‘West Philippine Sea’ appellation: Aquino’s brainwashing trick, and a curse

DISREGARDING international conventions and practice, President Benigno Aquino 3rd in 2012, on his own, renamed as the “West Philippine Sea” a segment of the South China Sea. It is a term that would hobble our efforts to settle our sovereignty and maritime-claim disputes with China and Vietnam.

The South China Sea name was given by Europeans starting in the 16th century and recognized over the centuries as such by the world’s nations. It is defined precisely through geographic coordinates by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), governing body for the naming of bodies of water around the world. China calls it internally as the “South Sea” while Vietnam calls it the “East Sea.”

Aquino through Administrative Order 29 of 2012 named as “WPS” or West Philippine Sea, “the western side of the Philippine archipelago the Luzon Sea as well as the waters around, within and adjacent to the Kalayaan Island Group and Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal.”

Aquino ordered the entire government to use the term “West Philippine Sea;” thus, the term has come to be used by everyone, from as high an official as President Duterte to the lowliest public employee.

Are you sure this is our sea? Crowded by five countries? IMAGE BY
Are you sure this is our sea? Crowded by five countries? IMAGE BY AUTHOR USING GOOGLE EARTH

Continue Reading‘West Philippine Sea’ appellation: Aquino’s brainwashing trick, and a curse

Pacquiao should have used his P50 million to buy vaccines

RATHER than spending in the past few months an alleged P50 million for PR people and political operators to push his bid for the presidency (or the vice presidency), legendary boxing champion Manny Pacquiao should instead have used that money to finance the purchase of vaccines that the nation urgently needs to end this scourge, and become a national hero of our time.

I am not talking about the whole nation. He could just choose where he was born, Bukidnon, or where he grew up, Sarangani, as his “target” for getting as many of its adult population as possible vaccinated. With government finances stretched to its limit after a year and a half of addressing the pandemic, I’m sure the Duterte government can come up with an arrangement for using Pacquiao’s money to buy more vaccines and get these into the arms of Filipinos.

And why am I picking on Pacquiao to do this? Well, firstly, he has portrayed himself as not just a prizefighter, but one who wants to serve the people. He certainly has the capacity to do so, being the world’s richest boxer (after Floyd Mayweather and George Foreman) with a net worth of P10 billion.

And secondly, I was shocked by reports — unverified of course unless Pacquiao himself confirms it — in the past two months, he has spent (wasted I think) P50 million to contract PR and political operators as well as get the purported support of some politicians, to launch his bid for the presidency, or to get Duterte to choose him as a candidate for that post or the vice presidency.

If he had used this P50 million to help the government buy vaccines, he could have demonstrated he is sincere about serving the people, especially at this time of one of the country’s worst crises. He could even use his prestige in America – where he is said to be loved more than the American, the arrogant Mayweather – to get US vaccine makers to sell vaccines to him. He could even package his scheduled fight with Errol Spence Jr. in August, as one whose proceeds he would donate to buy vaccines — Pacquiao’s “jab for jabs.”


Continue ReadingPacquiao should have used his P50 million to buy vaccines

Yellows lost not just Scarborough Shoal but also our Kalayaan Island Group

IT wasn’t just Scarborough Shoal (Bajo de Masinloc) that President Aquino 3rd and his minions lost in 2012 because of their bungling in their quarrel with China. Much worse than that: we lost our entire Spratly Island Group. Marcos carved that territory out of the South China Sea through his Presidential Decree 1596 in 1978.

The arbitration suit that the Yellow regime filed in 2013 and claimed to have won ruled that the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) is illegal and without basis under the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (Unclos).

The Yellows’ ineptitude would be really hilarious if not for the seriousness of what they lost – Philippine territory – because of their stupidity. The US fooled Aquino and his Foreign Affairs secretary, Albert del Rosario, in 2012 that the Chinese would withdraw from Scarborough. So, they ordered our vessels out of the shoal.

So, Aquino abandoned that Philippine territory, turning it over to the Chinese who were wondering where on earth did the two had gotten the very irrational idea that they entered into an agreement brokered by their arch rival, the US, especially as it’s a doctrine etched in stone in China that all its disputes be resolved bilaterally.


Continue ReadingYellows lost not just Scarborough Shoal but also our Kalayaan Island Group

The Communist Party is dying of old age

Grandma and grandpa communists, the lucky ones in the Netherlands
Grandma and grandpa communists, the lucky ones in the Netherlands

AND I mean both: as a failed revolutionary organization and in terms of its leaders. The party is 52 years old, nearly four decades more than the average 15 years it took successful revolutionary organizations elsewhere to grab state power.

The party’s founder Jose Ma. Sison is 82 – his life obviously extended by the comforts and health services of the Netherlands. Only Sison is left among the original dozen or so central committee members, all of whom but two – Kumander Dante and former party chairman Rodolfo Salas – died violently in their youth or of old age. Its core of idealistic young people, who built it up in 1970, are all now past 70 years old.

Its last known chairman, Julius Giron, who was killed last year, was 69 years old. He had replaced the captured Benito Tiamzon, 68 years. From a party of young idealistic students barely out of their teens, the party is now a party of septuagenarians.

As happened in failed revolutions, there is no capable second generation of leaders that has emerged. Those who would have had the intellect to lead the revolution, have instead chosen to be party-list representatives reveling in public attention and enjoying taxpayers’ money as “congressmen.”

The party has become pathetic, as the baby boomers that led it are apparently unaware, they are in the twilight of their lives, and there is no proletarian heaven where they can be with Lenin and Mao. Many are unable to live with their grown-up children who detest them for having abandoned them to their grandparents, or fear being involved with a fugitive from the law.


Continue ReadingThe Communist Party is dying of old age

Congress should probe Scarborough fiasco

WE cannot underemphasize the colossal damage inflicted on the Republic by the loss of Scarborough Shoal, the result of the collective bungling of President Aquino 3rd, his Foreign Affairs secretary Albert del Rosario, our ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia, and his back-channel envoy, then senator Antonio Trillanes 4th.

It is the first territory ever lost by the nation, and worse, it is the closest occupied by a foreign power to our mainland. Its consequences were even worse, with del Rosario revealing that it was the “catalyst” that led to the filing of the arbitration suit against China.

What he meant was that it gave the Aquino government the excuse to file the suit against the superpower, ostensibly since it was the only recourse to recover the shoal we call Bajo de Masinloc. The arbitration panel, however, instead ruled that sovereignty over it (or any other disputed body) is beyond the jurisdiction of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos).

China of course acted as a superpower and was well on the way of cutting off economic ties with the Philippines, thereby inflicting so much damage to our economy, and future economic prospects. Our neighbors in the region, actually our competitors, were laughing at us for our government’s stupidity and puppetry to the US, and delighted that Chinese capital and trade flowed to them instead.

Bajo de Masinloc: So close yet so far now MAP BY AUTHOR USING GOOGLE EARTH
Bajo de Masinloc: So close yet so far now MAP BY AUTHOR USING GOOGLE EARTH

Continue ReadingCongress should probe Scarborough fiasco

Aquino abandoned Scarborough

FINALLY, the truth, from an impeccable source.

President Benigno Aquino 3rd ordered the abandonment in June 2012 of Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal, thereby surrendering it to China. Whether this was because of bad judgment due to his subordinates’ false reports, or because he was too gullible to believe US claims and promises, only he can tell us.

The Philippine Coast Guard vessels at Scarborough Shoal had left the area on June 15, 2012 in order to take shelter in Subic Bay from an impending typhoon which was forecast to hit the area directly, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant, Rear Admiral Edmund C. Tan, informed this writer. This was authorized by the President, he said.

The PCG ship and two other government vessels, which were also manned by coast guard officers, had represented the remaining Philippine presence inside the shoal’s lagoon in the standoff that started 10 weeks before between our ships and that of China. Neither the Chinese nor the Philippine ships would leave the shoal for 10 weeks, as this would have meant abandoning the disputed area to the other country, in effect turning over control – and effective sovereignty.

“Unfortunately, when we were about to go back to Panatag Shoal after the typhoon, President Aquino directed us to stand by and hold our going back there,” Tan disclosed. Aquino’s order was given to him directly through both text message and a cellphone call. (Asked why it wasn’t Mar Roxas, the then transportation secretary whose department had jurisdiction of the PCG, Tan replied: “Yes, sec mar was my immediate superior and he was informed of all my actions. All my text to pnoy and sec del rosario, copy furnished si sec mar.”)


Continue ReadingAquino abandoned Scarborough

Trillanes’ Magdalo putschists behind retired generals’ anti-Duterte group?

A GROUP of a dozen and a half retired generals and colonels calling themselves “Advocates for the National Interest” issued a statement a week ago that tried to spread the colossal lies the Yellows and former magistrate Antonio Carpio have been spreading on the South China Sea dispute.

This mostly septuagenarian lot should do what retired generals of integrity anywhere in the world do, which is to shut their mouths on an incumbent president’s policies and on issues they either know nothing about or are too lazy to study – unless their intention is to spread rumors that there is a coup d’etat in the works.

But that, in fact, may be its aim – wittingly or unwittingly though on the part of its members – or at least to portray President Duterte as a puppet of China among our uniformed men.

The cabal behind this “association,” however, has been so amateurish a few weeks before its statement was released on May 17 that it spread rumors “retired and active generals” were withdrawing their support for President Duterte for his allegedly weak stance against China. That Viber group even claimed Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana were with them.

Convicted mutineer Acedillo (right) said to be behind the ‘retired generals and colonels’ association critical of Duterte’s China policy, with comrades Trillanes and Gary Alejano in New York. FROM A FACEBOOK POST
Convicted mutineer Acedillo (right) said to be behind the ‘retired generals and colonels’ association critical of Duterte’s China policy, with comrades Trillanes and Gary Alejano in New York. FROM A FACEBOOK POST

Continue ReadingTrillanes’ Magdalo putschists behind retired generals’ anti-Duterte group?

Go solar!

THIS is probably the first summer, when my aircons are in full blast most of the day, that I don’t dread the coming of my Meralco bill. You see, I “went solar” a few months ago. I had installed solar panels on my rooftop, and I’m finding it such a delight to see my bill fall steeply.

It is partly my petty way of denying Meralco’s Indonesian owner some profits and partly because my Ateneo classmate, a super salesman, kept bugging me.

Seriously though, the decision was out of sheer rationality. We live in a country that has one of the longest days of sunlight hours per day in the world, about four to five, and we’re near the equator, which brings a huge solar harvest compared to other countries. We would be really stupid not to use that valuable resource when technology has given us the affordable tools to do so.

And to think that in Athens, Greece, where I was ambassador, because it is just two-thirds less sunnier than us, most homes had solar panels for water heating, their cost subsidized by the government. That was 13 years ago.

My investment
My investment

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Israel: America’s Frankenstein, yet valuable, monster

IF you’re not just aghast at Israel’s massacre of Palestinians, including 60 children, in Gaza City through hi-tech weapons but also puzzled at how the civilized world seems impotent to stop this horror, this is the short answer:

Israel has become the Frankenstein monster of the world’s most powerful nation, the United States. It built up the tiny nation economically and militarily starting in the 1960s, viewing it as its proxy and de facto military base in an unfriendly but oil-rich Middle East, which until the 1980s or so were as close to the Soviet Union as the US was.

It is quite shameful for the US, purportedly the beacon of human rights in the world and the champion of the international rule of law, to have blocked in the past days UN Security Council resolutions, calling for a ceasefire in the current Israel-Palestinian war. It is, in fact, the only country in the 15-nation Security Council that did so with even its usual puppets, the United Kingdom and France, refusing to join it in blocking the resolutions. That is unsurprising though: the US, so far, has vetoed 42 Security Council resolutions that Israel didn’t like.

The late Republican senator Jesse Helms had a vivid imagery for Israel, calling it “America’s aircraft carrier in the Middle East.” This “aircraft carrier” has been the biggest recipient of US aid since World War 2, receiving $3 billion annually or totaling $146 billion, from 1967 to 2004. In contrast, the US’ “aircraft carrier” in Southeast Asia — the Philippines until 2016 — has been estimated to have received just $4 billion from the US in the same period.

The respected Washington-based left-of-center Institute for Policy Studies pointed out that Israel has been the US’ surrogate in its wars against radical nationalist movements in Lebanon, Jordan as well as Syria; provided battlefield testing for American arms in its frequent wars; served as conduit for US arms to regimes and movements too unpopular in the US to be granted direct military assistance, such as apartheid in South Africa, the military junta in Guatemala and the Nicaraguan Contras.


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Why the US fooled the ‘Bajo 3’ into losing PH territory

BY “Bajo Three” I mean the three very high-ranked Philippine officials who lost Bajo de Masinloc (also known as Scarborough or Panatag Shoal) because they naively believed in early June 2012 a US official’s lie, he got the Chinese to agree to a simultaneous withdrawal of Chinese and Filipino vessels from the shoal, to end a 10-week stand-off in the area. The three believed him and had our vessels vacate the shoal, leaving the Chinese in control of the shoal — forever as it were.

These three were:
– Our ambassador to the US, Jose Cuisia, who had been told by US assistant state secretary for Asia Kurt Campbell an agreement with the Chinese had been reached

– Then foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario, to whom Cuisia relayed the claim, after which del Rosario ordered, by one account, the Philippine vessels to vacate the area

– Then President Benigno Aquino 3rd to whom del Rosario relayed Cuisia’s claim and who, according to the foreign secretary, had the sole authority to order the vessels out

The US diplomat who fooled Cuisia, del Rosario and Aquino is now Biden’s ‘Asia czar.’ FROM ASIA.NIKKEI REPORT

Continue ReadingWhy the US fooled the ‘Bajo 3’ into losing PH territory