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De La Salle University-Manila 2401 Taft Avenue, 1004 Manila, Philippines

The Case of Arroyo: Military Support, Political Debt and the Weakening of Democracy

A Senior Research Paper on Political Science

Submitted by: Keren Beatrice R. Dinaque Maria Nikka N. Espiritu

Submitted to: Mr. Rizalino Malabed SRP Adviser

Date: April 11, 2011

The researchers would like to thank the following: Dr. Nikki B. Carsi-Cruz Professor Rizalino Malabed Professor Gladstone Cuarteros Professor Francisco Domingo Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes Professor Rommel Banlaoi Ms. Rowena Banlaoi Atty. Krizna Gomez Atty. Ray Paolo Santiago Mr. Roberto Paloma Kuya Ariel Ms. Sunshine Serrano Ms. DJ Acierto Ms. Epifania Garay Ms. Ana Elzy Ofreneo Hon. Loretta Rosales The whole faculty of Political Science Department-DLSU, staff of Ateneo Human Rights Center, Commission on Appointments, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, Karapatan: Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights, Commission on Human Rights and Office of Senator Antonio Trillanes. Our parents, friends, And God


The military is commonly perceived as an institution whose role is to maintain national security. But in reality, it has three roles in the society. One is the classical role (Alagappa, 1989) wherein the military performs its duties by protecting the country from external and internal threats. Then there’s the developmental role (Alagappa, 1989; Matibag, 1997; De Castro, 2005) which seeks to provide aid to citizens during times of calamities and in improving the country’s infrastructures. Lastly, the military now assumes a political role which recognizes the influence of military in politics (Alagappa, 2001). This is where military intervention falls. Military intervention can be defined as the direct or indirect involvement of military personnel in the government. There are several ways into which military can intervene in government. Brillo (2007) identified the degrees to which the military can intervene. First is through military influence, then military participation and lastly military control. Influence is the most accepted method of military intervention in democratic society. Any action of the military depends upon constitutional provisions. Military participation on the other hand involves the military in political activities by using them as implementers during elections. Other method of participation is when the military hints (threats) on its political interest through coup d’ etats, mutinies and support. Control on the other hand is when the military completely replaces the civilian leaders (please see Appendix A for the diagram). There are numerous debates regarding the effects of military intervention on democracy. Some authors like Banlaoi (2003), Preece (2000) and Perez (1996) assert that military intervention hampers democracy because it suppresses the liberty of citizens and challenges civilian authority. On the other hand, Matibag (1997) said that military intervention can actually promote democracy by ensuring the honesty and cleanliness of local and national elections given that the military remains neutral at all times. He also suggests that the military be allowed


This paper will concentrate on the military participation through providing support for the president. though unsuccessful. Given the notion that the military should remain neutral at all times (Espedilla. From this point of view. the researchers can say that not only was the presence of the military intervention strongly felt but also on the fact that not all types of military intervention are given enough attention. Military support on the other hand is for the Arroyo administration. 1994). Exploring coup d’ etat in the view of democracy is quite laid out on the open that the military officers were able to project general fear to the civilians during their attempt. The reviewed literature on the relationship between military intervention and democracy centered on coup d’ etat as the main method used by the military to intervene. were also present during the administration. Because of the high contrast between the two types of military participation during Arroyo’s time. this study seeks to find out how military support for the Arroyo administration weakened Philippine democracy. Historically. the researchers would like to find out how military support for the Arroyo administration weaken Philippine democracy. Since the military should remain as a neutral entity (Espedilla. Coup d’ etats. military participation was exhibited in the Philippines in two ways: military support for political leaders and coup d’ etat. both of these instances were present. the arguments made by anti-military intervention authors seemed to focus on coup d’ etat alone. 2008). which is military support for the president that was clearly present during Arroyo’s enter the political arena through elections because they can help in overseeing the government. This urged the writers to look at the other type of military influence. 1994). These were evidently seen in the Oakwood mutiny and Manila Peninsula rebellion. but what if the intervention is internal? For an administration? How does that weaken democracy? 4 . as the military leaders publicly swore to support the Arroyo administration (Taipei Times. During former President Arroyo’s administration. Coup d’ etats are clearly against the administration.

This scenario somehow caters to the extension of these military officers in service (Romero. Former President Cory Aquino only had four military chiefs in six years. According to them it is mainly because a number of military official “owe their jobs to the President” (2005). Such is the case of the Arroyo administration.Arroyo’s administration had the most military appointments compared to previous administrations. Figure 1 Conceptual Framework 5 . and President Joseph Estrada had two in three years (SIIA. The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) explains that this happens because of the “weak & destabilizing institutions” that are present in the government (2003). In her first four years in office she already had appointed a total of eight military generals. And so in order to protect the administration. She and the military seemed to have good relations as military leaders publicly swore loyalty to the Arroyo administration. former President Fidel Ramos had three in six years. The Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) presents an explanation as to why the military remained loyal all throughout Arroyo’s administration. This type of setting was very much present during Arroyo’s administration. 2009). the researchers hypothesized in the following manner. 2005). Arroyo appointed generals to top position even though they only had two months to go before retirement. This is considered to be the most number of military appointments. “Regimes will choose this path rather than risk an armed confrontation with their politicized soldiers” (PCIJ. Now to explain the linkage between the support and democracy in Arroyo’s time. the president would continue to appoint military officers. 2003).

It is also considered as the catalyst for the creation of political debt. Huntington noted that civilian dominance over the military must be maintained against the 6 . Arroyo uses them as political machinery for carrying out injustice acts. These “worlds” however have their own set of rules to follow that clash with each other as conservative military would tend to be illiberal.POLITICAL DEBT Military Support for the Arroyo Administration Military Appointments Extrajudicial Killings Weak Democracy Military support is defined as a subtle yet destructive method of military intervention that creates a strong political dynamic between the military and the president to pursue each other’s interests. Political Debt is the resulting debt incurred by the Arroyo administration to the military after they openly declared their support for the administration. As the military is characterized by conservative ideals. The theoretical framework for this hypothesis follows the concept of Military Professionalism in civil-military relations as demonstrated in Samuel Huntington’s book “Soldier and the State” (1985). A Weak Democracy on the other hand is the general decline of democracy in the Philippines due to Arroyo’s control over the military and the support they gave to the administration. This refers to the whole dynamics: military officials were appointed and in return. Huntington elaborated the difference between the military and the civilian government. the civilian government is characterized by liberal ideas. Extrajudicial Killings are the human rights violations committed by the some military men which were targeted towards the members or accused members of leftist movements. In this book. Military Appointments are the assignment of generals to the top AFP position which is Chief of Staff and the appointment of retired generals to civilian positions in government.

Arroyo was able to use the military into silencing the leftists resulting to extrajudicial killings. His suggestion to this necessity is to have the military practice its “professionalism”. In this case. H3 – Political Debt weakens democracy by enabling the military to suppress or control the opposition through extrajudicial killings. H2 – Military support created “political debt” for the Arroyo administration. Because of the appointments.military threats to liberal democracy. like any other military intervention weakened democracy because of their non-professionalism and defiance of political neutrality. This study only includes Philippine military personnel and professionals who were involved or were at least aware of the incidents which showed military support for the Arroyo administration. to maintain civilian dominance would entail “objective civilian control” wherein the directions and orders given to the military are detailed and direct making no room for the military to do anything but to perform and carry out the technical aspects of it (Huntington. The researchers hypothesized that: H1 – Military support weakens democracy therefore military support for the Arroyo administration weakened Philippine Democracy during Arroyo’s tenure. 1985). however unpopular it is. the military support. Observations will only be limited to the period of Arroyo’s administration and the armed forces of the Philippines. the independent variable is the military support. Military appointments were used by Arroyo to repay the political debt. while the dependent variable is a weakened democracy. He explains his hypothesis that the military is the authority when it comes to providing security and the civilian authority’s role is to give goals or directions and have the military achieve it on their own way or “professionally”. Furthermore. But all these are under the circumstances that the military focus its activities and decision-making on the scope of their “profession” or to remain “politically neutral” and not intervene in the civilian government. which weakened Philippine democracy. This study will only observe the effects of military support for 7 . Figure 1 illustrates the variables of the study.

Roberto Paloma of Commission on Appointments. The archival data to be gathered will be cases of military appointment and extrajudicial killings that are within the timeframe of Arroyo’s administration. The interviewees were: (1). (4). Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV. The reports from the Freedom House (2002-2010) and other supporting details were presented as proofs of a weakened democracy in the Philippines during Arroyo’s regime. An interview guide was used to conduct interviews. The government agencies explored for the archival research were Commission on Appointments Commission on Human Rights. Mr. Each key informant provided insightful perspectives in the hypothesis. The Freedom House website was also explored for their Country reports. and (5).the Arroyo administration to Philippine democracy. The data gathered is analyzed through content analysis. a professor of Political science who is also known for his works on national security. Ms. (2). For this study. This setup is also valuable for the consistency of the conclusions. The two data gathering methods represent the view of experts and intellects and the actual existing records. Another reason is that the Arroyo administration made the most military appointments in Arroyo’s 10 years in office. Sunshine Serrano of Research. Professor Rommel Banlaoi. Ms. The Arroyo case was also chosen because of its recentness and the clear support which the military had for the regime. (3). Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights. Observations will only be conducted in Metro Manila where the central government is located since the researchers will be concentrating on the presidential seat alone. DJ Acierto of Karapatan. Other military roles and methods of military intervention will not be included in the study. 8 . a retired military officer that led the Oakwood Mutiny who now serves as a Senator of the Philippines. military affairs and military intervention. the researchers used two methods for data gathering: key informant interviews and archival analysis. Karapatan. While the Non-Government Organizations were Task Force Detainees of the Philippines. Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights and Ateneo Human Rights Center. Documentation and Information Committee of Task Force Detainees of the Philippines.

Weaker Democracy + + - + + + + -l + l- + + 9 . The presence of these themes were examined on the key informant interviews and the results are shown below. Now to make these findings relevant to this paper’s hypothesis and the findings of Freedom House. Table 1 Themes of the Study Interviewees Senator Trillanes Prof. Paloma Human Rights (Serrano and Acierto) 1. Banlaoi Mr. These examinations will represent the manifestation of political debt. Political Debt and 3. 2. Military Support. the researchers will formulate a matrix to correlate the general themes and the indicators used by Freedom House reports. Weaker Democracy.Content analysis will be employed on the data gathered using the general themes of: Military Support. Military Support for Arroyo 2. ARROYO and MILITARY: The Dynamics The three main themes of this study are 1. Then a series of arguments will explain the mark on each cell of the table compiling them into the characteristics each theme. A matrix was constructed to illustrate the prevalence or nonprevalence of these themes in the documents and transcripts. Arroyo’s control of the military (or the interplay in the “political debt”) and an aspect of a weak or weaker democracy. The following section will discuss the data and analysis then summarize the findings before the conclusions. Political Debt 3.

It is described as such because it’s not as highlighted unlike the previously stated types of intervention and it can be destructive to the civilian society because the military can be easily manipulated by the president. academe and Human Rights (HR) organizations. But having this kind of description. As not all extrajudicial killings are accurately recorded. two NGO representatives are interviewed to compare their findings. In Brillo’s examination of the 2001 military support. This was also shown on Figure 2 as military support for Arroyo exists in all the perspectives examined in the key informant interviews.The positive signs show that the view of the interviewee on the theme is parallel to this paper’s theory. government (Commission on Appointments or CA). During Arroyo’s administration the support of the military was highly evident. military support was existent even before Arroyo’s period. It wasn’t a taboo in the government unlike Western ideals. MILITARY SUPPORT Military intervention is commonly associated with coup d’ etats and mutinies but it can also be exhibited through a method that’s more subtle yet destructive: military support. The negative signs on the other hand show that the view is opposing the theory with regards to that theme. The military support for Arroyo started in 2001 when then AFP Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes withdrew his support from former President Joseph Estrada and facilitated his removal which paved the way for Arroyo’s rise to power. Professor Rommel Banlaoi (2011) also contributed on its historical existence because the Filipino military institution is socialized into participating in politics that started way back from the formation of the republic. Sunshine Serrano (2011) of Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) said that military support as a kind of intervention was very blatant and evident during Arroyo’s regime. he also came to a result that a military and civilian government relation endured within Marcos to Estrada’s regime. His concrete examples are 10 . All these accounts represented the different views of the actors on the theory: military. The half pluses on the other hand show that the view of the interviewee is only partial with regards to the theme.

The military officials were beholden in a sense that they “owe their job to the president” (SSIA. p. if it ever lasts. Department of Interior and Local Government. And because of this. military support is much more important to study and analyze especially because it’s recent. And aside from this. Trillanes mentioned in his interview that Arroyo took care of her generals as the various retirees were appointed to different civilian positions. Angelo Reyes was appointed as secretary of Department of National Defense. the initiating acts of the military in the 1986 people power revolution and the famous support withdrawal from the Estrada administration (2007. along with the interviewee’s views only show that military support is as historically evident as coup d’ etat and mutiny. As shown in table 1. as how Brillo categorizes the types of military interventions. The only difference is that it’s not given much attention despite its impact on the civilian government. Now that the importance of military support is established. 2005). All these evidences of “military influence” (2007. However Paloma (2011) only focused on the appointments and that the HR NGOs elaborated more on the extrajudicial killings. This debt is existent in the dynamics of military appointments and extrajudicial killings.Marcos’ “partnership” with the military for the dictatorial regime. 8-9). Paloma (2011) explained that Arroyo had the highest number of chiefs of staff appointments as compared to other presidents. putting the military at par with the government. Banlaoi (2011) described the military as being “politically beholden” to the Arroyo administration. pp. 3). Department of 11 . how it’s used or if it evolves into something else. it is also an imperative to see how the military support lasts. Arroyo utilized ways to maintain the military’s support or loyalty. Trillanes (2011) viewed these appointments as Arroyo’s usage of the military for her conditions. political debt is existent in the views of Trillanes and Banlaoi (2011). POLITICAL DEBT Maintaining military support made the Arroyo administration indebted to the military. It must also be noticed how there is no successful coup attempts in the history of Philippine republic.

Cimatu Military Position/Rank Lieutenant General Appointed Position Under Arroyo’s Regime . 2011).AFP Chief of Staff . 2010 June.Cabinet Secretary . Roy Cimatu and Generoso Senga were all retired AFP chief of staff who were assigned to diplomatic posts. Alexander Yano. Esperon General Victor Ybrado Delfin M. Dionisio Santiago on the other hand became head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency after his retirement. 2001 December 18.Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Energy (CA. 2002 .AFP Chief of Staff -CEO of Basis Conversion and Development Authority . 2010 December 20.AFP Chief of Staff -Co-chairman of the board of AFP Retirement Separation and Benefit System Date of Appointment/ Date post was assumed July 21. Arroyo appointed a total of 11 generals as AFP chief of staff. Bangit General Diomedio Villanueva Dionisio Santiago LtGen Roy A. According to Tordecilla of PCIJ. Furthermore he argued that these appointments served as rewards for their support as PGMA’s allies (Tordecillia.AFP Chief of Staff . 2002 April 7. 2002 55 56 54 58 56 Narciso Abaya October 2004 November 28. 2002 - 12 . 2006 Age during the filing of appointment 53 Date of Retirement February 9.2006 August 21.Office of the Presidential adviser on the peace process AFP Chief of Staff AFP Chief of Staff AFP Chief of Staff . 2011). 2008 Lieutenant General Lieutenant General AFP Chief of Staff AFP Chief of Staff .Lieutenat General . 2002 Nomination . 2010 May 18.Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency .prepared appointmentJuly 3.AFP Chief of Staff .AFP Chief of Staff AFP Chief of Staff AFP Chief of Staff June 2009 February. 2003 July 4. 2002 Benjamin Defensor October 16. Table 2 Military Appointments *mandatory military retirement age: 56 Name of Military Appointee LtGen Hermogenes C.Ambassador to Middle East . 2002 55 March 10.

“allies” of Arroyo. Banlaoi (2011) also emphasized the importance of 13 . Another observation is that these military officials are all. 2011 & GMA News Research. 2006 From this table. 2008 - July 2006 55 May 1. a way to maintain the support from the military.AFP Chief of Staff . These observations indicate Arroyo’s interest as a leader. 55 General 2004 Angelo Reyes AFP Chief of Secretary of DND.Retired LtGen Generoso Senga Retired General Alexander B. 2005). the interviewee from CA even noted that Angelo Reyes’ summary of appointments is comprised by a four page table stating the number of filed appointments. DENR and DOE Source: Commission of Appointments. Staff DILG. 2009 August 15. According to him.Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam . But the question is. that record alone could tell how much Arroyo wanted to keep Reyes “around” and how this would maintain his support to her. And these observations are besides the fact that Arroyo had more chief of staff appointments compared to previous presidents (SSIA.Lieutenant General . Even though they are supposed to be retiring.AFP Chief of Staff . they are kept near Arroyo instead. we can see that there’s a trend of appointing military officers that are nearing retirement. close to the mandatory retirement age of 56. what kind of interest is it? Mr. It can also be seen that after retirement. Most of them are around 50s.AFP Chief of Staff 2005 2006 -June 11.Chairman of the Board of AFP Savings and Loan Association Incorporated and AFP Government Insurance Corporation . Yano Efren Abu . these generals were given civilian positions. Tordecillia explained that this is “political pandering” to protect the administration from issues of legitimacy (2011). in Tordecillia’s words. 2005 Lieutenant AFP Chief of Staff October 19. Roberto Paloma (2011).AFP Chief .General Manager of National Broadcasting Network .

military support manifested when Arroyo used the AFP for cheating in the 2004 elections. Unfortunately this plan did not differentiate armed from unarmed civilians. Marcos used the military for his personal interests (Quilop. Its main objective was to eliminate fronts of the New People’s Army. In Senator Antonio Trillanes’ view. 2001). Neutralization involved silencing the opposition which meant torturing and killing these activists. DJ Acierto (2011) of Karapatan puts emphasis on the fact that Arroyo posed the need to “neutralize” the opposition or the so-called leftist organizations that were present during her time. 2001 p. This exchange of appointments and protection shows the relationship between the military and Arroyo. giving important roles to military men in the government and society. This type of setting transpired even before the Arroyo administration. When Arroyo had “politically beholden” the military she was able to gain full control of them. The “Order of the Battle” came out in 2008 and it was part of the Oplan Bantay Laya movement which introduced the people living in the hamlets to the organizations who were considered to be enemies of the state. This interest was mainly geared towards the protection of the Arroyo administration. Not only in the sense of being the commander –in-chief but also because she was able to use them to protect the administration from so-called leftist organizations. Oplan Bantay Laya was created in 2002 as a tool for fighting the insurgency. this is the period wherein the military in the Philippines started to embrace its political nature. It was even said that the military was used for cheating in the 2004 elections (Hedman. Members of these 14 . During Marcos’ time. 93). He reiterates that the military along with other government agencies are tools for Arroyo’s corruption and accumulation of power. he also made some form of appointments to the military as he granted indispensable powers for them in exchange of the “protection” and the silencing of the opposition. Coincidentally.maintaining this support by providing “perks and porks” or technically speaking. At the same time Paloma also points out the blatant “fact” that Arroyo was able to cheat elections through the military (2011).

A lot of the people included in this list have already been killed in Mindanao (Serrano. p. 2006. It was said that wherever Palparan went or is assigned to. Death squad operations were also part of the Bantay Laya program and this was said to have resulted to a significant increase in the number of extrajudicial killings of human rights defenders and activists in the country.20). and other personal information of people working for the leftist organizations. Jovito Palparan became widely known as the “berdugo” of the military. Aside from this Gen. Despite concrete evidence pointing the military as perpetrators of these killings. pictures. The military then started pointing fingers to leftist organizations as parts or fronts of the guerrilla movements. none of them were brought to justice. the number of extrajudicial killings in that area increases (Melo report.organizations were considered to be enemies of the state. 2011). Figure 2 Number of Victims of Extra Judicial Killings under Arroyo Government 350 300 250 200 KARAPATAN 150 100 50 0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 TFDP 15 . The Order of Battle contained names. The figure shown below are the statistics gathered from the records of two human rights organizations: Karapatan and the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines.

Figure 3 From CHR From the data above it is shown that the numbers of victims recorded in the two organizations vary because of geographic scope (although both were said to have counted reports from all over the country). human rights advocates and the like (Acierto. The Marcos period shook the supposed prevailing democracy in the country by declaring martial law but considering the “baby democracy” that we 16 . Then put figure 3. 2010 Insert CHR findings here and state that since these are from leftist NGOs. Both of these data point to state actors. Monitor 2010 & TFDP. 2011).Sources: Karapatan. government data should also be considered so that the bias towards leftist victims could be eliminated. Acierto also emphasized that there are no concrete basis for these accusations. These numbers are significantly higher compared to the numbers during the administration of Estrada. Killings which lacked the evidence to point state actors as the perpetrators were not counted in the data. This violent nature of the military is not new in the Philippine history as demonstrated by Hilsdon’s account on the military method of attacking villages where the NPA are supposedly living in (1995). The counter-insurgency programs were to blame for these killings because there was no differentiation between unarmed and armed groups. Despite the disparity between these numbers it seems evident that the peak of the killings was during 2006. they had to eliminate the front groups created by farmers. More than half of these victims were members or leaders of progressive groups. WEAKER DEMOCRACY Democracy in the Philippines is somewhat blurred and unclear considering that it was only reinstated during Cory Aquino’s regime. specifically the military and the police as the perpetrators of killings. The military believed that to eliminate the NPA.

Country Report: Philippines. Banlaoi (2011) subtly describes this notion in the Philippines as a façade of a democracy. 2002-2010 7 Political Rights Score Civil Rights Score 6 5 4 Freedom House Score 3 2 1 0 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Year Source: Freedom House. In table 1. Trillanes (2011) however claimed that there is no democracy in the first place.are experiencing according to Trillanes. Figure 4 Freedom House Country Report: Philippines. all interviewees gave the view of having a weaker or “failed” democracy during Arroyo’s regime. 17 . this is how the country did during Arroyo’s regime. 2002-2010.

Freedom House reported that the increase in the number of extrajudicial killings contributed to the “downward arrow” in the ratings. The higher the score is. Including 2001 would also mean the impeachment of Joseph Estrada which would fall outside the scope of this study.The figure above shows the Freedom House country report of the Philippines from 20022010. And during 2009.0 are not free (see Appendix D). In the country reports. Because of these incidences.5-partly free in the ratings. political debt can be summarized as the exchange of interests between Arroyo and the military.57. LINKING MILITARY SUPPORT AND PHILIPPINE DEMOCRACY Based on the arguments above. those who score under 1. but it can be established that democracy weakened as Arroyo’s regime ends through the measures of political and civil rights. This study is looking on the consequences of the support during Arroyo’s regime. people were afraid to speak out for fear of the killings. It was said in the summaries that electoral corruptions and fraud is the reason for the change of ratings. the less political or civil rights are felt. We cannot infer if these ratings are better than other countries. 2006 is the year where the country started to change scores steadily increasing as the years progress. Philippines changed from free to partly free by 2006 also.0 are partly free while those who fall under 5. In order for the military to actually advance their 18 . All these factors contributed to the declining ratings of the Philippines in the Freedom House indicators. Most of which can be answered by a yes or no. 2001 wasn’t included in the data as this is the start of the term of Arroyo. those who fall under 3. the less civil and political rights are felt.000 people. Now in the current 2010 rankings.5 are categorized as free. Muslim-military violence resulted to more killings at around 600.0-2.0-5. Philippines scored 3. This categorization can be attained through the combination of the two scores: Political Rights Score and Civil Rights Score. These scores are measured on the indicators used by Freedom House (see Figure 6). Also by 2007. In the graph above it can be seen that as Arroyo’s regime progresses. According to Freedom House’s measuring indicators.

and (3) while killings are concentrated in Mindanao during Estrada’s administration. each indicator is marked with a positive or a negative sign. and (3) appointees are mostly allies. (2) there are appointment of retirees on civilian positions. Arroyo was able to gain the military and used them for her personal interests. military personnel were used to cheat for the Arroyo administration during the 2004 elections. (2) these are proven to have been committed by state actors and the police.position in the institution. they needed to support Arroyo. A positive sign indicates that there is a connection found between the indicator and the characteristics. While extrajudicial killings are characterized by (1) ambushes are directed towards political activists and members of leftist organizations. One instance of such display of exchange is when certain military men helped Arroyo to win the 2004 elections. Military appointments on AFP Chief of Staff during this period are characterized by (1) military officials are nearing retirement. . A negative sign would indicate that there’s no connection found and therefore political debt doesn’t affect that indicator. Each corresponding mark is explained. Through military appointments. Table 3 Political Debt and Philippine Democracy (may comments si sir sa mga ilang cell) POLITICAL RIGHTS ELECTORAL PROCESS Is the head of government or other chief national authority elected through free and fair elections? Are the national legislative representatives elected through free and fair elections? Are the electoral laws and framework fair? POLITICAL DEBT + As stated earlier. And since it is in Arroyo’s interest to have the military on her side. The researchers used the indicators created by Freedom House which is mainly composed by two elements political rights and civil rights. it was dispersed all throughout the Philippines during Arroyo’s time. Using the characteristics mentioned above.It might be that “military intention” also exist at local levels-di lang kasama sa research question niyo - 19 . she made several military appointments.

foreign powers. and is the system open to the rise and fall of these competing parties or groupings? Is there a significant opposition vote and a realistic possibility for the opposition to increase its support or gain power through elections? Are the people's political choices free from domination by the military. the survey gives the system credit. or any other powerful group? Do cultural. CIVIL LIBERTIES FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND BELIEF Are there free and independent media and other forms of cultural expression? (Note: In cases where the media are state controlled but offer pluralistic points of view. economic oligarchies.well political appointees like your generals make policies but are not elected + Military appointments were used to reward the supporters of the Arroyo administration. religious hierarchies. - .) Are religious institutions and communities free to practice their faith and express themselves in public and POLITICAL DEBT . + None of the state actors who were guilty of committing extrajudicial killings and election fraud were held accountable. armed or unarmed. + The manipulation of the 2004 elections by the Arroyo administration had a negative effect on the chance of the opposition (FPJ) to win the elections. or other minority groups have full political rights and electoral opportunities? FUNCTIONING OF GOVERNMENT Do the freely elected head of government and national legislative representatives determine the policies of the government? Is the government free from pervasive corruption? Is the government accountable to the electorate between elections. totalitarian parties. can be accused as enemies of the state even without 20 . and does it operate with openness and transparency? + Some leftist organizations were considered to be part of the NPA which led to the members of these organizations as enemies of the state. + People are led to believe that leftist organizations are enemies of the state. ethnic.POLITICAL PLURALISM AND PARTICIPATION Do the people have the right to organize in different political parties or other competitive political groupings of their choice. religious.what about the increase in the number of killings among journalists + Everyone.

employment. - + Prominent political activists become targets for extrajudicial killings. unjustified imprisonment. + Peasant organizations were attacked by the military under the allegations that they are only a front for the NPA. and practices guarantee equal treatment of various segments of the population? evidence. the security forces. and is there effective collective bargaining? Are there free professional and other private organizations? RULE OF LAW Is there an independent judiciary? Does the rule of law prevail in civil and criminal matters? Is there protection from political terror. exile. + Several leftist organizations were accused as fronts of the NPA. + No one was practically safe during the Arroyo administration because even civilians were accused of supporting the insurgents. political parties/organizations. foundations. and open public discussion? Is there freedom for nongovernmental organizations? (Note: This includes civic organizations. or institution of higher education? Do citizens have the right to own property and establish private businesses? Is private business activity unduly influenced by government officials. etc. + Despite the guilt of the state actors specifically the military in the commitment of extrajudicial crimes. demonstration. or organized crime? - 21 . policies. PERSONAL AUTONOMY AND INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS Do citizens enjoy freedom of travel or choice of residence. or torture. + Progressive movements and leftist organizations are treated violently by the military and members are persecuted without valid reason and through illegal means. whether by groups that support or oppose the system? Is there freedom from war and insurgencies? Do laws. interest groups. and is the educational system free of extensive political indoctrination? Is there open and free private discussion? ASSOCIATIONAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL RIGHTS Is there freedom of assembly.private? Is there academic freedom. no one was actually apprehended.) Are there free trade unions and peasant organizations or equivalents.

The violent treatment of the opposition affected the political freedom of the people. 6 out of the 10 indicators are affected by political debt. The suppression of the opposition was highly significant as the civil leftist organizations were seen as threats to the society and were considered as insurgents themselves. This implies the negative impact that political debt has on the freedom of the people to exercise their political rights.Are there personal social freedoms. (Serrano. On the electoral process alone. and size of family? Is there equality of opportunity and the absence of economic exploitation? From the table above it can be seen that 13 out of the 25 indicators are affected by the characteristics of political debt. This lack of accountability implies tolerance of these killings. however the rule of law is not as strong as it should be in a democratic country. 2011) The media and the academe are not affected by political debt. The increased numbers of extrajudicial killings indicate that civilians are not protected by the law. The independence of the judiciary is not compromised by the presence of political debt. including gender equality. On the other hand political participation of the people is heavily affected by political debt as three out of four indicators point out. it was already shown that elections were affected by the concept of political debt as the results of the 2004 elections were manipulated by the administrations. choice of marriage partners. Associational and organizational rights were heavily affected by political debt as all the three indicators in this section show. 2011). and that the law does not deter the military from committing such violence. considering the fact that the president is their commander in chief (Banlaoi. In the section of political rights. destroying the essence of having free and fair elections. public expression is somehow limited due to the threat of being a victim of military violence. Personal 22 . These rights are suppressed due to the threats projected by extrajudicial killings. political debt disrupts the accountability and transparency of government as the government is not held responsible for the atrocities committed by the military. However. On the functioning of government.

NGO etc). Explanation on why political rights is the only one affected by political debt. on the other hand is not at all affected by the presence of political debt as shown in the four indicators above. This shows that almost 50% of the breakdown of democracy (electoral process. The more indicators are affected. functioning of the government. This paper reiterates first that military support is an important type of military intervention in the Philippines as it is rampant on the recent administrations and that its political implications are impactful. associtional and organizational rights and rule of law). the study found out that Philippines had a weaker democracy during Arroyo’s regime and that political debt plays a relatively huge part on it with military support serving as a catalyst. Freedom House graph (figure 4): civil rights did not increase. Matrix (table 3): 6/10=political rights (60%).autonomy. In summary. CONCLUSION In summary. therefore we can say that political debt also had an impact on Philippine democracy during Arroyo’s administration. In this case. This 50% implies the effect of political debt on groups and communities as well as institutions (government. more than 50% of the indicators were found to be affected by the presence of political debt. freedom of expression and belief. It excludes however those individuals who are not affiliated with any leftist group or without any accusation for affiliation. the heavier the impact on democracy. Political debt had a negative impact on these two elements. 7/15=civil rights (less than 50%). political participation. 23 . this result implies that political debt has an impact on democracy particularly on its collective aspect but not entirely as the other 50% needs to be filled in by other factors. Political rights and civil rights are the two core elements of democracy as measured by Freedom House.

Also suppression of the opposition may be one of the forefront factors of political debt into weakening democracy but military appointments also has a direct impact on democracy. Appointments were characterized by retiring military officials. Arroyo used the military to pursue her interests such as the silencing of the opposition through extrajudicial killings. incidences in Arroyo’s administration are dispersed all throughout the nation. In answer to that limitation. If her interest is to get the military’s 24 . these acts of exchanges do not affect democracy wholly but that a certain aspect of it was greatly disrupted. the researchers assessed the hypothesis to be slightly incorrect.Secondly. specifically those who are affiliated and accused as leftists. military support was able to weaken democracy through the causal mechanism ‘political debt’. democracy is affected by the concept of political debt through its focus and impact on groups and communities. This dynamic comprises military appointments and extrajudicial killings. On the first hypothesis. Extrajudicial killings were characterized by ambushes of political activists and members of leftist organizations. The second hypothesis was proven by the examination of political debt. political debt exists through the exchange of interests between Arroyo and the military as catalyzed by the 2001 military support. close “allies” of the Arroyo administration as demonstrated on the support and the appointment on civilian positions. Lastly. committed by state actors such as the military and the police and that compared to Estrada. In exchange for the appointments as a payment for the support. democracy during Arroyo’s regime may have weakened through the angle of corruption. Thirdly. Political debt also affects democracy in such a way that it attacks institutions such as rule of law and that democratic processes are not practiced efficiently. Fourth is that as military support catalyzes political debt dynamics. democracy was certainly weakened but not solely through political debt. Arroyo’s budget allocation may have represented her interests and the aspect of ‘money’ to the dynamics of political debt. Now that the conclusions are laid out.

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On the allegations of human rights violations committed by the military. What is your take on the concept of a “political debt”? 4. PR and CL Ratings Status Political Rights (PR) Civil Liberties (CL) Total scores PR Rating Total scores CL Rating 36-40 30-35 24-29 18-23 12-17 6-11 1 2 3 4 5 6 53-60 44-52 35-43 26-34 17-25 8-16 1 2 3 4 5 6 30 . Did the military support for Arroyo’s administration weaken democracy? Why or why not? Appendix C Freedom House Key to Scores. If yes. On the issue of military appointments. how can you relate this to Arroyo’s political debt? 9.Interviewer:____________________ Interview Venue:___________________ Key Informant Name:___________________ Position:______________________ Name of Organization (if relevant):__________________ 1. how did this affect civilian supremacy over the military? And how is this connected to Arroyo’s political debt? 8. Did the Arroyo administration have a “political debt” to the military? How so? 5. how did Arroyo pay this debt? 6. How did the military exhibit its support for the Arroyo administration? 2. How was Arroyo able to maintain military support? 7. What is the effect of this to Philippine democracy? 3. What are the implications of this to Philippine democracy? 10.

0 to 2.0 Free Partly Free Not Free * It is possible for a country's total political rights score to be less than zero (between -1 and -4) if it receives mostly or all zeros for each of the 10 political rights questions and it receives a sufficiently negative score for political rights discretionary question B.0-5 * 7 0-7 7 Combined Average of the PR and CL Ratings Country Status 1.5 to 7. 31 .5 3. In such a case.0 to 5.0 5. a country would still receive a final political rights rating of 7.