Thank God, PDI fake news flops

I SWEAR, one of these days, if it doesn’t drop its anti-China, anti-Duterte thinking, the Philippine Daily Inquirer will publish inflammatory but fake news that will rouse Filipinos to go to war.

Last Friday, the newspaper put out a banner headline: “Foreign fishing crowd PH waters.” Covering two-thirds of the front page were satellite images of what seemed to be an invasion of boats into the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone(EEZ). I myself was alarmed, as the images were compiled by the respected Karagatan Patrol from a weather satellite using infrared sensors that detect lights, day and night, hundreds of miles away from earth. The assumption in this technology is that the lights are from fishing boasts.

The piece’s spin was that these “foreign ships” were mostly Chinese, quoting international law expert Jay Batongbakal, that there was a “high likelihood” that many of these were Chinese vessels. The piece of course fits into the PDI and the Yellows’ narrative that China is intruding into our territory.

Probably because of the sharp decline in the PDI’s credibility since President Aquino, whom it supported, stepped down from power, no other media outlet – not even its ideological sister Rappler – followed up (so far) on the newspaper’s banner story. Thank God. Or the country would have been caught up in another ‘the-Chinese-are-invading-us’ frenzy.

I think it is still necessary to expose it as fake news, as in all likelihood the Yellows will regurgitate it to claim that President Duterte has been allowing the “invasion of Chinese fishing vessels” into our country.

That PDI piece is fake news because of the following. (more…)

Continue Reading Thank God, PDI fake news flops

3 myths about China and The Hague tribunal verdict

THE following is a must read, a totally different perspective from what the Yellows and Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio have brainwashed a lot of people to believe in. This was written by two American scholars, Jared McKiney and Nicholas Butts, back in July 14, 2016, a few days after the arbitral panel issued its ruling on the Philippines’ suit against China, for which we spent P500 million.

The article was in the respected 34-year-old magazine The National Interest, published by the Center for the National Interest, a Washington, D.C. think-tank that espouses the school of thought in international relations theory known as “realism,” which obviously the Yellows, Carpio, the China-hater Albert del Rosario, and even noisy academics here have never heard about.

Realism has been described as one of the dominant strains of thought in modern foreign policy and is not tied to ideology. It does not favor any particular moral philosophy, nor does it consider ideology to be a major factor in the behavior of nations. I daresay realism appears to be President Duterte’s foreign-policy paradigm.

Three years after the piece was published, this article’s theses have proven to be very accurate. (more…)

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Impossible for Carpio and del Rosario not to know that they are deceiving the country

THE claim that President Duterte should be impeached for not restricting our exclusive economic zone (EEZ) from foreigners is so absurd that it is astonishing that media has given it mileage at all, with even otherwise sober commentators believing that rubbish.

What is disgusting is that the two men mainly responsible for spreading this nonsense—Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio and Aquino 3rd’s foreign secretary Albert del Rosario—cannot not know that they are misleading the public, as I will show in the course of this piece.

Why are they doing so? Because of an ideological hatred for China, and an added factor for del Rosario, to cover up for his role in our losing Bajo de Masinloc (also known as Panatag or Scarborough Shoal) in 2012 to China. The Yellows are cheering them and repeating their yarn of course because they think they can pull down Duterte’s popularity by stoking the embers of anti-Chinese racism among Filipinos.

At the outset, we have to emphasize first that Duterte was referring not to our EEZ in its entirety but only to Recto Bank (Reed Bank) within which he said we cannot ban Chinese fishermen. His comment was in the wake of protests over the sinking of a Filipino fishing boat by a Chinese vessel – whether it was a deliberate case of ramming or an accidental collision hasn’t been established.

Our huge EEZ (in red). Everyone except us banned there? (Source: marineregions.org)

Recto Bank is indeed within our 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and whose natural resources therefore we have the sovereign rights to exploit. (Let’s leave out of this discussion the other fact that Recto Bank is also within the area we claim as territory, the Kalayaan Island Group, but which China, Taiwan, and Vietnam also claim.)  (more…)

Continue Reading Impossible for Carpio and del Rosario not to know that they are deceiving the country

Duterte is wrong to call Carpio buang… or maybe not

PRESIDENT Duterte is wrong to call Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio buang, for criticizing his statement to allow Chinese fishermen access to “Philippine waters.” Buang means stupid — certainly a description that applies to the Yellow senators who claim Duterte would be violating the Constitution to allow that.

But Carpio isn’t stupid. He’s worse. He is so ignorant about an issue he blabbers on about but doesn’t understand that he should be ashamed to be in the Supreme Court, an institution dedicated to arriving at the truth based on facts.

But I don’t think Carpio is ignorant. He is diabolically devious, and his criticism of Duterte is just another instance of his incessant propaganda to stoke anti-Chinese xenophobia using our territorial disputes with China, exploiting the respected pulpit of a Supreme Court justice.

First, let’s be clear about what Duterte said. He was asked on Monday night whether government would bar Chinese fishermen from Philippine waters after a Filipino fishing boat was allegedly sunk in the Reed Bank by a Chinese vessel. He answered, in a roundabout way: “I don’t think China would do that. Why? Because we’re friends. They are of the same view that that should not result in any bloody confrontation.”

Duterte obviously meant that if we ban Chinese fishermen from the area, the Chinese will retaliate by banning our fishermen. The two countries won’t do that because they respect each other now. (more…)

Continue Reading Duterte is wrong to call Carpio buang… or maybe not

Del Rosario: The worst foreign affairs secretary in our history

IT is disgusting for former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario to use a diplomatic passport thinking this would allow him to slip unnoticed into a country whose head of state he accused of crimes against humanity, in order to attend to his private business, that is, a directors’ meeting of his main income source, the First Pacific Co. Ltd.

But what is more appalling is that, since 2016, he should have given up any claim to being a diplomat.

After all, del Rosario was the worst Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) secretary in the history of the Republic, for three reasons.

First, he is the only — and hopefully the last — foreign affairs secretary directly responsible for losing Philippine territory: Bajo de Masinloc, internationally called Scarborough Shoal, over which both we and China claim sovereignty.

He lost Bajo de Masinloc when he ordered on June 2, 2012 our two remaining government vessels in the lagoon of the shoal to leave the next morning, in effect turning over the disputed area — after eight weeks of that episode called the “Scarborough Shoal Stand-off” — to China, which then sealed it off.

Withdrawal
He claimed to have done this because a US official had told him that he got China to agree to a simultaneous withdrawal of Philippine and Chinese vessels, but then China reneged on the agreement.

To this day, only del Rosario and his boss President Aquino 3rd claim that there was such an agreement. (more…)

Continue Reading Del Rosario: The worst foreign affairs secretary in our history

US fooled del Rosario into losing Panatag but he blames, vents his ire on, China

PERHAPS something useful could come out of former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario’s pathetic “look-I-am-bullied” publicity stunt last week to portray China as an Evil Empire, when it refused to allow him into Hong Kong.

It gives another opportunity to expose again the Yellow President’s former foreign affairs secretary as the person who directly lost Philippine territory to the Chinese on June 3, 2012 in the so-called Scarborough Shoal stand-off that lasted for nearly two months. We have to know what really happened, which will allow us to be more circumspect in our view of China.

It was called a ‘stand-off” as Chinese and Philippine vessels were in the crucial lagoon of the shoal for eight weeks, after the former stopped an attempt by our warship BRP Gregorio del Pilar to arrest Chinese fishermen who were allegedly illegally fishing there. Neither side would leave as to do so meant abandoning the area, thereby losing sovereignty over it.

It is a testament to the power of oligarchs and the hold of media they control on people’s minds that del Rosario continues to have the gall to even appear in public and say that we lost what we call Panatag Shoal (also Bajo de Masinloc) because the Chinese reneged on an agreement for both sides’ vessels to withdraw from the shoal simultaneously.

There was no such agreement. He was fooled by a US official that there was.

Gullibly believed
He gullibly believed on June 2, 2012 US Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell’s claim that he got the Chinese to agree to withdraw their vessels from Panatag, so that he ordered our two vessels out of the shoal. (Campbell was then Obama’s assistant state secretary for Asia, with a career in US military and security agencies.)

Of course the “stand-off” was resolved after that as one party had backed down – us. After that, the Chinese in effect sealed the shoal’s crucial lagoon: We lost a piece of territory to the Chinese for the first time because of an administration’s bungling.

Plain common sense tells us that it is impossible for such an agreement on such an important crisis—and on a sovereignty issue—to have been made by one Chinese official, and in one meeting, without even consulting with her superiors. Campbell, who retired from government service in 2013, could have raised a howl that China had reneged on an agreement that he had brokered. He hasn’t.

US State Department official (left) told Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario he got Chinese to withdraw from Bajo de Masinloc. He believed him. That’s how we lost territory.

(more…)

Continue Reading US fooled del Rosario into losing Panatag but he blames, vents his ire on, China

Rushed oil search by ‘MVP’ firm triggered hostile stance toward China

IT was the rush by an “MVP” firm to implement its tight program to extract oil and gas in Recto Bank in 2011 that triggered a chain of events which, under President Aquino 3rd, resulted in making China the Philippines’ de facto foe. Aquino was well on the way to cutting off diplomatic and economic relations with China had President Duterte not come along and stopped that disastrous foreign-affairs stance.

By “MVP” I of course refer to Manuel V. Pangilinan, who has run the First Pacific conglomerate for decades for its main owner, the Indonesian Anthoni Salim. The group has very successfully, and skillfully, made the public believe that it is owned by Pangilinan that it is even referred to by business journalists as the “MVP group.”

The MVP firm is Forum Energy, acquired by the Salim group in 2008 through its Philex Mining’s PXP Energy Corp. Forum was given in 2010 authority to explore and drill for oil in a part of Recto Bank (known as “Reed Bank” internationally), called Service Contract 72.

Just a few weeks after Albert del Rosario assumed office as foreign affairs secretary in February 2011, Forum in March sent the ship MV Veritas Voyager to explore locations to sink appraisal wells. However, two patrol boats of China’s Marine Surveillance Force approached the ship and forced it to withdraw, telling it to stop its activities at Recto Bank, claiming it was under its jurisdiction as it was allegedly part of China’s Nansha Islands. For us, it is both part of the Kalayaan Island group that Marcos annexed in 1978 and within our 200-kilometer exclusive economic zone (EEZ), as defined in a law that President Arroyo asked to be enacted in 2009.

Recto Bank is important to them: The two as they appear in First Pacific 2018 report.

(more…)

Continue Reading Rushed oil search by ‘MVP’ firm triggered hostile stance toward China

Now, this is a leader, and not a populist one

TO be honest, my admiration for President Duterte went up a few notches with his principled stand on the Recto Bank incident, despite the hysterical screams of the Yellows and even of people you would have thought were sober, for him to bash China for the Reed Bank incident.

A columnist presented the supposed calculus, that polls show that Filipinos mistrust the Chinese, that Duterte better read the writing on the wall — a steep fall in his popularity. “So, what?” I bet Duterte would say.

I nearly fell off my seat in astonishment over a Philippine Star column the other day that implied that the military might just decide to topple Duterte because of his stance on the Recto Bank incident. That that “column feed” appeared in that paper isn’t really surprising.

I suspect that’s the line being spread now by China-bashing fire-eater, Aquino 3rd’s foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario, who lost for us Scarborough Shoal and allegedly unsuccessfully, shamelessly begged for US military might to recover it for us.

After all, the Philippine Star is controlled by the Indonesian Anthoni Salim, for whom del Rosario has worked for decades and to whose conglomerate he owes his vast wealth. Another column in that paper was as ass-licking to him, claiming that Duterte’s stance is such because “China is his benefactor.” What? (more…)

Continue Reading Now, this is a leader, and not a populist one

Nope, Duterte won’t lose Recto Bank the way Aquino and Del Rosario lost Panatag

WHY? Because he isn’t following the Yellow playbook in dealing with foreign-affairs crises, especially as it involves China.

The gall of former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario to tell President Duterte how to deal with the foreign affairs crisis involving the sinking in Recto Bank of a Filipino fishing boat by a Chinese vessel, which to him would be for Duterte to hold “China accountable.”

It was del Rosario, after two weeks of President Aquino’s incompetent handling of the Scarborough Shoal stand-off in 2012*, who lost the territory to China. Del Rosario ordered—without his president’s permission, according to a participant in the episode—the two Philippine vessels there to withdraw, in effect turning the shoal over to the Chinese. (Scarborough, the shoal’s international name, is called Panatag or Bajo de Masinloc by us.)

And why did he do that? He was so gullible, or naively trusting of the US that he believed the claim of Kurt Campbell, the US assistant secretary of state for Asia, that the Chinese through then vice foreign minister Fu Ying had agreed to withdraw its vessels on the same day (June 3).

Why, even a book so admiring of del Rosario that he most probably bankrolled its writing and its printing, reported that. But there was no such agreement, and Campbell in his 2016 book, The Pivot: The Future of American Statecraft in Asia, didn’t even claim that. (more…)

Continue Reading Nope, Duterte won’t lose Recto Bank the way Aquino and Del Rosario lost Panatag

Poetic justice in the Yellows vs GMA saga

POETIC justice is defined “as an outcome in which evil is punished and virtue rewarded usually in a manner peculiarly or ironically appropriate.”

That is an excellent description of the finale of the Yellows’ persecution of former President and retiring Speaker of the House Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Her vindication has occurred in a period when the Yellows that ruthlessly persecuted and demonized her have been thrown into the Philippines’ political wastebasket, viewed with disgust by many as essentially the anti-Marcos oligarchs’ bungling tools. She steps back from a political landscape — many hope only temporarily — littered with the corpses of her Yellow foes.

Benigno Aquino 3rd, who stole five years of Arroyo’s life when his government had her detained for charges that are now all incontestably proven to have been baseless and dismissed by the courts, is nearly universally viewed in the country as, if not a lazy, incompetent president, a reckless idiot who did nothing to prevent the massacre of 44 of the police’s elite special forces and a bungling head of state who let his foreign affairs secretary give up Scarborough Shoal after he was told by the Americans to do so.

Mar Roxas, who shamelessly betrayed her in 2007 when the Yellows’ lynch mob against Arroyo started, spent P1 billion to get elected senator, but instead landed on the 16th slot, just two notches above the formerly totally unknown Doc Willie Ong. Filipinos rejected Bam Aquino, the last hope of the Aquino clan for national political stature when as a sitting senator and a household name, he could have easily beaten the likes of Bong Go and Bato dela Rosa.

Last selfie with their admired leader.

(more…)

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