‘For the funds of it’

THERE is one phrase familiar to media people, but which laymen probably have never heard of: “For the funds of it.” I first heard the phrase used at the National Press Club elections long ago, but it actually refers mostly to elections for government posts.

A twist on the more familiar “for the fun of it,” it points to one of the main reasons – other than megalomania – why so many seem to want to run for Philippine electoral posts, even for national posts. It’s an income-generating project.

This column of course was not inspired by the announcement the other day by Senators Panfilo Lacson and Vicente Sotto 3rd of their “firm” decision to run for president and vice president, respectively, in the elections next year.

The phrase describes the strange phenomenon in Philippine elections in which candidates, except for the very rich, end up richer after an election, whether they win or lose. It happens in the following way.

Politicians and government officials in the course of their careers develop friends – okay, let’s call a spade a spade, “clients” – among businessmen and the rich, which they help one way or another because of their political clout or even control over some government office.

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PH the only country in the world without an official map

FOR all the previous Aquino 3rd administration’s fixation (or pretended concern) over Philippine sovereign rights in the South China Sea, as defined by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos), it didn’t bother with actually producing an official map that shows the breadth of both our territorial sea and its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Officially therefore, we still can’t claim where our maritime zones (EEZ and territorial sea) begin and end.

This only confirms my thesis that the Aquino regime and the likes of his foreign secretary Albert del Rosario and foremost Sinophobe Antonio Carpio weren’t really concerned about our nation’s sovereignty and sovereign rights. Carpio’s maps, as well as those presented by the Philippines in the arbitration suit, are therefore spurious in that they are not official maps.

The arbitration they forced on China was really intended to pressure it to agree to – as the then solicitor-general Florin Hilbay only recently confirmed – a joint development for gas and oil extraction in the Reed Bank between the Chinese firm and First Pacific Co. in which, not coincidentally, del Rosario has been an officer for decades.

The US enthusiastically supported the suit against China as it demonized its rival superpower as an expansionist power in the South China Sea. The arbitral panel also ruled that practically most of that sea are international waters, with just islets and rocks entitled only to tiny 12-nautical mile territorial seas – allowing US warships, conventional or nuclear, to roam there as they please, without the need to announce their presence.

Where the Chinese ship was ordered out by the Philippine Coast Guard BY AUTHOR USING GOOGLE EARTH PRO
Where the Chinese ship was ordered out by the Philippine Coast Guard BY AUTHOR USING GOOGLE EARTH PRO
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Abaya must explain hand in hoax-making US firm Simularity

PETER Anthony Abaya, the bro-ther of the late former president Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd’s transport and communications secretary Joseph Abaya, should explain his role in transforming the small tech firm Simularity Inc. into a clever generator of fake news against China in its territorial dispute with the Philippines. This is important to us as a nation, as I hope everyone will realize after reading this column.

The tiny Florida-based tech company, Simularity, in the past week, had gone on a campaign to claim that Chinese vessels were heavily polluting the Union Banks area in the Spratlys with what it outrightly referred to – in its supposed scientific paper – as “poop” and “shit.”

Simularity fake news: not in Spratlys but in Great Barrier Reef; not poop but dredge; and not Chinese but Australian
Simularity fake news: not in Spratlys but in Great Barrier Reef; not poop but dredge; and not Chinese but Australian
Abaya: Who was he the agent of? PHOTO ABS-CBN
Abaya: Who was he the agent of? PHOTO ABS-CBN

The firm cleverly got to spread its fake news through gullible media, notably GMA 7 and Channel 5’s “OneNews,” by posting together with its supposedly objective but questionable analysis a photograph taken from a low-flying airplane of a ship with a brownish trail anyone would conclude, because of the report’s headline, as human waste discharged by the vessel.

The photo, however, was immediately tracked down by an alert netizen as one appearing in Australia’s Daily Mail in 2014 in the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns. The unidentified ship wasn’t even discharging waste. It was undertaking dredging operations with the brown material being the usual sediments at the sea’s bottom.

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Aquino official behind US firm spreading fake news on Chinese activities in SCS

A RANKING official of the past Benigno Aquino 3rd regime is behind the Florida-based Simularity Corp., which has been disseminating black propaganda, though in a very devious manner, against China over its activities in the South China Sea.

The firm, one source claimed, had been contracted by the US State Department to set up a “South China Sea Rapid Alert Forum,” its platform for manufacturing anti-China propaganda using its interpretations of satellite images.

The former Aquino official is Peter Anthony Abaya, the brother of Aquino’s former transportation and communications secretary, Joseph Abaya. Simularity Vice President Peter Konig confirmed in an email that Abaya is a director of the firm.

Abaya’s last posting in the previous government was as general manager of the National Reclamation Authority. He was an undersecretary of the energy department, sources claimed, when the First Pacific-led triad of oligarchs started to lobby the government to allow it to explore and extract gas from the Reed Bank, which China and Vietnam also claim.

The Simularity report with fake photo SCREENGRAB
The Simularity report with fake photo SCREENGRAB
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‘Arbitration victory’ today’s American WMD lie

REMEMBER George W. Bush’s hysterical claim in 2003 that Iraq had horrible “weapons of mass destruction” – WMDs, deadly chemical and biological weapons that could kill millions – which the US and its allies used as an excuse to invade Iraq?

That was one of the most terrible crimes against humanity in our generation. It killed a million Iraqis and triggered the civil wars chaos that continues to this day in that country, in Afghanistan, in Syria, in Yemen and in Libya.

Remember that even the supposedly best newspapers in the world swallowed hook, line and sinker that claim, probably the worst hoaxes ever foisted on humanity in the 21st century? That the New York Times, which a few of my colleagues think is the modern bible, profusely apologized that they were hoodwinked by Bush over WMD, that their coverage was so totally wrong? That an American Pulitzer Prize winner was found to have fabricated her articles on the WMD?

Reading US State Secretary Anthony Blinken’s statement yesterday – as his predecessor last year did – praising the 2016 arbitration “against China,” and making the totally unfounded claim that “China continues to coerce and intimidate Southeast Asian coastal states,” and how, except for a few, the political elite and media are praising it and still can’t see it as a sham, I can only conclude the following:

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Vietnam: Proof that ‘arbitral victory’ is a colossal fraud

A Vietnamese military outpost in the Kalayaan area, after upgrading in June 2016. PHOTO VNEXPRESS.NET
A Vietnamese military outpost in the Kalayaan area, after upgrading in June 2016. PHOTO VNEXPRESS.NET

First of 2 parts

THERE is incontrovertible proof that what the Yellows claim as the country’s “victory” in the compulsory arbitration the Aquino regime brought against China in 2013 is fraudulent: Vietnam claims the Spratlys (Truong Sa to them, Kalayaan Island Group to us) as their sovereign territory, as much as does China (Nansha Qundao).

If, for argument’s sake, the arbitral panel ruled illegal China’s sovereignty in the Spratlys and ordered it to vacate the seven reefs it occupies, on which it built artificial islands, the Philippines still won’t be able to get these. It will have to contend with a fiercer claimant: Vietnam, which claims as much as China does and with as much intense nationalist fervor as the Chinese do.

A very rough analogy would be if an Atty. A convinced you to file a suit against Mr. C to declare him as having no legitimate claim to a land you claim to own. You win the suit, pay huge attorney’s fees, but then you later find out that a Mr. V also has claim, a bigger one, on it. And worse, Atty. A was actually working for Mr. V. You were scammed.

If China vacates the Spratlys, Vietnam would be rushing in to occupy the Chinese-claimed territories and even those that we do. In such an eventuality, do you think United States would help us? Unlikely, as it has been wooing Vietnam since it broke off from the Chinese aegis in 1978. Another war against the Vietnamese? Never, US media would shriek.

The United States and the likes of former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario and foremost Sinophobe Antonio Carpio can’t run to the West claiming a superpower is bullying the Philippines.

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Run, Pacman, run!

AFTER having been very critical of his ambitious plans, I thought about the issue the past few days, and I’ve changed my mind. I’m convinced Sen. Emmanuel “Pacman” Pacquiao should run for the post of President of the Republic.

His candidacy will be good for our democracy and the country’s image, especially globally, which is in tatters because of the US media and their brown minions’ relentless tirades against President Duterte.

For a dirt-poor Filipino to become one of the greatest boxers of all time, and to cap his career by going for the highest post of the land, Pacquiao running for president will show the world that we are such a vibrant democracy, where anybody can vie for the position. The downside to this of course is the possibility that there would be a deluge of young Filipinos going into boxing rather than college, believing they could, like “Pacman,” later in their life get a four-year course in three months.

The silly reportage of US media and by the likes of Maria Ressa, Randy David and Sheila Coronel that we have an authoritarian government will be totally debunked if Pacman runs for president. The Philippines will be the darling of the foreign press, as we will be only the second country after Liberia to have a sports celebrity running for president. (The football star succeeded in Liberia.)

The boxing celebrity TIMES FILE PHOTO
The boxing celebrity TIMES FILE PHOT
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Hilbay rats on Carpio, reveals real aim of suit vs China

INDEED this often happens after a crime, when the gang members disagree among themselves, and they end up ratting on each other.

His shiny ego pricked by former Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio’s thinly veiled criticism of him in his July 1, 2021 Philippine Daily Inquirer column, that he purportedly tried to block the filing of the arbitration case against China,  former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay immediately hit back at Carpio the following day. 

Inadvertently, he disclosed the real goal of the arbitration: To remove the Chinese blocking of certain oligarchs’ natural-gasextraction project in the disputed Reed Bank.

In a self-congratulatory, five-page document he posted in his Facebook wall, Hilbay revealed what I have been claiming in several past columns.  It wasn’t patriotism that drove former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario and Carpio to propose and undertake vigorously the arbitration suit against China.

Carpio and Hilbay: Both probably right.
Carpio and Hilbay: Both probably right.
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Is Pacquiao’s ‘college degree’ fake?

YES, it’s a bogus degree, at least based on the information so far available, unless Sen. Manuel Pacquiao and the University of Makati (UMak) that issued his degree explain otherwise.

In December 2019, Pacquiao was awarded by the UMak a bachelor of science degree in political science, after a year’s study (not three months) at that institution. UMak’s president at the time was Abigail Binay, also Makati’s mayor, after its longtime president Tomas Lopez passed away in February 2019.

UMak, however, is not authorized to issue the kind of bachelor’s degree that was given to the senator.

Under existing laws on education, the only way to skirt the four-year course (four years, because it humanly takes that long to complete the 120 to 130 college units required) for a bachelor’s degree is through the so-called Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP).

The boxing champion with his questionable degree.
The boxing champion with his questionable degree.
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Never again such crimes and hoaxes

Last of 3 parts

THE late Benigno Aquino 3rd’s predecessors all made huge errors and even committed crimes against the nation. But Aquino’s were so incontrovertible and even horrible that his thank-you-Noynoy fawners do not even bother to contest most of these allegations.

What I find so despicable is that several of these crimes were disguised as noble projects, which Aquino and his cabal managed to get the media, the Church and Congress to support.

Journalism, as they say, is a rough draft of history. I am presenting my draft, and I dare the Yellows to contest this, and I commit to presenting their responses in this space.

These crimes and hoaxes, just one of which would be enough for history to condemn Aquino, are as follows.

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