HK destabilizer NED is same outfit funding anti-Duterte media

THE National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a CIA-linked outfit, has been helping the opposition groups in Hong Kong that have been leading the massive demonstrations there in the past week, according to several accounts critical of the protest movement.

Yep, this is the same destabilizer now in Hong Kong, the NED, which has extended about P100 million in funds to vociferous anti-Duterte media outfits — the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Rappler, Vera Files and the Center for Media Freedom and Democracy.

None of these outfits have denied these reports since I reported* it first in 2017 and subsequently, nor have they explained how and why their conscience allows them to receive money from a foreign power, known to have controlled our nation in the past and strives to continue to do so.

An article in the South China Morning Post (SCMP) the other day claimed that groups involved in the protests have received significant funding from the NED, “a CIA soft-power cut-out that has played a critical role in innumerable US regime-change operations.”

Solidarity Center
The report claimed that the NED has four main branches, at least two of which are active in Hong Kong: the Solidarity Center and National Democratic Institute.

“The latter has been active in Hong Kong since 1997, and NED funding for Hong Kong-based groups has been consistent, “ Louisa Greve, NED’s vice president of programs for Asia, Middle East and North Africa, was quoted as saying.

HK destabilizer NED is same outfit funding anti-Duterte media 2
Expressing gratitude to their sponsors? HK protesters raising the colors. AP PHOTO

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Billion-peso govt firm under the control of Bayan Muna lawyer?

PRESIDENT Duterte’s critics claim that his popularity and political acumen, as well as his allies’ overwhelming victory in the May elections, have made him so powerful that he is on the way to becoming an absolute ruler.

Yet in the case of the huge Coconut Industry Investment Fund-Oil Mills Group (CIIF-OMG), which just five years ago had revenues from its coconut oil milling operations of over P14 billion, its board of directors has managed to defy his orders.

A year ago, five of the group’s eight directors nearly got to stop the firm’s operations when they resigned and got all the key officers to go on mass leave, to protest Duterte’s nomination of a Davaoeño, one Rehan Lao. Duterte bent over backwards, and rescinded Lao’s appointment.

He then appointed in September last year Aquilino Trinidad as the milling group’s officer-in-charge. Just seven months later though, in April, after Trinidad started to investigate allegations of corruption in company, six of the eight board members issued a resolution that since he was just appointed as “officer-in-charge” and wasn’t elected by the board, he had no authority to appoint or transfer anybody in the company. That practically made Trinidad a nobody in the company, with virtually no authority and nothing to do.

Then in a “Memorandum to All Employees” dated May 28, the vice president for corporate services, Joven Evangelista said: “Please be informed that during the Board [sic] meeting held on 31 July 2019, the Board of Directors elected Ms Teresita Mata-Marañon” as the new president/CEO of the CIIF-OMG.

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Diokno et al. shouldn’t just be disbarred, they should be prosecuted and thrown in jail

LAWYERS Jose Manuel Diokno and Andre Palacios claimed they were counsels for 20 Palawan and Zambales fishermen when they filed a writ of kalikasan with the Supreme Court to compel government agencies to rehabilitate and protect the West Philippine Sea from “environmental damage due to poaching and other illegal activities being undertaken by Chinese nationals.”

It was all a lie, a total fraud. The fishermen, in very detailed sworn testimonies, said they knew nothing about such a suit, and were shocked when they read in the newspapers or were told by their neighbors that they were involved in the high-profile case suing the government.

Diokno and his accomplices are guilty of claiming in a court of law to represent people who did not authorize them to do so. What Diokno and his gang did is a patent violation of Section 27 of the Rules of Court No. 138, punishable by disbarment: “A member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for…for willfully appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without authority to do so.”

But not only that. These lawyers violated Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code, which penalizes falsification. Diokno and his gang fraudulently claimed in the petition before the high court that the fishermen were filing the kalikasan suit, and they attributed to the latter statements that they had not made.

This is an open-and-shut case, these lawyers are fraudsters, con men who lied to the Supreme Court. The Solicitor General wouldn’t be doing his job if he doesn’t pursue criminal and disbarment cases against Diokno and his gang.

Diokno et al. shouldn’t just be disbarred, they should be prosecuted and thrown in jail 2
‘Con lawyers’? Palacios and Diokno, who fraudulently claimed to represent fishermen in a suit at the Supreme Court.

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So Duterte’s not a populist after all, huh?

THE political opposition most likely rejoiced over President Duterte’s veto last week of Congress’ purported “anti-endo” bill, as it gave them ammunition in their propaganda that he is “anti-people,” the communists’ formulaic allegation against him.

For the fast-vanishing Yellows, it is another instance of Duterte failing to fulfill his election promises.

One thing though that everyone, even his critics, would agree to is that contrary to academically pretentious claims by commentators who have struggled to explain away his popularity, Duterte isn’t a populist, or one who merely plays to the gallery, or who throws bounties to the masses, even if its economic consequences would make their situation worse.

This is a president who listens to his economic officials’ assessments and advice, and who understands that the nation has an economic base with its laws and dynamics, which the political leadership cannot just ignore. He makes decisions even if these would be unpopular, at least in the short term.

Without a doubt, Duterte has strengthened the business sector’s support for him in his veto of the “anti-endo” bill.

Duterte could be faulted, however, for not intervening early enough, so that Congress was able to pass the bill on third reading and gave it to him to sign into law. In fact, if he had not vetoed the measure, it would have automatically become law on July 27. (more…)

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Fake SWS poll stokes anti-China sentiments

THE Social Weather Stations’ (SWS) recent poll, one of whose results an anti-Duterte media outfit headlined as “93 percent of Filipinos want PH to regain China-occupied islands” is a patently fake survey.

This SWS poll is the worst kind of push poll, or one disguised as a survey but which actually is intended to mold people’s minds. In this case, SWS polls tried first, to falsely portray China as having illegally occupied islands that the Philippines owns, and second, that more than 90 percent of Filipinos want these “islands back.”

The poll is utterly spurious because it asked its respondents a bogus question: “In your opinion, is it important that the control of the islands that China currently occupies in the West Philippine Sea be given back to the Philippines?”

SWS asked its respondents to give their opinion on something that is fiction. China does not occupy a single island that the Philippines owns or claims to own.

It occupies, starting only in the 1970s, seven reefs, or rocks barely above water, in the Spratly Islands (Kalayaan Island Group to us). China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia claim the area as theirs. Bajo de Masinloc is not an island but a shoal, and China occupies it now only because former president Aquino and his foreign secretary bungled in handing it over to the Chinese in the July 2012 stand-off. (more…)

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Fake news? No such ‘PCA decision’ on suit vs China

NOT exactly fake news. But certainly a variation of it. This particular deception has been spread mainly by the Yellows, helped by mercenary academics and uncritical media.

For some reason, they are doing this to make Filipinos hate China and pressure President Duterte to take a belligerent stand against the emerging superpower.

This version of fake news: “The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2016 ruled in favor of Philippines’ claims against China.”

The Social Weather Stations even asked its respondents to respond to this false statement in its survey which was really intended to portray the false picture that Filipinos are angry over President Duterte’s stance toward China. It asked its respondents to reply yes or no to the statement: “The government should assert its right to the islands in the West Philippine Sea as stipulated in the 2016 decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).”

There is no such “decision of the PCA,” nor was the Philippine suit against China over maritime claims in the South China brought to that court. The SWS asked its respondents to reply to something that didn’t exist.

The body that heard the suit and issued the award — the term it used, and which never referred to it as a decision — was, as the title page of the actual document on it puts it: “An Arbitral Tribunal constituted under Annex VII to the 1982 United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea.” (Annex VII details the procedures for arbitration.) The word “tribunal” is used here in its sense of a panel handling disputes, and not in its second meaning of a “court of justice.” (more…)

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Colossal blowback: PH arbitration suit prodded, justified China’s island-building blitz

THREE years after the five-man arbitral tribunal ruled almost entirely in favor of the Aquino government’s maritime claims against China that invoked the Unclos provisions, its real impact has become so crystal clear, yet hardly talked about by US as well as our mainstream media and academe.

Totally unenforceable, the suit only helped China emerge as the unchallenged superpower in the South China Sea. It’s a perfect case of blowback, the most recent version of the law of unintended consequences that has been a curious feature of history. Here’s how and why.

China didn’t respond to the arbitration suit, which it claimed was a US-inspired plot to wrest its sovereign claims, merely through legal debates and propaganda.

Its real response was its feverish work on the ground – or rather, in the waters of the Spratlys. China built artificial islands on the reefs it occupied, making it now the nation with the most extensive and developed network of modern facilities in the South China Sea, complete with airports, piers and huge buildings.

US strategists who played President Aquino and his foreign secretary Albert del Rosario to undertake the arbitration suit—which they thought was a brilliant “lawfare” and “shaming” project against China—must be banging their heads against the wall in regret. Aquino and del Rosario, who thought the suit would cover up their loss of Panatag Shoal to China in July 2012, are of course clueless over their huge role in helping China to dominate the South China Sea.

Short of war
With the island-building triggered by Aquino and del Rosario’s suit, China, as a ranking US general, in a congressional testimony said, “is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States.”

Before the Philippines filed its arbitration suit in January 2013, China’s “real estate” in the South China Sea was the poorest. It controlled only seven reefs, and didn’t have a single island. All of the other claimants had islands, the biggest of which, Taiping, was occupied by Taiwan. We had the second, third, and fifth biggest islands, Pag-Asa, Likas and Parola. Vietnam had the fourth and sixth biggest. Even Malaysia has its Layang-layang island— Celerio to us, Danwan Jiao to the Chinese—which its special forces grabbed only in 1983

What have you done, Messrs. Aquino and del Rosario? Satellite images of Chinese-controlled reefs, before and after we filed the arbitration case vs China.

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Imbecilic kalikasan writ suit will result in political chaos and economic collapse

THE so-called writ of kalikasan suit asking the Supreme Court to compel government to enforce our environmental laws in the Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal is a cheap, despicable and stupid political plot by the Yellows and Reds. If it wins, it will result in political chaos and economic ruin, at a level worse than we’ve ever seen.

Lawyers led by failed Otso Diretso candidate Jose Manuel Diokno, known to be close to the Communist Party, filed the suit last April claiming to represent the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and Filipino fishermen affected by foreigners fishing in those areas.

But the fishermen have declared that they had nothing to do with the suit, didn’t authorize Diokno and his gang to represent them. They said they were shocked when they saw their names as complainants in media reports. Solicitor General Jose Calida the other day submitted to the court the affidavits claiming such, sworn under oath by all the 19 fishermen whom Diokno’s gang said it represented.

What Diokno and his gang did was a patent violation of Section 27 of the Rules of Court No. 138, punishable by disbarment: “A member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for…for willfully appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without authority to do so.”

The Diokno suit is imbecilic or mentally bone-idle since it wanted the high court to order government agencies such as the Coast Guard, the DENR and the Navy to enforce the country’s environmental laws, and arrest foreign fishermen violating our rules at Ayungin Shoal, the Panganiban Reef and Panatag Shoal, which they claimed the July 2016 ruling of the “Permanent Court of Arbitration” determined were within the country’s EEZ. (It wasn’t the PCA, but a five-man arbitral tribunal, which used the PCA only as registry, and one of its huge halls as venue.) (more…)

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Duterte enfeebles oligarch-owned and US media’s power

BASED on the latest Social Weather Stations’ poll, President Duterte has emerged as the most popular president in our post-EDSA history, with a remarkable 80 percent of Filipinos satisfied with his leadership.

SWS data show that for the three years that he has been power, Duterte’s net satisfaction rating (percent satisfied minus dissatisfied) averaged 59 percent, trouncing the 44 percent in the same period of Corazon Aquino who, conventional wisdom says, was the country’s most popular president, being the near saintly heroine of Philippine democracy.

That is significant in itself as there has been a non-stop, intense and well-financed propaganda effort from the Left and the Yellows, as well as American media, that Duterte is Cory’s antithesis, an authoritarian who will soon do a Marcos, that is, declare martial law to establish one-man rule.

There has been practically a cottage industry of opinion pieces and articles by academics abroad trying to explain — or explain away — Duterte’s popularity.

The most harebrained — and academically pretentious — is the one which claims that it is a “function of mass propaganda and deception.” That writer, with his usual penchant of trying to impress his readers that he’s read a lot of books, also claims that Duterte’s “authoritarian brand of populism is in tune with the political zeitgeist.”

In just one sentence, that commentator commits two logical fallacies. First is begging the question. He assumes what needs to be proved, that Duterte is an “authoritarian populist.” The second is tautological: Duterte is popular because he is “in tune with the “spirit of the times,” i.e. the most popular way of looking at the world at a particular time. (more…)

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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…)

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