Whatever the Arroyo government calls it, the identification system Executive Order 420 would put in place is the same as the system Administrative Order 308 wanted to create.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo justifies the creation of a “unified” ID system as a means of “streamlining” existing government ID systems, not for counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency. But despite that intentionally innocuous justification, and the vague “safeguards” the Order contains, the system would create a central data base as AO 308 would have–and assign a number to every Filipino as AO 308 planned to. Continue reading

Taming the military


The military’s reckless tagging of legal groups as communist fronts, its probable role in the killing, abduction and harassment of political activists, and the continuing possibility of coup attempts not only recall the martial law period. These are also reminders that the military has not changed much, and is still driven by Cold War and authoritarian assumptions.

Nineteen years after EDSA 1986 and despite the repeal of the Anti-Subversion Law (RA 1700), the Armed Forces of the Philippines still describes materials seized from the alleged NPA guerillas it captures as “subversive documents,” and militant groups as “subversive organizations.” Continue reading