Fake news: EU threatens trade sanctions

I’M BAFFLED why not a few journalists still think that they are mere stenographers, reporting whatever this or that jerk says, and even make it their newspapers’ front-page banner story.

Consider one newspaper’s banner headline yesterday: “Govt urged: Act on EU call.” It quoted at length this obscure labor leader’s claim that if government does not “act on that EU call” — which is, among other things, to release an unrepentant American journalist convicted for libel by the Manila Regional Trial Court and withdraw the Anti-Terrorism Law passed in July — the country will suffer “more unemployment and loss of business opportunities” as a result of Europe’s trade sanctions.

This labor lawyer even pretends to be knowledgeable, claiming that we stand to risk the imposition of tariffs on 6,274 products to the European Union market that, at present, have zero tariffs under the Generalized System of Preferences. That newspaper competed in ignorance with the forever-Yellow Philippine Daily Inquirer’s headline: “EU sanctions on PH to cut 200K jobs, labor group warns.”

These are essentially fake news. The EU didn’t threaten trade sanctions.

For starters, this recent resolution by the European Parliament (EP) is a rehash of its April 2018 resolution (2018/2662 RSP), which simply repeated the Yellows’ and especially Rappler’s claim of “12,000” killed in President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug war, when the actual figure at that time was just 3,000.

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CPP a propaganda party: No proletariat, no peasant army

MY column last Wednesday narrated that communist ideologue Jose Ma. Sison himself “red-tagged” his Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) over 80 front organizations, when he listed these as members of the International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS) he set up in 2001 to feed this ego that he is not just the leader of the communist insurgencies here but globally.

That each of these fronts undertakes “agit-prop” claiming to represent a particular sector points to the real nature of this supposed Marxist-Leninist-Maoist insurgency today.

Rather than a party that is the vanguard of the proletariat, mobilizing a peasant army according to Mao Zedong’s vision, the CPP has become — or perhaps has been since its start — merely a party of the petit-bourgeoisie (lower to middle class) engaged mostly in propaganda activities against government. 

Their agit-prop activities have prevented a real national discourse we need to develop in the country. The party’s propaganda network seizes every issue possible against government, distorts and magnifies it, with its fronts developing the expertise for quick mobilization and press dissemination. Worse, communist fronts now provide the loudspeakers and war bodies for the issues the decimated Yellows raise, that I won’t be surprised that they are being handsomely paid for their services.

Another ILPS organization, distorting national discourse. Screengrab from Pamalakaya website
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Sison, with his huge ego, red-tagged his communist fronts long ago

IT is ridiculous for the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) parliamentary cadres like Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate to claim that Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy and other military officials are “red-tagging” their ilk when they publicly point out that they are members of or supporters of that fake revolutionary vanguard.

Zarate and these Reds think Filipinos are so stupid as to believe that old, old line their leader Jose Maria Sison used in the University of the Philippines in the 1960s. Sison had used ad nauseam that “red-tagging” crap to deny that the Kabataan Makabayan (KM) and other organizations he set up were Communist Party fronts, designed to gradually lure young minds into their Maoist conspiracy. Well, KM has been for decades indeed officially one of the so-called members of the National Democratic Front (NDF), a misnomer really as it is not an alliance at all; its member organizations are arms of the CPP for particular sectors.

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No objective history of the Marcos era so far

MORE than three decades after Ferdinand Marcos’ strongman rule ended in 1986, we still do not have an objective, fact- and document-based history of that crucial period of our history.

That adage that it is the victors in a political or military conflict who write history in this case is so true. What we mostly have are ferociously partisan accounts of the Yellows and the Reds, and of US writers who wanted to cash in on the sudden interest that had emerged in America in the supposedly dramatic fall of a dictator.

This black-and-white narrative has been so successfully disseminated because media has been dominated for three decades by such Yellow newspapers as the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Philippine Star as well as the giant broadcast network ABS-CBN Corp., which has brainwashed Filipinos with that false narrative. 

Worse, Marcos’ widow Imelda and their children have done little to counter the Yellows and Reds’ portrayal of the Marcos era.

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Young lives taken by the god that failed, cowards partly to blame

THE photos posted on Facebook of University of the Philippines student Rona Manalo, smiling on the left and then as a corpse, killed in a firefight with Marines last September 3 in Palawan, are heart-wrenching. There have been many like her in recent years, such as Recca Noelle Monte, a UP engineering student also killed in battle on Sept. 4, 2014, with Army troopers in some forgotten mountain in Abra.

The bell could have tolled for me. I was their age when I was recruited to the Communist Party and sent to Samar to organize what would have been some of the first New People’s Army (NPA) units. I am grateful to my sensitive stomach for living this long: I couldn’t stand the diet of coconut meat and bugas-mais staple and asked to be deployed to Manila.

Rona Manalo, a tragedy of our times: Student to activist to slain NPA. FACEBOOK PHOTOS
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Leonen failed to file his SALNs like Sereno, but for more years

SUPREME Court Associate Justice Mario Victor Leonen may be even a worse offender of the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) Law than the ousted chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. That law (Republic Act 6713 of 1989, called the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees) requires all state officials and employees to file their yearly SALNs.

Sereno was removed from her post in 2018 for having failed to file such reports for six years, an offense for which her colleagues decided that she had no integrity and, therefore, could not have been appointed as chief justice.

Leonen, unless he makes these documents public to prove otherwise, has failed to file his SALN for 15 years from the time he joined the University of the Philippines (UP) faculty from 1989 to 2003 and for the years 2008 to 2009. Replying to a freedom of information request (under Executive Order No. 2 of 2016) that I had filed, the Central Records Division of the Office of the Ombudsman reported that they have on file only Leonen’s SALNs for the years 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011. Civil Service Commission’s Resolution 1500088 of 2015 ordered all state universities (and several other state entities) to turn over all the SALNs submitted to it to the ombudsman.

Justice Leonen: Can he argue the SALNs were lost?
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Continue ReadingLeonen failed to file his SALNs like Sereno, but for more years

Will the US help us in a fight with China?

Maybe, but likely not, secret memo explains
IS Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. right to claim that the United States will come to our aid in case China attacks our vessels in disputed areas in the South China Sea?

The short answer: maybe, if Chinese forces attack us first, and we didn’t shoot first. But most likely, no. The Americans will decide at their whim as the provisions of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) are ambiguous.

The US will simply interpret the treaty the way its sees fit in the actual situation. More importantly, it will base its decision on whether aiding us and fighting the Chinese in a disputed territory is worth risking a nuclear war with China, especially as it has developed only in the past several years a blue-water Navy at par with the US.

This is not speculation, nor my analysis. The way the US really interprets the treaty was revealed in 2009 when a 1976 secret memorandum was declassified by the US State Department’s Office of the Historian. While the stance was made in response to the demand of the late President Ferdinand Marcos for a “clear written statement” in 1976, it remains the same today.

Memo explaining US stance on MDT
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Locsin dumps Duterte’s China policy — and follows Trump’s election stunt

FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana have, in just two months’ time, become United States President Donald Trump’s spokesmen in Asia, loudly reciting in this part of the world one of his key campaign messages to Americans for them to reelect him in November — that he is, and will be, tough on China.

Trump himself inadvertently revealed his campaign messaging in a speech on July 14: “So, Joe Biden and President [Barack] Obama freely allowed China to pillage our factories, plunder our communities and steal our most precious secrets.”

“I’ve stopped it largely,” he added.

Trump not only thinks bashing China would endear him to his racist base, but as well as to big businesses fearful of Chinese economic power. US intelligence have reported publicly that while Russia is rooting for him, the Chinese aren’t. And this is one US president who pursues petty hurts.

Trump ramps up anti-China election spiel; Locsin and Lorenzana echo it.
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Setting the record straight on Ninoy as opposition leader, martyr

Last of 2 parts
BENIGNO “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., who was supposedly a scholar at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for three years, didn’t write anything, not even a journal, essay or article for any US publication denouncing Ferdinand Marcos.

The Yellows claim that Aquino galvanized the opposition against Marcos there. I haven’t seen any evidence or any testimony to support this claim, though.

It was the Movement for a Free Philippines headed by another former senator in exile, Raul Manglapus, that was more active, who went around the US rousing the Filipino community there to denounce the dictatorship. Aquino rarely left Cambridge.

All available published records show Aquino as being militant only a year after his 1980 heart surgery, and then in the months before his return in 1983.

Screen grab of a video of Ninoy’s speech sometime in 1981.
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Aquino a US pawn to maintain its hegemony in Asia

WE have to tear apart the mythology of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. as a hero if we are to build our nation. The Ninoy myth has been disseminated quite effectively for 30 years by three Yellow regimes, and by powerful entities that have monopoly power to mold Filipinos’ minds — among them the Catholic Church with its universities, ABS-CBN Broadcasting, as well as the two newspapers Philippine Daily Inquirer and Philippine Star.

Any political movement requires a mythology to rationalize its power grab. Swept into power by that fable in 1986, the Yellows and their allies, the communists, will continue to use the Ninoy myth as their narrative to resuscitate their forces and advance their agenda to topple President Duterte and his successor to reverse the gains made in building a strong Republic. It is just too late at this time for the Yellows to find and develop a new narrative.

A key element in this narrative is the portrayal of the United States as the benign big brother that provided Aquino with a refuge in the 1980s and then helped his wife Corazon assume power in many ways — all for the sake of democracy. Two of these of course was first, the shanghaiing of Ferdinand Marcos to Hawaii, fooling him into thinking that he was simply being brought to his Ilocos bastion for his own safety. That aborted any move by the pro-Marcos forces to regroup to counter the Yellow Revolution.

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