Erle Frayne D. Argonza
The world may be aghast at the latest eventuality where a jailed ex-president of the Philippines, Joseph Ejercito or Erap, was allowed to run again as president of the country. Overthrown in 2001 after massive plunder of the public coffers led to a near system collapse, and having served couples of years in jail for his sordid crime, Erap is back again in the campaign trails, wooing the rural and urban underclasses that serve as his voters’ base.
To recall, the public knew and highlighted the rather obvious plunder of the coffers by the Erap regime then. What was less visible, with evidence more of circumstantial (to use legalese parlance), was the ballooning role of the Chinese mafia, or Triad, in East Asia as a result of the victory in the Philippines of a coterie of organized crime operators led by no less than the President Erap.
East Asia has been largely a backyard for drug traders for nigh centuries, even as such operations were largely in the hands of the (a) British drug traders and (b) Triad operators. The said traders operated on a modus vivendi modality, and maintained a ‘balance of drug trade’ as partners in crime. Any imbalance in the trade—caused by the over-bearing domination of the same by the Triad—would be highly prejudicial to the British traders from whose hands depend the operations of British & Dutch financiers and the wellness Western economy for that matter.
Simply put, any imbalance in the trade in favor of the Triad & Asian organized crime partners would greatly impair the flexibility of maneuverings by the Western financiers who, as we all know, comprise a cartel that had yoked the global and national economies in their predatory pursuits. Financier operations are dependent to a large degree on underworld operations of gold trade that is tied up to the drug trade—the linkage being that drug traders often than not trade in gold more than in paper bills (dollars, pounds, euros).
What peoples of the world knew so little about was that the Erap regime was galvanizing the Philippines into a mafia state where government was merely a paper institution. Power was about to be brokered or exercised entirely by Triad & Partners godfathers, and should the same regime been allowed to stretch a couple of more years to govern, the domino effect could have seen Triad puppet states rising in Asia and elsewhere.
To say that the Erap overthrow was merely one of historical accident—accomplished by Filipinos via people power—is to overstress mass ignoramus by a dumb Herd of folks. Erap’s overthrow was determinatively and deliberately plotted by the Western financiers or global oligarchs (they’re the same by the way), whose Filipino puppet operator was Fidel Ramos and certain local technocratic-oligarchic circles embedded in the Makati Business Club.
Thus, the Erap overthrow returned the ‘balance of drug trade’ in the ‘ecology of organized crime’, so to speak. … That is, until the 10th of May 2010, when the next presidential poll comes.
As of this writing, the poll ratings of Erap have again been moving up. Whether this upsurge can be factored to Erap’s popularity alone is highly contentious. My intuition tells me that behind the scene, mafia operators are silently working to bring fresh cash and patronage gifts to the underclasses—funds that don’t pass at all in the hands of the Erap campaign organizers—by way of gargantuan drug sales, large parts of which are funneled to covert grassroots operators.
Is it really coincidental that tons of cocaine were dropped off in haste from sea vessels, with large amounts landing in the hands of fisherfolk? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to recognize that vessels were in the act of transacting with local mafia operators—aimed at flash and lightning-speed transactions to gain funds for the traders and surplus for the underclasses as well?
With the return to the electoral arena of Erap the mafia godfathers’ favorite subaltern, Triads & Allied mobs have to quickly put into place a contingency plan that may facilitate their installation of puppet regimes in the region. Such regimes’ presence would instantly magnify the incomes of the criminal operators, and will enable them to buy more state officials and business groups across Asia, with the end-goal of completely erasing the divide between legitimate business and criminal operations.
Such an erasure of the distinction between legitimate business and mafia operations was excellently institutionalized in Russia, where the oligarchs are likewise mafia operators themselves. This happened during the country’s rush to privatize state firms, under the aegis of the British financiers’ puppet president Yeltsin. Already deeply ensconced in Russian life, the 9,000 mafia groups were the only ones who possessed the money to buy state firms.
At one juncture in the early 90s, 80% of Russia’s enterprises was in the hands of organized crime, and was alarming to say the least. It was just a matter of time before the ballistic missiles and modern armaments of Russia would land in the hands of the oligarchic mafia lords, and the situation proved far tougher to deal with than the previous situation of brining down the Stalinist state.
It has to take some Draconian measures from the dreaded KGB (renamed as FSB) to checkmate the powers of the criminal godfathers in Russia. And the power struggle between the mafia and KGB continues up until these days, with the KGB taking the upper hand when its agent Putin ruled the country and began jailing oligarchs as cautionary reminder to criminal godfathers that the Russian patriots will not be sitting ducks to the predatory plunder of the nation’s wealth and arms by demonic malefactor gangs.
Will such a situation galvanize in the Philippines too? How many votes can be mustered by Erap in the next polls remain to be counted and seen. What this analyst sees clearly is that every vote of Erap is a vote for the mafia godfathers and the consequent erasure of the business-criminal syndication divide. Conversely, every vote against Erap means a vote of repudiation against that demonic future of mafia-state unity.
[Philippines, 19 March 2010]