THAILAND is under martial law. France has been in a state of emergency for many months now. The UK has declared a similar situation with Prime Minister Theresa May vowing to rip human rights laws if necessary against terrorists. Trump wants to ban six Muslim states that harbor or support terrorism (note that there are many more Muslim-majority countries in the world who are not included in this ban, which the “liberals” don’t mention). Iraq is painstakingly recapturing its lost territories. Syria is in shambles. Everywhere, countries are looking for ways to defeat this militant brand of Islam that also targets their own Muslim brothers who are non-believers in radicalism.
Common sense tells us that businesses need peace and order and good laws that are adhered to, and a functioning judicial system. Does martial law create the conditions needed for business? Thailand’s martial law, France’s state of emergency are welcomed by the people and have been good for business, while strong rule in other countries have been disastrous which shows that martial law per se can be good or bad for business, depending on the circumstances surrounding it and how it is exercised.
In the Philippines, the earlier years of Martial Law were welcomed by business until the time that President Marcos got sick and nobody knew who would succeed him, causing a scramble for power positioning which was bad for business. Under our current Constitution, martial law is well guarded against any potential abuse and with the current situation, it is very clear that martial law is good for business to be able to exist.
Re peace talks, let’s examine what has happened and what is happening to the many peace endeavors that the government has tried:
Peace endeavors with our Muslim brothers
1. First peace accord: ARMM (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao)
The Philippine government signs a peace accord with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and creates the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and the result is the creation of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) by breakaway MNLF members.
Corruption and mismanagement by Muslims of fellow Muslims under ARMM ensue, as reported in media. And there are now two militant groups fighting the Philippine government: MNLF and MILF.
2. Second peace accord: Ancestral Domain MOU
The government then signs another peace accord with the new MILF and creates an Ancestral Domain MOU (which the Supreme Court declares as unconstitutional).
3. Third peace accord: BBL
The government signs yet another peace accord with the MILF, and creates the BBL – Bangsa Moro Basic Law, and the result is another breakaway—BIFF, or the Bangsa Moro Islamic Freedom Fighters. Congress did not act on this executive agreement to create the BBL.
Let us note that the Government in effect has created two nations: Bangsa Pilipinas and Bangsa Moro! (Bangsa or Bansa means Nation or Country in English)
There are now three militant groups co-existing: MNLF, MILF and BIFF!
4. Fourth peace accord: BBL version 2
Government continues to negotiate and will soon submit yet another peace accord… Whew!!!
Therefore, after 1. ARMM, 2. Ancestral Domain MOU, 3. BBL, the results we got are:
1. MILF gives birth to MNLF.
2. MNLF gives birth to BIFF.
3. And now there are several other militant groups:
MNLF, MILF, BIFF, Abu Sayyaf, Maute, etc., some linking up with IS to set up their caliphate in Marawi. …And we are still trying to talk peace with them?
Response this time by the government is martial law, finally. The Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands supports this.
Let us take note that martial law under our 1987 Constitution is a pro-people martial law where checks and balances are in place. Martial law properly defined and executed is part of the inherent power of any government – that is why it exists in our Constitution and in other constitutions.
In order to come up with proper solutions to live in harmony with peace and security, it is imperative for government and citizens to educate themselves about the tenets of IS and radical Islam that are in contradiction to, and incompatible with, universally accepted principles.
It is also imperative for the moderate peaceful Muslims to likewise fight terrorism of their co-Muslim jihadists, because if they remain indifferent, then they are jihadists too. Remember that the majority of Germans were not Nazis, but by being indifferent and silent, they were swallowed up and were forced to follow the Nazis, if not become Nazis themselves. (The reader may wish to google Uj8J62BqRMo, and other learned sources of information available like Brigitte Gabriel and Taslima Nasreen).
Peace endeavors with our communist brothers
With regard to the endless talks with the CPP/NPA, we all know that the ideology of communism is a spent and failed ideology as evidenced by the shift of China, Russia and other communist countries in Eastern Europe to their own versions of a market economy capitalist system. Therefore, what is there to talk about?
In the 1960s the Philippines was No. 1 in per capita income among our Asean neighbors. Today the Philippines has slid down to No. 5!
We are the only Asean country still fighting a communist insurgency and separatist Muslims (both of whom use violence, terrorism, kidnapping, extortion, and the force of arms, instead of the power of discourse and the vote).
Peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines and our Muslim brothers have been going on for decades, and when there seems to be some agreement for peace, violence and other criminal acts come to fore. It seems that the end objective is not peace but still the insistence of their own agenda that has already been proven a failure, or is inconsistent with Philippine culture and universal principles.
Are not these constant violence and lawlessness one of the major reasons why the Philippines has the highest unemployment rate in Asean? And a high incidence of poverty?
Without peace and order, businesses wither and go elsewhere; without businesses there are no jobs, without jobs there is no production of wealth.
Martial law within constitutional bounds and no-nonsense execution of laws are needed if other means (peace talks) have failed to contain the violence and terror that are anathema to business and economic development.
Is it now time to implement our laws and maintain no-nonsense peace and order, and to stop wasting time on peace talks that have proven to be useless because the other side has an end-game objective that is incompatible with our culture, beliefs and laws?
“There is a time to talk, a time to fight, a time to implement our laws.” After decades of talking and with IS setting its sights on Mindanao, and the CPP/NPA’s continued belligerence, have we not crossed the Rubicon to fight for our survival and for universally accepted moral principles?
“In this fight, we are one with President Duterte and our soldiers and our peace-loving co-Filipinos and co-citizens of the world.”
If martial law, the BBL, CCP peace talks can ensure systems of governance and a way of life based on universally accepted principles and a business friendly environment, that transforms “swords” into “ploughshares”… Then yes indeed, they are good for business and the creation of wealth.
But shouldn’t we have only one set of laws, one government, one military, one Constitution, one flag?