Here and There

Looking in from the outside

By Gerry Garcia

GEORGE C. Marshall, US general and statesman, was a name familiar to us teachers during the later Liberation days. As familiar as Camel cigarettes. Or GI Joe.

Marshall, we remember, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1953 for Peace, an honor bestowed on him for being the first man to spur initiations of the Marshall Plan, a US-led charitable institution designed to boost rehabilitation and development of countries in Asia and Europe which were destroyed or damaged during the last World War. US contribution to this post-war movement totaled $12,000 M to which some countries in Europe added $9,000 M.

Former Speaker JDV, who has joined the effort to help quell the violent separatist revolt of the militant MILF in Mindanao proposed adoption of a mini- Marshall Plan which, he thinks, required a P50-Billion funding to “reverse centuries of neglect and bring about peace in the South.”

But JDV sees this possible only with the MILF rebels and the AFP agreeing to stop shooting at each other… and the arrest and conviction of the two MILF leaders responsible for the violence and atrocities that gripped the revolt — commanders Kato and Bravo.

Since it’s only with the apprehension of the two rouge leaders that the needed ceasefire could be realized and sustained, our diplomatic JDV would be expected, like former Presidents Erap and FVR and unlike PGMA, to advocate an all-out war against the militant MILF.

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In view of his proposed mini-Marshall Plan proposal, the former Speaker has probably found a reason for temporarily junking his support for cha-cha and also the move toward federalism.

The other reason, some Pangasinenses suspect, could be that the foxy JDV has detected a self-glorifying motive behind PGMA’s current move to push the cha-cha cum parliamentary-federal ploy… on the pretext of helping unravel the Mindanao mess with federal magic.

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The needed P50-Billion to fund implementation of the mini-Marshall Plan, JDV says, can be sourced out from the World Bank (WB), Japan, China, the USA, Australia and some European countries, including appropriations from Congress.

With his leadership clout still intact, despite his loss of the Speakership and his falling out from the grace of Malacanang, the tactful JDV can still work out a scheme for the release of the needed funds.

After all, the mini-Marshall Plan for Mindanao is Joe’s economic action plan to lift the island’s population from grinding poverty, illiteracy and injustices that have accumulated over the centuries because of neglect from central government.

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