New Voices Series

No. 5, August 2010

Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines
Aries Arugay

Arugay, A. (2010). Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines, New Voices Series, no. 5, August, Global Consortium on Security Transformation (GCST). Available at:
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Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines

Aries Ayuson Arugay∗

1. 2. 3. 4. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 4 6 7 8 10 12 14 15 19 21 22

Military Autonomy: Insights from Civil-Military Relations (CMR) Theory . . . . . . . . . Reforming and Transforming the Security Sector: SST as a Political Project . . . . . . . . The Philippine Security Sector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

4.1. The Philippine Military: Evolution and Organization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2. The Philippine Military in the Post-Authoritarian Period 5. 6. Military Autonomy during the Arroyo Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Spheres of Military Autonomy in the Philippines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6.1. Security Policy: High Level of Military Autonomy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.2. Human Rights: Moderate Level of Military Autonomy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.3. Defense Budgeting: Low Level of Military Autonomy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7. Conclusion: Challenges and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation . . . . . . . . .

∗ Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of the Philippines-Diliman and Fellow, Institute for Strategic and Development Studies, Inc (ISDS Philippines).


any project that seeks to transform the military and the security sector conducive to democratic rule is a gradual. functions. any gains or positive outcomes generated by trans- 1 CMR theorists argue that the greatest display of political autonomy is staging a coup d'état. Arugay 1. so that it is manages and operated in a manner consistent with democratic norms and sound principles of good governance. Pérez-Liñán. The degree of political autonomy is a measure of the military's determination to strip civilians of their political prerogatives and claim these for itself  (PionBerlin. 1992: 85). responsiveness. Introduction The establishment and maintenance of democratic civilian control is one of the most impor- tant indicators of successful democratization among countries of the developing world. it also entails being subjected to democratic norms and principles such as accountability. and dicult endeavor. On the contrary. particularly those that had experience with military rule. 30). the security sector has resurfaced into the political scene and remains to be a signicant political actor. Second. Under a democracy. 2001). responsibilities and actions. limited. Instead of being  disengaged from politics. and social groups that signicantly shapes post-transition democratization and institution-building is the essence of security sector transformation (SST). 1992). 2006. p. 2001. and even undermined so long as the military enjoys signicant degrees of political autonomy in three ways. Democratizing civil-military relations (CMR) is a necessary component of the transformation of any country's security sector. and mandates. What democratizing regimes face is not the overt threat of military rule but exercises of prerogatives and the enjoyment of  spheres of autonomy that do not coincide with democratic CMR (Pion-Berlin. 2007).Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. 5. and respect for human rights. 2003. a relatively autonomous military will likely dene and dominate the framework of SST in a given country. Unfortunately. GCST. SST could be dened as the  transformation of the security system which includes all the actors. it is expected that the military will be under the management of democratic institutions and assumes roles appropriate to the security needs of the country. 1998. among others. post-transition politics in several democracies have been dened by new forms of military intervention beyond the classic  coup d'état and more complex forms of political involvement (McCoy. 1 This paper is interested in explaining the persistence and steady expansion of the sphere of military autonomy in spite of democratization and how it aects security sector transformation (SST). It is a  political process that would inevitably result in a redenition of institutional roles. High degrees of autonomy in these spheres imply the weakness of the civilian government. Fitch. complicated. this reconguration of power relations between the security forces. Moreover. Pion-Berlin. its inability to assert civilian control. August 2010 2 . or its failure to be independent from partisan interests. This paper focus is the military's political autonomy which is dened as  the military's aversion towards or even deance of civilian control. There is an extant body of literature that examines the military's role in post-transition democratization (Alagappa. constitutionalism. This implies that programs that will reform the military will likely not produce the intended results of democratic civilian control. It argues that SST processes will be constrained. However. Basically. New Voices Series. civilian political institutions. Thus. their roles. this aspiration has not been realized in most democratizing countries. and thus contributes to a well-functioning security framework (OECD. First. no. and the rule of law.

notably civil society in being able to inuence and contribute to SST initiatives. Moreover. GCST. Using the case of the Philippines. If successfully carried out. more than two decades have passed but it remains to struggle in consolidating its democratic regime. just like the rest of the developing world. August 2010 3 . 2005). the willingness of the military to be reformed. However.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. 5. 2008). First. 2008). Thus. 2004). the Philippines take no exception as a country where challenges related to the nexus of security. Arugay forming the security sector will likely be jeopardized by the military since they have the power to stie or undermine these reforms. it also casts doubt on the quality of its democratic regime (Hutchcroft. democracy. it remains to be severely limited and dependent on the political will of the government to carry out this project but more importantly. 2 What makes the Philippines a relevant case is that its panoply of democratic institutions exists side by side with the steady increase in the level and expansion of the extent of political autonomy possessed by the military? As will be further elaborated in the subsequent sessions of this paper. One of the main reasons for this is the inability to implement democratic civilian control over the military (Hernandez. Finally. there is an understanding on the importance of the security sector in conict prevention and peace-building (HDN. George and Bennett. As the security sector also comprises the institutions tasked to oversee and manage security forces such as the executive bureaucracy. Following good practices from the literature on qualitative research (Brady and Collier. this arrangement has not made civilian government vulnerable to military intervention in politics. Finally. For this country. 2004. the country could be a good case which could represent the same challenges in similarly-situated countries. Being in the forefront of lingering internal conicts  a communist insurgency and a separatist movement in the southern part of the country  a democratically managed and professional security sector is an indispensable component of any peace program. While there have been eorts to transform the security sector (Arugay. no. It is a country that has returned to democratic rule in 1986 after fourteen years of authoritarianism. a single case study could still reveal interesting variations in the 2 A recent study of the ISDS Philippines concluded that transforming the security sector in the country would also entail the reform and empowerment of civilian oversight institutions (ISDS 2009). this study seeks to examine these three causal mechanisms that link military autonomy with the space or opportunities for governments to implement programs and policies that could transform the security sector. the pursuit of SST is also in conjunction with much of the task of institution-building necessary for democratic consolidation. New Voices Series. and development continue to exist. there are developments in the country's history and politics as well as the presence of certain context-specic factors that justies why a study about the Philippines could help us shed light on the ways the military could resist pressures for SST. 2007). SST will hugely contribute to good governance of a country that has often been perceived as one of the most corrupt countries in the world (TI. There are multiple reasons why the case of the Philippines is appropriate in examining how the extent of political autonomy enjoyed by the military could aect the chances of transforming security sector governance. a transformed security sector would cause an improvement in the quality of its democratic regime. the security sector occupies a substantial portion of its government. legislatures. military autonomy in certain areas such as human rights and security policy hinders the participation of other actors. 2005). and courts. Setting aside the possible commonalities it shares with other countries.

2008). future policies and frameworks can be better informed and hopefully might be made sensitive to these political realities. the civilian government. On the other hand. Military Autonomy: Insights from Civil-Military Relations (CMR) Theory CMR theory is concerned with the dynamics between the military. there are not enough studies on the veto players or obstacles to SST (Nathan. a lot of SSR researches have focused on how to build capacity. and the strength or quality of civilian political institutions. Arugay outcome one is trying to explain. there is very low military autonomy in the area of defense spending. several scholars have complained about the dearth of theoretical input in a lot of studies on the reform and transformation of the security sector (Egnell and Haldén. it focuses on the concept of military autonomy from the civilian government. these three policy areas are managed and overseen by the civilian government with inputs from the security sector (Trinkunas. induce political will. 2. With respect to the possibilities for SST to be implemented.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. August 2010 4 . it is in the area of counterinsurgency policy that the military has exercised the greatest level of political autonomy. and human rights. their GCST. have generally prevented the military from receiving higher budgets over the years. a study on the Philippine security sector can contribute to the existing body of literature on SST. This variation in political autonomy depends on three factors  the legitimacy of the existing civilian political leadership. the motives behind such control are motivated by political reasons and not because of objectives related to SST. One the one hand. defense expenditures. the dynamics behind SST processes could be better understood. The area of human rights shows a moderate level of political autonomy. New Voices Series. society. in countries where the security sector has yet to undergo reform and transformation. While this could be laudable. By using concepts from CMR theory. 5. no. and foster local ownership of these critical processes (Edmunds. Finally. it is the nature of the military to be a distinct (but not completely separate) organization within the state. 2004). This is based from the mandate of military and its professional membership requirements. Their  special status as experts in the management of violence. These are: peace and security policy (particularly counterinsurgency policy). 2004). In countries where democratic civilian control is eectively imposed. This paper argues that since the restoration of formal democratic rule in 1986. However. the military's has not been held accountable over alleged violations during the martial law period. But for the purposes of the paper. 2005). However. While human rights have generally been respected and observed in the majority of the post-authoritarian governments until recently. I look at three areas where the Philippine military's political autonomy could be analyzed. Finally. the relationship between members of the armed forces with the president. Pion-Berlin stated that even if it is part of the government. By looking at the ways and means by which the military obstructs and limits the impact of SST initiatives. particular the legislature. The Philippines has one of the lowest defense expenditures in Southeast Asia and civilian oversight agencies. there are disparities with the extent by which civilian authorities are able to control the military and conversely whether the armed forces are able to exercise a great degree of inuence. and to a certain extent. It is also argue that the level of political autonomy in this area has risen in the latter part of the Arroyo administration (2001-2010).

there is also constitutional ambiguity when civilian leaders betrayed public trust or governments face constitutional crises that might result to public disorder. they became its permanent custodians equating its own corporate interest to that of the state. and (4) reform processes where autonomy becomes problematic. hierarchy. no. For example. Zaverucha. Arugay restricted entrance. intelligence gathering and human rights (Pion-Berlin 1992: 87-90). On the one hand. military CMR theorists argue that the greatest display of political autonomy is staging a coup d'état. the military could also claim political autonomy from the civilian government. This could range from dominance in security policymaking and the possession of political prerogatives to the outright removal of the political leadership and regime control. reform. to exercise eective control over its internal governance. rigorous training. 9). 260-262). it is this historical role of the military that warrants political intervention in their exercise of what is called  judicial review with bayonets (2001. particularly in Latin America. (3) human rights. it is often best practice for the armed forces to be allowed to make decisions in some of its professional spheres such as promotions. For example. showed that one way to determine the extent of the military's political autonomy is the breadth and depth of its  political prerogatives . education and doctrine. This propensity of the military profession for exclusivity exposes an apparent paradox that is relevant to the concept of military autonomy. law enforcement. In fact. (2) internal security policy. or its failure to be independent from partisan interests. Some scholars trace the military's political autonomy much earlier than its transition form authoritarian rule. threats to public order. force levels. It is the political spheres such as: (1) defense budgets. 4 Research in the developing world. military autonomy has something to do with balancing the corporate interests of a military and the ability of the government to impose civilian control. 3 4 Other sphere of military autonomy include: senior and junior level personnel decisions. 1993). p. (4) the legitimacy of civilian governments. August 2010 5 . invoking professional autonomy on its internal matters .Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. By  predating the nation. training and strategies. On the other hand. GCST. and sovereignty of any state are interpreted as threats to the military institution itself. Conspicuously. supervision of elections. Loveman argued that the role of the militaries in the struggle for independence of most Latin American nations from Spanish colonial rule have caused they to acquire much more power and autonomy than they should have. 1988. The literature on democratization claims that these  reserved domains of power possessed by the military are often the by-product of its role during the authoritarian period as well as given to them as part of the transition pact (Diamint and Tedesco. its inability to assert civilian control. 5. to play a role within extra-military areas within the state apparatus. In this vein. Loveman found evidence that this belief found their way in the constitutional mission of the armed forces in Latin American states. 84). militaries are given unorthodox functions such as maintaining internal order. or even to structure relationships between the state and political or civil society" (Stepan. In such a scenario. The literature on CMR does not categorically deny that democratic regimes should deny the military establishment with spheres of autonomy. New Voices Series. territorial integrity. pp. 3 High degrees of autonomy in these spheres imply the weakness of the civilian government. and economic functions. and rules of conduct distinguish them from those outside their eld (1992. p. 2009. They refer to the military's "acquired right or privilege. the military often despises any intrusion from the government and society which they interpret as undue interference. In the end. formal or informal.

3. it could be argued that the Philippines could even be a case where reform programs further empowers the security sector. As such. it is highly probable that SST projects could be held hostage by partisan politics. This paper seeks to address this gap using insights from Latin American countries of which the Philippines shares several similarities. There will always be the possibility of backsliding. Strategies are needed to be developed for supporting reforms and minimizing the impact of  spoilers (Ball. and attitudes displayed by both the security sector. This includes the informal norms. 1991). GCST. 5. p. A reformist leader or coalition with a resolve on making the security sector subject to democratic principles may need to perform a dangerous balancing act  appeasing those who want a reduction in the political powers of the security sector and those who want to maintain the status quo (Tanner. Policies not only bring about better security but are formulated in a participatory. The provision of ecient and eective security while an end-in-itself must contribute to people-centered development. Arugay There has yet to be research on the military's political autonomy in other countries that belonged to the so-called  third wave of democratization (Huntington. Just like any type of democratic reform. how and why decisions are made. understanding the political dynamics and relations among dierent political actors is important to starting the SST process. consultative. improving security sector governance cannot be addressed by purely technical measures. Thus. guarantees the relative privilege it enjoys. New or reformed institutions of security are concerned not only with the security of the state but of every individual in society. It is necessary to understand critical political relationships among key actors. To the contrary. prevailing practices. Thus. 20). and even civil society. expands its scope of autonomy. and the incentives and disincentives for change. 2000). 2004. conict. sustainable peace. p. 2004. or worse aborted by the armed forces that pose a threat to democracy. other institutions of the state. and even deliberative manner. The Philippines could be an example of a country that undertakes certain reforms but does not necessarily produce a transformation in security.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. accommodation. and provides an escape from democratic accountability and civilian control. Experts argue that a transformation of the security sector will entail changes in the means and ends of security in a country. 48). New Voices Series. SSR might not capture real conditions and therefore address the problems and challenges of the security sector. and the quality of democracy. no. In a country where the  formal usually does not correspond to what is actually in existence. It is assumed that successful reform will bring about the transformation of the security sector into one that is not only eective in providing security but steeped into the principles of democratic governance. 2000). as previous gains and achievements could be lost due to lack of sustainability and due diligence to remain on the path of reform. there is no linear progress as regards SST. August 2010 6 . particularly those usually that fall victims to insecurity. and violence (Narayan et al. Because of its highly political nature. any SST program in the Philippines must take into account into the informal processes that work their way in the governance of the security sector. Reforming and Transforming the Security Sector: SST as a Political Project SST is innately a political project that must be treated with sensitivity (Wulf.

Applying to the Philippines. the ongoing peace process in the country and conict resolution. A narrow or minimalist view simply denes it as the military and the police. 2005. 2003). structures. Arugay This paper argues that SST becomes a gargantuan task because it is a deeply politicized process as it may erode some of the security sector's spheres of autonomy  whether in the performance of functions. no. 2007). and violence (Nathan. the bulk of the literature is biased towards a minimalist conception of what constituted the security sector in the country. New Voices Series. 2003. the diusion of reform commitments from lower-level ocials and other actors. the governance perspective states that the security sector involves all institutions and groups that aect and are aected by decisions or actions made related to issues of security and defense (Hänggi. education. The Philippine Security Sector The study and analysis of the Philippine security sector has received signicant attention from both academic and policymaking circles. pp. The former originated from the insights of the literature on civil-military relations as it concerns the establishment of new constitutional and legal frameworks. August 2010 7 . there is no consensual idea of what comprises the security sector. development of expertise and knowledge. most studies on the Philippine security sector have no linked it with broader themes such as democratization.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. partly due to the dominance of the traditional (military) security paradigm. it will signicantly recongure existing power relations that might even cause insecurity. However. the nearest approximation to it would be the study of civilmilitary relations. pp. as SST challenges the status quo. a few preliminary observations could be made. defense. First. Yusu. or in their budgets. and good governance. appointments. The more challenging and dicult part are the reforms associated with the second generation. GCST. Second. 2005. This encompasses the consolidation of the rst generation reforms as well as ensuring the eective operation of institutions. 50-53. 2004. Moreover. denition of critical concepts such as security. The delineation between formal or technical SSR and actual security sector transformation has made scholars to address it through a two-step process. with notable exceptions. institutions. However. pp. the concept of SST is very novel in the Philippines. From a survey of the existing scholarship. the composition of the security sector could be as follows: 5 An example of these would be Hernandez (1997. and the engagement with non-state actors on SSR issues such as civil society (Edmunds. 2007). This is also extended in the latitude they are given in formulating reform programs and initiatives. 4. Lastly. peace. 5-6). In particular. scholars have dierentiated between  rst generation and  second generation SSR. 24-25). political instability. 5. clear lines of responsibility and accountability for the security sector (Fitz-Gerald. 5 As much as there is no common denition of SST.

1. Philippine Air Force (PAF). no. In addition to the regular armed forces. Nonstate groups Civil Society Organizations (human rights groups. The Philippine Constabulary (PC) is  primarily for the enforcement of law and order and for  defense in rear areas during emergencies. National Police Commission) Constitutional Commissions (Commission on Human Rights. Executive Depart- ments (Department of National Defense. the military was and remains to be regarded as the biggest component of the Philippine security sector. New Voices Series. 144-145). paramilitary units exist such as the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) drawn primarily from local communities (Arcala. National Security Council (NSC) Congressional Committees. 5. Department of Interior and Local Government. Military historians particularly note the active role of armed and organized GCST. peace advocates) Media Academe 4. Sandiganbayan (anti-graft court). The Philippine military could trace its origin as far back as the pre-colonial period although the semblance of a citizen's armed force could be found during the country's struggle for independence against Spain. 2002. The regular armed force (known as the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the AFP) is divided into several service branches  army. The Philippine Military: Evolution and Organization National defense in the Philippines is historically entrusted upon a standing military whose duty is to defend the country. the PC was abolished and replaced by the Philippine National Police (PNP). Arugay Core Security Forces Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Philippine National Police (PNP) Intelligence Agencies (National Intelligence Coordinating Agency. respectively. constabulary. navy and up until 1990. Justice and law enforcement institutions Ombudsman. and Philippine Navy (PN) are responsible for national land. p. In 1991. August 2010 8 . sea and air defense. air force. Thus. National Security Council) Paramilitary Organizations (Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit) Security management and oversight bodies President.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. Commission on Audit). The Philippine Army (PA).

to a large extent. August 2010 9 . They built temporary bridges and roads linking civilians to military camps which had become distributing points for medical and food supplies. shaped its size. Hedman supported this by concluding that in the end.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. 2000). otherwise known as the National Defense Act formally established the Philippine Army. Originally a peasant movement. However. Thus. Coming from a postcolonial perspective. Given that the US assumed the provision of external defense for the country. New Voices Series. p. armed or unarmed (Arcala. The internal orientation of the AFP was rst demonstrated with the emergence of the Hukbalahap 6 insurgency. It also had the determining power of assigning its roles and functions. the US did not limit itself in just inuencing the structure of the military. as Danguilan stated: Military troops went on medical missions and provided emergency treatment and care and distributed relief goods to civilians caught in the crossre of combat. no. p. it was believed that the entire armed forces would perform only internal security operations. Arugay Filipinos ghting against the American and Japanese occupation (Pobre. it is a group of guerrilla ghters that fought the Japanese invaders but rose arms against the government because of their exclusion in the postwar political order. and supplies (Final Report. 1984). The inauguration of the Philippine Commonwealth in 1935 paved the way for a formulation of a defense program for the country. and civil liberties associations (Hernandez.29). training. Commonwealth Act No. This incremental acquisition of developmental roles associated with counter-insurgency since the 1950s saw its institutionalization during the Marcos period. 13). However. This could be attributed to the  defense shield provided by the US bases in the country through the 1947 Military Bases Agreement. the AFP develo- ped a two-pronged approach to the Huk rebellion: to engage them militarily in a more organized and ecient way and to show the disaected populace that the government has their interests in mind and that the military can be trusted to protect and take care of them (Hernandez 1979).  neither national interests of security nor the political dynamics of reconstruction dictated the organization of the Philippine armed forces (2001. 2002). p. They also constructed makeshift [schoolhouses] and drilled water wells in villages which the military declared free from the inuence of the Huks (1999. while the military was socialized to have an external defense orientation. the free press. 1. Other civilian oversight institutions were the judiciary. over the defense budget. They also became indispensable as internal security became an umbrella term encompassing all threats to the government. the modern-day Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was patterned after the United States (US) model. The 1935 Constitution made the President the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and where the military's contact with the President passed through a civilian defense secretary. 170). The legislature exercised oversight functions over the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) through its powers of conrmation of military appointments and promotions. whether communist or separatist. this inevitably caused the AFP to  concentrate on internal defense and peace and order . 1990. The relentless internal conicts from two fronts: communist insurgency and Moro secessionism have made the civilian government 6 Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon later renamed as Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan (HMB) or Army of National Liberation. This. The latter came in the form of socioeconomic activities. equipment. Under the direction of Defense Secretary Ramon Magsaysay. GCST. and investigation in aid of legislation that usually unearthed wrongdoing in the military. 5.

As the most important state machinery in the country. With the separation of the national police from the military. Another reform was the provision for the formation of a police force independent from the military.000 to 275. it was not a surprise that there would be discontent among the junior ocers. Marcos did not hesitate to increase the military's budget. Marcos infused some 3. and the suppression of civil liberties. other changes include the continuous enlargement of military functions to include non-traditional military roles. 1985). 4. no. Used to be the GCST. Ramos. 1992).000. This was a 700 per cent increase in the AFP's pre-martial law budget. August 2010 10 . and favoring his own choices over the more qualied (Hernandez. New Voices Series. 1985. Thus. the roles and jurisdiction of both forces were redened. This inevitably had increasing implications on the professionalism of the military. Martial law paved the way for the destruction of the civilian political institutions of democratic governance from the legislature to the political parties and the judiciary. the highest for any state within the Southeast Asian region (Miranda.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. Thus.5 billion pesos into the AFP from 1973 to 1975. freedom of expression and association. Senator Benigno  Ninoy Aquino. Jr. Miranda. 1979). The AFP also recruited several thousands more into their ranks swelling the number of regulars from 70. they would hatch the plot to oust Marcos within the context of the snap presidential elections of February 1986. 7 The Philippine National Police (PNP) 7 This separation required the abolition of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) from the AFP. role expansion resulted in a heightened sense political awareness for the military institution as  the principal wielders of power over a highly personalized authoritarian regime (Hernandez. According to Crisol (1980). the institution of structural changes that `merged' the police with the military through the single leadership of the PC and the Integrated National Police within the AFP. The Philippine Military in the Post-Authoritarian Period The so-called restoration of democracy after the 1986 People Power Revolt had tremendous implications for the country's security sector.2. Arugay dependent on the military for national security. Led by Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and the Vice Chief of Sta General Fidel V. His employment what Huntington called  subjective civilian control of presidential prerogatives frequently transgressed the formal chain of command by the retention of generals loyal to him beyond the retirement age. as well as the participation of the Philippine Commission on Human Rights in military appointments and promotions. Marcos appointed military ocers to key civilian posts such as some of the government-owned and controlled corporations. Given its tremendous role in maintaining the dictatorship. 5. It is the crucial powers of appointments and promotions that enabled Marcos to keep the armed forces under his control. 1997. the forces that made the democratic transition in the country possible realized that it was pivotal that civilian control is imposed and the military's role is claried. In time. The adoption of the 1987 Constitution reasserted and installed the supremacy of civilian authority over the military and provided for institutions of oversight mechanisms over the AFP. The AFP even became the apparatus of Marcos to implement martial law as a  partner in national development . particularly since the assassination of his principal political rival.Apart from this. the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) broke away from the AFP chain of command and joined the rest of the masses of anti-Marcos groups already protesting against the dictatorship. Moreover. including elections. such as the legislative power over the budget and conrmation of military appointments and promotion.

due to the serious nature of the communist insurgency and Moro separatist movement. the military became a strong veto player in the Aquino administration whose spheres of autonomy were either consolidated or multiplied. Given the volatile and  accommodationist nature of democratic transitions. observed the  adoption of policies that enhanced military privileges such as increases in pay. for example. The last coup attempt forced the government to create a body that conducted an investigation. However. As such. GCST. 1999). 1990. former Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide. the Oce of Ethical Standards and Public Accountability (OESPA) was given exclusive jurisdiction over active AFP personnel involved in major graft and corruption cases. 2002. lack of logistical support and services to soldiers in the eld. and the suppression of internal conicts through a military-preferred approach (1997. there are only three that remained: the Philippine Army. 46-47). The investigative body. New Voices Series. the removal of cabinet ocials perceived as left-leaning or hostile to the military. In the end. pp. 1997). p. But beyond these measures. Arugay assumed from the AFP the primary role of preserving internal security including the suppression of insurgency (after a period of transition). the Philippine Air Force. more known as the Davide Commission. 495). However. The nal report of the Commission contained relevant ndings and recommendations crucial to reforming the military and imposing democratic civilian control. Jr. 9 Several more reforms were instituted in light of the several coups against the civilian government.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. Several factors are to be attributed for the failure of the coups to capture state power. some of whom were the leaders of the putsch that led to the 1986 People Power Revolt. and the Philippine Navy. 8 conducted an intensive probe on all the issues that surrounded not only on the December 1989 coup attempt but also systematically study the military as a political institution in the Philippines. Moreover. the Philippines also became vulnerable to military adventurism. as most transitions were the military was instrumental have shown. holding back on the prosecution of military ocers and personnel accused of human rights violations. the senior command remained loyal to the civilian government. see Hernandez (1997). fulll the promises of democratization and popular empowerment. particularly those that will promote good security sector governance and pertaining to the civilian institutions and other political actors were not implemented. fourth major service. leaving to the AFP its primary role of ensuring external security. It also revealed the lingering problems internal to the armed forces including inadequate pay and benets. This situation warranted the continuing frontline function of the military in counterinsurgency operations (Arcala. For an excellent discussion on this. the AFP assumed the primary role in situations of serious threats to internal security with the PNP playing a supportive role in this regard. a Code of Ethics for the AFP was adopted that serves as the guideline of behavior for all uniformed men (Hernandez and Ubarra. Hernandez and Ubarra. The Aquino administration was subjected to seven coup attempts from politicized and disgruntled junior ocers. no. a majority of the recommendations of the Davide Commission. 5. and the latent US support to the regime (Final Report. Established in 1990. Among them is the lack of popular support. 8 9 The commission was named after its Chair. or. favoritism in promotions. and work for genuine national development (Hernandez. the probe not only emphasized the importance of military reform. Hernandez. 1999). and prevalent corruption. the AFP remained in charge of ghting these two groups. August 2010 11 . it also stressed the need for the civilian government to get its act together.

an indication of the failure on the part of the country's civilian political institutions. This argument can be extended to the Arroyo administration (2001-2010) since it has the highest number of retired ocials from the core security forces to be appointed to high-ranking political positions. Analyzing the dynamics behind the formulation and implementation of the military's modernization program. the study also argued that the regimes which followed the 1986 People Power Revolt also accepted. this study glossed over the fact that Philippine military has an experience of politicization and role expansion that inevitably has implications on the defense and security policymaking. New Voices Series. and even the military rebels that staged the various coups against the civilian government. resources. the inuence and participation of the military in running the country's state aairs (2003. He succeeded in two instances: in forging a peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 1996 and by granting unconditional amnesty to the rebel military. In the face of po- 10 An updated list of all retired military ocials appointed to dierent political positions could be found in the database of Newsbreak. The rise to power of President Arroyo was extraordinary but not without precedent in Philippine political history. civil society led mobilization in the streets of Manila and other urban centers in the country. The study also did not make a distinction in whether the legislature had the capacity. the path to reforming the Philippine security sector has already been started by President Aquino and continued by subsequent administrations. 1997). 33).ph GCST.newsbreak. Arugay There is also the alternative claim that democratic civilian control over the military produced dire consequences for the institution. there are those that expressed their fears with regard to such a general policy (Hernandez. and/or at most  encouraged. it has no monopoly over security policy in a democratic polity. Gloria concluded that the appointment to strategic positions such as the country's defense and foreign aairs departments could be attributed to two factors: the soldier's socialization and the nature of the regime. no. The impeachment trial of then president Joseph Estrada was aborted due to manipulation of proceedings by his allies in the Senate. de Castro (1997) argued that being subject to democratic procedures did not produce the optimal outcome in terms of improving the defense capability of the armed forces. Military role expansion such as community development and counterinsurgency enabled them to assume civilian functions that served as the  training ground for eventual appointment to the bureaucracy. August 2010 12 . many of whom returned to the AFP and redeemed themselves with loyal and distinguished service to the state. 5. Military Autonomy during the Arroyo Administration As already discussed. www. It also fails to consider the dominant view in democratizing civil-military relations that while the armed forces should have relative autonomy on its own aairs. Moreover. This caused a massive. While it painted a desirable picture with regard to the sincerity of the government to pursue unity for development. p. and information to be able to perform its oversight functions. The Ramos administration adopted a more pragmatic approach by opening its arms to unication and reconciliation from all adversarial groups  whether they be communist insurgents.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. Moro secessionists. Some analysts argue that this is often a  reward given for political loyalty to the current leadership. 10 5. Another practice in security sector governance in the Philippines is the appointment of retired ocials from the armed forces into the country's bureaucracy.

the civilian defense secretary ensured that the current defense reform program of the government will be tied with implementing the recommendations of the two previous investigative commissions. Arugay pular pressures and the withdrawal of the leadership of the armed forces and the police. 11 The creation of a mechanism to monitor the implementation of the recommendations as well as the swift action made by the executive created the momentum for reforming the military in the Philippines. to professionalize the military. Some observers believed that the role that the military played in helping resolve this crisis was critical and made it a vital pillar to the survival of her government until the 2004 elections (Doronila. 12 For example. military adventurism would again rear its ugly head as the Magdalo. 2001). argued that not only did the mutiny put a setback to democratizing civilmilitary relations in the Philippines. Arroyo became president in January 2001. An example is the appointment of an undersecretary for Internal Control at the Department of National Defense (DND) in order to ensure transparency and good governance generally in the defense's and military's nancial and procurement systems. After a careful investigation into the root causes and the issues that surrounded the mutiny. including against armed threats to the government and national development roles. 2002). weak civilian oversight institutions. questions about the political legitimacy of the incumbent. August 2010 13 . though only limited to 11 12 It is only the second time at the secretary of the DND was drawn from the civilian sector. the Feliciano Commission. The failed coup was known as the Oakwood Mutiny. GCST. 5. pp. it also highlighted that the failure of the previous administration to re-impose democratic civilian control and implement the recommendations of the Davide Commission. 3-4). to improve welfare. the body concluded that the mutiny was caused by several factors that included widespread corruption in the military and government. norm that this post is reserved to high-ranking retired military ocers. It has been the For a discussion on the implementation of some recommendations. 2005. Arroyo was quick to react to the implications of the failed revolt by implementing some of the recommendations made by the investigative body. named after the hotel establishment which the Magdalo staged their attempt. poor socio-economic conditions. the poor plight of soldiers in combat.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. New Voices Series. Among the steps that the Arroyo administration has undertaken is the improvement of the remuneration packages for ocers and enlisted personnel of the AFP and the appointment of credible and reform-oriented personnel to strategic positions within the country's defense and security establishments. a group of junior military ocers. see Hernandez (2007). 2003). However. Hernandez (2004). particularly the enforcement of law against previous oenders. Others predicted that the military's participation would like lead to future interventions (Hernandez. no. this could be construed as indicative of the sincerity of the government to implement SSR in the Philippines. a special adviser to personally monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the Feliciano Commission. it seems that the same conditions remained the same: an enlarged military role. Like a self-fullling prophecy. Estrada was forced to vacate the presidency. and the external US factor. and rampant favoritism and politicization of the military (The Report. attempted to capture state power through a coup in July 2003 against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who was installed through a peaceful nonviolent revolt after the aborted impeachment proceedings against Estrada. In the short-term. By virtue of being the country's vice-president constitutional successor. The recommendations it produced seek to address the legitimate grievances of the soldiers. and a civilian secretary of the DND (Hernandez. and to avert future military adventurism.

legislative.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. 15 In the end. However. have unfortunately not carried the SSR agenda in their advocacies. Spheres of Military Autonomy in the Philippines The adverse fate of the Feliciano Commission recommendations should be analyzed side by side with the increased political autonomy of the military in several areas of politics and policymaking in the Philippines. a major recommendation to streamline the government's intelligence service also did not receive enough support from the executive and the legislative. Part of this could be the lack of awareness and knowledge on the signicance of SSR. GCST. It is another matter whether such reforms were able to foster a security transformation or promote good security sector governance. Labeled as the Philippine Defense Reform Program (PDRP) and completed in 2003. address some of the welfare issues of soldiers. 14 In the end. New Voices Series. he also pushed a reform program that was sensitive to the recommendations of the Feliciano Commission. it aims to implement a  transformation process to 13 This is very important as the current intelligence service of the country remains  militarized . for example. it is what the military believed to be their idea of what reforms should take place. 14 Many has lauded the performance of the past civilian secretary of defense as not only was he able to display a degree of autonomy from the military. and wherewithal to continue this path of reform. no. While these recommendations form a vital part of what is considered as SST. and lay down best practices that should be sustained. 6. August 2010 14 . there was a lack of commitment. Also. 5. there is no doubt that he has deep military ties. ownership. Arugay the military. together with AFP did not incorporate them as well as previous recommendations in their version of reforming the Philippine security sector. it is the general framework for guiding the reform of the AFP. or the military and defense establishments. the DND. some of recommendations of the Feliciano Commission were faithfully implemented that caused a reform of the military. One example would be the support given by some civil society organizations to the call of the political opposition to give amnesty to the Oakwood mutineers. It is not surprising that these measures are those that would infuse more transparency and accountability in the security sector. 15 A new  civilian secretary of defense was appointed in June 2007. it is noticeable that some of the recommendations made by the Feliciano Commission were not implemented by the relevant institutions whether the executive. A retired general. it has questioned the sincerity of the government in pursuing the reform of the military. For example. A product of a systematic and meticulous assessment of the country's defense and military establishment. they were able to increase the operational eectiveness of the military. A major blow to the continued implementation of some SST measures as contained in the Feliciano Commission report was the appointment of a new defense secretary who came again from the security forces. this time around of the Philippine police. This act did not only go against the recommendations but it was a regression to what seemed to be a best practice in security sector governance. it was a palpable violation of the recommendations made by the Commission but more importantly. There is little doubt that the most powerful intelligence body in the country remains to be the Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP). At best. 13 There was also a lack of a multi-sectoral constituency for SSR that could push the government to implement these reform measures. there was very little action to create an external grievance mechanism for soldiers. Civil society groups. Unfortunately.

1993). 2002). nancial controls. no. The literature has been consistent in asserting that the country's security sector has been the one of the primary. logistics provision. 6. 5. what is problematic is the fact that the government and military seems to be more than contented to view reform as implementing the PDRP. the eciency in the provision of security.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. it attempts to improve defense planning systems. 16 Composed of ten (10) key areas of improvement. Countries like Greece and South Africa have published their white papers (or books) on defense on a regular basis often with the input of civilian agencies and more importantly. it could also signal its reform intentions to the international community where there could be potential partners for its SST eorts. By monopolizing the discourse on reform. personnel management. civil society organizations. The 2005 Philippine Human Development Report (PHDR) has recognized the impact of low human development in both the occurrence and persistence of armed conict. This myopic version of reform is a far cry from what is considered best practice in other parts of the world. operational and training capacity. it is claimed that the general feeling of deprivation that breeds discontent with the existing status quo. However. it has lost a critical opportunity to truly adapt to the new security environment and realities at the domestic and international frontier. While it can be observed that poverty is extensive throughout the country. While it may be unfair to force the Philippine military and defense establishment to incorporate principles SSR. 1985. these groups resort to violent means in order to change it. August 2010 15 . the PDRP has not suciently covered the entire scope of SSR. Its ultimate objective is to improve the operational eectiveness and to a lesser extent. the government has not even touched signicant SST issues such as weak and ineective civilian oversight agencies. Arugay  re-engineer systems and  re-tool personnel. More often than not. addressing the country's peace problem is another signicant issue. Security Policy: High Level of Military Autonomy If democratizing civil-military relations is one crucial component of security sector reform. Although there were certain exceptions. This document may also be a source of accountability as it often contains details on the plans and reform programs of the security sector (Ball and Brzoska. By focusing on defense. the PDRP focuses entirely on capability building of the military institution to be able to perform what it conceives as its roles in the provision of defense and security. It is therefore not surprising that the PHDR 16 This assessment has been assisted by the government of the United States through the Joint Defense Assess- ment (JDA). and the implications of the war on terror and the counterinsurgency campaign. sta development. For example.1. a more holistic perspective in addressing the conict has yet to be implemented from both the military and civilian sectors of government. undemocratic and limited participation in security policymaking. In particular. and strategic communications. Defense is still construed in the traditional sense. Tan. The PDRP could be considered as the country's latest defense white paper. As the only country in Southeast Asia with a resilient communist insurgency paired with a secessionist movement from the ethnic Muslim minority. the military and other  militarized institutions such as the DND have displayed a signicant degree of political autonomy. New Voices Series. the government has highly depended on a military approach in addressing them (Nemenzo. Finally. GCST. with a heavily statist and military tone. (if not the primary actor) in the resolution of armed conicts in the Philippines.

It saw the rise in the strength both of the communist insurgency and the Moro Islamic Liberation Fromt (MILF). a more holistic perspective in addressing the conict has yet to be fully implemented from both the military and civilian sectors of government. 110) and not being able to penetrate political institutions unlike their military counterparts (Gloria. Failing in a negotiated settlement. insulation from partisan politics. and resources invested in this civilian institution by post-martial law administrations. its nascent character (the Philippine National Police was established in 1991) makes it relatively ill-equipped. It is established that conict is a costly state of aairs  aecting lives. 1985. SSR includes strengthening civilian control. The vulnerable position of the Aquino transition regime also took its toll as the military was given much leeway in counterinsurgency operations (Arcala. it is the police that should be at the forefront in combating insurgency as it is an internal security matter. weak. Also noteworthy is the Report's stress that SSR contains measures that will improve the rule of law. This is notwithstanding its spillover eects. the police has not been a major actor in the implementation of any approach to armed conict adopted by the government. whether economic (foregone investment and lost output). GCST. The approach of the Ramos administration was more sensitive of the embedded issues of uneven development and economic discontent as root causes of the resilience of the insurgent movements by pursuing a combination of military action and socio-economic programs. and human dignity. and curbing corruption. Understandably. 5. no. 17 To a great extent. social cohesion. property. Although there were certain exceptions. Hernandez (2005) argued that not only did it strengthened the position of the military vis-à-vis the civilian government in handling the task of conict resolution. 2003). and cultural sensitivity among the security sector (HDN 2005: 50). he went for an all-out war against the MILF. Lacking a tradition of instigating coups (Tanner. One major policy in which the military had a huge role in its formulation has been the country's anti- 17 The 2005 PHDR has underscored SSR as one of the key reforms to be undertaken in the current peace eorts in the country. and crime). professionalization. As the CPP and NPA have been included in the US government's list of foreign terrorist organizations. p. political (loss of political stability and legitimacy) or social (prevalence of prejudice. 1993). political will. the military is the primary institution in dealing with armed conicts in the Philippines. As the only country in Southeast Asia with a resilient communist insurgency paired with a secessionist movement from the ethnic Muslim minority. Tan.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. This entails orienting the military and the police to recognize the peace policy of the government. In her assessment of the performance of the military approach to achieving peace in the Philippines. it also fanned the ames that ignited the twin insurgencies. Conspicuously. and pressure for its improvement as an institution. Arugay reported that the state of  unpeace could be found in the poorest areas in the country. 2002). cultural identity. socio-cultural tension. and decient despite the resolve to implement a transformative set of reforms. This policy was unfortunately discontinued under the short-lived Estrada administration. 2000. most of whom are found in the southern part of the country. lobby. advocates of police reform (internal and external to the institution) do not have the same voice and power to argue. August 2010 16 . It is also surprising that there has not been commensurate attention. the government remains highly dependent on an overly military approach in addressing them (Nemenzo. Ideally. New Voices Series. taking its main stronghold Camp Abubakar. human rights. the military and the government of President Arroyo saw this as an opportunity to increase it eorts to quell the insurgency in the far ung provinces of the country.

2007). What the law was very clear is the substantial role given to the security sector in implementing the law and curbing terrorism. In the end. the current administration (and probably future ones) can use this to stie dissent. Finally. in labeling possible organizations as terrorist or conspiring with terrorists (Hilbay. this power to label will open the gate to violation or disrespect for certain rights. Among others. it is noteworthy that it stated some principles that are connected to the human security framework. this could be seen in the involvement of both the agencies within the AFP and the DND in the Anti-Terrorism Council. . the Macapagal-Arroyo administration has promised to enact legislation that will help curb terrorism. this statute has never again used or mentioned the term  human security . including conict management and post-conict peace-building. suppress political opponents. On the other hand. it recognizes that the terrorism  requires a comprehensive approach.accessed12July2010 For a full text of this law. 18 As early as 2003.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. GCST. the anti-terrorism law also categorically stated that it shall not  prejudice respect for human rights. For example. New Voices Series. The law did not elaborate on how the government can address the root causes of terrorism and conict in the country. 9372. this law provides not only the weapons for the government in general and the security forces in particular in order to sanction acts of terrorism. particularly the executive branch. It is very evident that the incorporation of human security in a law that signicantly arms the state to combat terrorism has negative implications on the attempt to mainstream this concept. 9372 signed on 6 March 2007 was able to be named as the  Human Security Act of 2007 . . the title of the law is not just a misnomer but also casts the concept of human security in a negative light. euphemistically called the Human Security Act of 2007. August 2010 17 . What became a surprise is how Republic Act No. 19 For civil society advocates and academics. no. While it explicitly stated that it is the police that would be the main implementing institution. 5. One could also imagine that the military would denitely implement the law in areas where the police does not even fully control the peace and order situation such as areas controlled by communist insurgents and Muslim separatist movements in Mindanao. On the one hand. it also allows the possible suppression of previously respect rights and intrusion into the lives and activities of the Filipino people. Furthermore. the primary body created by the law to implement anti-terrorism policy. this is irreconcilable to existing realities in the Philippines. By being an  An Act to Secure the State and Protect our People from Terrorism . while the law provides for a grievance mechanism and an oversight body in the implementation of the law.  Human Security Act of 2007 . Such  labeling is dangerous on two fronts. it conspicuously did not provide a denition of security. This even includes improving  state capacity and promoting equitable economic development. However. Section 2. The institutional challenges and problems currently faced by the Philippine National Police (PNP) bolsters this argument. see http://jlp-law. Internal security remains to be the purview of the military with the police often playing a secondary or supporting role as it continues to suer from institutional and resource deciencies. Finally. Analysts are also bothered on the power given to the Republic Act No. it also has repercussions on security sector governance in the Philippines. or intimidate legitimate organizations. With the exception of its title. it is observed that there is a noteworthy absence of civil society par- 18 19 . Arugay terrorism law.

alleviation of poverty. media. it seeks to address security threats through the promotion of good governance. no. oversight agency. Arugay ticipation or involvement. legal. one can question their ability to perform eective and strict oversight. As having a comprehensive and holistic perspective. Guided by the NISP. 2006). and ordinary citizens while keeping in mind the government's six paths to peace. (3) information. (2) its emphasis on innovative plans and programs to eradicate the so-called roots of insurgency such as poverty alleviation to be implemented through collaborative eorts among dierent government agencies. the ASG. the military launched a ve-year counterinsurgency program involving both the military and civilian agencies of the government in 2002. this plan seeks the coopera- tion and allows the coordination of agencies and institutions within the executive branch. and the academe. The other half of the strategy deals with the measures aimed at maintaining the areas that were one and held over by the military. 21 Adopted in 2001. Bantay Laya's strategic goal  is to decisively defeat the insurgents' armed groups in order to obtain and maintain peace for national development . August 2010 18 . and an evaluation or review mechanism that has a broader composition that includes civil society. the National Security Adviser (NSA). 5. p. 20 Another manifestation has been the government's framework for counterinsurgency. that includes the legal or judicial component. This will allow the government to use all legal means to bring insurgents within the fold of the law. It is composed of four main components: (1) political. (3) its priority on the role of information in promoting peace and public condence in government through interpersonal and  face to face approaches particularly in countering insurgent propaganda. this Internal Security Operation plan is based on the National Internal Security Plan (NISP) formulated by the DND as well as the National Military Strategy developed and adopted by the AFP. According to Hernandez (2005).or uneven development in the country necessitates a multi-dimensional approach (Esperon. with the logic that victory is necessary for national development to take place (Hernandez. It applies to the CPP-NPA. Called Bantay Laya. These functions are totally given to government institutions such as the Ombudsman and Congress. GCST. (4) its attention to conict resolution and maintenance of peace and order by mobilizing the police and local government. and (4) peace and order/security. This is based on the realization that insurgency as a source of insecurity and under. The passage of the Human Security Act of 2007 is a vital weapon to implement this component. this approach in implementing ISOs was initiated in 2002 under the name Bantay Laya [Freedom Watch].Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. called the National Internal Security Plan (NISP). 2005. New Voices Series. and diplomatic. The NISP is conceived as the government's ultimate strategy to defeat insurgency and armed challenges to the Philippine state. civil society. and transparency gaps of these oversight institutions over the security forces. The law could have been more inclusive by creating a grievance board. Formerly known as the  consolidate and  develop 20 21 This exclusion of civil society. 15). media.This goal reects the victory and institutional positions rolled into one. and the Southern Philippine Separatist Groups (SPSGs referring to the MNLF. presented a revised NISP them from exercising social accountability and informal oversight. decits. What are noteworthy about this new approach are: (1) its  strategy of holistic approach seeking the full cooperation of local government units. and combat operations. and the MILF). both uniformed and civilian. the Misuari Breakaway Group or MBG. peace advocacy. Given the similar institutional challenges. and academe in the formulation of this legislation does not prevent Just recently. (2) socioeconomic/psychological. Secretary Norberto Gonzales.

Human rights while formally (legally) provided are not fully observed given certain political. August 2010 19 . To a certain extent. 22 With the departure of the military. Moreover. this is called the support phase. For example. Bantay Laya is an internal security operation campaign that acknowledges the complex nature of insecurity in the country. Added to this  democratic decit . Arugay phases in the (Clear-Hold-Consolidate-Develop strategy). Sierra Leone. this campaign also gives the military a free hand in organizing cooperatives  a major source of nontraditional revenue that makes it an economic actor. it does not conform to a document of which most SSR programs were guided. 5.2. While the security sector often invokes the NISP as the guiding framework in addressing the security issues of the country. and Indonesia. and play a supportive role to the civilian government agencies during the development sub-phases (2005). particularly in areas where there is armed conict. there is even a diculty in being able to secure a copy of the said plan. and other anti-communist barangay-based organizations. By taking up these functions. If indeed the NISP is an equivalent of a  defense white paper or similar security documents and framework. It actively solicits the help of other government institutions and even other members of the security sector. it pursues some components of program that promote good security sector governance. 6. However. Tangentially. when the AFP or other members of core security forces assume responsibilities that are mandated to be performed by civilian institutions  executive agencies and local governments  this becomes dangerous to SST. Hernandez stated that Bantay Laya seeks to correct this as the AFP's role (also constrained by the limits of its capability) would be to strengthen government control and authority in the contested barangays and help develop local government capability during consolidation. Based on its 2007 Report. 22 The NISP is a document that was not subject to extensive consultation from all security stakeholders. and social obstacles. discussions are often clouded with secrecy and ambiguity. no. an independent freedom and democracy watchdog. civilian volunteer organizations (CVOs). GCST. Unlike previous experience wherein the military had to perform functions that were the responsibility of civilian agencies. the strategy aims to utilize the so-called Civilian Armed Force geographical Units Active Auxiliary (CAA. 2008). Democratization is also formally in place but there leaves much to be desired in terms of its quality. downgraded the Philippine standing from  free to  partly free for the past three years. a carry over of the CAFGU concept). The crucial change lies on the secondary role now played by the armed forces on this part of any ISO. Human Rights: Moderate Level of Military Autonomy It is both sad and unfortunate that the real picture of the Philippines in terms of its human rights and democracy records are not at all rosy and nice. Given this. this campaign allows the military to carry out developmental functions and take on non-combat roles which are supposed to be the job of the civilian government. The experience of countries like Thailand and Indonesia has underscored the hazards of a military with vested economic interests. New Voices Series. Freedom House. for example in South Africa. the security sector veers away from its supposed role and may undermine its professionalism and role. Among others.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. it should not be a surprise that the Philippines will fall into the prey of the ebb of human rights and democracy imposed by the imperatives of national security. economic. what informed this assessment is the string of corruption scandals hurled against the current administration as well as the increasing trend of human rights violations (Puddington.

5. by allowing.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. For example. in particular General Palparan. New Voices Series. it is the Macapagal-Arroyo administration that declared an  all-out war against the communist insurgents and some of the Moro separatist movements. Government accuses some civil society organizations of exaggerating the number of actual extrajudicial killings. it was not dicult for the Philippines to equate insurgents that could be deemed to have legitimate issues or demands with terrorists that need to be crushed. The greatest human rights problem in the Philippines has something to do with the spate of the so-called  extra-judicial killings of left-leaning or militant activists. Depending on who is counting. Both the report of the UN special rapporteur as well as the independent commission formed by the government 24 all concluded that the government. perpetrators of these executions enjoy a great degree of impunity. Other international actors such as the European Union (EU) also expressed concern over the persecution of members of the press and civil society and the impunity that perpetrators seem to enjoy. p. Actual gures could be drawn from the websites of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR). and even encouraging the killings (Melo. the Philippines was ranked sixth in its Impunity Index which calculates the unsolved murders of journalists as a percentage of the country's population (CPJ. there is certainly evidence pointing the nger of suspicion at some elements and personalities in the armed forces. Somalia. as responsible for an undetermined number of killings. Whether this is mainly because of the post 9/11 context is debatable but most experts will agree that the decisions and actions incumbent government greatly contributes to the country's present human rights record. Interestingly. the Commission's report states that at the very least. there are individuals that have been abducted or involuntarily disappeared while performing their line of work as activists of journalists. August 2010 20 . Not included in the extrajudicial killings is also a related trend in the Philippines that pertains to the murder of a large number of journalists and media personnel. 50). Like other countries. the government is also being made accountable for its inability to bring the perpetrators of these deaths and disappearances under the fold of the law. This  crackdown has caught international attention and even compelled the UN to send a special rapporteur (Mr. This is very much related to the fact that both of them have been linked with terrorist groups. In a recent study of the CPJ. Philip Alston) to visit the country and conduct a factnding mission. Sierra Leone. the number ranged from 7-10 each year. no. it neither has the willingness nor the motivation to prevent their occurrence: However. 26 23 The lack of consensus on the actual number of victims is due to that limits posed by the denition provided by each group that provides the gure. Colombia. 2007. the countries that received higher ranks are Sri Lanka. Human Rights Now. On the role of the military. It was in the year 2006 that the height of extra-judicial killings or involuntary executions was witnessed. Not only was this welcomed with denial and discontent from the country's armed forces. 2008). and the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NJP). Reports estimate that from 2003-2006. tolerating. Arugay The retreat of freedom in the Philippines became more conspicuous after 2001. particularly the military is responsible for the great number of these incidents. 2008). 23 Also. progressive civil society leaders. members of the press have been killed in increasing frequency. and journalists. 25 Similarly. Whether as news reporters or political commentators. GCST. 24 25 26 This was headed by former Supreme Court Justice Augusto Melo. the number could range from 250-835 people. and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). 2007. Other transnational human rights nongovernmental organizations also followed suit (Human Rights Watch.

2001). They remain untouched and untarnished by the deplorable executions of political dissidents and media personnel. 2001) and Asia (Alagappa. Table 2 contains the defense spending of the Philippine government from 1986-2009. Not only do they deny that they have a hand in them. Even if one does not look at comparable data from other countries.crisisgroup. and clientelistic parties. Scholars have observed that this  democratic recession across a so-called  third wave democracies is manifested by the struggle to secure freedom and uphold the rule of law. 27 By not having enough sensitivity to the critical distinctions.accessed12July2010. These are not applicable to the case of the Philippines. 2002). 2008). Defense Budgeting: Low Level of Military Autonomy While the Philippine military is able to assert its political autonomy in matters such as security policy and human rights. the military in Indonesia are able to have control over certain state enterprises such as petroleum and other natural resources while the Thai military has a specic mandate on economic development and management of the communications industry (Honna. it is likely that insurgent movements which have legitimate political demands are reduced to terrorists that must be crushed immediately. 2003. a recent report of the International Crisis Group (ICG) did not recognize this view of the government. corrupt and constrained judiciaries. However. Countries where widespread human rights violations occur often are  blighted by multiple problems of bad governance  abusive security forces. Iraq. 6. see http://www. they also propagate the belief that these killings are products of internal purges within the communist movement. these absolute numbers reveal two points. the root of this phenomena lies on the decits of its institutions of accountability and the rule of law (Diamond. but it will also increase the  collateral damage of such a policy by contributing to more violations of human rights in conict-torn communities in the country. August 2010 21 . it is by a very small percentage which is problematic since the budget takes into consideration ination. It is a great source of power for militaries in Latin America (Pion-Berlin. As a country struggling to consolidate its democratic regime. It expressed concern over the inability to dierentiate between insurgents and terrorists. autonomous from the civilian government. The two other indicators reveal a downward trend whether one measures military expenditures as a percentage 27 For the full report. First.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. 5. 2001). New Voices Series. For example. 152_counterinsurgency_vs_counter_terrorism_in_mindanao.3. while the actual budget has grown. it was palpable that democratic institutions in the Philippines were not able to perform adequately to ensure the protection of human rights. and inuential in policymaking tend to also have powers in controlling how much resources the government is able to give them (Bowman.ashx. the acquisition of newer. Not only would this approach fail. it is not able to extend it to defense spending or military expenditures. Arugay The quality of the country's institutions specically those that perform functions related to law enforcement and the rule of law also is a factor on why some literally gets away with murder. and therefore more expensive equipment. this partnership with the armed forces could be the strongest explanation why they escape from accountability to the majority of extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations. and the increase in the total population. no. According to observers both domestic and international. Scholars have argued that armed forces that are more politicized. Most likely. GCST.

d n.5 1. 5. New Voices Series. Subsequent administrations were not able to revive the AFP modernization campaign.d % of GDP n. August 2010 22 .d 1. no. 7. It also did not help that the campaign did not avoid being embroiled in politics as majority of the senators belong to the political opposition. 1999). In this particular case.d n.4 1. was not convinced to allow the military to receive multi-year funding as their proposed bill indicated.d 8 8 8 n. the military was not able to convince the legislature to pass a law that will give the military the resources necessary to acquire new equipment and weaponry.d n. its inability to defeat the communist insurgency and the separatist movement in Mindanao from acquiring enough  prestige and  standing that its counterparts in Southeast Asia possessed.d n.1 1. The Senate.d n. Philippine Defense Expenditures.9 0.4 1.4 1. this paper is able to show how the level of military autonomy aects the state of security sector governance and the pursuit of SST.d n.9 Source: SIPRI Military Expenditures database and World Development Indicators Earlier scholars argued that the presence of US military bases and other installations have provided a defense shield on the country that prevented the military from requesting for higher defense expenditures.3 1.2 1.2 1.4 1. While then President Ramos and the DND gave their full support. Conclusion: Challenges and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation By using the case of the Philippines. In fact.d n.9 0. Arugay of the national government budget or as a share of the country's gross domestic product. It is not to say that this is the only factor that has an impact on the trajectory and progress of reforming security institutions. there was no other strong lobby to back the modernization program (de Castro.1 1 1 1 0.9 0. the existing body of literature on this topic also points to other GCST.4 1. A manifestation of this has been its failed modernization program campaign blamed by some to the excessive civilian control of the government.4 1.d 6 n.d 5 5 5 5 n.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A.d n. in particular.d n. 1986-2007 Year 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 US$(Millions) 515 725 788 753 745 682 688 744 794 885 927 828 818 807 853 794 833 920 857 865 880 1034 % of gov't budget n.d n.3 1.d n. Moreover.

it also did not contain any of the other SSR principles. it is clear that the military has the upper hand in the formulation of security policy. accountability. The absence of a vision for good security sector governance also could be the reason for the adoption of certain laws and policies inimical to SST principles. They remain to be institution specic. Moreover. Furthermore. and not oriented towards all the objectives of SST. In the Philippines. Coherence is of the essence if ever SST would produce its intended outputs. There are indications that the government was guided by the military to adopt this policy shift. this was not sustained as a more aggressive policy was eventually adopted. This expertise may include knowledge on defense. peace. The other extreme is the placement of civilians without the necessary expertise could equally be dangerous. the paper exposed the constraints generated by high degrees of political autonomy enjoyed by the military. especially in the early years of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration. A related challenge is the problem of complexity (Nathan. security. First. among others. By looking at the current eorts in the Philippines on the drive toward SST. Related to this. the Philippines suers from a dearth of civilians with expertise on SST issues. Reforming the security sector after many years of operation may require arduous tasks that may have to be done simultaneously and with coordination. Arugay things such as political will of the government. August 2010 23 . and the strength of civil society and the capacity of civilian government. while there are existing reform initiatives across these institutions are not all attuned to SST. Scholars have GCST. 2007). there was also no support or pressure from other political actors such as civil society and media. 5. New Voices Series. the implementation of the peace policy. While this might also be attributed to lack of civilian experts on defense and security matters among the bureaucracy. Not only is this is contradictory to the orthodox mission and role of the military. and democratization at the theoretical. The third challenge pertains to the absence of knowledge and expertise on SST. and responsiveness of the military as stated in the Feliciano Commission recommendations. and coordination in order to ensure their complementarity. Such a project may prove to be taxing even to the most committed and resource endowed country. the military was the driving force behind what is considered as the  military reform program which solely was concerned with increasing operational eectiveness of the armed forces to combat internal security threats. it is apparent that the passage of recent legislation. one can see the lack of attention and progress toward the implementation of some of the reforms associated with increasing transparency. For example.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. no. This was not only seen in the case of the Davide and Feliciano Commission recommendations but as well as the other reform programs of the current government for the military and the police. This entails the appropriate timing. the historical path of the democratic transition. it cannot be prevented that former ocials of security forces gets to be appointed to civilian oversight institutions. not linked with one another. One initiative is to tap civil society and develop a capacity for SST advocacy. development. and the current framework of anti-terrorism and counterinsurgency all point to the signicant inuence of the military. it is not surprising that only a few could have a complete understanding of the nature of SST. It is acknowledged that just like other countries. empirical. What is palpable in the Philippine case is the absence of commitment among all stakeholders to embark on comprehensive SST. As a concept that is not even two decades old. sequencing of reform activities. and policy level. While there were episodes wherein a more  dovish stance was seen.

But this may prove to be challenging given the contentious state of political relations between the current government and most members of civil society. 2002. p. The lack of expertise of civil society reects the prevailing lack of capacity of most civilians in performing oversight functions. In the long term. 53). It is observed that much of the attention has been paid to military as far as SSR is concerned sometimes to the detriment of other members of the core security forces. and democracy. peace. responsiveness. the inability to address the needs of the police in order to perform its mandated functions will also cause stress to the military for they will continue to do tasks not related to its original mission. corruption. If there is condence shared by both. Also. then it would be relatively easy to embark on a partnership for SST. The police and the intelligence services are as important as the military in provision of security in the Philippines. military deployment to fulll what are supposed to be functions of civilian forces will be necessary. For much of the members of civil society. (3) investigations or hearings in aid of legislation. 2006). there is now the need for civil society as intermediary organizations between the state and the people to help dene the mechanisms for this public good to be eectively provided and equitably shared by the entire society. New Voices Series. 2000. it can also contribute by raising security defense issues in the public agenda and some of them who engage in investigative journalism can also address the secretive nature of the armed forces (Caparini 2004). However. little attention has been paid on how SST could help realize this  basket of advocacies . Given its informational role. p. Arugay stated that civil society groups can help facilitate SSR in three ways: (1) informal oversight as a  watchdog . but they were also the pivotal force for the democratic transition in the Philippines. and poor training.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. (3) intermediary organizations between the state and its citizens (Caparini. There is substantial information that the civilian oversight institutions have not performed these functions appropriately and with due diligence. What they unfortunately lack is the tradition or ability to instigate serious challenges to democratic stability. 28 However. it would also negatively aect some of the basic advocacies that they are pursuing such as peace. the appointment or selection of former military ocials in most of these agencies has further jeopardized any meaningful oversight from being exercised. no. and eciency. any meaningful state-civil society engagements on SST are a function of existing relations between the two spheres. Also noteworthy is the fact that not only was civil society became the recipients (or victims) of the iron hand of martial law. Just like in other countries. GCST. development. (2) reservoir of independent expertise.14) and thereby undermining democratic control (Watts. With the advent of  democratic security . There is also the challenge of maintaining balance in the implementation of SST. This severely diminishes their power to lobby or argue for capability-building. (2) budget scrutiny and review. These oversight functions could be categorized into three: (1) conrmation of appointments. it shared among other civilians a lack of information on SSR. Not only would it jeopardize this package of  transformations aimed at generating accountability. Caparini and Fluri. Relative to other issues pursued by nongovernmental associations such as social development. and democracy. transparency. 2006. human rights. 28 The media is also an important actor of SSR. SST is the  crucial unknown that may prove to be pivotal in the realization of many of their advocacies. professionalism. As long as the police is characterized by ineciency. 5. In hindsight. an explanation could come from the negative relations between the armed forces and civil societies as the former became the implementers of authoritarian rule in the Philippines. they ended up to be a little more than  a cheering block for the interests of the security agencies (Tanner. August 2010 24 .

New Voices Series. August 2010 25 . no. it is crucial that there is a comprehensive process of consultation that includes all relevant stakeholders (Ball and Brzoska. It is time that the Philippines embark on a re-formulation of its framework for SST which is the mark of local ownership. Genuine reform that will result to transformation is often achieved when it is not monopolized nor dominated by the object of reform. the Philippine is a case wherein the political autonomy of the military might have resulted with the reform of the security sector but not necessarily its transformation. p. 11). Arugay In order to address the political autonomy of the military aecting the prospects for SST in the Philippines.Spheres of Military Autonomy under Democratic Rule: Implications and Prospects for Security Sector Transformation (SST) in the Philippines A. 5. GCST. In the meantime. 2002.

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