GMA’s oplan was implemented in 2002 and is supposed to terminate the insurgency in 5 years, that is, by the end of 2006. Compared to the previous administrations, GMA’s situation is not really very favorable for her in waging and winning an all-out war.
- the military is divided into factions
- the economy floats on a huge debt and OFW remittances
- the government itself has a huge operating deficit and has to secure loans to operate
- unemployment and poverty levels are at an all-time high
- increased taxes that people do not like because these take away from their budgets for their food and basic necessities
- and to top it all, about 65% of the people want her to go (going by the surveys)
In short, conditions are not really favorable for an all-out war by GMA.
But still GMA, backed up by her generals and bureaucrats, says she will put an end to the insurgency within 2 years. So she puts in an additional 1 billion pesos to the military budget, and 5 billion a year to modernize the AFP (goodbye to new classrooms and hospital facilities and increased wages of government employees).
All the other previous presidents had also such high expectations of their respective oplans, the outcomes of which are well known to all now.
One must not forget that the secret to ending the insurgency is to truly and fully address the roots of the insurgency problem, whether that of the Moro or the NPA. That has been the main agenda of the peace negotiations.
But GMA hopes that the all-out war will divert the people’s attention from such issues as the no-closure-yet Hello Garci, the fertilizer scam, etc. that fall under the category of “lying, stealing and cheating” which require her ouster from the Palace and eventual prosection. In which case, the all-out war is a good cover, a good diversion, at least that is what she hopes it would be.