President Duterte personally heads this unintelligible acronym that is a task force charged with ending the long-lived communist insurgency in the Philippines. It is a mess of an effort, not unlike other task force driven programs that blur accountability, understanding, and achievement with too many voices and disorganized output. It has a huge budget and spent it on a handful of activities with little known accomplishment.
The task force is notorious for it’s ruthless red-tagging initiatives under the previous operations head, General Antonio Parlade. The tagging smeared innocents, jailed people under manufactured warrants, and killed activists. Activists, human rights advocates, and Filipinos of conscience hate the effort, and understandably so. Such a loose, brutal, and murderous agenda. The Senate a few days ago chopped the proposed 2022 budget from 28 billion to 10 billion pesos for lack of results and, presumably, lack of confidence.
A lot of supporters of Vice President Robredo’s campaign for president were shocked when she met with top military leaders then endorsed the task force’s anti-insurgency efforts. [Rappler article] They immediately thought of the tagging and brutality and read her comments as supporting that.
The firestorm lasted several days, the perfect social media storm, https://www.loansolution.com/title-loans-ri actually. Emotionalized arguments and fallacious arguments and calls for reason. A lot of people saw the task force as black and white, a brutal effort that must be abandoned. No other choice. They didn’t even consider that Robredo is not Duterte.
The anti-insurgency effort has two basic components, an effort to hunt down terrorists, and an effort to build local communities so residents have alternatives other than terrorism as a future. One punishes those involved, the other seeks to keep them from getting involved by leading them to a better life. For simplicity, we can call this a bad cop, good cop approach.
Duterte was loudly bad cop and ineffectively good cop. Robredo wants more local development and aid, so the good cop aspect appeals to her. So she said so.
The generals were clearly pleased with her stated support of the anti-insurgency effort. Citizens who couldn’t put themselves in a future President’s shoes were not. But we can read from the meeting that a President Robredo would be a respected and effective Commander in Chief.
The shrill public reaction is what President Aquino had to put up with for six years. Baying self-interests lacking accountability to OTHER interests, howling bloody murder for their way and only their way.
A President can’t respond to that. A President is the Commander in Chief, the anti-terrorism chief, the justice minister, the top human rights official, the anti-poverty chief, and the top educator. The President has information and advisers. And goals different than us, insights better than us, and accountability burdens we don’t have to carry.
Let Lacson propose to repeal the Anti-terror law. I kept on repeating on twitter that there is no need for any presidential or national task forces if the agencies are up to the task and are coordinating and cooperating with each other. Abolish all task forces, that only gives jobs to those who have no more room in the bureaucracy mostly retired generals more often than not. So retire those Generals at 65, why not everyone retire at 65. So it would not be easy to leave their day jobs and “serve” in the government as assistant, under or even cabinet secretary or any Czar.
As I said recently I often interact with a so called left convert Chuckjugo whom I have met 16 years ago in Manolo quezon’s blog. His proposals are out of this world or in his own universe. He is pro-Leni but pro- CPP NPA, I do not know how to deal with him anymore so I will leave him be.