Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The price of rebellion: What’s with the peace deal served anew, by the way?


The Philippine government’s latest signing of a peace agreement with the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) rebels should be considered as one of the major achievements of this administration to hopefully put an end to the decades-old rift between our Muslim brothers and the Christian majority from which the past administrations have desperately had  tried and failed. The government should act as a parent treating her rebellious constituents as children and trying to do her best to bring them back to the fold. But, in some instances, she will be forced to impose disciplinary actions because it is necessary. The Muslim rebellion in the Philippines, sparked by the Jabidah massacre during the late president Ferdinand Marcos’ regime, costs more than a hundred thousand lives in the span of a little over four decades of war with the government.

During the late 60s, Nur Misuari, a Filipino Muslim and University of the Philippines professor, became the leader of the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) aimed at establishing an independent Moro state.  The Jabidah massacre, by the way, is the execution of more or less 68 Filipino young Muslim military trainees in the island of Corregidor. The late dictator’s plot to infiltrate or retake Sabah from Malaysia has been leaked out to the public and so he ordered about the abortion of the said operation and murdered all of the trainees.

Malaysia, upon knowing about the said plot by the Philippine government, retaliates by offering these Moro rebels a safe haven in the Malaysian soil for them to conduct proper military training and also by aiding them with arms and supply. Sabah is in the northernmost part of Borneo bordered by Sarawak in the southwest and by Kalimantan in the south. As history would tell us, Sabah is owned by the Sultanate of Sulu in the Philippines. But Malaysia, ignoring the Philippines as the true owner, firmly claimed Sabah as part of its territory.

The Muslim rebellion should have been long ago crashed and peacefully given solutions with, but it continued to thrive on because it was nurtured for the wrong reasons. Peace agreements between the government and rebels are nothing new in the Philippines. In fact, there have been so many peace deals and agreements that have been made over and again but then peace is not achieved as yet.

The willingness and commitment of these rebels to establish their own independent state and the sincerity and dedication of their chosen leaders in fostering peace and development in their respective areas should be the key. Otherwise, this peace agreement between the government and the rebels is nothing but just a front show. The Moro rebels have been given the chance, in the person of MNLF leader Nur Misuari, to lead and govern the ARMM (Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao) towards peace and prosperity but failed. His leadership is brimming to the full with corruption and lawlessness. We hope that the Philippine government’s new peace agreement with the other Muslim rebel group in MILF will finally be the answer and bring peace to Mindanao—the Land of Promise as it is sometimes called—for always.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The "Flash" meets "Speed King": Nishioka-Donaire encounter will be classic

October 13, Saturday (October 14 Manila time), the "Filipino Flash" Nonito Donaire (29-1, 18 knockouts) will be facing a veteran Japanese fighter known as the "Speed King" Toshiaki Nishioka (39-4-3, 24 knockouts) in the super bantamweight division. Donaire's third outing at 122 pounds after moving up in weight from 118 pounds will be at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. It will be a tough test for the Filipino champion as Nishioka, unbeaten for the last eight years and along with his branded killer left cross and straight, is a fearless ring assasssin who has the speed and explosiveness combined. Mexicans Johny Gonzales, and Rafael Marquez, among others, fell victims to the Japanese warrior's deceptively fast straight left. The "Filipino Flash", on the other hand, posessess one of the sport's most lethal left hooks highlighted in the fights against Vic "Raging Bull" Darchinyan and that one of the Mexican heavy puncher Fernando "Chochulito" Montiel.

Donaire would like to collect all the belts and unify the super bantamweight division before climbing up a notch higher: the featherweight division. At featherweight and super featherweight divisions, he will have a lot of worthy opponents to choose from. But Nishioka is no spring chicken and one who is too dangerous to be just taken lightly. The hard-hitting Japanese could be relentless but as well a thinking fighter, slowly breaking down opponents and making sure to finish them off. His only weakness is inside-fighting but he makes up for what he lacks by throwing that well-timed straight left sending most of his opponents to dreamland.

Expect fireworks to explode come Saturday night (Sunday morning in the Philippines) as two of the sports' best 122-pounder collides. From the opening bell (it sure will be action-packed and full of drama) till there's but only one man left standing raising his hands in victory, this fight will certainly have the making of a classic.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The unconstitutionality of Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012

Bill of Rights' section 5 of the Philippine Constitution clearly states: "No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances." While I must agree with the fact that in every freedom comes a responsibility, Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 failed to clearly define some of its provisions which, in one way or another and directly or indirectly, violate our constitutional rights. These provisions, being too broad or too vague, are the following:

Section 4 paragraph 4. It makes libel a cybercrime, if committed online;

Section 5. It punishes any person who aids or abets the commission of any cybercrime, even if it is only through Facebook or Twitter;

Section 6. It adopts the entire Penal Code, if the crime is committed by the use of information technology, but the penalty shall be one degree higher;

Section 7. It makes the same crime punishable, both under the Penal Code and the Cybercrime Act;

Section 19. It authorizes the Department of Justice to issue an order to restrict access to computer data which is found to be prima facie in violation of the new law.

Signed by no other than the president himself, Benigno Aquino III on September 12 of this year, the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, tasked to fight identity theft, online ph0rnography, hacking, and spamming, is, in today's world, in fact, a necessity. But our lawmakers must be extra careful, deliberate, clear, and specific in defining what it is they all want to pass into a law about. Otherwise, it will only show how much ignorant they have become for their own laws and "ignorantia juris neminem excusat". Cybercrime law needs to be done again. I would like to think, though, that this law is not acceptable in a modern democracy in its present form.

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