Wednesday, May 20, 2009

When Blood Isn't Thicker Than Water

Last Monday, 18 May, the rebel priest Conrado Balweg's alleged executioner was accosted, together with his wife in Baguio and taken to police custody. He is his own brother, Jovencio Balweg.

Ideological differences, more than personal, play the decisive role in this divergence of paths.

In 1999, Conrado Balweg was executed by his former comrades for alleged blood debt. He founded the Cordillera People's Liberation Army in 1986 and split from the New People's Army.

Balweg envisioned a Cordilleran Army that is purely for and by Cordillera people. Low-landers are discriminated against and told to go back to where they came from. When it became clear that a reconcilation is imposible because of vast differences expecially in the interpretation of the Cordilleras in the Maoist people's war, the Communist Party of the Philippines expelled Balweg and his cohorts.

A few years passed before the NPA and CPLA's first armed clash, with the CPLA staging an ambush against their former comrades and working with the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The NPA also held the CPLA accountable for numerous humans rights violations against non-supporters.

Jovencio Balweg, may or may not be his brother's actual executioner. I am more inclined to think that this is an angle probably spun by the AFP as it is the most colorful and emotional angle to a story of two brothers torn by ideological differences.

Blood they say is thicker than water. But not with Jovencio and Conrado who have opted to follow different paths not withstanding their fraternal ties.

Who is right? Who is wrong?

Let God's people decide.

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