From the pro-CPP Davao Today (Sep 24): Groups to Duterte: US stands to gain in bomb threats
Having American troops may not be the solution to the city’s security threats, a city councilor said.
City Councilor Nilo Abellera Jr told reporters that “(T)heir presence would not pacify the threats. This is not the solution. I think the people should be vigilant. If they see someone or something suspicious, they should report this immediately to the authorities.”
“I believe the police under (Police Chief) dela Rosa is competent enough to handle this situation,” Abellera added.
The Davao City Council in 2005 signed a manifesto with barangay captains declaring the city as a “No Balikatan/ No US troops zone” at the height of a series of RP-US joint Balikatan military exercises.
Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate hoped Duterte would remember this position was made because of the United States’ collusion on bombings in Davao in the past.
“We should remember that in previous bombings, there were many questions surrounding it, yet there was one American, Terrence Meiring, who was arrested when a bomb exploded in his hotel room. He was later frisked away by FBI agents. This established that even before hand, the American government is possibly behind this bombings,” Zarate said.
The Meiring incident happened in 2002, a year before the twin bombings of the old Davao airport and Sasa seaport.
“What we should look at these bombings is who would stand to benefit? Maybe this is a way of conditioning us, or the mayor, to allow US troops in the city,” said Zarate.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte earlier made a statement last week implying he would change his stance and allow foreign military forces in the city if security threats continued.
“If the bombings continue, maybe, just maybe I will be forced to review my refusal to give access to foreign military troops in Davao City,” Duterte said Saturday following a meeting with the Rotary Club from South Korea, a country he visited last week before the bombing of two cinemas inside two malls last September 16.
Mayor Duterte earlier revealed he rejected offers by American representatives who asked him to transform the old Davao Airport into headquarters for US drones.
Police investigation had already identified two suspects on the incident, but the latter remain at large even with a 48-hour ultimatum that expired last Saturday and a Php 2-million reward offered by Duterte.
But now, the mayor said, his stand could be overruled by the government’s bilateral agreement with the United States for broader access to Philippine territory.
Radio commentator Dodong Solis said this is the first time the mayor “mellowed down” from his tough position against US intervention because of the American government’s “arm twisting to get what they want.”
Solis said US security interests could be linked to American economic interests in Compostela Valley province like the St. Augustine Copper and Gold mines and the Cadan Resources. The former is located in Pantukan town and has an estimated value of US $24 billion, while the latter is found in New Bataan town and has an economic value of $ 38 billion.
Bayan Southern Mindanao spokesperson Sheena Duazo warned that “The presence of US troops in Zamboanga and the militarization in the countryside shows the plan for wide-scale plunder in Mindanao.”
Duazo said this pressure on the city could be a preparation for the visit of US President Barack Obama to the Philippines on October 12, who would discuss the new rotational-framework and access agreement to heighten American troops presence and operations all over the country.
Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said the government had long allowed US military facilities in three areas in the country since 2002. Among the areas are Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City last August and Camp Sionco in Cotabato City around 2004.
This is, of course, not to set aside the kind and amount of material and human resources at their respective disposal. That too is part of the equation for success or failure.
In the current standoff in Zamboanga City, the leaderships of President Benigno Aquino III and Nur Misuari are tested to the hilt. The outcome of this confrontation can be hardly doubted, but surely, it would not come in handy. There are many others factors that come into play and assume significant roles. One such other factor is the ongoing the GPH-MILF peace negotiation, which is passing through difficult moments. Had this been sealed earlier, it would have deprived Misuari of the intense motivation in “sabotaging” this process. With its fate still hanging in the balance, we can expect more complications in the offing. And it added more reason for the spoilers to make another grand try.
Why did the parties fail to finish the remaining annexes (power-sharing and wealth-sharing) despite their ten-day 40th meeting in Kuala Lumpur? What causes this delay?
The truth is that the current issues in the negotiating table are hard and difficult. Power is not only hard to give and get but it is the real essence of genuine autonomy. Without exception, whoever is in the negotiating table would also find them very difficult.
Finger-pointing will never help especially in an undertaking that requires partnership and problem-solving mode. First, in finger-pointing only two fingers are directed to the accused while three others point back to the accusers. And second, like the adage, “don’t curse the darkness, light a candle”, the parties must jointly or unilaterally search their souls as well as their respective methods of doing their internal working to find out where the causes are. Perhaps, what can of great help is to examine themselves whether both or any of the parties is veering too much on legalism when the process is a political process, or whether they are not too rigid and restrictive in their orientation, given the fact that successful negotiation requires minimum positioning by both parties. More seriously, the over-stretching of the application of the principle of ad referendum, meaning, the principal, even without saying, has always the final say, is time-consuming. When negotiators are not given enough mandates, the consequence is that as if one party is directly negotiating with the other party’s principal.
Personal styles of negotiators also play important factor in negotiation. Some negotiators are by nature friendly and amiable, while others are rigid and confrontational. Of course, these styles are not always natural or biological, they can be assumed, as in bad cop and good cop roles.
The need of the hour, indeed, is honest-to-goodness soul-searching, due diligent, and assessment. We see no other better way to handle the situation.