JUST AS I wear different hats as an activist, journalist, or trainor, depending on the task at hand, I also have to deal with layers of identity: Maranao, my tribal affiliation; Moro, my valiant ancestry; Filipino, my passport nationality; Muslim, my faith. To make matters more complicated, I am a woman in an evolving community that many say is also confused. At the very least, they say, it has to contend with three laws: the traditional and customary law, Philippine law, and Islamic law.
THE RULING system in the Philippines is semicolonial and semifeudal. It is dominated by foreign monopoly capitalist countries headed by the United States and Japan. It is ruled by the comprador big bourgeoisie and the landlord class and managed by their political representatives. The foreign and local exploiters collaborate against the national and democratic rights and interests of the Filipino people.
LAST JUNE, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announced an all-out campaign to bring about in two years’ time the conditions that would result in putting an end to the 37-year-old insurgency waged by the Communist Party of the Philippines-Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought (CPP-MLMZT) and the New People’s Army (NPA), as well as the National Democratic Front (NDF), which the CPP-MLMZT controls. The attainment of these conditions is to be pursued through a total approach, consisting of a set of programs and measures-military, police, legal, political, information, diplomatic, and very importantly, the equitable delivery of basic social services, especially to disadvantaged sectors and communities. These programs and measures, taken together, are meant to comprehensively address the insurgency, both in terms of its politico-ideological-military aspect and its socio-economic “root causes.”