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What a president: He’s made us, again, the world’s laughingstock

You are currently viewing What a president: He’s made us, again, the world’s laughingstock

WHAT a president.

It turns out that it was President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. who authorized — or even ordered — the implementation of a “new model” proposed by China to de-escalate tensions in Ayungin Shoal that resulted, after the Philippines unilaterally abandoned the model, in the water-cannoning of Philippine Coast Guard vessels and hired civilian ships that tried to supply the BRP Sierra Madre stuck in the area.

This is according to the transcript released by the Chinese Embassy in Manila of a purported conversation in November last year between an identified Chinese diplomat and Armed Forces Western Command (Wescom) head Alberto Carlos expounding on the “new model” which he said had been approved by Marcos, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief Romeo Brawner, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro and National Security Adviser Eduardo Año.

For months, Marcos’ defense secretary, his national security adviser, even the foreign affairs secretary, kept denying there was an agreement, with even a low-ranking official, the Philippine Coast Guard’s talkative spokesman, Jay Tarriela, calling the Chinese “constant liars.”

ASAP

These officials should resign ASAP: How can they have the gall to stick to their posts when they have been exposed either as liars — they knew there was an agreement but insisted there wasn’t — or they are officials in crucial posts whom Marcos didn’t trust to tell them that there was a pact.

This is mind-boggling: Instead of denying that the President had approved of the “new model,” Defense Secretary Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. admitted he had not been told about it by Marcos and declared that the Chinese had violated the country’s Anti-Wiretapping Law. In the next sentence though, he claimed the taped conversation was fake. With such bad blood now between Teodoro and the Chinese, how can he now meet Chinese diplomats to discuss many, many military-related things involving his country and China. Our defense secretary can no longer talk to the second most powerful military in the world.

Teodoro also said that only the President “and nobody else” could enter into an agreement on the West Philippines Sea. Isn’t it obvious that it was Marcos, as commander in chief, who ordered Wescom head Carlos to enter into the agreement?

While the transcript did not categorically say that Marcos authorized or ordered the Navy’s adoption of the “new mode,” Carlos, a much-respected Navy official with the rank of vice admiral, could not have usurped the President’s powers, especially one involving our foreign relations. If he did not get the President’s authority, he could be court-martialed for usurpation of authority, a grave offense that could get him discharged from the service, thrown in jail and lose all retirement benefits.

Transcript

The transcript the Chinese Embassy released had this statement by the Chinese diplomat: “Last of course, this proposal has been approved by [redacted], General Brawner, Secretary Gibo and Secretary Año.” The redacted part (see image) could only contain Marcos’ name. Even the redacted space could have been filled up only by “President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.”

Transcript of the alleged conversation released by the Chinese Embassy (boxed Marcos name added by RDT). THE MANILA TIMES PHOTO

As of the deadline for this column’s submission, Marcos has not replied to the Chinese Embassy’s earth-shaking revelations. Wescom head Carlos was relieved of his command the day the embassy released the transcript. He could not be reached by media such that his comrades in the military have reportedly started to get worried. Carlos has had a distinguished career in the Navy and headed the Navy’s Philippine Fleet or the second component in its organization, the other being the Marines. Filipinos deserve to know if the conversation between him and the Chinese diplomat on the “new model” is accurate or not.

The Foreign Affairs Department issued a totally inane statement: “The DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) cautions Filipinos against falling for false narratives. Resorting to tactics such as releasing unverifiable recordings of supposed conversations with Philippine officials could demonstrate efforts to sow discord and confusion among Philippine agencies and the Filipino public.”

How can the DFA claim the transcript presented false narratives, when it was not a party to the approval of the “new model” by Marcos, which it shouldn’t be since the DFA is not involved in military affairs? Yet its statement was revealing in that it has “confused government agencies” referring really to itself, which has been claiming that there was “no Cabinet-level official” that approved the new model. That’s true, it was the President himself who approved it.

New model

Referred to as a “new model,” the agreement concerns how the Philippines would go about supplying the Sierra Madre, stuck 200 kilometers away from Palawan, with a squad of Marines guarding it from pirates. However, there are only two “new” elements in the agreement, since successive administrations since President Joseph Estrada — including that of Benigno Aquino III — implemented a pact by which the Philippines had been sending only transport, food and water or humanitarian subsistence and not repair or construction materials that would have made the decrepit vessel a permanent Philippine outpost. The “new model,” however, specifies the number of vessels (one coast guard and one civilian vessel for each country) that would participate in the resupply mission, and the Chinese would be given two days’ notice before it is undertaken.

Yet Marcos, a few months ago, declared haughtily that if there was such an agreement, he was “rescinding it.” Then just last month, he said he was “horrified” that his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, had been implementing that agreement, first made in 2009. How could he forget that he authorized the Navy in January this year to follow the agreement? What is he taking?

The agreement though was implemented only once in February, with the boasts by the Armed Forces at that time now appearing so hilarious: “AFP spokesman Col. Margareth Padilla said ‘teamwork, precision and dedication at its best’ contributed to the ‘flawless’ rotation and resupply operation for BRP Sierra Madre.”

This lady should be sent ASAP to some combat zone. Without even hearing the audio file of the conversation between a Chinese diplomat and the Wescom head, she alleged the other day that it was “deepfake.”

The Chinese Embassy claimed that the Philippines violated the agreement after that, which led to its coast guard having to block the Philippine vessels since March from approaching the Sierra Madre with water cannons and through maneuvers.

Tarriela and Teodoro for months have kept on badgering the Chinese to show proof there was an agreement. The Chinese got pissed off, obviously. Marcos should fire the two: The episode is another body blow to his credibility. How the hell could he have dropped the ball over this issue that has had the world’s attention? Marcos has embarrassed us, making us the world’s laughingstock. Leaders of the world would worry if he ever remembers agreements that he enters into with them. He should also fire his very highly paid special assistant, who’s always by his side but who’s obviously not doing his job, even of just reminding him what orders he’s issued.


Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. The Asian Zelensky, Bonget Kutingsky, obviously is still addicted to the same WPS (White Powdery Substance) that the original Murican patsy, Volodymyr Zelensky is addicted to. That’s the only explanation why he and his equally braindead subordinates can’t get their story straight. It is hilarious why a supposed bar topnotcher, the opportunistic trapo Teodoro, who’s own relatives dislike so much that whenever he ran for public office their slogan was “Anybody But Gibo”, would claim that the Chinese side “violated” the Anti Wiretapping Law, not realizing that by saying that, he is in effect admitting that the recording does exist and that its content is true and accurate! What a moronic imbecile! And he had the gall to steal, with the help of the real President Jahas Smuggs Araneta, the DND Secretary position from VP Sara Duterte! Only in the Philippines, the proud Tonto of the Murican Lone Ranger!

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