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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 Peoples 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 theres 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 countrys 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

to enter the political arena through elections because they can help in overseeing the government. From this point of view, the arguments made by anti-military intervention authors seemed to focus on coup d etat alone. This urged the writers to look at the other type of military influence, which is military support for the president that was clearly present during Arroyos administration. Given the notion that the military should remain neutral at all times (Espedilla, 1994), this study seeks to find out how military support for the Arroyo administration weakened Philippine democracy. Historically, military participation was exhibited in the Philippines in two ways: military support for political leaders and coup d etat. During former President Arroyos administration, both of these instances were present, as the military leaders publicly swore to support the Arroyo administration (Taipei Times, 2008). Coup d etats, though unsuccessful, were also present during the administration. These were evidently seen in the Oakwood mutiny and Manila Peninsula rebellion. Because of the high contrast between the two types of military participation during Arroyos time, 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. This paper will concentrate on the military participation through providing support for the president. 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. Coup d etats are clearly against the administration. Military support on the other hand is for the Arroyo administration. Since the military should remain as a neutral entity (Espedilla, 1994), the researchers would like to find out how military support for the Arroyo administration weaken Philippine democracy. 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, but what if the intervention is internal? For an administration? How does that weaken democracy?

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

Figure 1 Conceptual Framework

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 others interests. It is also considered as the catalyst for the creation of political debt. A Weak Democracy on the other hand is the general decline of democracy in the Philippines due to Arroyos control over the military and the support they gave to the administration. Political Debt is the resulting debt incurred by the Arroyo administration to the military after they openly declared their support for the administration. This refers to the whole dynamics: military officials were appointed and in return, Arroyo uses them as political machinery for carrying out injustice acts. 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. 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.

The theoretical framework for this hypothesis follows the concept of Military Professionalism in civil-military relations as demonstrated in Samuel Huntingtons book Soldier and the State (1985). In this book, Huntington elaborated the difference between the military and the civilian government. As the military is characterized by conservative ideals, the civilian government is characterized by liberal ideas. These worlds however have their own set of rules to follow that clash with each other as conservative military would tend to be illiberal. Huntington noted that civilian dominance over the military must be maintained against the

military threats to liberal democracy. His suggestion to this necessity is to have the military practice its professionalism. He explains his hypothesis that the military is the authority when it comes to providing security and the civilian authoritys role is to give goals or directions and have the military achieve it on their own way or professionally. 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. Furthermore, 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, 1985). In this case, the military support, however unpopular it is, like any other military intervention weakened democracy because of their non-professionalism and defiance of political neutrality. Figure 1 illustrates the variables of the study; the independent variable is the military support, while the dependent variable is a weakened democracy. The researchers hypothesized that: H1 Military support weakens democracy therefore military support for the Arroyo administration weakened Philippine Democracy during Arroyos tenure. H2 Military support created political debt for the Arroyo administration, which weakened Philippine democracy. Military appointments were used by Arroyo to repay the political debt. Because of the appointments, Arroyo was able to use the military into silencing the leftists resulting to extrajudicial killings. H3 Political Debt weakens democracy by enabling the military to suppress or control the opposition through extrajudicial killings. 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. Observations will only be limited to the period of Arroyos administration and the armed forces of the Philippines. This study will only observe the effects of military support for

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

Content analysis will be employed on the data gathered using the general themes of: Military Support, Arroyos control of the military (or the interplay in the political debt) and an aspect of a weak or weaker democracy. A matrix was constructed to illustrate the prevalence or nonprevalence of these themes in the documents and transcripts. Then a series of arguments will explain the mark on each cell of the table compiling them into the characteristics each theme. These examinations will represent the manifestation of political debt. Now to make these findings relevant to this papers hypothesis and the findings of Freedom House, the researchers will formulate a matrix to correlate the general themes and the indicators used by Freedom House reports. The following section will discuss the data and analysis then summarize the findings before the conclusions.

ARROYO and MILITARY: The Dynamics

The three main themes of this study are 1. Military Support; 2. Political Debt and 3. Weaker Democracy. The presence of these themes were examined on the key informant interviews and the results are shown below. Table 1 Themes of the Study Interviewees Senator Trillanes Prof. Banlaoi Mr. Paloma Human Rights (Serrano and Acierto)

1. Military Support for Arroyo 2. Political Debt 3. Weaker Democracy

+ + -

+ + +



The positive signs show that the view of the interviewee on the theme is parallel to this papers theory. The negative signs on the other hand show that the view is opposing the theory with regards to that theme. The half pluses on the other hand show that the view of the interviewee is only partial with regards to the theme. All these accounts represented the different views of the actors on the theory: military, government (Commission on Appointments or CA), academe and Human Rights (HR) organizations. As not all extrajudicial killings are accurately recorded, two NGO representatives are interviewed to compare their findings. MILITARY SUPPORT Military intervention is commonly associated with coup d etats and mutinies but it can also be exhibited through a method thats more subtle yet destructive: military support. It is described as such because its 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. During Arroyos administration the support of the military was highly evident. 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 Arroyos rise to power. This was also shown on Figure 2 as military support for Arroyo exists in all the perspectives examined in the key informant interviews. But having this kind of description, military support was existent even before Arroyos period. 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 Arroyos regime. 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. It wasnt a taboo in the government unlike Western ideals. In Brillos examination of the 2001 military support, he also came to a result that a military and civilian government relation endured within Marcos to Estradas regime. His concrete examples are


Marcos partnership with the military for the dictatorial regime, putting the military at par with the government, the initiating acts of the military in the 1986 people power revolution and the famous support withdrawal from the Estrada administration (2007, pp. 8-9). All these evidences of military influence (2007, p. 3), as how Brillo categorizes the types of military interventions, along with the interviewees views only show that military support is as historically evident as coup d etat and mutiny. The only difference is that its not given much attention despite its impact on the civilian government. It must also be noticed how there is no successful coup attempts in the history of Philippine republic. And because of this, military support is much more important to study and analyze especially because its recent. Now that the importance of military support is established, it is also an imperative to see how the military support lasts, if it ever lasts, how its used or if it evolves into something else. Arroyo utilized ways to maintain the militarys support or loyalty.

POLITICAL DEBT Maintaining military support made the Arroyo administration indebted to the military. This debt is existent in the dynamics of military appointments and extrajudicial killings. Banlaoi (2011) described the military as being politically beholden to the Arroyo administration. The military officials were beholden in a sense that they owe their job to the president (SSIA, 2005). As shown in table 1, political debt is existent in the views of Trillanes and Banlaoi (2011). Trillanes (2011) viewed these appointments as Arroyos usage of the military for her conditions. However Paloma (2011) only focused on the appointments and that the HR NGOs elaborated more on the extrajudicial killings. Paloma (2011) explained that Arroyo had the highest number of chiefs of staff appointments as compared to other presidents. 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, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of


Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Energy (CA, 2011). Alexander Yano, Roy Cimatu and Generoso Senga were all retired AFP chief of staff who were assigned to diplomatic posts. Dionisio Santiago on the other hand became head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency after his retirement. According to Tordecilla of PCIJ, Arroyo appointed a total of 11 generals as AFP chief of staff. Furthermore he argued that these appointments served as rewards for their support as PGMAs allies (Tordecillia, 2011). Table 2 Military Appointments *mandatory military retirement age: 56 Name of Military Appointee LtGen Hermogenes C. Esperon General Victor Ybrado Delfin M. Bangit General Diomedio Villanueva Dionisio Santiago LtGen Roy A. Cimatu Military Position/Rank Lieutenant General Appointed Position Under Arroyos Regime - AFP Chief of Staff - Cabinet Secretary - Office of the Presidential adviser on the peace process AFP Chief of Staff AFP Chief of Staff AFP Chief of Staff - AFP Chief of Staff - Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency - AFP Chief of Staff - Ambassador to Middle East - AFP Chief of Staff -CEO of Basis Conversion and Development Authority - 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, 2006 Age during the filing of appointment 53 Date of Retirement February 9, 2008

Lieutenant General Lieutenant General AFP Chief of Staff AFP Chief of Staff - Lieutenat General - AFP Chief of Staff AFP Chief of Staff AFP Chief of Staff

June 2009 February, 2010 December 20, 2001 December 18, 2002 Nomination - prepared appointmentJuly 3, 2002 - 2006 August 21, 2002


March 10, 2010 June, 2010 May 18, 2002 April 7, 2003 July 4, 2002

55 56 54 58 56

Narciso Abaya

October 2004 November 28, 2002

Benjamin Defensor

October 16, 2002


Retired LtGen Generoso Senga Retired General Alexander B. Yano Efren Abu

- Lieutenant General - AFP Chief - AFP Chief of Staff

- Chairman of the Board of AFP Savings and Loan Association Incorporated and AFP Government Insurance Corporation - AFP Chief of Staff - General Manager of National Broadcasting Network - Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam - AFP Chief of Staff

2005 2006 -June 11, 2008

July 2006


May 1, 2009 August 15, 2005

Lieutenant AFP Chief of Staff October 19, 55 General 2004 Angelo Reyes AFP Chief of Secretary of DND, Staff DILG, DENR and DOE Source: Commission of Appointments, 2011 & GMA News Research, 2006

From this table, we can see that theres a trend of appointing military officers that are nearing retirement. Most of them are around 50s, close to the mandatory retirement age of 56. It can also be seen that after retirement, these generals were given civilian positions. Even though they are supposed to be retiring, they are kept near Arroyo instead. Another observation is that these military officials are all, in Tordecillias words, allies of Arroyo. And these observations are besides the fact that Arroyo had more chief of staff appointments compared to previous presidents (SSIA, 2005). These observations indicate Arroyos interest as a leader. But the question is, what kind of interest is it? Mr. Roberto Paloma (2011), 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. According to him, that record alone could tell how much Arroyo wanted to keep Reyes around and how this would maintain his support to her. Tordecillia explained that this is political pandering to protect the administration from issues of legitimacy (2011), a way to maintain the support from the military. Banlaoi (2011) also emphasized the importance of


maintaining this support by providing perks and porks or technically speaking, giving important roles to military men in the government and society. When Arroyo had politically beholden the military she was able to gain full control of them. 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. This exchange of appointments and protection shows the relationship between the military and Arroyo. This type of setting transpired even before the Arroyo administration. During Marcos time, 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. Marcos used the military for his personal interests (Quilop, 2001 p. 93). Coincidentally, 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, 2001). In Senator Antonio Trillanes view, military support manifested when Arroyo used the AFP for cheating in the 2004 elections. He reiterates that the military along with other government agencies are tools for Arroyos corruption and accumulation of power. At the same time Paloma also points out the blatant fact that Arroyo was able to cheat elections through the military (2011). This interest was mainly geared towards the protection of the Arroyo administration. 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. Neutralization involved silencing the opposition which meant torturing and killing these activists. Oplan Bantay Laya was created in 2002 as a tool for fighting the insurgency. Its main objective was to eliminate fronts of the New Peoples Army. Unfortunately this plan did not differentiate armed from unarmed civilians. 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. Members of these


organizations were considered to be enemies of the state. The Order of Battle contained names, pictures, and other personal information of people working for the leftist organizations. A lot of the people included in this list have already been killed in Mindanao (Serrano, 2011). The military then started pointing fingers to leftist organizations as parts or fronts of the guerrilla movements. Aside from this Gen. Jovito Palparan became widely known as the berdugo of the military. It was said that wherever Palparan went or is assigned to, the number of extrajudicial killings in that area increases (Melo report, 2006, p.20). 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. Despite concrete evidence pointing the military as perpetrators of these killings, none of them were brought to justice. 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 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


Sources: Karapatan, Monitor 2010 & TFDP, 2010 Insert CHR findings here and state that since these are from leftist NGOs, government data should also be considered so that the bias towards leftist victims could be eliminated. Then put figure 3. 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). Both of these data point to state actors, specifically the military and the police as the perpetrators of killings. Killings which lacked the evidence to point state actors as the perpetrators were not counted in the data. Despite the disparity between these numbers it seems evident that the peak of the killings was during 2006. More than half of these victims were members or leaders of progressive groups. These numbers are significantly higher compared to the numbers during the administration of Estrada. The counter-insurgency programs were to blame for these killings because there was no differentiation between unarmed and armed groups. The military believed that to eliminate the NPA, they had to eliminate the front groups created by farmers, human rights advocates and the like (Acierto, 2011). Acierto also emphasized that there are no concrete basis for these accusations. This violent nature of the military is not new in the Philippine history as demonstrated by Hilsdons account on the military method of attacking villages where the NPA are supposedly living in (1995).

WEAKER DEMOCRACY Democracy in the Philippines is somewhat blurred and unclear considering that it was only reinstated during Cory Aquinos regime. The Marcos period shook the supposed prevailing democracy in the country by declaring martial law but considering the baby democracy that we


are experiencing according to Trillanes, this is how the country did during Arroyos regime. In table 1, all interviewees gave the view of having a weaker or failed democracy during Arroyos regime. Trillanes (2011) however claimed that there is no democracy in the first place. Banlaoi (2011) subtly describes this notion in the Philippines as a faade of a democracy.

Figure 4 Freedom House Country Report: Philippines; 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


Source: Freedom House. Country Report: Philippines, 2002-2010.


The figure above shows the Freedom House country report of the Philippines from 20022010. 2001 wasnt included in the data as this is the start of the term of Arroyo. This study is looking on the consequences of the support during Arroyos regime. Including 2001 would also mean the impeachment of Joseph Estrada which would fall outside the scope of this study. According to Freedom Houses measuring indicators, those who score under 1.0-2.5 are categorized as free, those who fall under 3.0-5.0 are partly free while those who fall under 5.57.0 are not free (see Appendix D). 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). Most of which can be answered by a yes or no. The higher the score is, the less political or civil rights are felt. In the graph above it can be seen that as Arroyos regime progresses, the less civil and political rights are felt. 2006 is the year where the country started to change scores steadily increasing as the years progress. In the country reports, Philippines changed from free to partly free by 2006 also. It was said in the summaries that electoral corruptions and fraud is the reason for the change of ratings. Also by 2007, Freedom House reported that the increase in the number of extrajudicial killings contributed to the downward arrow in the ratings. And during 2009, Muslim-military violence resulted to more killings at around 600,000 people. All these factors contributed to the declining ratings of the Philippines in the Freedom House indicators. Now in the current 2010 rankings, Philippines scored 3.5-partly free in the ratings. Because of these incidences, people were afraid to speak out for fear of the killings. We cannot infer if these ratings are better than other countries, but it can be established that democracy weakened as Arroyos regime ends through the measures of political and civil rights.

LINKING MILITARY SUPPORT AND PHILIPPINE DEMOCRACY Based on the arguments above, political debt can be summarized as the exchange of interests between Arroyo and the military. In order for the military to actually advance their


position in the institution, they needed to support Arroyo. And since it is in Arroyos interest to have the military on her side, she made several military appointments. Through military appointments, Arroyo was able to gain the military and used them for her personal interests. 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, (2) there are appointment of retirees on civilian positions, and (3) appointees are mostly allies. While extrajudicial killings are characterized by (1) ambushes are directed towards political activists and members of leftist organizations, (2) these are proven to have been committed by state actors and the police, and (3) while killings are concentrated in Mindanao during Estradas administration, it was dispersed all throughout the Philippines during Arroyos time. The researchers used the indicators created by Freedom House which is mainly composed by two elements political rights and civil rights. Using the characteristics mentioned above, each indicator is marked with a positive or a negative sign. A positive sign indicates that there is a connection found between the indicator and the characteristics. A negative sign would indicate that theres no connection found and therefore political debt doesnt affect that indicator. Each corresponding mark is explained. Table 3 Political Debt and Philippine Democracy (may comments si sir sa mga ilang cell)

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?

+ As stated earlier, military personnel were used to cheat for the Arroyo administration during the 2004 elections. - It might be that military intention also exist at local levels-di lang kasama sa research question niyo -


POLITICAL PLURALISM AND PARTICIPATION Do the people have the right to organize in different political parties or other competitive political groupings of their choice, 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, foreign powers, totalitarian parties, religious hierarchies, economic oligarchies, or any other powerful group? Do cultural, ethnic, religious, 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, 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.

+ 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. + People are led to believe that leftist organizations are enemies of the state. -

- well political appointees like your generals make policies but are not elected + Military appointments were used to reward the supporters of the Arroyo administration. + None of the state actors who were guilty of committing extrajudicial killings and election fraud were held accountable.

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, the survey gives the system credit.) Are religious institutions and communities free to practice their faith and express themselves in public and

- what about the increase in the number of killings among journalists

+ Everyone, armed or unarmed, can be accused as enemies of the state even without


private? Is there academic freedom, 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, demonstration, and open public discussion? Is there freedom for nongovernmental organizations? (Note: This includes civic organizations, interest groups, foundations, etc.) Are there free trade unions and peasant organizations or equivalents, 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, unjustified imprisonment, exile, or torture, whether by groups that support or oppose the system? Is there freedom from war and insurgencies? Do laws, policies, and practices guarantee equal treatment of various segments of the population?

evidence. -

+ Prominent political activists become targets for extrajudicial killings. + Several leftist organizations were accused as fronts of the NPA. + Peasant organizations were attacked by the military under the allegations that they are only a front for the NPA.

+ Despite the guilt of the state actors specifically the military in the commitment of extrajudicial crimes, no one was actually apprehended. + No one was practically safe during the Arroyo administration because even civilians were accused of supporting the insurgents. + Progressive movements and leftist organizations are treated violently by the military and members are persecuted without valid reason and through illegal means.

PERSONAL AUTONOMY AND INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS Do citizens enjoy freedom of travel or choice of residence, employment, 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, the security forces, political parties/organizations, or organized crime?


Are there personal social freedoms, including gender equality, choice of marriage partners, 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. In the section of political rights, 6 out of the 10 indicators are affected by political debt. This implies the negative impact that political debt has on the freedom of the people to exercise their political rights. On the electoral process alone, 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, destroying the essence of having free and fair elections. On the other hand political participation of the people is heavily affected by political debt as three out of four indicators point out. 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. The violent treatment of the opposition affected the political freedom of the people. On the functioning of government, political debt disrupts the accountability and transparency of government as the government is not held responsible for the atrocities committed by the military, considering the fact that the president is their commander in chief (Banlaoi, 2011). This lack of accountability implies tolerance of these killings. (Serrano, 2011) The media and the academe are not affected by political debt. However, public expression is somehow limited due to the threat of being a victim of military violence. Associational and organizational rights were heavily affected by political debt as all the three indicators in this section show. These rights are suppressed due to the threats projected by extrajudicial killings. The independence of the judiciary is not compromised by the presence of political debt; however the rule of law is not as strong as it should be in a democratic country. The increased numbers of extrajudicial killings indicate that civilians are not protected by the law, and that the law does not deter the military from committing such violence. Personal


autonomy, on the other hand is not at all affected by the presence of political debt as shown in the four indicators above. Political rights and civil rights are the two core elements of democracy as measured by Freedom House. Political debt had a negative impact on these two elements; therefore we can say that political debt also had an impact on Philippine democracy during Arroyos administration. The more indicators are affected, the heavier the impact on democracy. In this case, more than 50% of the indicators were found to be affected by the presence of political debt. This shows that almost 50% of the breakdown of democracy (electoral process, political participation, functioning of the government, freedom of expression and belief, associtional and organizational rights and rule of law). This 50% implies the effect of political debt on groups and communities as well as institutions (government, NGO etc). It excludes however those individuals who are not affiliated with any leftist group or without any accusation for affiliation. In summary, 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. Explanation on why political rights is the only one affected by political debt. Freedom House graph (figure 4): civil rights did not increase. Matrix (table 3): 6/10=political rights (60%), 7/15=civil rights (less than 50%).

In summary, the study found out that Philippines had a weaker democracy during Arroyos regime and that political debt plays a relatively huge part on it with military support serving as a catalyst. 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.


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


support, she could have increased military appropriations. In this case, other data and events like the Hello garci tapes and the recent issues on military accounts could have been considered. Since the findings have the participation of the police on the dynamics, it would also be more specific to look at political debt on the polices perspective. Their culture is quite close to the militarys conservative attitudes but they deal a whole lot more of civilians. This angle can contribute especially on extrajudicial killings. Another factor is the cultural reintegration of the Filipino practice debt of gratitude on politics as this may present a possible ideological perspective. With that as the case, we leave these angles on the 2001 event to future studies in the hopes that the phenomenon of military support will be further explored. REFERENCES: Acierto, D. (March 1, 2011) Interview. Quezon: Karapatan Office. Alagappa, M. (1989). Military Professionalism and the Developmental Role of the Military. In Djiwandono, S. & Cheong, Y.M. (Eds.) Soldiers and Stability in Southeast Asia. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Alagappa, M. (2001). Coercion and governance:The declining political role of the military in Asia. CA: Stanford University Press. Banlaoi, R. (February 24, 2011) Interview. Quezon City: UP Teachers Village. Banlaoi, R. (2003). The military and democracy in the Philippines: Towards a democratic control of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).Retrieved September 17,2010 from %20Folder/Conference_Paper_Military_democracyphilippines.pdf. Berry, W. (1986). The changing role of the Philippine military during the Martial law and the implications for the future. In The armed forces in contemporary Asian societies, pp. 215-236. Colorado:Westview Press Inc. Brillo, B.B. (2007). The Arroyo Government and the Military: Maintaining Civilian Authority and amidst undue influence of the Military. Social Science Research Network site. Retrieved last October 1, 2010 from /sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1324172. Commission on Appointments (2011). Summary of Appointments: Angelo T. Reyes. Pasay: Commission on Appointments. Commission on Appointments (2011). Appointment Files: Hermogenes C. Esperon, Roy A. Cimatu, Generoso Senga, Alexander B. Yano, Efren Abu, Angelo T. Reyes. Pasay:


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Appendix A Military Roles and Interventions











Appendix B Key Informant Interview Questionnaire The Case of Arroyo: Military Support, Political Debt and the Weakening of Democracy Date:______________


Interviewer:____________________ Interview Venue:___________________ Key Informant Name:___________________ Position:______________________ Name of Organization (if relevant):__________________ 1. How did the military exhibit its support for the Arroyo administration? 2. What is the effect of this to Philippine democracy? 3. What is your take on the concept of a political debt? 4. Did the Arroyo administration have a political debt to the military? How so? 5. If yes, how did Arroyo pay this debt? 6. How was Arroyo able to maintain military support? 7. On the issue of military appointments, how did this affect civilian supremacy over the military? And how is this connected to Arroyos political debt? 8. On the allegations of human rights violations committed by the military, how can you relate this to Arroyos political debt? 9. What are the implications of this to Philippine democracy? 10. Did the military support for Arroyos administration weaken democracy? Why or why not? Appendix C Freedom House Key to Scores, 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


0-5 *


Combined Average of the PR and CL Ratings

Country Status

1.0 to 2.5 3.0 to 5.0 5.5 to 7.0

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. In such a case, a country would still receive a final political rights rating of 7.