Policy, Research & other Articles
Last August 2007, this author filed Senate Bill No. 1467 entitled “An Act Defining the Archipelagic Baselines of the Philippine Archipelago, Amending for the Purpose Republic Act No. 3046, as Amended by Republic Act No. 5446.” or otherwise known as the “Archipelagic Baselines Law of the Philippines.” The bill was the result of a series of consultations primarily with former Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani, who first pushed for the Baselines bill way back in 1987.
The occupation of Oakwood Hotel by protesting junior officers and men last July27, 2003 placed the issue of military interventions at the forefront of public policyanalysis, specifically how best to prevent them from recurring. This policy issue paperreviews the present policies adopted by the Arroyo Administration to prevent militaryinterventions, and assesses whether these should be pursued or not.
On the early morning of July 27, 2003, a group of soldiers occupied the Oakwood Hotel in Makati to conduct protest actions against the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) Administration. Among the grievances they voiced out was GMA’s alleged responsibility for the Davao bombing incidents.
The Philippine Navy had been around for more than a century. It had played significantroles through our nation’s history, from the gallant amphibious operation by the insurgent navyduring the Philippine Revolution (Zulueta 1998, p.20) to the support missions during the KoreanWar and up to the successful anti-piracy and anti-smuggling operations in the 1950’s which led tothe destruction of the illegal operations network of the notorious pirate, Kamlon (Giagonia 1947,p.247-272). But since then, the Navy had deteriorated to such depths that it had become sociallyirrelevant to the country’s development.Hence, the need for policy reforms that would attempt to transform this portrait of sicklyNavy who is forever tied to the docks of antiquity and irrelevance to one that is ever sailingthrough the seas of modernity and an active partner to our country’s progress.In going about the discussion, some relevant information about the organization wouldbe laid down to provide the necessary backdrop for the main topic of the paper.
On January 20, 2001, the Philippines was again a witness to anotherPeople Power phenomenon, the “EDSA Dos”, which removed what was perceived as a corrupt and incompetent government under President Joseph E.Estrada and installed then-Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) topower. While some sectors glorified this ‘miraculous’ occurrence, certaindynamics of the people power phenomenon now have become embedded in thepolicy process that it threatens the very nature of the process itself. In this light,the Philippines public policy process is, indeed, a very complex, yet interestingobject of study.
On February 2001, the Philippine Navy (and the Armed Forces of thePhilippines) was rocked by a leadership crisis when the Philippine Marines (PMAR)demanded the relief of the Flag-Officer-In-Command, Rear Admiral Guillermo Wong(Pazzibugan, 2001). The crisis was triggered by the berating of the Marines by RAdmWong for alleged irregularities in the procurement of P3.8 million worth of KevlarHelmets (Pablo, 2001). In the events that followed, the Marines prevailed and RAdmWong was stripped of his command and was ‘promoted’ to an ambassadorial post. Thecrisis, while it was eventually resolved peacefully, exposed a previously unseen face ofthe Navy—the face of CORRUPTION.