Get Real

Who financed the Zamboanga caper?



In all the discussions, analyses, and reports on the Zamboanga crisis that I have read or watched, I have yet to hear the following question asked or issue raised: Who financed this Misuari-organized caper that has led to such tragic consequences?

Because, let’s face it: When you send 200 men armed to the teeth to raise Cain, that takes a lot of resources just for the required firepower, not to mention transportation costs. (Some reports say 100 men, but this figure doesn’t compute: As of Sept. 19, 80 of the fatalities had been identified as Moro National Liberation Front rebels, and 38 MNLF had reportedly surrendered. But there were still MNLF combatants engaging the army in battle.) And Nur Misuari, having reluctantly left government at least 12 years ago, and suffered a reversal of fortunes since then, isn’t likely to have too much personal resources at his disposal. Plus, even if he did have sufficient personal resources, it isn’t likely that he would use them.

So to repeat: Who financed Misuari’s men?

In an interview with the presidential peace adviser, Secretary Ging Deles (to be aired on Monday), I asked her the question. Her answer was that there were many people (other than Misuari and his miserable band of men) who wanted the peace process with the Bangsamoro derailed. Obviously, they had something to gain from such a situation, so the country and its best interests be damned.

I then asked if these were foreign interests, because I remembered the Sultan of Sulu, Jamalul Kiram, in one of his (ill-fated) letters to P-Noy, pointing out that it was Malaysia, for example, that financed the creation of the MNLF in retaliation for the even more ill-fated Marcos plot to reclaim Sabah that resulted in the so-called Jabidah massacre. And then of course there is always the possibility of al-Qaida involvement, although this may be a stretch if we consider the contention of Maria Ressa that al-Qaida had very strong links with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, not the MNLF.

But no, Ging Deles did not think that foreign interests were involved. Which of course leaves us with local, domestic interests. Like who?

Like those who want to see this administration fall flat on its face. For any number of reasons, of course. In retaliation or revenge or payback for real and/or imagined injuries caused particularly by P-Noy. As a springboard to victory in the next elections (it’s never too early to start).

Unfortunately, but expectedly, Ging was not about to give for-examples. However, although the possibilities are endless, they can be narrowed down. Because aside from retaliation/revenge/payback/springboard motive,  the parties involved must also have the wherewithal to contribute. Which, let’s face it (again), leaves us with mostly not simply politicians but politicians who have enriched themselves considerably while in office (which, my cynical mind insists, is a great majority of them).

See how graft and corruption come back in an infinite number of forms, to kick us in the face, aside from picking our pockets?

One only has to refer to the 2005 Philippine Human Development Report (disclosure: I am a member of the Philippine Human Development Network, which published the Report in cooperation with the UN Development Program and NZAID) to see how costly the conflict on the Moro front has been to the Filipino people.

The Report estimates the economic cost of the Moro conflict thus: first, losses in present and future output—about P8.2 billion annually in periods of intense conflict (1970-1982, 1997-2001); and over the entire history (1970-1981), approximately P108-158 billion, or about 0.5 percent of national GDP. Add to this the so-called “investment deflection” because the region and the country’s reputation as an investment area suffer. What is more, on the local level, investment in agriculture fails to take place. If that foregone investment is added, the economic cost is larger at P10 billion annually from 1975 to 2002.

Now this may be tangential, and if it is, I apologize for it, but it is instructive to note that corruption losses from the pork barrel—assuming 40 percent on a base of P25 billion a year, just for the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) and VILP (Various Infrastructure including Local Projects) without congressional insertions—have also been at least P10 billion a year. Which is why we need to remove the pork barrel, as well as ensure that the peace process is successfully accomplished.

But wait: That is not all. According to the Report, other things being equal, a province in Muslim Mindanao tends on average to have poverty incidence that is 32 percentage points higher, income per person P11,000 lower, basic education cohort-survival rates 31 percentage points lower, and infant-mortality rates 15 points higher than the rest of the country.

And how many people are we talking about? Jessa Encarnacion of the National Statistical Coordination Board kindly provides the information that the 2010 census reveals that in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, 93 percent of the 3.2 million people are Muslims (who also comprise 22 percent of Mindanao, and 6 percent of the Philippines).

And if anyone says that ARMM is too far off, or that 5.1 million Muslims out of a total of 92.1 million Filipinos are really too small a number to matter, I can only point out to them an analogy: A toenail or a tooth may be a very small part of the human body, but let that toenail be ingrown, or that tooth have a large cavity, and you will know what agony it can create in the afflicted person.

So shame on those people who have put their personal interests above the national interests. They don’t deserve to be called Filipinos.

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  • Datuitum

    With all these political plots and conspiracy theories consider,,nobody points a finger to Malacanang grand illusionist who has both motive and money to pull it off! When you have an administration at their lowest point due to pork scandals and at the brink of loosing peoples support, they have all the reasons to make a deal with the devil himself just to get back all the glory being lost and rally the people behind. Looking back of what this current administration has been good at,.. nothing but just all empty promises and political sound bites or slogans that most clueless Filipino people love to hear and are crazy enough to believe. Pres Pnoy is already planning to spend P4-B to rehabilitate the war torn city that he himself could have been prevented its destruction in the first place from happening if he only had used sound judgement to deal with it. Maybe just P100-M would have been too much for the MNLF leader Malik to refuse,.. to say sayonara and leave Zamboanga with all his armed men in peace!

    • HoyGago

      You do know that the pork scandals have only served to bolster the anti-corrupt cred of this administration, right? With the DOJ and Ombudsman working to file a case against those caught, and the COA providing them with damning reports, I’d say Malacanan would have wanted to focus all attention to the ongoing probes instead of doing the conspiracy theory you espouse.

      A new survey shows that the president has a 75% approval rating. What lost glory are you talking about?

      • Datuitum

        Only gagos who believe on paid surveys by malacanang illusionist. yellow administration anti-corruption creed is to bolster Penoy’s own “PORK” that only him and his clique of KKK knew how to cook! eat your survey.

      • HoyGago

        Yeah. I actually believe in the need for presidential pork. See, the executive needs money to execute. I only say no to legis pork.

        As to surveys, unless you can show me proof that shows otherwise, I’d believe the surveys that say that an overwhelming majority of Filipinos support the president. :)

      • ARIKUTIK

        Why not P.Noy just ask funds from survey agencies. It’s the one supporting the president.
        SWS supports P.Noy but the citizens pays the tax. WhaDaFak!!!

      • HoyGago

        Aba ang galing mo a! Palakpakan.

      • breakingbad_ww

        The Constitution states that the executive power shall be vested in the President. His departments are what you call implementing agencies which execute projects.

      • AguinaldoIsNotAHero

        Only die-hard Marcos loyalists who are being paid handsomely by Bongbong Marcos with money stolen from the nation’s treasury and from his PDAF, will say those words. Eat Bongbong’s signatures.

    • AguinaldoIsNotAHero

      I thought you were describing your idol: the dictator, executioner and master-plunderer Ferdinand Marcos.

      You were the one who praised the dictator so much in your comment in “The Allure of Authoritarianism” here in PDI, describing how Marcos loved the Philippines and that his only fault was “his love of his wife” Imelda. Now everyone knows your true color. You are a highly paid blogger for Bongbong Marcos and you got company.

  • alfie

    I read the same commentators name when Binay’s name is in the topic like hitosi2000nand others, I don’t know but I have a bad feelings about this. Anyway good luck to your job (paid or no) but beware most Pinoys are dehadista, baka masesante kayo ng amo nyo

    • breakingbad_ww

      how can someone with so much unexplained wealth become dehado? Do you really think Binay will continue the platform of honesty and accountability started by Pnoy when he hasn’t publicly declared his stand about corruption?

      • ed_dAVAO

        honesty and accountability platform ? What?

      • alfie

        breakingbad your comment sounds familiar why not just stick to one name, its not Chnoy and Binay but someone else LP PR machinery working well that’s why I said dehado, the machine is always fully oiled/greased coming from the public money. The uncovering of pork scam does not come from govt. initiative, this is due to quarrel among the Lim family and nothing more.

      • alfie

        breakingbad your comment sounds familiar why not just stick to one name, its not Chnoy and Binay but someone else LP PR machinery working well that’s why I said dehado, the machine is always fully oiled/greased coming from the public money. The uncovering of pork scam does not come from govt. initiative, this is due to quarrel among the Lim family and nothing more.

  • allandel

    i didn’t want to beleive at firs at that the problem in zambo was a diversion. now, i think it is. who would gain from this? the plunderers, no less. the pork barrel scam was put in sidelines but it will be back again, with vengeance now that we all know why the zambo thing happened.

  • lostRunes

    Ms. Monsod believes in Deles’ tall tales too much. If the government believes there is a financer behind this, why did they give the “surrender or die” ultimatum to these rebels?

    Which seems more logical to you?

    1).Opposition paid Misuari’s men a lot of money. The government gives a “surrender or die” ultimatum. Most would rather die. Is this proof of the MNLF fighter’s being paid? Any mercenary would choose his life over death. What’s the point of being paid if you are not alive to enjoy it?

    2). Misuari’s men is already in its 3rd “Bangsamoro Flag raising ceremony” in Zamboanga. They have already done it in Davao and other cities, in full battle gear. They insist this is a peaceful rally.

    In Zamboanga however, Malacanang orders the AFP to arrest the MNLF men. This will serve as a nice distraction and show Aquino’s crisis leadership skills. Unfortunately, the MNLF takes hostage a lot of people, forcing the evacuation of thousands. Showing his lack of crisis leadership skills, he gives a “surrender or die” ultimatum. While this fiasco is going on, Malacanang Communications Group and Deles tries to spin this story as a rebellion financed by the opposition.

    Luneta hostage crisis all over again. I hope some in the media would open their eyes to what this really is: mismanagement and lack of foresight by the Aquino government.

  • dukaponte

    Nang marinig ko na meron ceasefire sabi ni Binay, umikot ang utak ko, aray ang sakit. Kinonsulta ba ni Binay ang mga taga Zamboanga o gusto lang niya pumapel?

  • Keef Riffhard

    In every crimebook or series some questions come up:who has a motive, who has the resources, who will gain the most. So I think CIA, China and Malaysia are out. Why not look to Cagayan Valley, San Juan and Cavite, specialy if its not your own money. Btw, wasnt there a scandal making headlines in February and out of sudden Crazy Kiram startet his campaign in Sabah ? Same questions came up that time. So think

  • Samboy_rod

    Malamang pera galing sa pork barrel ito para divert ang atensyon.

  • me

    BINAY! PAra magpapogi pag nakakuha ng ceasefire at peace talk. Kaso nagbackfire. Lumabas ang totoo..SUPER EPAL.

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