Posts By Steven Rood
May 22, 2013
There has been some controversy about the quality of the May 2013 general elections in the Philippines, during which some 18,000 local and national positions were elected. But the fairest verdict of this exercise in electronic voting would seem to be that, like in May 2010, elections changed, but politics didn’t. As always, discussing the May elections inevitably involves talking about families and personalities but not political parties. When it comes to the nationally elected upper house of the legislature – the Senate – much has been made of the fact that nine of the 12 winners came from President Aquino’s slate, dubbed “Team PNoy.” It’s important to note that from the start, this was not a group of Liberal Party (LP) members – only three candidates were Liberal Party members (and of those, only one had been a Liberal Party member for more than a few months).
May 1, 2013
When we hear about the current slow pace of negotiations between the government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, we can lose sight of the many concrete achievements made over the years. As peacemakers on both sides of the negotiating table try to learn lessons from past peace efforts…
April 10, 2013
Since the International Contact Group was formed in late 2009 to work with the Malaysian Facilitator in peace talks between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), I have traveled back and forth to Kuala Lumpur often.
February 20, 2013
In a study I wrote a number of years ago, I quoted a peace activist in Mindanao lamenting the lack of success in ending the war between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). He was speaking in the wake of President Estrada’s 2000 “all-out war” offensive that overran fixed positions of the MILF.
January 16, 2013
Four months from now, the Philippines will once again be in the spotlight as citizens exercise their right to suffrage in congressional and local elections. It is because of this right that people and the institutions of the government must ensure that an enabling environment is provided for an effective electoral process.
December 12, 2012
Mindanao dominates the headlines in the Philippines this week for several reasons. There is the horrific aftermath of Typhoon Pablo (known internationally as Bopha), which slammed into an area of the island that typically does not get hit by storms. On a lighter note, but one that also riveted the nation, hometown boxer Manny Pacquiao (from General Santos City in Mindanao) was knocked out this past weekend in a surprise, convincing defeat – leading to speculation about whether his sterling career is on the wane.
November 7, 2012
In the closing days of what looked like a close U.S. electoral campaign for president, concern in the Philippines turned to what a victory for one candidate or the other might mean for U.S.-Philippine relations. Though election night turned out to be a rather quick and decisive electoral victory for President Barack Obama, even before election day, I had argued on Philippine TV that “Whoever wins in U.S. polls, Philippine-U.S. ties would be the same.” The fact of the matter is that the 2012 election, like almost all presidential elections in the United States, was contested largely on the basis of domestic policy.
October 17, 2012
It has been an exciting and emotional 10 days for the peace process between the Philippine government and the country’s largest rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which looks to end 40 years of conflict that has left a reported 150,000 dead and devastated the economy.
October 10, 2012
On Sunday, October 7, Philippine President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III, in a speech telecast nationwide, announced that a draft text for a Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro had been finalized.
July 25, 2012
A fortnight ago I blogged about the energy for peace I found at two very different events in Mindanao. We might now ask: what is the origin of that energy, and of the general surge toward a peace agreement? At first glance, this may seem to have an obvious answer, since it is clear from citizen surveys…