Of course, it’s Stockholm Syndrome

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The debate over Teresita Quintos-Deles and Miriam Coronel-Ferrer has risen in the charts, rivaling the scandals of show-biz celebrities and pork plunderers. Their rise in notoriety is so phenomenal, even feminists are shaking their heads.

To save space and breath, I’m not attaching their lengthy official titles to their names (presidential assistant on the peace process for Deles,and chairman of the government peace panel for Ferrer). When I mention them in tandem, I will henceforth refer to them as Deles-Ferrer.

At first, Deles-Ferrer were roundly criticized for defending the MILF and acting like spokesmen for the rebel group, an act which they repeated many times during the congressional hearings, and which provoked denunciation.

Second, Deles-Ferrer hit the ceiling for unpopularity when they had the gall to blame the Special Action force (SAF) for the bloody encounter in Mamasapano. They mistakenly claimed that the SAF should have coordinated with the MILF in its operation. Under the peace agreement between the MILF and the government, Philippine forces can pursue high-value targets in MILF enclaves.


Third, Deles-Ferrer have studiously avoided stating officially that Mamasapano is Philippine territory, as many legal experts have recommended. They have clung to the delusion that it is MILF territory.

Fourth, in the strangest charge of all, they have been tagged by critics as being victims of Stockholm Syndrome, a psychological malady recognized the world over.

Fifth and finally, in a hard-hitting column yesterday in this paper, my colleague Bobi Tiglao charged Deles-Ferrer with lying to the nation on their claim that the MILF will give up their arms, under the decommissioning protocol signed in Kuala Lumpur just two days after the Mamasapano massacre.

When criticism reaches this level of attack, it’s a sure sign that Deles-Ferrer have much to answer for to the nation along with a queen-size public relations problem. Their only hope to keep their jobs is Aquino’s aversion to firing his cohorts and accomplices.

Stockholm syndrome
Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy for and have positive feelings for their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors.

The syndrome is named after the robbery of Kreditbanken in Stockholm, Sweden, wherein several bank employees were held hostage in a bank vault from August 23 to 28, 1973, while their captors negotiated with police. During this standoff, the victims became emotionally attached to their captors, rejected assistance from government officials at one point, and even defended their captors after they were freed.

Strictly speaking, applying the syndrome to Deles-Ferrer is incorrect, because the two were not held hostage by the MILF. They just spent lot of time with the MILF, in the course of negotiating and discussing issues and ideas with them. This was a form of immersion not usually seen in the work of our government peace negotiators.

Deles-Ferrer got immersed in talks with the MILF as far back as the time of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, under whom talks culminated in the ill-fated memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain (MOA-AD). When Noynoy Aquino assumed the presidency in 2010, Deles was rewarded for her support (she was an original member of the infamous Hyatt 10) with reappointment as presidential peace adviser.

When Deles-Ferrer started negotiations with the MILF under the Aquino regime, their mission was clearly to represent the Philippine government. They were to protect and promote the interests of the Republic.

Their MILF counterparts had a comparable starting point – the interests and agenda of the separatist rebel front.

The progress of the negotiations charts the conversion of Deles-Ferrer to the MILF cause and their contraction of the Stockholm Syndrome, and the muting of the interests of our people in the Deles-Ferrer agenda.

In the resulting agreements, Deles-Ferrer conceded virtually every demand of the MILF, viz., the dissolution of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the revision of the Philippine Constitution to create a Moro substate, the sharing of natural resources in favor of Moros, the control of any future Moro government by the MILF.

By the time the peace deal — the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro — was signed in March 2014 and the creation of a Bangsamoro sub-state was officially proposed, the syndrome had fully taken hold. Throughout 2014, we will not find Deles-Ferrer in any discussion where they did not mouth “Bangsamoro.”

Who applied the label first?

I am not the first journalist to stick Stockholm Syndrome to Deles-Ferrer. Several media colleagues preceded me.

The Daily Tribune may have been the first media organization to suggest that Deles–Ferrer may be afflicted with the syndrome. In its editorial on January 28, 2015, it wrote: “The government peace negotiators, who seem to be afflicted with Stockholm Syndrome, are siding with the MILF in saying that the operation to take out Marwan should have been coordinated with the rebels.”

Former press secretary Hector Villanueva, in his Manila Bulletin column on February 6, took the same tack in discussing the Mamasapano crisis and the problematic Bangsamoro project.

He suggested that members of the government peace panel should be replaced “with new young blood with fresh ideas, initiative, deep knowledge of Mindanao, and [free of]the ‘Stockholm Syndrome.’ ”

A great disservice to the nation
If I now discuss the matter today, it is to support the diagnosis and to make the point that Deles-Ferrer have done the nation a great disservice in providing wrong-headed advice to President Aquino.

The entire architecture of the Aquino peace plan in Mindanao bear their thumbprint. Aquino only provided the approving hand and authority.

What Aquino and Deles-Ferrer have begotten together is as hair-raising as “Rosemary’s Baby.”

Can this devilish handiwork be undone? Yes, and our people themselves as sovereign must undo this misguided policy and program.

This need not mean the resumption of hostilities between the government and the MILF, or the wiping out of all rebel groups in Mindanao, as has happened in Sri Lanka.

But it should mean a fresh effort for peace, involving all actors in the south and aimed at achieving broader objectives and results.

Bangsamoro will remain and must remain a valid point for discussion in any new negotiations, but the terms for agreement will surely be different. And always the Philippine Constitution must stand supreme.

All Muslims in Mindanao – indeed all the people of Mindanao – must be involved and consulted in the peace effort. So should our military and police who bear the burden of keeping the peace. And so should the rest of our people.

In the new talks, I submit that Deles-Ferrer should no longer represent the Philippine Republic.

Then will fears of Stockholm Syndrome dictating the course of events dissipate, and hopes for a long and lasting peace reign over Mindanao and Sulu.

yenmakabenta@yahoo.com

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42 Comments

  1. Deles-Ferrer tandem should have been task to arrest Marwan then, with the help of the MILF. But they will have plenty of opportunities, they can start with the BIFF who are wanting a rematch, and they can take P-Noy with them.

  2. concerned citizen on

    I don’t know Deles personally, but I’ve attended the same Holy Week recollections with her at Ateneo. As a Christian but a patriot as well, I don’t want to judge her, but I do wonder why she went into a deal with MILF that is patently against the Philippine constitution. What could she have been thinking? Could it be that in her zeal to make “peace” happen, she decided to pursue it all costs? Maybe she should really bow out of the peace undertaking already as her long-time work has already taken a toll on her better judgment. Maybe a change of scene and environment will help her regain her perspective?

  3. SIMPLY PUT, YOU CAN TAGGED THE TANDEM AS C-O-L-L-A-B-O-R-A-T-O-R-S.
    IN the true spirit of those Makapilis of the Japanese Imperial Army’s rule of 1941-1945 circa. like the Old Aquino patriarch, of which the current sitting prez is a descendant.

  4. E. J. T.Tirona on

    The “Deles Ceasefire Mechanism” did not work as the MILF (shown by the brutal killings) never really meant to observe it. It also showed the height of the Deles-Ferrer fatal naïveté. I hope she and Ferrer (and PNoynoy, of course) are also held accountable including their UP-based consultants like ex NDCP Pres Clarita Carlos.

  5. How come these Muslims have special treatment. Mindanao is part of the Philippines and I see no reason why treatment of this particular region will be different from GMA, Luzon and Visayas. We in manila bow to the philippine constitution and follow the law, what makes these Muslims different from us. Authorities are just too lackadaisical and just too weak to implement the law here out of fear or indecisiveness. We have witness all the efforts put in by previous administrations to establish peace in Mindanao but the answers seems to be too elusive, either through wrong policies and failure to use and implement the law. We don’t want anymore conflicts as Mindanao is a very promising area just waiting for that explosive boom in business development. We should have the political will strictly enforce the rule of law and eliminate all armed groups in the area which should have been the priority prior to establishing communication lines with the people here..then peace will be easier to achieve….

  6. deles-ferrer ang subject, papano napasama ang binay? teka, siguro ka-aliyado ka nila kiko. stay ka lang sa subject para hindi magmukhang turumpo.

  7. Deles and Ferrer are epic failures as negotiators. They conceded too much in return for nothing but the promise of peace.They sounded as if they were representing the MILF and not the GPH. Perhaps it’s the President’s order to save the peace process at all cost so that it may be his lasting legacy and perhaps earn him the Nobel Peace Prize. Now that everything is lost including the lives of the SAF 44, it is perhaps wise and prudent for our congressmen and senators to recover whatever was squandered by Deles and Ferrer. The BBL must not be passed as crafted by the peace panel.

  8. these women are so dumb they are better off cooking for their families instead of negotiating on what is a very critical position our country could adapt.

  9. Tales of suffering and a gallant effort to lift ones people are very powerful and emotional instruments of influence.

    From their recent actions, Deles-Ferrer may have to really think which side are they on

  10. As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts in various fora, Deles should be charged with treason.
    Ergo, this theory that Deles-Ferrer are sick will get her off the hook.
    Not a good outcome, I’d say.

  11. I do not know what happened to Deles and Ferrer. What I do know is that an unconstituional proposal was crafted and defended by them. They do not belong in any position of trust.

  12. All Muslims in the Philippines are Filipinod first, then Muslims. Why cant they coexist with others and live a peacefully. Why the goverment has to get pemission from the MILF to enter their area kuno to arrest a high profile terrorist.

    If the americans provided the intel, they should have eliminated the terrorists by a drone they use in Afghanistan. Why send SAF. One drone would have done the job.

  13. Vicente Penetrante on

    Our constitution must be made of iron-wood or the termites with Stockholm Syndrome could eat it. They had already gnawed at the executive, legislative and military departments of our government.

  14. Sayang lang ang effort ng Aquino government at ng dalawang traitors na ito. Itong dalawang Babae na ito binigyan ng kapangyarihan na makipag-deal in behalf of the RP Government? Di nyo ba alam na slaves at 2nd class citizens ang turing ng mga hardline muslims country ang babae. Ilan-ilan nga ang pwde nilang asawahin. Baka itong dalawang ito maging asawa ni Iqbal pag natuloy ang BBL. Dadaan pa ang BBl sa dalawang butas ng karayom. Una sa Congress at Supreme Court. E ang bobobo ng mga nakipag deal sa MILF. Bakla pa ang leader nila dahil publicity concious ang dalahirang yan. Papaano lulusot itong batas na ito eh nung panahon ni Gloria di lumusot. AFP, Get ready for attacks by BIFF and MILF. Get ready…. Recruit new soldiers and CAFGU’s now…….

  15. Leodegardo Pruna on

    Deles-Ferrer partnership is definitely a liability to the Philippines. Their continued stay in the supposedly peace panel would evolve much more internal problems. God bless the Philippines.

  16. Deles-Ferrer – they are there not for peace, but for pot money and accolade – that’s the true intent of their heart. If they are truly educated as claimed – they should resign to preserve their integrity. But look how they stand welded to Bangsamoro cause, again, it is not for peace but for greed, though they knew it has many loopholes. Nowadays the luster of money which is power & fame is the main and hottest commodity offered by the world – how the duo can resist such offer – ha -Deles-Ferrer?

  17. I don’t subscribe to this Stockholm Syndrome afflicting Deles-Ferrer. Rather, their predilection and bias to the interest of MILF can be simply explained as greed. They and their families have cornered sizable business opportunities in the sub-state should the BBL comes through.

    • Exactly. 8 billion pesos out of the 70 billion lump sum to be precise. Stockholm syndrome? LoL…

      I don’t understand how anyone could still think this is about peace. I mean c’mon… really?!

    • me thinks that the 2 would be appointed to high positions in the sub-state maybe, minister of foreign affairs and minister of natural resources, he he he

  18. Jose A. Oliveros on

    The most sickening pronouncement made by Miriam Coronel-Ferrer was the 44 PNP-SAF commandos were not massacred but died in a “combat environment”. This, despite the finding of medico-legal team of the PNP that 29 out of 44 were shot in the head with the firearm as close as 15 cm.
    The conversation between Sen. Bongbong Marcos and Quintos-Deles, on the other hand, clearly reveals that she will do everything to save the one-sided peace agreement that she and her partner, Coronel-Ferrer had forged with the MILF.

  19. Deles and Ferrer should be replaced immediately. These two
    government negotiators were
    obviously siding with the rebels.
    As Mr. Makabenta stated, a case
    of Stockholm Syndrome.
    Maybe Deles-Ferrer became emotionally attached with these
    rebels in the course of their
    negotiations.
    Sleeping with the enemy?

  20. Ging Deles is a Patriot. Her family training comes from d Manila Quintos’s Among them Rolando Quintos Ateneo History PhD Professor
    I have shared Ging’s youth, college, etc friends …

    I DON’T THINK SHE’S D MONSTER MEDIA IS PORTRAYING HER…

    How wud U feel if Media all of a sudden called u Traitor, etc. ?

    • It’s amazing how one would vouch for another just because they belong to some high class school and met with their friends. Monster do come in different faces! And you are one of them along with the rest. You don’t know didly squat from your own monster to the other. Ateneo professor, excuse me eh kung ang priest could live a double life, ikaw pa? Stockholm syndrome would not be the term but more like being drunk like a skunk for having a say with the BBL. Egoistic and taking her 15 minutes of fame & glory for the history! You should pick a side that you fully understand and ready to take a stand. Don’t base it on acquaintance dahil kakainin mo lang ang sinasabi mo.

    • Carl Cid Inting on

      So what if that ambitious old hag came from a known family in Manila? Does that make her incapable of treason? Patricia Hearst was from a very prominent American family, and that didn’t prevent her from carrying on a love affair with her captor and from joining the anarchist Symbionese Liberation Army. In the case of Deles, it may be a love affair with herself. She is so hungry to share in the limelight of a possible Nobel prize, that her ambition blinds her to any notion of patriotism and fixates her on being overly protective of the terrorist MILF. It may all be self-serving, as Deles views the MILF as a crucial partner in getting that Nobel prize. Hence Deles’ obsession with the MILF, at the cost of Filipino lives. And to the detriment of the majoriy of Filipinos (Christians, Lumads and other Muslim tribes not affiliated with the MILF).

      And, point well taken, Deles is from Manila. That may explain her her tunnel-vision approach to these negotiations, including her overweening focus on the MILF to the exclusion of the majority of the people in Mindanao. Deles ought to be fired immesdiately and replaced by someone with a deeper understanding of Mindanao, who knows that the MILF is not the Bangsamoro and who will take into account the concerns and the welfare of Christians and Lumads as well.

    • deles-ferrer fully deserved to be called as such. they have done a great disservice to the country for giving in to all the demands of the milf despite some of these demands being unconstitutional

    • Unbelievable! a mother cannot even vouch for her own child how much more for a high school friend? NOBODY knows exactly what another person is doing. NOBODY knows, what is inside a person’s mind. people have prices, only different levels. Maybe they benefited in doing what they are doing? why are they so strong in defending milf? how much is their pockets? How much is in their wallets? HMMMMm, just asking! MILF will never give up their guns for peace. that is why Israel could not allow giving more lands to the Palestinians because it is a stepping stone for taking over the land, a land righteously divided and given to them. Smart people! That is what Filipinos should do, more hindsight, less talk.

    • ayan kasi… sumasawsaw ka pa… di nakarinig ka tuloy!?! just goes to show how many of our kababayans are against your no-monster, youth-sharing BFF!!! stockholm syndrome for mrs deles-iqbal? captor-bonding? baka enamored!!! hehehe

  21. Sa ating panananaw ay maraming mali sa ginagawang peace talk ng gobyerno!at yan naman ay Totoo kung pagbabasihan sa ating constitution!
    Pero sino ba ang sumulat at gumawa nito!hindi sila at kung hindi tayo!
    Ang tanong sino ba ang nakatira sa dakong iyon?
    Hindi ba sila!!sino ang. dapat magdesisyon para sa ikabubuti nila?tayo ba? O sila?
    Hindi ko inaayonan sila deles o si Aquino at mas lalo na ang taga Mindanao!Pero sa totoo lang tayo ang pumipigil sa kanila!masama mang sabihin,pero ito ang totoo!
    Wala ng pinaka-mabuti na dapat gawin ay maging payapa ang lahat,give peace a chance!ibigay natin ang para sa kanila upang sa ganoon ay magkaroon sila ng sariling pamumuhay!
    Iisa lang tayo,iba-iba nga lang ng kultura,
    Tanggapin natin kung ano ang masaya sa bawat isa!
    Sana magkaroon ng liwanag ng pag-uumpisa upang wala ng masawi pa!wag ninyong pigilin!!

    • Carl Cid Inting on

      Problema dyan ay hindi lamang ang MILF ang nakatira sa dakong iyon. Ang karamihan ay Kristyano, Lumad at ibang tribung Muslim na tutol sa MILF. Ang problema ay si PNoy, Deles at Ferrer nakinig sa panig ng MILF lamang at hindi sinama ang karamihan sa negosyasyon na ‘to. Hindi tama na ang MILF lamang ang hahatol kung ano ang kabutihan para sa dakong iyon. Give peace a chance? Wala namang tutol dyan. Ngunit iwasan natin mga ‘motherhood statements’ tulad nyan. Dapat peace with justice and equality for all. Not only one belligerent, terrorist group who blackmails an entire country by demanding their own terms or else threatens the country with terrorism and war. Hindi lamang mga Muslim ang biktima ng kapabayaan at pagsasamantala ng gobyerno sa Manila. Ang karamihan ay Kristyano at Lumad. Dapat bigyan dinig ang mga ito.

  22. omg is this real? Somebody stop these women or replace them immediately or else it’s too late for all of us to save our country.

  23. iamwell bungari on

    And who has the “stuck-at-home-seen drone”? He could not come out for several days after watching the flying and twinkling drones.

  24. Fire Deles and Ferrer immediately. They are anti Philippines nation by dividing it. It is a treaonable offence.