Daily Archives: February 8, 2017


February 06, 2017


By Vicente Rafael

Los Angeles–It feels like we’re approaching a tipping point in Duterte’s regime. Seems like someone just hit the pause button. Consider the following:

1. peace talks with the CPP-NPA have collapsed as D refuses CP demand to release all 400 prisoners, and NPA and military break truce, the former ambushing and killing several soldiers in the last few days. Fighting to resume in earnest.

2. the drug war is suspended while police are investigated for their involvement in the murder of a Korean businessman (so 7,000 poor people killed, no problem; one notable Korean killed, crisis sets in);

3. the NBI is ordered to stop drug investigations, blamed for colluding with police to kill not just this, but other Korean businessmen as well;

4. meanwhile, the police have blamed the “Korean Mafia” for ordering the killings of fellow Koreans who have refused to cooperate in drug dealing, on-line gambling and human trafficking. This mafia apparently has been contracting elements of the NBI to target certain Koreans in the country, and the NBI in turn subcontract police squads to carry out the killings.

5. the police then deliver the bodies of their victims for cremation to certain funerarias, so that they disappear without a trace.

6. and the military is beginning to exert its pressure on D: the refusal to release more political prisoners; the continuation of EDCA with the US military (in exchange for Trump’s encouragement of D’s drug wars); and now the end of the peace talks.

Questions remain:

1. now that the war on drugs is on pause while the war against the CPP-NPA resumes (approaching 50 years now!), what will happen to the lefties in the cabinet? Will they be fired? Will they resign? What will happen to the lefties who have supported D? How will they manage this pivot from allies to enemies? Or will they continue to stay in government, anticipating the resumption of talks?

2. what will happen to the police who have been charged? D was joking (I assume) that instead of assigning them to Mindanao or punishing them with push-ups, he would send them to clean the Pasig river. Not such a bad idea actually. And will Bato stay on?

3. is there really such a thing as a “Korean Mafia”? Or is this another smokescreen put up by the PNP? See the informative post of Wilson Chua below culled from the FBI website. Seems like they are quite real and quite powerful.

4. And why should the police give up their rackets when the money is good and easy, the risks are low?

5. and why should the NPA fighters give up their turf? They have a semblance of sovereignty, they collect taxes, they have guns. What do you expect them to do? Surrender and go work for Jollibee?

6. How will all this affect Duterte’s popularity both in Congress and on
the streets?

By now, it is clear that the war on drugs is a resounding failure; attempts at peace with the communists gone down the drain after so much expense of money and goodwill; the police exposed again and again for the brutal criminals that they are; the military forced back into a fight with the NPA while the NPA refusing to give up turf, given that they got a good thing going in areas where they rule;

talk of shifting to federalism–D’s ace in the hole–mired in Congress and probably unfeasible in the short term; earlier treaties with Muslim separatists dead in the water without federalism, or so D says;

Bongbong succession plot stuck in the SC and may not be going anywhere soon; and the Church beginning, however tentatively, to sound off again. What now? Fentanyl time?

[However, as Toots Albert says in the thread below, so long as the economy is booming, Duterte will remain secure. He’s far from imploding. I agree.

But it’s not about coups, which can’t happen under these conditions and despite Andanar’s fevered imaginings. It’s about having critical purchase on D’s regime, curtailing the EJK’s, backing away from talk of martial law and other authoritarian threats, restoring some semblance of checks and balances, some minimal democracy while changing focus from political rhetoric to social programs.

Perhaps this is too much ask.



On Diplomacy and Negotiations

February 8, 2017

On Diplomacy and Negotiations

By Arturo P. Garcia

Diplomacy was a necessity thus it was born into this world.

There must be a way for enemies to talk, dialogue and transact business at first to parley or negotiate, exchange prisoners or hammer out a truce or a lull in fighting or a way to end hostilities.

We credit the Roman Empire for inventing diplomacy but as they say, it was born out and was forged through the struggles.

In the Philippines, tribal societies in the Cordilleras have such institutions for settling disputes and tribal wars like the “Bodong” ( Peace Pact) . It is a result of diplomacy and the output is peace. Thus, our country is not stranger to diplomacy.

The sad fate of the Philippines is that the United States acquired the Philippines as a colony despite the victory of the Philippine Revolution from 1896 to 1898 with the a diplomatic stroke and and the Treay of Paris between the United States and former colonizer Spain.

Spain sold the Philippines to the United States together with Puerto Rico and Cuba as colonies in the bargain price of $ 20 Million Dollars. Thus, we have to fight a 16 years war against the United States called the Filipino-American War.


Now, it is sad that the negotiations between the NDFP and the GRP went into naught when President DU30 decided to terminate the peace talks and the unilateral ceasefire and have ordered an “all out war” against the NPA.

In this connection, the DOJ has ordered the re-arrest of NDF consultants as the GRP Peace Panel has notified the NDFP of the termination of the talks. In that process, the JASIG has been terminated and the AFP has mobilized for an all out war against the insurgents.

Well. it’s easy for the GRP to just tore up all the agreements its signed with the NDF because of the decision of PDU30. As we say in Pilipino; “Ang pikon talo.

Ang tanong, bakit pumipirma sa kasunduan, hindi rin lang tutupad? Anong klaseng tao naman ba iyan? Balasubas. Yung bang nangutang pero ayaw magbayad?


Well, if that is the case,PDU30 has just proven that he is no”socialist.” All his pretensions of being progressive or a revolutionary are fakery. In the end, he is just like all his predecessors.

They all like to negotiate to make the revolutionaries surrender and when they fail to make them bow to their wishes, they resort to their bloody war of suppression. Digong Dutrte is no different.

He even ordered their re-arrest without the necessary due process. Like the DND Secretary and the AFP Spokesman, they are caught in their own lies saying “They have to go back to prison because they are serving the sentences”.

Even if the court have not passed judgement and the cases are all pending in court. They are the judge, jailors and executioner. Just like what they did to implement the EJK or state-sanctioned killings in the Philippines.


We can surmise, the tribal leaders have more wisdom, the respect and the courage implement their agreement than the government leaders who signed the agreements with the NDFP.

But that is the case in negotiations in Syria, Russia has an upper hand in Syria because it does hold back in using force unlike the United States who used diplomacy to put one over the Russians in Syria.

Russia has learned his lessons with Ukraine and did not want to get head to head with NATO. Thus they went to plan B and formed their own Republic in Eastern Crimea and occupied its naval bases.

And the result is the war in Eastern Crimea and the possible escalation of a regional conflict along Russian borders where NATO has deployed military forces to fend off expected Russian attacks.


In Syria, the Russians talked with the US while it continued bombing and shelling the ISIS positions everywhere. And its effects were terrible.

The ISIS oil productions stopped. That is the lifeblood of the ISIS operations and the Russians know where to hit them hard. unlike the American who did not bombed the ISIS but supplied them with arms.

It is just like what the US did to the Philippines. They encouraged the Philippines to solve it by diplomatic means. Even bringing the case to the ITLOS in the Hague.

But they let the Chinese build up seven artificial bases in the West Philippines Sea or the Spratly Islands.


For US President Donald Trump, business is like war. Thus he is confident he can negotiate with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. I like to see the result of such negotiations. May it be peace or war, is remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, in Colombia, it seems the more than 5o year old civil war is ending. The conflict was mediated by Cuba who was a great help in settling the issues that end the civil war.

Thus not all diplomatic avenues are in vain. Like a dance, it takes two to tango. But if either GRP and the NDF will not budge from the positions, then let’s forget about negotiations.

“Let loose the dogs of war.”