Philippine Insurgency

Posted on September 4, 2007

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communist symbol

[This blog has a new domain: http://philippineaffairs.com/]

Bigoted Americans call it terrorism. Philippine church leaders call it godless ideology. Government officials use it to justify oppression. Most Filipinos are apathetic about it. Some Filipinos are victims of it. Some Filipinos consider it as their best hope. Philippine insurgency, however, is more than banditry. Philippine insurgency is more than vindictive thirst for blood. Philippine insurgency is more than a desire to overthrow the government or to sever a territory. Philippine insurgency has complicated root causes. The long history of Philippine insurgency is directly connected to injustice and neglect. The lack of economic opportunity, the lack of education, the disenfranchisement of people, and the total mistrust and frustration of people are just some of the factors that led to insurgency.

Basically, there are two types of insurgents here in the Philippines. The first type is the communist insurgents while the second type is the Moro insurgents. Ideologically speaking the two types of insurgents are totally incompatible. Communist insurgents seek to overthrow the government in order top establish their so-called proletariat regime. Communist insurgents are wide-spread but very few in numbers. On the other hand, Moro insurgents seek to separate a significant portion of Philippine territory (specifically, Mindanao) from the rest of the archipelago. The Moro insurgents are highly localized in the southern regions of the Philippines. However, Moro insurgents are very strong, well-equipped, and well-organized. They control significant areas in Mindanao. Moro insurgents desire to establish a theocratic Muslim state. On the other hand, the communist insurgents want to establish an atheistic, classless society. The two ideologies are mutually contradictory.

Aside from ideological insurgents, the Philippines also have problems with banditry. To some extent banditry, particularly the Abu Sayyaf brand, has contributed in making the Philippines well-known to the world. However, being world-renowned due to banditry is undesirable notoriety. Some people of the world might be misled into thinking that the Philippines is a country of barbaric headhunters. However, simple banditry should be distinguished from true ideological insurgency. Ideological insurgency deserves more respect and attention.

The communist and Moro separatist insurgencies are just symptoms of a greater social problem of the Philippines. Philippine insurgency is just an offshoot of a root problem. Injustice is the main cause of Philippine insurgency. Injustice pervades almost every aspect of Filipino social condition. Injustice led people to desperate actions. Insurgency will remain as long as injustice remains. All out war against the insurgents is not the solution to the problem. All out war will only worsen the animosity and injustice. Although atrocities are committed by the insurgents in the name of ideology, some government officials commit atrocities for lesser reasons.

Injustice in Philippine society is not only committed by high-ranking government officials. Injustice is committed by a great number of ordinary citizens. By just being totally apathetic of the situation is grave injustice. Most of us simply do not care…

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