Philippines: President and Politicians Stir a Media Riot of Rumors and Speculation

PNoy: Joma may run in 2013 polls

by Joyce Pangco Pañares and Maricel Cruz, Manila Standard Today

Sunday March 4 2012

Benigno Aquino III ("Noynoy")

Jose Maria Sison ("Joma")

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III on Friday confirmed that Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison will be returning to the country.

However, Sison, who has been on a self-imposed exile in Utrecht since 1988, would only return to the Philippines after a formal and comprehensive peace agreement between the government and the National Democratic Front has been signed, the President said.

“Joma Sison will return home once there is already an agreement … There is ongoing negotiation for the signing of a peace agreement. But negotiations for his return have not yet begun,” Mr. Aquino said.

He also hinted that Sison could participate in the 2013 elections but did not elaborate.  “We have an upcoming election.  Whoever wins in the elections will represent the people and will decide for the majority. So the end point is if he returns to the country, it will be for the final peace agreement,” Mr. Aquino said.

The anti-communist party-list group Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy earlier claimed that at least four members of Mr. Aquino’s Cabinet were convincing Sison to return to Manila to join the government as part of national unification efforts, a claim the Palace has denied.

The group’s spokesman, Joey Sison, named presidential peace adviser Teresita Deles, presidential political adviser Ronald Llamas, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, and government chief negotiator for the CPP-NDF Alexander Padilla as among the conduits of the communist leader.

Padilla, in a phone interview Friday, denied that the government is offering a Cabinet post to Sison for the sake of “national unification.”

“If the government and the NDF sign a peace agreement tomorrow, then maybe Sison would come back here. But that is so impossible at this point because the NDF is still insisting on the release of their political prisoners, which we cannot agree to,” Padilla said. Continue reading

US Role in Philippine Counter-insurgency Operations

Nuns lead march against US troops in the Philippines

By BENJIE OLIVEROS Bulatlat.com

September 26, 2010

In a speech during a Peace and Security forum held at the Mandarin Hotel last April 22, 2010, then presidential candidate Benigno Aquino III outlined his National Security Policy, which he said focuses on four key elements:

Governance – “The government must be present and accountable to its citizens especially those living in the poorest and most remote areas.”

(An effective political strategy focuses on strengthening the government’s capability and capacity to respond—and be seen to be responding—to the needs of its people.)

Delivery of basic services – “To alleviate the plight of innocent civilians caught in the conflict, we must renew government programs that build access roads, school buildings for basic and adult education, provide potable water and sanitation facilities, basic health care, electricity, assist in shelter reconstruction, and provide temporary livelihood interventions.”

Economic Reconstruction and Sustainable Development – the national government, in partnership with international donor organizations, must assist the new ARMM regional government in building a capable bureaucracy with streamlined and transparent procedures to increase the region’s absorptive capacity for development projects that will come its way. Continue reading