Yellows silent on Malaysian grab of PH territory

THE Yellows keep ranting that President Duterte hasn’t continued to quarrel with the superpower China to assert our sovereign rights in our exclusive economic zone — ignorant of, or rejecting the fact that not just China, but Vietnam and Taiwan are claiming not just rights but sovereignty over those areas our EEZ encompasses. Thus, as Duterte succinctly put it, “China is claiming it. We are claiming it.”

The hypocrisy — or ignorance, feigned or not — of former Foreign Affairs secretary Albert del Rosario and their resource person former Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio, is obvious in the fact that while they have been livid, or pretended to be livid, over China’s alleged aggressiveness in the South China Sea, they have been inexplicably quiet in their hundreds of statements — even in Carpio’s book — over the brazen grab by Malaysia of Philippine territory.

And I’m not referring to Sabah.

Two presidents — Corazon Aquino and Joseph Estrada — could do nothing to stop the seizure of four reefs in our sovereign territory, the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) and an island in our EEZ by Malaysia, which at that time was, so to speak, in our weight class.

Malaysia’s seizure of PH territories: Celerio (Swallow) Reef in 1986, which is within our EEZ, Antonio Luna (Ardasier) Reef in April 1986, Mariveles Reef in November 1986, Pawikan (Investigator) Shoal and Gabriela Silang (Erica) Reef in April 1999. PREPARED BY AUTHOR USING NAMRIA OFFICIAL MAP

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Yellow zombie ideas on our China dispute

PRESIDENT Duterte’s comments on our disputes with China over the South China Sea in his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA) have resuscitated Yellow zombie ideas.

That phrase was coined by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, who titled the latest collection of his columns, Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future.

“Zombie ideas,” he explained, are “ideas that should have been killed by contrary evidence, but instead keep shambling along, eating people’s brains.”

Such a huge zombie idea is the Yellow claim that the arbitration suit against China that the Aquino 3rd government filed in 2013, the award for which was handed down in 2016, was a victory in that it upheld our territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea.

Different names, different claims for the same territory. MAPS FROM THE TWO COUNTRIES, PHILIPPINE MAP BY AUTHOR USING GOOGLE EARTH PRO

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Duterte takes on, or vows to take on, the oligarchs

PRESIDENT Duterte’s fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) is historic in that it is the first to make a clarion call for the country to fight the scourge of oligarchy, one of the obstacles to becoming a developed nation. How difficult and messy that could be has been demonstrated in the battle against, and defeat of, the Lopez oligarchic clan.

Even if he fails in this agenda, Duterte has undoubtedly made what before was an obscure academic term, part of this country’s political discourse, to inspire future leaders to take on the challenge.


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Suit vs China: Oligarchs’ last resort to salvage their gas project in Spratlys

A DISGUSTING penchant of the Yellows, even its oligarchs, has been to claim that their troubles are not just their own, but of others. The Lopez oligarchs claim their fight is that of ABS-CBN Corp.’s 11,000 employees and of the network’s millions of viewers. Maria Ressa claims that it is not she that the government has prosecuted for libel and tax evasion but the Press. Always, “Hindi sila nag-iisa.”

The most repulsive of such claims was the previous Yellow regime’s assertion that the suit it brought against China in 2013 over disputed claims to exclusive economic zones in the South China Sea, was the “Filipinos’ fight to assert the country’s sovereignty” against what former Foreign Affairs secretary Albert del Rosario said was the bully in Asia — China.

Del Rosario was really speaking not for you and me, but for the Indonesian-owned First Pacific Co. Ltd. Del Rosario had been for nearly two decades a director of First Pacific and/or its biggest subsidiaries such as PLDT Inc. and Metro Pacific Investment Corp.

Indonesian Salim, Razon and del Rosario: Was del Rosario speaking for them? PHOTOS FROM ANNUAL REPORTS

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Two oligarchs triggered our quarrel with China

TALK about the power of the oligarchy, and by “oligarch” I mean not just any magnate but one who has the capacity to get a state agency to do what he wants for his particular business project.

This particular case involves not just one oligarch but two, a foreign one and a Filipino one. What they got the Republic to do — through two administrations — was so significant that it nearly got us into a shooting war with the superpower in our part of the world, China.

This explains why after 10 years that Philippine-China relations flourished despite the two countries’ disputes over the Spratlys, these quite suddenly broke down in 2011.

What was being fought over: the Sampaguita Field in the Reed Bank in the contested Spratlys. Map by author using Google Earth Pro

For all its declarations of nationalist fervor in asserting Philippine sovereignty, the Aquino 3rd administration’s antagonistic stance toward China and its 2013 suit against the superpower in an international venue was triggered by a mammoth business project launched in 2008 by the First Pacific Co., one of the biggest public-utility and infrastructure conglomerates in the Philippines.

China dashed their dreams to become South China Sea oil giants: the Indonesian Salim, his CEO Pangilinan and Razon. Photos from First Pacific and International Container Terminal Services annual reports

Container-port billionaire Enrique Razon Jr., who got a 30-percent stake in this project, played a crucial role in getting that project launched.


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Arbitration ruling opened us to Chinese or Vietnamese military aggression in South China Sea

IT is sickening for the previous Yellow regime, especially its Foreign secretary Albert del Rosario, and just recently President Rodrigo Duterte’s present Defense and Foreign Affairs secretaries to be flag-waving in claiming that the arbitration suit President Benigno Aquino 3rd had filed against China was a “victory” for the Philippines.

The truth – if Duterte’s officials would just bother to study the award and read international law experts’ voluminous analyses on it (rather than reports of United States media) – is that it severely damaged our national interests on such a scale that Aquino and del Rosario could be deemed to have committed treason.

I discussed in last Friday’s column that the arbitration award degraded our islands in the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) into mere “rocks” not entitled to exclusive economic zones, which could have meant – if not for the award – expansive maritime areas for the country four times bigger than the size of Luzon.

But the worst ruling of the award that has put the Philippines in a situation of clear and present danger is this: it made us vulnerable to Chinese or Vietnamese military operations to control our claimed territory within the KIG, which they claim – way before Ferdinand Marcos did in 1978 – as part of their sovereign territory.

It was really stupid for the Aquino-del Rosario lawyers to have asked the tribunal to rule as illegal Chinese ships’ attempts in May 2013 to block Philippine vessels from providing supplies to our 12-man Marine detachment in Second Thomas (Ayungin) Shoal living in the BRP Sierra Madrewreck.


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Locsin and Lorenzana so terribly misinformed about PH vs China arbitration

IF President Duterte has foreign affairs and defense department secretaries who demonstrate astonishing nescience over a very important matter as the Philippines vs China arbitration, he should be very worried.

Do you really want to implement the award? Left, without the award, Pag-Asa’s potential EEZ (red circle) encompassing nearly half of the South China Sea. Right, implementing the award: only a tiny territorial sea (tiny small circle). BY THE AUTHOR USING GOOGLE EARTH PRO

If the two officials echo almost verbatim the belligerent statements against China exploiting the arbitration award of Kelly Kraft, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, last June 1, and the more recent one of  Secretary of State Michael Pompeo — which are really just part of  President Trump’s recent attempts at distracting his nation from his catastrophic failure  to deal with the coronavirus pandemic — he should be very concerned.


Continue Reading Locsin and Lorenzana so terribly misinformed about PH vs China arbitration