Sunday, July 27, 2003

Institutions of Treason

One of the institutions with a singular history of disloyalty to the Philippine Constitution is the Philippine Military Academy, based in Fort Pilar, Baguio City. This was not always the case, but in 1971, Victor Corpus (Class of 1976), an instructor of the Academy, started a tradition by raiding the armory and taking it's contents to the Communist New People's Army. Corpus eventually returned to the Philippine Government fold and -- get this -- is now head of it's military intelligence. Then Academy graduate Gringo Honasan (Class of 1981) led a large section of his class in a coup attempt against President Corazon Aquino, an uprising which required US persuasion flights and Philippine Airforce fighter-bomber strikes to suppress. In the inimitable fashion of Philippine politics, coup leader Honasan was subsequently elected a Philippine Senator. Treason is not a disqualification for running for public office, nor is it, apparently, a bar to remaining in office. Dean Bocobo links to a CyberDyaryo report which quotes Honasan  as sayng:

Senator Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan was back in the news the other day, in three separate stories: one in which he opined that "people power" of the 1986 EDSA variety would be useless this time against Erap Estrada, because it could not count on military support; the second in which he spoke for Class 1971 of the Philippine Military Academy in promising to adopt Erap as a class "mistah" after the impeachment trial, no matter what the outcome...

A mistah in this context means "honorary classmate". Honasan said, in effect, that you can't have a President unless he is acceptable to the graduates of the Philippine Military Academy. The current leaders of the coup are, not surprisingly, recent Academy graduates.

The reputed leaders of the latest military uprising in the Philippines are young officers who led elite units and are experts on explosives, officials said Saturday. Officials said about 20 junior officers backed by "between 40-50" fully armed men were behind the revolt. The suspected leaders "are primarily from the classes of 1995 to 1997" of the PMA, which produces most of the military's officer corps, Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes said over DZBB radio. All the identified leaders of the plot are aged 30 or younger, and included two commanders of battalions of the elite Army Scout Rangers. "Some members (of these classes) are missing. The others are with their respective units," and presumably not supporting their classmates' action, Reyes said.

The Philippine Left has also demonstrated an impressive ability to disregard what would be treason and portray it as nationalism. One of the principle negotiators for the Philippine Communist Party is Dutch citizen Luis Jalandoni. A former priest who renounced his beliefs in favor of atheism, and then renounced his Philippine citizenship in favor of an Dutch citizenship, he also has the apparent ability to renounce his Dutch citizenship at will and become a Filipino again for whatever duration is convenient, thus proving that precious little is required to claim Philippine nationalism other than a guaranteed antipathy to America.Wretchard once asked a member of the Philippine government how Jalandoni, a foreign national, could represent the Philippine Communist Party. The answer was, "but he's a Jalandoni!" The Jalandonis, you see, are members of the Philippine elite.

Muslim rebels are openly based abroad.  Nur Misuari's patron was Colonel Khadaffy of Libya and the Philippine Government forged a deal with him there, known as the Tripoli Agreement, as Misuari sat at the Colonel's knees. The current Muslim rebels are scheduled to demand a piece of Philippine territory at a mutually scheduled meeting with the Arroyo government in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where the rebels were trained. No treason there, as it does not involve America, and besides, they are members of the local Muslim elite. 

There is the strange, but widely held notion in the Philippines that nationalism means nothing else but hating the United States. Checks and monies from all other potentates are totally acceptable. Crimes and depredations are totally acceptable. No Manila pundit, most of whom are graduates of the Left's equivalent of the Philippine Military Academy, the University of the Philippines, will raise the slightest objection to the any violence against the Philippine Constitution, any sacking and burning of towns, any destruction of the livelihood of the common person, for so long as it advances their self-promotion and harms what they regard as the ultimate threat to their self-interest: America.

The Philippine elite -- whether from the Philippine Military Academy, or the University of the Philippines, or from Mindanao State University -- will demand ten or so billion dollars a year from overseas Filipinos without conceding the slightest of their rancid prerogatives to anyone who might interject reason, rationalizing their self-serving agenda as "nationalism". Know them for the frauds that they are.

In watching the current drama unfold, foreign powers should follow this guide: no effort too great for the welfare of the Filipino people; no insult too demeaning for the Filipino "nationalistic" elite.