Duterte makes history

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has made history. PulseAsia reported on Monday that based on its September poll, Duterte had a performance rating of 91 percent, up 4 points from its December 2019 poll. That level of popular support is unprecedented. Nobody expected that.

That is the highest approval, performance, or satisfaction rating ever given to a Philippine president — or to a leader of any country in the world — since such polls were started. The highest rating that President Corazon Aquino got was in October 1986, when 82 percent of Filipinos supported her. Her support rapidly fell, however, so that by April 1992, only 58 percent did.

By contrast, Duterte’s support has been steadily rising — from 78 percent in March 2017 to 88 percent in June 2018, to 87 percent in December 2019 and 91 percent last month.

Any statistician will tell you that with the survey’s 3 percentage points plus-or-minus margin of error, that 91 percent approval virtually points to an outstanding phenomenon — that practically the entire nation supports this president. Nobody is listening to the likes of Philippine Daily Inquirer columnists, that online news site, US and Western media, the Yellows and the Reds. Duterte has in fact united the country under his leadership.

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Revealed: The crux of our SCS dispute — natural gas

THE flag-waving by the Yellows, the likes of United States toady Albert del Rosario and Vietnamese-linked Antonio Carpio, claiming that they are noble patriots upholding Philippine sovereignty against a sionist China in the South China Sea (SCS), is total hogwash.

Wittingly or unwittingly, they have been actually serving the US agenda since US President Barack Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” policy started in 2009: Isolate its rival, the emerging superpower China from its Southeast Asian neighbors.

Complying with the US national interest though has been and will be at a huge cost to our national interest. Because of the past Yellow regime’s hostile stance against China, and the grand deception over the arbitration suit’s award, we are being impeded from extracting a huge source of hydrocarbon — natural gas mainly — in the SCS, more precisely at the Reed Bank* in the Spratlys, the Kalayaan Island Group to us.

It has become an urgent necessity for the country to tap that source of gas: the Malampaya-Camago Gas Field which since 2002 has provided 20 percent of our power requirements, will be running dry by 2024. The energy department has no “Plan B” for this eventuality, except to build ports to facilitate the entry of imported gas. President Rodrigo Duterte seems to be aware of the huge loss Malampaya will be and has floated the idea of commissioning the Bataan Nuclear Plant.

The Malampaya gas field, which we need to replace urgently. PHOTO: SHELL PHILIPPINES
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Martires is defending Leonen over his failure to file SALNs

WHAT’s happening to our judicial system and to those whose sacred duty it is to implement it?

The top enforcer of our anti-corruption laws, the ombudsman, Samuel Martires, is defending Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor Leonen, who has been shown, based on government documents, to have violated one of the key pillars of our anti-graft laws, the one requiring all government officials and employees to submit yearly their statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

I had disclosed in my column of Sept. 7, 2020 that Leonen has for 15 years failed to file his SALN, from the time he joined the University of the Philippines (UP) faculty from 1989 to 2003 and for the years 2008 to 2009. 

He is a worse offender of the SALN law than dismissed Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who was ousted from her post in May 2018 for failing to file such reports for six years. The court ruled that this showed her lack of integrity and nonadherence to the Constitution, and therefore she had “no authority” to occupy the post.

SC justice and the ombudsman
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Trump feared, or respected, our BIR more than IRS

AMONG the revelations of the recent New York Times (NYT) exposé on the tax records of United States President Donald Trump is that in 2017 (and 2016 as well) he paid the US federal government a measly $750 in income taxes.

That’s loose change compared to the $156,824 he paid the Philippines in taxes that year for his income from licensing fees for the Trump Tower at Century City. What does that tell us?

For me, it’s quite obvious that Trump feared, or respected, our Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) more than he did the US’ supposedly super-strict, beyond-corruption Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Contrary to what the Yellows have been saying, we have a tighter rule of law than the US.

Yet US and Western media cannot help twisting this revelation in order to put down President Rodrigo Duterte, revealing their deep bias against him and our country.

The NYT article described Trump’s licensing income as coming from “deals in countries with authoritarian-leaders or thorny geopolitics – for example $3 million from the Philippines, $2.3 million from India and $1 million form Turkey.”

This is patently false: the $3-million brand-licensing deal with the Trump Tower Manila was inked in 2012 during Benigno Aquino 3rd’s administration although the actual payment and taxes was made in 2017 during Duterte’s watch.

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Duterte terribly wrong — or just diabolically clever — in his arbitration statements at UN

PERHAPS it was a classic instance of following an aphorism in Sun Tzu’s Art of War: “The whole secret lies in confusing the enemy, so that he cannot fathom our real intent.”

But on the face of it, President Rodrigo Duterte’s statements before the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 22 regarding the South China Sea arbitration award was so terribly wrong.

“The award is now part of international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish or abandon,” Duterte pontificated. 

But this is very wrong. An arbitration is an arbitration of two parties’ agreement to let a third party settle its dispute. An ad hoc panel of five judges — all European except a Ghanaian, who is, however, a permanent resident of Europe — handled the arbitration that wasn’t an arbitration, as China refused to join it.

The panel itself called its rulings an “award” and not a decision. How can an “award,” which the panel itself emphasized can be binding only on the two parties, become “part of international law”?

Do we want President Rodrigo Duterte to enforce arbitration award, which ruled that our islands are mere rocks with no 200-mile exclusive economic zone, just a small 12-mile territorial zone?
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Ressa pushed with blatant lies EP resolution to punish PH

IT was Rappler CEO Maria Ressa who fed patent lies to European Parliament member Hannah Neumann and fooled her into getting the body to issue the September EP resolution asking the Philippine government to withdraw all the charges against her or else it would impose trade sanctions against the country.

I haven’t seen such grotesque selfishness as that of Ressa’s: she is willing to have Filipinos — 200,000 workers by one labor federation’s estimate — suffer if trade sanctions are imposed, just to escape her conviction for libel by a Philippine court of law, presided over by a judge of the highest integrity and competence.

Ressa sought out the EP member Neumann right after the Manila Regional Trial Court found her guilty of cyberlibel last June 15, one of her desperate attempts to campaign for international pressure to drop the charges against her — rather than convincing the court to find her innocent.

Parliamentarian Neuman explains the resolution to punish the Philippines at the European Parliament (SCREENGRAB FROM EU PARLIAMENT MEDIA VIDEO, WHICH PROVIDED THE SUBTITLES).
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Duterte govt requires 3rd telco to outperform Globe and Smart, or lose P26B bond

THAT statement isn’t mine nor from anonymous sources. It’s straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, from former Information and Communications acting secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. (a retired general), who shepherded the entry into the telecoms monopoly of a third telecommunications company.

Rio posted on his Facebook page the narrative below, which I found very informative in assessing the chances of a third telco breaking the virtual two-firm monopoly of the telecom industry.

The two firms pretend to be Filipino-controlled. The reality, veiled by the scheme of “nonvoting preferred shares” is that Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, owned by Singapore’s state investment arm Temasek Holdings, is the biggest stockholder of Globe Telecom Inc. while the Indonesian-controlled First Pacific Co. Ltd. controls Smart Communications Inc. 

DITO reports it’s on the way. Company materials
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Fake news: EU threatens trade sanctions

I’M BAFFLED why not a few journalists still think that they are mere stenographers, reporting whatever this or that jerk says, and even make it their newspapers’ front-page banner story.

Consider one newspaper’s banner headline yesterday: “Govt urged: Act on EU call.” It quoted at length this obscure labor leader’s claim that if government does not “act on that EU call” — which is, among other things, to release an unrepentant American journalist convicted for libel by the Manila Regional Trial Court and withdraw the Anti-Terrorism Law passed in July — the country will suffer “more unemployment and loss of business opportunities” as a result of Europe’s trade sanctions.

This labor lawyer even pretends to be knowledgeable, claiming that we stand to risk the imposition of tariffs on 6,274 products to the European Union market that, at present, have zero tariffs under the Generalized System of Preferences. That newspaper competed in ignorance with the forever-Yellow Philippine Daily Inquirer’s headline: “EU sanctions on PH to cut 200K jobs, labor group warns.”

These are essentially fake news. The EU didn’t threaten trade sanctions.

For starters, this recent resolution by the European Parliament (EP) is a rehash of its April 2018 resolution (2018/2662 RSP), which simply repeated the Yellows’ and especially Rappler’s claim of “12,000” killed in President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug war, when the actual figure at that time was just 3,000.

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CPP a propaganda party: No proletariat, no peasant army

MY column last Wednesday narrated that communist ideologue Jose Ma. Sison himself “red-tagged” his Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) over 80 front organizations, when he listed these as members of the International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS) he set up in 2001 to feed this ego that he is not just the leader of the communist insurgencies here but globally.

That each of these fronts undertakes “agit-prop” claiming to represent a particular sector points to the real nature of this supposed Marxist-Leninist-Maoist insurgency today.

Rather than a party that is the vanguard of the proletariat, mobilizing a peasant army according to Mao Zedong’s vision, the CPP has become — or perhaps has been since its start — merely a party of the petit-bourgeoisie (lower to middle class) engaged mostly in propaganda activities against government. 

Their agit-prop activities have prevented a real national discourse we need to develop in the country. The party’s propaganda network seizes every issue possible against government, distorts and magnifies it, with its fronts developing the expertise for quick mobilization and press dissemination. Worse, communist fronts now provide the loudspeakers and war bodies for the issues the decimated Yellows raise, that I won’t be surprised that they are being handsomely paid for their services.

Another ILPS organization, distorting national discourse. Screengrab from Pamalakaya website
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Sison, with his huge ego, red-tagged his communist fronts long ago

IT is ridiculous for the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) parliamentary cadres like Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate to claim that Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy and other military officials are “red-tagging” their ilk when they publicly point out that they are members of or supporters of that fake revolutionary vanguard.

Zarate and these Reds think Filipinos are so stupid as to believe that old, old line their leader Jose Maria Sison used in the University of the Philippines in the 1960s. Sison had used ad nauseam that “red-tagging” crap to deny that the Kabataan Makabayan (KM) and other organizations he set up were Communist Party fronts, designed to gradually lure young minds into their Maoist conspiracy. Well, KM has been for decades indeed officially one of the so-called members of the National Democratic Front (NDF), a misnomer really as it is not an alliance at all; its member organizations are arms of the CPP for particular sectors.

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