruption in high places in government has racked the brains of most everyone – rich and poor, young and old alike—that my good neighbor Lito could not help but ask: “Di na ba gyud matabang ning korapsiyon, Bai? Grabe na gyud kaayo! Hangtod sa hangtod na gyud ni?” [Is there no escape from corruption , Bai? It is so pervasive! Will it be with us for ever and ever?”]
I have two neighbors who frequently engage me in my early morning hour with discussions over a cup of coffee: Lito who is a longtime neighbor and Willie, my former student at the Davao School for the Blind. Their visits usually happen on Sundays, lighting up my morning hour with discussions of issues that we gather from frequent listening to the TV and radio.
Filipinos look up to religious and spiritual leaders. Not to be left unnoticed are progressive church community leaders who emerged in their outreach as they mount development projects with the people. But how are the church leaders doing their share of community work in the context of restrained democratic processes and extreme poverty?
This early, ambitious contenders for the top electoral posts in the national government especially the Presidency, are already making their preparations for the contest. With the opening of Kwaresma comes this categorical announcement of Vice-President Jejomar Binay that he is definitely running for President come 2016 . And he is forming a new political party to which he is inviting Boxing Champ Manny Pacquiao to be part of the senatorial line-up. Senator Cayetano has also made known his interest in the top position. God knows how many other politicians harbor the desire to become President.
So many views have been advanced as attempts to interpret the significance of the People Power 1 revolt at EDSA twenty eight years ago. In the little eatery — the usual hangout corner of the local residents in my village – I overheard this interesting discussion-
Let this be the clarion call of our times: Resist Aquino’s e-Martial Law.
Over the past several days, the whole nation has been abuzz over the shift in the academic calendar of the University of the Philippines, from the June to March cycle to an August to May one. When I say the whole nation I don’t think I am exaggerating as this shift will have clear implications at that level, regardless of how hard some at the UP administration try to separate the University from the rest of the country.