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marcos-libingan-ng-bayani-20160808_4c94f81dafad41bba3d54b5f7cd6005f

It’s one’s word against another’s. One is convinced of what s/he believes in as the other likewise is. One says, “Move on” whereas the other says, “No way, there are still a lot to settle even at this point in time. We can’t just move on.” So be it. The first has her/his own reason; the other has hers/his. The issue remains controversial and will most likely perennially remain so because the debate will never ever stop.

But here is where the “glitch” is: Why do we get furious as others tell us to move on when we have determined once and for all that we don’t because we can’t, so we won’t? In other words, this issue is in our hands; it is our own decision and not theirs. They want to move on, so let them. We don’t want to move on and what they tell us is nothing . . . nonsense . . . not a thing for us to get serious about. The point here is, even if we tell them about the truth, they will still move on. None can prevent them from doing so as none can prevent us from not moving on.

It’s a waste of time and energy to present to them what we have always believed to be the truth. They don’t care. Giving them the tragic lessons of the past with all the articles, books, graphic presentations, photos, extant news items, etc. will never have any significant effect on them as these things never had in the past. Those who have chosen to be blind will never see the light for the power of brainwashing is lasting, even permanent.

About the Supreme Court’s decision, nobody can avert that, much less in a fragmented society like the Philippines. The only power that can effect it is a united majority with a strong political will. Unfortunately, we don’t have–in fact, we’ve never had–it in the Philippines.

(c) Ruel F. Pepa, 9 November 2016

philippines

The President of the Philippines is an honest man. He sincerely loves the Filipino people. His passion to rid his country of criminals is genuine and commendable. His zeal to boost the economy of the nation is authentic. His tenacity to establish a strong government is outstanding. At this early point in time of his administration, we should exercise more patience and give him enough space as he balances his way towards a more stable stage of his journey as a leader of a nation struggling to transcend the miseries of its past.

The road to victory is arduous but getting into this worthy undertaking is a heroic act driven by the immeasurable intensity of an intransingent spirit. Many of us have made up our minds to follow suit, so to speak, and engage in the newfangled struggle. We’ve seen the light of hope and decided to travel along the path that it’s leading us to pursue.

Yet, at this very point of the journey, it’s getting more and more apparent that some seemingly insurmountable obstacles are persistently hindering the flow of productive, beneficial and constructive events originally geared towards the full fruition of certain ideals of national significance. As events continually develop, it becomes much clearer to us that the ghost of the abominable past has kept on haunting every nook and cranny of Philippine society. The surge of crimes both in the city and the countryside continues unabated despite the fact that its eradication is the present government’s centerpiece.

In the final analysis, we are faced with the undeniable reality that these crimes are perpetrated by the very agencies of government tasked to vigorously act on them with unequalled persistence. One thing is therefore incontrovertible: the President of the Philippines himself DOES NOT HAVE CONTROL over these agencies called the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). There are certain dynamics and mechanics of the old system still exerting seemingly indestructible influence over the new government and have unceasingly been operating to perpetuate the culture of crime and in the process undermine the government until its ultimate destruction is achieved.

 (c) Ruel F. Pepa, 8 November 2016

Lying? Rear view of man in formalwear keeping fingers crossed behind his back while three people sitting on background

There are people–and mind you, these are urban denizens–who cannot handle the truth because of certain preconceived notions in their minds that narrow down the sphere of their perception.They only listen to what they want to hear and look at what they want to see. Reality at face-value is not real because the mind suggests that it must not be so. It is not acceptable and at times even shocking. It is not true.

It is not the proper way to view reality. But we have gotten used to it and so we need to deconstruct our story–a cosmopolitan narrative that others have long prepared themselves to listen to. And the urban world continues to smoothly tread upon the only road that the majority have paved for those who call themselves “normal”.

In this sense, “normal” is but a lie; something we cannot tolerate within our so-called moral realm once the floodlight of consciousness is thrown over it. But this is what “normal” people in the metropolis want to hear, read and see. This is the smooth lie that tickles their ears, excites their minds and delights their eyes.

To survive in this urban world of artificial expectations and superficial sophistication, one has to master–and master to perfection–the “fifth columnist” art of elegant deception by deconstructing reality the way the normal majority want to hear, read and see it. S/he who emerges victorious in the end transcends discrimination of all types and forms.

But what about the truth? Let the truly honest ones whose intellectual worth and moral integrity are unblemished candidly and sincerely talk about the truth. They can handle it and handle it so perfectly well.

(c) Ruel F. Pepa, 4 November 2016

first-100-days

The first one-hundred-day period of the administration of the new Philippine president Rodrigo Roa Duterte has now passed. By and large, I’m giving his administration a passing mark of C in recognition of a series of laudable achievements in the resumption of the peace negotiation between the government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front/Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army (NDF/CPP/NPA). Duterte’s keen interest and willingness to reopen this long-stalled peace negotiation is indeed praiseworthy. Its magnitude of importance is highly crucial and paramount considering that the communist insurgency in the country has been going on for almost half a century. I’m immensely optimistic that the negotiation flow will finally get to the desired end result.

However, I think the new government has been unsuccessful to give solutions to many other very significant concerns. The war on illegal drugs doesn’t seem to be heading to its most ballyhooed objectives because of a totally wrong trajectory. In this connection, a series of assassinations have occurred as leaders of big-time drug syndicates have embarked on a no-holds-barred “program” to silence their own people whom they have deemed to have the tendency to spill out the beans when caught by authorities. And most (if not all) of these big-time syndicates have connections with the shady variety of the so-called authorities among the high-ranking police and military officers. These are the people involved in EJKs which I think are not directly ordered from the legitimate commands but rather decisions made by these officers themselves to remove all the possible obstacles that could implicate them in the big-time illegal drug syndicates and thus in the end destroy their careers.

Moreover, nothing has remarkably and dramatically changed at all as far as the crime situation of the country is concerned.* It’s all the same old story, so to speak. Holduppers, snatchers, pickpockets, etc. still proliferate here and there especially in major cities particulary Manila. And it’s dismally disappointing to know that extortion and bribery are still considered normal in certain government offices.

Duterte made a lot of promises while on the campaign trail among which are the issues of ending contractualization and raising the salaries of public servants like the public school teachers, the police, and the soldiers. These promises are yet to see the light of day, so to speak.

One specific issue that is highly critical in the new government’s negligence is its inability to transform the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) into professional institutions committed to defend the people’s interest.** Up til this point in time, the fascistic mindframe of PNP’s and AFP’s leadership effected in violent, destructive and murderous operations continues to wreak havoc in the lives of the poor–more particularly the indigenous minorities called lumads–in the countryside. In this regard, a herculean effort to radically change such a mindframe is of the essence but the new government hasn’t seriously taken even a single initiatory step to change such nefarious culture in the military.

Another equally critical issue is found in the area of local political state of affairs: Warlordism is still generally well-entrenched and formidable in Philippine provincial and municipal government units. This matter is of course inseparable from the issue of patronage politics which is still very much around and expected to continue on. Many instances may be cited in this regard like in Cavite, the Remullas are still the province’s indisputable power-wielders. Another case in point is Chavit Singson in Ilocos Sur where he is still considered as the uncontested warlord. I’m sure this situation is likewise true in most Philippine provinces. And besides warlordism, nepotism is very much alive, active and kicking.

In the final analysis, an AFP and a PNP controlled by high-ranking officers with unyielding fascist conditioning and disposition and the continued existence of certain local government units dominated by warlordism and nepotism are stark factors that hinder the growth and maturity of a nation towards a more democratic way of life. Yet, it is not well apparent if this new government has the clear insight to frame a more reasonable trajectory in dealing with these matters of utmost national importance.

 

(c) Ruel F. Pepa, 12 October 2016

senate-hearing

The demolition scheme of the “Yellowtards”–i.e., the Liberal Party under Benigno “Abnoy Kulangot” Aquino and Mar “Kupal” Roxas–which is spearheaded in the Senate by Sen. Leila “The Liar” De Lima and supported by Sen. Antonio “The Traitor” Trillanes and Sen. Frank “Lechon” Drilon ( leading “Yellowtards” all) has reached a new height of unblinking deception as a paid false witness whose special task is to spread blatant lies to destroy the name of President Duterte was presented at a Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in Davao City when the president was yet the mayor then of the said city.

A flurry of fishy snapshots whirled around a Philippine Senate inquiry yesterday when the demolition squad of the Liberal Party (a.k.a. the “Yellowtards”) presented a PAID idiot to bear false witness against Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte. Nevertheless, some sensible and critical sideline observers identified and listed more or less twenty inaccurate information (read: FILTHY LIES) which came out of the mouth of the obviously miserably coached FALSE WITNESS while being questioned by Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson. As Senate President Koko Pimentel commented afterwards, that particular Senate inquiry was nothing but an exercise in futility.

I definitely agree with the good senator since not a single sustainable evidence was extracted from the FALSE WITNESS whose surname, MATOBATO even sounds like an INVENTED one. For those who speak the Spanish language, “Mato Bato” means “I kill Bato” in English. It might be a wild guess on my part and some would even think that my point has no substance at all. But during the hearing, the FALSE WITNESS tried to zero in on Gen. “Bato” de la Rosa’s major role in the crimes attributed to the President who was then the mayor of Davao City. Within the general structure of the demolition scheme, the apparent initial step is to “kill Bato” first, which is a figurative way of saying, “let’s put down and paralyze Gen. de la Rosa first” then we get Duterte and start the impeachment process.

Meanwhile, the role in the Philippine Senate of the CLASSIC TRAITOR, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, is not only to muffle the truth but to quash it by the limited methods he knows and has mastered through time as a former soldier trained in the art and practice of fascist obliteration: HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION, and COERCION. The august hall of the Philippine Senate is therefore not the proper place for this incorrigible troublemaker who cannot be trusted a bit nor taken seriously for he is a PAID ringleader of the desperate “Yellowtards” of the Liberal Party.

(c) Ruel F. Pepa, 16 September 2016

us-impe

Who says the Philippines needs the US military presence? Only Filipino politicians who want to have a share in the US war business enterprise  while the majority of the Filipino people are being continually duped with the delusion that the Philippines is being perennially threatened by certain malevolent politico-military forces challenging the “benevolent” presence of the US not only the Philippines but in Asia as a whole. These rabid pro-American Filipinos are the inheritors of their ancestors’ immortal “fairy tale” that the country will be prone to invasion if there is no American military presence in their turf.

The truth is, it is the US that needs the Philippines and this situation is the very factor that puts the Philippines in extreme jeopardy. Philippine government since time immemorial has been in a conspiratorial pact with the US to perpetuate in the mindset of the Filipinos that the US is a reliable ally and trustworthy friend who will never get into a perfidious act against the interest of the Filipino people. This is a lie that critical Filipinos have been trying to expose time and again despite the seeming nonchalance of most Filipinos.

Demanding US military presence to get out of the Philippines calls for a state of affairs where  Filipinos live in peace and security without pressure and intimidation from the US government which has been using its military deployment overseas to sow disturbance and disorder by aiding terrorists (like the Abu Sayyaf in Mindanao) as it implements its age-old strategy of “divide and rule”.

The neo-colonial condition of the Philippine politico-economic landscape is alive and kicking, so to speak, and is expected to stay on until the emergence into power of a new generation of leaders imbued with a deeper sense of nationalism and commitment to the ideals of national independence and sovereignty. We have witnessed the 21st-century realization of these ideals spearheaded by Hugo Chavez in Venezuela; Evo Morales in Bolivia; Rafael Correa in Ecuador and Jose Mujica in Chile.

But in the case of the Philippines, the evolution is yet on a gradual pace until the ripe time comes when one morning we–or perhaps, it’s more realistic to say, our children’s children–wake up to a new order of reality where the Filipino people in general and the government, in particular, are courageously and decisively shaping their future independent of outside imperialist dictates. The road may be rocky, dusty and full of unwanted debris but there’s no other alternative but to march on–even plod along–until we can stand up with the dignity and strength of a sovereign people recognized, respected and regarded as a nation of indisputable integrity.

(c) Ruel F. Pepa, 14 September 2016

unity

“If the justice system fails, the community will not.” I like this. But in the Philippines, every time the justice system fails, there’s no other recourse because there’s no community. This is sad.

COMMUNITY is “common unity”. This is what I wish we had in Philippine society. The lack of it is the very reason why the Philippines does not take off from its dismal situation. Why is there no community in the Philippines? Because Filipinos by and large do not have the appropriate lens to see the facts. And even if there are a few critical ones who have been using the right lens, the majority have continually refused–even repudiated–the value of such a lens. This condition divides the society and in a divided society, there is precisely no community.

We have beliefs and many have the boldness to express their beliefs. The failure of many is their inability to elevate their beliefs to the level of knowledge by the process of verification. Verification is the way to ascertain the truth of a belief by either finding out if it corresponds with the facts or if it has logical coherence. If we hold a belief and we defend such a belief through rhetorics alone without considering the value of verification, what we believe in is not a matter of knowledge but of blind faith. But, mind you, blind faith can unite a society and hence forge a community. However, such a community is bound to head towards a dead-end–a tragic disaster which demolished Nazi Germany in mid-1940s and decimated the more than 900 members of Jim Jones’ cult who in 1978 committed mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana.

The lens of empiricism strengthened by common sense and  logic will lead us to see the facts and hence towards the formulation of beliefs verified through such facts. We call this the lens of straightforward empiricism. With the straightforward empirical lens, what one sees is what one gets. When one sees the facts, s/he automatically gets into the formation of  a belief/beliefs which is/are articulated in a statement/statements whose truth(s) is/are of course dependent on the facts.  A society whose majority of people have been using the lens of straightforward empiricism will spontaneously head towards the creation of a community of open-minded denizens.

Let’s take as a case in point the issue of martial law in the Philippines during the time of Marcos dictatorship. A sensible discussion of which simply requires an uncomplicated presentation of sufficient facts. Facts in this sense are those that happened during that period in the history of the Philippines like (1) The murder and disappearance of those who bitterly opposed and criticized Marcos’ deceptions. (2) The plunder of billions of  dollars (not pesos) from the nation’s coffer. These issues among others are not matters of belief but matters are fact.

Now if someone claims that all of these really happened during the Marcos dictatorship, these claims are beliefs. The truth or falsity of these claims/beliefs depends on the process of verification which is simply a way to validate these claims/beliefs against the facts. Thus, we can safely say at this point that the most reliable lens is the lens of straightforward empiricism.

When facts have already been presented, nobody can get away from them for they are not mere beliefs. It takes a blind believer to insist on what s/he believes in despite the contrary evidence presented by the facts. And this is the very situation most of us have gotten into because many don’t want to let go of certain beliefs which have long been determined to be contrary to facts. In a society where the myriad of unverified beliefs proliferates, with most of them even contradicting each other at different levels of intensity, no community–common unity–will ever be realized.

(c) Ruel F. Pepa, 10 September 2016