Sabah: Rewarding violence

READER’S POST | By BORIS C. LUNA

President Benigno S. Aquino III has spoken out against conspirators as the ones at fault in the violence in Sabah. He has threatened to charge Jamalul Kiram, pretender to the throne of the defunct Sultanate of Sulu, for his actions that caused his followers to invade Sabah to assert the ancient claim of his family to the vast territory.

But is it really about the Kirams? Is it about the claim to Sabah? Is it about Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? Or is this incident merely a product of the traditional myopia of successive Philippine administrations, sacrificing long-term perspective for political expediency in developing policy?

Peace framework for continued violence

The government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has sought peace with the MILF as one of its cornerstone policies. To this end, it signed a Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domains with the MILF that served as the capitulation of the Philippine government to demands of the MILF to autonomy. This agreement was struck down by the Supreme Court, and thus President Aquino was able to present the 2012 Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro as his own legacy of peace in Mindanao.

This policy followed by two successive governments, and the Ramos government before them, was a vindication of the method of armed rebellion chosen by the MILF as its instrument of forcing policy change in the government. It was incongruous that the government chose to accede to peace talks when the stated goal of the MILF was not independence, but rather a substate. That is rather unusual for an armed rebel group, who usually ask for independence and then concede to autonomy. Given that they already demanded autonomy, then it means that the MILF conceded recognition of the legal mandate of the government of the Philippines over the lands they claim and thus its subordination to Philippine laws. Even criminals who do not bother themselves to think of the legal mandate of the government are still prosecuted and then incarcerated, so why didn’t the government respond to MILF acts of violence with vigorous police action?

Even more curious, the government can recognize their grievances by simply encouraging them to participate in the ARMM elections. The ARMM has enough power to change its own system if the MILF’s endorsed candidates can win and implement their proposals within the already existing framework. The fact that the government entered into peace talks with the MILF and then decided to reorganize the autonomy of Muslim Mindanao based on these talks has shown a picture of government concession to violence. Even worse, it was the government agreeing that its own laws and structures, built with legitimacy derived from elections and plebiscites, are insufficient and can be changed only with violent action against such institutions.

This framework also nullified the loyalty shown by many Muslim Filipinos who did not participate in the MILF revolt. They fought with the Republic against the rebels, but ultimately they would live under a government crafted to the wishes of the rebels. This does not count the thousands of Filipino soldiers who died in defense of the same Republic, even as the MILF continued to flout its immunity from laws that bound all other citizens, such as the incident in Al-Barka. The framework’s contents might be valid, but their validity becomes irrelevant when the Constitution remained in force, and it was not respected by either the government or the MILF. Force has won over the law.

But then again, the 2012 Framework Agreement requires the MILF to participate in the electoral process. Does it not nullify the objections raised above? The answer is no. It might require voter approval, but then again the government has already shown its support for the MILF position. What happens if voters reject the framework agreement? Does the MILF go back to the hills? If yes, then what was the reason for the peace talks to begin with? If not, then why should we let the MILF’s decision to rebel slide? Other groups take to Constitutionally protected forms of political agitation, but why is the MILF special? Why are they getting away with violating the Constitution?

Incomprehensibly, even if the argument boiled down to force, there was no reason for the government to concede. Erap has proven that the AFP can defeat the MILF. The fact that the MILF could not even bluster for the rest of his abbreviated term showed that the power of the MILF has been broken, and it can only crumble in the face of sustained assaults from the AFP and PNP. The lull afforded by the peace talks allowed the MILF to establish camps and settlements that it was not able to win by force of arms. And they immediately showed their contempt for Philippine laws inside those enclaves.

As violence continued, the MILF claimed “lost commands” when it suited them to deny responsibility. Given that they cannot control their own troops, or at least they cannot guarantee complete peace even after all concessions granted by the government, there was no reason to sign the framework, but sign the government did.

And so at the end of the day, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front had its way. By exploiting talk of peace, it was able to gain government support for enforcing their way of life on people who never voted for them, in territories they could never win by force of arms. And those who remained loyal to the government and the democratic process looked on.

The Kiram Dynasty

The Kiram Dynasty once ruled over Sulu, Palawan, Tawi-Tawi, Sabah, and various other islands that comprised the Sultanate of Sulu. The Sultan of Sulu’s warriors plundered coastal villages under the rule of Spain, carting off slaves to be sold in the slave markets of Borneo.

But as time passed by, the Sultanate’s fortunes began to wane. Battered by continuous wars, the Sultan had to submit to the King of Spain in 1881, and to the Americans in 1916. To his credit, the Sultan became a Filipino, never again challenging the authority of the Americans  of the Philippine Republic. Indeed, one of his kin was a member of the 1935 Constitutional Commission.

But now, Jamalul Kiram III saw himself becoming sidelined in Mindanao affairs. Although the Sultan of Sulu hasn’t mattered that much for some time, it is probable that poverty and old age is driving him to more desperate measures. The government did promise to honor the Sultan as a spiritual leader of the Moros. The government also promised to uphold and protect the claim over Sabah.

And he has become so irrelevant that even his letter to the President was not deemed worthy of the personal attention of Pnoy. Now left with the pittance that is the annual rent, and facing competing claims over the title of Sultan, he has most likely seen how the MILF, and before them, the MNLF, achieve power and respect from the government through force. And so perhaps he was approached by opposition forces from both the Philippines and Malaysia, perhaps not. But one thing is clear – he had nothing to lose from the venture and everything to gain.

As inflation continued to erode the value of the annual rent and the government continued to express indifference over the Sabah claim, he has fallen far, but can still fall some more.

It is not clear if he actually thought he can invade Sabah and win, or if it was even his intention. But what is clear is that people now consider him Sultan of Sulu and he has obviated the legitimacy of the claims of other people, if only by the standard of being referred to as sultan both in the media and private conversations. He has also succeeded in forcing the government to take another look at the Sabah claim and consider its status.

And most importantly, his letter to the President was miraculously found and read by its intended recipient. And that is what violence brought Kiram.

The post-conflict scenario

The Philippines has long had a history of revolts against the government, even after colonization. The Pulahanes revolted against the Commonwealth, there was the Huk rebellion, the NPA, the MNLF, the MILF, RAM, Kato’s Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and recently, the Magdalo. The question is, why, given the liberal democratic tradition of this country, are revolts so frequent? It becomes even more incongruous considering that not a single one of these revolts has been successful. So many people have tried and failed, but still rebels can be found popping out every so often.

Is it the oppressive nature of the government? Perhaps, but Leftist propaganda to the contrary, the Philippine government has never reached the level of oppression seen in Myanmar, even during the Marcos dictatorship. In addition, the Armed Forces of the Philippines has generally had a successful run against these insurgents. Even in the 1980s, when the AFP had to deal with the NPA, MILF, and MNLF all at the same time while combating putschists in its own ranks, the government was not overwhelmed and engulfed. Not one of these rebellions managed to threaten the government center the way the Huks did in the late 1940s. And the Huks were still beaten off. As a disincentive to revolt, this run of success is a pretty powerful one.

Why do rebels continue to risk their lives when a revolt is unlikely to succeed and when it is easier to go to Manila and just picket government offices? It is because violence works. Kiram’s case is unique in the sense that the violence was not directed against the national government, but it is still violence that got results.

The rebels might not have achieved their stated goals, but their resort to violence was rewarded. Joma Sison continues to live in comfort in the Netherlands and can lay claim to belligerency even as the NPA has been reduced to acts of banditry in the countryside. Honasan of RAM and Trillanes of Magdalo are now Senators. Misuari of the MNLF got ARMM before he revolted against the government once more. The MILF is about to get their peace treaty. And none of them had to account for their crimes to the Filipino people.

In the future, another citizen with grievances against the government might consider what happened all this, and once more eschew legal and institutional frameworks for agitating for reforms. The government should consider the costs of seeking peace in dealing with those who use violence to circumvent the legal process.

Readers may indicate their wish to contribute posts in the blog’s comment section.

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16 thoughts on “Sabah: Rewarding violence”

  1. Mr. Luna’s insights are really refreshing and thought-provoking. I appreciate the fact that his criticism of the peace process is not couched on besmirching a specific administration or government. Rather, it deals more with the moral impact of entering into peace processes with armed groups. I agree that there must also be accountability in the peace process, that all those responsible for acts of violence against civilians be made answerable as part of the conditions of peace.

  2. Was Kiram’s excursion linked to MILF Framework Agreement?
    Well, if you are going to see the view inside the box you can tell in a perfect 20/20 vision, yes it is. But looking from outside the box, the accurate view will reveal that what you see is only the “tip of an iceberg”.
    Of course, there was a connection, the MILF Peace Pact was hatch right after Kaddafi the strongman behind the “Tripoli Agreement” was (murder style) persecuted. The agreement were never implemented because the MILF breakaway immediately as fast as the same way Kiram’s excursion to Sabah. Inside the box, the MILF motives is to setup an independent state but from outside the box, is to separate Sabah from the Philippines.
    It looks like there is more powerful player than we expect in this power (oil) game. To make the long story short let’s watch and see what is happening behind those scenes.
    On the first storm of military intervention in Libya, French extremist declares “Libyan oil will not go to China” since then the expected downfall of Kaddafi merely becomes an expectation until Chinese official receive an invitation to visit the Queen. After the visit some rules has change and the illegal things like supplying weapons to Libyan rebel courtesy by France became legal as well as giving them uniform courtesy by England to make its cause legitimate.
    The sudden collapse of Libya suspiciously connected to the Queen’s visit and as the west moves further inside the Russian backyard “Syria” forcing through the last line of Russia’s defense “Iran” was block by the joint efforts of Chinese and Russia’s vetoing the UN Resolution permitting military intervention in Syria.
    The West sees the obstruction as blockade and its suspicious to growing Chinese military strength in South China Sea as creeping/gradual step by step invasion that is why they are not surprise when China discloses its military presence in the region, but to small countries as the Philippines and not sufficiently expert to detect, the appearance of Chinese forces is a retaliation from Libyan expulsion, but hey! no. Chinese forces has been there long before and only initiated to appear to stand by its word that the next war is here.
    The US Forces began to organize and coordinate the allies in Asia-Pacific region simultaneously deploying troops to strategic position from Far East Asia as far as South East Asia down under Australia and in the first quarter of 2012 President Obama declare a memo containing China. As we had seen, China in act of self-defense initiated an attack by patrolling the island claims by the Philippines and Japan.
    Japan in a faceoff with China, the latter in a psychological warfare announces that war with Japan and the Philippines will only benefits the US. Unlike the Philippines, Japan did not cave-in.
    But through tactical moves and good maneuverability of Chinese military the situation now is reverse, the faceoff now is between the US against North Korea, so China will surely benefit from it.

  3. So if I read this right, the author believes the “correct” approach would be for the government to continue to wage war and simply run Muslim Mindanao under the ARMM framework, meanwhile encouraging residents to vote as if they were regular Filipino citizens. Sounds like a recipe for continued murder and displacement and poverty to me. Because too many locals have not “bought into” the ARMM framework.

    The difficulty in many Muslim lands seems to me to be one of failure to concede, so we see endless warloard struggles, clan struggles, and Sultan struggles. I simply cannot imagine a peaceful coexistence of the bitter rivalries that exist, of which the “regular government” is merely one more to the locals.

    I like the Aquino peace framework because it recognizes that work must be done to form a core that believes that peace is more important than sectarian glory. It takes the difficult issues and sets them aside, a very common and effective negotiating strategy, and it says, “what can we agree on to bring peace to this area”? It seeks to get “buy in” not from everyone, but from a core of important leaders. It then falls to those leaders to secure broader “buy in”. The national government must help by bringing tangible economic gains to the area.

    The Sabah disaster screwed everything up because it took an issue that had rightfully been set aside because it is contentious and put it smack dab in the middle of the negotiating process.

    If the negotiating party is wise, the matter should again be set aside to do the core business of backing the dual objectives of broad peace and economic improvement.

    I think this article is just another rat in a rat’s nest of opinions on how to do things. I say support the peace framework and let’s give it a run. This endless ragging on things is to me the problem. Not the solution. It continues the mode of division rather than the process of finding agreement.

    1. “So if I read this right, the author believes the “correct” approach would be for the government to continue to wage war and simply run Muslim Mindanao under the ARMM framework, meanwhile encouraging residents to vote as if they were regular Filipino citizens. Sounds like a recipe for continued murder and displacement and poverty to me. Because too many locals have not “bought into” the ARMM framework.”

      The correct approach is to force everyone into the peaceful and legal methods of resolving differences and extracting accountability for violations of the law. Yes, I would love to encourage people in ARMM to vote as though they are regular Filipino citizens because they are regular Filipino citizens and the government has a duty to ensure that they are able to exercise their rights without fear. Murder, displacement, and poverty would still happen with Kato loose with his own army to conduct his own rebellion, so why not eliminate the lot? If the locals haven’t bought into the ARMM framework, then they are free to protest against it and agitate for chance.

      “The difficulty in many Muslim lands seems to me to be one of failure to concede, so we see endless warloard struggles, clan struggles, and Sultan struggles. I simply cannot imagine a peaceful coexistence of the bitter rivalries that exist, of which the “regular government” is merely one more to the locals.”

      This is the reason why everyone has to be compelled to follow the rule of law, with the government leading the way. All that the peace framework does is to encourage more splinters (note Kato’s breakaway group) that negates all the concessions made for the interests of peace.

      “I like the Aquino peace framework because it recognizes that work must be done to form a core that believes that peace is more important than sectarian glory. It takes the difficult issues and sets them aside, a very common and effective negotiating strategy, and it says, “what can we agree on to bring peace to this area”? It seeks to get “buy in” not from everyone, but from a core of important leaders. It then falls to those leaders to secure broader “buy in”. The national government must help by bringing tangible economic gains to the area.”

      What this does is to encourage people to become one of those “core of important leaders”. This also casually disregards the principles of self-determination (as the “core of important leaders” determine the path to be taken) and accountability (as impunity is won through negotiations). The national government cannot bring tangible economic gains into an area beset by strife because residents think they can be above the law.

      I also disagree that negotiations at this level, involving the lives of Filipino citizens, includes setting aside difficult issues. Those issues were the ones that caused war to flare up in the first place, and therefore those issues are the ones that must be resolved first. To do anything else is to just let old wounds fester and cause another round of war.

      “I think this article is just another rat in a rat’s nest of opinions on how to do things. I say support the peace framework and let’s give it a run. This endless ragging on things is to me the problem. Not the solution. It continues the mode of division rather than the process of finding agreement.”

      This new rat is in a rat’s nest of opinions with the endless ragging is what democracy is all about. Your opinion is another rat in the same nest. Given the failure of the Tripoli Agreement and its ARMM, the peace agreement between the Ramos government and the MNLF with the SPCPD, another agreement can’t just be given its run for its own sake. Not if it follows the same formula (lay down your arms, we’ll give you impunity and your own territory) that caused the previous agreements to fail.

  4. The difference between the MILF and other criminals is that, of course, they have achieved belligerency status. Of course force works, and this isn’t something the government has demonstrated by going to peace talks with the Muslim rebels. It’s a tried and tested rule of thumb anywhere.

  5. The idea why Sultan Kiram III wanted Sabah according to his daughter Jacel Kiram was its economical value to The Philippines, more than this we can say that in the end what they wanted was political power, because he is no longer acknowledge by the government. The problem here is that the action was so untimely that it is already a lost cause. Why? if the Sulu Sultanate really wanted Sabah as part of his domain then he could have argued it way back the 1963 plebiscite wherein Sabahan wanted to be part of Malaysia rather than The Philippines. Regardless of this fact, Kiram still sent 300 armed men to Sabah without consulting the government whatsoever. I thought that when you are trying to build a community you would resort to shovel, food, gravel and all but not to firearms. Meaning the bloody scenario is inevitable, of course they are mismatched against the Malaysian Armed Forces. Even if we reverse the scenario wherein a Sultan from Sabah wanted Sulu and sent 300 armed men, then how would The Philippine Government respond? same thing. What do they expect? The 300 Spartan Army? these people are just sacrificial lamb. So from the start we already know what to expect if those people would refuse to go back. Then why did Kiram III still sent those men even though we all know that this will be a lost cause? Most likely he was influenced by a third party. What he got was just tons of criticism.

  6. Yes, given that there are people who now sees him as The Sultan of Sulu, yet there are a lot people who saw his actions as a futile attempt to regain political power. People know that he’s an old senile man who makes clamor over his ancestral land which was not properly addressed during the 1963 plebiscite. Knowing that this attempt would be a lost cause, I personally believe there is this third party involved. First it might be an official from Sabah/Malaysia, after this event
    there wouldn’t be any clamor or attempt from the Sultan to take claim over Sabah since the issue would end once and for all. We would no longer have another chance to get Sabah back. Second PGMA’s black propaganda over Pnoy’s good leadership when it comes to economical issues.
    so in the end of the day, I really don’t know if Kiram’s actions was really rewarded or just got used by someone’s hidden agenda.

  7. “It was incongruous that the government chose to accede to peace talks when the stated goal of the MILF was not independence, but rather a substate. ”

    The MILF was a secessionist group. Over time it modified its position. Please read Luwaran archives the official MILF website.

    Second, Erap did not defeat the MILF. His forces overran MILF camps and so the MILF shifted to bombings in Manila and other cities in the country. If Erap had remained in power and pursued his policy we would now be enjoying terror bombings like the ones in Karachi, Kabul, and Baghdad. Guerilla war would have evolved into terrorism.

    1. “The MILF was a secessionist group. Over time it modified its position. Please read Luwaran archives the official MILF website.”
      – Indeed, it split from the MNLF because Misuari was willing to compromise with the government. That however does not change the analysis that demanding a substate recognizes the legitimacy of the Philippine government. Therefore why negotiate when they should have respected existing laws.

      “Second, Erap did not defeat the MILF. His forces overran MILF camps and so the MILF shifted to bombings in Manila and other cities in the country.”
      – That is precisely what I am counting as a victory. The MILF, deprived of their safe havens, was unable to operate in their claimed territory. Furthermore, the bombings attributed to the MILF all happened during Gloria’s term, when negotiations were already ongoing. This only strengthens my idea that there is no point in negotiating with the MILF.

      “Guerilla war would have evolved into terrorism.”
      – Regardless of the form of resistance taken by the MILF, all of them are extralegal and do not in any way take into account the wishes of the inhabitants of their claimed Bangsamoro entity. Since any armed group can resort to terrorism (like what RAM did after the 1989 coup collapsed), does this mean that we should immediately capitulate to any armed group for fear of terrorist activity?

  8. I enjoyed the article.
    I had a few questions for the author about Kiram’s motives.
    You established that the Philippine government has a long history of making juicy concessions to separatists groups. If this is the case and years of this appeasement culture have emboldened the Sultan, then why would he choose to press his rights in Sabah instead of the Philippines? Wouldn’t you expect him to rattle his sabre at the Philippine government in hopes of securing a bigger stipend, more land, power etc.? It’s hard to imagine he’d think that Malaysia would respond any differently than it did. He’d have better odds parachuting with a trash bag.

    At least on the surface, his conquest into Sabah looks like a disaster for him.
    Even if this invasion strengthened his personal claim to the sultanate and gained him international attention, the sultanate itself will be considerably weakened after this stunt, right? He’ll lose 200 of his men, inflame both the Malaysian and Philippine governments and all but forfeit his ancestral claim to Sabah (you can’t ask the casino for your money back after gambling it away).

    Is there any outcome where he walks away as a winner?

    1. I think Kiram lashed out at Malaysia simply because Malaysia holds Sabah. He can’t really start another rebellion in Mindanao since trying to claim the entirety of Sulu’s former possessions would not get him many followers and might incite the MNLF and MILF to fight him.

      Perhaps he thought he could rouse some good old nationalist outrage that would force the government to back him up, I’m not sure. I wouldn’t say the decision was well-considered, in fact I think it was really rash. I’m not sure what their actual objective was, but I agree with you, he doesn’t come out a winner in any reasonable scenario. (Winning defined as getting Sabah back or getting some juicy concessions for himself)

  9. E-mail from a friend (posting here with her permission):

    HI J,

    Just a few thoughts. The last part raises the issue of the “incongruity” of revolts/uprisings in a liberal democracy. I think that rather than an anomaly, it is actually a manifestation of it; much like dissent is a sign of a “healthy” democratic state. Uprisings of all degrees, whether benevolent or belligerent, are mere forms of expression of dissent.

    I think that as a self-proclaimed leader, the “Sultan” must make it very clear what his true PLANS (not intentions) are. What figure does he plan to represent? Will he be an actual leader, which would subject him accountable to any of his decisions related to the state? Call it personal and irrational, pero I DONT LIKE that old man ensconced in his plush home in Taguig as he plays his entitlement card to deploy men to fight for his “right”

  10. 1. Secession : the action of withdrawing formally from membership of a federation or body, esp. a political state.

    Like the MNLF, the MILF started out as a secessionist group. The recognition you speak of came only in the course of the peace talks. In other words, there was no recognition prior to the talks. So your statement “Therefore why negotiate when they should have respected existing laws.” gets the sequence wrong because recognition was an effect rather than a cause.

    2. Okay I will not argue whether Erap won the war or lost it. All I will say is the MILF did not lay down their arms after Erap’s offensive. There was never an unconditional surrender document signed, their leaders remained at large, their forces remained armed and at war. As a matter of fact, GMA still felt the need to sit down and talk peace with them. Not negotiating even a ceasefire would keep Mindanao a war zone for an indefinite period of time.

    3. Yes they are extralegal abd they do not necessarily reflect the wishes of the majority. And the duty of the government is to put them down. However, the government also has an obligation to do a cost and benefit analysis specially to explore options other than total war or total peace. If there is an option where peace is possible even at the cost of an ARMM then it should pursue it. Now the geographic and political entity called ARMM was created through a plebiscite. That means the residents of ARMM wanted to belong to ARMM. It brought about peace with the MNLF. The government bought peace by paying the MNLF an ARMM.

    4. Let’s break down this statement: “Since any armed group can resort to terrorism (like what RAM did after the 1989 coup collapsed), does this mean that we should immediately capitulate to any armed group for fear of terrorist activity?”

    Immediately capitulate? No. The government should never immediately capitulate to an armed group not even when it engages in widespread terror. But should the government always put down armed groups through military might? If it can, then yes. But if it cannot, despite its best efforts then the government will be wise to look for other means to handle the armed group. If the armed group is like the MILF which can engage the government in military encounters, match its strength with weapons and numbers, engage in terror activities practically at will, then you know your government had better explore other options to end the violence and bring about peace, or a cessation of hostilities at the very least. Now the Moro rebellion has been going on since the time of Marcos. Every president, every government since has tried to defeat it militarily but as you and I know all efforts have failed. The only option that has brought down the level of violence has been peace talks. Would you rather the peace talks avenue remain unexplored? Would you rather have an endless war?

  11. 1. As I mentioned before, the demand for substate was a change from their original demands. Perhaps a product of failed peace talks with the Ramos administration, perhaps not. It’s irrelevant since they continued to threaten violence even as their demand changed from secession to autonomy.

    2. This is more a product of the government dropping the war instead of maintaing the tempo of operations. If the government is set on pursuing peace talks, then the military cannot, nor should it, do anything to bring about the defeat of any rebel group.

    3. I completely agree that a cost and benefit analysis must be made independent of any short-term political considerations. I disagree though that concessions must be made if peace is possible. That gives rebel groups too much leverage and discounts our constitutional processes. It also means that the government is remiss in ensuring that the people of Mindanao are heard in any solution of the problem. Which leads us to number 4.

    4. I agree, if the government cannot defeat the MILF or any other rebel group despite best efforts, then there is no choice but to go to the peace table. So two questions.

    Are the rebel forces too strong? I say, no. No rebel force has reached the power and threat to national order that the Huks did, and the government did not negotiate then and still beat the Huks. The NPA is basically a bandit group now, and is just a matter for mopping up for the police. The MILF has never taken on the government in pitched battle and won. All its victories are from ambuscades and other small-unit actions that are nowhere near the size of formations fielded before by the Huks and NPA at their zenith. As mentioned in the blog, the factionalism in the Bangsamoro movement and the core support enjoyed by the government in areas of rebel activity also do not point to a loss of the “hearts and minds” of the people. So no, they’re not too strong by any indicator.

    But is the government exerting best effort to win the war? The answer sadly is no. The government switches from war to limited offensives, then to peace talks, back to war, and then to peace again. Such actions would not lead to victory for the government. The government is instinctively looking towards getting rid of the problem at any cost, with huge long-term implications. In all successful counterinsurgency operations, it required sustained commitment from the government – the Huks, the Malayan Emergency, even the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.

    And the point of this blog post is to rekindle that commitment from the government. The government is there to protect the rights of all Filipinos and therefore it must discharge its duty not by selling some Filipinos for the sake of peace that will not last anyway.

  12. Boris,

    Read those wikileaks cables on Marcos and the war with secessionitst. I think you will find that they equalled or maybe even surpassed the threat of Taruc

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