Basic problems as root causes of armed conflict
Thirty-three years ago the late Jose W. Diokno, eminent senator, human rights defender and quintessential nationalist, identified four “basic problems” of Philippine society, thus:
1. Widespread deep poverty among our people and inequality in wealth, privilege, and power;
2. Although supposedly independent, we are not really sovereign. With their military bases, the US government and military were allowed to participate in “internal security activities” and to intervene in our internal affairs. The World Bank-IMF tandem — not the people’s elected representatives — made economic policy, to the detriment of the Filipino people.
3. “We (were) a state, but not yet a nation,” because divisions persisted among language or ethnic groups; and
4. Lack of real freedom, especially for the poor. The formal freedoms “written on the books,” which had been set aside under martial law, weren’t yet restored.