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Local oil firms’ profits make up a huge chunk of fuel prices

GREED is really the engine of capitalism, global and local, as the current worldwide de facto oil crisis shows,  in which prices soared from $70 per barrel at the beginning of the year to last week’s $120. Everyone I know is shocked over the soaring, for instance, of the regular gasoline’s  price from P50 per liter in recent memory to P85 last week. 

What few people know is that while the country groans under the weight of fuel costs, the industry continues to making a killing. Its “industry take” – mostly net profits — account for 15 percent of diesel prices, 19 percent of gasoline, 22 percent of kerosene, and a scandalous 41 percent of LPG, the poor’s fuel,  according to a study of the Department of Energy. This is way above the 2.5 percent industry take in the US oil industry. (Taxes on the other hand (excise and the value-added taxes) account for 23 percent of gasoline prices, 15 percent for diesel, 17 percent for kerosene, and 14 percent for LPG.) \

No wonder that the newest players in the petroleum-distribution business, such as  Phoenix Petroleum owned by the Davao-based Dennis Uy have become unbelievably rich in just a few years. Ramon Ang’s Petron Corp., with the biggest market share of 26 percent  has generated profits way beyond the tycoon’s expectations. Dutch-owned Pilipinas Shell and Chevron Philippines (combined market share: 26 percent)  has been remitting hundreds of millions of dollars yearly to their headquarters.

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Fearless forecast on BBM presidency

PARDON that cliché but I can’t help it, and it is fearless in the sense of being very preliminary ideas on what to expect of the presidency of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

The superstitious part of me says that the stars are in alignment, as I will try to prove so here, for an economic boom on the scale of the first six years of his father’s presidency under martial law during which GDP averaged 6.3 percent — the golden age of the Marcos era.

That forecast may sound preposterous, what with the surge of oil prices globally in the past months and the resulting inflation worsened by the disruption of the global supply chain, and Russia’s war against Ukraine that appears to be torpedoing a post-pandemic boom.

But we can’t dismiss the likelihood of a post-pandemic economic boom, as history — the “Roaring 1920s” after the global 1918 to 1919 Spanish Flu epidemic — had proven that the release of consumer pent-up demand has powerful positive implications.

Also, the economy performed well during President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd’s regime because his predecessor Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo steered the economy out of what has been called the “The Great Recession” or the global financial crisis of 2008 to 2009.

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The Yellow (aka Pink) mind

IT’s sad that a few former classmates at the Ateneo [now a bastion of the Yellow/Pink ideology], ex-comrades from way back, a few friends and even relatives [including a young one so brainwashed by Assumption’s Red nuns] don’t even try to make the slightest effort to read my book Debunked, which took several years of my life — and my editor, my wife’s — to research and write. Allow me a bit of exaggeration; it took a part of my soul to draft and publish (I guess, until you’ve written a book, you will never realize how really difficult it is to write a book).

They know me, my background as bold or crazy enough (at least in my youth) to be an armed rebel and get jailed for it, my profession as a journalist, which means my job has been to research political and economic events — and therefore I have arguments and information to support my views.

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Top historian questions Yellow/US narrative of Marcos, Duterte regimes

FINALLY, a renowned historian, Dr. Reynaldo Ileto, has questioned the Red, Yellow (turned Pink during the election season) and Western narratives condemning the Marcos era and President Duterte’s administration.

Currently honorary professor at the School of Culture, History & Language of the Australian National University, Ileto is not just a much respected historian. Many historians and academics — even the narrow and/or small-minded ones so gullible over the Yellow narratives — think he is the country’s best historian bar none.

Pasyon and Revolution, his 1979 dissertation, now a classic history textbook, was pioneering in its original insights and in its rigorous employment of the historical method.

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Are bloggers journalists?

FOR the prolific and regularly writing ones, I think so. But what matters is if you are read, whether you write for the “institutional press” (a US court’s definition of mainstream media) or just write in your lonely room, independent of any editor or publisher.

Bloggers RJ Nieto and Sass Rogando Sasot, I think, are read by more Filipinos than me (at least judging by the number of followers they have), and regularly write what we define as journalistic products, pieces that collect relevant data on things and events interesting to people, and present them in readable form.

There is a spectrum though of what are claimed to be journalistic products from mere stenographic reporting (which I think characterizes Philippine media) to opinion pieces, to extended propaganda narratives (as many articles by the Red-controlled Philippine Collegian now are).

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Ressa, Coronel spit on our historic elections

I’VE long been disgusted with these two US-domiciled* media persons since they had been mainly responsible for the country’s bad image abroad starting in 2016, just because they hate President Duterte.

Now they’ve really disgraced themselves and insulted our country by spitting on the recent elections, the purest demonstration of real people power in this country, that put Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as our president and Sara Duterte-Caprio as vice president.

As if deranged that Leni Robredo, the candidate she and her US-funded site openly supported, lost by the first landslide ever in this country, a clear and total rejection of that fraud, Rappler CEO Maria Ressa went to town to get interviewed by as many foreign media as she could.

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‘Historian’ spreads fake claim falsely attributed to Amnesty International

DR. Ambeth Ocampo, the renowned collector of historical trivia, again revealed his Yellow bias and unprofessionalism as a historian when he wrote in his column last week that an Amnesty International document declared the following, and therefore true: “From 1972 to 1981, some 70,000 people were imprisoned and 34,000 were tortured; over 3,200 people were killed.”

Obviously, Ocampo didn’t even bother to rebut my arguments made in three columns* in March — which he obviously read — that proved that alleged AI document to be fake.

That allegation was smuggled into a Sept. 18, 2018 statement written by the AI Philippine representative, an anti-Marcos activist for years, which was actually a manifesto of sorts against President Rodrigo Duterte’s regime, with those human rights figures during martial law, mentioned only as an afterthought in its “background” part.

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Our 4 Red, anti-Marcos academes vs 2,392 sane institutions

Last of 3 parts

WHAT the bad news that the unscholarly, tasteless “Manifesto in Defense of Historical Truth” issued by over 1,000 dubious scholars reveals is that the Communist Party of the Philippines has taken deep roots in four of our top universities as to make many of their academics —and their students — think as the Reds do.

Call it red-tagging, I don’t care, but I was once a Red, a ranking Red, and I know how such a ferocious, anti-Marcos viewpoint is a paramount dogma in the CPP, and how this has emerged in these universities. “Anti-Marcosism” has been at the core of the Communist Party’s frame of mind and only the academics who were once Reds — and not flaky-minded Yellows — have the mental resources to make such thinking a dogma, and sustain it through four decades.

The “scholars” manifesto claims that the “history” of martial law cannot be changed. That is total hogwash no real scholar would ever assert: “History,” just like all sciences, is revised as new materials are unearthed, brainwashed, state-captured minds are liberated, and new better paradigms are adopted.

The term “historical revisionism” was given a pejorative meaning in fact by the Maoists, here and in China, when they termed as “revisionist” the Soviet Communist Party, led by Nikita Krushchev, condemning starting in 1956 its former head Joseph Stalin’s atrocities and reign of terror. A plethora of historical studies of course have proven the Maoists wrong, yet they still worship Stalin, whose regime has been estimated to be responsible for 6 million people in the Soviet Union being killed.

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Anti-Marcos ‘scholars’: Know-nothings really

Second of 3 parts

WHAT gets my goat over this pompous “Manifesto in Defense of Historical Truth,” euphemistically called an “online” petition, is the know-all stance of its initiators and signatories. In truth, they are a bunch of know-nothings on what happened during martial law: I can count only three of its over 1,000 signatories who have done research and/or published a scholarly article on an aspect of the martial law era, only one of which can stand as a product of historical research.

These self-important “scholars” — about a hundred I suspect are mere Communist Party activists as they list themselves as “independent scholars” unable to cite any college or university affiliation — declaring that they will “combat all attempts at historical revisionism” could at best be likened to a group of orthopedists and chiropractors issuing a manifesto claiming that Ivermectin is a cure for Covid-19 infections.

Just as it is unprofessional and unethical for an orthopedist to claim expertise in epidemiology or pharmacology, it would be the same for people claiming expertise on the martial law era to be opposed to “revisionism” when it is not the field of academic work of 99 percent of the signatories of that stupid “Manifesto.”

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Incompetence, indolence and unethical behavior of anti-Marcos ‘scholars’

First of 3 parts: Incompetence

I’M referring to a melodramatically titled “Manifesto in Defense of Historical Truth” which pledges to “combat all attempts at historical revisionism that distort and falsify history to suit the Marcoses.”

It was circulated on the internet and purportedly got more than 1,000 “scholars and academics.” The initiators were nine academics.

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