Philippine global leadership: re-defining sovereignty

japan tsunami 2013 latimes

Tsunami in Japan 2013 [Photo credit: Los Angeles Times]

Without question, one of the most provocative thinkers among the Society’s well-stocked shelves of bright people is josephivo. And he does it in peace. He challenges us to be better . . . to think better . . . without calling us idiots for thinking in . . . well, our normal provincial terms. His last article “The Philippines: new thinkers wanted” again challenged us to throw out the old values and constructs by which we live and look for new ones.

He gave hints at the good (Filipino resilience, the Filipino social skills, the Barangay as an “independent, self-controlling” unit, the Filipino satisfaction in helping others, the ease with which inequality is accepted, the ability to be unaware of and neglect the past, the Filipino “light” approach to everything . . .”) and the bad (“. . . Filipino lack of planning and preparedness, the Filipino mendicancy, the Filipino face-democracy, the ease with which inequality is neglected, the ability to be anchored in the past, the Filipino macho debate culture . . .”), but did not really tell us the new way to think.

Nor did anyone else. Indeed, the blog thread got bogged down in wayward debates and was more a reflection of our limitations as applied philosophers than our ability to rise and shine.

Stress test

What I would like to elaborate on is one of the thoughts that came to mind from that discussion. I take the position of looking at the future in rather dire terms. That is, I take a worst-case or horrific scenario. I envision increasing friction with China erupting into tactical (as opposed to nuclear) war. I envision climate change ripping into the Philippines with typhoons and floods and droughts and burning mountains, not to mention volcanoes, earthquakes and murderous rebels. Life becomes cheap in that scenario.

That’s why a worst case is useful. It becomes a “stress test”, and the results can point us toward ways to protect against the worst, and the lesser, travails.

tacloban typhoon 2013

Typhoon in the Philippines 2013

Yolanda was real

Let me step back to draw a little picture of what it was like after typhoon Yolanda when Leyte, Samar and Biliran provinces were devastated and cut off from the outer world.

On Biliran, roads were blocked (for three days). Cell phone service was cut off (for two months). Electricity was out (for six weeks). There was no fuel for vehicles (for one week). People were shooting birds for food, a whole lot of begging was going on, and boatloads of people were fleeing to Cebu and Manila.

Imagine it being worse. And there is no refuge to flee to. Or imagine that condition being permanent. Add to it water being cut off due to earthquakes or bombs or enduring arid conditions.

Our current cheerful, comforting texting and tapping on Facebook is gone, and that is the least of our worries. We can’t call for the police. Who knows where the hell they are. The only thing we know is what is in front of us, covering about 100 yards. And we view that with wariness because we don’t know who is lurking out there. Or if we have some gas in the tank, we might venture into town (with our gun) to see what kind of rioting and looting is going on there.

How do we avoid that condition when we are cut off from life as we know it?


We saw lifelines deployed in the recovery to Yolanda. Some were slow arriving, some were fast, some were generous and downright impressive.

  • People with chain saws started cutting poles and trees to clear the road. The lifeline of individual initiative was there, for the benefit of all.
  • Black market gasoline arrived in Biliran by way of Maripipi island at two-times normal price. We bought the gas for generators and motorbikes, and were thankful for the law-breaking, scalping innovators who got us fuel. Now we had roads and a way to get places. This lifeline, group ingenuity, brought with it confidence that we could get through this.
  • An army of electrical workers, most Filipinos, some international, swarmed across the land replacing poles and wires. The effort was awesome. Thousands of poles, miles of wires. Government at its finest. Our house is outside of town and so we were among the last hooked up, six weeks later. A team of four exhausted, yellow-clad BILECO workers arrived in the rain in the darkening evening and strapped the downed lines back onto the poles. Quick and dirty. Later that night, after they threw some switches, we had lights. The lifelines of organized government – national and local. Teamwork and hard work. Impressive.
  • The International Red Cross and other emergency service workers fanned out quickly across the region saving lives. In Tacloban, aid arrived slowly. The magnitude of destruction and loss was so huge as to outstrip any possible response. The lifeline to Tacloban was weak. We need not embark on the politicized debate as to why.
  • Where did all the recovery materials come from that finally started flowing in? The tarps and tin for roofs? The tents and Quonset huts for schools? The food for the desperate? The shelters? The temporary and then the permanent new homes? The international community had responded as one, a rush of seemingly disorganized, but totally dedicated flood of money and material and manpower. The lifeline of international aid. Extraordinarily impressive.

What is our loyalty back to the international community?

So with that kind of shared giving, one nation to another, why is it that Filipinos are so wary about tying up with America? Why the insistence upon going it alone in a dangerous world? Why do the isolationalists, the avid nationalists, wear history on their shoulder like a huge chip, rather than look at the world today. Now. And what the Philippines needs to do to take care of her people?

nepal earthquake 2015

Earthquake in Nepal 2015

“Sovereignty” today is a provincial, limiting construct

National sovereignty is a provincial, limiting construct if we take the idea of our nation, the Philippines, as the sole provider of our security and well-being. That worked well when the nation represented an aggregation of tribes and regions protected from thieves and interlopers by the seas and such military force as the nation was able to muster.

Today is different. Other nations build armies and navies and air forces to defend their territories and embark upon adventures in foreign lands. Soon there will be space-based defenses, lasers from the sky raining down on land or zapping enemy satellites into space junk. Maybe we’ll soon have an elegant ring like Saturn made up of blasted satellite bits. But as josephivo muses, will there be any people left to look at it?

The Philippines is one of the weakest nations in Asia, militarily.

And yet the nation is poised to be a global leader, if we are big enough in our thinking to look for a new definition of strength. A new vision for surviving. And thriving.

Today, the Philippines is a perfect example of a nation whose national borders have become increasingly meaningless. They are meaningless to China, a nation with the means and inclination to move in to steal Philippine goodies. They are meaningless to OFWs, other than as headaches to get through to find a job. They are meaningless to me and other foreigners here who give and take like regular citizens. They are meaningless to the rising oceans with warmth spawned elsewhere, but crashing on the Philippine shores.

Indeed, the outdated concept of national borders as defining walls is a barrier to progress, to commercial development, to free travel. ASEAN is taking forthright action to break down some of these barriers and the Philippines is fully engaged in those efforts.

Borders are limitations today. Not protections.

We can see the illogicality at work in the Constitution. Here we have a rigid document written to keep the nation safe, and yet that document too often works against the nation’s best interests. It banned DAP, an Executive program aimed at boosting the economy and wealth and service to the poor. It may end up excluding a sterling presidential candidate, Senator Grace Poe, from competing for leadership. We are guided by a document that says Grace Poe is a threat to our nation. Because we define nation so tightly, so rigidly, so absurdly.

Does Grace Poe seem a threat to you?

To the people who drafted the constitution, a rather conservative or even uptight bunch, in hindsight, defended national sovereignty as a high priority. Article I defines the National Territory. Article II gets to sovereignty. The Constitution made it clear, foreigners are not to be trusted. The thinking was, “boy howdy, they were ruthless back in 1899 and 1945”. So the Constitution went with fear . . . with thinking that said keeping others away, and out of Philippine affairs, is good for the nation. Dual citizenship was banned. Foreign ownership of residences and businesses was banned. Candidates for President would have to be here for 10 years to prove their loyalty to the Philippines.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself“, and the nation went with fear . . .

Allegiances along the “loyalty chain”

Well, if we go back to the Yolanda example, we can see that there are a whole range of efforts and accomplishments that went into securing Filipino well-being after that monster storm. Lifelines to the stricken  areas were provided by:

  • Individuals
  • Ad hoc groups; innovators
  • Communities
  • Neighboring regions
  • The nation
  • The international community

The idea of sovereignty or national boundaries went out the window as soon as the storm hit.

I’d argue it ought to stay out the window. Scrapped. Torn up, or at least reprioritized in a major way.

In time of need, what is important is the lifeline, the loyalty chain, where we find people willing to help us, and along which we can work to help them.

And I’d argue that Philippine needs are global, not national. We need the assistance of other nations to protect our OFWs, to help us defend against that thuggish thief China, to recover after monster storms or tsunamis or earthquakes or droughts. To protect against rebels like BIFF or madmen like ISIS. To cooperate in the management of the ocean fisheries.

The national border, the concept of Philippine nation, is useful only as a way to define and promote cooperation. To use it as a way to keep others away, to pretend some defensive great wall or racial homogeneity or patriotic superiority is  . . . to put it bluntly . . . the height of absurdity. That isolationism works against the well-being of nation’s residents. It turns inside out the idea of “nation” as a security blanket and makes it a lonely insecurity blanket.

The loyalty test

Here is how to figure out if you are a new thinker or old thinker. Imagine that:

  • Your son is in the Navy.
  • Japan and the Philippines establish a mutual defense agreement calling for each nation to come to the aid of the other, militarily, if one is attacked.
  • China attacks to drive Japan off contested islands.
  • The President of the Philippines orders your son’s ship into battle.

What do you say to your friends?

If you say “let Japan defend her own interests”, you are an old thinker.

If you say, “we must defend our interests, our lifelines”, you are a new thinker.

But you can’t be a new thinker by rote. You have to FEEL it. You have to feel that an attack on Japan is an attack on the Philippines. Or an attack on America is an attack on the Philippines. Or an attack on Australia. Or any other nation that stand as a lifeline to the Philippines . . . is an attack on the Philippines.

Big sovereignty is loyalty to the lifeline, not just nation

Big sovereignty sees the Philippines as a leader in the global community.

Little sovereignty simply defines the limitations of the Philippines.

The Philippines is in a position to adapt to a newer, shrinking,  more dangerous globe more quickly than any other nation. Because the Philippines is the focal point of more risk than any other nation in the world. And engages cooperatively with more nations than any other nation in the world.

In that context, small sovereignty is limiting. It is provincial thinking. It is unsafe.

Big sovereignty is empowering. It is inspiring. It is secure.


124 Responses to “Philippine global leadership: re-defining sovereignty”
  1. People have always banded together for protection. The first unit was always the family, then the clan, then the tribe. It is about whom you can trust the most, to defend against those you can trust less. Of course people who have a similar understanding of how the world is supposed to be – also called culture – can trust each other more easily than they can trust those whose culture is different, and can trust people with similar values more easily than those with other values.

    Therefore, there should be concentric circles of loyalty and trust, because this is closer to reality: barangay, region, nation, supranational alliances like ASEAN, global alliances with like-minded nations overseas like the United States. Federalize the nation and make it part of alliances.

    My article even proposes to have something called cantons, many per province (abolish provinces) and many LGUs in them, because this unit would be exactly the right size, a federation of barangays so to speak, in fact looking at natural catastrophes this kind of unit would be the most responsive – one could reach the whole canton within half a day on a motorbike, organize self-help, and wait for the cavalry after calling it via satellite phone. Every region would be a federation of cantons. The nation a federation of regions. The ASEAN a confederation of nations. Every community as independent as possible and as interdependent as needed for security and for economies of scale.

    • Joe America says:

      It is that matter of trust, or confidence, or commitment that I think is important at all levels of the social organization, however it is constructed, from local to regional to national to extra-national (ASEAN) to global. ASEAN is actually actively working on more open borders. My argument is that the Philippines is already actively engaged with other nations and this ought to be accelerated. Promoted. Accepted as the norm. Not resisted over aberrations like soldier bad behavior or penalized by history that is no longer relevant. Mr. Aquino has set the bar about right with his active international travels and alliance building. But I think most Filipinos are much less open to integration into the global community.

      • Of course it is constructed. But the maximum level of committment that the normal Filipino has is the barangay if you ask me, and even there.. And for many just the idea of commitment to the nation is so half-digested that anything above it is just too much.

        So you have to fetch the majority at the level where they still truly are – committed to the “banwa” with its datu or the barangay with its captain, and build things up hierarchically and based on comprehension of what’s in it for me – for example for the next storm.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, that’s true, the concept of nationhood is indeed half-digested. I suppose I am speaking more to the traveled Filipino, or university educated set. I do see international incidents becoming more and more relevant, from disease control to trade.

          I suppose more than anyone, I am speaking to those of flexible mind but nationalistic bent, and suggesting there is a bigger picture, and the Philippines is already actively engaged in that bigger picture. Rather than retreat, lead.

          • sonny says:

            I would submit that sovereignty must first settle on the individual: know/accept thyself, an activity that lasts a lifetime, constantly informed and formed, within and without along the lines of Maslow’s hierarchy. This in turn is parsed from childhood to adulthood. In American culture this transition is imposed at 18 years of age; while for Filipinos the line is blurred by a nebulous community value system and follow-thru.

            • sonny says:

              the term neoteny pops out again. 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                Google: Neoteny is the retention, by adults in a species, of traits previously seen only in juveniles (pedomorphosis/paedomorphosis), and is a subject studied in the field of developmental biology. In neoteny, the physiological (or somatic) development of an animal or organism is slowed or delayed.

            • Joe America says:

              Indeed, I suppose what I am searching for is the accumulative maturity of the nation that stops being insecure and approaches international relationships in a pragmatic rather than defensive way. It is indeed individual. I also smile at the notion of the new 70 year-old Senator Santiago being a slow developing organism.

            • edgar lores says:

              Ah, Sonny, I see we have arrived at the same conclusion on sovereignty (defined as supreme power or authority).

              Indeed, all things being equal, it is the individual who decides what constructs he belongs to — club, community, church, state — with the probable exceptions of family of origin and race. But he can choose to create his own.

              • sonny says:

                Edgar, I would love to hear your take on the Ilocano psyche and in community. I will take anything you can spare. 🙂 The premier historian, Wm H Scott was beginning to write about his data collected about the Ilocos and its he did the Tagalogs. He passed on before he could start.

          • The educated Filipino is “nationalistic” – but many are just afraid to relinquish control of the nation which is a nation only of the educated and/or rich, by the educated and/or rich, and for the educated and/or rich. Because foreigners might be so much nicer to their “countrymen” – meaning the uneducated and poor – than they are and erode their power. Know of some Swiss and Germans who have businesses in the Visayas via their wives – and any Filipino who works for them will prefer them to a Filipino boss anytime, so I think the problem is more about native elites wanting to control their own “people” – only when the masa and elite really converge into a nation will it be ready to open up internationally.

            • Joe America says:

              There is no question the Philippines is occupied now by the entitled, but there is a kind of tipping point approaching where that is no longer tenable. So that modernization of the working class is likely to emerge. But all that aside, the Philippines today is a global player. In Asia, against China. Around the world defending the interests of OFW’s. Funding of infrastructure. Aid during disasters. Retirees here, citizens there. Ties to the US are deep, with some 3.5 million Filipinos living in the States. Just as there is a tipping point domestically, there is no turning back internationally. The question is, on the global chessboard, is the Philippines determined to be a pawn or power piece? And if Philippine well-being is the king, will he be properly protected?

            • juan lee says:

              the filifins is basically an agricultural nation. unfortunately, our leaders do not think of the agricultural massa. my observation is that they are serfs working for the benefit of the middlemen, it is the middlemen who rip the profit of the agriworkers who are relegated to a hand-to-mouth existence.
              there is very little done by our leaders to uplift the agriworkers livelihood. the politicos do only a lip service on this matter during election period just to get their votes. most agriproducts are cartelized…sibuyas carftel, rice cartel, bawang cartel, luya cartel, etc. even the gov’t overseers join hands with the middlemen to maximize their take.
              i do believe in localization and against globalization when it comes to agriproducts, that is the basic needs agriproducts are produced for local area consumption and if there is an excess then and only then can the excess goods will be taken away from the local area for nearby areas. sounds like communism but i call it cummunityism. cummunity should develop itself first before they try to help others. workers should come from the local community first rather than from other communities.
              agriworkers tend to be locally based within commuting distance. but if these agriworkers will not find gratification for their toil, they tend to migrate for greener pasture, thus sprouts illegal settlers and low skilled ofw’s.
              what if all the agrilands were owned by the government and anyone who wants to work on the land can lease it from the government for an affordable fee? condition is that the leasee can only lease an area which he or his family can work directly. lease in effect for as long as the agriworker makes the land productive by his own labor.what if any idle agricultureable land can be made productive by people willing to toil the land?
              what about arable lands planned for development? as long as it is idle, ownership belongs to the owner and continues to pay the taxes, however temporary possession belongs to the agriworker who toils the land who pays an affordable tribute to the owner and affordable lease tax to the gov’t.
              there are so many ways the leadership can do to help the agrimassa other than giving monies during election time. you and i can count the ways, you and i can debate it so our leaders with massa inputs can come up with a good doable filipinistic option. ah but i am only dreaming. wake up wan. bydwey…kudos to all the bloggers and joeam. you all are very well gifted with ideas and very qwerty powerful in putting your ideas into very educational reading. more power to all of you and God Bless us all. God is really Great.

              • Joe America says:

                Very good of you to comment, Juan. You have well-characterized a great failing of the Philippines, its agricultural industry. The nation has great growing soil and weather, but land policies are a jumbled mess, the cooperative system of farming is mediocre at best, and farmworkers are mainly left to fend for themselves. The nation does not seem to have the wherewithal to examine agriculture as a strategic strength, and then outline a plan to caretake the lands and prevent large companies from dominating over unlanded workers with the result that big businesses thrive, farmers are squeezed, and laborers are used.

                It is a cold, ruthless industry in those terms.

                Thanks for your kind words. Best to you, as well, on behalf of the many contributors here.

              • karl garcia says:

                MRP has joked about the kibbutz, I also remember jameboy commenting about agriculture in Israel.Israel’s land is not conducive to agriculture,but due to its technolgy,they are top producers.We have UPLB,IRRI what happened?


                I know the national land use policy,carp,land conversion,corporate farming which have all problems and no solutions.

              • karl garcia says:

                another showstopper, corruption in national irrigation administration


                plus the agriculture and fisheries modernization law is not implemented due to “turf wars”


      • Vicara says:

        Not less open, perhaps; more unaware. For one thing, our terrible schools have not put enough emphasis on extra-national integration. A lot of this is residual from the rabid nationalism of the 60s-80s, and from a post-colonialist binary mindset which we have allowed to define us as vulnerable victims always at risk from large, economically powerful countries (a mindset which China shares as well, ironically, and which drives a lot of its current bullying of its neighbors). Also, after sending out generation upon generation of OFWs we have grown accustomed to seeing ourselves as peripheral, not just to the societies in which we labor, but to our own. There are enough of us in every country so that we can form our little survival cliques; this is a coping mechanism, but it also tends to encourage an insular mindset (we are island people to begin with!). Also, there’s a lot of pandering by our leaders to this idea of being “maliliit na tao lamang” [small, insignificant people], and they use padrino tactics to take advantage of it.

        I do believe we are primed for a sea-change–not least because of current events, increasing prosperity and new ways by which the world is becoming interconnected (social media and other technologies), but I do not see yet a leader of national stature who has clearly seen–much less articulated–the need for global integration, the greater good. No one has sounded the call, or tapped into the deep vein of Filipino openness, compassion, and pakikisama. For all his alliance-building, President Aquino has not sufficiently communicated to us why it is imperative. The Senate–I’m thinking of Santiago–just rants and grandstands and shuffles political cards. Congress–let’s not even go there. The impetus and the capacity of our people to rise to this challenge is there–our people are young,strong, and primed to work hard–and really should give their talents to something greater than breaking Guinness records for giant bibingkas–but someone has to articulate it and draw it from us. Someone brave enough to try to redefine a nation in the face of tired paradigms.

        • Bert says:

          President Noynoy could just have done it if not for the more pressing problems encountered that he had to take care of in his six years in office. Too bad he ran short of time by virtue of the limitation imposed by law. But eventually we will find another one of the same caliber and integrity, and most of all strength of character. It’s just a matter of time. That’s why it is most imperative that we should be very careful with our choices for president this coming presidential election. The corrupt as well as the weakling and the bumbler should be out of our choices.

        • Joe America says:

          A most interesting assessment, Vicara. I’m particularly struck by how vivid is the connection between padrino tactics and the enslavement of a nation to the idea that we are subordinates because we don’t have whatever the rich have. Whatever that is. Power mostly, I suppose. So globally, the Philippine position is naturally subordinate.

          I agree with your optimism in the last paragraph.

          • Joe America says:

            As for President Aquino, I think his ability is one part personality – he is no JFK – and one part again the cultural conditioning of the audience, which is not curious or complimentary, but instead needy and critical. All that he does gets filtered through a press that matches the character of the population. So we get the angers and conflicts, but when the President does a truly inspiring speech – to the Japanese Diet – the spirit of that presentation never gets fed to the Philippine population. The Japanese legislators “got it”. The Philippine press did not. A lot of people had no idea he even spoke.

  2. Micha says:

    Big sovereignty.

    You and me against the world. Or, to be precise, you and me against China.

    The US is currently negotiating a trade agreement with its Pacific neighbors called the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, and Australia are in it but – surprise, surprise – the Philippines was left out.

    Which is probably good because it wasn’t so much of a trade agreement than a bold dash to give multi national corporations more power to screw the toiling masses.

    But then, embracing the interest of your (supposed) friend as your own? What if the interest of your friend is un-embraceable?

  3. karl garcia says:

    We will help our neighbors in times of need, as of now we can give cash and kind in times of disasters. We volunteer for UN peace keeping missions,etc. We could do more if we have a ship that can transport relief goods to nearby neighbors, or more C130s for the same purpose.Those boat people from Burma that we assisted, also show how a good neighbor we are.

    • DAgimas says:

      peacekeeping missions are manna for the soldiers and cops. they get their local pay + dollars depending on where the conflict is. it also the easiest time to get a US visa for out soldiers and cops hahahaha

      it pays so much that officers are willing to be relegated as patrolman even displacing low level cops

      its not so much for altruistic reason but for the above.

      • karl garcia says:

        being paid for services is not always prostitution.
        volunteerism is always drived by something and altruism is just one of them and so is the dinero.

        • DAgimas says:

          don’t think our cops/soldiers will volunteer for peacekeeping duties if there is no additional pay from the UN

  4. J says:

    When Filipino soldiers were sent to Korea, nobody complained and said Korea should defend herself.

    • DAgimas says:

      there was an ideology everybody wants to fight. this time, everybody wants to get rich and China enriches everyone that trades with her.

      so don’t expect others will return the favor, unless the Chinese are stupid enough to get Palawan too

    • Joe America says:

      That’s an interesting point. For sure, Filipino complained about going to Iraq. That may be worth another blog to understand. We have the military aspect and we have the diplomatic or civilian aspect. Iraq was because few in the Philippines bought that there was a Filipino “lifeline” in play in Iraq. There was in Korea. Americans bought the lifeline argument (“terrorists, WMD”) for a time. So why the complaints about American bases now? The Chinese are sitting on Philippine rocks. Filipinos like Santiago and leftists don’t see the US as a lifeline that can be managed.

      Insecurity? What?

      • DAgimas says:

        they see the dot but not the paper. uphold the law/constitution yet they could not even pass a law banning political dynasties

        the irony is even these leftist/political elites love going to the US when they have the chance

        • Joe America says:

          The illogicality of the left, yes. It makes not sense for the left to oppose China, it seems to me, for China is of the model they seek, using state autocratic ways and means to uplift and care for the poor. The reason they oppose China is because it is not THEM (the Philippine leftists) who would be in power.

  5. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Welcome New Thinkers. Goodbye Old Thinkers !!!

    New Thinkers are OFWs who have seen the world how they are doing it, why they are doing it. Why they are progressive.

    Old Thinkers, never seen the world. Never heard of evidence. Still rely on rats, witnesses and affidavits. Still glued to TFC, Philippine Media. These peeps are thinking the world revolves around Philippines and Philippines are the center of the world.

    Go out there people. Try something new. Read La Figaro. Der Spiegel. Inquirer. No, not your Inquirer. That American tabloid Inquirer. You think Playboy is smut? No! They have better article about the world and society than U.P. run Philippine Media. Drop that Preen. Preen is anti-Filipino. If you are not from mestizo class, do not even think of sending your photo portfolio.

    The Philippine Media just very very recently realized that COA audit reports are free for the taking and make news out of it. Thank The Binays for it. Thank Janet Napoles. COA Audit Reports are like smut magazines in the U.S. FREE! No need for FOI. Walk in. Ask for it. Pay for photocopies.

    • Joe America says:

      Absolutely the best advice. I’d suggest the Department of Education start a “books for the home” program to infuse the basic education with a need to read.

    • Sup says:

      Just made this suggestion in Raissa’s blog..

      Solving bobotantes voting system

      ”A human has 34 teeth..if we make every teeth around 3% of a vote?
      If you have 5 teeth left your vote is only 15%…so a candidate like Binay needs 6 people with 5 teeth for one full vote……..
      If you have 10 teeth left your vote would be 30% so 3 people give Binay 1 full vote….
      The comelec starts counting your teeth when you enter the booth…
      Me, i would have 85% of a vote because they removed my wisdom teeth..”


  6. Micha says:

    Here’s one cause we can all agree to embrace :

    “An international coalition launched the “Manila Principles for Intermediary Liability”—a roadmap for the global community to protect online freedom of expression and innovation around the world.”

    • Joe America says:

      It would be interesting to do a compilation of all the international engagements affecting the Philippines. There must be hundreds. Yet we go about thinking of ourselves as a self-contained island.

    • DAgimas says:

      it would be more credible for the Philippines if it walk the talk or simply if it could solve its economic problem

  7. edgar lores says:

    Might as well make the Philippines the 51st state of America.

    • Joe America says:

      No, not really, but rather an active global player. In the model I am obviously struggling to communicate, it makes sense to become a prefecture of Japan, and a state of the US, and a part of several other lifeline nations, with Japan and the US and other nations being provinces of the Philippines. The boundaries are defined by treaties and laws rather than land markings.

      • edgar lores says:

        1. The be-all and end-all of these reflections seem to be… security.

        2. The pursuit of security at all cost — at any entity level, whether international, national, communal, or individual — is a vain ambition.

        2.1. This is not to say that an entity should not pursue security at all. It should. But the goal should be:

        o One, not to be subjugated
        o Two, to achieve equilibrium

        3. Subjugation is nuanced. Sometimes to preserve our independence and in order not to be subjugated to a great “enemy”, we willingly subjugate ourselves to a powerful “ally” or a coalition of “allies”. In either case, we lose — totally or partially — our independence.

        3.1. One may refute this by saying that allying ourselves to other entities is not subjugation but partnership. To an extent this is true if the alliance were between equals, between, say, the Philippines and Japan. But it would not be true if the alliance were between unequals, such as between the Philippines and America.

        4. National borders may change, but the paradigm of nation-states has been with us for some time and will likely remain for the foreseeable future. Regional constructs are at the stage of infancy and may be classified as loose (ASEAN) or close (EU). Both models are beset with problems.

        5. The single-minded pursuit of security is harmful and distracting of more meaningful pursuits.

        5.1. Harmful. We saw this in the race to nuclear supremacy that brought us to the brink of mutual assured destruction.

        5.2. Distracting. In the same manner that we eat to live and not live to eat, we secure ourselves to be able to live and not live to be able to secure ourselves.

        6. Entities are an organizing principle of nature. (And, yes, a Philippines that is a prefecture of Japan and a state of America, would be an entity, a composite entity but not a unary one.)

        7. The goals of entities, whether nations or individuals, should be be their full development in terms of realization of potential, self-sufficiency, and autonomy… without encroaching on the development of other entities.

        7.1. Again, this is not to say that full independence is the goal. There is no such thing as full independence. We are interdependent, but we should be morally interdependent and not immorally nor amorally interdependent.

        8. As to sovereignty, I would go to the other extreme and posit that sovereignty resides – not in God, the king, the state, society or the people — but in the individual.

        • Joe America says:

          1. and 2. Excellent. Yes, the goal is security, or its rudimentary form in the face of crisis, survival. Yes, one should not achieve security at any cost, as that would be self-defeating, and would, therefore, contribute to insecurity. Subjugation would be self-defeating.

          3.1 Equality has several facets, military, economic, extent of modern technology, state of human rights values being among the most prominent, I suppose. When an American and a Filipino enter a room, they are equal. They have interests and capabilities that may differ, and those form the basis for working out a partnership that satisfies both parties. Then they leave the room equal. That is the sense of respectful partnership I believe is the prototype of Big Sovereignty.

          4. Agree that land based borders serve a useful function, to define the community and its interests.

          5. So stipulated above, single-minded pursuit of security can promote insecurity.

          6. 7. Agree.

          8. Sovereignty is a circle from the individual up through the universe (to God, for those so inclined) and back, through all the marvelous collectives in between. If the individual is psychologically healthy, the next level up will be so, and so on toward the ideal state promoted by John Lennon. As mentioned elsewhere in this discussion, Philippine sovereignty, both Big and Little, would be immensely strengthened if the educational system did a better job of seating healthy values among young people. And if government relentlessly promoted and lived healthy values. In that context, the relationship with America is fairly insignificant in defining Philippine sovereignty.

        • Since no nation or no man stands alone, one needs allies. Priorities in alliances:

          1) those with similar culture and/or values

          2) those with similar interests and little conflicts of interest

          3) those of similar strength (Macchiavelli) to avoid subjugation as much as possible

          So the strategy is quite clear for the Philippines: regional alliances with countries like Indonesia, then with countries like Vietnam, then with the United States because some subjugation to an empire with similar values is better than total subjugation to China.

          • edgar lores says:

            Thanks, Irineo.

            I agree with your criteria for alliances.

            You speak of reality. Let me speak of the ideal.

            Alliances should not be necessary for purposes of war. They should only be necessary for purposes of mutual cooperation and economic development.

            Let me point out two of the four main objectives outlined in the preamble of the UN Charter:

            o To save succeeding generations from the “scourge of war”
            o To establish conditions whereby treaties and international law will be maintained with justice and respect

            Sadly, three of the five permanent members of the Security Council — charged with the maintenance of international peace — have been at the forefront of provoking and initiating war. These three are Russia, China and, yes, the United States.

            There is a principle of peace developed by Russia during the Cold War. Peaceful coexistence. To me this aligns with the concept of pluralism in religion.

            What seems to be lacking by the UN are the mechanisms for the enforcement of peace. When a state ignores the principles of international law, what can be done?

            So far, individual states have practiced imposing economic sanctions. So far, coalitions of states have formed to resolve conflicts by military means. So far, the UN has fielded peace-keeping forces to act as buffer between opposing armies.

            Specifically in the case of China, a rogue state that blatantly dishonors its international obligations to which it is a primary signatory, what penalties can be imposed on the state, its leaders and its citizens?

            This is an area that Filipino philosophers, if there be any such, can explore and hopefully expound on.

            • The EU is one of the first examples of “big sovereignty” in the sense that Joe means.
              It was driven, like the UN, by the trauma of war and the yearning to avoid it in the future.

              Of course it was also a collection of former imperial powers that no longer had the power.

              The EU worked quite well in the beginning, when the EC and composed of countries with very similar cultures – the “Charlemagne” zone: France, Germany, Italy, Benelux. England came in at of course letting Greece come in was a big mistake. Greece may have been the cradle of European culture, but one must never forget what it was – an elite democracy based on landownership and slavery. All Greek philosophers had the luxury of not having to work, good for mankind because they had time to think and to discuss things. But the masses remained what they were in the time of Greek myths and legends: superstitious, emotional, Dionysian. With the old elite gone Greece reverted to what it always had been.

              Letting Spain and Portugal in still worked quite well inspite of the slight differences between the culture of the European core and the Iberian peninsula. What has caused the EU much grief was the politically motivated, too fast inclusion of Eastern Europe. The Visegrad countries: Poland, Hungary, Czech republic – still have a culture more similar to Germany and Austria, Central European attitude, but places like Romania and Bulgaria, steeped in the obscurantist, feudal Orthodox-Byzantine tradition with Ottoman influence plus communism were too much, not to mention Cyprus which is, together with Bulgaria, a gateway for Russian influence – meaning covert intervention, black money and Mafiya.

              The ideal is therefore hard to reach – many of Europe’s idealists lacked healthy realism. They did not take into the account that the Greeks might cheat to get into the Euro. They did not take into account that getting rid of deeply rooted cultures of corruption and impunity would be a very hard job, that they could not just trust the official version of things. They managed to change the Iberian peninsula, but only to a certain extent – Spanish and Portuguese played the system also, something that became evident in later crises. So the makers of the EU fell prey to the same naivete the Americans fell prey to in trying to remake the Philippines in Americas image. You need a mix of idealism/realism.

              • Joe America says:

                I think there are warnings here as to the naivete of JoeAm’s Big Sovereignty, or any notion that it would be easy to put into place.

                An eye-opener. Thanks.

              • Welcome. One major mistake the founders of the EU made was to believe that the common culture of the old European elite – which was basically French-based – meant that the whole of Europe had the same mass culture. After a while in any country, the culture of the masses comes back as soon as old elites weaken in influence. It happened in Russia during communism. It happened in Eastern Europe during the neoliberal, post-communist period which swept aside the idealistic anti-communist dissidents.

                So while in Western Europe you have still relatively stable, well-funded welfare states, Eastern Europe mostly has extreme neoliberalism combined with business practiced in the way communists said it would be: with great brutality and exploitation. Often by greedy politicians and/or Mafiosi who come from the old communist elite. Plus old cultural attitudes that get worse the more you go East: from my Romanian experience, I know that the powerful there have one key saying if they are challenged: “do you know who I am?”

                The United States succeeded in forming their own new nation for everybody yearning to be free because they founded it on an (almost) empty new continent, and everybody coming in had to adapt. The only country the USA successfully remodelled was Germany, and that succeeded because the Germans are after all cultural cousins to the Americans, whose core attitudes are Anglo-Saxon. Filipinos reverted to their own ways after McArthur and others left, it took just 1-2 generations. Iraq and Afghanistan? You tell me if it worked.

              • Joe America says:

                It did not work in Iraq and for sure, and we’ll see in Afghanistan. It’s hard to be optimistic.

              • sonny says:

                The Flywheel is on. 🙂

              • @Sonny – yes, refurbished and recharged. You are cordially invited to comment on my new history article out just now: – as a witness of those times, hope I got the picture right…

    • The time for that has IMHO passed. That would still have been a viable option even 1960.

      The Philippines has diverged too much in its development to still fit into the United States.

  8. manuelbuencamino says:

    Grace Poe knows the difference between rhetoric and reality.

    “I’m sorry to say, Mr. Ambassador [Goldberg ], but I know the US, our ally,” the lady senator said.
    “We can’t fault them for thinking of their own interests. In pursuing any conflict, the first interest we need to think of are our constituents. Can we rely on the United States to defend us? I don’t think we should do that. And I don’t think the US would be in the position to do that because they have to be able to weigh in also on what their citizens want or what to do for their country. Sometimes when we focus on one aspect, we forget the strength of the other relationships we will have.”

    • Grace Poe and any other potential president of the Philippines has to realize that military spending , for a poor nation, is a futile endeavor. Even building up a credible defense, when that defense we are talking about is against a superpower like China, is a futile endeavor. So, spend wisely — logically, that would be small fast boats for the coast guard. Buying old used battleships and fighters is foolhardy at this stage — the money is better spent on education and infrastructure.

      • karl garcia says:

        What about wishing our Navy would at least match another poor nation’s Navy like Bangladesh’s Navy?

        • At least have enough ships that can also be used to quickly bring supplies to areas hit by typhoons like Yolanda, and double as naval vessels. Plus missile boats for defense – BTW McArthurs strategy for the Philippines was many torpedo boats which is a similar idea.

          • karl garcia says:

            We were interested in MV Susitna, a catamaran for relief oprations,but I guess it is too costly.


          • Joe America says:

            I wrote about this concept a couple of years ago. As the addenda links to the blog illustrate, the Philippines is working on the concept of small missile carrying boats and a “swarm” tactic. They had eight at that time. The other link illustrates that the US is even further ahead, developing drone missile boats. I don’t get a sense of purpose to any of this “minimum credible defense” stuff. It’s like there is a pop here, a pop there, but no sense of urgency as if the nation’s territory has been invaded.

            It has been invaded. Past tense.


            • karl garcia says:

              Yes, all in the past.Learn from history,but do not sulk and gloat.
              The response to the bee fleet blog was very positive,it seems only a few folks agree with the military industrial complex idea raised a few days ago.

              • Joe America says:

                Well, Steve’s point about manufacturing needing a market outside the Philippines to make sense warrants closer study. Buy them or build them? Same with drones. There are several drone-builders these days. So the military case might be made that buying is better, and it is just a matter of agreeing to the strategy of small and agile, versus big and stable, or the right mix. I like small and agile, myself. Rather like the Golden State Warriors over the Cavs power pack.

                But we still have the point of how does the Philippines build a manufacturing base, for all the jobs they produce? Primary manufacturing, not just pieces for others. I don’t have an answer for that, beyond the military. Boat building seems a natural. Food products. I dunno.

              • karl garcia says:

                A could have, would have,should have article on Philippine Manufacturing.


              • Joe America says:

                Ah, Peter Wallace, very good. He makes the point that manufacturing does not produce enough “value added”, that it is piecemeal, and also management of resources is weak. In the end, he criticizes DTI for being thrifty rather than solving the problem and creating billions of income. When you go through the article, you see all the burdens the Philippines puts in her own way. Bad management, court decisions, lousy conceptualization, waste. It is rather discouraging.

              • karl garcia says:

                bummer 😦

              • Nice article Karl.

                I think this needs to be inculcated to our politicians. One of my issues with the left is a lack of concrete study on things like this. They want a manufacturing base without studying what we can actually produce. If we make sure our next president knows understands this policy thrust well enough then we can trust that he will give it his fullest support.

              • Joe America says:

                “Ladies and gentlemen, meet Mar Roxas! This is the man who brought a million call center jobs to Manila? Think what he can do for the nation!”

                We are allowed to round the numbers and concepts in politics.

              • karl gacia says:

                Giancarlo composed a speech for Mar for our discussion.

                “giancarloangulo says:
                March 17, 2015 at 10:10 am
                I think Mar should be developing his message right now and it has to be inclusive without being pandering.

                And he should be able to do it because as you said he has the deepest experience considering both the Legislative and the Executive.

                Empowerment. That was what Hope poster and the obama campaign capitalized on. It is the hope that there can be a transformational politics when we go beyond the old party politics. It didn’t happen but at least it was able to mobilize everyone.

                The message is two part.

                I have gone to all the Philippine Provinces.

                In my work as legislator and more importantly as your DILG secretary I have seen your problems and I’ve heard them from people like you.

                I’ve been to Nueva Ecija, Bicol, Benguet, and most of Mindanao. I’ve seen the lack of refrigeration units that waste a lot of your produce instead of being exported to other nations/islands. How you people continue to work the land and yet hunger for food.

                I’ve seen the problems of urban centers with congestion and failing infrastructure. I’ve seen our old dilapidated airports and outdated transport systems tried to fix it but came up short because of lack of time.

                I’ve talked to OFW families and have seen how it has change the dynamics of the family and the societal time bomb it can become.

                I’ve seen the inspired leadership of your local leaders and What the National Government can do to empower them.

                I’ve seen the greed of your local leaders and Have instituted reform to reform and punish them.”

              • sonny says:

                @ Joe, point of information.

                Has the PH reached machining parts skills, precision & others, to certifiable level across all durable goods industries?

              • Joe America says:

                I don’t know about the “certifiable” level. I tend to doubt it, but our librarian may know more.

              • karl gacia says:

                Tesda has courses for machining.


                for nc 1,2,3

                DOLE tags CNC Machinist as in-demand, mission critical skill


              • sonny says:

                Karl, the Society Librarian delivers! Very informative links, Karl. Thank you, 2x.

              • Joe America says:

                @sonny, Do you have this write-up in your library? I just sent it to Irineo at his blog and wanted to make sure you had it. Google “Zambales during World War II Compiled by Leon Beck & Rodel Ramos”. It is a wonderfully detailed and frighteningly descriptive account of the rebel activities in Zambales, and elsewhere, during that period. You may even find names you recognize there.

              • sonny says:

                Zambales was Ramon Magsaysay territory. I will try for more.

              • Joe America says:

                Thanks. I don’t know where I got the concept of a brother, Jesse or Jose, I’m not sure. But for 7 years now, I have this concept in my head of the Magsaysay brothers leading the rebels, and that Ramon was secondary among the two, at the outset. Perhaps I was . . . (gasp!) . . . WRONG all along?

              • karl garcia says:

                His brother’s name was Genaro. I can only find about his political background.


              • Joe America says:

                Okay, thanks. I am thinking I was confused on the point.

              • Karl garcia says:

                It turns out there were other brothers. I hope Sonny can dig in further.

              • sonny says:

                So far, I have this.

                @ Karl & Joe
                From Bataan Diary at google:

                “… In January, 1945, Capt. Ramon Magsaysay’s guerrillas were successful in driving the Japanese off of the Zambales coast, enabling MacArthur’s XI Corps to land on the beaches of Zambales unopposed. Once the area was under U.S. control, Col. Gyles Merrill recommended that Magsaysay be appointed provisional governor of Zambales. Magsaysay went on to become President of the Philippine Republic.”

                The follow-up to the activities of the other Magsaysay brothers might have been minor relative to Ramon’s links to Gen Krueger’s XI Corps. Capt Magsaysay’s instructions are similar to the other guerilla linkages of the Sixth Army in northern and eastern Luzon and were protecting MacArthur’s flying column that was hurrying to Manila from Lingayen for the liberation of Manila.

                Maybe you can ask your dad how PMA syllabus studies the logistics employed by both liberating US 6th & 8th Armies and the highly organized Phil-Am guerilla groups during the liberation of the Philippines in 1944-45.

              • Joe America says:

                Okay, I’m imagining the brothers also in the hills of Zambales, fighting. But without Ramon’s connections to the American military. Thanks, sonny. I do know the wipe-out of Japanese installations along the coast to make way for the American landing was a thing of beauty, if you can find beauty in death and destruction and complete victory. Organized, massive. Americans landed without a shot fired.

                Getting through Olongapo was a different story.

        • juan lee says:

          boats don’t have to be big and huge to be effective, they must be first seaworthy. a fast small seacraft duly equipped which can deliver warning and damage is good enough. there are a number of destruction delivery systems, e.g. human delivery (suicide bombers), projectile (cannons, guns, missiles), aerial (fighters and bombers). patrol boats are just that to patrol and deliver warning messages but they should be also able to defend themselves from harm and be able to communicate with headquarters to inform situation or ask for guidance and help. i feel the filifins has the capability to produce this kind of vessels. think not of the cost but the benefits we can have…employment and expertise. we can make paltiks, sumpak, filboxes, vinta, engine powered fishing boats, etc. we can produce the patrol vessel no doubt. finoys are known for their making things with what is available at hand. God Bless us All.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, that’s good. Of course the missing information is exactly what her position would be on the Chinese occupancy of Philippine seas. Does she believe US satellite information, monitoring capabilities, and warships stationed in Palawan is helpful? Would she persist with the ITLOS case? What are her thoughts about joint development with China? Will she continue the alliance building with Japan and other Asian nations sympathetic to the Philippine position? What level of investment will she make in building Philippine defensive capability?

      I’d put her statement as rhetoric, and the answer to those questions as reality.

      • I would try to revive the kind of military partnership the US and the Philippines had in WW2.

        • Joe America says:

          I think that is actually the path that the Philippines is on, subject to the criticisms that are natural in a free-speech, political democracy. The relationship is strictly functional, militarily, with listening posts, joint training, ships and planes on Philippine seas and soil. When we look at how Abu Sayyaf has been pretty well neutralized, we can get an understanding that, militarily, the two countries work well together.

        • juan lee says:

          if you think, and dream and put your mind into it that you can do it, then it can be done…need is the mother of invention, will is the producer of the item…the bright and motivated person makes it happen. if one can drive nails into the wood with a hammer and cut the wood according to the desired length with a saw, then that one can be a carpenter. a fishing boat equipped with a weapons can become a fighting vessel. a fishing boat, or even any boat packed with explosives can become a good water based destruction delivery system (remember the us destroyer destroyed by terrorists in the middle east). my point is if there is a will there is a way. God is Almighty, the Creator of all Universe and God gave us the talent and the intellect to do things for ourselves for the good of all homokind. yall hav a nicede.

        • juan lee says:

          my wish list. i wish rp military decision makers plan a balikatan exercise in one of the rp islands in the midle of west philippine sea (aka south china sea). that island must be recognized by us, japan and some rp neighbor countries as belonging to rp. the exercise will be 1) an island landing (like small scale leyte landing), 2) then build small dwellings, not tents) (us-rp mil builds them for their use) and 3) establish a supply chain from a big island (like palawan, jolo or mindoro) to this small island, let fishing boats deliver supplies to the island and on their way back they can then fish. when the exercise is over, rp coast guard and marines take over. maybe from this wished small idea gives birth to another diego garcia or azores us military hub in the middle nowhere west philippine seas. the island will be a joint use rp-us mil hub…rp mil as a base to patrol the area to provide rp mil visibility to rp fishermen and other sea lane users, the us mil for logistics use and other taskings. (well it could also be used to house convicted drug lords and corrupt politicos…joke only). if we think and dream, maybe it can happen…There is no other god but God, Muhamad is His prophet and Jesus is my Savior, Who by His Will was born from a virgin Mary…yall hav a nicede. me, will just wonder how the protesters will think on this rp-us mil hub in the middle of nowhere west philippine aka south china sea. what about this kind of us-rp partnership ala www2.

      • manuelbuencamino says:

        Sen. Poe was not laying out policy that would address your questions directly, Joe. She was stating where she will be coming from when and if your questions come across her desk.

  9. “So with that kind of shared giving, one nation to another, why is it that Filipinos are so wary about tying up with America? Why the insistence upon going it alone in a dangerous world? Why do the isolationalists, the avid nationalists, wear history on their shoulder like a huge chip, rather than look at the world today. Now. And what the Philippines needs to do to take care of her people?”

    Fully agree with you here, Joe.

    • Joe America says:

      Well, there you go. Nice to be on the same page.

    • manuelbuencamino says:

      On the contrary, Charlesengund, Sen Poe was speaking out against nationalism. She reminded Filipinos that there are other countries in the world besides the Philippines and America and we should all be aware of their existence and how they pay into our national interest

      • Joe America says:

        Exactly the point of the blog. That’s why I used Japan as the example, because Japan has a vested interest in islands that the US does not share, is nearby, and has demonstrated a willingness to partner. To that point, President Aquino I believe is orchestrating this “lifelines” approach, or Big Sovereignty, very, very well. His speech to the Japanese Diet was a masterwork. He has engaged Malaysia and Viet Nam and South Korea and Australia. But I don’t think people like Senator Santiago, and now perhaps Poe, grasp this lifeline approach that embraces, rather than mistrusts, other nations. I am picking up anti-American vibes from Poe, in the article, and in her Mamasapano work, that reflects the Santiago “historical chip on a shoulder” bias rather than mutual respect and appreciation.

      • Manuel, actually I found the statement by Poe quite reassuring. She seems to have a more nuanced understanding of foreign relations. To her credit, she seems to be leaving some room to maneuver with China.

  10. Vicara says:

    Whenever a member of the Senate or Congress goes into vague, waffling motherhood statements about maintaining good relations with all countries, then one automatically assumes that this is a pakipot/coy ploy to extract the maximum traction for the next election. To pick one side over another is to lose a potential client, after all. By that particular statement, Ms. Poe seems to be proving herself an attentive student of tutors Escudero, Angara, and whoever else has been grooming her. What does she mean by “strength of the other relationships we do have” exactly? For some time now, that the Philippines through this administration has been in touch with Japan and ASEAN. Would she like to take those relationships into different directions? Too coy to say. Maybe she’s hinting at a warmer, just-you-and-me-Xi bilateral relationship with China now? Who knows? The point is to waffle and entice and leverage. If she’s the best that can be got who has popular appeal… so far this is not a person who has shown any grasp of reality, just a growing grasp of the shadow puppetry of politics. They’re not the same thing.

  11. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    OFF TOPIC: Why Filipinos use “succeed” instead of “next” ?

    Example: “Mar Roxas succeeds Aquino”; “Grace Poe succeeds Aquino”; “Roxas succeeds Binay”; “Grace Poe succeeds Binay”

    Meaning, they will be like Aquino or Binay? “Succeeds” is only used in dictatorship. Since Philippines is democratic, “NEXT” should be used as in “Next President”.

    The U.S. do not use “succeeds president” they use “next president”. Maybe the Philippines is still in “dictatorship” mode.

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, very keen observation, MRP. It suggests the authoritarian/subordinate behavioral set which is the main component of almost all interactions in the Philippines. The President is celebrated at having won his position in a personal, personality contest. Not on issues. So it was a dictator’s kind of accomplishment. Even now, the headline of the Inquirer is on personality: “Poe amazes” being the headline about her rise in the survey ratings. The headline writer is “amazed”. He and the journalists there have no idea why, or if the survey means anything. But they are gaga for Poe.

      Meanwhile all the talking heads on television talk about Aquino rising from his “low” satisfaction ratings, as if he were really a bum. But when you look at his trends, he is actually accorded high satisfaction, versus other presidents. What amazes me is how shallow the reporting is here in the Philippines. And negative. Given a choice of praising the president or diminishing him, they choose diminishing. Because angst sells papers. Or fits with a publisher’s political agenda.

  12. Man after my heart !!! Mabuhay ka, Joe !

  13. karl garcia says:

    I found this article on The Myth of Traditional Sovereignty by Luke Glanville.
    Here is the Abstract.

    “The conventional story of sovereignty told in the discipline of International Relations (IR) tells us that there is a “traditional” or “Westphalian” meaning of sovereignty that has prevailed since the seventeenth century and that accords states the right to govern themselves free from outside interference. In recent years, the tale goes, this meaning has been challenged for the first time by notions of conditional and responsible sovereignty. This article argues that the supposed “traditional” meaning of sovereignty is not as foundational and timeless as is often assumed. Rather than a right of non-intervention, it was the right to wage (just) war that was first conceived by political theorists to be the external corollary of the internal supremacy of the sovereign. This included the right of war to punish tyranny and rescue the oppressed. This article examines the initial absence and then the gradual emergence of the “traditional” meaning of sovereignty, arguing that it was only firmly established by international society for the first time in the twentieth century. It concludes by considering some of the implications of this revised story of sovereignty for the study of IR.”

    • Joe America says:

      Interesting that the international component of traditional sovereignty is the prerogative to wage war. Not assure peace and safety. My “Big Sovereignty” argues that the international component ought to be to find help, and provide it. Rather than kill. And be killed.

      Frankly, I like my version better.

    • juan lee says:

      war is also waged to achieve peace…thus the warfighters are also peacekeepers. a sovereign country will likewise wage war to attain peace and peace is subjective. God is indeed Great to give us pairs.. one would not know peace if one has not experienced war, likewise no happiness if no sadness, the pair truth…manloloko at nagpapaloloko…oppressors and oppressed…good and bad…man and woman…husband and wife…man says to woman (you are just another man, a man with a womb…wombman) and woman says (that is why you are not my equal because i have a womb to carry another man in me) and man answers back (man are just transferring with your concurrence what we begin to carry since puberty) and woman replies (that is why i scream to the top of my voice just to let you)…well it takes two to tango, but i can tango alone. there is a tagalog saying “masarap ang magsariling sikap” at ang sagot naman ng isa “mas masarap kung may kasama…sa hirap at ginhawa” and now you know the rest of the story. goode

  14. sonny says:

    Joe, is this already your “loyalty-chain” blog?

  15. edgar lores says:

    Isn’t it ironic that it is precisely the pursuit of security that is driving China in its outward expansion and that is causing insecurity in other nations?

    China wants to secure resources in the West Philippine Sea for its future. These resources are, in Carpio’s terms, part of the “global commons.” By unilaterally seeking to secure these commons to itself — or in a word, stealing — China is provoking the occurrence of the “tragedy of the commons” which I wrote of sometime ago.

    The concept of a World Heritage Site should probably be extended to cover global commons. Guidelines for their exploration and development should be via multilateral treaties with UN oversight. In the meantime, alliances of common interests and mutual respect of individual sovereignty, will have to do.

    Apropos, isn’t it strange that it is a Supreme Court justice and not a senator that is legally defending the Philippine claims?

    • Joe America says:

      Justice Carpio is acting as an advocate on the South China Seas and makes a lot of sense. I hope there is a judicial filing to the UN, as it is consistent with the law-based approach. I think that is the DFA’s call. The Senators, on defense, seem like a pack of rabble to me. They have no concept of holding the Executive up as strong to be able to face off against other nations and maintain credibility among friends, but instead embark on a Mamasapano hearing that produces no usable output but did undermine the integrity of the Office of the President, and its power to wage war and police actions in defense of the nation. Senator Santiago is a hyena, as far as I can tell, willing to howl and dine on any scrap of contention, whilst proposing absolutely no solution to the invasion of Philippine territory by China. I fear she is whispering in Senator Poe’s ear and we are starting to see anti-Americanism emerge from this former American citizen. Which is bizarre in the extreme. I am confident Senator Poe has no idea about the concept of Big Sovereignty, and friends supporting friends. Just as she has no concept of the Senate supporting a strong Executive, in defense of the Philippines.

      Laws are important, as they draw the lines that tell nations like China, “if you have needs for Philippine resources, buy them” rather than steal them. China is a gargantuan rogue state.

      • edgar lores says:

        I googled “Philippine Senate” and “China Dispute” and found 2 signs of senate activity:

        o On May 7 2015, a senate inquiry into China’s reclamation activities. The extent of the inquiry is (a) to “examine the extent of the construction”; and (b) to “study whether a more aggressive action should be taken.”

        o On May 24 2015, Senators Marcos and Escudero urged Malacanang to start bilateral talks with China — in direct contradiction of the government’s policy of international arbitration.

        o On the same search page, I found reference to the US Senate wanting to arm the Philippines to counter China’s bullying.

        The Senate — the Philippine Senate, that is — is worse than inutile on this issue. It undermines rightful and lawful official policy.


        Ahaha! Hyena? I tender my apologies to hyenas on behalf of the Society.

      • juan lee says:

        but who will enforce the law? no problem if it is to china’s favor…big sovereign and mighty. if to rp’s favor,,,sanctions,..sanctions and bucketful of un sanctions against china. we need to ding them where it hurts…their pocketbook. wish ko lang country frens of rp boycott made in china. but is it to their national interest? my take is create another peace loving big size country a first worlder like india, rp, indonesia, or thailand (where raw mat and lab is comparatively cheap). the coalition of neighbors (neighborhood watch) may work and is a good start as being advo by rp and japan. us national interest in china then is to keep china from spreading communism in the hood and take over the hood…thus ping pong diplomacy (remember tricky dick or preacher jimmy…us pongs china pings). now with china having a perceived mighty force, it is now another money sovereign who can create lots of mullah to build its might poses another ache for us national interest. how do we counter china from growing so big so as not to be as aggressive and forceful is one big question? my vested interest in this is ‘what belongs to finoys should belong to finoys’. rp presence (with uncle sam help to brown nephew juan) in one of the island in the middle of west philippine sea is one option. is it doable, a big yes with us japan help ala ppp project partnership program…build, operate and cohabitate. if there is such thing as projection of power, there is also the projection of presence. most thieves steal when nobody is around….thou shall not steal sayeth the God of Abraham. have a nicede.

    • chempo says:

      Everything that Philippines does is always “too-little-too-late”. Look what Vietnam did when China tried to construct the oil drig in Vietnamese waters.

      The last territorial claims dispute settled through ICJ arbitration was between Singapore and Malaysia a few years back over the Pedra Branca island. Now I would have thought that Philippines, having a few territorial disputes itself, would have studied that arbitration well, taken lessons from it, and pro-actively taken steps to strenghten their claims.

      FYI Singapore won. Just can’t help rubbing a bit of salt. at the ICJ Singapore came well-prepared and Malaysia was found bumbling on a few ocassions. I’m just hoping Philippines will be well-prepared, and not just relying on the piece of old map that Mel Velarder is waving in his hands. Sadly I have never heard of any one making reference to the Pedra Branca case where I think the ICJ made some legal precedence. It amazes me that no one seems to be paying attendance to this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: