Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Military and Social Change (A Public Forum)

March 4, 2010, 10:00am-12:00nn
Pulungang Claro M. Recto, Bulwagang Rizal (Faculty Center), University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City

About the Forum

Rising levels of hunger and poverty belie the image of the Philippines as a stable democracy. Social strife and tensions are the order of the day, unless substantial reforms are instituted that will address the rights of the people to a decent life. In the pursuit of social reforms, the panel asks, what is the role of the military? Can the military play a facilitating role for meaningful social change, or will it serve as an obstacle to progress by defending the existing social order? What has been the experience in other countries? Does the Philippine military establishment have a developmental vision? Is there one unified and consolidated military to speak of, or are we looking at an institution which is itself an arena of competing interests and perspectives? Through this panel, we look at the military from various angles, and focus on the potentials and constraints of the military as a force for meaningful social change.




Teresa S. Encarnacion Tadem
Third World Studies Center
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines-Diliman


Romeo S. Brawner Jr.
Lieutenant Colonel
Public Information Office
Armed Forces of the Philippines

Clarita R. Carlos
Department of Political Science
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines-Diliman
Francisco Nemenzo
Professor Emeritus
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines-Diliman

Danilo D. Lim
Brigadier General
Philippine Army
Armed Forces of the Philippines

Grace G. Jamon
Department of Political Science
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines-Diliman

Third World Studies Center
University of the Philippines-Diliman
Office of the Chancellor
University of the Philippines-Diliman

News about the forum
The TWSC Public Forum Series:
En Masse: Social Forces and the 2010 Philippine National Elections
To look beyond personalities and petty platforms, to strip of spin the electoral process, to resist the candidates’ inchoate incantations of change, to make the public understand the different currents of social forces that surge and animate the body politic during this most crucial of democratic exercises, to make the public realize why these social forces matter: these are the objectives of the series of public forums that the Third World Studies Center (TWSC) will be organizing prior to and right after the 2010 Philippine national elections. Social forces, as defined in the Philippine context by Abinales and Amoroso in their book State and Society in the Philippines, “are movements and voluntary associations with political agendas that contend with each other and the state. They try to achieve their goals through coalition or accommodation with or defeat of other groups or the state, are willing to move into the state, or may endeavor to take over the state.” With such definition, the religious formations should be prayed upon to confess why they have given their blessings to certain office seekers. There should be a call on the business community to account for the calculations they have made on which winnable candidate’s campaign coffer to fill. Civil society must be more candid than civil and reflect on their supposed moral projects to reshape the government. And the military must go beyond tired statements of neutrality even if some of its so-called renegades also rehash programmatic press releases tinged with messianic sentiments.

In organizing these forums, the TWSC hopes to provide a clear and scholarly discussion which will answer these questions: Will the social forces achieve their goals through the electoral process? How do these social forces view and value the election? How will they deal with the new administration that will take office in June 2010? The answers to these questions will inform the public of the terrain of contestations that they have to walk on and live by in the immediate years to come. Thus it is important to start asking these questions now and demand an answer not only from those that publicly avow that they will serve the people, but more importantly from the social forces that claim that they are the people and thus must be served.

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