This late 2018 report has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. Private armies and electoral violence are persistent phenomena in Philippine society. Together they have cost thousands of lives and sowed fear among politicians and voters alike, weakening democracy in the country. Defenders of private armies note their critical role in counterinsurgency operations against the communist and Muslim separatist groups. Nonetheless, Filipinos generally perceive private armies to be a menace, which has prompted the government to establish mechanisms to eliminate them. Although the 1987 Constitution gave the government a framework to abolish private armies, a substantial number still remain, especially in the countryside. This thesis examines the contributing factors that have led to the decline of private armies and, at the same time, their persistence. The research shows that the utility of private armies declined because other electoral tactics emerged in the more-developed areas of the country and because the twin insurgency threat largely diminished. Meanwhile, however, local politicians continue to use private armies' counterinsurgency operations as a cover to legitimize their presence in rural areas.
This compilation includes a reproduction of the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.
I. Introduction * A. Major Research Question * B. Significance of the Research Question * C. Literature Review * 1. Private Armies and Their Origins * 2. 1960-1990 * 3. 1990-2010 * 4. 2010-Present * 5. Summary * D. Potential Explanations and Hypotheses * E. Research Design * II. Rise and Decline of Private Armies (1969-2001) * A. The Ferdinand Marcos Dictatorship (1969-1986) * B. The Corazon "Cory" Aquino Administration (1987-1992) * C. The Fidel Ramos Administration (1992-1998) * D. The Joseph Estrada Administration (1998-2001) * E. Conclusion * III. Persistence of Private Armies (2001-Present) * A. The Gloria Arroyo Administration (2001-2010) * 1. Elections * 2. Counterinsurgency * 3. Case Study: 2009 Maguindanao Massacre * 4. Summary * B. The Benigno Aquino III Administration (2010-2016) * 1. Elections * 2. Counterinsurgency * 3. Summary * C. The Rodrigo Duterte Administration (2016-Present) * 1. Elections * 2. Counterinsurgency * 3. Summary * D. Conclusion * IV. Conclusion * A. Findings * B. Implications and Recommendations * C. Areas For Future Research
Despite a constitutional ban on private armies in the Philippines, many remain. While their use has declined, why have private armies persisted despite repeated efforts to dismantle them? What enduring factors have prevented the government from entirely disbanding them? Private armies and electoral violence are enduring features of Philippine politics. Since Philippine independence in 1946, political competition in local and national elections has been intense and often deadly. During the years following independence, as Benedict Anderson notes, the Philippine government, dominated by landed elites, was recovering from the ravages of World War II and made efforts to reestablish control of the countryside. To accomplish this, Anderson adds, the landed elites used private armies to take back their haciendas from peasants and to spread terror during elections.