Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mamasapano Massacre - A Sad Consequence of Our Colonial Mentality and Perpetual Mendicancy

"But the Pacific Ocean," we are mysteriously told, "will be the great commercial battlefield of the future, and we must quickly use the present opportunity to secure our position on it. The visible presence of great power is necessary for us to get our share of the trade of China. Therefore we must have the Philippines."
"The Anglo-Saxon advances into the new regions with a Bible in one hand and a shotgun in the other. The inhabitants of those regions that he cannot convert with the aid of the Bible, and bring into his markets, he gets rid of with the shotgun. It is but another demonstration of the survival of the fittest." In other words, unless you worship as we command you, and give us a profitable trade, we shall have to shoot you down. -  Hon. Cyrus A. Sulloway, Congressman from New Hampshire, 1899

Hi All,

The USA has its way in our homeland and us native Filipinos by the balls in perpetuity.

The USA has done an excellent job of Americanizing the native Filipino mind, long after its brutal military intervention /occupation/"pacification" of the island peoples, but its establishment of public education with imposition of English as the official medium of instruction was the coup de grace to the nascent Filipino nationalism.

An imposed foreign language that can only result in a native mind conditioned to read, write, think and act like/for his foreign master. And add other incentives to do so.

Ergo from then on, we have generations of our governing elites, JUSMAG-trained military and citizenry consistently looking for approval and having developed a mendicant attitude become "running dogs" for duplicitous "special friends," and unconscionably spending native Filipino lives to please supposedly foreign friends rather than looking after their real jobs, i.e. the common good of its citizenry, long-term peace and well-being among all its people.

We do not see an end to this sad state of our Americanized Filipino mind and its dire consequences to our homeland and us natives, for the long-term as today. As demonstrated in two recent incidents: the inability of the Philippines to detain the US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton who was charged last year in the murder of native Filipina Jennifer Laude (reminds us of the Subic Rape Case (2005)  and most recently U.S. military involvement the PNP-operation that resulted in the Masasapano Massacre described below.
And our homeland/we native Filipinos as a whole continue to NOT earn recognition and respect from among our fellow Asian countries, other countries and peoples.
We deserve to be seen and treated as such. Bert

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The US Military Just Plunged Philippine Politics into Crisis - Walden Bello, CommonDreams.Org/Foreign Policy In Focus, March 18, 2015

Early in the morning of January 25, commandos belonging to the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police crept into the southern town of Mamasapano — a stronghold of the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The elite Seaborne Unit had come for Zulkifli Abdhir, a Malaysian bomb maker better known as “Marwan.”  By the end of the morning, dozens lay dead.

The episode 
  • has severely discredited the administration of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, 
  • jeopardized decades of progress on peace talks with Moro separatists, 
  • and underlined the perils for developing world governments that put themselves at the beck and call of Washington.

The commandos were able to kill Marwan, who’d sat high on the FBI’s list of “Most Wanted Terrorists.” But then all hell broke loose. The insurgents woke up and opened fire on the intruders, forcing the commandos to leave Marwan’s body behind. They had to content themselves with cutting off the corpse’s index finger to turn over to the FBI.

As they retreated, nine of the Seaborne commandoes were killed. They radioed for help, but they were told that the “Quick Reaction Force” charged with covering their withdrawal was already pinned down in a flat cornfield with little cover. Over the next few hours, that separate unit of 36 men was picked off one-by-one by Moro snipers. Only one of the 36 survived, by running for his life and jumping into a nearby river. All in all, 44 policemen died in the bloody battle. Moro fighters estimated that 18 of their combatants and about four civilians were killed.

A timely rescue effort was not even mounted, since an infantry battalion in the area wasn’t informed till late in the morning that the commandos were under fire. When ceasefire monitors finally reached the cornfield late in the afternoon, long after the battle ended, they found corpses that had been stripped of their weapons and other gear, some exhibiting wounds that indicated they had been shot at point-blank range.

Biggest Casualty: Moro Autonomy

The “Mamasapano Massacre,” as it has come to be called, upended Philippine politics.

The biggest casualty was the Bangsa Moro Basic Law that was in the last stages of being shepherded through the Philippine Congress. Known as the “BBL,” the bill was the product of nearly five years of intensive negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to put an end to almost 50 years of fighting in the southern Philippines. It would have created an autonomous region for the Muslim Moros, a fiercely independent people that have long resisted integration into the broader Filipino polity.

With emotions among the Christian majority running high, congressional approval of the BBL was thrown into doubt, threatening an eventual return to hostilities. Some politicians rode on the incident to stoke the latent anti-Muslim prejudices of the dominant culture — not just to derail prospects for Moro autonomy, but also to advance their own political ambitions.

Under congressional questioning, the facts of the raid were extracted piece by piece — on national television — from high administration officials. Their feelings seemed to run the gamut of guilt, grief, disbelief, and resentment at not being “in the know” about the planned incursion.

The decisive element in the unraveling of the operation, it appears, was the deliberate withholding of information from key people at the top of the police and armed forces hierarchy. 

Only the president, the Special Action Force commander, and the national police chief, General Alan Purisima, knew about the mission. Though suspended from office on corruption charges, Purisima a trusted aide of the president — was effectively in charge of the operation, bypassing the acting police chief and the secretary of the interior, who knew nothing of the mission until disaster overtook it.

Emerging in the hearings was the following portrait of the tragedy: The officials who conceived and implemented the operation to nab Marwan chose not to inform the top people in the police and military leadership. They also ignored and subverted the carefully negotiated procedures for territorial access worked out among the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the government, and third-party monitors.

The Liberation Front fighters — along with fighters from a die-hard separatist group, the Bangsa Moro Islamic Freedom Fighters — responded that morning to what they perceived as a large invasion force. Once the battle began, it became very difficult for their leaders to realize the intent of the commando contingent and get their forces to disengage.

It seemed evident, too, that some wounded policemen were finished off execution-style, though it was not clear which group was responsible for these atrocities.

Washington’s Hand

The big puzzle for many was why a government that was in the last stages of negotiating an autonomy agreement to end 50 years of warfare would endanger this goal — said to be a major legacy priority for President Aquino — with a large-scale commando intrusion into Moro territory without informing its negotiating partner.

To an increasing number of people, the answer must have something to do with Washington.

Indeed, Washington’s fingerprints were all over the operation: There was a $5-million bounty placed by the Americans on Marwan’s head. A U.S. military helicopter appeared in the area after the long firefight, allegedly to help evacuate the wounded. Marwan’s finger disappeared after the battle and showed up at an FBI lab in the United States a few days later.

Filipino officials have remained tight-lipped on the question of U.S. participation in the raid, invoking “national security” or choosing to make revelations only in secret executive sessions with the Senate. Thus it has fallen on the media to probe the U.S. role.

Perhaps the most reliable of these probes was conducted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, which found that U.S. drones had pinpointed Marwan’s hiding place, guided the commandos to it, and provided the capability for real-time management by the Philippine commanders away from the battlefield. 

American advisers, the paper claimed, were the ones who had vetoed informing top officials of the police, the armed forces, and the Liberation Front of the planned raid on the grounds that news of the action would be leaked to Marwan.

Finally, the original plan was to have a fused team of Seaborne Unit commandos and the Quick Reaction Force. But that was reportedly rejected by the American advisers, who favored having the Seaborne Unit carry out the raid itself and the Quick Reaction Force provide cover — a plan that proved disastrous. 

The Seaborne Unit, it emerged, had been trained by “retired” Navy Seals and functioned as the Americans’ special unit within the special forces of the Philippine National Police.

The full extent of U.S. involvement remains to be unearthed, but it’s now clear to many that taking out Marwan was a major priority for Washington — not Manila. As one congressman put it, the Mamasapano tragedy was a case of “the Americans fighting to the last Filipino.”

Into the Bunker

As the details of the American role emerge, the pressure is on President Aquino to admit complicity in a Washington-directed operation, which he has so far refused to do.

  • Aquino has come under intense fire from nationalist quarters that earlier criticized him for negotiating a military pact that allows the United States to use Philippine bases to implement President Obama’s so-called “Pivot to Asia” strategy to contain China.
  • for putting a suspended police general in charge of the fatal mission and refusing to admit command responsibility for it, 
  • for the charge of laying down Filipino lives for an American scheme
    appears to have forced the president further into his bunker, creating the widespread impression of a drift in leadership that, it was feared, coup plotters and other adventurers — of which there is no shortage in the Philippines — could take advantage of.

There is a personal postscript to this. As a sitting member of the Philippine House of Representatives, I withdrew my political support for President Aquino when he refused to accept command responsibility for the operation. Since my party Akbayan remains allied to the administration, I resigned as the congressional representative of the party.
© 2014 Foreign Policy In Focus
Foreign Policy In Focus columnist Walden Bello is senior analyst of the Bangkok-based institute Focus on the Global South and representative of Akbayan (Citizens’ Action Party) in the House of Representatives of the Philippines. He can be reached at

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Sunday, February 22, 2015


Hi All,

Here’s a piece of our history during the Marcos Dictatorship (1972-1986). Specifically, the various efforts of Ferdinand Marcos to preserve and strengthen his political (consequently personal economic interests too)  over our homeland and people.

It is interesting to note that the Philippine Consul General then, Raul Ch. Rabe, named here as an active participant and supporter of the Dictatorship, survived the downfall of Marcos and served as an Ambassador under the regimes of Cora Aquino, Fidel Ramos and as Special Envoy under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. As expected, he has short memory of what he wrote (Document 1). Reminds me of the denial ploys of Ronald Reagan "I do not recall.."

Such can happen when we native Filipinos keep ourselves ignorant of “what’s really going on” in our homeland and thus, by default, never learn. And that is when “history keeps repeating itself.”

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."

- George Orwell (1903-1950)
NOTES: Colored and/or underlined words are HTML links. Click on them to see the linked posts/articles. Forwarding this and other posts to relatives and friends, especially those in the homeland, is greatly appreciated. To share, use all social media tools: email, blog, Google+, Tumblr,Twitter,Facebook, etc. THANKS!!

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Promoting Ferdinand Marcos
by Stephen R. Shalom

Although the documents reproduced here make it clear that the position of the Marcos regime was that the Philippines had few problems, in fact many Filipinos and Westerners disagreed. As a result various kinds o/propaganda campaigns were implemented at home and abroad, including the one pointed out in this article-the Philippine government sponsoring public appearances by a pro-Marcos U.S. academic. Cartoon from and courtesy o/Voices (Hong Kong), vol. 8, no. 4 (Nov.-Dec. 1984). - I was not able to transfer the cartoon - Bert.


One of the ironies of the neocolonial relationship between the United States and the Philippines is that leaders in Manila are as dependent on Washington for their power as they are on any of the sectors of the Philippine population. No ruler of the Philippines was more aware of this than Ferdinand Marcos during his more than two decades in power. The chief means by which Marcos secured the backing of Washington was by serving U.S. political, economic, and military interests. Examples are legion:
  1. Marcos sent a military civic action group to Vietnam-breaking his own campaign promise-to help lend an international cover to the U.S. war on that country.
  2. When the Reagan White House needed to disguise secret weapons transfers to Iran, Marcos's chief of staff provided some of the false documents. (Remember, Reagan declared he would not make deals with terrorists, as his successors would supposedly follow - Bert)
  3. After declaring martial law in 1972, Marcos nullified a ruling by the Philippine Supreme Court that had threatened the rights of U.S. investors.
  4. And throughout his rule Marcos permitted the United States unhampered access to two huge military bases-Subic Naval Base and Clark Air Base.·

But serving U.S. interests was not always so easy for Marcos. His greed and corruption alienated local business interests as well as many foreign investors. His human rights abuses troubled liberal members of the U.S. Congress. And his repression fueled the Communist insurgency, while pushing the middle class and the church towards the left, causing officials in Washington to worry that Marcos might drag U.S. interests down with him.'

Accordingly, Marcos needed other means of building his support in the United States, and he pursued a variety of tactics intended to bolster his standing with U.S. politicians, to neutralize his Filipino critics in the United States, and to enhance his image among attentive members of the U.S. public. To cement his relationship with the White House, regardless of who inhabited it, the Philippine dictator authorized (illegal) campaign contributions to both Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter in 1980, as well as to other influential members of Congress.6

To deal with his exiled Filipino opponents, Marcos had his agents operating in the United States-with the knowledge of U.S. officials, according to a Senate report-infiltrating and monitoring exile organizations.'
  1. Former Marcos aide Primitivo Mijares defected in 1975 and testified before the U.S. Congress regarding the corrupt practices of his boss; in 1977, Mijares mysteriously disappeared.'
  2. On 1 June 1981 Marcos had two outspoken Filipino-American labor activists murdered in their union hall in Seattle.9 Many of Marcos's image-enhancing tactics were unsuccessful. In 1977 he offered $1.5 million to the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University to establish a Ferdinand E. Marcos Chair of East Asian and Pacific Studies. Despite protest by students and faculty, Tufts jumped at the offer, even presenting a citation for humanitarianism to Imelda Marcos. But after several Asian specialists reportedly declined appointment to the chair, Marcos failed to pay up and the position was never filled. 10
  3. In another public relations maneuver, Imelda Marcos's Cultural Center of the Philippines signed a contract with the Opera Company of Boston. Critics charged that the arrangement was helping to legitimize a repressive regime, and they organized picketing and mock performances outside the opera house. Although the contract was originally reported to be for five years, the Opera Company quietly allowed the contract to expire the next year."
  4. In 1977 the Philippine government hired Doremus and Company, a U.S. public relations finn, to promote the Marcos regime in the United States. 12 In 1982, public relations consultant John McHugh Stuart was retained to boost Marcos during a state visit to the United States. 13
  5. And in 1985 lobbyist Paul Manafort. Well-connected to the Republican Party and the Reagan administration-was hired by a Philippine business association that essentially fronted for Marcos. This latter contract was dropped only when the White House withdrew its support from the Philippine dictator in late February 1986. 14

Recently another Marcos administration propaganda effort has come to light: a campaign to sponsor talks by right-wing U.S. academics in support of the Marcos government. The campaign did not get very far, but it tells us something about the role of at least some U.S. scholars in promoting the Philippine dictatorship. When Marcos fled from Manila in February 1986, among the files he left behind were those of his private think tank, the President's Center for Special Studies (PCSS), headed by Adrian Cristobal. President Aquino appointed Randolf David, director of the Third World Studies Center at the University of the Philippines and a leading progressive academic, to supervise the closing down of the PCSS. David's deputy in this task was Alex Magno, a University of the Philippines political scientist. In sifting through PCSS papers, Magno came across a series of documents describing an information campaign conducted by the Philippine Consulate in Honolulu and recommending a more extensive campaign using "American conservative elements, particularly academicians."

These documents were made available to the Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, and the Bulletin sent a copy of the main document to its author, Raul Ch. Rabe, the then Philippine consul general in Honolulu, now an official with the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila, inviting his comment. Rabe could not confirm that the document was in fact the final version that he sent, but he did not dispute its authenticity. Both the document and Rabe's recent letter are printed below. The document indicates that the consulate sponsored a trip to Hawaii for A. James Gregor, a professor of political science at the University of California at Berkeley. Gregor's early writing dealt with fascism and race. He wrote articles critical of school desegregation and served as an officer ofthe International Association for the Advancement of Ethnology and Eugenics, an organization committed to "restoring freedom of inquiry" to areas such as race and race relations that had been compromised by "extraneous political and philosophical predispositions."15 More recently, Gregor has concentrated his scholarly attention on Asian affairs. He has conducted research for the International Security Council,16 joins in Council manifestos,l1 and sits on the editorial board of the Council's journal, Global Affairs. The Council is part of the empire of Sun Myung Moon, an empire considered dangerous even by many conservatives. IS Moon's Unification Church is, for example, possibly the only religious organization in the world to own an arms factory.19 Among Gregor's work has been some specific writing on the Philippines and in support of the U.S. bases there.'o

In 1984 Gregor wrote a thin volume for the right-wing Ethics and Public Policy Center entitled Crisis in the Philippines: A Threat to U.S. Interests. Much of his thesis was heaven-sent for Marcos; for example, he asserted that "it is most implausible that the Marcos government, or anyone responsible to that government, was directly involved" in the assassination of Benigno Aquino (p. 58). But most welcome from the point of view of the Marcos regime was Gregor's argument that the United States should withhold support from Marcos's non-communist opposition since the latter were hostile to U.S. interests.21 It was this message that the Philippine Consulate in Honolulu hoped to promote by sponsoring Gregor's trip to Hawaii. Former consul general Rabe now explains his proposed propaganda campaign as motivated by fear that the communists would come to power. But why, then, try to arrange a propaganda program aimed at helping Marcos vis-a-vis the non-communist opposition? Right-wing dictators, of course, have always sought to justify their continued rule by warning that they represented the only alternative to communism. As these documents show, Rabe tried to assist Marcos in making this case, and Gregor helped provide the academic rationalization.

Letter from Consul General Raul Ch. Rabe to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Manila22

Consulate General of the Philippines
Honolulu, Hawaii I April 1985 No. HO-66/85
Subject: Consulate Information Campaign
The Honorable The Minister for Foreign Affairs Manila

SIR: I have the honor to report that the Consulate was able to conduct an information campaign in Honolulu from 22 to 26 March 1985 which, from all indications, was highly successful in presenting to the Hawaiian public the other side to what opposition groups and the American liberal press are saying about the Philippine situation. A key factor in the Consulate's information drive was the participation of Professor A. James Gregor, professor of political science at the University of California (Berkeley) and principal researcher for the university's Institute of International Studies.

The Consulate was able to arrange a free Philippine Air Lines ticket for Professor Gregor from San Francisco to Honolulu and back. The only expense we had to meet was Prof. Gregor's hotel expenses which we were able to cover from our normal budget.  In the short period that he was in Honolulu, Prof. Gregor:
a) spoke on 22 March 1985 before the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council at the Kahala Hilton Hotel (the audience was composed of top business executives, state and city officials, academicians, and other prominent Honolulu residents);
b) appeared same day, on Honolulu's Public Service Television (Channel 11) program "Dialog" together with Consul General R. Rabe and oppositionists, Fr. John Doherty' and Heherson "Sonny" Alvarez24 of NAM and the MFP (a video tape of the program is enclosed);
c) was featured in an article entitled "It's a mistake for U.S. to back anti-Marcos forces, professor says," which appeared in the 24 March 1985 issue of the Sunday Star-Bulletin & Advertiser (side by side with an article featuring Heherson Alvarez). Copies of the articles are also enclosed; and
d) was interviewed on radio station KGU on 25 March 1985.25 In his speech at the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council, Prof. Gregor outlined the importance of the U.S. bases in the Philippines, particularly the Subic Naval Base, to U.S. strategic and national security interests. As the opposition groups in the Philippines have become outspokenly anti-American and are almost unanimous in being "anti-U.S. bases," he said it would be a mistake for the United States to support them. He pointed out that should the opposition groups gain control in the Philippines, they will not, as many American analysts believe, "lapse back into broadly democratic and pro-American postures." The gist of Prof. Gregor's remarks are contained in the attached Sunday Star-Bulletin and Advertiser news clipping.26

During the TV debate, Fr. Doherty and Mr. Alvarez dwelt on the usual themes of the opposition such as corruption in government, mismanaged economy, human rights abuses and the growth of the NPA. 27 They also called for a cessation of U.S. assistance to the Philippines. Prof. Gregor and Consul General Rabe were, on the other hand, able to bring out the following points, among others:
a) The Philippines has political and economic institutions which are strong and stable, enabling the country to weather the current crisis;
b) We are setting our financial house in order, our exports are rebounding, and the President is in control and has fully recovered from what ailed him last December 1984; I have the honor to report that the Consulate was able to conduct an information campaign in Honolulu from 22 to 26 March 1985 which,from all indications, was highly successful in presenting to the Hawaiian public the other side to what opposition groups and the American liberal press are saying about the Philippine situation.
c) The opposition, in trying to gain power, should not demand the ouster of the President because this is contrary to the democratic process of electing our leaders;
d) The opposition has become basically anti-American which is shown by their almost unanimous demand for the abrogation of the treaty covering the U.S. bases in the Philippines;
e) We are implementing a mix of socio-economic programs as well as military secure and hold operations against the NPA. The Pentagon projections that the NPA will reach the capability to hold government forces to a "standstill" in five years time was clarified as being based on the assumption that nothing is done by the government side between now and five years hence;
f) Allegations of human rights abuses are being investigated but many of them are undocumented or purely hearsay;28

Marcos ordered the building of this immense concrete sculpture of himself in Luzon. As this sculpture suggests, Marcos often seemed to be succeeding in his attempt to seem larger than life. Photo by and courtesy of Wayne Source, 1.B. Pictures.

g) There is freedom of press in the Philippines;29
h) Corruption in the Philippines is not more than what exists in similar developing countries-in fact no American company operating in the Philippines has been investigated by the U.S. Government for payments of bribes or commissions to any Philippine official;
i) Amendment 6 is merely a "stand-by" power and if one were to closely examine the constitutions and laws of Southeast Asian countries, one will find that most have a form of "emergency power" for the head of government as they operate under a "climate of crisis."30 During his radio interview, Prof. Gregor expanded on his proposition that since the "moderate" opposition in the Philippines has adopted a position inimical to U.S. interests, they are not really "moderate" and should not be supported.

Observations and Recommendations

The Philippine Government has suffered from a negative image in the United States principally because critical reports by the "liberal" press, and constant propaganda of oppositionists, have not been countered effectively. There have been various explanations as to why this has been the case. The barrage of negative reports has been overwhelming. Our foreign service establishments and the Office of Media Affairs, on the other hand, have been hampered by a lack of logistics. Our personnel abroad are also working from an innate disadvantage-as employees of the Philippine Government, their statements are naturally taken as self-serving and lacking in credibility. In tum, because of this realization, many of our personnel have not been too eager to appear in mass media, particularly in debates with the opposition.

Recent developments in the Philippines however have resulted in an opportunity for us to wage a counter-propaganda campaign in the United States. Because of the anti-U.S. bases position taken by the major opposition groups in the Philippines, as well as the growing strength of the NPA movement, conservative elements in the United States are beginning to be more willing to speak out and be heard on Philippine issues. Because they are conservative in their political outlook, they view the Philippine Government from a broader perspective, i.e., its stand against communism, its generally pro-West stance, and the compatibility of its interests with U.S. strategic interests in Asia. Among these conservative elements are a number of American academicians, including, in particular Prof. Gregor, who are beginning to write and speak on the Philippine situation from an angle that is generally favorable to the Philippine Government.

Thus, the opportunity to use them for our benefit has arisen. To take advantage of this opportunity, the Consulate invited Prof. Gregor to come to Hawaii for a counter-propaganda program. As was shown by our experience, an American speaking out in favor of the Philippine Government rates high credibility not only because he is viewed as a free agent but because he is also able to put things in the American perspective. Most of all, if he is a conservative American (as in the case of Prof. Gregor), his ability to identify U.S. interests with Philippine Government interests makes him a particularly effective spokesman for us even if we may not agree with him on every point. The result of our efforts was quite favorable, eliciting statements from the Filipino community that, at last, the other side of the coin has been heard. If' is for the foregoing reasons that the Consulate recommends to the Ministry to favorably take up with the Office of Media Affairs a program of utilizing American conservative elements, particularly academicians, in a counter-propaganda campaign to be waged in the United States. In this connection, I am also enclosing a copy of the concept paper prepared by Mr. A. Balmaceda, Information Officer in this Consulate, outlining just such a program.32 This concept paper has already been sent to Minister G. Cendana of the Office of Media Affairs.

As can be seen in the proposal, this program can be carried out with a minimum of expenditures. It should also be implemented as soon as possible for obvious reasons. In addition to Prof. Gregor, other conservative academicians (mentioned by Prof. Gregor) who could be tapped to help in the program are:

a) Mr. Peter Duignan Director of International Studies Hoover Institute"
b) Mr. Ramon Myers Georgetown Center of International Strategic Studies34 Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
c) Mr. Richard Allen Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C.3s
d) Mr. Carl Jackson University of California, Berkeley'6

As additional inputs to the concept paper on our media program, the Consulate would like to add the following recommendations in the implementation of the program by our foreign service establishments in the United States:
a) Aside from maximizing the "exposure" of the American "consultant" who joins our program, arrangements should be made for face-to-face discussions, preferably on television, with representatives of the opposition. Our past reluctance to debate with the opposition has unduly given the impression to many people that the Philippine Government position is untenable or difficult to justify;
b) While Philippine embassy and/or consulate officials should join in these face-to-face discussions, the scenario adopted in Honolulu may be considered for "maximum effect," i.e., by prior agreement, Prof. Gregor was given every opportunity to argue and defend

The consulate had undertaken the information campaign as part of our regular functions. At that time Filipinos had begun to despair about the future of the country, the perception being that the communists were about to take over. Mr. Marcos was still in power but rumors were already circulating about a possible "snap" election. I invited Professor A. James Gregor of U.C., Berkeley, to come to Honolulu for a series of speaking engagements. In the course of his visit, we discussed how important it would be for the American public to see both sides of the picture on the Philippines. He suggested that the Office of Media Affairs of the Philippine government invite conservative U.S. academicians to speak out their views on the Philippine situation which, Mr. Gregor said, would be broader in perspective and would be generally favorable. He mentioned the names of U.S. academicians whom he described as conservatives. I sent a report and a recommendation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, I never received a feedback on it. I assumed that the report went the way of many of our communications-seen by desk officers and filed away. I did not follow it up, realizing that Manila would listen more to the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. than to a mere Consulate on matters as our positions with the Consul General playing a less aggressive role. In this way, the credibility of our arguments was enhanced.

c) The concept paper mentions the possibility of a "stipend" being paid to "consultants" in addition to their travel and lodging expenses. This appears to be a must considering that our program will take them away from home and their usual work. However, I am certain this can be negotiated to a "modest" level. This aspect should also be kept highly confidential. In Honolulu, Prof. Gregor was asked on two occasions as to who was paying for his trip in an obvious attempt to downgrade his credibility.37

Feedback on developments in this project would be highly appreciated.
Very truly yours,
[unsigned] RAUL CH. RABE Consul General


Letter from Raul CH. Rabe  to Bill  Doub
of the Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars  

Department of Foreign Affairs,
Manila Office of American Affairs
10 July 1990

Dear Mr. Doub,

'" Thank you for your letter of 12 June 1990 and the opportunity to comment on a document concerning an information campaign of the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu in March 1985 concerning the Philippine situation then. The information campaign did take place and I had caused a report to be prepared on it. The copy which you have sent to me of the report is unsigned and I am therefore unable to confirm if this was the version that finally was sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Manila under my signature.

The consulate had undertaken the infonnation campaign as part of our regular functions. At that time Filipinos had begun to despair about the future of the country, the perception being that the communists were about to take over. Mr. Marcos was still in power but rumors were already circulating about a possible "snap" election. I invited Professor A. James Gregor of U.C., Berkeley, to come to Honolulu for a series of speaking engagements. In the course of his visit, we discussed how important it would be for the American public to see both sides of the picture on the Philippines. He suggested that the Office of Media Affairs of the Philippine government invite conservative U.S. academicians to speak out their views on the Philippine situation which, Mr. Gregor said, would be broader in perspective and would be generally favorable. He mentioned the names of U.S. academicians whom he described as conservatives.

I sent a report and a recommendation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, I never received a feedback on it. I assumed that the report went the way of many of our communications-seen by desk officers and filed away. I did not follow it up, realizing that Manila would listen more to the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. than to a mere Consulate on matters involving information policy in the U.S. I do not recall Mr. Gregor participating in other speaking engagements upon the invitation of either the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. or the other Philippine Consulates in the U.S. I also assumed that the conservative academicians named by Prof. Gregor were never approached.

The Marcos administration did undertake an active information campaign in the U.S. centered on a Philippine information team in New York and I recall it also hired a PR firm in Washington, D.C.39 However, as I was in Honolulu then, I cannot really comment on these two matters. Official communications are not meant for publications. If you should decide to publish the document in your possession, unsigned as it is, then I would appreciate it if you could also publish this letter.

Very truly yours,
[signed] Raul Ch. Rabe

1. See W. Scott Thompson, Unequal Partners: Philippine and Thai Relations with the United States. 1965-1975 (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1975), pp. 75-100; U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. subcommittee on U.S. Security Agreements and Commitments Abroad, United States Security Agreements and Commitments Abroad: The Republic of the Philippines, Hearings, part I, Sept.-Oct. 1969, pp. 253-304, 355-62; "Marcos on Vietnam," Philippines Free Press, 5 Feb. 1966, p. 3, reprinted from 5 June 1965.
2. "Marcos Aide is Linked to Arms Sales to Iran," New York Times, 12 Dec. 1986, p. 1:15.
3. Stephen Rosskamm Shalom, The United States and the Philippines: A Study of Neocolonialism (Philadelphia: Institute for the Study of Human Issues, 1981),pp. 169, 176; Jose M.Aruego.Philippine Government in Action and the Philippine Constitution (Manila: University Book Supply, 1982), pp. 336-37.
4. On the amendments to the U.S.-Philippine Military Bases Agreement
negotiated under Marcos. see William E. Berry, Jr., U.S. Bases in the Philippines: The Evolution of the Special Relationship (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1989), pp. 131-305.
5. The clearest statement of this concern is the November 1984 National Security Study Directive, leaked to the press in March 1985. See Philippine News (San Francisco), 3-9 Apr. 1985, for the text.
6. Jeff Gerth, "Plan for Contributions to Reagan and Carter Found in Marcos Files," New York Times, 19 Mar. 1986, pp. AI,AI0; Washington Post, 19 Mar. 86, pp. AI,A23.
7. Fred Poole and Max Vanzi, Revolution in the Philippines (New York: McGraw Hill, 1984), pp. 269-71, citing a classified 1979 report prepared by Mike Glennon, counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Government Operations; Bernard Gwertzman, "Filipinos in U.S. Were Harassed, Ex-aides Assert," New York Times, 26 Aug. 1983,pp.AI,A4; Associated Press (AP), "Marcos Is Said to Admit to Spy Activity in U.S.;
4 Agencies Reportedly Watched Opposition," Washington Post, 16 July 1986,p.AI9.
8. See Steve Psinakis, Two 'Terrorists' Meet (San Francisco: Alchemy Books, 1981), pp. 186-205. For Mijares's indictment of the Marcos regime, see his The Conjugal Dictatorship (San Francisco: Union Square, 1986) and his testimony in U.S. House Committee on International Relations,Human Rights in South Korea and the Philippines: Implications/or U.S. Policy, Hearings, 1975.
9. "Marcos's Estate and His Widow Are Held Liable in 2 U.S. Killings," New York Times, 17 Dec. 1989, p. A36.
10. Tufts Observer, 28 Oct. 1977; Joel Lefkowitz, "In Whose Interest? Foreign Grants and the American University," Politics and Education, March-April 1978, pp. 2-3; AP, ''Tufts University Branch Cancels a Marcos Chair," New York Times, 14 Jan. 1981. p. A17.
11. "Opera Group Ends Philippines Project," New York Times, 30 Oct. 1983, p. 64.
12. Fox Butterfield, "Jailed Foe of Marcos Allowed to Speak on Television," New York Times, II March 1978, p. 1:3; David M. Sloan, "More Nations Seek a P-R Polish on Their U.S. Image," New York Times, 6 Aug. 1978, p. F3.
13. Greg Goldin, "The Toughest Accounts," Mother Jones, Jan. 1983, p.29.
14. "Firm Registering as Lobbyist for Group Linked to Marcos," New York Times, 22 Nov. 1985, p. A10; Patrick E. Tyler, "Lobbyists Drop Philippine Contract," Washington Post, 25 Feb. 1986, p. A12.
15. See I. A. Newby, Challenge to the Court: Social Scientists and the Defense of Segregation. 1954-1966 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1969), for documentation and for a vituperative response by Gregor.
16. Security Policy in East Asia: A Politico-Military Assessment: 1988 (New York: International Security Council, 1988).
17. See, for example, Glohal Affairs, vol. 3, no. 2 (Spring 1988), pp.213-21.
18. T. Harvey Holt, "A View of the Moonrise," Conservative Digest, Jan.-Feb. 1989.
19. U.S. House Committee on International Relations, subcommittee on International Organizations, Investigation {~f Korean-American Relations, Report, 31 Oct. 1978.
20. E.g., Jose P. Magno, Jr., and A. James Gregor. "Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in the Philippines." Asian Survey, vol. 26, no. 5 (May 1986); A. James Gregor and Virgilio Aganon, The Philippine Bases: U.S. Security at Risk (Washington, D.C.: Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1987). For an exchange between Gregor and the author on the U.S. bases, see Pilipinas, no. 11 (Fall 1988).
21. Actually, anti-Americanism was growing among many in the moderate opposition precisely because ofthe U.S. embrace of Marcos. Thus, among the anti-Marcos figures who signed a statement in 1984
condemning the U.S. bases, many have by now dropped their opposition to the U.S. facilities: among them Corazon Aquino, Raul Manglapus, and Ramon Mitra.
22. The footnotes accompanying this document were added by Stephen R. Shalom. -ED.
23. John F. Doherty, an American Jesuit priest, who had taught and served as Vice President at Ateneo de Manila University. A critic of the Marcos government, Doherty was denied re-entry to the Philippines for "highly confidential reasons" that the Philippine Immigration Commissioner was "not at liberty to divulge." (Quoted in Belinda A. Aquino, ed., Cronies and Enemies: The Current Philippine Scene [Philippine Studies Occasional Paper no. 5, Philippine Studies Program, Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, August 1982], p. v.) Doherty is the author of, among other works, "Who Controls the Philippine Economy: Some Need Not Try as Hard as Others," in Aquino, Cronies and Enemies; and The Philippine Urban Poor (philippine Studies Occasional Paper no. 8, Philippine Studies Program, Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, 1985).
24. A leader of the anti-Marcos exile organization Movement for a Free Philippines; Alvarez later served in Aquino's cabinet as land reform minister and then was elected to a seat in the Senate.
25. Gregor was interviewed by conservative talk show host Bill Maniaci.
26. Not printed here. For Gregor's argument, see his Crisis in the Philippines: A Threat to U.S. Interests (Washington, DC: Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1984)
27. New People's Army, the military arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
28. On the contrary, the abuses were well-documented. See, among other sources, Amnesty International USA, Disappearances: A Workbook (New York: 1981); Amnesty International, Report ofan Amnesty International Mission to the Republic of the Philippines. 11-28 November 1981 (London: 1982); International Commission of Jurists, The Philippines: Human Rights After Martial Law (Geneva: 1984); Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, "Salvaging" Democracy: Human Rights in the Philippines (New York: Dec. 1985).
29. The U.S. State Department, in its extremely favorable discussion of human rights in the Philippines, noted that "Constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and press are abridged in practice." Dept. of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1985, Joint Committee Print, 99th Cong., 2d sess., Feb. 1986, p. 856.
30. Amendment 6 to the 1973 Philippine Constitution, approved in a staged plebiscite, gave the president the power to rule by decree whenever "in the judgment of the President" there existed a "grave emergency or a threat or imminence thereof." According to the U.S. State Department's tepid human rights report for 1985: "The President possesses extraordinary powers to issue decrees which have the force of law unless overturned by the National Assembly [which Marcos controlled]. While described in the Constitution as being subject to exercise only in emergency situations or in instances where the National Assembly is unable to act promptly, these powers, in practice, frequently have been used by the President to legislate widely, particularly in the economic sphere." Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1985, pp. 860-61.
31. Original says "If."
32. Although not printed here, copies of this three-page document and two others-a request for Gregor's airfare and a description of his visit to Hawaii-are in the possession of BCAS.
33. The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace (Stanford, CA).
34. Center for Strategic and International Studies.
35. Reagan's national security adviser from 1981 to 82, then an international business consultant and senior Republican foreign policy adviser; he became head of the Asian Studies Center of the Heritage Foundation in 1982.
36. Karl D. Jackson. Jackson was a colleague of Gregor's at Berkeley, specializing on Southeast Asia. He served in the Defense Department in the early 1980s, and in 1986 was named deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia and Pacific affairs. In Congressional testimony on the Philippines in December 1987, Jackson defended Aquino's recording responding to the challenge of military rebellion: "Since the attempted coup [of August 1987], she has removed two cabinet members; proposed and subsequently signed the military pay raise; proposed an increase in the defense budget; visited military camps in the provinces; ruled out peace negotiations with the communists; supported military-backed citizen self-defense groups; and requested expedited deliveries of military equipment from the U.S." (Statement before the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 2 Dec. 1987.) Jackson is currently serving as special assistant to the president for national security affairs in the White House.
37. An individual present at Gregor's Hawaii talks reports that Gregor publicly acknowledged that his trip had been paid for.
38. Bill Doub, managing editor, Bulletin o/Concerned Asian Scholars.
39. See the introduction above.

Stephen R. Shalom got his Bachelor's degree from M.I.T., his Master's from Northeastern, and his Ph.D. in Political Science from Boston University. He began teaching at William Paterson University in 1977.

He is the author of 
The United States and the Philippines: A Study of Neocolonialism (1981); Imperial Alibis: Rationalizing U.S. Intervention After the Cold War (South End Press, 1993); editor of Socialist Visions (South End Press, 1984); and co-editor of The Philippines Reader (South End Press, 1987), Bitter Flowers, Sweet Flowers: East Timor, Indonesia, and the World Community (Rowman & Littlefield, 2001); author of a text, Which Side Are You On? An Introduction to Politics (Longman, 2003); and editor of Perilous Power: The Middle East & U.S. Foreign Policy. Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War, and Justice by Noam Chomsky and Gilbert Achcar (Paradigm Publishers, 2007). He is on the editorial boards of Critical Asian Studies and New Politics, and writes for Z Magazine and ZNet.