Yesterday Mindanao, today the Philippines!

19

“To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; …
A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
 A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.”
–From Ecclesiastes 3.1.,
King James version

Politics is war. Elections are instruments of war; but elections are over. Now is the time for peace. The time to rend is over –the bombast of the campaign. Now is the time to sew –to build a country ruined by years of strife through the manipulative moves of the upper classes. The time to hate is over. Hate is self-destructive. Now is the time for love—love of country and the love to build a just, free and equal political, social and economic order.

First things first
I am not an admirer of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte—this is shown in my writings printed in this column in the course of the campaign. I do not apologize for every single line I wrote about the man. My assessment of him came from his mouth and his behavior on stage, in his interviews and on the campaign trail. I still believe that my assessment is correct. He has to prove me wrong. He does not owe it to me; he owes to the people of this country.

Unless he reverses gear, he is doomed to be cast to the dustbin of history. As I said in my previous column, the dust of the campaign has already settled. Political partisanship should give way to national unity with justice. Since he has offered his hand to his opponents to unite to build a better country, everyone should link arms with him to build a country worthy of our race.


In the telling and prophetic words of President John F. Kennedy, a friend on the level of the heart and of the mind: “In politics, there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies. There is only permanent interest.” That interest is God and country. In my case, it has always been God and country in my work as a private and public person. I recognize no masters except God and country. But in my home, I recognize my wife as my master in building of the best home for my children and grandchildren.

By way of reflection, I am reminded of that scene in the film “Desiree” in an encounter between Napoleon Bonaparte played by Marlon Brando and Field Marshal Michel Ney, Napoleon’s favorite general, played by Michael Rennie. Field Marshal Ney, in reply to an order of Napoleon, said: “I am sorry, Sire. There are those who are born to command and those born to obey. I was not born to obey.” I am afraid that there has always been a strain of Field Marshal Ney in my system in my fight against Presidents of the Philippines and current political, social and economic system. Other than Ney, this lesson I have learned from my father, Mayor Pedro Adaza, Jr., a legendary mayor of our own for several terms in far-away Catarman, Camiguin, in northern Mindanao.

Still traveling along memory lane, I am reminded of that scene in “A Man for All Seasons,” where Thomas More, then-Lord Chancellor of England, played by Paul Scofield, refused to endorse the divorce of King Henry VIII from Queen Catherine so that the king could marry Anne Boleyn, saying: “I am the King’s servant but God’s first.” To echo this line as my article of faith, I am the country’s servant but God’s first.

Why the slogan ‘Mindanao yesterday, today the Philippines’
As I mentioned in my books and in my columns, when I was Opposition Provincial Gov. of Misamis Oriental, one of two among 73 provincial governors, one of my well-remembered slogans was “Today Mindanao, tomorrow the Philippines.” It was to symbolize the dream that the experiments in Mindanao of provincial and city governance could be transposed to Manila in the future by having a Mindanaoan leader ascending to the presidency of the country. It finally came to pass with Duterte being elected President of the Philippines

It is not that Mindanao is past, it is just that the experiments of governance in the City of Davao has captured the imagination of our people—now the experience in Mindanao, specifically Davao City, has to be translated into the national level. The message is loud and clear. Mindanao through a Mindanaoan—Rodrigo Duterte—is now at the forefront in the struggle for change.

Mindanao has been neglected by the national government for ages—in all levels. Now is the time for Duterte to right the wrongs of the past. First, he has to immediately conscript the best and the brightest from Mindanao who have been ignored by previous administrations simply because they are from Mindanao—among them are Reuben Canoy, former mayor of Cagayan de Oro City, member of the interim Parliament, the leader of the Mindanao Independence Movement (MIM) and the first known public figure who endorsed Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to run for President; Rita Gaddi Balthazar, poet, author, literary award winner, editor and writer, TV and radio host and commentator; Abul Khayr Alonto, the vice-chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and founder of the Muslim Federal Party; former delegate to the Constitutional Convention Michael Mastura; former governor of Tawi-Tawi Al Tillah; RTC of Quezon City Judge Angeline Mary Quimpo-Sale; lawyer Adel Tamano, son of the late Sen. Mamintal Tamano; Jun Lucman, the son of the charismatic congressman Raschid Lucman; Tony and Pompey Laviña, sons of Gabby and Inday Laviña, of Cagayan de Oro City; Pedro Hernandez, the husband of Bae Merlyn Koguit Tagliong, who is the leader of the Manobo tribes of northern Mindanao; former president of the Mindanao State University, Jun Alonto, son of the late Sen. Damocao Alonto; Assistant Majority Floor Leader Congressman Balindong, of Lanao; Ramon Tulfo, fearless columnist; and Bob Aquino, the son of that fabled congressman of Agusan Jose Aquino, known as JCA. This is not an all-inclusive list but the search committee can start from here.

Second. Promote the most qualified Mindanaoan colonels in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and in the Philippine National Police (PNP). They have always been ignored in the promotion process simply because they are from Mindanao. It is about time they got justice from the new President.

Third, immediately convert the Laguindingan Airport into an international airport. This is the billing of this airport at the time of its construction. It is about time this promise be delivered since this would be the only international airport in northern Mindanao, which has a lot of tourism sites and development potential. Along with this project is the restoration of the Baloi Airport, in Lanao, and the Malaybalay airport, in Bukidnon, which have long been abandoned. These airports facilitated easier travel of residents, tourists and prospective investors.

Fourth, create agricultural communities all over Mindanao with complete facilities like roads, schools, hospitals or clinics, irrigation system, communal water systems—which should have complete government support.

Fifth, establish fish canneries in many areas in Mindanao where fish abound in excessive numbers as this will facilitate greater development and great employment.

Sixth, immediately construct the long planned Mindanao Railway to accelerate development all over Mindanao.

Seventh, construct silos in rice and corn producing areas to provide price stabilization of these commodities as well as cut the participation of the middlemen who are instrumental in the increase of prices of these commodities at the expense of consumers.

Eighth, establish an automotive industry that could supply the transportation requirements of the country instead of importing vehicles from foreign countries as well as improve the ship building facilities in Mindanao.

Ninth, modernize hospital facilities by supplying them with modern equipment to attend to all kinds of health needs with doctors and nurses that should receive competitive salaries and benefits, as well as establish new hospitals in many areas where no hospitals exist.

Tenth, improve the standards of state universities and colleges as well as all public schools.

Eleventh, provide free education from elementary level to college level as well as free medical services, hospitalization and medicines in the public health system.

Twelfth, create a library system in all municipalities and cities with books written by Mindanaoan and Filipino authors as well as those who received awards from the Nobel Prize, Booker Prize, Prix Goncourt and Pulitzer Prize, among others.

Thirteenth, create annual competitions and give awards to poets, essayists, dramatists, novelists and historians.

Fourteenth, subsidize farmers, fishermen, inventors, athletes, writers and artists.

Fifteenth, organize and promote Mindanao-based daily newspapers, with the quality of The New York Times, London Times, Manchester Guardian, Washington Post and The Manila Times in mind.

Sixteenth, organize and support Mindanao television stations with programming like that of BBC, Al Jazeera and Fox News to develop Mindanao talents to world quality level.

Seventeenth, create Mindanao-based agencies to preserve the environment, promote tourism and explore and develop alternative sources of energy.

Eighteenth, develop a steel industry considering there is already a sinter plant in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental, while the other component, iron, is found in mountains of the Surigao provinces.

Nineteenth, explore and develop deuterium as a power source that will not only benefit Mindanao but the whole country.

Twentieth, establish and develop an arms industry in Mindanao using the experts in Davao and Lanao to provide sufficient arms for national defense and security to avoid importing arms from other countries.

Twenty-first, put up a gold refinery and a gold bullion bank in Mindanao, where the supply of gold minerals are almost everywhere on the island.

These should be done as justice for Mindanao and to make into reality Mindanao as the land of promise.

High stakes for Mindanaoans
Mindanaoans have high stakes in a Mayor Duterte presidency. If he succeeds, we validate the proposition that Mindanao leaders are just as good, if not better than those who come from other parts of the country. In my generation, we validated this proposition in the campus of the University of the Philippines at Diliman. Elias Lopez, a Bagobo from Davao province, became president of the UP Student Council; Mamintal Tamano, a Maranao from Lanao, became president of the UP Student Senior Council; and this writer, a Higaonon from Misamis Oriental, became twice editor-in-chief of the Philippine Collegian, the official student publication of the University of the Philippines and vice-president of the UP Student Council.

Mayor Duterte can validate this proposition with our help and we urge the rest of the country to do the same. Partisan differences are over. Let’s support him when he is right; tell him when he is wrong; and oppose him when he insists on being wrong. In established democracies, a new administration has a hundred days honeymoon period with the people of all persuasions. He has six months from assumption of office to prove to the people he can perform. Let’s give him the honeymoon and his self-defined time line.

If after that period he fails to deliver on his promises—then the deluge.

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19 Comments

  1. Paul M. Singh on

    Yesterday Mindanao, today the Philippines!
    May 18, 2016 11:37 pm

    On this matter, very well said Sir!

    Paul M. Singh

  2. i have always enjoyed and loved reading your articles, very positive and constructive unlike others who try very hard to impose their bitterness on readers. i am wondering why you quit politics where you could possibly contribute more to nation building!!

  3. But he will be accused of being a Communist/Socialist? But honestly, who cares? As long as people like you and me, the Progressives and the Communist, and the Filipino Workers and Land Tillers, the children of the SUN with sun-burned skin and decolorized-hair, and the intellectual left, and the enlighten Filipino gentry. Duterte will prevail, We will prevail and The masses of Filipino People will win.

  4. victor m. hernandez on

    Numbers eighth, eightheenth, and twentieth are critical factors for success to jumpstrt the economy into the forefront of industrialization. Energy or power generation is an essential requirement. The weak link to tie these up together for a good synergy is the mining industry. Example, we mine the iron ores, sintered them in Villanueva by Marubeni Sintering Plant (sintering being the second to the last stage before steel making) and export the sintered ores to Japan where Kobe Steel, and Nippon Steel make them into steel to produce all sorts of metals that are used to manufacture cars, appliances, ships, trains, and what have you. The Japanese have established themselves into a strategic position as in mining and steel making in the Philippines.This is also true in copper making, the most successful of the 11 modernization programs crafted by Bobby Ongpin when he was the Minister of Industry and International Trade, in Marcos regime. What to do, to leverage mining (the PH is fourth mineralized country in the world) toward steel making? Allow mining investors to continue to operate mining, only, and if only these mining companies will put up and operate steel mills and power generation plants. The government shall give them 7 or even 10 years of tax and duty free operation. Sixty percent, at least, of steel production output shall be retained for local consumption (as raw material for downstream industries, e.g. car making, and many more, and the rest may be exported. Then we will see the fourishing of industrialization in the country.

  5. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    18 May 2016

    Reports have it that president-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s economic “brain trust” has already come up with an 8-point Economic Plan which has earned the plaudits of President Aquino’s Secretary of Finance.

    Here, in this column of his, “”Yesterday Mindanao, today the Philippines,” well-known Manila Times columnist, type-flight Lawyer and veteran and well-rounded politico HOMOBONO ADAZA has come up with 21 constructive suggestions on what a DUTERTE ADMINISTRATION needs to do for MINDANAO which, he asserts, previous administrations have long neglected.

    President Duterte and his economic “brain trust” will be well-advised to study each and every one of these 21 recommendations because in their totality, they have the potential to finally make it possible for the big and fertile island of Mindanao to deliver on its long unfulfilled promise–plus the other potential finally to deliver the final Solution to the age-old conflicts between Muslims and Christians in Mindanao.

    I am particularly struck by Recommendation No. 8: “Establish an automotive industry that could supply the transportation requirements of the country; improve shipbuilding facilities in Mindanao; and by 18: “Develop a steel industry considering there is already a sinter plant in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental, while the other component, iron, is found in mountains of the Surigao provinces.”

    It would help the incoming Duterte Administration if it could have the wisdom to appoint HOMOBONO ADAZA to a high-enough position in his Cabinet where he himself would have responsibility tor implementing these worthwhile recommendations for Mindanao.

    I make this suggestion in all seriousness.

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    patalinjugmar@gmail.com

  6. President Duterte does NOT need your two cents on how to run this country – he knows all the angles more than you do. Sad to say, he will NOT offer you any national vacant post no matter how hard you endeavor to soften your stance on him – your DESTRUCTIVE criticisms on your kababayan during campaign period have left an indelible mark in his and our minds. So, eat your heart out!

  7. sebastian d. on

    Filipinos should read this. It is really about time we unite as a nation.

  8. Mr. Adaza, where has your overbearing pride been taking you? NOWHERE – correct? I suggest that you go on making a life out of criticizing people of Mayor Duterte’s ilk who IS head and shoulders ABOVE your publicly claimed intelligence.

  9. Pat Borlagdan on

    The President is only 1 Filipino. He alone cannot make the necessary change or make this country great. All Filipinos must support the call for a “change”. In my opinion, the first critical task of the Duterte admin is to establish the peace and order in the land: unite the warring factions of our society: NPA, MILF, Leftist, Center, Right…etc. Only then we can proceed smoothly towards developing our vast natural wealth: human resources and natural resources.

  10. Allen Llamar on

    You are not the President. let him do what is best for Mindanao and the country as a whole. He can choose who ever he wants.

    What deluge, you are just another CRAB MENTAL has been politic. Basaya pud ni do, suwayi.

  11. This is what I call the “triumph of hope over experience”. Good luck with that!

  12. …deuterium…”fuel of the future”!!! Yes, Philippines’ abundant Fuel reserve… explore and utilize!!

  13. I am sorry to say that your article seems to be Tribalism to me. It is divisive.

  14. Elcid Pelayo on

    Also it is about time that Philippine National History should elaborate what happened here in Mindanao and cease being the National History of the Tagalogs.

  15. I agree with your assessment . Will Duterte stop crime and drugs in our country ? Many first world countries tried and failed. Will the Davao experiment work for the whole Philippines ? Stopping crime is Dutertes flagship. He will encounter a lot of opposition in Metro Manila. I heard Senator De Lima is against shoot to kill order. De Lima is a tough dude. I have mixed feelings with Duterte and I pray that he was just joking in most of his speeches. I hope he is just playing a macho image.