Philippines: The NED, the NGOs and the CIA

Manila Standard Today

April 12 (Part 1) , April 26 (Part 2)

By Rod Kapunan




Part One

William Blum, the author of the book, “Rogue State,”  said that while the object of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in the post Cold War era has  been relegated to history, many  are not inclined to believe that subversion has lost its relevance.  Rather, it has only been redirected at overthrowing governments that refuse to tow the line gleaned from the  NED’s slogan of “Supporting Freedom Around the World.”

Here in the Philippines, the so-called restoration  of freedom saw the popping out like mushrooms of local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with the newly-created CIA front called “NED” leading in guiding the government it  installed to power.   The CIA too had to shed off some of its  covert activities by making itself “transparent.”   Through the NED, local NGOs openly collaborated with the government it held by the noose, with each having a specialized task to “motivate” people in the various sectors of civil society.

As Blum observed:  “In a multitude of ways, NED meddles in the internal affairs of foreign countries by supplying funds, technical know-how, training, educational materials, computers, fax machines, copiers, automobiles and so on, to selected political groups, civic organizations, labor unions, dissident movements, student groups, book publishers, newspapers, other media, etc. NED programs generally impart the basic philosophy that working people and other citizens are best served under a system of free enterprise, class cooperation, collective bargaining, minimal government intervention in the economy and opposition to socialism in any shape or form. A free market economy is equated with democracy, reform and growth, and the merits of foreign investment are emphasized.”

We can cite first the CODE-NGO.  It claims that its objective is “to deepen civil society’s efforts to advance participatory, accountable, and transparent governance at the local level. Through trainings and networking opportunities, CODE-NGO supported citizens’ participation in governance processes, especially focusing on key planning and budgeting mechanisms, to advance civil society’s reform agenda. Other activities include sharing of lessons learned and media outreach to inform public discourse on democratic governance.”

As posted in the internet, its officers are:  Sixto Donato C. Macasaet, Executive Director; Roselle Rasay, Deputy Executive Director; Rowena Caverte, Finance & Admin Manager; and Tanya Zaldarriaga, Program Officer for Membership. Other officers listed were  Jet Pacapac, Celia Fatima de Jesus, Dimple Labios-Demata, Emmanuel Opiña, Paul Richard Paraguya, Sandino Soliman,  Deanie Lyn Ocampo, Florencia Racca,  Cecilia Delfin, Mariefe Del Mundo, Dan Christian Ramos, Christine Ann De Villa, and, Carissa Galla.

The report also states that CODE-NGO in 2012 received a grant from NED  $63,419 and $87,300 in 2011.  This is the same NGO that was behind the scheme to float the government PEACe bond in 2001 to secure public loan at a staggering amount of P10 billion to a pre-arranged bank.  For  inexplicable reason, said loan was piously complied with by this pretending-to-be honest government for which it paid the full amount of P35 billion in 2012.

Another is the Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility, Inc.  (CMFRI).   It claims its objective is “to advance press freedom and promote responsible journalism in the Philippines.” The CMFR also seeks to implement a program on media monitoring; organize a seminar recognizing excellence in journalism; and conduct advocacy to strengthen press protection in the Philippines.”

The CMFR officers are: Melinda Quintos de Jesus,  Executive Director; Prof. Luis V. Teodoro, Deputy Director; and the members of the Board of Trustees are:  Melinda Quintos de Jesus; Luis V. Teodoro; Maria Isabel G. Ongpin; Tina Monzon Palma; Vergel O. Santos;  Carlos H. Conde; and Lorna Kalaw-Tirol. Leaders of the press community and CSOs in the Philippines who served in the Board  previously include: Dr. Jose Abueva, Dr. Lydia Balatbat-Echauz, Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J., Mr. Santiago Dumlao Jr., Atty. Fulgencio Factoran Jr., and Paulynn Paredes Sicam.  In 2011, CMFRI received a grant of $79,000 and $76,000 in 2012 from NED.

Third is the International Center for Innovation, Transformation and Excellence in  Governance  (INCITEGov) Inc. INCITEGov Inc. claims that in order to strengthen the movement for democratic governance and reforms, its main task is “to empower and mobilize an informed public and a community of reformers dedicated to advancing sustainable, democratic reforms through the practice of linking democratic politics, good governance, and development outcomes.”

Listed as founding trustees of INCITEGov are: Florencio “Butch” Abad; Emilia “Emy” Boncodin (deceased);  Teresita “Ging” Quintos-Deles; Victoria “Vicky” Garchitorena; Jose Luis “Chito” Gascon; Alberto “Bert” Lina; Imelda “Mely” Nicolas; Guillermo “Willie” Parayno, Jr.; Cesar Purisima; Juan “Johnny” Santos;  Corazon “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman and Rene Villa.  Its Executive officers are: Maxine Tanya Hamada, Paola Deles, Johanna Delos Reyes, Janice Almine, May Ann Chu,  Cecilia Oleza, Dion Lorenz Romano, and, Josielyn Linga. In 2012, INCITEGov received a grant of $90,000  and $100,000 in 2011 from NED.

Fourth is the Legal Network for Truthful Elections Inc. or LENTE.  Its avowed  purpose is “to protect the credibility of the electoral process. To realize that objective, it encouraged the  support of citizens’ participation in promoting free and fair elections in the Philippines.  Local chapters  also conduct monitoring before, during, and after the election, focusing on a range of issues including illegal campaigning, disenfranchisement, vote buying and selling, and political violence. The Co-Convenors are Atty. Jose Vicente B. Salazar, National President of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and Atty. Carlos P. Medina, Jr., Chief Legal Counsel of One Voice and Executive Director of the Ateneo Human Rights Center. In 2013, it received a grant of $47,000 from NED.

Fifth is the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ). Its task is “to  strengthen the media’s ability to analyze and report on the culture of impunity, focusing on the interrelated issues of governance, money politics, media killings, political clans, and development. PCIJ will conduct four investigative journalism workshops for media representing Luzon, Mindanao, Visayas, and Metro Manila and provide fellowships to select participants to write more in-depth investigative reports as follow-on to their trainings.”

The Board of Editors are: David Celdran, Chairman; Howie G. Severino, Vice Chairman, Malou Mangahas, Secretary/Executive Director;  Dominick NA Danao, Treasurer; members:  Sheila S. Coronel (Founding Executive Director) and Cecile C.A. Balgos.  In 2013, PCIJ received a grant of $50,000 from NED.

Part Two

After the people became suspicious of the PCIJ’s line of investigative journalism; that corruption appears to be a monopoly of people not identified with the yellow government, while sanitizing the elite and the oligarchy, a new news network was organized. The appearance of Rappler, a media organization intended to cater to internet users, elicited the same question as to who might be funding the new media outfit that seems to enjoy the privilege of having access to confidential government files often not accorded to ordinary news organizations.

Sixth, the Ateneo School of Government.  Its objective is “to encourage political engagement among the Filipino youth in civic life. It also serves as the secretariat for the Pugadlawin network, develop training modules on political processes and accountability, coordinate a political immersion project, and conduct network strengthening activities.”  The members of the board of directors are: Victor S. Claravall; Grace Camacho-De Jesus; Joyce Christine A. Castillo; Ma. Lourdes Flores-Mercado; Julia Cristina A. Morata; Roderick R. Torres; Richard Ryan Caluya;  Ronald Allan L. Cruz; Rhett Francis M. Mallen; Philipp M. Gotico; Eduard Edwynn D. Capacio; Maria Asumcion P. Fider; and. Joseph Andrew C. Serafica. In 2011, it received a grant of $56,209 from NED.

Seventh, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE). Its objective is “to promote the understanding and implementation of corporate governance among publicly-listed and non-public firms in the Philippines.” In 2011, CIPI in partnership with the Institute for Corporate Directors (ICD) scored and ranked firms from the various sectors based on their compliance with corporate governance standards. For that it received a grant $147,164 from NED.  That same year, CIPE and the Asian Institute of Management held a series of anti-corruption train-the-trainers workshops, develop online anti-corruption training modules on business ethics, and organized an integrity and accountability conference for small and medium sized enterprises. It received $240,760 in grant from NED.  Likewise, “CIPE and ISA endeavored to expand the network committed to reducing corruption and implementing good governance, with a particular focus on low-income local governments.” For that, CIPE received a grant of $241,941 from NED.

Similarly, the computerization of our electoral system which began as an advocacy of those NGOs having closed links with NED resulted instead in wholesale electoral fraud.  Computerization deprived our voters their “election receipts” they could present as evidence of massive fraud and electoral cheating.   Having conditioned  that computerization could result in a clean, fair and honest election, they were not however informed that from thereon it will be those  in control of the PCOS machines that will decide who should win in their pre-ordained electoral system.

Some say corruption and abuses would not have happened had the Cory-sponsored 1987 Constitution not extended to those NGOs extraordinary privileges.   The role of the NGOs is specifically provided in Section 23, Article II, of the Constitution.  Their role has been reinforced in Sections 15 and 16, Article XIII of the same Constitution.  As a result, it is estimated that the number of NGOs registered today is around 50,000 to 100,000.

This column is particularly appalled at the tax exemptions given to NGOs under Section 30 of the National Internal Revenue Code. This explains why foundations, being in the category of as NGOs, have scandalously proliferated.  Notably, every leading corporation has its own NGO.  Despite the fact that all are one way or the other claim to assist in the eradication of poverty, poverty continues to spread.

Contrary to their avowed objectives in helping  the government  resolve some of its pressing problems in poverty, education, healthcare, housing, organizing of cottage  industries,  concern for the environment, etc., only a very few lived up their  avowed objectives.  On the contrary, many of these corporate foundations are being used as tax shelters to secure deductions in their payment of corporate income tax all in the guise that they are doing some kind of charitable and philanthropic work for our people.

Through these corporate foundations, leading corporations  are able to easily transfer some of their income to their foundations, which fall in the category of non stock corporations.   Their existence has been pointed to by one sociologist as the reason for the rapid widening in the chasm between the rich and the poor in this country.

Among the familiar members of the League of Corporate Foundations, and they are: 1) Aboitiz Foundation; 2) ABS-CBN Foundation; 3) AES Philippines Power Foundation; 4) AMY Foundation; 5) The Andres Soriano Foundation; 6) Ang Hortaleza Foundation; 7) Antonio O. Florendo Foundation; 8) Ayala Foundation; 9) Bato-Balani Foundation; 10) Bonifacio Art Foundation; 11) BPI Foundation; 12) Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation; 13) Cemex Philippines Foundation; 14) Chevron Philippines; 15) Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines; 16) Del Monte Foundation; 17) Energy Development Corporation; 18) Foundation for Sight; 19) Globe Telecom; 20) GT-Metro Foundation, Inc.; 21) Hari Foundation; 22) Holcim Philippines, Inc.; 23) Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited; 24) ICCP Group Foundation; 25) Insular Foundation; 26) Jesus V. Del Rosario Foundation; 27) Johnson& Johnson Philippines; 28) Jollibee Group Foundation; 29) Knowledge Channel Foundation; 30) Landbank Countryside Development Foundation; 31) LCC Foundation; 32) Lopez Group Foundation; Manila Doctors Hospital; 33) Manila Water Foundation; 34) Merck Sharp & Dohme Philippines; 35) MetroBank Foundation; 36) MFI Foundation; 37) Mondelez International; 38) Nestle Philippines; 39) NYK-TDG Friendship Foundation; 40) One Meralco Foundation; 41) PAL Foundation; 42) Pasar Foundation; 43) Petron Foundation; 44) Pfizer Philippines Foundation; 45) Philippine Geothermal Production Company; 46) PHAPCARES Foundation; 47) PHILAM Foundation; 48) Philippine Daily Inquirer; 49) Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc.- Carlos Salina, Jr. Foundation; 50) PHINMA Foundation; 51) Pilipinas Shell Foundation; 52) Pioneer Foundation; 53) PLDT-Smart Foundation; 54) RD Foundation; 55) RMF Foundation; 56) Ronal McDonald House Charities; 57) Roxas Foundation; 58) San Miguel Foundation; 59) San Roque Power Foundation; 60) Security Bank Foundation; 61) SGV Foundation; 62) SM Foundation; 63) SPI Global Foundation, Inc.; 64) STI Foundation; 65) Tan Yan Kee Foundation; 66) Team Energy Foundation; 67) TEAMASIA; 68) Telus Philippines; 69) Toyota Motor Philippine Foundation; 70) Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc.; 71) UCPB-CIIF Foundation; 72) UnionBank of the Philippines; 73) VICSAL Foundation; 74) Villar Foundation; 75) The Zuellig Family Foundation.

To sum up what Michael Barker commented on the book written by Mark Thompson  titled, The Anti-Marcos Struggle “Thompson did not mention that the main US organization aiding Aquino’s campaign was the NED; that is, an organization that was formed to overtly carry out the “democratic” activities that were formerly undertaken covertly by the CIA. Thompson’s analysis of the anti-Marcos struggle in the Philippines thus not only misrepresented the origins of the people-power movement that succeeded in ousting Marcos, but also failed to examine the full significance of the US government’s “democracy-promoting” efforts in hijacking this movement for radical social change.…”




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