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Military, Coast Guard turning PH into world’s laughingstock

You are currently viewing Military, Coast Guard turning PH into world’s laughingstock

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WE are witness in the past several days to the spectacle of national lunacy, to the portrayal of Filipinos as ignorant, infantile fools in deep denial of reality, so much so that we don’t see that we have become the world’s laughingstock.

Such insanity is based on what historians and analysts will very soon determine as one of the biggest US-manufactured lies spread very effectively starting with the President Aquino 3rd regime: That only the Philippines has legitimate sovereignty and sovereign rights in the Spratlys and that China, especially, Vietnam and Taiwan are intruders.

WATER-CANNONED A Chinese Coast Guard ship uses water cannons on Philippine navy-operated supply boat ML Kalayaan as it approaches Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023. Did our Coast Guard expect the Chinese to serve them tea and dim sum? PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD HANDOUT PHOTO VIA AP

This is, of course, totally wrong and totally not borne by facts.

Blame is on the shoulders of our military leaders who refuse to study the reality of our territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea; they ignorantly insist that the Philippines is absolutely right and the superpower is absolutely wrong. This is despite the fact that the entire world, including the US, has concluded that it is a complex issue locked in centuries of history, so much so that rationality requires no judgment can be made on what nation has the most legitimate rights on any of the features in the Spratlys. Only long-term negotiations among the claimant states will resolve this dispute.

Our Foreign Affairs department, Congress and our intellectual elites have allowed our US-subservient military to dominate the national discourse on the most important geopolitical issue facing the nation.

Our military leaders, as they have done in the past several days, insist on sending Philippine-flagged vessels (even if these were private boats hired to be cannon fodder) to totally disregard what China claims has been its sovereign territory recognized by most countries — including the West — only to be ingloriously water-cannoned away, as pirates routinely are by private tankers.

Dim sum

Did they expect the most powerful navy in the world and the biggest coast guard to welcome puny Philippine ships that didn’t bother to get their permission to enter what they consider their waters and to serve them tea and dim sum?

And the Chinese simply defend what they believe are their territories and humiliatingly shoo away our vessels with water cannons, with the military positioning media to take the most detailed videos of the ignoble event. Have the military turned us into a nation of masochists?

If they ever try similarly sailing into Vietnamese-controlled waters without any permission — such as the Union Banks complex south of our Pag-asa island dotted with eight Vietnamese military outposts — they won’t be hit just by water cannons, but ship-to-ship missiles, with the specially-trained Vietnamese commandos boarding the vessels and bringing the Navy and Coast Guard officials to Hanoi to be jailed.

And when the Chinese, of course, defended their territory, fired water cannons to push away the Philippine vessels, and even undertook shooing-away maneuvers, our Navy and Coast Guard officials ordered their vessels around, beat their breasts and shouted, “US, help us.” The Americans, of course, are secretly laughing at us.

It was a ridiculous scene for the very head of our military, Gen. Romeo Brawner, complaining that he himself was hit by a water cannon — as he gorged on food aboard the rusting LST Sierra Madre, grounded back in 1999 in an infantile way of asserting our sovereignty in an area controlled by the Chinese.

It was ridiculous for our Navy or Coast Guard to put a belen (depiction of the nativity with statues) on the bow of their ship as it planned to go to Ayungin. Did they think the baby Jesus Christ would get the Chinese to give up their sovereignty? It was a hilarious idea for this ex-communist, now-lunatic ex-priest Ed de la Torre to have planned to bring “Christmas gifts” to the platoon of Marines stationed on the rusting Sierra Madre. Did they plan to bring lechon, too? Look, ex-priest, the theatrics your commie groups used to stage decades ago no longer work; why can’t you understand that?

Vietnam

Note that it is not just the Philippines that claims the Spratlys as its own, either as part of its territory or as encompassed by its exclusive economic zone. Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and even Brunei claim either the entire group of islands or parts of it.

Please think: If China allows claimants such as the Philippines to wantonly violate their territories, there would be Vietnamese Navy and Coast Guard ships and fishing vessels swarming into Chinese-held waters. If this happens, the Chinese Communist Party will, in months, be overthrown for not defending China’s territory and fishing vessels in the waters they claim to be their own.

What has obfuscated the Spratly territorial disputes and created a huge opportunity for disinformation was the compulsory arbitration case that we filed against China in 2013, with the award handed down in 2016 on the basis of the treaty signed in 1994 by 157 countries called the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos). The treaty sets rules and guidelines on how nations can legitimately define their territorial sea and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) entitlements so these won’t be arbitrarily determined. If there is an overlap of the territorial sea and EEZs, Unclos sets up a mechanism for nations to negotiate the delimitation of such maritime areas.

But Unclos was never given the authority to judge territorial disputes, that is, over a nation’s sovereign territory, to distinguish it from a nation’s maritime area, the most important of which — because of its 200-nautical mile expanse — is the EEZ.

Declare

While it was needless to declare that the proceedings were totally based on Unclos, the award itself, in its very first two pages, declared:

“The Convention, however, does not address the sovereignty of States over land territory. Accordingly, this Tribunal has not been asked to, and does not purport to, make any ruling as to which State enjoys sovereignty over any land territory in the South China Sea, in particular with respect to the disputes concerning sovereignty over the Spratly Islands or Scarborough Shoal. None of the Tribunal’s decisions in this Award are dependent on a finding of sovereignty, nor should anything in this Award be understood to imply a view with respect to questions of land sovereignty.”

I cannot fathom why people in high positions or who appear to have normal intellectual faculties cannot understand the difference between territorial and maritime disputes. For instance, the Coast Guard spokesman Jay Tarriela the other day declared: “The arbitral award declared that China has no sovereignty over Ayungin Shoal and Bajo de Masinloc.” This is patently false; if Tarriela can prove it otherwise, I will stop writing columns henceforth. No wonder this joker was kicked out of the Philippine Military Academy for cheating in a management information course in 2024.

Sad

A sad development, however, is that President Marcos Jr. himself the other day echoed the very much uninformed views of his generals and admirals, declaring: “Ayungin Shoal is within the country’s exclusive economic zone and that any foreign claim of sovereignty over it is baseless and absolutely contrary to international law.”

“Bajo de Masinloc is sovereign Philippine territory and an integral part of our archipelago,” he said. “No one but the Philippines has a legitimate right or legal basis to operate anywhere in the West Philippine Sea. The illegal presence in our waters and dangerous actions against our citizens is an outright and blatant violation of international law and the rules-based international order.”

Any researcher spending a bit of time googling will very easily conclude that none of those statements are true. President Aquino 3rd because of his boo-boo, and because he let the Americans fool him, lost Bajo de Masinloc in 2012 after more than two months of stand-off with Chinese vessels. Aquino’s ordering the Philippine vessels out of the area willingly meant his surrender of our territory to the Chinese, in international law, a legitimate acquisition by the superpower of an area which for many decades fishermen from both countries fished undisturbed. We practically lost control of Ayungin Shoal first when the Chinese occupied in 1994 Mischief Reef, which is just 30 kilometers away, or the distance from Corregidor Island to Manila. The Chinese further consolidated their hold on Ayungin when they transformed Mischief Reef in 2014 into a mammoth artificial island with facilities such as ports and airstrips that made it a major military camp.

A more knowledgeable leader and a statesman would have instead said: “We and China have vastly differing views on sovereignty issues over the Spratlys. We hope though this dispute is resolved peacefully, and we call on the Chinese to sit with us as soon as possible to move to solve these very serious differences.”

Even retired justice Antonio Carpio has changed his original, very wrong views, explaining in a recent lecture that our disputes with China do not only involve maritime areas (such as EEZ) but the more important issues of sovereignty, which can only be resolved through negotiations.

But even if Marcos is right — beyond all standards of reality that is — can we impose our sovereign will on Bajo de Masinloc? Only in an alternative universe. Will the Americans help us impose our will? They can’t even save Ukraine from the Russian invasion.

Mad

Our government, especially its generals and admirals — given some flimsy excuse by extremely little brown American “experts” such as Jay Batungbacal, who made the ridiculous statement the other day that China has been “grabbing” our territories to steal aquatic resources to feed its growing population — have gone mad over our territorial disputes with China, and are fooling even mainstream media, a gullible institution in this country. Batungbacal’s madness is without boundaries: yesterday he proposed ending all Chinese business activity here. Doesn’t he know China is now by far our biggest trading partner?

In terms of national lunacy, I can only think of a similar case when the Argentinian junta invaded the Falklands in 1982 and fought the mighty British in order to kick them out of their alleged illegal occupation of the islands. The Argentinians, of course, lost miserably, losing 1,000 servicemen. The US didn’t lift a finger to aid what then was its anti-communist vassal in Latin America. It didn’t take long for Argentinians’ outrage against that stupid bloody misadventure to topple the junta — whose members were charged and convicted to long jail sentences in jail.

The madness over our territorial dispute with China, as in the Argentinian case, has its reasons. That junta thought it would beef up its reputation that had been severely tainted by its “Dirty War” against its insurgents. In this case, this madness is driven by the US’s need to demonize China and totally cut off relations with the superpower.

That one is for Friday.


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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. These little brown Amboys have gone totally insane bending over backwards to please their American masters. What is richly ironic though is that the US has never said that it recognizes our territorial claims over that of the other claimant countries! This Araneta government is really weak and ignorant.

  2. Dorina S. Rojas

    Everyone is crazy about this WPS issue never mind if prices of commodities are soaring high, inflation continues to rise, or we drown in flood or die due to starvation from El Nino. Even the Senate President now strongly recommends sending back to Beijing the Chinese ambassador. What with the President keeping quiet but echoing the statements of his military men. And the US getting equally preparing for next year’s presidential elections as our bright boys and girls hold out their hands screaming help from US. I refuse to laugh at these, but I can’t help but just burst into laughter with tears. I am not insane like most of our leaders are, that is for sure.

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