We human rights advocates and concerned citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand, are dismayed over the recent ruling of three Justices of the Philippine Court of Appeals that effectively legalized the illegal arrest, detention and torture of 43 health workers known as ‘Morong 43.’
As New Zealanders who have supported the Filipino people’s struggle against the Marcos dictatorship, we find it greatly disturbing that the 1985 Ilagan doctrine, an outdated martial law doctrine, has been used as basis to junk the Morong 43 lawyers’ petition for the writ of habeas corpus. We support the dissenting opinions of Associate Justice Normandie Pizarro and Associate Justice Francisco Acosta who asserted that the search, seizure and arrest made by police and military officials are illegal and irregular, and charges arising from them cannot be considered valid. Continue reading
By Francisco Lara Jr.
Mindanao scholars used to underscore the role of “local strong men” who were an essential component of the central state’s efforts to extend its writ over the region. The elite bargain was built upon the state’s willingness to eschew revenue generation and to grant politico-military dominance to a few Moro elites in exchange for the latter providing political thugs and armed militias to secure far-flung territories, fight the communists and separatists, and extend the administrative reach of the state.
The economic basis of the elite bargain has changed since then. Political office has become more attractive due to the billions of pesos in IRA remittances that electoral victory provides. The “winner-takes-all” nature of local electoral struggles in Muslim Mindanao also means that competition is costlier and bloodier. Meanwhile, political authority may enable control over the formal economy, but the bigger prize is the power to monopolize or to extort money from those engaged in the lucrative business of illegal drugs, gambling, kidnap-for-ransom, gun-running, and smuggling, among others. The piracy of software, CDs and DVDs, and the smuggling of pearls and other gemstones from China and Thailand are seen as micro and small enterprises. These illegal economies and a small formal sector comprise the “real” economy of Muslim Mindanao. Continue reading
By Eduardo Climaco Tadem
It is widely believed that economic growth and development have bypassed the southern regions of the Philippines. This is seen as the cause of the serious political problems that now plague Mindanao. A closer look at Mindanao’s economic development, however, reveals that far from being isolated from the mainstream of the national economy, the island has been a major performer and a primary contributor to the country’s productive capacities.
Lured by vast reserves of natural resources, business concerns have invested capital and technology and established ventures that have generated enormous profits for their owners and executives. But the resulting wealth and incomes have not benefited the greater majority of its people. Poverty and other social indicators point to a more distressed condition for Mindanao residents than for the nation as a whole.
This paradox of high growth rates and the simultaneous existence of an impoverished population have challenged scholars and development planners for many years. In the Mindanao case, this enigma is exacerbated by the effects of internal colonialism – the transfer of wealth from the southern regions to the nucleus of economic and political power in the north. Continue reading
List of Successful Examinees of 2009 Bar Examinations
1. ABANTE, Maria Evitha A.
2. ABAQUITA, Allan C.
3. ABARQUEZ, Leandro E.
4. ABARQUEZ, Paolo E.
5. ABDULLAH, Anzarullah Zhadradi A.
6. ABELLA, Harve B.
7. ABELLAR, Eleanor Agnes F.
8. ABENOJAR, Irene U.
9. ABIBICO, Mona Liza D.
10. ABIERA, Stephanie E.
11. ABLAÑA, Lindy Andre P.
12. ABOGANDA, Alexander D.
13. ABRASALDO, Wilson C.
14. ABRUGAR, Vanessa Q.
15. ABUEDO, May Flor C.
16. ABUTAN, Leah C.
17. ACAS, Althea Barbara E.
18. ACOSTA-QUIROS, Annemarie
19. ADAOAG, Janice M. Continue reading
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. January 27, 2010: the peace negotiating panels of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) met to exchange position papers based on seven points earlier agreed upon, namely, (1) Identity and citizenship, (2) Government and structure, (3) Security arrangements, (4) Wealth-sharing, natural resources and property rights, (5) Restorative justice and reconciliation, (6) Implementation arrangements, (7) Independent Monitoring. The MILF complied but the GRP proposed enhanced autonomy, not following the aforementioned seven points. In effect, it offered an amendment to the present Organic of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The MILF refused to meet the following day. A similar thing had been offered twice earlier, in May 2000 and in 2003. This is the third. They saw no point in the meeting. The two positions are so far apart one is immediately led to believe that no comprehensive compact can be expected within the term of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, before June 30, 2010. Continue reading