Are anti-Aquino forces playing into the hands of China in the Mamasapano debacle?

panatag shoal canadian inquirer

Panatag Shoal (Scarborough) before Chinese eviction [Photo source: canadian inquirer]

By Yvonne

Let me start by stating that I expected a public outcry on the Mamasapano debacle due to the unprecedented loss of lives among our PNP-SAF personnel who were on a mission to capture, or neutralize, high value terrorists. The chance to get three long-wanted, violent criminals in a single police operation was a rare opportunity that was hard for the authorities not to take action on.

I agree that there were failures in the execution of the mission because of some unexpected factors. But I expected that after President Aquino took responsibility for the failures, and received public rebuked on the matter, the country would move on and tackle other pressing national problems, one of which is the continuing aggressive and provocative incursions of China into our territorial waters.

What I was not expecting is the orchestrated and persistent efforts to find fault in the President to the extent that some quarters are demanding for his resignation or impeachment regardless of his presidency ending next year. Considering that Aquino acted in good faith, that the mission was hampered by the ceasefire between the AFP and MILF forces, and that any operation against armed combatants is extremely dangerous – factors that are mitigating his missteps – it is disturbing that some quarters are actively participating in the destabilization of our government that plays into the hands of China.

It must be pointed out that many of Aquino’s critics belong to activist groups with attention-grabbing “nationalistic” names, or to vested-interest groups that are allied to his political opponents. These groups are very vocal in criticizing the President, yet they never raise a voice to protest China’s incursions into our territorial waters, nor did they condemn any of the discredited politicians whose corruption cases are now filing up at the Sandiganbayan.

If these critics were after good governance, why did they not ask Vice-President Binay to resign also when “a special panel of investigators formed by the Ombudsman filed a complaint for graft, malversation and violation of the procurement law against the Vice President, his son Makati Mayor Junjun Binay and 22 others for the anomalous P2.2-billion car park project”?

What are the real motives of these critics in their never-ending quests to find fault in the President? If there were an orchestrated move to destabilize our national government, could China be drum-rolling that orchestra? If China provided financial support to terrorist groups in the Philippines, would it be far-fetched to think that China might be exploiting the unrest over the Mamasapano debacle for its benefit? These are valid questions because China has a history of playing high-stakes political poker in our country.

For instance, there was an intelligence report that international terrorist Zulkifli Abdhir, aka Marwan, allegedly received financial support from China through his Tunisian “facilitator”. China’s alleged financial support to terrorists in our country is also mentioned in the U.S. Warrant of Arrest for Rahmat and Zulkifli stating that ‘on or about September 6, 2006, Rahmat Abdhir sent an e-mail to Zulkifli Abdhir in which he told him, “I told the CHINESE guy to deposit eight thousand. He asked which account you want to use for the deposit.’ (The capitalization is mine.)

Indeed, China stands to benefit from the continued armed internal conflict in Maguindanao and the distraction it brings to our national leadership. While the government is busy pacifying the unrest, and while President Aquino is distracted parrying the efforts to destabilize his administration, China is quietly increasing its intrusion into our territorial waters virtually unchallenged by our government whose military has been spread thin and confined to maintaining our national security from internal threats, as opposed to securing our defense capability against external threats.

I believe that many of Aquino’s critics, those not motivated by partisanship, do not fully realize the rationale behind his actions such as the urgency given to the Mamasapano operation, and his strong push for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). They do not realize that aside from his desire to find lasting peace in Maguindanao, he needs to realign quickly the AFP from being mainly a protector of our internal security to the new reality of being a workhorse of our national defense to face China’s flexing of military power and continuing provocation.

Diplomacy dictates that President Aquino has to dial down his pronouncements on matters of national policy and strategy so as not to escalate the already heightened political tension between the Philippines and China. The fight against terrorism and the passage of BBL have taken center stage because the resources of the AFP have to be realigned to the needs of our national defense. China stands to benefit if Aquino’s policy and strategy on the war on terrorism and the passage of BBL fail because our AFP will be bogged down indefinitely in fighting internal threats, rather than facing external threats from a foreign power.

This new political reality is the subject of discussion by Senator Richard Lugar with the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate. The report on the Asia-Pacific “Rebalancing” Initiative, issued on December 17, 2012, states in part:

“In recent weeks, President Aquino announced agreement between the government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to end a 40-year insurgency which has killed as many as 200,000 people and discouraged investors from the mineral-rich area in Mindanao. If the framework agreement endures, military resources committed to Mindanao will be available for other assignments. At the present time, the improved security situation in Mindanao has allowed the Philippine government to modify the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) from internal security of the country to national defense. This is especially significant given the crisis in the South China Sea where a confrontation commenced in mid-April. Philippine ships sought to stop Chinese fishermen from harvesting coral and protected marine species at the reef, claimed by both the Philippines and China. Even though Philippine ships withdrew from the area, Chinese ships have maintained a continual presence creating an ongoing point of irritation with the Philippines.”

“Philippine defense modernization efforts and attention to external threats have increased the government’s openness to greater security engagement with the United States. The Aquino administration sees the U.S.-Philippine alliance as providing a defense against potential external threats. Maritime security, domain awareness, and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief are key areas of potential cooperation between the two countries.”

As a closing thought, the threat to our national security does not always come in the form of armed incursion into our sovereign territory. It may come in the form of covert operation to undermine our government to serve the interest of a foreign power. The question may be asked then: What do we make out of those people who are very vocal in putting down President Aquino on the Mamasapano debacle, yet never raised a voice against China’s provocative and aggressive incursions into our territorial water?

 

Comments
286 Responses to “Are anti-Aquino forces playing into the hands of China in the Mamasapano debacle?”
  1. karl garcia says:

    We are sitting ducks.We fight them we are gone in 60 Seconds.We do not want joint exploration wih China.What do we do?

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Quack. What else.

    • Joe America says:

      Disguise ourselves as barnacles and sink their boats in the middle of the night. Make it too costly to hold onto the rocks and too costly to attack.

      • karl garcia says:

        The SEAL equivalent for our NAVY is called SWAG this time Volt Gazmin will take charge and make sure they Would not be late.This message will self destruct so the Chinese can’t read it.

    • anon says:

      Or let’s just fight each other, that would more fun. We are expert on it, we have been doing since Mahoma’s time (panahon ni Mahoma, haha!)..

      • karl garcia says:

        That is Mahoma’s weather,too.

        • karl garcia says:

          China is one of the oldest civilizations all they have to do is to produce a mummified scroll to change all history and claim that they were here even before Adam was created.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Panahon ni Mahoma – the time of Mohammed when Islam reached until Manila, just before the Spanish conquest.

        The Philippines has always been the ball played by others and never a player in its own right, if it does not become a player now it will be totally divided by the other players like I wrote in my Tipping Point article. Especially because of all this infighting which the other players are watching and using to their own advantage. They were divided among themselves, therefore we conquered them, said a Spanish chronicler.

        • karl garcia says:

          They say that Abraham was an ancestor of Mohammed thtough Ishmael.Before they reached Sulu The Hindus were already here,before that there were already lumads…a ball used by tennis players? To be a player you must become a ball boy.now that the ball has become a boy he can now play.

    • PinoyinUSA says:

      Reading the article, what comes to mind is
      how many percent is true,
      how many percent is assumptions,
      how many percent is speculation.

      The article is very well written, but it should be check for accuracy.
      People tends to play emotionalism and nationalism that leads to destruction like Iraq war.
      What is the the truth? What is the best practical approach?

      China, Japan and South Korea are having security crisis management ministerial meeting now.
      Why can’t the Philippines have diplomatic dialogue and negotiation? Why go around the issue? With US and Japan, will they help for free? With Vietnam, it makes sense.
      Ultimately diplomacy dialogue and negotiation will happen.

      Just a nickel opinion…….

      • karl garcia says:

        Trilateral cooperation.Good! About three years has past since the last one. North Korea is a common problem which affects all of us,including the US. Thanks for the update.

      • yvonne says:

        Yes, we are using diplomacy and legal means to settle our dispute with China peacefully.

        If you noticed in the right panel of this page there is a link titled: “The Republic of the Philippines v. The People’s Republic of China”

        That link will brings you to an external page where you can read, among other things:

        ‘ On 22 January 2013, the Republic of the Philippines instituted arbitral proceedings against the People’s Republic of China under Annex VII to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (the “Convention”), “with respect to the dispute with China over the maritime jurisdiction of the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea.” On 19 February 2013, China presented a Note Verbale to the Philippines in which it described “the Position of China on the South China Sea issues,” and rejected and returned the Philippines’ Notification. ‘

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          It may not be enough if China just ignores it.

          Actually I just had a crazy idea – if China can send “fishermen”, we can do similar things.

          It would have been more productive if the Sultan of Sulu had sent his Royal Army to the Spratleys instead of to Sabah. Just thinking aloud: why not make one of the conditions for the BBL that the MILF reconquers the Spratleys for us? They are good fighters already.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            I mean they have shed Filipino blood, so they can atone for that by fighting FOR the Philippines.

            The warrior Scots fought the English under Braveheart, but nowadays the Scottish highland regiment is one of the strongest troops the British have to offer.

            The South lost against the North in the civil war, but many Southerners including the McArthurs chose US military careers.

            The Igorots under Balweg fought Marcos, yet 1/3 of the brave SAF 44 were Igorots.

            OR: send basaguleros from Muntinglupa to occupy the Spratleys, but with obvious plausible deniability, like the Russian soldiers “on leave” who occupied Crimea.. 🙂

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              http://www.bartleby.com/36/1/13.html but Macchiavelli cautions us all here:

              Charles VII, the father of Louis XI, who by his good fortune and valour freed France from the English, saw this necessity of strengthening himself with a national army, and drew up ordinances regulating the service both of men-at-arms and of foot soldiers throughout his kingdom. But afterwards his son, King Louis, did away with the national infantry, and began to hire Swiss mercenaries. Which blunder having been followed by subsequent Princes, has been the cause, as the result shows, of the dangers into which the kingdom of France has fallen; for, by enhancing the reputation of the Swiss, the whole of the national troops of France have been deteriorated. For from their infantry being done away with, their men-at-arms are made wholly dependent on foreign assistance, and being accustomed to co-operate with the Swiss, have grown to think they can do nothing without them. Hence the French are no match for the Swiss, and without them cannot succeed against others…

              If we look for the causes which first led to the overthrow of the Roman Empire, they will be found to have had their source in the employment of Gothic mercenaries, for from that hour the strength of the Romans began to wane and all the virtue which went from them passed to the Goths. And, to be brief, I say that without national arms no Princedom is safe, but on the contrary is wholly dependent on Fortune, being without the strength that could defend it in adversity. And it has always been the deliberate opinion of the wise, that nothing is so infirm and fleeting as a reputation for power not founded upon a national army, by which I mean one composed of subjects, citizens, and dependents, all others being mercenary or auxiliary.

              • karl garcia says:

                This might lead to Charles V telling Felipe No because he is a naughty kid, and you are a naughty Filipino.

    • yvonne says:

      I don’t think we will actually be engaged in a shooting war with China, not anytime soon anyway. I think the next war will be fought not in armed confrontation but in terms of creating social and economic upheavals with the opposing parties trying to bring down the infrastructures of the other – disrupting each other’s commerce and industry, paralyzing their banking and telecommunications, stopping power grids and water supply, etc. The weapons of choice would not be missiles with nuclear warheads but powerful computers manned by highly skilled experts with nasty hacking skills.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        The social media aspect is also very important. I have seen how Putin’s Russia was very prepared for the social media war regarding Ukraine – virtual armies of well-briefed people posting in the comment sites of European newspapers with very “perfect” arguments.

        I don’t think China is so very interested in the Philippines yet – if they were, there would be a very noticeable social media offensive. What is happening now is purely local groups and local emotions, not much more. If they want to start they will do it just like Russia.

        • PinoyinUSA says:

          I Agree PIE, social media like here in Joeam platform is very important medium of intellectual exchanges. Excellent! Transparency of the truth will keep the news current, very healthy for maturing good government and diplomacy which the Philippines needs today. Our need for the Philippines is good government and peace, not war. We have enough of political war, corruptions, now expanding SCS conflict. All these are hindrances to development and peace for us.

          I will research how the South China Sea dispute started. What is the truth? Will inviting US solve the problem? Will UNCLOS arbitration work? What are the given facts?

        • yvonne says:

          If I remembered right, not too long ago when some heated words were exchange between the Philippines and China, the websites of some government agencies were attacked allegedly by Chinese hackers and we responded in kind. That would be akin to testing one’s “artilleries.”

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Definitely. There was major Chinese hacker attack on German government offices just a few years ago. After that attack, all institutions in charge of critical infrastructures are now required to have a responsible person reporting to the Federal Office for Information Technology Security (Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik) about measures to protect information technology from being hacked. I can imagine that they already have devised reaction plans just in case a serious cyberattack is conducted.

            I have heard – and I believe that it is true, because it fits into the German way of planning things – that Munich police have a full evac plan for the city in case of invasion. So it is very plausible that plans have been made for cyberattacks by China or Russia.

            Russian planes have regularly been crossing MORE into NATO airspace since the Ukraine crisis to test alertness, causing many European NATO countries to discuss how ready they actually are in case of attack – and probably take countermeasures to be ready.

            On the other hand, there have been official protests lodged toward senior partner USA by Germany because of NSA espionage, including a phone tap on Chancellor Merkels mobile from straight out of the highly fortified American Embassy in Berlin. That also happens…

            Be ready for attacks that come, have senior partners to help but DO NOT trust them too much, they have their own power interests. USA has for example playing out differences between Eastern and Western Europe to weaken the EU politically. Part of the big game.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              BTW Espionage even happens between Germany and Switzerland. To catch tax evaders, the BND (CIA equivalent) paid informers within Swiss banks to leak CDs with account information and names, to be given to tax investigators.

              The informers (one was Swiss, the other was a Swiss-Iranian guy who needed money because a Czech gold digger cleaned him out) both got heavy jail sentences in Switzerland, while the German tax investigators who instigated the investigation cannot set foot on Swiss soil because warrants of arrest have been issued against them – Germany will of course not extradite its own nationals for a crime that exists only in Switzerland.

              The famous tax evader CDs led to a wave of self-indictments by fearful tax evaders – self-indictment and paying taxes including cumulated interest is the only way to avoid criminal charges and possible jail terms PLUS having to pay all that plus heavy fines.

            • karl garcia says:

              PiE,
              Speaking of hacking ISIS just claimed that they have all of the personal information of US military personnel but US government in an attempt to calm everyone said they just used google.What relief! Hey! No hacking done, your personal info can just be googled.Chill!

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Facebook is even worse in that respect, if people do not know how to guard their personal data. Search by e-mail, search by phone number has to be switched off to be sure.

                But then again, Facebook saved me in some situations where I got involved with the wrong people – search by mail, search by phone number, check friend lists, look at their friends postings even if they have theirs non-public and I had a good enough profile check of them to confirm my doubts so I did not pout but simply kept my distance from them. Like Joe said, I am good at IT and investigation. All using completely legal means and only for self-protection, not to stalk anybody or harm anybody. White hat stuff.

  2. PinoyInEurope says:

    Just giving in to MILF and signing BBL without seeing the risks is basically like moving your chess pieces to the left side to counter a major attack and leaving the entire right side open. That can be a recipe for a quick checkmate, with the opponents rook or queen coming in swiftly right.

    Even with BBL, we cannot be naive and see the former MILF as friends. They might want to conquer the entire Mindanao, for all we know together with Malaysia. They may use the natural resources of Bangsamoro not to develop the country, but buy even more arms.

    I agree that some sort of settlement is needed in the South, but it must be done in such a way that that front is truly secured and we do not have to worry about it too much anymore. China would have invaded long ago if they wanted to, now they are ignoring everything and taking islands one by one – NO chance at ALL for the Philippines to drive them out just like that. The threat posed by a bad BBL settlement is more real at this point and more immediate.

    Regarding China, a strategic alliance between the Philippines and Vietnam makes a lot of sense. They have a common big opponent – China – and are relatively weak compared to China. For the Philippines only to rely on the United States is going to lead back to complete dependency.

    Macchiavelli wrote once that it makes more sense for many weak powers to join against a strong one, a weak power relying on a strong one will inevitably become TOO dependent on the strong. This is Realpolitik – cold, rational calculation. It is just like a chess game.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realpolitik

      The study of the powers that shape, maintain and alter the state is the basis of all political insight and leads to the understanding that the law of power governs the world of states just as the law of gravity governs the physical world.

      Countries have allies, but NO friends – that’s life.

    • Joe America says:

      The Philippines has established or is working on defense treaties with a number of nations. It is one of President Aquino’s major initiatives. Here are two examples:

      http://www.dndph.org/2015-updates/philippines-and-japan-ink-defense-cooperation-agreement
      http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/331411/news/nation/phl-south-korea-ink-new-defense-pact

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Very good. Just relying on the USA will not work in the long run and is a sign of unimaginative leadership. Besides, the US is not helping purely out of altruism.

        The US came to the Philippines in 1898 to secure a beachhead to the Asian market, just like the Spanish did the same thing in 1521. No value judgement, just the facts.

        Since East Asia is now advancing rapidly, the Philippines is once again an important beachhead for the United States and its political/economic interests in the region.

        So you have a weak country needing protection and a strong country needing a beachhead. To have more bargaining power, this weak country needs to have more options for protection that just the strong country, that means too much dependency.

        It also needs to build its OWN local industries, OWN strong military. Not enough happening there IMHO, too much reliance on BPO and outsourced manufacturing. Fine if Noynoy is content with running a well-off colony in everything but name, and his class makes money. But the Philippines deserve more, and I believe Ninoy would have wanted more for his country, I do not yet really see the vision or a real direction behind what Noynoy does, then again it may just be that it was not communicated well or did not reach me yet… 🙂

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          My point being, Noynoy does not LOOK like he has a strategy.

          Looks like he is just playing things by ear on a day-to-day basis.

          If you don’t know where you’re going others will lead you somewhere.

          • Joe America says:

            Maybe your conception is in error. He knows exactly where he is going it seems to me, with three prongs of ITLOS filing, defense build-up, and alliance build-up. What is he missing?

          • Steve says:

            I think there’s a strategy, but it’s based on a painful awareness of weakness. Aquino is the first President in 20 years to take military modernization seriously, and even with full attention it will be at least a decade, likely more, before the Philippines can equal Vietnam, let alone China. Militaries cannot transform overnight, even with money: even the current acquisition programs will put a strain on the manpower side.

            Given the very weak hand he has to play, I think Aquino is doing all that can be realistically expected. Pursuing the legal cases at ITLOS and not getting all deranged over the Malaysian intrusion are part of a strategy of building alliances by positioning the Philippines as a sober, rational nation that respects the rule of law.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Vietnam is IMHO very important for the clear and present danger in the South China Sea.

        What use are South Korea and Japan, they are too far North and no common interest.

        Vietnam + Philippines have common interests and MIGHT be able to drive China out.

        • JM says:

          Im not sure about having no common interest with Japan. There was a survey that concluded that most Japanese see the Chinese as an enemy. Their pilots are harassed on a daily basis. The common interest is that the Chinese are the enemy. I read news somewhere that Abe is also working on changing the law on deploying military to their allies. Also, it is more likely that war will break out between those two than between China and the Philippines (Correction, not a war, but a massacre of our troops). I am hoping other countries won’t be dragged in and nukes flying out when that happens.

          Allies are good but I still prefer to have our own defense. Too bad with our current culture, having our own reliable defense is not possible. Also, allies have their own agenda and can change their minds. Allies can just voice out their opinion but do nothing in the end and let our islands be taken.

          • karl garcia says:

            In that case I hope the Koreans are selling us good stuff. Almost 40 billion in Ships and aircraft is nothing to sneeze at.

            “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.”
            Lord Palmerston

          • Yvonne says:

            Yes, we have common interest with Japan, one of which is that we are engaged in trade and commerce. As of late, Japan has provided us with patrol boats to shore up our defense capabilities. The news says:

            “The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) expects delivery of two to three of 10 brand-new multi-role patrol boats from Japan by the third quarter of 2015, according to the PCG spokesman.”

            “President Aquino announced in a news conference that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) would provide a $184-million soft loan for the PCG’s acquisition of 10 patrol boats from Tokyo.”

        • Steve says:

          Vietnam is important… but the reality is that in a military alliance, the only asset the Philippines brings to the table is geography. A partner’s rank and position in an alliance depends on the assets they bring to the table. In military terms the Philippines has effectively nothing.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            But then again the rank of the Philippines in an alliance with Vietnam would be higher than in an alliance with the US – I do NOT espouse dropping the latter though, just deal with Vietnam as well to have more options but that is already being done which is good.

            • Steve says:

              We are seeing the emergence of an informal alliance, defined by interests rather than treaties, with the US, Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, and (discreetly) Taiwan and South Korea) lining up against China. Certainly there are differences among the members, but if push cane to shove against China not much doubt where any of those will line up. In that lineuo the Philippines is very much the most junior of partners in terms of military capacity.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Well with the Philippines being the weakest kid in the hood and with all the strong boys around to help, the opportunity to go to the gym and the dojo should be made use of.

                It is already happening now, but as we have seen not enough dojo and too much gym.

          • Yvonne says:

            Number counts in terms of perception. The U.S. invasion of Kuwait to drive out the Iraqis, and in other U.S. campaigns in the Middle East, the U.S. built what it called “international coalition” to give legitimacy to its invasions, although the U.S. did most of the attacking and many in the coalitions provided just minimal or token supports.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Not fully true: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Armed_Forces_casualties_in_Afghanistan

              With a contingent of 5,350 soldiers and policemen, Germany is one of the main contributors of troops to coalition operations in Afghanistan…

              The number of fatalities has caused a stir in Germany since it is the highest of all deployments abroad that the German army has ever participated in since World War II and because the German participation in ISAF and Operation Enduring Freedom, which is now in its seventh year, is much disputed at the moment. ISAF participation marks the first time since World War II that German ground troops have been confronted with an organized enemy.

              Now I am saying this very calmly, but I remember an argument with a Filipino GI who was saying that Germany is disloyal to the United States and has harbored terrorists, in the fake wannabe American accent that some of these guys have.

              I actually grabbed him by his shirt and told him go tell that to the mothers of German soldiers who died in Afghanistan… hehe I am not always a nice guy… 🙂

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                And these men are gladly involved by NATO in many operations:

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kommando_Spezialkr%C3%A4fte

                KSK Kommando Spezialkräfte (Special Forces Command, KSK) is an elite special forces military unit composed of special operations soldiers handpicked from the ranks of Germany’s Bundeswehr and organized under the Division Spezielle Operationen (Special Operations Division, DSO). KSK has received many decorations and awards from NATO, the USA and its affiliates and KSK operatives are frequently requested for joint anti-terror operations, notably in the Balkans and Middle East.

                This is the badge they have on their beret, looks a bit familiar doesn’t it:

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Link doesn’t work directly, hope this one does:

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunduz_airstrike was the recent German political equivalent of Mamasapano:

                he Kunduz airstrike took place on Friday 4 September 2009 at roughly 2:30 am local time,[3] 7 km (4.3 mi) southwest of Kunduz City, Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan, near the hamlets of Omar Kheil by the border of the Chahar Dara and Ali Abad districts.[4] Responding to a call by German forces, an American F-15E fighter jet struck two fuel tankers captured by Taliban insurgents, killing over 90 civilians in the attack.[2]

                Because of the high civilian death toll, the airstrike had political repercussions, especially in Germany. In June 2010 Germany announced it would pay $5,000 to each of the families of over 100 civilian victims, as an ex gratia payment without admitting liability.[2] The former Afghan Commerce Minister Amin Farhang described the $5,000—equivalent to about 20,000 Afghanis—as a “laughable” sum.[5] Earlier, Germany had reclassified the Afghanistan deployment as an “armed conflict within the parameters of international law”, allowing German forces to act without risk of prosecution under German law.[6]

                Reaction to the airstrike was mixed. The French, Italian, and Swedish foreign ministers all generally criticized the airstrike, while German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung emphasized the danger posed by the stolen tankers.[16] General Stanley McChrystal made a statement on Afghan television and visited the site of the bombing the following day; a NATO team charged with investigating the airstrike also arrived at the scene.[12]

                While initially downplayed by German’s government which was busy in an election campaign at the time,[22] the airstrike then dominated political debates in Germany for several months and in November 2009 led to the resignation of German labor minister Franz Josef Jung, who was defense minister during the attack.[23] In early 2010, further material came to light, especially about the political handling in the German government, which brought further pressure on a number of people, including Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, the new defense minister. The major German newsweekly Der Spiegel, in an exhaustive research article published in February 2010, called the incident a war crime due to the fact that the attack on the tankers had broken a number of rules of conduct, and had led to a later cover-up.[22]

                German public prosecuting authorities investigated the case, but announced on 20 April 2010 that the investigation was concluded and that no criminal proceedings would be initiated against Colonel Klein and Hauptfeldwebel (Master Sergeant) Wilhelm. They stressed that, according to their findings, neither the German penal code nor international criminal code had been violated; it was found that Colonel Klein and the soldiers under his command acted reasonably according to the information available to them at the time. It was explicitly stressed that later findings about the true situation (namely the presence of civilians) could not make the action illegal in retrospective.

                On the day of the events, September 4, 2009, the Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung (CDU) defended the attack that was ordered by the German commander Colonel Georg Klein. On 8 September, NATO admitted that there had been a number of civilian casualties. On September 9, a report was made by the German military police (Feldjäger) in which civilian victims are mentioned, including children.

                Several German officials initially justified the airstrike: including on October 29, the Germany Army’s Chief of Staff, General Wolfgang Schneiderhan and on November 6 the newly appointed Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (CSU).[24]

                On 26 November, Wolfgang Schneiderhan, and deputy Defence Minister (Verteidigungs-Staatssekretär) Peter Wichert had both resigned over allegations of a cover-up relating to the incident.[25] A local commander was recalled to Germany while the public prosecution authorities investigated if international law had been breached; the commander only had one source of intelligence, who could not see the lorries, which was a violation of the rules of engagement designed to minimise civilian casualties in air attack missions.[26]

                On November 27, Franz Josef Jung submitted his resignation as Germany’s Minister of Labour and Social Affairs (Bundesarbeitsminister), a position he had accepted after the September federal election, after repeatedly denying civilian deaths in the attack.[27] The political parties SPD, Linke and Grüne announced the forming of an investigation committee.

                On December 3, in the German parliament, Guttenberg calls the airstrike unjustified. On December 9, the German weekly “Der Stern” published that Guttenberg had received a report of the International Red Cross already on November 6 in which civilian casualties were mentioned.

                On December 10, it was revealed that the German Special Forces (KSK) were indirectly involved in the airstrike.[citation needed]

                On December 18, Schneiderhahn was replaced by Volker Wieker.[28]

                In February 2010 German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle announced the Afghanistan deployment was being reclassified as an “armed conflict within the parameters of international law”, which would allow German soldiers based in Afghanistan to act without the risk of being prosecuted under German law.[6]

                Well, it was the first time after World War 2 that something the Germans were responsible for caused such large casualties, so the discussion is understandable.

                Same way that SAF 44 for the first time caused many heavily publicized casualties in the Philippines, which shocked many people..

              • karl garcia says:

                Was Time On Target mentioned by Jung?

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                No TOT in this case because they did not have a planned mission, they had something to react to very quickly practically in the middle of the night where you don’t see who are Taliban and who are civilians so the entire discussion was extremely exaggerated.

                A lot of bad press against the USA about them accidentally killing civilians toned down after that incident, because people realized how quickly this can just happen in war.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      http://www.bartleby.com/36/1/21.html – this is the quote that I meant:

      And here let it be noted that a Prince should be careful never to join with one stronger than himself in attacking others, unless, as already said, he be driven to it by necessity. For if he whom you join prevails, you are at his mercy; and Princes, so far as in them lies, should avoid placing themselves at the mercy of others. The Venetians, although they might have declined the alliance, joined with France against the Duke of Milan, which brought about their ruin. But when an alliance cannot be avoided, as was the case with the Florentines when the Pope and Spain together led their armies to attack Lombardy, a Prince, for the reasons given, must take a side. Nor let it be supposed that any State can choose for itself a perfectly safe line of policy. On the contrary, it must reckon on every course which it may take being doubtful; for it happens in all human affairs that we never seek to escape one mischief without falling into another. Prudence therefore consists in knowing how to distinguish degrees of disadvantage, and in accepting a less evil as a good.

      • Joe America says:

        That also seems wise. Maybe Chamberlain was reading that before he accepted Hitler as the lesser evil.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Now what to accept as the lesser evil is always a judgement call, and can be very wrong.

          For the Philippines the US is the lesser evil than China, Santiago does not get that.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Accepting BBL as the lesser evil than Chinese invasion is BTW the same thing.

          Which is why the risks of BBL must be managed. Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam, like Senator Cayetano, sorry Senator Cato famously said.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Senator Cato: Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.

            Senator Cayetano: Ceterum censeo Bangsamoro esse delendam.

            🙂

            • sonny says:

              We might shoot ourselves in the foot. Neither can we salt the land, it is our own backyard.

              • karl garcia says:

                Moreover ,It is my opinion that Cayetano does not want Bangsamoro destroyed.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Exactly. My comment was very ironic.

              • sonny says:

                Ako rin. Tongue-in-cheek din ang comment ko kasi (cover your ears, Karl 🙂 ) natuwa ako sa Latin ni PiE: “… Carthaginem esse delendam” I just recently learned the full meaning of the phrase: total destruction of one’s enemy. Legend had it that Rome salted the city of Carthage so that no living thing will grow in the city.

  3. Joe America says:

    What I find interesting is the Senate Mamasapano report’s criticism of the US engagement for crossing the line into operations, with little consideration as to the value of the information obtained to, for instance, drive Abu Sayyaf to outlying islands, or chase BIFF off into the swamplands. Or how to deal with China. It is like sensitivity toward sovereignty or ego drives the composition of alliances rather than the security of the Philippines driving it. For sure, Senator Santiago is always raging with the VFA and has proposed absolutely no remedy for China sitting on Filipino rocks consuming Filipino resources.

    It’s like defense means defense of ego, not of nation.

    It is also interesting how leftist groups can fund and raise rallies for this complaint or that against Aquino or the US, but . . . as you point out . . . not for China. It makes one wonder who funds these groups. And who funds BIFF.

    I propose the nation be renamed Pogoland, for the primary enemy of the Philippines is Filipinos.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      “It’s like defense means defense of ego, not of nation.” Exactly, instead of thinking of options and all. Accept American help, but always remember that they are ALLIES not friends and not Santa Claus. Use the opportunity to build one’s own stuff. Be Smart.

      Besides, the islands we are talking about are disputed claims where hardly anyone lives. Ok there IS possible oil there, but of what use are these islands if they cannot be kept?

      If you are not strong enough, you have to set priorities, but know your direction.

      The problem always has been – no real clear definition of what Philippine interests really are by Filipino leaders.

      Those who just react defensively are fools, those who let themselves just be lead without their own idea of where they want to go are just as foolish.

      • Joe America says:

        I disagree with your statement “no real clear definition of what Philippine interests really are by Filipino leaders.” The leadership is not fools. The nation is not rich. You are reading like GRP today. Your conception is they are not building alliances, and I point out that the leadership is working on multiple fronts. Perhaps the error is in your long held bias, and it needs to be updated.

        • Joe America says:

          I would add that my reference to defense of ego is directed toward CRITICS of the Aquino administration.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            And anyone who dares make even constructive criticism of Noynoy is suspected of being a Chinese agent. Sorry this sounds like McCarthy.

            • Joe America says:

              Hahaha, that’s great. You raise objections that are wholly speculative, are countered, ignore the facts (the alliances), and persist with labeling the leadership fools and me a McCarty totalitarian.

              Take it to GRP, man.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “It makes one wonder who funds these groups.” isn’t that very speculative too? And not really constructive for further discussion?

                “those who let themselves just be lead without their own idea of where they want to go are just as foolish.” now I did not write that the leadership is like that, definitely not.

                I am just not so sure whether they are leading, or are being lead. The Philippines will just be a pawn in the US-China power conflict if it does not know its OWN interests.

              • Joe America says:

                Indeed, the Philippines is the ball and China and US are swinging the rackets. Either could march right in if that is what they wanted. The US did not do that, but turned the nation back to its residents. China would have no such inclination, I suspect, and it is indeed the US presence that keeps China from doing stupid things with either Japan or the Philippines.

                China’s interest is resources. The US interest is commerce and keeping the Philippines as a free democratic state in Asia. Why on God’s green earth would the US do anything but that which keeps the Philippines free and healthy? And why would the Philippines, if interested in freedom and security and independence, NOT make use of US intelligence services if available? That does not make the Philippines a pawn of the US, but a protector of her own interests. That is, smart.

                Now the issue is those protest groups that are trying to bring down the Aquino government. Yet are silent on China. Or silent on Binay.

                Is the enemy within (crooks and political opportunists) or without (China or ISIS)? Who funds them? Why is that question in any way prejudicial? Why are you suggesting it ought not be asked?

                I don’t get it.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Asking all these questions is fine – China and ISIS are dangerous – but then trusting MILF as if they were angels does NOT make sense to me.

                Making an issue about a few rocks while the Philippines may be de facto giving away entire provinces as an end result with the BBL also does NOT make sense to me.

                Ignoring Malaysia as a potential threat that might take over the whole of Mindanao does NOT make sense to me at all, they are a closer threat than China.

                In that sense I don’t get it either…

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          “no real clear definition of what Philippine interests really are by Filipino leaders.” -see my question just below: is it really being done for the Philippines or just for Makati business? I’m not yet convinced that it is not that way, you have not yet dispelled my doubts.

          Will normal Filipinos just be well-paid slaves in a kind of modern-day Singapore or will they have real opportunities and participation in society, business and politics?

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      “drive Abu Sayyaf to outlying islands, or chase BIFF off into the swamplands.” Basically in order to give MILF the power over Bangsamoro on a silver plate. The major question being, what’s the deal with the oil, natural gas and palm oil in Bangasamoro? Who is going to mainly profit? Fine if some oil companies want to do business there, but does the Philippines have its share and is Aquino protecting it? These are LEGITIMATE questions.

      https://joeam.com/2015/03/19/senator-grace-poe-and-her-impeachment-remarks/#comment-114328

      Now if you are insinuating that those who are against Aquino may be funded by China, the question may also be asked if Noynoy is really protecting Philippine interests, or whether he is acting on behalf of OTHER interests in the southern region. Selling out the country for money, acting more like a Cojuangco than a true son of his father Benigno Aquino. Acting on behalf of the business interests of his social class instead of the Filipino people?

      • karl garcia says:

        Here we go again. Finish your blog update your data,info and biasses accordingly.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          This just had to be written. If questions in one direction are made, then those in the other direction are allowed as well.

          • yvonne says:

            Your blog post is coming out on Sunday. Just curious, is there anything you would have written differently in the light of our discussions here so far?

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              I am in the process of writing my blog post. It’s like this:

              ———————————————————————————————————–

              1) I have assimilated some inputs from the previous blog article and have looked at what the local people have to say about the issue, Mindanews has some interesting articles about BBL which I have considered: http://www.mindanews.com/category/mindaviews/

              2) This blog article has made me see the importance of solving the Mindanao issue in a constructive and secure way. What the Philippines cannot afford is what is called a Zweifrontenkrieg which means a war on two or more fronts.

              2a) Or to put it the way my kumpare, friend and martial arts sparring partner from before, former Manila policeman would say: “kapag may labanan sa kalye, kaibigan mo pader dahil siguradong wala manggagaling sa likod” – international relations are a street fight.

              2b) Hitler was smart enough to make a treaty with Stalin, but fool enough to attack him later, then he had his Zweifrontenkrieg and lost – not to approve of Hitler, just to analyze his strategy from the perspective of Realpolitik. China is more dangerous in the long run.

              ———————————————————————————————————–

              So, I have tried to see the Mindanao point of view to add to my Luzon point of view.

              Plus I have forced myself to take a more constructive frame of mind, even if accepting things like the BBL area gets Sharia is like swallowing a whole uncooked octopus for me. Finding a way to live together within set limits and make the most out of it is the priority…

      • Joe America says:

        Again, you persist on subjects that have been discussed, with your conjecture standing in lieu of facts, that President Aquino has no outside business interests and is working diligently to find a way toward peace. Why overlay Marcos on President Aquino? It simply does not fit.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Well, it is a conjecture as well that critics of Aquino may be funded by China. It is just as probable or improbable as Aquino and his government being a marionette of the US.

          Maybe aspects of BOTH suspicions are true and the Philippines is just a pawn in a global power game between the up and coming power China and the old superpower US, because there is no strong sense of national unity, direction and purpose.

          • yvonne says:

            The point I’m trying to focus on is that if we are to be critical of a serious wrong-doing from the viewpoint of good-governance, then we should be consistent in being critical to all serious wrong-doings against good-governance, devoid of any partisanship.

            For instance, for people to ask the President to step down, or be impeached, for the debacle in Mamasapano, yet not ask other politicians to do the same for more serious offenses, such as for massive graft and corruption, then the motivations of those people are suspect to say the least because of their silence, or unpatriotic to say the worst because they are contributing to the attempts by others to destabilize our government.

        • sonny says:

          This reminds of the US Interstate system.

          I-94, I-90, IL-41 are all only the same concrete pavement for some 20 miles. How not to get lost? Know where you’re going and where you are. Same with our discussions. Know exit and entry ramps and intermediate destinations. Love that Eisenhower guy! 🙂

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            I think I will have a stop at the gas station. Have some coffee and write.

            The BBL I can handle, the geopolitical stuff is more complex – gotta think…

            • karl garcia says:

              Marionette,huh? Cinderella’s showing on theaters not Pinocchio.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                And if Cinderella has to leave by midnight, otherwise she gets turned into Iqbal.

                Or does she become Nancy Binay, the frog princess? I am more confused than you.

  4. Marvin says:

    Thanks Joe…again, very well said.

  5. Have recently read this http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/605682/20-senators-100-congressmen-named-in-napoles-long-list .

    Aren’t we heading towards a showdown between legislative and executive?

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, and with Mamasapano as the pretext for impeachment to get Binay into office. Fits with what we have been observing.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Not all the Senators mentioned are still in the Senate. How many of the Congressmen mentioned are still in Congress and are there enough of them to impeach Noynoy?

      If not, it will just be a bit of a rough ride, if yes there is real reason to worry.

      Like I wrote in one post, the only really effective way to get rid of corrupt politicians is not to jail them – it is to have a law that institutes a lifetime ban on politics for anyone guilty of major corruption charges. If not, these people keep coming back, like cockroaches.

      • Ben says:

        How can a law against erring politicians especially in the House of Congress and the Senate be passed while they are the one to be subjected. If I am not mistaken, the previous Election Law states that any government official running for office shall ipso facto be resigned from office at the time of filing their certificate of candidacy. Later, the law was amended to be, “any appointive government official running for office shall ipso facto be resigned from office at the time of filing Certificate Of Candidacy.

        See how the law was circumvented in favor of the law makers.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Well, if I think your thought to the end, the Nuremberg trials come to mind. They were heavily criticized by German lawyers, because the stuff that was tried there WAS after all legal under the laws promulgated by the Nazis. The Americans justified the Nuremberg trials with a morality higher than law, to be used only in emergency situations were the law was not enough to punish wrongdoers, in order to return to rule of law afterwards.

          The consequence would then be: martial law until end of 2016, Presidential decrees to take out all the cockroaches, then have elections where they are all not permitted to run.

          Sounds harsh, but it is just the logical conclusion based on the premise you have given.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            http://www.bartleby.com/36/1/8.html Nicolo Macchiavelli wrote the following:

            make haste to inflict what injuries he must, at a stroke, that he may not have to renew them daily, but be enabled by their discontinuance to reassure men’s minds, and afterwards win them over by benefits. Whosoever, either through timidity or from following bad counsels, adopts a contrary course, must keep the sword always drawn, and can put no trust in his subjects, who suffering from continued and constantly renewed severities, will never yield him their confidence.

            Injuries, therefore, should be inflicted all at once, that their ill savour being less lasting may the less offend; whereas, benefits should be conferred little by little, that so they may be more fully relished.

    • Yvonne says:

      There will be some drum-beating in Congress but as long as the President’s allies dominate the number in Congress the drum-beating will remain what it is – just noise. The danger, as I see it, would not be easing out the President but in pushing to the back burner important legislations that the country needs – such as the FOI, an anti-dynasty law, etc. It would also push back some of our investment activities.

  6. PinoyInEurope says:

    The upcoming international power struggle is between the US and China. It used to be between the United States and Russia. If the Philippines is NOT capable of defining where it stands it will be a pawn in the Great Game between two powers – controlled by one or the other, simple.

    Ideally the Philippines should be able to stand on its own – with help from allies of course – and have its own manufacturing base, graduate from just being BPO and offshore manufacturing zone which is basically not much more than an affluent colony with a rent-seeking ruling class.

    Don’t think the ruling class wants real advancement, opportunities and participation by the people.

    Now if the people of the Philippines are content with just being consumers, and the rent-seeking ruling class is just content with making kapit to the next best master that comes along basta kumikita sila and they are protected, then fine, that is their decision.

    I STILL don’t see much of a strategy by Noynoy to move the Philippines unto the next level, neither economically nor politically. Individual measures but I am not yet convinced of a real thrust.

    • Joe America says:

      You are not looking in the right places, perhaps. Here are some ideas. Look at the balance sheet and the credit ratings. Look at the investment in infrastructure year on year. Consider the whole of the defense program, ITLOS, investment, alliances. Look at the vibrancy of the tourism business and the coming gaming industry. Come over and pay a visit, travel to the provinces and see the new roads and bridge work being done, the homes being relocated off the river banks, the crooks being marched off to jail. Understand the horrid congestion in Manila is a symptom of success and notice all the new cars on the roads, not junky 15 yer-old Pajeros.

      Consider the starting point, dirt poor and held back by the burdens of outdated social practices (no birth control and too many mouths to feed), crooks in every high office now being chased out, good people like Hinares and De Lima and Morales and, yes, Roxas, working for the benefit of nothing but their pride, a lousy wage, and the Philippines. The Aquino Cabinet is focused on running the land well. It has its weak people (Abaya in my opinion) and a whole lot of good, strong, earnest people.

      It takes time.

      Unreasonable criticism is a part of the problem, not the solution. Where is the pride, man, the pride? Where is the uplift?

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Thanks, that IS a better picture than what I get most of the time.

        My problem being – IF I were to sell the Philippines lets say to investors or tourists, if it were my goal – who knows I might do it, I am open to it – to promote the country’s strengths, I would have to be ready to answer all likely and probable questions.

        And it is about pride – it is about not having to be ashamed anymore.

      • Percival says:

        Thank you Joe, for being able to see what others fail to see or what the critics see but are desperately trying to obscure.

      • RHiro says:

        The next government will have the following factors to build on….. Did the present government do much to change the important financial issues.. Infra spending and tax collections have not moved much as a percentage of the GDP…….Both remains a major structural problem. The present government admits that the major problem with the executive is the severe lack of administrative capacities and capabilities. The justice system continues to languish with inadequate resources and clogged courts…

        “First, the large overseas remittances (bringing in more than $2 billion monthly) are certain to continue. This is the single biggest factor in an active current account and is the bedrock of the macroeconomy’s stability. The knock-on effects on international reserves, credit ratings, the economy’s borrowing costs, fiscal headspace, and so on, are obvious enough.”

        “Second, unless the new administration screws up on this entirely (though, why should it?), the prudent conduct of monetary policy is also likely to continue. The Bangko Sentral, after all, is an independent authority whose policies have been among the least politicised in the past. (Say Tetangco, who has rendered outstanding service in the current administration, was originally an Arroyo appointee reappointed by PNoy.) One can presume therefore that the same smart balance between controlling inflation and maintaining a competitive currency will continue to be struck with the same guiding parameters.”

        “Besides, the more important ingredient for low inflation is also difficult to change — the liberal and low-tariff trade regime that was the handiwork of many administrations, beginning with Aquino I. The only bout of serious inflation under this Aquino administration occurred in recent months and only because that single culprit commodity has not been trade-liberalised, namely rice.” Emmanuel de Dios

    • I think moving to the next level has never been the short end goal it is more of a middle timeline goal.

      It’s like a tech startups life cycle, there is rarely anything more than survival first. When a certain stability (for tech startups user growth/engagement is the stability) only then is the strategy more apparent and in the cases of twitter and some other companies not even then.

      Lest we forget although this view is being actively condemned in the tabloid media.

      The weakening and practically destruction of all major “institutions” of our country started with Erap’s ouster and continued through pretty much the whole of GMA’s term for her to keep power and continued even in PNoy’s term in order to clean house.

      There is no strategy moving forwards because most energy is expended in not moving backwards.

      This is why we will be harder on the next president. 6 years have been wasted on keeping the ship afloat and fixing things. Now we need to sail somewhere!

      • Joe America says:

        I’d say the effort has been made in turning a very large, dilapidated ship, and it was very important to get it going in the right direction. And more is being done than keeping it afloat, if you look at growth and investment. A lot of it is catch-up, but that is a necessary forward progress, not just reaction. The ideas that six years has been wasted is completely wrong, if you ask me.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        “There is no strategy moving forwards because most energy is expended in not moving backwards.

        This is why we will be harder on the next president. 6 years have been wasted on keeping the ship afloat and fixing things. Now we need to sail somewhere!”

        Thanks, that is a very good explanation.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        “The weakening and practically destruction of all major “institutions” of our country started with Erap’s ouster and continued through pretty much the whole of GMA’s term for her to keep power” Scary. I did not realize Gloria’s times were THAT bad… 😦

        • karl garcia says:

          Many things happened after Marcos.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            I know – I followed the Erap impeachment pretty closely, then Arroyo was there and I thought things would go much better and stopped watching closely. Then some news about floods in Manila in 2009, then Noynoy and the Hong Kong bus thing, then Corona, Arroyo in the hospital / arrested, then years with other business to attend to, then all of a sudden this Mamasapano which woke everybody up everywhere… and here we are now.

            • karl garcia says:

              You read Mami Kawada Lover’s article.That should fill in the blanks.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                You are right, I will concentrate on BBL first, that is a lot of text but I can handle that.

                Filling in on some missing years and getting my own real view on them will take longer.

            • “and stopped watching closely…”

              There you are, you admitted that you stopped watching closely, but to read your exchanges with JoeAm, your bias and prejudice is showing on a consistent basis, it seems you are provoking everyone here so you can be updated with what has been happening here since you stopped. And while acknowledging your lack of updates and being satisfied with the new information offered to you, you come back again and again with the same judgmental and biased provocation. When will it stop, it gets repetitive and exhausting.

              Observing your exchanges here and in other threads in this blog, one may ask, who is the Filipino here, why is JoeAm the one fighting for stability, fighting against uninformed critics and haters, unfair judgement of their own government. When your doubts are cleared, when your questions are answered, we see the same cropping up again and again ad infinitum. You write well but you can’t see anything good about this country, which is the opposite of JoeAm and the rest of us who see a half full glass instead of a half empty one, so to speak.

              I remember reading about a Korean staying here in the Philippines either to study or to just tour the place, (can’t remember exactly) who commented on the difference between his countrymen and the Filipinos with regard to response to crisis. They acted as one, even pooled their gold and material things so their country can rise from the crisis, and here, we are engaged in insulting each other, debating endlessly and blaming others except ourselves.

              Thank you for your steadfast concern for our country, JoeAm and may you have more patience for the rest of us who can’t see a good thing even if it is staring at us in the eye.

              Trying to post and eat breakfast at the same time, before work.

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, the binders in the mind that won’t go away, and people argue to defend. No matter the real world. I appreciate the encouragement. It occasionally does get discouraging, that this fun-loving population is also so critical and unforgiving. It’s as if there is joy to be found in casting oneself as a loser.

              • karl garcia says:

                same with the Thais…”Thai Rak Thai” Thais love Thais….they surrendered all jewelry to their treasury during the Asian financial crisis.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “When will it stop, it gets repetitive and exhausting.” NOW. Batukan mo ako kung hindi.

                I have realized that I do not have enough information to competently judge the matters regarding corruption and the current state of Philippine politics, which means I will do more reading and ask direct questions instead of provoking with the mental model I have now, because that mental model is too incomplete in that respect to be relevant and useful, but the difference to many others is that I have enough self-reflection to realize and admit it.

                In the end it is good that reactions have come, because a lot of other people will just come in and not question things and then remain ignorant. That is a problem our people have..

                An oyster needs a grain of sand to produce a pearl, and if at times I have been the grain of sand – Joe admitted that just today – then I also have had some usefulness. But I am also able to play a constructive role, like I have played in the state newspaper thread.. 🙂

                As for BBL, the article I am writing shall be very constructive and based on comprehensive research. My critical approach IS very useful for constantly improving things, I was always inspired by the Japanese kaizen approach which has led to high quality. For the BBL article I am taking time to research, see all sides and chisel off the sharp edges of my language because the topic is extremely important. See my other comment to yvonne. 🙂

              • Yvonne says:

                Excellent points @Mary.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Yvonne na may layang lumipad, kulungin mo at umiiyak, bayan pa kayang sakdal dilag…

              • Percival says:

                “Thank you for your steadfast concern for our country, JoeAm and may you have more patience for the rest of us who can’t see a good thing even if it is staring at us in the eye.”

                Thank you too Mary, and all those who see the good, and point them out so others may be enlightened.

  7. sonny says:

    Yvonne, this is one mathematical gem: Simple & elegant exposition! Thanks. Even has a musical cadence. I can’t single a superfluous insight.

    a historical tidbit

    Centuries ago, the emperor of China wanted to extend its hegemony to the Malay power centers around the Malay Peninsula. He sends ambassadors to this effect. The Malay potentates sent back their answer to the Emperor by sending back the ambassadors with their noses cut off!

  8. PinoyInEurope says:

    Philippine security policy is obviously improving but still has to be improved a little more.

    Where I agree with the author is that political quarrels instead of constructive discussions are dangerous for the nation and weaken the common will to undertake things or move forward.

    Now I think that while discussing Mamasapano in such detail, the politicians have overlooked two things – of course China, and how to make sure BBL a success by managing risks involved. 🙂

    • yvonne says:

      If there are anything positive that come out of the Mamasapano debacle, it brings front and center the proposed BBL thereby giving us the opportunity to scrutinize it in greater details to ensure that it truly addresses the problems in Mindanao. It also gives the leadership a chance to elucidate on areas that are conflicting or confusing, and plug potential loopholes that can be exploited and abuse.

      It also exposes the true political color and motivations of those who are very vocal in criticizing the President on the Mamasapano operation, yet surprising silent on other government officials who are accused of massive corruption, and are likewise silent on China’s provocative incursions into our territory. Their deafening silence in these other pressing national issues is selective at best, and unpatriotic at worst.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        It has definitely made a lot of people more interested in what is going on in Filipino politics. If not for the Mamasapano debacle, I would not be writing here, only reading occasionally. If you ask me, I know whom definitely NOT to trust now, but whom to trust I don’t know yet.

  9. edgar lores says:

    *******
    1. On the face of it, the internal threat is seen as a threat to the presidency of PNoy, and the external threat as a threat to the nation. Both threats are seen to be separate with no connection.

    2. However, both threats are intertwined. The success of the first threat is likely to lead to the success of the second threat.

    3. How so?

    4. The most plausible scenario in the first threat is that if for any reason PNoy cannot (or will not) finish his term, the Vice President will ascend to the presidency. The Vice President, like GMA, is known to consort with the expansionist enemy. If GMA sought to secure her future by accommodating China’s ambitions, it is not unlikely that Binay, on present form, will follow in her small shoes.

    4.1. Binay is claimed to be “flexing his diplomatic muscles by holding ‘back channel’ efforts with Chinese officials.”

    4.2. His good relations with China go way back and can be seen in the “historic” postponement of the execution of three Filipino drug smugglers in 2011.

    4.3. It is also entirely possible that Binay, once enthroned, will drop the ITLOS claim and accept China’s increasingly de facto presence in the West Philippine Sea. Although he gave the assurance in 2014 that the Philippines will “continue to pursue international law to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea”, the Vice President cannot be taken at his word. Note the use of “South China Sea”.

    4.4. He lauded EDCA, and while “the agreement comes on the heels of China’s growing aggressiveness toward its neighbors in the South China Sea, Mr. Binay said it does not define the whole of China-Philippines bilateral relations.” Whatever that means.

    4.5. And who better to blame for the overpriced Makati building than China? Abigail claimed that “the relatively high costs of construction materials used in the building was brought by the seemingly high demand by China as the country prepared for Beijing Olympics that year.” What are friends for… if not to be able to shift the blame onto them?

    5. China is employing the classic pincer movement. With its left hand, it is destabilizing the country with financial and material support for the Left. With its right hand, it is attempting to procure Malacanang, as it did with GMA… and it is now doing in great anticipation with Binay. Could it be that the Sino-associates of Binay, the Chongs and the Tius, are agents and conduits of the once-imperial nation?

    6. These are speculative claims but as a fan of Greene, Ambler, Fleming, Ludlum, le Carre, Silva, McCarry and Hayes (among others), I cannot help but think that the worst of human nature can be found when loyalties can be bought… and the best when loyalties cannot be had for any price.
    *****

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Edgar, thanks for filling us in. These are important further details.

      Binay and China – that is something new to me, very surprising.

    • yvonne says:

      And if I may add:

      According to some news reports, sometime in June 2014, the “Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua hosted a dinner for the Binay family at the envoy’s residence in Makati City, on the same day that the Philippine government bared fresh Chinese incursions in the West Philippine Sea.”

      In addition to Vice President Jejomar Binay, present at the dinner were “the Vice President’s wife and former Makati Mayor Elenita Binay, Binay children Sen. Nancy Binay, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr., Rep. Abigail Binay and the Vice President’s longtime associate, Employers Confederation of the Philippines president Edgardo G. Lacson.”

      One can easily see from the guest list that it was a social dinner – not an official government reception.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Oops.. Now that is definitely not OK. While the Poe report raises SOME questions about the Mamasapano incident in the back of my mind, like whether is Noynoy PARTNERING with the USA or CONTROLLED by the USA, this is what is called prima facie evidence.

        Binay is clearly too close to China and WILL NOT represent Philippine interests if he becomes President. Given the fact that many Filipino politicians have sold their own people out before, questions are bad enough but prima facie evidence is even worse.

        Any President should serve his country ONLY and NOT be controlled by other powers. Noynoy is not yet full cleared in my mind, but Binay is totally out of the question by now. The question of loyalty is something EVERY voter should bear in mind when choosing.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Now the US is definitely the BEST partner for the Philippines considering other options.

          BUT there is a risk I definitely see that the Philippines should watch out for – the United States playing divide and rule between the Philippines and Bangsamoro to further its own power interests in the Asian region. Mamasapano is for me an indication to be WARY.

          It is old power politics to keep client states just strong enough to be useful, but just weak enough to be able to have them do one’s bidding. That is a trap that is to be avoided.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Now this it to illustrate the point I have been making all the while.

            From the famous movie Syriana with George Clooney and Matt Damon:

          • Joe America says:

            You are one step south of fiction, I think. The US is for calming the waters and getting her troops off Mindanao, not stirring up more trouble.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              The question is, how will it develop in the future? But that is part of my risk management blog article, not the US, but how to avoid a new armed conflict from ensuing where outside help will be needed by the Philippines. It would also be a drain on the country’s resources.

          • karl garcia says:

            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Framework_Agreement_on_the_Bangsamoro#International_reactions
            ” United States – US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton affirmed that “the United States welcomes the announcement of the framework agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front” and said that the agreement “is a testament to the commitment of all sides for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the southern Philippines”. The secretary also added that the next step is for the full implementation of the agreement and “encourage all parties to work together to build peace, prosperity and greater opportunities for all the people of the Philippines”.[12]

  10. NHerrera says:

    I want to thank the following:

    Yvonne — for a well-written piece I agree with and which started the discussion rolling;

    Joe America — for his arguments I agree with, scattered through these Blog topic discussions;

    edgar lores — for tying up the the country’s internal security and external security in a series of statements I appreciate and agree with.

    • yvonne says:

      Thank you for reading @NHerrera. I did not plug my piece on Raissa’s blogsite because it might create an appearance of being self-serving if I did it, although Joe dropped a hint in one of his posts there.

      • NHerrera says:

        Minutes after making my thank you’s to you, JoeAm and edgar, I posted a note in Raissa’s Blog site, encouraging Raissa’s Readers to take a look at your topical commentary in JoeAm’s Blog.

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks for the acknowledgements, NHerrera. I have to think PiE for kinda pissing me off, which incited my comments. But I’m still rather fond of him for his cerebral antics, stories and humor.

      • NHerrera says:

        Yes, it will be a sad day if PinoyInEurope and others do not show up here and give their comments. The debate is that much richer because of their comments.

        I am taking this opportunity to comment and hope PiE reads it and give it a thought — I know, he confesses to loving writing among other things, but he may try crystallizing his thoughts in fewer words than he uses. He is energetic and his mind is obviously full of ideas and need to express them. But if he does take the time to crystallize his thoughts, he will find that he is able to deliver his message with less effort and time — time he can devote to some other activities. (In any case, this is just my opinion, PiE — an opinion of an elderly man who does not have the energy or eyesight of vanished youth.)

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Thanks for the feedback. True, it takes longer to write shorter. My posts are much shorter and more structured now that in the beginning, even if it is hard to believe – but it is because the thoughts behind them are clearer now and leaving the draft stage.

          I know, I am energetic, I am happy that I am almost 50 and have SOMEWHAT calmed down and learned to channel my energy – imagine the 16-year old activist who battled Metrocom back in the days and provoked with very fiery speeches, I am not proud of it, it just WAS.

          Regarding the BBL, I am doing exactly what you are advising me. It is a topic I am very passionate about, which has contributed to a lot of anger making me go to far her. Taking time to analyze, cool down, organize and make something productive you will see Sunday.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            To write a serious blog article is much harder and takes MORE time than writing comments and ideas spontaneously, it forces one to be more structured. But I gladly take the time to do that.

            In a way in this blog I have sometimes been a more or less intellectual version of Boy Bastos from Michael Syjucos novel Ilustrado. My brother told me once when I started talking like a kanto boy: haha now you are not translating your thoughts anymore. 🙂

            This is a learning process for all of us, like the learning process of the Philippines.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              I also have put in some self-monitoring: I search how many comments I have made so far, and if they are between 1/3 and 1/2 of all comments made I retreat. My next goal is to make only 1/4 and 1/3 of all comments here, the more others also comment the better.

              Put my passion, channeled and controlled, into the service of this blog and therefore the Philippines, not explosively and destructively like I did in my youth – which is one reason I stayed away from Filipino politics for so long, fearing my own uncontrolled energy. Time to take a break now and let the body politic that is forming in this blog continue on its interesting and very useful dynamic. Thank you Joe for your directness and PATIENCE. 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                Patience? Tell it to my wife. She seems to have other ideas . . . 🙂

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Patience with me – my ways, 33 years younger with the activists, nearly caused them to put the death sentence on me for thinking too independently and voicing it out. Thanks to my elementary school classmate who was our leader, it did not happen but I had to leave.

                Imagine if I were at GRP and would contest their views, I wonder how benign0 would react to someone like me who is thrice the smart-ass that he is, I know why I am not there… 🙂

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      NHerrera,

      As a tippler, I regularly visit Raissa’s and Alan’s watering hole. I tend toward draft beer and between the two types of beers – ales and lagers — I favor ales for their “pronounced, complex taste and aroma.” Your posts, in my humble estimation, are of the first type.

      They are:

      o “Robust-tasting” rather than “lighter-tasting”
      o “Fruity and aromatic” rather than “highly carbonated”
      o More “bitter” (in the good sense of having bite) rather than “smooth or mellow”

      It might have to do with the number of venerable years we individually carry. Pardon me, and please correct me, if I presume. If we equate years with degrees: “Ales are traditionally fermented at warmer temperatures (55 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit), while lagers are typically fermented at cooler temperatures (38 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit).”

      Salud!
      *****

      • andrewlim8 says:

        I’m a wine aficionado at heart, but I ventured into beer some years ago, when craft beers started to grow here. You will be pleased to know that there are now a lot of independent, small craft beer brewers here in the country, with names like “Indio Pale Ale” and “Katipunan Craft Beer”.

        • Cesar Torres says:

          Longish. Written in 2012 when I was thinking that China could still be the huggable and lovable Panda.

          But I have given that up. China couldn’t care less if millions will die in a nuclear war with America, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, etc.

          I even worry if China (and Russia) have found an antidote to radioactivity in the human body. In that case, they will rule the world.

          The link of the piece I wrote in 2012, is below.

          http://www.worldwidefilipinoalliance.com/article_view.php?article_id=72

          Cesar Torres

      • josephivo says:

        Never realized that my beer drinking might have influenced my way of thinking. Typical for Belgium is the very old fashion spontaneous fermentation, using not lager yeasts, not ale yeasts but open vessels picking yeast and bacteria out of the air resulting in a flat beer needing secondary yeasting in a bottle, the result is sometimes too flat or too sour, but when the weather and the free flying yeasts are favorable followed by enough time to ripe, the taste can be spot on.

        • yvonne says:

          It would be interesting to toast Joe Am for a drink of “tuba” or “lambanog” if his wife hasn’t dared him yet to try them.

          • Joe America says:

            Yvonne, I am not some naive Colorado farm boy peeking gingerly through the banana leaves, I have sat under the mango tree with the guy guys in the late afternoon and imbibed tuba and coke, the tuba supplied in huge gallon jugs by my father-in-law who peddles the stuff to local sari sari stores, the jokes supplied by all, and me understanding about 5% of them. I like the stuff, actually, it makes me feel authentic, and I can sip it for long distances and feel no particular conflict with my BP meds, a problem I have with Red Horse. I’ve also mixed it up on the basketball court with the local youngsters and developed a bit of a reputation on the volleyball court after having nailed a grand spike whilst screaming two of my 208 Visayan words,
            KAON BULA!!!!”

            I much appreciate your sentiments, and I would toast you back for your fine articles that grace this growing blog with most interesting insights and lively discussion.

            • Joe America says:

              Perhaps I exaggerate the sports war stories, but not a lot . . .

              • Joe America says:

                @PiE, I deleted your two visual exhibits. One link did not work and the other, I did not want in my peaceful blog. I have had war experiences, I don’t watch war films, I don’t accept graphic scenes in my blog. Editor’s discretion. If you have a point to make, do it in text form and we can have a discussion.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                OK. It was about the movie Amigo by John Sayles, anyone who wants to have a look can google. The point being, in all war stories there are more than just the two opposing sides, it is a movie about the Philippine-American war in 1900 with an all-star cast, excellent.

                The village headman, played by Joel Torre, and the American lieutenant, played by Gareth Dillahunt, try to find a modus vivendi. The lieutenant’s boss, a hardcore Yankee veteran of the Indian wars, does not like this. Neither does the headman’s brother, who is the head of the rebels fighting the Americans. Their is also the Spanish parish priest, who as the translator plays a snake-like role. A lot of keen lessons to be learned from a movie.

              • Joe America says:

                I found the insertion strange, as I was engaged in social chat in the dialogue. The Philippine American War was brutal, and so was Viet Nam. Films these days are done too well, with too much impact, for some of us who have struggled to reconcile man’s inhumanity to man, and our own engagement in it.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Another war movie I deeply recommend – because it is also an intelligent movie about how one can still be deeply HUMAN in the middle of atrocity, is Savior with Dennis Quaid, it is about an American soldier in the Balkan wars who became a mercenary because his children were killed by Muslim terrorists in a bomb attack – who then decides to help a Serbian woman and her child. A very moving story, but very visceral as well. A story of a man who went to the dark side of the force and found his way back into redemption.

                I understand that many of those who have been to war do NOT want to see such things, therefore I respect your decision, as always made fairly and with a concise explanation.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “I found the insertion strange, as I was engaged in social chat in the dialogue.” No problem at all Joe, it’s just me – I like putting some extra sili into the pot while things are cooking, it is my form of intelligent mischief, makes people drink buckets of water.

                “Films these days are done too well, with too much impact, for some of us who have struggled to reconcile man’s inhumanity to man, and our own engagement in it.” Understandable. Anyone who want to have a look can google, for some it can edify.

              • Joe America says:

                It can edify if one can discuss it in a proper context of 117 years ago and not bring emotions forward into a situation that is wholly different today.

              • Joe America says:

                And as for intelligent mischief, my definition would be “poor taste”.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Again my promise to Mary stands, any promise made to someone with such a holy name is sacred. If I provoke too much again, mischievous person that I am by nature, just give me a reminder. I am working on that, only my nature gets the better of me sometimes.

                That aspect of me is also a risk that has to be managed, while I shall endeavour to be a continue to be devil’s advocate without being truly diabolical, and milden the sili I use.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “It can edify if one can discuss it in a proper context of 117 years ago and not bring emotions forward into a situation that is wholly different today.” Not bringing emotions forward, I agree – they may go in a misdirected way. The analogies misunderstood.

                Wholly different yes, but with many parallels. The headman plays a difficult role like that of Iqbal, the lieutenant plays a role like that of Deles. Both are caught between the fronts.

                The Filipino rebels act like the Moros of today, some even are dressed similarly.

              • Joe America says:

                Who are the Americans? Filipinos in Manila?

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “And as for intelligent mischief, my definition would be “poor taste”.”

                Now the facts are the same, only our opinions about the facts differ.

                I like it sharp and spicy, but am toning it down out of consideration.

              • Joe America says:

                That’s good. I am constantly impressed at the maturity of the contributors here who come from all over the world, from different backgrounds, and who for the most part remain considerate of others. It is hard to build a community. Sometimes it requires giving a little of oneself.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                To put it in Bavarian: Sepp, Du bist a sturer Hund, aber i aa…” Sepp is the informal way to say Joseph, and Hund means dog but is a compliment among rough Bavarians.

                Joe, you are stubborn, opinionated and good, but so am I so let’s continue…

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                But to also say it in Bavarian: nix für unguat – that means no bad intention.

                In Bavaria they way that as long as you don’t hit the other guy, you are still being polite.

                I just have to be more sensitive to other people… a lifelong thing I have been working on.

                My quota above 1/3 but below 1/2 is soon to be reached, time to stop posting and eat.

                Next blog article, my quota will be between 1/4 and 1/3 of all posts, work in progress…

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “Who are the Americans? Filipinos in Manila?” The AFP and the PNP in Mindanao.

                The Americans in Washington are not shown in that movie. They would be the Manilans…

              • Joe America says:

                Ah, very good. Yes, I concede, with that interpretation it is edifying. But you still won’t catch me watching it. 🙂

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Don’t have to. Maybe some others here will though, and see it in the RIGHT way.

                “Sometimes it requires giving a little of oneself.” I like your nuanced way of expressing yourself. I am striving not to give TOO MUCH of myself here – still within today’s quota. 🙂

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          Josephivo.

          Neither ale nor lager. You are truly an outlier. And open as the free-flying yeasts in the open air. No wonder you are spot on.
          *****

      • NHerrera says:

        I visit Raissa’s and JoeAm’s Blogs for some mental nourishment, among other things. They have different flavors. I will use a different analogy. Game of Chess and Go. I have never been of any measured rank or join tournaments, live or online. I play these games with myself for relaxation, taking care to stop when I seem to be getting addictive — which they can be.

        Both games are beautiful and enjoyable games. Go with origins from China, so we are told, of some 4000 years ago, amazingly has simple rules and more difficult to master. In its usual tournament scale it is played on a 19×19 grid of 361 points or intersections. Two Players take turns putting pieces on the points — one with white and another with black discs the size of US quarter. The idea of Go is to enclose as much of the points as possible. Essentially, Players take turns placing discs at a local combat area or to a different, distant area. Thus there is the constant thinking of the local (immediate) combat versus a wider, global combat — a balance of the immediate versus the long term. Interestingly, Go almost always has a winner, compared to Chess, which has the boring feature of more than 50% (probably more than 70%) draws in tournament games of Grandmasters.

        Any way I liken Raissa’s and JoeAm’s Blogs to either Chess or Go, not having quite decided yet which is the Chess Blog or the Go Blog.

        Thanks for the creative and kind phrasing of your reply above. You did not presume wrong. I am 76.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          GO is the way the Chinese are playing their global expansion at the moment.

          Sponsoring all sorts of projects – in Africa, in Sri Lanka, in Latin America – with interests.

          While the Western strategy is more like Chess – careful we may soon be surrounded.

        • edgar lores says:

          ******
          NHerrera,

          And I am 69. I hope to reach your venerability… and be able to retain such acuity of mind and freshness of spirit.

          As one ale to another… our fermentation could not have gone better… and we are blessed to be… and to be fermenting… still.
          *****

  11. Cesar Torres says:

    There is some logic to the insight of the writer. Miss Yvonne.

    China will hesitate to use force to pursue its land grabbing

    In my case, I think it is beyond debate that the Imperialist and Bully China will use force in redesigning its national territory to protect and enhance its “national interest” for its 1.37 billion population now and their descendants in the future. I am not forgetting and unmindful of the public statements of America, Japan, India, South Korea, Vietnam, Australia, and even Spain in Europe.

    But if the Filipinos, do not have the self-respect and cannot be trusted to defend themselves, why would the citizens of other countries die for them?

    China has problems with the Jihaddist Uighurs too

    However, considering China’s bloody issue with Jihaddist Uighurs, it is hard to believe why China would utilize the services of Marwan, definitely, someone who was a member or in the group of Daesh-ISIS, al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Jemaah Islamiyah, BIFF, the Abu Sayyaf, JIM, and the like. But this is not impossible to believe. As the saying goes: “We have no permanent friends, only permanent interests.”

    A terrible scenario for the Philippines

    At the moment, it is terrible to contemplate a scenario where the Philippines as a country composed of 7,107 islands at the moment, from Batanes to Tawi Tawi including its territorial seas in the West Philippine Sea, might cease to exist. I cannot believe that China will give up the “islands” that they have built by reclaiming portions of Philippine territory in the West Philippine Sea. Worse, its 3 million PLA could take over not only the West Philippine Sea, but also Batanes, Palawan, and the entire island of Luzon, and declare the area as a province of China to be managed by Filipinos, like Ericson Baculinao, who is now in China.

    The National Democratic Front of Jose Maria Sison and Casino have been publicly quoted as characterizing China as a “bully”. But if the Chinese occupation of parts of the Philippine territory will enhance their dream of “National Democracy-then Socialism-then Communism” in the Philippines, it is not impossible to think that they will not acquiesce to a re-designed Philippines. The parameters might be different from what Jose Maria Sison, Casino, Father Luis Jalandoni, etc. have been dreaming of. But if this will make Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party happy, then the National Democratic Front, the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army, Migrante International, Bayan USA, Gabriela, the League of Filipino Students, etc., will also be happy.

    What of Tawi Tawi, Sulu, Basilan, and the Moro (Muslim)-dominated territories of Mindanao in Southern Philippines? The area now contemplated in the “Bangsamoro Basic Law” as constituting an “autonomous” Bangsamoro? It is terrible to contemplate. But these areas might be annexed by Malaysia as part of its territory. After all they already own Sabah. And would the Malaysians be averse to a Jemaah Islamiyah which would include Southern Philippines? After all, the Malaysians have already extensive palm plantations in Mindanao. And the MILF seem to look up to them more than they do to the Christian Political Leaders based in Manila.

    How about the Visayan Islands? They could be up for grabs between China and an expanded Malaysia.

    Quality of our people and their leaders

    In general what can be said of the Filipinos? Of course, we know that millions of Muslims do not accept the term “Filipino” as applying to them. This is another long story. But for now, let me just highlight some glaring information about us, as a people. I use the figure of 105.7 million as the current Philippine population. Compared with the 90 million population of Vietnam, there are more of us than the Vietnamese.

    Wikipedia, several years ago, listed some 11 million Filipinos as in Diaspora. They are roaming the 193 countries of the world seeking for a better life for themselves and their family members in the Homeland. There are millions of Filipinos outside of the homeland who can participate in the elections in the Philippines to choose their governmental leaders. Unhappily, millions of these Filipinos don’t care to participate in these elections. Worse, they have nothing but contempt for these candidates for political office in the Homeland.

    Some 10% of the Philippine population are Muslims. They have been engaged in a centuries-old “clash of civilizations” with the Filipinos who are Christians.

    Courage in jailing plundering trapos

    How about their leaders, the politicians who are known as “Trapos” or “Dish rags” in English. Many of them are incompetent. Some are corrupt, plunderers of the public funds. It is a nice feeling to know that someone from the Ilocos Region — Ombudswoman Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, is sending many of those Trapos to jail. The Ilocos is the home turf of the son of the Conjugal Dictators, Marcos and Imelda. The son of Marcos whom I refer to as Marcos II wants to become President of the Philippines.

    Ombudswoman Conchita Carpio-Morales is an alumna of the University of the Philippines College of Law, the alma mater of Marcos, Enrile, and Gigi Reyes.

    To save Pilipinas are we wishing for the moon with leaders whom we can trust

    The leaders should not only be trustworthy, but they should have the vision, the the intelligence, the competence, and the unswerving patriotism without any hint of personal and family greed.

    For many Filipinos who care so much for the Homeland, there is a feeling of hopelessness when contemplating the various challenges that we are faced with.

    Nevertheless, many are still confident that with leaders who can be trusted to exert their best, who can inspire the 105.7 million Filipinos to close ranks for the sake of the Motherland, who can be respected in the comity of nations, whose mindset are not chained to ideologies and systems of belief forged in the darkest periods of human history, who can understand the meanings of critical developments around the world, the implosion of the 7,107 islands might be prevented.

    We would not go the way of China when it ceased to exist on the map. It was cannibalized by European, American, and Japanese imperialists.

    We need a fearless and competent leader from Luzon, someone like Justice Morales who has been sending plunderers to prison.

    With the numerous challenges confronting the Homeland, especially in Southern Philippines, drug addition, massive criminality, she needs to work with a fearless and competent leader like Rodrigo Duterte who has achieved a reputation of providing peace and order in Davao City. The actor Robin Padilla thinks he walks on water.

    Duterte is a friend of Nur Misuari of the MNLF. In fact Misuari has declared that Davao City will be the capital of the Bangsamoro as organized by the Misuari MNLF.

    The MILF respects Duterte as well. Even the Ampatuans are wary of him. Jose Maria Sison, the Ilocano Leader of the National Democratic Front thinks that Duterte would be good for the country.

    But by himself, Duterte may not be electable in other parts of the Philippines. Either as Vice President or President, he needs someone from Luzon.

    • mercedes santos says:

      I’ve been thinking that maybe the Chinese have been thinking of Pinas as their salad bowl and their OIL depot ,as their land is fast turning into factory land. They have to relocate their
      masses to places such as Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia which are still a part of their land mass. The Phil, archipelago will be ideal for their Pinoy toilers and riggers. But then there is that sleeping nuclear reactor in Bataan; that’s a prize they can leverage against the Nippongos. China, as far as I know still run on coal.

      I have been wondering why Koreans have been flocking to Olongapo city. All the resort
      areas are now full of Koreans, especially Baguio City. It must be cheaper to have plastic
      surgery in Pinas than in Seoul !

      Since the Chinese cannot stand Muslims and Binay, appears to be on their big time payroll,
      why can’t we tell our brothers in the SOUTH that Binay is a puppet of the Chinese, ergo he can’t stand Muslims too.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Ahaha! Are you practicing to be a professional heckler?
        *****

        • mercedes santos says:

          Not practicing, have not even started. Just testing the waters, the South China sea waters, quimo sabe ???

      • yvonne says:

        Speaking of Vice President Jejomar Binay, he is the Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns but he has obviously done nothing to address the growing radicalization of OFWs in the Middle East, especially in Saudi Arabia. This is a growing concern that is widely discussed in Saudi press. When those radicalized OFWs return to our country they could easily feed into the unrest in Mindanao that is slowly creeping into the rest of the country.

        Why his inaction? Anyone’s guess is as good as mine.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          A lot of OFWs in Saudi convert to Islam, first out of opportunity and then they eventually get heavily indoctrinated. Very dangerous because they are often from Luzon and Visayas.

    • Joe America says:

      I enjoyed your assessment, Cesar. Lots of good points made. The one thing that troubles me is what I call the Chinese penchant for making up their own reality, and then believing it. Or acting as if they do. That makes ordinary, what we call rational, responses ineffective. So ITLOS means nothing to them because they say their claims supersede international laws, or whatever rationale they use. Well, it isn’t true, most of the rest of the world disagrees, but it makes no difference. The only voice they listen to is their own. So that makes behavior prediction rather difficult, because who knows what rationale will come into play tomorrow. It’s like Russia. Sanctions are employed to try to get Russia to see the folly of their Ukraine advendure, and they talk it away as irrelevant, and turn Russian pain into patriotic fervor. China would be pretty much the same, I think. But China is more internally diverse and divided, so might implode more abruptly, which might encourage . . . not change for the good . . . but irrational strikes at other nations, the “threat” being used to justify horrific internal controls.

      I’m not sure the Philippines can control the future, as it pertains to China. It is best to have strong partners.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      http://www.bartleby.com/36/1/17.html – from Macchiavellis Il Principe, fits Duterte:

      A Prince should therefore disregard the reproach of being thought cruel where it enables him to keep his subjects united and obedient. For he who quells disorder by a very few signal examples will in the end be more merciful than he who from too great leniency permits things to take their course and so to result in rapine and bloodshed; for these hurt the whole State, whereas the severities of the Prince injure individuals only…

      a Prince should inspire fear in such a fashion that if he do not win love he may escape hate. For a man may very well be feared and yet not hated, and this will be the case so long as he does not meddle with the property or with the women of his citizens and subjects. And if constrained to put any to death, he should do so only when there is manifest cause or reasonable justification. But, above all, he must abstain from the property of others. For men will sooner forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony.

  12. karl garcia says:

    Someone help me on this. Is this good or bad for the Philippines?

    http://www.ellentordesillas.com/2014/03/10/pangilinan-offers-spratlys-to-chinese-oil-firm-in-reed-bank-talks/

    “Business tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan offered China’s state-owned oil firm access to the Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea over which the Philippines has a territorial claim, although he had no legal capacity to do so. Pangilinan, chairman and chief executive officer of Philex Petroleum Corp, offered to include in his discussions with officials of the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) the Spratlys Islands, even if his company’s contract with the Philippine government is limited to Reed Bank, which is part of Palawan.
    In an aide memoire addressed to President Benigno Aquino dated May 7, 2012, Pangilinan reported on his meeting with CNOOC officials led by its president Yang Hua and listed his 11 point proposal which, he said, the Chinese “received positively.” The 11-point proposal includes a Framework Agreement between Philex and CNOOC “relating to an area of mutual interest which will be defined as the area covered by SC 72.” “Other disputed areas (such as the Spratlys) could be included by agreement,” wrote Pangilinan. SC 72 refers to Service Contract 72, signed in 2010, in which the Philippine government awarded Forum Energy Plc. (FEP) exploration rights to a basin within Reed Bank. Philex owns 64.45 percent of FEP, a London-based listed oil and gas exploration firm focused on the Philippines. FEP in turn owns 70 percent of SC 72. Reed Bank is not in the Spratlys, although China is claiming it as part of its territory under its 9-dash line map in which covers almost the entire South China Sea. Aside from the Philippines and China, Vietnam and Taiwan also claim Reed Bank. “

  13. yvonne says:

    @karl garcia,

    You brought up a very interesting information. The first part of that article stated that CNOOC rejected Pangilinan’s offer:

    “A state-owned Chinese oil firm has rejected the proposal of business tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan to invest in a contract to drill in the disputed Reed Bank but welcomed “innovative” proposals on how it can participate, according to a memorandum Pangilinan submitted to President Benigno Aquino.”

    “State-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) turned down the offer made by Pangilinan, chairman and chief executive officer of Philex Petroleum Corp, in a meeting on May 2, 2012.”

    “A Farm-In Agreement into SC 72 (which Philex previously suggested to them) is not acceptable given the sovereignty issue,” Pangilinan reported to Aquino in an aide memoire submitted to the President on May 7, 2012.”

    Given the time frame of the discussions, which was around the heightened tension between the Philippines and China, I think that Pangilinan, acting unofficially in behalf of our government, was only opening a backdoor for a discussion of some talking points with China to ease the tension. Knowing that the offer had no legal bite, it was more intended to gauge the Chinese response than anything else. Better talking than shooting. Just my opinion.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, the deal was rejected because the Philippines insists that any agreement must be according to Philippine Laws, which China cannot accept. Nor will the Philippines back off that stand, because it is tantamount to conceding ALL RIGHTS, beyond those Pangilinan needs to develop oil, to China. What is peculiar is that China is not willing to buy oil from “Philippine territory” under a partnership arrangement, which is essentially what Pangilinan is proposing, but insists on owning the territory and the oil.

      It’s all so childish. Agree on who owns the territory, then negotiate the resource extraction to the benefit of both nation’s business interests, with taxes paid to the state.

      Simple, it would seem. But, no, the children must claim the toys so they don’t have to share them.

    • karl garcia says:

      Yes, I now think so too that is a gauge to Chinese response. Thanks Yvonne, this has been bothering me for a while. I did not know what to make of it.

      • karl garcia says:

        Thanks as well Joe. Very Childish .

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          My sister once told me and her then-boyfriend, present husband – we were all having some hard drinks, the boys were drinking Whisky-Coke while she drank Rum with Coke – that many problems in this world are because grown men act like five year old boys plus lots of testosterone, things would be better if more women took over leadership positions.

          I told her, hey you women ruin it for yourselves by constantly betraying each other, men stick together women don’t, she answered just wait and see, we have learned. My sister chiseled off a lot of my original wrong machismo, our old man was no match for her, if he is an intellectual Duterte then she is a hard-hitting intellectual version of Sara, no mercy.

      • Yvonne says:

        Oh, BTW, it just occurred to me, didn’t Binay woo Pangilinan to be his running mate for Vice-President?

        • Yvonne says:

          Seems like another piece of the puzzle falling into place.

          • karl garcia says:

            oil baron Binay? or Telco/infra King binay or meralco Binay?Maynilad(?) Binay

            promise of low prices of gas, low phone and electric and water bills.
            But It was turned down…Plan B.

  14. jameboy says:

    The question may be asked then: What do we make out of those people who are very vocal in putting down President Aquino on the Mamasapano debacle, yet never raised a voice against China’s provocative and aggressive incursions into our territorial water?
    ========
    The answer I think was those are two different and distinct issues.

    For one, people were affected by the slaughter suffered by PNP-SAF personnel. Unlike in China’s case, there was never a chance to exercise diplomacy in Mamasapano. It’s a legitimate raid by gov’t. authorities that shockingly ended in Pintakasi.

    Secondly, there were confusion as to the details of the Mamasapano event ranging from some officials calling it a ‘misencounter’ and then later on called it an ‘ambush’. And when those who survived started to talk plus a video was posted on Internet showing an officer still alive but shot dead just the same by the enemy, most people came to realization that it was murder through massacre. There really was no misencounter. And what made matter worse was how the personalities on the gov’t. side involved in the Oplan Exodus started finger-pointing and casting blames and washing hands in public. It was a monumental blunder the people were not prepared for.

  15. a very big problem we have in the philippines is the lack of respect for the office of the president. never mind the occupant, the office must in itself come with some form of a shield from these kinds of assumptions (ill-intentions and incompetence). most would argue that it must be earned by the occupant first but i will strongly disagree. a high respect for the office will result in high quality leaders. americans are doing irreparable harm to their country by disrespecting obama. nation building is a global game where internal progress is very dependent on external ones and vice versa.

    • Joe America says:

      You are so very very correct. The idea that the only good patriot is people who think like me is a part of the disease, in the US. Self absorption over community well-being. I was just noodling on a possible blog to address that topic.

    • Yvonne says:

      Yes, I agree. How would the international community respect your national leader when your own people show lack of respect to their leader?

  16. jameboy says:

    1. On the face of it, the internal threat is seen as a threat to the presidency of PNoy, and the external threat as a threat to the nation. Both threats are seen to be separate with no connection.
    2. However, both threats are intertwined. The success of the first threat is likely to lead to the success of the second threat.
    3. How so?
    4. The most plausible scenario in the first threat is that if for any reason PNoy cannot (or will not) finish his term, the Vice President will ascend to the presidency. The Vice President, like GMA, is known to consort with the expansionist enemy. If GMA sought to secure her future by accommodating China’s ambitions, it is not unlikely that Binay, on present form, will follow in her small shoes. – edgar l.
    ========

    And that’s a stretch. The Mamasapano and China issue are intertwined because of Binay? They are separate issues and no amount of creating a boogeyman out of Binay will make them connected or the same.

    The ‘internal threat’ which I don’t believe exist has no China ingredient in it. it’s all about PNoy and the great misunderstanding he has with the public regarding the Mamasapano killings. It was an emotional event that shook the nation to its core and unfortunately painted the President in a corner for a series of blunders he committed as well as the unraveling of the faulty details of the police operation. No Binay nor China there.

    The China encroachment has been happening for years and to imply that if PNoy will not finish his term, either by resignation or ouster, Binay, like GMA, will start
    accommodating China and accept her de facto in the West Philippine Sea.

    Doesn’t make sense. Why will a candidate and aspiring to become president do such a thing? And why do it to what will remain in the terms of PNoy (if he resigned/ousted)? I know the strong repugnance some people have about Binay and I do not take it against them for the jury is still out about his reputation and credibility but to use him as justification for something that does not exist is just not good.

    Unless evidence is produced and proved showing the connection between Mamasapano killing and Chinese bullying, I take it that everything is just a wild speculation mix with political manipulation.

    • Joe America says:

      The only people I know who are defending Binay are people who have some personal advantage to doing so. The Senate hearings revealed a pack of lies, a fake bidding process, and the sale of a building worth P800 million to taxpayers for P2.3 billion. The Vice President failed to appear before the Senate, something MILF Chief Negotiator Iqbal, in a far more strenuous political circumstance, had the courage to do, has been busy blaming every honorable person and institution in the Philippines as playing politics, and now his family is papering the Ombudsman and courts with process to try to delay judgment past the 2016 election date. Sorry, I presume you have some ulterior reason for denying that which is perfectly clear.

      • jameboy says:

        Sorry, I presume you have some ulterior reason for denying that which is perfectly clear.
        ========
        Not denying anything, Joe, just disputing the allegation that Mamasapano and China were intertwined because of Binay.

        • Joe America says:

          The denial: “I know the strong repugnance some people have about Binay and I do not take it against them for the jury is still out about his reputation and credibility but to use him as justification for something that does not exist is just not good.”

          The jury is only out in the minds of those with vested interests or great ignorance.

          • jameboy says:

            Not disagreeing with people who hate Binay a denial? Anyway, that’s not the point of my post. Like I said, Binay and China have no connection in Mamasapano. The China problem is completely independent of the 44 PNP-SAF killings. The same goes with Binay’s own problem.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Saying we should stop looking Mamasapano because China is there is like some Americans during World War 2 who argued in court: “why are you wasting your time trying me for this minor traffic offense, we have a war to win guys!”. A non sequitur.

            • Joe America says:

              The denial: “The jury is still out about his [Binay’s] reputation and credibility . . .”

              The jury is only out in the minds of those with vested interests or great ignorance. There is no need to divert the issue. We disagree. You say the jury is out, I say it is not, except among two classes. If I carry my calculation through, it puts you into one of those two classes. But, hey, why go there? It is just conversation.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Formally speaking, Binay is not yet indicted, though he is guilty as sin in my eyes.

                Do you now see why I like Duterte? Binay would be scared to do what he is doing.

                A Prince should therefore disregard the reproach of being thought cruel where it enables him to keep his subjects united and obedient. For he who quells disorder by a very few signal examples will in the end be more merciful than he who from too great leniency permits things to take their course and so to result in rapine and bloodshed; for these hurt the whole State, whereas the severities of the Prince injure individuals only…

              • jameboy says:

                I agree with you, Joe, we disagree.

                We have a process to convict a person of wrongdoing. Everything bad about Binay maybe true but can we punish or penalize him based on that? No. That is why I said I do not take it against people who think that way and at the same time acknowledge the fact that nothing has been decided or establish yet.

                Who knows, Binay could be guilty as hell but until that is proven before a court of justice I don’t think it’s fair to say that those who think we should observe the legal process is just in it for vested interests or gret ignorance.

                But again, it has nothing to do with the ‘intertwined’ issue. I know Binay is a polarizing figure and with politics and vested interest in mind anyone can insert his name in the conversation and voila, we have a discussion. But I’m not one to go on that direction. Binay is a separate issue from Mamasapano. The same goes with China.

                To put China and Binay in the Mamasapano case, in my opinion, is actually an example of vested interest and gross ignorance.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                @jameboy: if one has to bypass legal process, then do it in the straight and honest way.

                Like Duterte or like the Nuremberg war tribunals, which were extralegal and one time.

                Thinking that logic to the end: martial law until mid-2016, special corruption courts.

              • jameboy says:

                Pinoy, I have to admit it, your “Duterte is the man” mantra confuses and throws me off balance while reading comments. And I say that in a positive and playful way. 🙂

                Anyway, I think Duterte is a good issue to talk about. You keep on hoping they will open a blog/thread on him and I’ll gladly join you there with me in the opposing side, as usual.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                @jameboy, good idea for my next blog article after BBL. I have looked at him very closely and just have to put a little more material in to have a good article. But one thing at a time.

              • jameboy says:

                Formally speaking, Binay is not yet indicted, though he is guilty as sin in my eyes. – Pinoy
                ========
                That is your opinion and I respect that the way I respect those who believe otherwise. But dragging that ‘conviction’ of yours in a discussion that is not relevant to it is another matter. That’s not an accusation but an analogy of the idea of the article. 🙂

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Now here you go again, accusing each other of political manipulations and hidden agendas. Even if it is always a possibility I give the other side the benefit of the doubt – sometimes it is not like that, sometimes it is either strong convictions or hard prejudices.

      Actually the dividing line between the two is very thin and I have found that it pays to take a break, look at things once again from another perspective and try to find a synthesis as in Hegel’s strong idea (adopted by Lenin) that thesis versus antithesis produces synthesis.

      Not everybody who sees the importance of Mamasapano is pro-Binay or pro-China, and not everybody who sees the importance of supporting Noynoy and addressing China is a manipulative propagandist. Actually IMHO you need to address all the issues – make sure BBL is done in a proper way in order not to have a two-front war – Moros in the back and China in front. Noynoy must be criticized in order to correct his mistakes, not destroy him. Also we should all make sure the Philippines watches its own interests while US gives help.

  17. Bing Garcia says:

    ” . . . for people to ask the President to step down, or be impeached, for the debacle in Mamasapano, yet not ask other politicians to do the same for more serious offenses, such as for massive graft and corruption, then the motivations of those people are suspect to say the least because of their silence, or unpatriotic to say the worst because they are contributing to the attempts by others to destabilize our government.”

    I love it!

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      What some people are implicitly not considering as a possibility is that one can criticize certain aspects of what the President is doing without asking for resignation or impeachment. In fact in a mature democracy, constructive criticism is VERY important.

      In fact I must reiterate once more my stand that ALL corrupt politicians should not just be jailed, maybe it is even better to force them by law to give back all the money they earned the wrong way – the Philippines might need something similar to anti-Mafia US RICO laws – AND ban them from practicing politics FOREVER. Otherwise these cockroaches will keep coming back. Since we are too humane to use Nuvan against them, we need solutions.

      • karl garcia says:

        AND ban them from practicing politics FOREVER
        then let their wife,sondaughter,nephew,niece,inlaws,cousins,aunts and uncles continue FOREVER.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          And get banned as soon as they are caught and only THEN. By your logic, Noynoy would not be allowed to practice politics because of his uncles Peping and Danding.

      • Joe America says:

        I agree, but the criticisms should be based on evidence or patterns or something other than guilt by association, that to be president is to be guilty of bad motive because Marcos or Estrada or Arroyo displayed those tendencies.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          No pre-judgements, I agree fully. BUT just like every public official must submit a SALN, conflicts of interest must be totally ruled out by law, given national experiences.

          In fact I have found a VERY good aspect in the BBL yesterday – it has a provision against conflicts of interest that goes exactly in the direction I have been looking at, and in many ways it is better and more down-to-earth than the Philippine 1987 Constitution.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Reading mindanews yesterday more comprehensively, I have found that not just Moros, Mindanaoans in general are more down-to-earth and rooted in reality than the people in the capital – just my impression – and very much more realistic than the entire Senate. Duterte comes from that culture, Pacquiao too, they are all Theopraktiker down there, they have to be because just being theoretical or too pragmatic doesn’t work there.

      • jameboy says:

        In fact I must reiterate once more my stand that ALL corrupt politicians should not just be jailed, maybe it is even better to force them by law to give back all the money they earned the wrong way. – PiE
        ========
        Should not be jailed and just force them to give back their loot? How? Pinoy, are you in a jocular mood again? 🙂

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          should not JUST be jailed, read properly OK? Jail them AND then more.

          Another alternative is to force them to give back their loot WITH interest and ban them from politics for life – the latter HURTS them even more than jail don’t you realize?

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racketeer_Influenced_and_Corrupt_Organizations_Act

            This is the American RICO law I am using as an example – US palagi ang gusto ninyo eh:

            Under RICO, a person who has committed “at least two acts of racketeering activity” drawn from a list of 35 crimes—27 federal crimes and 8 state crimes—within a 10-year period can be charged with racketeering if such acts are related in one of four specified ways to an “enterprise”. Those found guilty of racketeering can be fined up to $25,000 and sentenced to 20 years in prison per racketeering count. In addition, the racketeer must forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained through a pattern of “racketeering activity.”

            When the U.S. Attorney decides to indict someone under RICO, he or she has the option of seeking a pre-trial restraining order or injunction to temporarily seize a defendant’s assets and prevent the transfer of potentially forfeitable property, as well as require the defendant to put up a performance bond. This provision was placed in the law because the owners of Mafia-related shell corporations often absconded with the assets. An injunction and/or performance bond ensures that there is something to seize in the event of a guilty verdict…

            Both the criminal and civil components allow the recovery of treble damages (damages in triple the amount of actual/compensatory damages).

            Although its primary intent was to deal with organized crime, Blakey said that Congress never intended it to merely apply to the Mob. He once told Time, “We don’t want one set of rules for people whose collars are blue or whose names end in vowels, and another set for those whose collars are white and have Ivy League diplomas.”[1]

            Initially, prosecutors were skeptical of using RICO, mainly because it was unproven. However, during the 1980s and 1990s, federal prosecutors utilized the law to bring charges against several Mafia figures. The first major success was the Mafia Commission Trial, which resulted in several top leaders of New York City’s Five Families getting what amounted to life sentences. By the turn of the century, RICO cases resulted in virtually all of the top leaders of the New York Mafia being sent to prison…

            Pattern of racketeering activity requires at least two acts of racketeering activity, one of which occurred after the effective date of this chapter and the last of which occurred within ten years (excluding any period of imprisonment) after the commission of a prior act of racketeering activity. The U.S. Supreme Court has instructed federal courts to follow the continuity-plus-relationship test in order to determine whether the facts of a specific case give rise to an established pattern. Predicate acts are related if they “have the same or similar purposes, results, participants, victims, or methods of commission, or otherwise are interrelated by distinguishing characteristics and are not isolated events.” (H.J. Inc. v. Northwestern Bell Telephone Co.) Continuity is both a closed and open ended concept, referring to either a closed period of conduct, or to past conduct that by its nature projects into the future with a threat of repetition.

            Now this would be a way to Get Shorty, sorry Jojo Binay.

          • jameboy says:

            I stand corrected on the ‘jailed’ part but isn’t there a process already that we require people to return their loot? Case in point are the Marcoses. And with interest?

            On banning them from politics for life, fine, but how do you justify it?

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Those who are TOO corrupt will do it again and are harmful for politics and lawmaking.

              • jameboy says:

                Agree, but how will you go about it without violating the law or the rights of those people?

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                You have to MAKE a law that stipulates exactly that. I mean in the US people with longer jail sentences are precluded from voting, so what is wrong with the law I propose?

              • jameboy says:

                I didn’t say “wrong”, I’m merely inquiring as to the ‘how’ issue of your theory. To make a law is easier said than done. Pinoy, we’re not talking about ‘voting’, we are talking about your opinion on banning people from politics for life. I don’t see nothing wrong in the idea of making a law banning people from politics. What I’m interested in was how will you prove that you will not violate the law or the rights of the people in going about the process.

                And I ask that because I think it would be very difficult to do what you proposes without committing such violation.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Think I gave you an answer, again with an analogy from the US our people love or hate too much:

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felony_disenfranchisement

                Felony disenfranchisement is excluding people otherwise eligible to vote from voting (known as disfranchisement) due to conviction of a criminal offence, usually restricted to the more serious class of crimes, felonies. Jurisdictions vary in whether they make such disfranchisement permanent, or restore suffrage after a person has served a sentence, or completed parole or probation.[1] Affected individuals suffer “collateral consequences”[2] including loss of access to jobs, housing, and other facilities.[2]

                Opponents have argued that this disfranchisement restricts and conflicts with principles of universal suffrage.[3] This can affect civic and communal participation in general.[1]

                If it is possible to find a way to exclude felons from voting in the democratic US, it should also be possible to find a way to exclude corrupt politicians from holding office in the democratic Philippines. In fact, the BBL has some requirements that reflect that.

              • jameboy says:

                I guess you are having a hard time distinguishing the one who vote and the one who gets voted into office. Or maybe there is really nothing out there that will serve as an exact example of your idea.

                Anyway, let’s leave it at that. 🙂

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Ha! Please READ my postings properly, I mentioned the BBL, you can google for it:

                Article VII BANGSAMORO GOVERNMENT …

                Section 16. Forfeiture of Seat. A Member of Parliament shall forfeit his or her seat if:…

                b. He/she is convicted of a grave offense as stipulated in the House Rules that the Bangsamoro Parliament will promulgate pursuant to Art VII Sec 19 of this Basic Law, or treason, high crimes, heinous crimes, crimes against morality or other crimes punishable by more than six (6) years.

                Know you know! 🙂

              • karl garcia says:

                Disenfanchising means prevent people right to vote.Can you just use algebra to get the inverse where a candidate can not be a candidate?

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Franchise is what you get when you operate a McDonalds.

                Disenfranchise is what they do to you when you have too many cockroaches in the kitchen.

              • karl garcia says:

                Do you you use Baygon from Bayer Germany to get rid of roaches?

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Don’t have cockroaches in my place at all, that is one advantage of a cooler climate. Restaurants avoid them by keeping clean a lot – “Sagrotan” and stuff.

                As for corruption, well you have that everywhere in the world. The difference is only a matter of how pervasive it is, in terms of worldwide corruption the cleanest countries are in Scandinavia and that is where people from my observation are aslo the most honest.

  18. PinoyInEurope says:

    http://www.bartleby.com/36/1/19.html now that I am re-reading my Macchiavelli, this fits the present situation regarding Noynoy perfectly:

    A Prince is despised when he is seen to be fickle, frivolous, effeminate, pusillanimous, or irresolute, against which defects he ought therefore most carefully to guard, striving so to bear himself that greatness, courage, wisdom, and strength may appear in all his actions. In his private dealings with his subjects his decisions should be irrevocable, and his reputation such that no one would dream of overreaching or cajoling him…

    To be brief, a Prince has little to fear from conspiracies when his subjects are well disposed towards him; but when they are hostile and hold him in detestation, he has then reason to fear everything and every one. And well ordered States and wise Princes have provided with extreme care that the nobility shall not be driven to desperation, and that the commons shall be kept satisfied and contented; for this is one of the most important matters that a Prince has to look to.

  19. Steve says:

    I don’t think “I told the CHINESE guy to deposit eight thousand” can be assumed to be evidence of Chinese government support. There is a huge overseas Chinese presence all around Asia. They dominate the black money networks and many have nothing at all to do with the Chinese government. “The Chinese guy” could be a money launderer whose family has been out of the mainland for a century. We don’t know that’s the case, but barring further evidence it is insufficient basis for a conclusion.

    • Yvonne says:

      Yes, I agree. That is why I have to take that statement in conjunction with another report that Marwan allegedly received financial support from China through his Tunisian facilitator.

  20. PinoyInEurope says:

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/rafael-alunan-iii/what-to-do-after-bbl-is-finally-rejected-as-inimical-to-national-security-and-th/10152873739252901?pnref=lhc

    Just to show that NOT everybody who is against BBL or is criticizing Noynoy is ignoring national security, is playing political games or a warmonger. Rafael Alunan III is Ninoy’s former Tourism Secretary and FVRs former DILG Secretary, here is his good vision:

    3. A national policy, strategy and long-term plan will guide the peace / development processes that need to be rebooted to start off on the right footing.

    6. A climate of peace will be cultivated to get all communities on board the peace wagon because it is they who must will it for peace to become a state of being. Government will only step in to bridge gaps and move things along in the right direction where people may go astray.

    7. Government will frown on discrimination, prejudice and curtailment of civil liberties. It will respect cultural and religious diversity, and freedom of choice. It will not tolerate totalitarianism in any form that impinges on the right of a human being to choose what he wants to be provided it is within limits of ethical and moral behavior.

    8. Government will not tolerate abuses that stem from ego-tripping and power-tripping by government officials. Neither will it tolerate threats to public safety and the country’s territorial integrity in consonance with its constitutional duty to protect the state, country and people.

    9. Government will endeavor to dramatically curb corruption so that monies saved plus new funds can be channeled to establish credible deterrence in the West PH Sea and on our mainland; lure domestic and foreign investments to raise our human development index and global competitiveness; and raise the salaries and benefits of a right-sized bureaucracy to be able to attract good talent.

    10. Government will endeavor to firm up security partnerships to strengthen our capacity to detect, deter and defeat (if necessary) any threat from any foe, to raise our level of security and worthiness as a reliable ally.

    Just to note that I am assessing BBL from a risk-management perspective on Sunday, I am not in principle against it, so that the typical baiting may not start again. It is tiring and not constructive.

  21. PinoyInEurope says:

    http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2015/03/25/1437261/noy-pinoys-lets-stay-together-team

    Noynoy, very good – you are finally making statements that show true leadership:

    MANILA, Philippines – In the “last two minutes” of his administration, President Aquino wants Filipinos to stay together as one team and deliver “one big fight” against corruption and poverty.

    “Heart-strong: as long we are united and have heartfelt concern for others, we will surely achieve our collective goals as one nation,” Aquino said at a luncheon he hosted yesterday for the men’s and women’s volleyball teams of Ateneo de Manila University and the women’s volleyball team of De La Salle University at the Malacañang Heroes’ Hall.

    The President, who has been in hot water for two months due to the Jan. 25 Mamasapano clash, used the catchphrase of Lady Eagles’ volleyball team coach Anusorn “Tai” Bundit.

    “That is our call now, especially for the young people who will inherit the reforms we planted: ang mag-One Big Fight laban sa katiwalian at kahirapan (against corruption and poverty),” he added.

    Aquino noted that there are lessons to learn from the “good examples” of historical rivals Ateneans and Lasallians.

    “Even if you are at the center of age-old rivalry of Ateneo and La Salle, you don’t completely get carried away by the competition and provocation. At your age, you are showing, even to the ones older than you, the power of humility and having good relations with others,” the President said.

    “It also got me to thinking: I hope the politicians, even the members of the different sectors of society, would show the same cooperation. If they look at a rivalry of competition, they could hopefully ask themselves: Is this a healthy rivalry? If there are criticisms, they would hopefully ask: Is this constructive?” he added.

    The President said this was what he wanted to instill in the minds and hearts of young people. He said that although separated by islands and different in many ways, “Filipinos are just one team.”

    Just to show that I am NOT all-negative like some here state – I give credit where it is due.

    • Joe America says:

      ” . . . finally making statements . . .” With all due respect, he has been making them for 5 years, but a lot of people interpret a speech through their own limited knowledge or emotional set, and judge accordingly. What I quibble with is the idea of taking a given incident or speech and defining the President on the basis of that, as if the President should have to write a speech for every single Filipino, as an individual, to be respected as the President. I’d suggest we hold great respect for the Office of the President, great respect for the process that put Mr. Aquino into place, summon up a good measure of personal sacrifice and consideration to accept that it is he, not us, who has the best information and heavy burden of making a lot of important choices, some of which he will get wrong, by whomever the ultimate judge should be.

      Somehow you have come up with the idea that President Aquino is a weak President, or part of a foolish leadership. And that all Filipino leaders are essentially foolish. The accumulation of all these similar judgments produces an interesting condition in which most Filipinos develop a kind of pride that is fed by Pacquiao, but in real terms, have little respect for the leaders or the conditions or the Philippines. Then they go out and vote for Binay and Estrada.

      I’d say if people started with introspection rather than need, they’d come up with a better, healthier view of their nation.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        “but a lot of people interpret a speech through their own limited knowledge” Maybe. However, it was in my opinion about time that Aquino tells the nation to work together, especially to be CONSTRUCTIVE in criticism – something that I definitely agree with.

        “Somehow you have come up with the idea that President Aquino is a weak President, or part of a foolish leadership. And that all Filipino leaders are essentially foolish.” Wrong. Either you are willfully misreading what I have written so far, or have not yet noticed.

        My I itemize my opinion on Noynoy Aquino, for the record:

        1. I definitely see Noynoys steady work in building up the country from catastrophe.

        2. I see his leadership in crisis situations as somewhat lacking – yes, often a bit weak.

        3. I see the way he has dealt with the Moro situation as foolish so far – not HIM as a fool.

        “And that all Filipino leaders are essentially foolish.” Cory was good, FVR was good.

        “Then they go out and vote for Binay and Estrada.” Mar Roxas has my support.

        I do not see constructive criticism of the President as disloyalty – it is DEMOCRACY.

        You shall see my constructive criticism of BBL – not nitpicking but managing major risks.

        The draft of my blog article for Sunday is nearly finished, you will receive it in due time. 🙂

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Noynoy is very clearly addressing his present critics – in a good and democratic way. I quote the most important passage from his above speech for those who like to misread:

          It also got me to thinking: I hope the politicians, even the members of the different sectors of society, would show the same cooperation. If they look at a rivalry of competition, they could hopefully ask themselves: Is this a healthy rivalry? If there are criticisms, they would hopefully ask: Is this constructive?”

          And he shows that he is INCLUSIVE and not EXCLUSIVE only to his direct followers:

          In the “last two minutes” of his administration, President Aquino wants Filipinos to stay together as one team

          With this, he has made many things clearer – may his actions follow through on this.

        • karl garcia says:

          Pnoy has a been rumored not to follow the speech written by the speech writers, he ad libs most of the time. If that is good or bad, that depends on who you are talking too.
          Please define risk management in the eyes of Pie.
          Is it just don’t do this or you might….do this instead. Kindly crystallize.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            If you read properly, you will see that I have praised his speech.

            “he ad libs most of the time.” Better – it shows sincerity.

            “Please define risk management” Read my article on Sunday.

        • Joe America says:

          Crises handled by Mr. Aquino: Hong Kong Bus Massacre fallout, Siege of Zamboanga, Sultan’s invasion of Malaysia, Chinese incursions, Taiwan coast guard shooting, Yolanda, Mamasapano. One can identify consistencies of leadership in all cases, steady, muted response rather than outspoken public campaigning, determined outcome pursued with diligence, seeking information before making a decision, following the rule of law, relying upon key officials for guidance (Gazmin, Del Rosario, Roxas, Purisima), not bending to public criticism but doing what he believes is right. If he misjudged any situations, all dynamite for the variables and personalities involved, at least he did it with honor.

          Yes, criticism is a part of democracy. As is the right to suggest that too much criticism, feeding into the destabilizing efforts of crooks and malcontents, is not so constructive.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Point taken. I still have a slightly different opinion of HOW certain crises were handled.

            That being said, my constructive article on BBL is now finished, but I shall have another look at it in the next few days, since I might have some additions or polishing to do on it.

            It addresses potential risks inherent in giving autonomy to a rebel area in a rational way, looking for solutions instead of fear-mongering like what is done in many other circles. With the goal of finding solutions. I very much await the discussions coming Sunday.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Three major issues are vital for the future of the country:

              1. Bangsamoro

              2. Corruption

              3. China

              We are discussing China in this thread, BBL on Sunday.

              • karl garcia says:

                if you reiterate the things you reiterate, I will copy paste one of Mary’s comments on you.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                I think that by now, opinions have been sufficiently exchanged. On some matters we agree and on some others we do not. But Joe is right, too much criticism helps the wrong people.

                There is the topic of numbers today, and BBL on Sunday. Let us look to the future.

              • Joe America says:

                Add 2016 election.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Today, Noynoy will hold a speech at the PNPA. He will talk about Mamasapano. What I am hoping is that his speech will give the closure that is needed to that issue. After that, it is Holy Week and summer vacation. Nothing really big will happen then so all can relax.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “Add 2016 election.” We have been discussing that quite extensively. Besides, the measure of a candidate will IMHO be how he handles the big 3 national issues. That is why I am still not yet decided whether it should be Duterte or Mar. But that is another topic.

              • karl garcia says:

                Pie,
                One book you recommended to me The One by McGill University.
                I recommend that you read it. It is about INFORMATION OVERLOAD.
                http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2014/11/14/10-steps-to-conquering-information-overload/

              • josephivo says:

                Add poverty or income distribution and education. Root causes of a weak nation, cause of the 3 above.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Karl, I know. I read it, but thanks for that very practical summary on Forbes.

                Information overload is not that easy to avoid, had worse issues with it before.

              • sonny says:

                here or there:

                Even computers go on information overload, believe it or not. In IBM computers it used to be called “thrashing.” This is similar to what happens when a piece of driftwood gets caught in the breaking waves, i.e. the wood neither goes to sea nor to the sands of the beach.

                Even with the improvements in computer architecture, there is a thrashing limit to any computer. Pity the human brain that can only deal with four or five things when “multitasking.” Maybe they solve this problem using multiple computers in parallel rather than serially. (This is just me thinking in my limited knowledge of computers, of course)

                We barely touch on the powers of database organization to cope with the myriad of inputs and the limitations of output processing. (PiE & gianCarlo, I hope I’m making sense 🙂

  22. “Franchise is what you get when you operate a McDonalds.

    Disenfranchise is what they do to you when you have too many cockroaches in the kitchen.”

    I see what you mean.

    Being a citizen, you have the right to vote and be voted to office. We have existing laws that will effectively disenfranchise criminally convicted ” the cockroaches) citizens from being allowed to be candidates, but as mentioned elsewhere in this thread, legal manipulation was done to go around that law, courtesy of our honorable lawmakers and the strange way our SC are interpreting them. Just look at the pardon given to the convicted Estrada and the SC ruling on that .

    Sometimes full democracy has a downside to it, in terms of fighting and eradicating corruption. Singapore has done it their way resulting in law abiding citizens and clean cities.

    I have also commented on the self-serving attitudes of our lawmakers regarding anti-dynasty implementing law that still has to be enacted decades after the constitution has provided for it.

    Enacting a law to prohibit a convicted politician from running again will require statesmanship and self less motives from both houses of the congress (am I asking too much ?), add to that the snail paced way our courts process when politicians are indicted so they can be convicted and we are looking at corrupt, convicted and the still to be convicted being elected again courtesy of the masa voters.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      “Sometimes full democracy has a downside to it, in terms of fighting and eradicating corruption. Singapore has done it their way resulting in law abiding citizens and clean cities. ” Yes – this is what I have been writing all the while. What is “full democracy” anyway?

      There is not only the American Model, which works in the US because people have a certain mentality that the model is suited to. Every democratic country has its own model suited to the unique mentality of its people – Singapore, Germany, Taiwan etc.

      The Philippines has to find its own flavor of democracy based on what it NEEDS in practice, not what looks nice in theory. The fact that there is an Ombudsman for example is great.

      My argument is that the right to vote and be voted are democratic rights, but they are also responsibilities. People who prove that they do not respect the “social contract” that is the basis of democracy should not be allowed to be voted, criminals should not vote either.

      One does not need that kind of law in countries were breaching the “social contract” is not as pervasive as in the Philippines, where people are not so often corrupt. But if it happens all the time then there should be firm measures to remove it. I really wonder if there are enough lawmen who will take part in doing that, if there is really a new consensus forming. If not, then I understand even better Duterte who wants to shut down Congress for a while.

    • josephivo says:

      People have civil and political rights. These rights are not absolute, a judge can limit these rights as defined by law. Most European countries provide laws that deprive corrupt politicians and officials of their political rights (passive to vote and/or active to be a candidate, for live or for a period of time, as for some other criminals, depending on the case and the relevant laws).

      In a democracy laws express the will of the majority. Authoritarian systems do limit civil and political rights without the formal consent of the majority.

  23. manuelbuencamino says:

    Some of them are working for China

  24. jameboy says:

    Being a citizen, you have the right to vote and be voted to office. – Mary G.

    My argument is that the right to vote and be voted are democratic rights….. – PinoyInEurope
    ========
    Interesting statements that needs to thresh out on a separate blog.

    Is it really a right or a privilege? 😉

    • Joe America says:

      Philippine Constitution:

      ARTICLE V
      SUFFRAGE
      Section 1. Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law, who are at least eighteen years of age, and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year, and in the place wherein they propose to vote, for at least six months immediately preceding the election. No literacy, property, or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage.
      Section 2. The Congress shall provide a system for securing the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot as well as a system for absentee voting by qualified Filipinos abroad.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        “not otherwise disqualified by law” exactly.

        Just like the right to freedom can be suspended by a jail sentence…

        • Joe America says:

          Again, you flow naturally to the negative. Voting is a right in the Philippines. There are no undue restrictions that I am aware of. One can either look at the voting situation positively or negatively. The positive is that millions are given, and take, the opportunity to select their leaders every three years. Thousands of polling places are staffed and run well. The negative is that a few are not run fairly. Vote buying is a problem. Crooks are a problem. But the democratic structure of the Philippines is sound and open. There are no ethnic or gender restraints. I would guess most Filipinos are pleased with their opportunity to participate in selecting the nation’s leaders.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            The discussion we had further up was whether corrupt politicians can be excluded from being voted – passive voting rights. I think it a good idea to exclude them from that.

            As for active voting rights, felons ARE excluded from voting in parts of the United States and I think that is a GOOD thing. Let me tell you why:

            – we have defined a nation as a COMMUNITY

            – voting is a form of participating in this COMMUNITY

            – felons have proven they do not CARE about the COMMUNITY

            So why should they be given the right to participate in choosing community leaders.

            Likewise, community leaders should not be felons who do not care about the community, which is why it is my opinion that convicted politicians should be excluded from politics.

            Because being a leader in a community is an even greater trust than being just a voter. This is the context in which my above comment was made, not to criticize the Philippines.

            • jameboy says:

              So why should they be GIVEN the right to participate in choosing community leaders. – PinoyIE
              ========
              If something is given, isn’t that a privilege for it can also be taken back like what you are insinuating? Again, don’t look at me, look at what you wrote and try to reconcile it to the original question of “Is voting a right or privilege?”

              I was compelled to ask out of intrigue or curiosity because of what you said about voting right and your idea of not allowing or depriving others of such “right”. 🙂

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Well, if somebody does something bad and is put in jail, he temporarily loses his right to be free. If he does something really bad he loses it forever – life imprisonment.

                In some US states he even loses his right to live – death sentence. So would you by that logic say that freedom and life are only privileges and not rights? Don’t think so.

                So why not have some legal limits on active and passive voting rights as well?

              • jameboy says:

                Again, that’s diverting from the issue of voting as right or privilege. Death sentence is neither a right nor privilege. It is a penalty or punishment for crimes committed.

                You proposes to deny certain people to vote and be voted into office, that’s fine, but you have to have something to base such idea like a constitutional provision or legal principles, etc. that will serve as an answer if your idea encounters a contrary view.

                As it is, you have not distinguish the difference, if there is any, between a right and privilege. Also, I would admonish you to stop looking at the US for examples because we don’t share the same social, political and cultural settings with them. I’d rather you focus on the Philippines and why your idea is proper to be adapted in this part of the world.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Well, I am not a legal expert, let them sort it out how to make it legal and constitutional. Other nations can do it, the BBL has some provisions I already mentioned, so it is not impossible if you want it – kung gusto maraming paraan, kung ayaw maraming dahilan.

                I have already given my reasons why I think cockroaches should be removed from politics, because in the Philippines whether in kitchens or politics, they keep coming back. Period.

                Now Duterte would solve it differently, if what people say about him is true. Punisher.

              • sonny says:

                I asked a friend whether a felon can vote. He said: Not while he is in prison. Makes sense to me.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      If you want you can write a blog article.

      I have already written one and a half, soon to be two.

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