Category: Manila Times Columns

Bring case vs China to UN? Are they crazy?

FORMER Supreme Court justice Francis Jardeleza is proposing that the July 2016 ruling of the Hague arbitral panel on our territorial disputes with China be brought before the United Nations, this newspaper reported the other day — strangely the only one to do so.

Jardeleza echoed the insistence recently of former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario – under whose watch we lost Scarborough Shoal because he believed a US diplomat’s lie* — that the Duterte government should also do the same.

Such a proposal is crazier than the Aquino government’s move itself in 2013 to drag China into arbitration proceedings over our territorial disputes, which the superpower refused to participate in.

If not for Duterte’s bold move — and Filipinos’ immense trust in him that his policy was largely unchallenged — to shelve the ruling of a panel dominated by Europeans, we would have been isolated in East Asia as the only nation hostile to the military and economic superpower in the region. Continue reading

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Robredo: Our worst and most useless vice president ever

TO very clearly see why Leonor Robredo — the Yellow Cult’s last pathetic attempt to create a false idol — has been the Republic’s worst vice president, one just has to remember our past vice presidents.

In comparison to these, she is an intellectual and political pygmy.

Let’s start with the most recent one. Jejomar Binay had been Makati mayor for six terms, and despite the Yellows’ intense campaign to paint him as corrupt in the past elections, his role in Makati’s growth as the country’s premier financial district is incontestable.

Even as he won the vice presidential post in 2010 against the Yellows, he helped President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd as chairman of the Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). He was also presidential adviser for OFW concerns and head of the Task Force OFW, which assisted OFWs who were maltreated by their employers to return to the Philippines with the assistance of the government.

Did he spend his time criticizing his president, to the extent of sending messages to the United Nations and other bodies abroad full of lies about the current administration? No.

His predecessor was Noli de Castro, one of the country’s most successful broadcast journalists who helped President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s often beleaguered administration survive the intense Yellow propaganda against her. For six years, he ably managed the country’s housing program as HUDCC chairman.

Teofisto Guingona had been a veteran senator for 12 years, an executive secretary and justice secretary. In the first year of the Arroyo administration, he had been a voice of wisdom in the Cabinet, and was its foreign secretary. He resigned in 2002, as he was often at odds with Arroyo’s foreign affairs policy. He did support the Yellow opposition, especially after the so-called “Hello Garci” scandal broke out.

Our recent vice presidents: one is so different.

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Rappler shows how US online technology can manipulate PH public opinion

SEVERAL people — including those based in North America who rely on the Internet for assessing what’s really happening in the country — have asked the same question: “Why is it that when I google a particular topic, I often get Rappler articles high on its results list, and when I read the articles, they are mostly either short pieces without much information, or biased against the government?”

Try it yourself; google “Duterte war vs drugs.” After the Wikipedia entry there, the entry “Duterte war on drug news and updates” in Rappler’s website is high up in the google results. This leads not just to one article but to Rappler’s list (with the links to the articles themselves) of its articles on this topic, all containing the news site’s line that Duterte’s war on drugs has resulted in “thousands of innocent lives” lost.

No wonder US media, and even those in the West, believe the portrayal by Rappler head Maria Ressa and her Yellow allies that we are in the darkest of ages, with our streets littered with bodies killed by Duterte’s death squads. Why wouldn’t they, lazy journalists that many of them are, when they just rely on Rappler’s reportage, which is listed high in Google searches?

Google “Bongbong Marcos” and high up in the results list is the similar “Bongbong marcos news and updates” containing a list of Rappler articles on Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Rappler hates me as I have exposed its lies, its fraudulent claim that it is being suppressed by government, and that it is being funded by US entities, patently in violation of our Constitution.

Google “Rigoberto Tiglao,” and No. 1 in the search results is not my own website, but Rappler’s “Rigoberto Tiglao news and updates,” which contains a list of the news site’s ad hominem arguments against me, its sorry attempts at debunking my reports, like one astonishingly claiming that “foreign funding of media isn’t a problem.” (If it isn’t, why did the Constitution expressly prohibit it?)

What’s going on?

You see, crucial in getting information in the internet is the search engine, the biggest of which is now Google, followed by Bing, Yahoo, and the new one, duckduckgo. These search engines “crawl” the millions of websites to give you what is purportedly the most relevant and most useful websites (and their postings) on the topic you are researching on.

How Rappler manipulates Google so you’ll read what it wants you to read

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PDI in trouble with P400-M losses last year; plans to close print edition

THE Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), which has been practically the official organ of the Yellow Cult since 1986, is falling on very hard times. It suffered a loss after tax of P320 million in 2017, from its profit of P20 million in the previous year, according to its management in its stockholders meeting on June 8, 2018.

Sources in the company claimed that the newspaper’s finances hemorrhaged profusely last year to reach P400 million — hidden partly, however, by the P140 million sale of its property.

What fudged PDI’s bottom line for 2018 though was it owners’ move to hollow out the firm: they sold in November 2018 its main asset, its 2,000-square-meter (sqm) Makati property, including the building. That leaves such things as its brand name, its reporters, and mostly anti-Duterte columnist as its assets —which, however, many would even consider as negative assets.

In response to its financial crisis, the newspaper’s President Alexandra Prieto told the board members at its meeting on Nov. 21, 2018 that PDI would have to “fully migrate to digital mode” in four years and end its print edition.

The sale of the Makati property, where its offices and press sit, for P140 million was intended to avoid the red in its bottom line, and, according to Prieto, to raise funds for “new revenue-creating” projects.

Print edition
Both of these two management responses to the newspaper’s plight are very risky. The newspaper’s digital edition is totally owned by another company, Inquirer Interactive. Its plan to cease its print edition — which employs the personnel that produces the internet-edition’s content — raises serious questions on these employees’ future. Any Inquirer Interactive revenues would go to its owners, not to PDI as corporation, which is the entity that pays the employees who produce the news content.

Hard times for the favorite newspaper of Noynoy and Leni. (From stockholder’s complaint.)

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Duterte ushers in a new era: An independent foreign policy

PRESIDENT Duterte’s official trip last week to Russia combined with his two visits to China — both adversaries to the US in different degrees at different times and different spheres — marks the dawning of a new era for our nation: Independence from the US, which has subjugated the country in various forms since it aborted our freedom at the turn of the century.

Unless the Yellow Cult manages by some miracle to grab power and reverse Duterte’s assertion of our sovereignty, that is. After all, the Yellow Cult’s founders Ninoy and his widow, President Cory, as well as their son Noynoy, were so slavish to the US.

Think about it. The President’s official visits abroad signal our stance in our relationship to the world, and especially to its superpowers. In the case of Corazon Aquino, the dust of the EDSA Revolution had hardly settled before she made her first official visit to the US, practically acknowledging her indebtedness to the Americans for putting her in power. Her son Benigno 3rd’s first trip abroad as a president was to the US, a few months after he assumed power.

Has Duterte visited the US? No, and I don’t think he ever will, the first Philippine president who would not “report” as a vassal to the superpower.

Duterte’s two visits to China made him an easy target of the Yellows’ black propaganda, that he was the Asian superpower’s puppet. However, his forging of close ties to Russia last week, given the existing strong economic and cultural ties with the US, put us equidistant, as it were, to the world’s three competing superpowers, a pose that announces to the world: “The Philippines cannot be a vassal of any state,” an assertion depicted in an inspired Manila Times editorial cartoon.

Duterte in fact announced his “pivot” to independence early in his administration. In his first visit to China in October 2016, in of all places, Beijing, he said in a speech at a forum in the Great Hall of the People, attended by Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli: “In this venue, your honors, I announce my separation from the United States…Both in military, not maybe social, but economics also. America has lost.”

Manila Times cartoon

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Summon Roxas, Purisima over drug recycling issue

IT’s a bit difficult to understand why the usually intrepid and intelligent Sen. Richard Gordon, the head of the Senate blue ribbon committee, in his investigation of the reselling of captured illegal drugs, hasn’t gone on to summon former interior and local government secretary Mar Roxas and the then Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima to shed light on this sordid crime.

They were in charge of the PNP when this crime — the pilferage of seized shabu worth hundreds of millions of pesos, and their resale to drug lords — was discovered and came to public view. Yet the two did nothing.

It is a bit suspicious that attention — and the lynch mob — so far has focused on PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde, who will be retiring next month. It is bizarre that media has been reporting the recycling of seized illegal drugs by rogue police, dubbed “ninja cops,” as if this crime happened just yesterday.

You see, this ninja cops thing happened nine years ago in November 2013, when Albayalde was chief of the Pampanga regional police, and 13 of his men were accused of recycling drugs by then Police Supt. (Col.) Benjamin Magalong, the head at the time of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG). Nine years later, last week, Magalong claimed in the Senate investigation that Albayalde, instead of implementing a dismissal order against the cops, deferred it and then got them to be reassigned to Mindanao.

P648 million
The Pampanga cops, led by then Col. Rodney Baloyo, allegedly made off with some 160 kilograms of shabu, worth about P648 million at the time, following an anti-drug operation on alleged Chinese drug lord Johnson Lee.

They were in charge of PNP when ‘ninja cops’ emerged. PNA PHOTO

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Why the Lopezes fought Marcos, and helped the communist fronts

Second of a series on the Scalice revelations
WITH the franchise for the Lopez clan’s ABS-CBN broadcasting network still in limbo, it would be very informative to look at this oligarch’s history, why it fought Marcos (and was depicted after his fall as noble pro-democracy tycoons) and how powerful its media empire was, so formidable that only Marcos’ martial law could stop it.

What follows are not my claims, but a narrative on the Lopezes from a meticulously researched PhD dissertation by Joseph Scalice, submitted as a requirement for his doctorate at the University of California in Berkeley.

Scalice writes:
“Like Marcos, Vice President Fernando Lopez was reelected in the 1969 elections but in the immediate aftermath of the election, Lopez and Marcos had a falling out with explosive political consequences. Noted historian Lewis Gleeck stated that, ‘The relationship of President Marcos, the political sovereign, and the Lopez brothers, the economic giants, was always an uneasy one … In the beginning, each needed the other, but in the end only one, of course, could be top dog.’ The Lopezes were not to be taken lightly, as Benigno Aquino Jr. made clear in his apt description of their political influence:

“‘The Lopezes are the only family that has consistently stayed on the fringes of power since 1945, when they came to power with Roxas. Consistently they have been the giant killers. Consistently they have been the manipulators of political balances in this country. When they abandoned Quirino and the Liberal Party in the 1950s, there was a stampede out. When they joined the Magsaysay bandwagon in the 1960s, they forced Garcia down.

Marcos maneuver: His peace offer to the Lopezes – in May 1972. (From Raul Rodrigo, 2007)

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PhD thesis details Ninoy Aquino’s collaboration with Communist Party/NPA

First of a series on the Scalice revelations
THE Yellows’ martyr Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino, Jr. was crucial in the founding and growth of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA). Aquino, until his arrest when martial law was declared in 1972, supported the CPP-NPA as one of his weapons to topple his arch-enemy Ferdinand Marcos.

This is among the many explosive conclusions and details of a 2017 PhD dissertation by Joseph Scalice at the University of California, Berkeley, entitled Crisis of Revolutionary Leadership: Martial Law and the Communist Parties of the Philippines, 1957-1974.

The 800-page thesis is replete with encyclopedic information not just on the old pro-Soviet Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) and Jose Ma. Sison’s pro-China Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). Scalice reveals surprising details on political figures of that era that would shock the Yellows and the Reds.

Scalice appears to have spent years on his thesis, poring over nearly every written material on the insurgency as well as interviewing participants in the “revolutionary struggle” (or at least those willing to be interviewed). His native fluency in Tagalog (he spoke the language since he was five, he says in his CV) enabled him to read the mountain of papers in the so-called Radical Papers at the UP library, an archive of all materials on the revolutionary struggle.

It would be difficult to question Scalice’s objectivity in his conclusions on Aquino: He is married to the daughter of Herminio Aquino, Ninoy’s uncle who had been a political pillar of the Yellows in Tarlac. Herminio was even one of the people he dedicated his thesis to, writing “To Herminio Aquino, isang tunay na Ama kahit ako’y manugang lamang,” in honor of his kindness and boundless hospitality. Technically, Ninoy is the thesis writer’s nephew-in-law, isn’t he?

Was it actually Marcos vs the Aquino-Sison tandem? SOURCE: GOVT ARCHIVES

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Caguioa draft decision leaked to pressure Supreme Court

IT is astonishing how the Yellows — incontestably rejected by the nation as demonstrated in the past senatorial elections when they failed to get a single seat — are still trying to impose their will on the country.

This time, they are pressuring the Supreme Court, which is the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) that will decide on Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s electoral protest against Maria Leonor Robredo for the vice-presidential seat, to bow to the apparently rushed draft decision by Justice Benjamin Caguioa to dismiss the case.

The Yellows are doing this by leaking Caguioa’s draft to their operators in social media, and to a Philippine Star columnist who summarized its contents in his column yesterday. Caguioa’s draft could have come only from him, as Supreme Court staff are mostly career people who wouldn’t dare risk their positions. Caguioa appears to have rushed the report, submitting it September 10, in the hope that the Supreme Court will vote on it, before Justice Francis Jardeleza, another former Aquino official who would likely support his recommendation, retired on September 26. The high court, however, decided to postpone deliberation on Caguioa’s draft, as the justices still needed to study the case.

Marcos had filed last year a petition, dismissed by the PET, for Caguioa to inhibit himself as ponente, or member in charge of the case, as he was not only former President Aquino’s justice secretary but his school buddy from grade school to college.

Not only that, Marcos claimed that Caguioa’s wife Pier-Angela Caguioa actively campaigned for Robredo in 2016, and her messages in a Viber group show her partiality towards the Vice President. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if Mrs. Caguioa is regularly briefing Robredo on what’s happening with case, with Robredo in turn briefing her lawyers.

Caguioa (center) with his former boss (left) and wife. And he decides if the Yellow vice presidential candidate really won?

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Human rights abuses under Marcos and Cory: Same

SINCE the fall of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, it has been an unchallenged dogma that one of the Martial Law period’s most horrid aspects was its human rights abuses. This again is another instance of that adage being proven true: “The victors write the history.”

The data even in an anti-Marcos book, Rebellion and Repression in the Philippines (Yale University, 1989) by academic Richard Kessler, however, show that human rights abuses during the Corazon “Cory” Aquino regime was just as bad as Marcos’ record. Ironically, Kessler’s data have been the basis of the oft-repeated claims by a more rabid anti-Marcos American historian, Alfred McCoy, that the human rights abuses during the Marcos regime were worse than those in the infamous Latin American dictatorships.

McCoy wrote, “Marcos’ tally of 3,257 killed exceeds those under the Brazilian and Chilean dictatorships.” That 3,257 number had become the most-used figure to allege the ruthlessness of the Marcos rule.

Quite ironically, Kessler presented his data in his book published in 1989, in order to hammer his point that that human rights abuses had not at all subsided even when Cory assumed power until 1988, the last year for which data was available. Continue reading

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