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DIE HARD III
By: Herman Tiu Laurel
My source from the Yellow forces had this to say about the Ampatuans: After the 1986 “Yellow” coup d’ etat where a “revolutionary government” was imposed, thousands of local government officials were summarily dismissed and replaced with OICs (officers-in-charge).
Through the sponsorship of Tingting Cojuangco (Peping’s wife), Zacarias Candao was appointed OIC of Maguindanao and went on to become ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) chief. It was under Candao that the Ampatuans were tapped to control the province to manipulate its elections. Thus began the rise of the Ampatuans.
Dan Murphy of the Christian Science Monitor, who provides supporting research for his report last Nov. 24 entitled, “Philippines massacre: The story behind the accused Ampatuan clan,” says that “Many Filipinos are pointing to the massacre of 46 unarmed people (now 57) in the southern Philippines province of Maguindanao Monday as evidence of the deadly influence of a dynastic clan that has been nurtured by the central government for almost 20 years.”
Yes, folks. That’s 20 years of the Yellows holding the reins of government — interrupted only by less than two and a half years of President Estrada. Liberal Party (LP) chief Frank Drilon’s attempt to cash in on the massacre, despite the Yellows’ long history with the Ampatuans, by saying that the aggrieved Mayor Mangudadatu is joining his party, smacks of malice, hypocrisy and opportunism. The Ampatuans and their warlordism have been part and parcel of the feudal-oligarchic system, which the Yellows have long fostered. So this isn’t something new as far as the Yellows are concerned. In fact, it is their trademark.
There is no question that Edsa II only strengthened the power of the Ampatuans even more. In sweeping aside the Constitution and justifying the illegal removal of an elected president, thereby legitimizing the illegitimate, Gloria and the rest of the Yellows had to resort to force, deception, and fraud to supplant the Rule of Law. Hence, chaos ensued. The bloody May 1 end of the Edsa III march, where unnumbered Erap supporters were machine-gunned in Mendiola; the countless rallies dispersed with tear gas and truncheons; the hundreds of “extra-judicial” killings; the worsening corruption; the 2004 electoral fraud (which none of the Yellows nor the PPCRV exposed or denounced, until Estrada’s forces helped the late NBI Director Samuel Ong bring out the “Hello Garci” tapes); the declarations of a state of rebellion, emergency, ad nausea; and the barbaric ambushes, bombings, and beheadings in Mindanao are but reflections of the current lawless order.
We must recall that in 2007, 14 Marines were ambushed and killed, with 10 beheaded in Basilan. The suspected perpetrator, administration Rep. Wahab Akbar, was then killed in a motorcycle bomb attack as he was stepping out of the House of Representatives five months later. Norberto Gonzales was acting defense secretary at that time. Now that another grizzly episode has taken place a few days after he was returned to that post, is it still mere coincidence, considering Gonzales’ perpetuity gameplan for himself and his principal?
For sure, Basilan is a less important vote manipulating base than Maguindanao is because it has much fewer fraudulent votes to add to the regional total. But in all, ARMM politicians assumed heightened importance in the era of massive electoral fraud thanks to Edsa II and the Yellows. Undoubtedly, from 1986 to 2004 and 2007, until today, the Yellows have been allied with these feudal-warlord Muslim politicians for this very reason.
While Drilon still tries to cash in on the deaths of the 57 to score points for his party, the significant recollection in many people’s minds is that of President Estrada’s success at pacifying and stabilizing Mindanao when he crushed the MILF and other rebel groups. Now could the Maguindanao massacre have happened under Estrada? Many believe that he would have been far more effective in containing any seething warlordism in Mindanao. Given his record of cracking down on crime and injustice in the entire country, he would have gone hammer and tongs after the culprits immediately after discovering Monday’s crime. And since several governments have traditionally cultivated these warlords as a counterfoil to the mercenary MILF and Abu Sayyaf, Erap’s crushing of these groups would have rendered those warlords more dispensable too.
The truth is, the Ampatuans would sooner or later have forged an alliance with the Yellows again the way many of Gloria’s people have done. The LP, notwithstanding Philippine Star columnist Billy Esposo’s hypocritical protests against the Yellow dummy’s new recruits, is proving to be “Lakas Pala!“ anyway — a party of hypocrites and opportunists composed of: Drilon, Abad, the Hyatt 10 of Dinky Soliman, Purisima, et al.); NGO stalwarts Dan Songco (of the PeaceBonds infamy), etc.; plus incumbent Arroyo officials who have sworn allegiance to the LP while still serving Gloria, such as Romulo, Bello, and others.
Yellow is not only the color of cowardice but also of opportunism — taken from the color of the balimbing no less. The Republic’s colors should thus fly high above this yellow jaundice to return this country to honor, dignity and democracy.
(Tune in to 1098AM, Sulong Pilipinismo, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Global News Network, Destiny Cable Channel 21, Talk News TV, Tuesday, 8:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. on “An Analysis of the Maguindanao Massacre;” also visit http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)
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