COTANGENT – By Daphne Cardillo
Sometimes I think it a great waste for our government to be fighting against the insurgents. In the Philippine setting, insurgency is not the problem but only an outgrowth of a more real problem. The rate of insurgency is high and persistent that we have become a militarized society.
In some developed economies where the basic necessities of life are met, insurgency is kept at a minimum or it does not exist at all. Ideologists and revolutionaries are mostly found in universities where there is great intellectual freedom. These visionaries are not strong enough to organize and stage an uprising to shake their respective governments, which means, civilian authority is held supreme.
Are we to wonder then what the rebels are fighting for? Do you believe Filipinos do fight for freedom, democracy, equality, or any ideology? Like communism, these could only be just slogans but not the real issue. I think justice is the lingering abstract term Filipinos are willing to die for as manifested by the injustices they meet in their daily lives. I mean justice as giving to you what is due you. Filipinos will fight for their families, friends, and relatives for those things deprived of them, material or immaterial; like a land to till, right wages, a roof over their head, or a day in court.
Social justice has really become a problem. Why? For in the progress of civilization, the act of being human has gradually democratized. If self-respect and human dignity is the privilege of only those who can afford—the elite, the educated, the wealthy, the gainfully employed—there are those who continuously advocate human rights for the rest of the flock.
Social justice has become our problem as with other nations but it is more pronounced here in this country. And unless the government will listen to the call for justice, insurgency is here to stay.
Take for example, poverty. Insurgency does not necessarily go side by side with poverty. Man does not live by bread alone. Only, dissent is the power in the powerlessness of want. When people are suffering in pain and they have ceased to moan they are presumed dead. Poverty is pain, the subtlest form of violence not carrying capital punishment; from not being able to buy a kilo of rice to not seeing a day in court.
Is insurgency the problem? Actually, if the insurgents themselves cannot make a united front then they will disintegrate and disintegrate into small power blocs and like warring Mafioso families will eventually usurp and destroy each other.
But with the passage of the Anti-Terror Bill, it could give rise to the number of insurgents. For those who are opposing openly against the present administration will be forced to go underground under threat of survival. And, like the vast majority of unemployed, they will provide a great reservoir of armed rebels for the communist party. So the head hunting continues–as in primitive days–and we shall be seeing more killing in the immediate years to come.