Saturday, March 27, 2010

10 Ways to Spend Earth Hour 2010

Over 1000 Philippine Cities and Municipalities Prepare for the Switch-off 

TODAY, 27 March, the Philippines joins the rest of the global community in making a symbolic call for united action against climate change through Earth Hour, as households, communities and public and private institutions turn off their lights from 8:30PM to 9:30PM.

Since 2008, Earth Hour Philippines has become a celebration of climate change solutions. It is important to bear in mind that Earth Hour does not end when the lights are switched back on. The switchoff signifies the start of a very personal and lasting lifestyle change to minimize our ecological impacts and to do our bit for a more sustainable planet. Personal pledges can take many forms, from upgrading to energy-efficient appliances to planting and stewarding a small grove of native trees. Here are ten ways to help you make a difference during and after Earth Hour 2010:

1 – Document Your Earth Hour Celebrations

If you’re planning to join one of the Earth Hour celebrations around town, whip out those DSLRs and point-&-shoots! It’s time to snap up photos and videos of your Earth Hour celebrations in your locality! You may even win DVD players, cellphones and other prizes. For more information, simply log on to:

2 - Host an Outdoor Evening Party
If you plan to stay in your neighborhood, get the barkada together for an Earth Hour eco-party. Set-up the front yard or go to the village park. Fire up the flashlights or headlamps, dine on organic food and have your resident musikero provide the acoustics. Talk to your friends about how you’re each reducing your environmental footprint and share ideas and solutions for saving more energy, cash and carbon dioxide.

3 – Encourage Kids to Play Outdoors
Earth Hour is a perfect time to talk to your kids about the Philippine environment and why we need to protect our planet from the dangers of climate change. Remember the good old days of Patintero, Taguan and Luksong Baka? Ever explored that old creek a block away? How about an afternoon spent birdwatching? Encourage your kids to unplug all electronics and rediscover the joys of outdoor play.

4 - Do a Recyclables Hunt
Get your flashlights and scour your cabinets and shelves for cans, bottles and boxes that you don't normally recycle. Make a list of all the non-recyclable containers you’re using now (like plastic shopping bags) and figure out ways to reduce your consumption of items that end up in our local landfills. A fun tip: get reusable grocery bags ... and reuse them!

5 - Green That Workspace!
Working the graveyard shift at a local call center? Even if you can’t turn off all the office lights, look around and see what you can unplug, turn down or use less of (like consuming less paper by printing double-sided). Every day millions of computer screens and speakers are left on overnight - shut ‘em off! And talk to your fellow employees about what they can do to help make a difference too.

6 - Involve Your Local Leaders
If your village or barangay isn't already hosting an Earth Hour event, ask your local government to set up a community "green" discussion in a public building from 8:30 to 9:30PM on 27 March. Help organize attendance by reaching out to local environmental and community groups, and come prepared to ask your leaders what they’re doing to make your area greener.

7 - Clean Up Your Street
Grab a flashlight and walk down your house street, picking up trash and recyclables as you go. It's a great chance to do some stargazing too! What’s more, a walk under the stars brims with romantic potential.

8 - Unplug and Just Chill Out
Most of our daily activities like watching TV and texting require loads of electricity, but do we really need to do so much stuff all the time? Stay home, minimize carbon emissions from your car and just have an hour of steady time. Turn off the screens, shut off the beloved cellphone and just take some "you" time to reflect, read or talk to your family. After all, why should you do more when you can do less?

9 - Give Yourself an Energy Makeover
Use Earth Hour as a reason to make your home more energy efficient: Replace those cruddy old incandescent bulbs with newer and more efficient CFL bulbs. Install power strips to turn computers and electronics on and off more easily, since appliances on standby mode are still at about 30% consumption.

10 - Make a Pledge for the Planet
Earth Hour shouldn't end at 9:31PM — it's a chance to take a first step toward lowering your overall impact on the environment. So use part of that hour to make a personal pledge to do more — recycle, take public transportation, remember to turn off or unplug electronics, and beyond. The only way we're going to stabilize our climate is if we make real changes in our everyday lives. You’ll hit two birds with one stone by saving on both cash and carbon emissions.

Remember: Turn off your lights from 8:30PM to 9:30PM on 27 March
But the first step is to turn off your lights on 27 March from 8:30PM to 9:30PM as part of the world’s largest social mobilization event. Tomorrow, around one billion people across time zones all over the world are expected to take part in this massive display of solidarity for the planet.

In 2009, the Philippines ranked first among 88 nations in terms of local participation in Earth Hour. Over 10 million Filipinos in 647 cities and municipalities switched off their lights during Earth Hour, saving an estimated 611MWh of electricity - equivalent to a temporary shutdown of a dozen coal-fired power-plants. This year, the event organizers - WWF, the Department of Energy, Green Army Network Foundation and SWITCH Movement - aim to mobilize 15 million Filipinos in 1000 towns, cities and municipalities to take a symbolic stand against climate change.

1000 Cities and Municipalities Breached

As of 1930H of 25 March, a running total of 1041 Philippine cities and municipalities have confirmed participation. More are expected to pledge support before the global switchoff tonight.

The public is invited to the main switchoff event at the SM Mall of Asia from 7PM onwards. The program will include entertainment numbers from Arnel Pineda, Moymoy Palaboy, Princess, Ballet Philippines and the Philippine All Stars. Ayala is also spearheading several Earth Hour events, including a street party at the Bonifacio High Street. Similar celebrations will take place in many other cities and towns across the country.

Official Earth Hour 2010 partners include Ipanema, Motolite, SM Malls, Ayala Malls, Bonifacio Global City, the Century Pacific Group, Sustagen, Philips, Meralco, Arthaland, Shell, First Gen, Energy Development Corporation, McDonald's, Jollibee, Shangri-La Hotels, ECC International, GMA-7, ABS-CBN, Net-25, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, Infinit-1 Communications, FocusMedia Audiovisuals, Leo Burnett, Radio Veritas, Sonshine Radio, ECC International, Dig It All, Friendster, Discovery Channel and the National Geographic Channel.
Groups that have pledged commitments are the Archdiocese of Manila, Archdiocese of Cebu, Diocese of Kaloocan, Diocese of Parañaque, University of the Philippines, Technological University of the Philippines, Manila Doctors College, Silliman University, Adamson University, Asian College of Science and Technology, Colegio de Santa Catalina de Alexandria, Foundation University, St. Paul University Dumaguete, Ayala Foundation, Ms. Earth Foundation, Ms. Teen Earth and Ms. Kids Earth, REACT, Philippine Business for Social Progress, Ortigas Foundation, Girl Scouts of the Philippines, Manila Jaycees, Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines, Outdoor Advertising Association of the Philippines, Philippine Science Centrum, World Youth Alliance, Habitat for Humanity Philippines, Iglesia ni Cristo and Gawad Kalinga.
Other companies which have pledged support include BPI, HSBC, Coca-Cola, Tetra Pak, Starbucks, Canon, Abenson, Chowking, Unilever, Globe, PLDT, SMART, BME, PhilBIO, Piandré, ATP, Toyota, the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ascott Group, Dusit Thani Manila, Hilton Cebu, Robinsons Malls, Chevron, SGV & Co and Ricoh Philippines. (30)
For more information:
Naderev 'Yeb' Saño
Earth Hour Philippines National Director
Gregg Yan
Earth Hour Philippines Communications Head
Mika Palileo
Earth Hour Philippines Secretariat
840-2134 / 789-76622 loc. 5200

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Document Earth Hour With Your Camera And Get A Chance To Win Valuable Prizes!

Earth Hour Press Release

The lights will go off for one hour on Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 8:30 pm in key cities and towns in the Philippines and all over the world. It's called Earth Hour.

Earth Hour 2010 is a global call to action to every individual, every business, and every community. It is a call to stand up, to take responsibility, and to get actively involved in working towards a sustainable future. People all over the world will turn off their lights and join together in creating a vital conversation about the future of our precious planet.

Last year, the Philippines ranked 1st worldwide in terms of total number of cities and towns that participated in Earth Hour. This year, the goal is to get 15 million Filipinos in 1,000 cities and towns all over the country to participate in Earth Hour 2010. By switching off our lights at 8:30 pm on March 27th, we convey a simple yet powerful message: each of us can make a difference in the fight against climate change.

You can document participation in Earth Hour in your locality, using your mobile phone or digital camera. That way, you can help show the whole world how committed we Filipinos are to united action against climate change. The top sixty (60) entries—30 digital photographs and 30 videos—will be included in the official Philippine audio-visual report to the global Earth Hour Secretariat and will be posted on

 In addition, the entries that most capture the spirit of Earth Hour will be gifted with cellphones, DVD players, and official Earth Hour t-shirts as tokens of our appreciation.

Contest guidelines:

1. The contest is open to all Philippine-based individuals, aged 15 years and above.

2. To qualify, entrants must register via SMS through 5777. Their respective mobile numbers will serve to tag any number of entries.

3. To register—

a) Send to 5777 (Smart & Globe users only) the following text message from your mobile phone:

GREEN(space) REG(space) firstname(slash) middleinitial(slash) lastname(slash) EARTH

Example: green reg Juan/C/De la Cruz/Earth

b) Then, turn on your messaging facilities by sending a second text message to 5777 as follows:


4. There will be two categories: photo and video. Digital cameras and cellular phones may be used. All entries must be about an Earth Hour event (taken between 8:30pm and 9:30pm on March 27 or other related activity undertaken in line with Earth Hour and which captures the spirit of Earth Hour).

5. To submit multiple entries, one must label each one as follows:
a. For photo entries: 09xx-xxxxxxx-p001, 09xx-xxxxxxx-p002, etc.
b. For video entries: 09xx-xxxxxxx-v001, 09xx-xxxxxxx-v002, etc.

6. Photo entries for digital cameras must be printed in 8R size. Send all entries with a copy in CD format, which includes the name, registered mobile number, address, email, category and signature of the entrant. Entrants need to submit a brief description of the event/activity captured in photo/video (no more than 50 words).
7. Video entries must be no shorter than one (1) minute and no longer than three (3) minutes each. They must be submitted as mpeg or avi files with live or recorded audio or music, in DVD format, then stored in a hard plastic DVD case. Name, registration number, address, email, mobile number, category and signature of the entrant must be written on both the DVD and its case

8. Photo and video entries must be submitted by March 31, 2010 (or at least postmarked if sent through mail on the said date) to:

Earth Hour Secretariat
6/F, PNOC Building 6, Energy Center
Merritt Road, Ft. Bonifacio
Taguig City, Metro Manila

9. The top sixty (60) entries—30 digital photographs and 30 videos—will be included in the official Philippine audio-visual report to the global Earth Hour Secretariat and will be posted on

. In addition, the most interesting entries that capture the spirit of Earth Hour will be gifted with cellphones, DVD players and official Earth Hour t-shirts as tokens of our appreciation.

10. Winners will be notified by email and via SMS (text) from 5777. To claim their prizes, winners should show the text message or email sent by the Secretariat confirming their awarded entry and bring one legal ID with photo (SSS, driver’s license, passport or school ID.). Provincial winners will claim their prize at a designated area to be provided by the Secretariat.

11. All entries become the property of Earth Hour Philippines.
In the Philippines, Earth Hour 2010 effort is being organized by WWF-Philippines, the Department of Energy (DOE), the Green Army Philippines Network, and the SWITCH movement.

Various organizations—representing civil society, the business community, the religious sector, the youth, national agencies and local governments—have already committed their full support for Earth Hour, the global expression of a desire for serious and sustained action on global warming.

Join Earth Hour 2010! Turn off your lights at 8.30pm on Saturday, March 27 and document your participation to publicly register your commitment to the global community!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Indonesian fishing license moratorium needs to be backed with reduced fishing effort – WWF

Indonesia is implementing a moratorium on new licenses for trawl and purse seine fisheries this month until the status of their declining fish stocks fully recover.

“While recognizing this as an initial step towards the right direction, we would like to see this supplemented by an immediate reduction in fishing effort and strong enforcement of “no take” zones to help fully exploited fish stocks in the Coral Triangle to recover” says Dr Lida Pet-Soede, WWF Coral Triangle Programme Head.   

“We would also like to seek further clarification on the criteria being used to determine stock recovery and how this is will be evaluated. WWF is willing to participate and contribute to this process” adds Dr Pet-Soede.

As of 2007, more than 10,000 trawlers and 22,000 purse seiners have been found in Indonesian waters. These numbers have likely grown in the past few years alone, largely contributing to overfishing, mostly of fully exploited juvenile tunas, and illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing in the area (IUU).

“These existing fishing fleets are highly capable of bringing already fully exploited fish stocks to an even greater overfished state” adds Dr. Pet-Soede.  

Trawling, which can catch as much as 30 tons of fish in a single operation, was banned nationally in 1980 but was once again made legal two years later, specifically in the Arafuru Seas in Papua.

In 2008, a regulation to allow shrimp trawling in the East Kalimantan province was issued.

Today, demersal fish stocks and shrimp are fully exploited and overfished in the Arafuru Seas. Similar results have occurred in the Flores Seas and Makassar Strait in East Kalimantan.

Purse seining has likewise become an issue in Indonesian fisheries. As much as 57% of skipjack, 71% of yellowfin and 75% of bigeye tunas caught by Indonesian purse seiners are juvenile and fully exploited. 

Purse seining of small pelagic fish, or free swimming open ocean species like Skipjack tuna and sardines in Indonesia accounts for as much as 80% of the total catch in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. This however also includes big pelagic fish, which have been overfished in the Sulawesi Seas and Pacific Ocean. Pelagic fish, both big and small, have now been classified as fully exploited in Indonesia.

Indonesia is regionally part of what is known as the Coral Triangle, the world’s centre of marine life. This region contains spawning and nursery grounds and migratory routes for commercially-valuable tuna species such as bigeye, yellowfin, skipjack and albacore, producing more than 40% of the total catch for the Western Central Pacific region, and representing more than 20% of the total global catch.

Tuna in the Coral Triangle, which spans the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste, supports the economies of many developing nations and represents the livelihoods of millions of people in this region and beyond.

“This moratorium on new fishing licenses for trawlers and purse seiners will certainly stop the bleeding but not the wound, so to speak. A reduction in current fishing capacity is key to addressing problems of overfishing and bycatch of juvenile tunas in the Coral Triangle.” 

  • The Coral Triangle—the nursery of the seas—is the most diverse marine region on the planet, matched in its importance to life on Earth only by the Amazon rainforest and the Congo basin. Defined by marine areas containing more than 500 species of reef-building coral, it covers around 6 million square kilometres of ocean across six countries in the Indo-Pacific – Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste.
  • It is home to 3,000 species of reef fish and commercially-valuable species such as tuna, whales, dolphins, rays, sharks, and 6 of the 7 known species of marine turtles.
  • The Coral Triangle also directly sustains the lives of more than 120 million people and contains key spawning and nursery grounds for tuna, while healthy reef and coastal systems underpin a growing tourism sector. WWF is working with other NGOs, multilateral agencies and governments around the world to support conservation efforts in the Coral Triangle for the benefit of all.
  • For information on Coral Triangle go to: 

For further information:

Dr Lida Pet-Soede, Head, WWF Coral Triangle Programme (Bali, Indonesia), Email:, Tel: +628123818741
Paolo P. Mangahas, Communications Manager, WWF Coral Triangle Programme (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Email:, Tel: +60378033772
Dewi Satriani, Marine Communications, WWF-Indonesia (Jakarta, Indonesia), Email: , Tel: +62811910970

Monday, March 15, 2010

Earth Hour Returns as Largest Environmental Event in History

Mark your calendars, folks: Saturday night, 27 March 2010. When the clock strikes 8:30PM, the world will once more be engulfed in darkness – and a Billion people will celebrate the biggest party in recorded history.

Now in its third year in the country and envisioned as a celebration of climate change solutions, Earth Hour Philippines aims to inspire 15 Million Filipinos in 1000 towns, cities and municipalities to switch off and join in the revelry – in an environmentally-conscious manner, that is. Many of the nation’s most iconic landmarks are expected to dim their lights in the largest call for action on climate change. Cities from around the world, from Europe to Africa, are expected to join in.

Crafted to take a stand against the greatest threat our planet has ever faced, Earth Hour uses the simple action of turning off lights for an hour to deliver a powerful message on the need for climate change solutions. This simple act has captured the hearts and minds of people all over the world, becoming a worldwide phenomenon in 2008 and 2009 – where the Philippines placed first globally in terms of town and city participation.

Earth Hour 2009 inspired over 10 Million Filipinos in 647 cities and municipalities to switch off, saving an estimated 611MWh of electricity – equivalent to shutting down a dozen coal-fired power-plants for an hour. Earth Hour Philippines is a yearly effort of WWF-Philippines, the Department of Energy (DoE), Green Army Network and SWITCH Movement. 2010 partners include Ipanema, Century Tuna, Sustagen, Philips, Motolite, Meralco, SM Malls, Ayala Malls, GMA-7, ABS-CBN, Infinit-1 Communications, ECC International, Dig It All, Friendster and Discovery Channel.

Sectoral consultations have yielded strong commitments for more sustained efforts on climate change. Among the groups that have pledged commitments are the Archdiocese of Manila, University of the Philippines, Technological University of the Philippines, Manila Doctors College, REACT, Philippine Business for Social Progress, Ortigas Foundation, Girl Scouts of the Philippines, Manila Jaycees, Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines, Philippine Science Centrum, World Youth Alliance, Habitat for Humanity and Gawad Kalinga.

The business community has also pledged participation. Companies which have committed support include the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Ascott Group, Dusit Thani Manila, Chevron, Abenson, First Gen, Jollibee Foods Corporation, Unilever, Globe, PLDT, PhilBIO and Piandré.

Earth Hour kick-off activities were launched in Davao and Cebu. In Davao City, stakeholders from various sectors led by the Green Alliance for Davao, Mindanao Business Council, Save Davao Gulf Foundation and the Davao City National High School pledged collective support. In Cebu, over 1000 stakeholders gathered at the SM City Cebu to share their collective support for Earth Hour.

The Earth Hour Philippines road show, led by Energy Secretary Angelo T. Reyes, is set to visit Iloilo, Baguio, Ilocos Norte, Laguna, Bicol, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Tuguegarao and Clark. “Earth Hour is a simple act that emphasizes the importance of adopting energy efficient practices and lifestyles,” says Secretary Reyes. “Given ever-increasing energy demands, we must be mindful of the need to control human-induced global warming and adopting more responsible energy practices.  This will allow us to bestow upon future generations a world that they deserve.”

Since Earth Hour 2009, each of the Earth Hour allies has advocated for the adoption of renewable energy technologies and energy-efficient practices. “Climate change is the biggest threat to the Philippines. We could lose 2000 isles to sea level rise alone – a scenario which could be made worse by dwindling natural resources,” says Earth Hour Philippines National Director Yeb Saño. “Luckily, Filipinos have a unique Bayanihan spirit – a brotherhood of kinship that unites people. Through the message of Earth Hour – that it’s time to think of solutions now – we stand a good chance of adapting to climate change.”

Earth Hour Philippines calls on private corporations, local groups, schools and the entire nation to participate in this momentous event by switching off lights from 8:30 – 9:30PM on 27 March 2010. Photos and videos of Earth Hour celebrations may also be sent to for documentation. Each Filipino’s participation will go a long way in spreading the message that working collectively – people can create an impetus far more powerful than the mightiest of rivers. For more information, please log on to or email Don’t forget to sign-up at (30)


Since its inception three years ago, Earth Hour has captured the world’s imagination by becoming a global phenomenon.  Earth Hour 2009 inspired one Billion people in 4100 cities and 88 countries to switch off. Over 10 Million Filipinos in 647 towns, cities and municipalities joined in – more than anywhere else on Earth. This year Earth Hour Philippines aims for the participation of over 15 Million Filipinos in over 1000 towns and cities nationwide. Globally, 807 cities, towns and cities in 82 countries across every continent have already signed up.
Fig. 1 – Earth Hour 2010 aims to be the largest environmental mass-participation event in Philippine history. Organizers hope to inspire 15 Million Filipinos in 1000 cities and towns to join the global switchoff.

Press Release from MR. GREGG YAN
Earth Hour Philippines Communications Head
4F JBD Plaza, 65 Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City

Tel:   +63 2 920 7923/26/31
Fax:   +63 2 426 3927

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What's wrong with this Gloria Arroyo - Noynoy Aquino chart???

What's wrong with this Chart? Pray, tell the world.


(Chart from Claude Berenger)___________

Makes sense?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A professor’s journey*

(* Delivered at a symposium sponsored by the Third World Studies Center, 4 March 2010, email forwarded by Mr. Herman Tiu Laurel)

Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

In a short essay published by Inquirer the other Sunday, Gen. Danilo Lim traced his “journey” from a West Point educated officer to a rebel soldier and a political prisoner. Today I shall match his story with the story of my own journey from rabid anti-militarism to an avid supporter of Gen. Lim.

    My narrative starts from the Manila Hotel where, soon after EDSA 1, the Marcos loyalists gathered to clamor for the enthronement of Arturo Tolentino. Having learned from a very reliable source that some of the RAM boys participated in planning that comic affair, I went around frantically warning of an insidious plot from the politicized soldiery or what I termed the “politicians in uniform.”

    That paranoid response stemmed from the assumption that by the nature of their profession, soldiers are essentially reactionary and authoritarian; they should therefore be kept on leash, banished from politics and placed under firm civilian control.

    I began to change my mind when, in connection with a research project for the UN University on “the politicization of the military and the militarization of politics,” I studied several military coups in other parts of the world. I came across instances when the military played a definitely positive role of overthrowing right-wing dictatorships and setting in motion the process of system change.

    To illustrate, let me cite the “carnation revolution” in Portugal. Portuguese fascism was the oldest in Europe, antedating Mussolini, Hitler and Franco. Antonio de Oliviera Salazar founded the first fascist state in 1926. He was ruthless but was more subdued than Hitler and Mussolini. The Salazar regime survived World War II because with the outbreak of the Cold War the United States – the self-appointed champion of the “free world” – coddled it as an ally against communism.

After 42 years in power, the Portuguese tyrant died in 1968; but before going into a coma he was able to arrange a smooth transition to handpicked successors. So well entrenched did the successor regime appear to be that political scientists specializing in the study of Portugal did not expect it to fall any time soon. Yet in April 1974 it collapsed like the proverbial colossus with feet of clay.

This event known as the “carnation revolution” caught the Portugal watchers by surprise because, trapped in the conventional paradigm of political science, they only monitored the puny resistance of the liberal and social democratic parties. They completely overlooked the undercurrents in the armed forces, believing that the military would always be a bastion of fascist rule. As it turned out, it was a military group that crushed the backbone of fascism in Portugal.

The experts were oblivious of the fact that the junior officers, fresh from the African campaigns, had been radicalized by their own experience in the battlefield. They realized that they were duped to fight an unjust war by a government that was also oppressing the Portuguese people themselves. Back in Lisbon, they formed a secret society called Movimento das Forças Armadas (MFA) and in April 1974 they launched a coup against the dictatorship.

The MFA junta (known as the Junta for National Salvation) adopted a socialist program and released from colonial rule not only the Portuguese colonies in Africa, but also East Timor, a somnolent territory where there was no pre-existing independence movement. Unfortunately, the progressive military regime lasted only for two years. Unlike Col. Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, the MFA did not build a mass base for its radical reforms. Moreover, they didn’t know how to govern: they mismanaged the economy and were clumsy in the conduct of international diplomacy. Their ineptitude created an opening for the deposed elite to instigate a counter-coup in collaboration with the CIA.

    With such cases in mind, my monograph on the politics of the military already reflected my growing ambivalence. Coincidentally, I presented the monograph to a UN University seminar in Katmandu on the eve of the 1989 coup in Manila. When this erupted, I could not make up my mind. I had lost enthusiasm for Cory Aquino but neither could I be enthusiastic about the coup. I faulted Cory for restoring the old system of elite rule, an oligarchy masquerading as democratic. But the alternative was not alluring. There was a strong suspicion that the coup aimed to install Ponce Enrile and Salvador Laurel; in other words, another reshuffle of personnel at the top that would leave the system of elite rule intact.

    Danny Lim, then a captain of the Scout Rangers, took part in that coup as leader of the Young Officers Union. I did not have the slightest idea of what vision inspired. It was only when he got out of detention that I met him through Haydee Yorac. Our long conversations convinced me that the YOU resembled the MFA of Portugal, that it represented a trend whose political outlook was not too different from mine.
Let me summarize the insights drawn from my studies on the military in the process of social change.

    There never was an instance in the history of any country when a repressive regime was brought down through purely civilian action or “people power.” Regime change through extra-constitutional means invariably involves a military component. Three possible scenarios can be considered in the Philippine context: (1) the military as a whole turns against the regime, as happened in EDSA 2; (2) part of the military breaks with the chain of command and joins the insurgent citizenry, as in EDSA 1; and (3) the mass movement builds its own army and, through protracted war, beats the government armed forces, as Joma has been dreaming over the last four decades.

    At the Katmandu seminar, an Indian scholar reproached me for ignoring the case of India where, he said, national liberation was achieved through non-violence in a purely civilian struggle. In fact, I studied that as well. But my study of the Indian case led me to believe that Gandhi’s satyagraha could not have succeeded were it not for a threat of a violent upheaval. The British conceded to the Mahatma’s demands whenever he went on hunger strike because the alternative to Gandhi was Subhas Chandra Bose, a stern advocate of violent revolution. Were it not for the prospect of Subhas Chandra Bose seizing the leadership of the independence movement, the British might have allowed what Winston Churchill described as a “half-naked fakir” to fast himself to death. Later events confirmed this hypothesis. Once the murder of Gandhi removed his restraining moral authority, the Hindus and Indian Moslems immediately embarked on the worst carnage in history.

    It is wrong to view the Philippine military as one solid bloc. All assurances from the office of Col. Brawner that everything is under control cannot conceal the widespread restlessness among the Filipino soldiers today. True, most generals belong to the conventional mold. They peddle the myth of political neutrality. In truth, the Philippine military has always been politically involved . . . on the side of the power elite, against the peasant movements and the militant trade unions. The predecessors of the AFP were the Filipino mercenaries recruited by the Americans to suppress their compatriots.

    For circumstances too complex to analyze here, a new trend has emerged in the uniformed services. There is a growing network of thinking soldiers who do not blindly obey orders from above. Unlike Tennyson’s foolish light brigade who meekly marched to the jaws of death, believing that their’s is not to reason why but simply to do or die, the thinking Filipino soldiers ask whether the orders are legitimate and moral, and they always stand for what is true, just and right.**

    I will leave it for Gen. Danny Lim to explain how this came about. Just allow me to express a view which he might not like to hear: that his election to the Senate will not in itself make a difference to the future of our country for as long as the system of elite rule prevails. He will be a solitary voice in an elite-dominated and trapo-infested legislature. I have no illusion that he will succeed in passing laws to institutionalize fundamental reforms. But even if such a miracle does happen, the laws he sponsors will be diluted by the President through his/her power to set the implementing rules and his/her control over the release of funds. Ultimately these laws will be perverted by a bureaucracy that is susceptible to elite and American pressures.

    Nonetheless, I will vote for Gen. Lim because he represents a force that, in tandem with the militant mass movement, opens up the prospect for a just and progressive society our people deserve. A vote for him is a slap on the faces of the trapos and the crooked generals who keep him in prison. Sa paningin ko, ang kahalagahan ng election ay symbolic lamang at hindi katulad sa sinasabi ng ABS-CBN na ito ang simula ng pagbabago.

** Contrary to the impression of Dr. Clarita Carlos, I am not suggesting that soldiers should debate what to do before going to battle. I know the logic of war well enough to see that in the midst of an operation the soldiers must obey the ground commander. I have in mind orders that involve policy issues. For example, the order for the Marine units in Maguindanao to assist in electoral fraud. As Gen. Gudani and Col. Balutan attested, many of the Marine officers found this objectionable, but they were gagged as Gen. Lim is being prevented from participating in our forum today.


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