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Magdalo Group

In: Historical Events

Submitted By Jevimarc
Words 706
Pages 3
“Common Ground”

Before the Aquino administration granted our group, Magdalo, a conditional amnesty in relation to our engagement and participation in the so-called Oakwwod Incident of 2003, we have suffered a huge step back, not only in our respective careers but also to our identity as a group. We have considered the years 2003 to 2006 the dark ages of our group. It was during those years we have realized that our “war against corruption within AFP” is slowly and steadily taking its toll on our daily lives and our future. With few exceptions to our close friends and classmates, the general perception on our group is on the negative. We have tried to explain that our side and our claims are valid yet our actions by taking over a commercial district are not. This negative perception led us to accept realities that for us to really influence change, we have to be at outside of that organization. For us to move an object, we shall be the fulcrum.
After some few rethinking and meditation, we became fully aware that corruption is not just within the AFP. It was all over the system. During that time, there are many if not several, corruption allegations that hounded the Arroyo administration. It was September 2006 when we have decided that we need to change the venue of our “war against corruption”. But for us to accomplish this, we should convince one of our member, Lieutenant Junior Grade Antonio F. Trillanes IV, to run for a Senate seat. It was too high that we ourselves are too scared to think about it.

The Project: Continuous dialogue and consultation with the Uniformed Services

My proposal is anchored on two approaches, one is to come up with a better legislative work, both in Senate and in the House of Representatives, that will promote the best interest of the uniformed services. And second is to have a better understanding and common ground between our group, as external stakeholders, and the uniformed services.

This proposal stemmed up with an assumption that our recent efforts to promote the interest of the Armed Forces of the Philippines do us more harm than good. A case in point, it was our office – the Office of Senator Trillanes IV, who authored the Salary Standardization Law 3. This said law increased the basic salary of all government employees, including soldiers and teachers. Just recently, a proposed bill to increase the subsistence allowances of uniformed personnel that we principally authored, both in Senate and in the House of Representatives through the Magdalo Partylist Representatives, was signed into a law. Included in the pipeline are proposed bills regarding an increase of combat duty pay of soldiers and the new Salary Standardization Law 4. But recent developments in the political arena projected us, our office, that we are doing nothing for the Armed Forces. Worse, other interest groups claimed authorship of the said Salary Standardization Law 3.

Strategic Execution

This project proposal aims to encourage and promote robust participation through regular and periodic consultation with various stakeholders and representatives of the uniformed services on issues and concerns pertaining to their organization. A quarterly round table discussion or forum with key officials and stakeholders would satisfy the initial stages of the project. Parallel efforts such as “agency initiative”, wherein the AFP will initiate legislative proposals for submission to our office are highly encouraged. Also, we will keep our offices open to any formal or informal comunication lines that may arise from those consultation and discussions. For the past few years, we have conducted similar consultations and visits to various camps whenever possible. These visits produced a comprehensive analysis and deeper understanding on the pressing needs of the uniformed personnel that resulted to the bills we proposed at the 15th and 16th Congress.

Conclusion

This proposal, once religiously implemented and observed, would benefit not just our group but on a bigger scale the uniformed service. It is a win-win situation, wherein both parties would enhance cooperation and interaction, and produces breakthrough results. Uniformed services would advance their interest that would benefit their organization. And at the same time, our group will benefit from a reduced negative perception and stigma.…...

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