Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief Leon Panetta is making a lightning visit to Manila on July 12, a Sunday, reportedly to meet with Gloria Arroyo and some of her security aides.
His visit comes amid reports of a spate of bombings in Mindanao as well as talks of a Palace initiated coup, a forced-through constitutional change by the House of Representatives, a no-elections and no-proclamation owing to a deliberate failure of elections, all of which calls for Gloria to stay in the presidential seat well beyond 2010.
One recalls a time in the mid 80s, when an emissary of then US President Ronald Reagan sent his trusted friend, Paul Laxalt, to talk to Ferdinand Marcos, who wanted to stay on as president despite the political and economic turmoil engulfing the country and its people.
And Laxalt’s message to Marcos was for him to “cut and cut clean,” which meant for Marcos to do the right thing and retire.
Panetta’s visit is obviously a “spur of the moment” but important visit, because if it were neither important nor serious, he would not make this 12-hour visit, merely to get first hand information from Gloria and her aides on security matters, on shared information.
The CIA’s intelligence network — especially of Third World countries such as the Philippines — is without doubt ahead of the Malacañang intelligence network, information wise.
It is hardly any secret that the Palace and security intelligence networks mostly base their so-called intelligence reports on newspaper reports, hardly doing any real intelligence work, especially since Malacañang’s intelligence units, including the military and police intelligence agencies, are all focused on the political, such as wiretapping political foes and critics, coming up with framed-up charges against those who pose a threat to Gloria, and even getting actively involved in poll fraud operations.
True, the bombings in Mindanao could be a source of concern, especially since the military, police and the Palace itself, contradict each other in identifying the perpetrators. One says it has the signature of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF); another says it is the handiwork of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), yet another says it is the Abu Sayyaf Group, while still another says this is part of the Oplan August Moon coup plot which is intended, so the Palace aides say, to destabilize the Arroyo government.
The MILF’s spokesman, Eid Kabalu, insists that the MILF had nothing to do with the bombing, and that this is the handiwork of Gloria’s military.
Any US intelligence group isn’t likely to buy the military claim that only the rogue MILF, meaning the Umbra Kato group and the like, that are, incidentally, bona fide army units of the MILF, is behind the bombings. If the JI trained — MILF did it, this would have had the blessings of the MILF leadership. Neither will the Abu Sayyaf Group being tagged as behind these bombings is going to fly. What’s in it for the Abus? They get more money kidnapping foreigners.
Bottom line — if the discussions between Gloria and the CIA chief — and if it is strictly a matter of security and shared intelligence, is that Gloria and her military and police are incapable of bringing about peace in Mindanao.
The short visit could also possibly touch on giving the MILF that which it demands: Its own independent Islamic state. It is no secret that the US wants this deal since the US and other interested countries can do what they please by way of exploiting to the fullest, the country’s natural resources in Mindanao, while dealing strictly with the MILF. But even Panetta would know that this is an impossibility and has already been ruled upon by the Puno Supreme Court as unconstitutional.
Still, with all the talk of Gloria pushing a Charter change through the one-chamber constituent assembly to effect a parliamentary shift, where she is to emerge as prime minister, plus talk of imposing emergency rule, along with high tech fraudulent polls expected in 2010, in addition to a No-proc scenario and not to forget, a Gloria coup-me plot–if all else fails, and with the bombings a prelude to her emergency rule declaration, Panetta’s message to Gloria could be the same as Laxalt’s: Cut and cut clean, Gloria. – source: Philippine Tribune