Using people’s money to repress people

There’s another feather off the cap of Arroyo (yes, she’s been too busy trying to add feathers to her torn cap, like leading government in helping out the Mt. Bulusan folks, that she does not seem to know that for every feather she adds, she loses two).

The feather I am referring to is the one-billion-peso question: Setting aside P1 billion pesos for crushing the rebellion and another P1 billion for eradicating graft and corruption. At first glance, I smelled something fishy in this seemingly cutey propaganda initiative. The suspicion was corroborated by my reading the’s editorial today entitled “Lost.”

Yes, bro and sis, Uncle Bush has something to do with the one-billion-peso question. It turned out that Arroyo’s “surprise” announcements came amidst the US’ Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) initiative. Under that seemingly cutey prop try by Uncle Bush, all rich and developing nations are challenged to up their level of assistance in turning around the situation obtaining in poor nations. To “lead by example”, Bush increased by 50% its core development assistance to nations requesting succor (I rarely use “succor” to mean assistance, as it does not sound good to me. Now I’m using it not only to mean assistance but also to express my anger towards the Uncle for another interventionist ploy.)

So the Philippines looks fortunate to have received a USD21-million grant under the MCA fund. The US is (pre)-convinced that the top two problems keeping the country from progress are rebellion and graft and corruption. Thus, the one-billion-peso question. Arroyo’s allocating such amount of money is a leverage off the grant by the US.

The quickly pointed out that Arroyo’s response to the MCA vis-a-vis the peculiarity of the Philippines will not work, given similar responses in the past that have not worked.

And the manner by which Arroyo and her man Raul Gonzales, Justice Secretary, peddled the one-billion-peso question to the public simply shocked our sensibilities towards human rights. He has claimed with certainty that in the efforts to crush the 37 years of rebellion, human sacrifices and “collateral damages” cannot be avoided.

Brace yourselves, comrades, work colleagues, relatives, friends, and neighbors. The declaration of war against rebellion (although it should sound passe as every government since Aquino, at least, has something to say about the effort to end rebellion to that effect) not only puts your lives at risk (depending on how the State machinery has kept dossiers or bits of information about you) but also costs taxes from us.

Government has recently persuaded businesses and common folks alike not to give ‘taxes’ to the NPA as they would only protract the war against the ‘armed communists’.

In the same vein, must we taxpayers be cautioned that the money coming from us will also be used in an effort to crush the rebellion, which we are dead sure will not prosper at all? Must we be cautioned that the money will be taken from us only to repress us, including our organized farmers who, in actively campaigning for authentic agrarian reform, social justice and rural development, have been branded as communists and anti-government?

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