Virata Collaboration: Laguatan sees Vice where Hilario sees Virtue

collaborationMANILA: Ted Laguatan asked for it.

I didn't learn about it until today, by email. He asked those who agreed with him to eblast his column "Adding insult to injury: UP College named after Marcos’ Prime Minister" that appears in the 30 June 2013 online issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer ( He didn't ask for the opinion of those who disagreed with him, so I'm giving him. An Ilocano, I have always been an original aboriginal.

Ted Laguatan, another Ilocano, is a lawyer who states categorically that he is "honored by the California State Bar as one of the best Immigration Law lawyers in the United States" (you find that at the end of his column). I will honor him by disagreeing with him without being disagreeable. I mean, I will avoid logical liabilities (my coinage); I will not quote and you will not see any logical fallacies here as much as I can see them.

Ted Laguatan's diatribe, to put it nicely, is all of 3,216 words including the title, byline and his request to eblast him (my response is only 1,326 words). But the Editor in me sees that we can all see where he's coming from in 109 words that all come from him:

As Prime Minister, Cesar Virata played the role of both politician and top technocrat in the Marcos government bureaucracy. He was installed as Prime Minister by Marcos in 1981 and stayed on until Marcos was toppled in 1986. He held this position concurrent with his position of Finance Secretary, which he held since 1970.

His time in these offices was marked by some economic advances but more failures as a matter of record. But his success or failure as an economic Tsar, his academic achievements and his mild-mannered countenance - are not the issues discussed here. The issue is his long-term participation and collaboration with [the Marcos] regime.

Ignoring Laguatan's attack, ad hominem, non sequitur and begging the question, with [the Marcos] as my edited Laguatan, I'm rewriting his last sentence as the essential issue:

Virata's long-term participation and collaboration with the Marcos dictatorship.

I said dictatorship, didn't I? Be careful with your name-calling, Frank A Hilario. I am careful. Karl Marx was for the dictatorship of the proletariat; I am for the dictatorship of the proliterati (see also my "Virgilio Almario, isn't that Dictatorship of the Proliterati?" 01 July 2013, Frank A Hilario, I write to encourage Creative Thinking. I write for those who think for those who don't. So, be careful when you say long words like "collaboration" when I'm around!

In January 2009, I finished a book, Vanguards In War, Vanguards For Peace (205 pages, 97% text, unpublished), where I devoted 2 chapters on General Macario "Mac" Peralta, the Ilocano Hero for General MacArthur's defeat of the Japanese fleet in the Battle of Leyte, and who later became a Senator. I call him Chairman Mac; I say he reinvented and succeeded more in guerrilla warfare than your Chairman Mao (wait till someone volunteers to publish my book).

My research on Chairman Mac brought me to a book, courtesy of Mac's brother Diosdado, who was introduced to me by Jerry Quibilan, another Ilocano; the book is authored by Gamaliel I Manikan and published in 1977, Guerrilla Warfare On Panay Island In The Philippines (756 pages, excluding appendices). There I found, among other things, that Panay Governor Tomas Confesor, Bisaya, was a necessary & valuable collaborator. The great Asian thinker of The Art Of War Chairman Mac thought that first, not me; I now quote from my own book (page 29); the page numbers mentioned below are those of Manikan's book.

Start of quote:

The role of the civilian population was crucial to the whole resistance movement. Mac referred to this as "effective control," meaning, "at its best, that the civilians will voluntarily give moral and material support to the resistance movement as a matter of personal conviction, to the extent that they will risk their lives" (p55). Mac said, "The safe assumption to take was that the enemy action would be governed by the same realization that victory is, first and foremost, a race for the people's mind, their sympathies and, if possible, their loyalty" (p56).

In war, the bandits & lawless take advantage of the unwary, and the traitors to the cause take advantage of everyone. That is why a rebel civil government is necessary. That is why they needed the full cooperation of Governor Tomas Confesor and the other provincial officials.

That's how they survived.

End of quote.

That is how to look at the long-term participation and collaboration of Cesar Virata with the Marcos dictatorship.

There's more. Well into the Martial Law years, from the mid-70s to the mid-80s, I was working for government. I was collaborating with the political dictatorship of Ferdinand Edralin Marcos. And so were they, the ones I am familiar with:

Joseph Madamba
Abelardo G Samonte
Santiago R Obien
Emil Q Javier
Filiberto S Pollisco

Joseph Madamba, an Ilocano, was the first UP Los Baños scientist and leader who saw the collaborative opportunity and, acting on insight, drafted a law that Marcos signed as a presidential decree, and this created the Philippine Council for Agriculture (PCAR). This one has since metamorphosed into the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic & Natural Resources Research & Development, but PCAARRD has the same essential function as PCAR: manage the research & development efforts of government institutions in the broad area of agriculture & related fields. Should we call Madamba a traitor and call for the abolition of PCAARRD because it is the product of collaboration with the Marcos dictatorship?

Abelardo Samonte, another Ilocano, was the first Chancellor of UP Los Baños. I don't know them, males certainly, those people collaborated with Marcos, so he signed the decree elevating the Cow College called UP College of Agriculture into a University. Should we revert UPLB to UPCA because it is the offspring of a lesbian relationship?

Santiago Obien, still another Ilocano, was the first Director of the Philippine Tobacco Research & Training Center. It was he who drafted the decree that created the PTRTC. Should we then condemn Obien as a collaborator? It was this center that saved the tobacco industry when the industry of tobacco was drying up!

Emil Javier, a Tagalog, succeeded Samonte as Chancellor when the Ilocano died suddenly in office. Javier had earlier been the Secretary of Science, being the Director General of the National Science & Technology Authority where I also worked as assistant to Deputy Director General Dominador O Reyes. So, Javier was guilty as a double collaborator of Marcos? And I was an underling of a collaborator of a collaborator of Marcos?

Filiberto Pollisco, a Chavacano, was one of those who drafted the presidential decree signed by Marcos creating the Forest Research Institute. And since I was working under Pollisco as the Chief Information Officer of FORI, I was collaborating with him who was collaborating with Marcos, so I was collaborating with Marcos. Of course I was! And quite proud of it.

If I did not collaborate with Pollisco who was collaborating with Marcos, I might have gone underground and I would not have founded and edited 3 regular publications that catapulted FORI into the national and international limelights: Canopy (monthly newsletter), Sylvatrop (quarterly technical journal), and Habitat (quarterly color magazine, which I patterned after the National Geographic). With FORI, I was working on those publications from April 1975 to June 1981, all for forest conservation. Collaborating like a zealot, essentially a one-man-band, in the Age of Dinosaurs (Giant Typewriters), typing all my manuscripts all by myself even at night, later with an IBM Selectric III, a great many times sleeping on piles of books in Hiyas Printing Press without pillow or blanket, without extra-curricular activities, without fear or favor, I was never late in any issue.

Collaboration never felt so good!

Popular posts from this blog

GABRIELA is scandalized by Asingan Bikini Open

"O Naraniag A Bulan." How an old folk song can help choose new Senators!

What Federalism? Precisely, That Is The Question!