SAMARNONS AND A MILITARY TAKEOVER IN PINAS, A BLOODBATH?
By ADDI BATICA
April 2, 2005
In a message dated 4/1/05 3:47:11 PM,
<< Mano Profesór -
If you want my personal take (given, as you said, that a junta is
inevitable), here's a formula that would make such an eventuality
Follow the "Guatemalan Model" of 1944, where a cross-section of society took
to the streets with sticks and stones after the dictatorship of Gen. Ubico
launched a crackdown. At that point, the more moderate elements
Guatemalan military led by Col. Arbenz-Guzman and his good friend,
Gen. Juan Jose
Arevalo were able to regroup and turn the tables on the
forging an alliance with the people in the streets.
It was more or less a "people power" type of action, except that the civilian
crowds were armed with machetes, sticks, stones (and some had low-caliber
firearms). The dictator fell, in the same year, Arevalo was elected
president. Four years later, he gave way to his friend, Jacobo Arbenz. The
1944-1954 was Guatemala's "springtime of democracy"....until Arbenz
was toppled by a
CIA-backed coup in 1954.
I can't tire of reading about Arbenz, because during the 10 years of
"springtime", a comprehensive land reform program was put into place, and huge tracts
of United Fruit property were confiscated. Other radical reforms were
introduced, including basic services for the poor and Indian
It was in Guatemala where Che Guevara, fresh out of medical school, found
refuge after escaping Juan Peron's secret police in 1953. Che
opened a clinic
under government sponsorship and many Indians benefited from the services of
the highly idealistic Argentine doctor. Of course, during the
CIA backed coup
of 1954, Arbenz had to flee to neighboring Mexico, and so did Che
would eventually meet a young lawyer by the name of Fidel Castro).
Castro, then a rising corporate lawyer in Havana, had very shallow
ideological grounding, in fact, his political "awakenment" took
place in 1948 in Bogota,
Colombia where he attended a youth conference (he was sponsored by Perón's
government) and later on took part in the infamous "bogotazo" -
bloodletting where more than 500,000 citizens perished (it was a
royale" between conservatives and liberals, which ignited after the
of Julio Eliecer Gaitan, a stalwart of the Liberal Party).
Like I said, Latin America is quite different. But who knows if we
Arbenz or an Arevalo within the Philippine military. And who knows
if, by some
miracle - some elements within the military establishment might find common
cause with those who are simply sick and tired of the way things are. My fear,
though, is that ours will just be a "blood-blood" kind of affair,
la carte. There's a lot of built-up anger behind that Filipino
though I hate to admit it, violence is as Filipino as dinuguan. Our
written in blood, but the sad part about it is - in spite of the
amount of blood
shed so far, we have yet to see the shadow of redemption lurking in some
I'm sorry for boring the group with stories of Latin America, a
the sun that has always fascinated me. But why shouldn't I look somewhere for
parallels or similarities? We are still a former Spanish colony with more
things in common with Latin American countries than with our own Asian neighbors. A tough spot to be in, but that's where we are. Sometimes I'm
think that the conquistador blood in our veins is somehow responsible for this
propensity for violence.
We are a people brought up with the cross and the sword, by friar and
conquistador - a rosary in one hand, a .45 in the other. As a
Venezuelan friend of
mine would put it, "We're very much alike". How true.
We keep hoping for some "bold" and "enlightened" moves taking place somehow,
but all we have is hope. In hindsight, Sanlakas' call during EDSA 2 could
have made a difference. Back in 2001, their call was "Resign
All". And really, given that EDSA 2 was a power grab anyway that was
constitutionally nebulous at best, an interim government or a
could have been set up - without the "queen-in-waiting" and without
the same old
faces of the status quo. But of course, it was a revolution with
but without the meat. The more things change, the more they stay
And so here we are, still caught in the crossfire between Right and Left. What to do? Honestly, the only thing I'm praying for is a miracle.
As usual, this is very incisive and very passionate. But I as
expressed to a
colleague here in the Internet who wants a Military Junta in the Philippines,
if they want it, they will do it. Especially if the Pentagon and the CIA
will support a Praetorian takeover in the Philippines so that they
piracy in the Straits of Malacca, the discontent especially among the
fundamentalist Muslims such as Jemaah Islamiyah, and of course, the national
democratic struggle in the Philippines.
We can exchange tons of emails here and nothing can prevent this kind of
possibility. After all, power is the ultimate arbiter. As
"Might is right!" Look around the world.
And lately of course, the killing of Marlene Garcia-Esperat is a dramatic
example of the exercise of power. Shoot dissenters on their heads.
In a message dated 4/1/05 7:26:14 AM,
Ano nga coup d'etat? The Philippines is not Latin American where,
although admittedly there are many fascists in their military and
the spirit of nationalism (read: "Love of County") still runs deep. Our
country just happens to be the Philippines, and I'd be a fool to
trust a military
person to set things in order. And I don't care if this military guy
PMA, West Point, or Annapolis graduate.
Our breed of military people are just different. As terrible as the
situation in Latin America is, every now and then some military guy
example, Col. Arbenz Guzman of Guatemala (in 1944) or Juan Velasco Alvarado
In recent years, the Uruguayan military - inspired by the "Peruvianist
of militaries (nationalistic, pro-land reform, pro-national
industrialization) moved gradually to normalcy after dominating the Uruguayan scene for more
than two decades. That's how they were able to hold elections and
socialist doctor as president.
The Tupamaros guerrilla movement, seeing a rare opportunity of winning via a
non-violent struggle decided to switch tactics. Right now, the Uruguayan
Senate is dominated by ex-Tupamaros, in fact, the senate president
ex-Tupamaro commander. Such a scenario is highly unlikely in the
For one, we have a reactionary (and corrupt) military establishment. On the
other side of the spectrum, we have a guerrilla movement that considers
parliamentary struggle as "bourgeois". Their idea of participating
arena is "All or nothing". Whereas in Uruguay, most everybody was
tone down a bit - for the sake of bringing back normalcy and sanity
country. In other words, the spirit of nationalism runs in almost
that country and in their view it's La Pátria first, over and above
And this kind of thinking is also very much alive in Perú - when the going
gets tough, everybody rallies around the flag.
In the Philippines - when the going gets tough, many folks fly to Vegas to
indulge themselves, or fly to S.F. or NYC to "deposit' their
We still have a long way to go. Sering pa hadto hin usa nga cura ha
"Dako pa kita nga mirisyunon."
At the same time, the majority of the population will also have to change.
Remember how many times I have ranted and raved about "paradigm
damo gud it magtig-a it ulo. Tolerate corruption, and it will
spread. Go for
the easy way of getting money, and this ailment will spread and
Let's remember now what Sangkay Quint has been saying all this time,
many folks who love to live off the sweat of others. This is the kind of
that's prevalent in the country these days - easy money, easy life.
For all intents and purposes, while we do know to "antos" and what "antos"
means, we have yet to grasp the true meaning of self-sacrifice for a
cause - Inang Bayan.
If our neighbors in Southeast Asia have left us behind economically,
politically, culturally and everything else - it's because as a
citizens of those countries have "malasakit" for the motherland.
aton kay puros la familia ngan kamag-anak it aton kinikilala.
Not that it's wrong to care for one's family, but sometimes we have to go
outside the family circle if we have to bring some semblance of
sanity to the
country. Sometimes - the family and family loyalties can be like
that people are worshipping, they anesthesize people from the real issues
are pushing us to the brink.
Diri la it capitolio it may problema, bisan ngahaw it aton mga
problema. Raul summed it all up in his piece about 'Hayukat"
government we deserve.
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