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The CenSEI Report (Vol. 2, No. 13, April 2-8, 2012)
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Strategic Analysis and Research by the
Volume 2 - Number 13 • April 2-8, 2012
It is the rising political awareness of our people that we regard as our greatest
triumph. … once we get into Parliament we will be able to work towards genuine
~ Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi speaking on Myanmar's parliamentary
elections afer a year of democratic reforms
Life is tough here. We make just enough to survive. We just hope she can improve
our lives
~ Father of four on democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi's impending election victory
You can access
online research
via the Internet
by clicking
phrases in blue
4 The Long Struggle to Silence the Guns
After half a century of insurgency and counter-insurgency, are the government and the
communists and separatists any closer to ending the bloodletting? Here’s a review of the long
and winding trail to the elusive peace agreements.
1968: A year of global revolutionary fervor spurs socialist and Muslim rebels in the Philippines
The ARMM Solution: Making peace in Mindanao under the Republic and the Constitution
Bangsamoro: Will awarding Muslim ancestral domains pacify the MILF?
Reds underground: From Hukabalahap to New People’s Army, the communists took on
colonial and Filipino forces
11 Making Mining Serve Nation and Nature
The government fnds itself between a ton of rocks and a bunch of hard places
Academicians wondering aloud: The Ateneo School of Government asks a host of tough
questions that are anything but academic
20 Now, Say Hello to Generation C
Meet the wired and wireless global community of social-networked, BBM-and-SMS-
connected, bandwidth-hungry multitaskers who live and love, work and play via their
phones, tablets and PCs. If you’re reading this, you must be one of them
Dissecting Facebook: Social media updates show how people think and tick
One is not enough: Multiple device screens match our life’s many facets
Eat, drink and be connected: It’s fne to text and tweet with food in your mouth
Analyzing Gen C: Booz & Co. charts what the connected lifers mean to the world
30 Who Turned Off the Lights?
After similar daily outages in the past two summers, Mindanao is again
suffering eight-hour rotating blackouts. Amid administration talk of
emergency presidential powers and an electricity summit, here’s the
real picture of the nation’s power predicament and the tough issues
facing policymakers and consumers in ensuring ample, affordable
electricity for everyday life and long-term development.
42 Put It On and Switch It On
Smartphones on your wrist. Grade-adjusting electronic eyewear.
Charging your cellphone with your shirt. Here are some of the
amazing and stylish high-tech gear that goes right beside your
Armanis and Guccis
Where to wear and wow: Don’t miss the big shows for
wearable wonders
Understanding the Problem Is the First Step in Solving It
For three consecutive summers since 2010, Mindanao has suffered debilitating daily brownouts lasting as long as eight hours. So last
week there was much chatter about a power summit and emergency presidential powers.
What’s wrong with this picture? If a problem has kept happening year after year, chances are the experts have analyzed it thoroughly and
come up with some pretty good ideas on how to solve it. But lack of governance focus, political will or required investment may have held
up the solution.
So the frst step in addressing the problem is often a review of relevant studies and situationers. That’s exactly what we offer in this
week’s three reports on decades-old national problems: limited and costly electric power, the mining policy, and the half-century-long
communist and separatist insurgencies.
The Nation article on the power crunch provides highlights of the Department of Energy’s Power Development Plan, 2009-2030, including
projections on demand, capacity requirements, committed generating ventures, and the current or future power supply gaps, including
those that may lead to intolerable outages.
Our Business report on mining sets out the main issues as presented in relevant statements and studies by major sides in the burning
controversy: the Chamber of Mines, grouping extraction companies; the environmental advocates and institutions, including international
conservation entities; and of course the state.
As in any highly politicized and intensely debated issue, the challenge for strategic analysis and research is faithfully and impartially
presenting all major arguments and counter-arguments. If we don’t seem to strongly favor one side, then we must be correctly and
professionally playing it right down the middle.
On the other hand, there are issues where we do take sides at the outset in the interest of national advancement, social harmony and
moral rectitude. One such issue is the peace process. Arguing across the negotiating table is, hands and guns down, far better than
shooting one another and decimating innocent collaterals.
Hence, while realpolitik advises that the key events in the struggle for lasting peace happens in the battlefeld, the actual instrument for
ending violence and joining hands as Filipinos has to be the legally binding agreements and memoranda, the focus of our Nation report
on negotiations with communist and separatist rebel groups.
For any age-old problem, controversy, challenge or aspiration, getting the lay of the land and the state of the art and science is but the
frst and perhaps easiest step. From the framework of principles, facts and fgures, policymakers and other stakeholders must explore
and devise new solutions and invest time, resources and reputations to essay and effect positive change. We’ll tell you about that too.
The Long Struggle to Silence
the Guns of Rebellion
After decades of communist and separatist
insurgency, will peace agreements ever happen?
By Atty. John Carlo Gil M. Sadian
In the late 1960s, two distinct local
revolutionary movements rose from the
activism that characterized that decade,
one ideological (Muslim secession) and the
other geopolitical (worldwide communist
revolution). Despite the changes in the
world since then – including the collapse of
Communism as an ideology cum political
movement, and the advent of globalization
ushering in relative economic prosperity
– the Philippines continues to be beset
by these local insurgencies of communist
rebels and Muslim separatists.
Even though the combined strength of these
two rebel forces has not reached a point of
posing any real military or political threat
to the Manila-based national government,
their continuing existence -- as well as the
underlying reasons for their resilience --
has hounded six administrations as shown
by the unsuccessful attempts to quell these
insurgencies with various combinations of
diplomacy and force.
Seeking peace with Islamic separatists
After four decades of confict with
Muslim secessionists in Mindanao, the
government, during the administration
of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, appeared to
be on the verge of accomplishing a major
The cenSEI Report • March 26-April 1, 2012
1968: Two fuses are lit
The Cold War between the United States and the
Soviet Union may only be part of history books
for most of us, but for the activists who took part
in the public unrest during the pre-martial law era,
it certainly was the spark that ignited the rise of
a Maoist-inspired communist insurgency in the
Philippines. Inspired by the rising unpopularity of
American imperialism set against the backdrop
of escalating poverty across the country, the
Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) was
established on December 26, 1968, under the
leadership of Jose Ma. Sison.
Earlier that year, at least 28 Muslim volunteers
from Sulu who were being trained for a covert
commando mission to conquer Sabah were killed
by government troops in an attempt to cover up
the mission's existence, in what would popularly
be known as the Jabidah Massacre. The outrage
over this massacre has been widely considered as
the catalyst that gave birth to the Islamic separatist
movements in Mindanao, pioneer of which was Nur
Misuari’s Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
Early attempts to quell these rebellions. Soon
after its founding, the CPP wasted no time in laying
the groundwork for its ultimate goal of overthrowing
the Philippine government. On March 29, 1969, the
CPP launched its “protracted people’s war” with the
establishment of the New People’s Army (NPA),
with the National Democratic Front (NDF) serving
as the CPP's political front organization. However,
instead of accomplishing its goal of seizing power
from the government, the CPP-NPA-NDF's rise set
the stage for an even more powerful government,
as then-President Ferdinand E. Marcos would
use the communist threat as the excuse for the
declaration of martial law.
Also in 1969, on the heels of the Jabidah
Massacre, university professor Nur Misuari
founded the MNLF, which began a protracted
armed campaign against the government in 1970,
aimed at establishing an independent Bangsamoro
Land. Things took a different turn in 1976, when
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddaf brokered an
agreement that led to the signing of the Tripoli
Agreement, which introduced the concept of an
autonomous Muslim region in Mindanao. On
August 1, 1989, under the mandate of the new
1987 Constitution, Congress enacted Republic
Act 6734 creating the Autonomous Region in
Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). However, out of the
13 provinces and 9 cities that participated in the
plebiscite, only the provinces of Lanao del Sur,
Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi opted to be part
of the ARMM.
Instead of bringing the Muslim leaders together,
however, this agreement further fragmented the
MNLF, because some factions within the group
preferred independence over autonomy. Thus, a
group of offcers led by Hashim Salamat broke
away and formed the Moro Islamic Liberation Front
(MILF) to continue their armed struggle for an
independent Moro nation in Mindanao.
breakthrough in the peace process when it
was announced that the Memorandum of
Agreement on the Muslim Ancestral Domain
(MOA-AD) would be signed on August
5, 2008. The day before the scheduled
signing, however, the Supreme Court issued
a temporary restraining order against the
signing of the MOA-AD, in response to fve
petitions questioning its constitutionality.
The Court eventually voted 9-6 to strike
down the MOA-AD as unconstitutional.
This marked a major setback in the peace
process , which goes all the way back to the
1970s, when then-President Ferdinand E.
Marcos started negotiations with the Moro
National Liberation Front (MNLF) led by
Nur Misuari.
The Struggle to Silence the Guns of Rebellion
The junked MOA-AD was not the frst
agreement entered into by the government
with Muslim secessionist groups. Through
the intercession of Libyan leader Muammar
Gaddaf, the Marcos administration sat
down with the MNLF delegation and forged
the monumental 1976 Tripoli Agreement,
which provided the framework for
subsequent negotiations.
This agreement recognized Philippine
sovereignty, but also introduced the
concept of “autonomy” for the Muslim
areas of Mindanao “within the realm of the
sovereignty and territorial integrity of the
Republic of the Philippines.”
When Marcos was ousted in 1986, the task
of implementing the provisions of the 1976
Tripoli Agreement fell upon the shoulders
of President Corazon Aquino, whose frst
concern was the overhaul of the entire
legal system. This included the drafting
of a new Constitution under which the
Tripoli Agreement would be implemented.
The new charter took effect on February 2,
1987, with seven sections touching on the
creation of two autonomous regions, one
in Muslim Mindanao and another in the
Peace with the MNLF, but a faction
breaks away. Aquino’s successor, retired
General Fidel V. Ramos, was the one who
made the MNLF lay down their arms,
through what the MNLF recognized as
a “bold and innovative initiative.” On
September 2, 1996, again through the
intercession of Gaddaf, the Final Peace
Agreement was fnally signed by the
government and the MNLF peace panels
“as a basis for a just, lasting, honorable and
comprehensive solution to the problem in
Southern Philippines within the framework
of the Philippine Constitution.” Note
that the peace agreement’s penultimate
whereas clause states that “the parties
affrm the sovereignty, territorial integrity
Creation of the ARMM
As recounted by the Presidential Management Staff in a June 1992 paper, “The Aquino Management
of the Presidency,” as posted on former President Aquino's offcial website, coryaquino.ph, Aquino
went to Sulu in September 1986 to meet Misuari personally, and their meeting set the stage for further
discussions with Misuari on expanding the groundwork for Muslim autonomy.
In compliance with Section 15, Article X of the 1987 Constitution, Congress enacted Republic Act 6734
in August 1989, creating the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to be composed of the
provinces and cities who would vote in a November plebiscite on the issue of inclusion in the region.
The plebiscite would be conducted in 13 provinces – Basilan, Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Lanao del Norte,
Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Palawan, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga
del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur – and nine cities – Cotabato, Dapitan, Dipolog, General Santos, Iligan,
Marawi, Pagadian, Puerto Princesa, and Zamboanga. However, only the provinces of Lanao del Sur,
Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi opted to be part of the autonomous region.
Nonetheless, President Corazon Aquino welcomed the ARMM with high hopes that it would end
hostilities in Mindanao.
The cenSEI Report • March 26-April 1, 2012
Bangsamoro Land
According to the MNLF offcial blogsite, maintained by John Remollo Petalcorin, its director for advocacy
communication, Bangsamoro Land “was already a sovereign nation hundreds of years before it was
illegally annexed as part of the Philippines in the 1935 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines,” and
then occupied by settlers who were encouraged by the government in the 1950s through the government's
Homestead Program.
“There was no land titling system by the natives of Mindanao at the time. The Philippine government
took advantage of the absense [sic] of land titles to give away lots in Mindanao to poor farmers and other
migrants from other parts of the country,” the MNLF offcial blogsite relates in its History of Armed Confict
Bangsamoro Land comprises Sulu, Mindanao, and Palawan, and consists of 25 provinces: Agusan del
Norte, Agusan del Sur, Basilan, Bukidnon, Compostela Valley, Cotabato, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur,
Davao Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental,
Palawan, Sarangani, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Tawi-Tawi,
Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay.
and the Constitution of the Republic of
the Philippines.” This being inconsistent
with their original goal of seceding from
Philippine sovereignty, a faction led by
Hashim Salamat broke away and formed
the group that would later be known as the
Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
A month before this peace agreement
with the MNLF was signed, President
Ramos also jump-started exploratory
talks with the breakaway MILF faction
as it continued its armed struggle for
independence in some provinces in
Mindanao. The low-level negotiations
continued until Joseph Ejercito Estrada
succeeded Ramos, but would adopt a
radically different approach. By 1999, the
peace talks would collapse under Estrada’s
all-out war policy against the MILF and all
armed groups in Mindanao.
The MOA on Ancestral Domain. Upon
Estrada’s ouster in January 2001, Arroyo,
his successor, revived the peace process
by signing the General Framework
for the Resumption of Peace Talks
and its Implementing Guidelines on
March 24, 2001. After seven years of on-
again-off-again talks, the peace panels
of the government and the MILF fnally
agreed on a draft accord on the Ancestral
Domain Aspect of the Tripoli Agreement
(MOA-AD), which was scheduled for
signing on August 5, 2008. The most
important provisions of this MOA-AD
involved the government’s recognition of
a transitory “associative” relation between
the central government and the newly-
introduced “Bangsamoro Juridical Entity”
(BJE), and the implied guarantee that
the government would implement the
necessary constitutional amendments to
create a framework for the MOA-AD’s
Ruling on the petitions fled by the
provinces of North Cotabato, Zamboanga
The Struggle to Silence the Guns of Rebellion
del Norte, Sultan Kudarat, and the cities
of Zamboanga, Iligan, and Isabela,
the Supreme Court struck down as
unconstitutional the “associative”
relationship between the Philippine
government and the BJE. The decision
written by Justice Conchita Carpio Morales
stressed that “the Constitution does not
recognize any state within this country
other than the Philippine State, much less
does it provide for the possibility of any
transitory status to prepare any part of
Philippine territory for independence.”
Likewise, the Court held as
unconstitutional the guarantees under
the MOA-AD that the government would
implement the necessary constitutional
amendments to create a framework for
its implementation. According to the
Court, the peace panel and the President
did not have the authority to make such
guarantees, because they do not have the
power to propose amendments to the
Constitution, such power being vested
exclusively in Congress.
Stalemate. Sporadic fghting followed
the junking of the MOA-AD, with the
year 2008 setting a record-high 30
encounters between government troops
and MILF fghters. In an effort to salvage
the negotiations, Arroyo declared the
suspension of military operations against
the MILF on July 2009. The peace
talks once again went on-and-off due to
questions about the MILF’s sincerity in
implementing the ceasefre agreement.
Arroyo’s successor, Benigno Aquino III,
continued the peaceful approach, and even
met with MILF chairman Al Haj Murad
Ebrahim in Tokyo, and, two months later,
refused to order military operations against
rogue MILF forces that ambushed an Army
contingent in Al-Barka, Basilan, killing 19
soldiers and wounding
12 others.
As of this day, the peace process with the
MILF seems to be at a standstill, with chief
government negotiator Marvic Leonen
warning both government and MILF
panels that the peace process is already on
the verge of reaching a “stalemate” because
of the generally acknowledged fact that
both the government and the MILF could
not agree on what constitutes “genuine
autonomy.” The MILF, for its part,
doesn't seem to be disagreeing with the
government's assessment, as it apparently
wants a Muslim sub-state distinct from the
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Seeking peace with communist insurgents
Reaching out to the communists. It
was during the administration of President
Ramos, a retired soldier who fought
communist rebels, that membership in
the CPP was decriminalized with the
repeal of the Anti-Subversion Law in 1992.
He also reached out to the communists
by resuming peace talks with the CPP’s
political wing, the National Democratic
Front (NDF). On September 1, 1992, the
Hague Joint Declaration was signed by
NDF vice chairman Luis Jalandoni and
government emissary Jose Yap with the
understanding that “the holding of peace
negotiations must be in accordance with
mutually acceptable principles, including
national sovereignty, democracy and
social justice.”
The Hague Joint Declaration laid
down four phases in the peace process:
(1) human rights and international
humanitarian law, (2) socio-economic
The cenSEI Report • March 26-April 1, 2012
reforms, (3) political and constitutional
reforms, and (4) end of hostilities and
disposition of forces.
One of the most valued agreements in
the peace talks with the NDF was the
Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity
Communists driven
During the American occupation, one of the political
parties that felded candidates for national and
local elections was the original Partido Komunista
ng Pilipinas (PKP). This left-wing faction of the
Nacionalista Party has been legally recognized until
October 26, 1932, when the Supreme Court ruled
that since “the purpose of the party is to incite class
struggle, to overthrow the present government by
peaceful means or by armed revolution, to alter the
social order, and to commit the crimes of rebellion
and sedition,” such organization “must necessarily
be illegal.” Thereafter, the party continued to operate
as an underground organization.
In line with this ruling, on June 20, 1957, President
Carlos P. Garcia approved the Anti-Subversion Act
(Republic Act 1700), thereby formally outlawing
membership in the communist party. At the height
of public unrest in the 1960s due to the rising
unpopularity of the Vietnam War and the escalating
poverty across the country, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist
intellectuals established the new Communist Party
of the Philippines (CPP) under the leadership of
Jose Ma. Sison. The founding of this organization
on December 26, 1968 has been touted by the
new CPP as the “re-establishment” of the erstwhile
communist party, whose major errors they blamed
for the almost total destruction of the revolutionary
movement in the 1950s.
The CPP established its armed wing, the New
People’s Army (NPA), on March 29, 1969 with
the goal of toppling the government. The threat of
communist insurrection reached a point that the
national government often used them as an excuse
for fexing the muscles of the military. Indeed, this
paranoia became a prelude to the establishment
of an eventual authoritarian regime with President
Marcos issuing Proclamation 1081 placing the entire
Philippines under martial law effective September
21, 1972.
According to the frst whereas clause of the
proclamation, martial law was declared because
of elements that have “entered into a conspiracy
and have in fact joined and banded their resources
and forces together for the prime purpose of, and
in fact they have been and are actually staging,
undertaking and waging an armed insurrection and
rebellion against the Government of the Republic
of the Philippines in order to forcibly seize political
and state power in this country, overthrow the duly
constituted government, and supplant our existing
political, social, economic and legal order with an
entirely new one whose form of government, whose
system of laws, whose conception of God and
religion, whose notion of individual rights and family
relations, and whose political, social, economic,
legal and moral precepts are based on the Marxist-
Leninist-Maoist teachings and beliefs.”
Instead of stopping the communist threat, Marcos
used Proclamation 1081 to go after all his political
rivals, communist and non-communist alike.
Throughout his term, the leaders and members of
the CPP-NPA and other non-communist members of
the political opposition were subjected to warrantless
arrests, enforced disappearances, unexplained
deaths and other human rights abuses. Marcos
was eventually ousted and replaced by President
Corazon Aquino, whose husband had been jailed by
the Marcos government on charges of association
with the communist rebellion (and murdered in
August 1983, as he was returning to Manila from
exile in the U.S). During her term, nothing substantial
was done regarding the CPP-NPA except for the
signing of ceasefre agreements that eventually
collapsed due to her support for the renewal of the
Bases Agreement with the United States.
The Struggle to Silence the Guns of Rebellion
Guarantees (JASIG) signed on February 24,
1995. This provided that “all duly accredited
persons as defned herein in possession of
documents of identifcation or safe conduct
passes are guaranteed free and unhindered
passage in all areas in the Philippines, and
in travelling to and from the Philippines in
connection with the performance of their
duties in the negotiations.” Up to this day,
the NDF claims that the government has
been violating the provisions of the
JASIG whenever a member of
the CPP-NPA-NDF is arrested,
even for criminal offenses not
connected with rebellion.
Two years later, in what
seemed to be the end to
he frst phase laid down
under the the Hague Joint
Declaration, the peace
panels successfully drafted
the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect
for Human Rights and International
Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). However,
the government rejected the draft and
ordered its revision. The government’s
revised version, on the other hand, was also
rejected by the NDF for being “a mutilation
and cannibalization” of the original draft.
After a year of further negotiations, the
CARHRIHL was fnally approved by
the NDF on April 10, 1998, and by the
Philippine government on August 7, 1998.
However, President Estrada reneged on
the government’s commitment by sending
a delegation that proposed the deletion
and amendment of certain articles of the
already signed agreement, most important
of which was placing the CARHRIHL Joint
Monitoring Committee under the Offce of
the President.
Seeing the government’s proposed
amendment as a violation of the Hague
Joint Declaration, the NDF withdrew
from the peace talks, and Estrada later on
declared an all-out-war against the CPP-
NPA-NDF. What was supposed to be the
culmination of the frst of four phases of
the peace process fzzled out, causing the
collapse of the peace talks. After his ouster,
President Arroyo reversed this policy
and reached out again to
communist rebels.
On February 21, 2011,
under the administration
of Corazon Aquino's son,
Benigno Aquino III, the
government and NDF peace
panels issued the Oslo Joint
Statement with a bold
statement that “the draft
Comprehensive Agreement
on End of Hostilities and Disposition of
Forces (CAEHDF) may be completed and
signed by the Panels in June 2012.” The
CAEHDF is the fourth phase of the peace
process as laid down in the Hague
Joint Declaration.
The 18-month timetable set by the Oslo
Statement will end two months from
now. If the parties would indeed come up
with a signed CAEHDF in June, it would
be a reason to join in the optimism of
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
Teresita Deles that the peace talks with the
NDF will end before 2016. But considering
that a signed CAEHDF here would be just
the frst phase, rather than the culmination
of a four-step, 20-year process, we can wish
the government panel the best of luck, as
we wonder how close to – or how far from
-- peace the Philippines will be for it.
The Struggle to Silence the Guns of Rebellion
The cenSEI Report • March 26-April 1, 2012
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