I come from a family of rebels. Personally, I have chosen the path of being a militant pacifist, within reason. Inasmuch as I love to study the Holy Writings of various independent world religions pertaining to peace, I am also a big fan of studying the complex history of war and anti-war. The works of the likes of Shoghi Effendi, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Yukio Mishima, Inazo Nitobe, Nathan Rutstein, Mikhail Gorbachev, Leo Tolstoy, Sun Tzu, Alvin and Heidi Toffler, Henry Kissinger, etc. have been my pastime readings from the time I was 13.
I have yet to study the case of a modern-day peaceful and progressive state that did not go through at least half a century of bloody warfare to realize freedom, equality, and security for all.
To encapsulate why I do not believe in extreme absolute pacifist ideals embodied by Leni Robredo:
Extreme absolute pacifists are very close to the anarchists, in the sense that both of these groups lay an undue emphasis on the rights and merits of the individual.
Non-co-operation is too passive a philosophy to become an effective way for social reconstruction. Their refusal to bear arms can never establish peace.
There should first be a spiritual revitalization which nothing, except the cause of God, can effectively bring to every man’s heart.
Among the things that fascinate me is Japan’s code of honor: Bushido (or the way of the warrior). Bushido dictates that corrupt leaders will either die by the sword of a Samurai, or they can choose to die with honor through Seppuku.
My grandfather, a guerrilla fighter during WW-2, killed a lot of Japanese soldiers in Philippines with the many bombs he created. Still, he had high regard for Japanese warriors. Sometimes, there’s no other way but to use anti-war strategies to gain freedom and to prevent bigger wars from breaking out.
Despite being a militant pacifist, I am grateful and beyond proud of my grandfather who fought violence with violence at a time when he needed to protect his own country, and his own people.
Sometimes, I feel ashamed that I belong to a generation of castrated guerrilla fighters. But then again, my grandpa fought with bombs so I, his progeny, ideally won’t have to anymore.
The only violent thing about me is that…
I’m the BOMB. 💣💣
Duterte, the choice of strong leaders
For the first time in PH history, leaders from China, Russia, Israel, Singapore, and Japan, all have high regard for the President of the Philippines.
In Philippines, this week, President Rodrigo Duterte welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to his humble home in Davao City. Abe is the first leader that Duterte hosted since he became President in June 2016. This news gives me great joy!
After a bloody war, true friendship between two nations is eventually possible when true respect and equality are restored jus post bellum. Post-war justice (jus post bellum) concerns the justice after a war. This includes issues like terms of peace agreements, reconstruction, war crime trials, and war compensations.
Abe’s friendly visit and warm friendship with Duterte comes as no surprise
A high-ranking official of Japan’s Ministry of Defense, formerly based here in PH, told me prior to the 2016 Elections that if Rodrigo Duterte wins as President, the security and economic cooperation between PH and JP will certainly become more vibrant.
I asked WHY? What was the reason? His answer was simple:
Duterte has strong Bushido. He is simple. He has honor. He loves his people. He has courage. He is the kind of leader Philippines needs at this point in history so your country can get out of the trap you are in. Duterte has the spirit of a good Samurai.
We Japanese people value Bushido. This is how we built and rebuilt Japan…
Interestingly, even an Israeli Special Forces unit member was urging me to vote for Duterte despite the fact that I told her I was only voting Miriam Defensor-Santiago. She said to me:
I know you love Miriam. She sounds great. But she is dying. Be strategic. Vote Duterte. Your country needs a strong leader like him to clean up Philippines.
I love the smiles and warmth of Filipinos. But you don’t know how to fight a just war. You allow yourselves to get bullied and enslaved for centuries… That P-Noy, his family kills farmers and poor people. Why is he still alive??! Because of money?
Vote someone who values JUSTICE more than money.
Do your country a favor. Vote Duterte.
Abe said through an interpreter: “On countering illegal drugs, we want to work together with the Philippines to think of relevant measures of support. For our part, Japan will tap, among others, the knowledge of the private sector to assist in the improvement of related facilities, formulation of treatment programs, and in other areas.”
Duterte’s war on crime is supported by at least 84% of Filipinos as a necessary JUST WAR.
Just War: The Bahá’í View
“War is really nothing more but the result of existing forces.” So not only is war not always a bad thing necessarily, as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá explains:
A conquest can be a praiseworthy thing, and there are times when war becomes the powerful basis of peace, and ruin the very means of reconstruction.
If, for example, a high-minded sovereign marshals his troops to block the onset of the insurgent and the aggressor, or again, if he takes the field and distinguishes himself in a struggle to unify a divided state and people, if, in brief, he is ‘waging war for a righteous purpose’, then this seeming wrath is mercy itself, and this apparent tyranny the very substance of justice and this warfare the cornerstone of peace.
Today, the task befitting great rulers is to establish universal peace, for in this lies the freedom of all peoples.
Regardless of predominant religious beliefs per state, majority of the leaders of countries come from the ruling elite of yore. Most members of such ruling families do anything and everything to keep people enslaved through #PovertyByDesign:
- Strategic distribution of addictive substances such as illegal drugs (and even alcohol)
- Covertly funding terrorist groups to destabilize governments of countries rich with natural resources
- LACK OF: decent shelters for all, access to quality education, fair livelihood, access to free potable water, affordable and efficient telecom, etc. etc. — these are all part of #PovertyByDesign.
Japan is not a perfect country, but one of the things I have learned from one of my mentors is that Bushido’s Seppuku is integral to the inevitable progress of Modern Japan, which pretty much everybody in the world loves and admires today.
I have friends from Science High who were strategically imported by Singapore for being math wizards. Many of their own Singaporean classmates are the progeny of those who died, for one reason or another, in the purging years of Lee Kuan Yew.
My own epic grandfather, a selfless guerrilla fighter of Spanish-Jewish descent, killed hundreds of Japanese soldiers, and some Makapili.
When I meditate on the issue of war (not just the PH drug war), my world view is to win the war against #PovertyByDesign. As an educator, I work in the path of peace. I do acknowledge, however, that attaining GREATER PEACE is a complex process of INTEGRATION and DISINTEGRATION.
Not all those who claim to be fighting for peace are sincere.
Not all those who fight in war time are sadistic psychopaths.
All humans suffer with some form of cognitive dissonance. We can all take conscious steps, however, to overcome them. In my case, some people might think I suffer from cognitive dissonance in relation to supporting President Duterte. But in reality, I did not even vote for Duterte.
Given my training and past background with investigative journalism, I have done a thorough review of a wide array of political, historical, national security, and foreign policy-related issues, from as far back as 2003.
Gaining more knowledge gives me more QUESTIONS than answers, but one thing is crystal clear to me: I believe in democracy, truth, and justice.
I served the government under the Aquino Administration despite the fact that I did not vote for P-Noy. When we were called upon to serve our country, I set aside my politics, kept my mouth shut about their blind adoration for P-Noy, and took heed of my former mentor’s call to action when she needed to build an A-Team whose competence and excellence she trusted.
To me, democracy means I continue to serve the Greater Good regardless of who is the legitimate President.
I have literally been all over Philippines, not as a tourist, but as a researcher and as an educator. I am a witness to structural violence and injustice.
Whether or not I voted for Duterte, I will continue to do my part to offer alternative, parallel, and complementary solutions to help our country grow.
Power grabs are done by those who fear facing justice for their evil deeds as corrupt and self-serving “leaders”. Their adamance for the continuity of “DAANG MATUWID” is merely a strategy to perpetuate their IMPUNITY.
If, truly, there is nothing to fear and hide, why are they so desperate to take over before the six-year term is done?
Why can’t we all work together to help the current administration succeed? How could anyone claim absolute moral ascendancy and authority to dictate and decide that only THEY can serve as good leaders? That is ARROGANCE and IGNORANCE at its finest.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei.
For the “DISENTE” claiming that Cory Aquino is the Saint of Democracy, what they are doing now — orchestrating the ouster of a President with a clear, solid, and legitimate mandate — sure is a spit on God’s Name, to claim that their voice as the Moneyed Ruling Elite is much greater than the voice of the People.
It’s not only treason. It’s blasphemy.
And for those who may not believe in God, well…we can at least agree that we all believe in the kawaii-awesomeness of Japan. 🇯🇵
 Compilations, quoted in Lights of Guidance, p. 407
 On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, May 11, 1932.
 ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization, 2nd ed. (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1983), pp. 64-67, 70-71.