The harsh reality: We have lost Ayungin Shoal

FORGET our military establishment’s triumphalist tone that China has buckled under the foreign affairs department’s diplomatic protests against Chinese Coast Guard vessels blocking vessels resupplying the eight Marines stationed at the BRP Sierra Madre.

That dilapidated rust-filled vessel was grounded in 1999 at Ayungin Shoal to function as our outpost to claim our sovereign rights in the area. (The shoal is 40 kilometers from Mischief Reef, which the Chinese occupied in 1994 and where it built huge facilities in 2013 and 2014.)

My statement in my column on Monday that “we will be losing Ayungin Shoal soon” is wrong. We lost Ayungin Shoal (international name: Second Thomas Shoal) way back in 2013.

The recent events have revealed this stark reality: the Chinese now are merely waiting for that 1944 vessel to be totally uninhabitable, as rust totally eats up the vessel, and the ocean waters flood its chambers.

Upper photo: Philippine ‘outpost’ at Second Thomas Shoal; lower: Vietnamese outpost on Rifleman Bank. PHOTO FROM VNEXPRESS

Continue ReadingThe harsh reality: We have lost Ayungin Shoal

Aquino 3rd arbitration suit induced Chinese moves on Ayungin Shoal

IT is the unexpected ruling in 2016 on the Aquino 3rd regime’s arbitration suit against China that continues to encourage the Chinese to block Philippine boats from sending supplies to military personnel in Ayungin Shoal, as they did last week, when they even reportedly used water hoses to drive the Philippine vessels away.

Aquino’s US lawyers filed the suit in January 2013 — very foolishly, in hindsight — asking the arbitral tribunal to rule as illegal similar Chinese Coast Guard actions way back on March 9, 2014 to prevent Filipino boats from resupplying the marine detachment at Ayungin Shoal.

The tribunal in its July 2016 “award,” however, threw out that complaint and ruled that the incident was “a quintessentially military situation, involving the military forces of one side and a combination of military and paramilitary forces on the other, arrayed in opposition to one another…”It ruled that such military situations were beyond its jurisdiction as well as of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos). In short, the tribunal told Aquino 3rd: you’re on your own there. We don’t have authority in such matters.

The incident last week was obviously China again taking advantage of the award’s ruling. How can the US intervene in such Chinese maneuvers when it had not been declared as violating international law by a tribunal that many analysts believed the Americans had a huge influence over?

Our outpost at Ayungin Shoal: A rusting 1944 LST grounded there in 1999.

Continue ReadingAquino 3rd arbitration suit induced Chinese moves on Ayungin Shoal

Deception and debacle, through two decades

MY new book, out next month, is entitled Debacle: The Aquino Regime’s Scarborough Fiasco and the South China Sea Arbitration Deception. To be frank, it will be such an eye-opener that I am hoping, in the spirit of Christmas, that those who will be exposed for their despicable actions in this sad episode of our history will not commit harakiri.

All my statements in this book will be backed by documents and testimonies, each footnoted as to their sources, as academic works require. If any of these are proven wrong, I will retire from column writing.

The following is a summary of the book by its editors, which will appear in the back cover:

For the first time since its independence, the Philippines lost a piece of its territory, Scarborough Shoal, tragically because of the colossal blunders of President Aquino 3rd himself and his administration. At the start of his term, Aquino 3rd marked out the People’s Republic of China as his enemy and continuously pilloried his country’s largest trading partner, a course that would have led to economic catastrophe if President Duterte had not reversed it.

The book cover.

Continue ReadingDeception and debacle, through two decades

Leni who?

ANTI-Duterte writers on Tuesday became delirious over what one called the roller-coaster plot, referring to the announcements of presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio to run for the vice presidency with presidential…

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Never again: The Yolanda super typhoon fiasco

THE previous Yellow government’s colossal incompetence in addressing the “Yolanda” super typhoon eight years ago was a microcosm of everything that was wrong with that Aquino 3rd administration and its leaders.

It was a colossal catastrophe, worsened by government’s delayed response in rescuing those hit by the storm surge, and struggling to survive.

The pro-government Philippine Daily Inquirer reported (Nov. 21, 2013) that when the body count reached 4,300, Aquino ordered the national disaster agency to stop releasing figures on casualties. As a result, we only have estimates of how many people were actually killed by the natural and Yellow-made disaster: 6,000 to as high as 15,000.

The following is what happened on November 7 and 8 when the super typhoon hit Tacloban, Leyte — when the Yellow officials were sound asleep.

Roxas and Gazmin presiding at an 8 p.m. Tacloban City meeting the evening before Yolanda struck. (Screen grab of video taken by city officials, including subtitles.)

Continue ReadingNever again: The Yolanda super typhoon fiasco

Pink-Reds’ ‘DQ’ move: Desperate and dumb

IT is astonishing how the opposition — the Pinks and their apparently estranged allies, the Reds — keep on making blunder after blunder, even before the official campaign period starts next year.

The other day a group filed a case asking the Commission on Elections to disqualify Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. from running for president in the elections next year. The group, mostly identified with Red fronts, claimed that the frontrunner is a “convicted criminal,” banned from running for any electoral post.

It was a dumb suit for several reasons: that kind of disqualification conviction (over Marcos’ failure to file his income tax returns for 1995) is lifted after five years from the serving of the sentence; the law imposes a penalty (for failure to file income tax returns for one year) of a mere fine; and the conviction did not involve “moral turpitude,” a requirement for disqualification from holding public office.

Those who filed the case obviously are people — okay, let’s call a spade a spade — formerly or presently involved in the communist movement, aka, “national democratic movement,” who are never interested in law, much less electoral law, as they have devoted their lives to overthrowing through violence a democratic state. One of them is the wife of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Politburo member, who was arrested last June.


Continue ReadingPink-Reds’ ‘DQ’ move: Desperate and dumb

So, who is suppressing freedom of the press, of expression here?

BASED on events solely in the past 30 days, it is incontestably US shadowy entities and their principal agent here, Rappler and Maria Ressa, who are inarguably suppressing Filipinos’ right to express their sentiments. We should be outraged.

Case No. 1: Rappler takes down its own polls

Ressa’s US-funded propaganda site, Rappler, launched on October 7 an online poll for viewers to vote whom they want to be president in May 2022. It said that the poll would run for three days and would be done monthly. Although Robredo was winning in the first several hours, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. subsequently overtook her the next day with huge margins.

This was despite the fact that Robredo’s camp, or Rappler itself, deployed a thousand trolls to vote for her; so stupidly obvious as the voters had Arabic or Indian names and many having their identities written in Sanskrit or Arabic.

By the second day, Marcos was winning nearly by a landslide, with 72 percent of netizens voting for him, and only 24 percent for Robredo.

Petition reached 160,000 signers until it was taken down.

Continue ReadingSo, who is suppressing freedom of the press, of expression here?

Worst timing ever for an election — for the opposition

THE national elections next year could be the worst timing ever for the opposition to the current administration. The pandemic will be ending by that time, while an economic boom is highly likely, following the usual bounce-back phenomenon of economies in the doldrums.

Based on figures in the past few days, the pandemic is easing, with cases dropping gradually in the past month, yesterday to around 3,000 from its peak of 26,000 in September.

This isn’t a fluke, with OCTA Research recently reporting the reproduction rate to be 0.4, below 1, which means Covid-19 is, theoretically, at least not even reproducing 100 percent of itself. It is also the same trend in most other countries such as among our neighbors like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The pandemic is running its course, its spread slowed down by increasing numbers of people being vaccinated. The third and last wave is ending. It appears to be mimicking the second deadly pandemic in modern times, the Spanish flu which “officially” started February 1918 and ended April 1920, or a period of roughly two years. If the Covid-19 pandemic mimics that life span, it will be ending March 2022, or just about two months before the May elections.

Third and last wave? FROM WORLDOMETERS.INFO

Continue ReadingWorst timing ever for an election — for the opposition