“We now have almost all the cards!” Red-Teaming Duterte


Foreign policy presentation [Source: xinhuanet.com]

By Andrew Lim

Red-teaming is the practice of evaluating a problem from your adversary’s perspective. You sit in his chair and ask, “if I were in his position, how would I think and act?” It is used by corporations, governments, intelligence agencies and the like to enhance decision making; it challenges preconceived notions. It aims to find the weaknesses of both your opponent’s and your own position.

In recent popular history, red-teaming was used to assess the probability of Usama bin Laden hiding in that compound in Abbotabad, Pakistan. Since there was no visual confirmation of his presence, they had to resort to estimation based on the intelligence they could gather – drone surveillance, behavior of the household staff, house layout, etc. In turn, these assessments led to the course of action they took.

In this exercise, we will be assuming any of the following roles: a Chinese President (concurrent position as the secretary general of the Communist Party), a Politburo member, a Defense Minister, State Security Minister (intelligence) or a Chinese foreign policy analyst. We chose these positions because they require an expansive understanding of the situation and the issues involved. Additionally, these positions have the authority/influence to direct state agencies to act (e.g. send air assets or send diplomats to express disapproval).

We will make use of an imagined conversation of these characters in the aftermath of President Duterte’s visit to Beijing (plus Tokyo). Over the next few days, these officials discuss the South China Sea conflict during meetings, over tea, telephone conversations, or chance encounters in the corridors of power. It incorporates all the available information into the Chinese policy maker’s mind.

CHINESE PRESIDENT (CP): Well, that was a pleasant surprise, a bit strange but what a gift! One more card added to our pile. We reciprocated enough, I believe, just enough to keep him going. But we know where our interests lie. One goal, two approaches.

POLITBURO MEMBER 1 (P1): Yes, Mr President. That overture to form a troika with Russia was silly, but I get his point. Heh heh. If he’s willing to set aside the arbitral ruling for loans that will be repaid with interest anyway, for business partnerships that will benefit us as well, for a few billion dollars, it will still be a lopsided win for our side. Unfettered access to the Pacific. The riches of the seabed. Control over the sea and air lanes. We play the long game, Mr President.

POLITBURO MEMBER 2 (P2): Duterte’s foreign policy is a throwback to the 60s, 70s in my view. He’s outdated: he thinks we’re still aligned with Russia, and sees this whole non-aligned movement started by Nehru as still workable and relevant, even with globalization.

CHINESE PRESIDENT: We know the Filipino people are not on our side, not by a long shot. And Duterte has to deal with Congress as well. But that is one foot inside the door! Our ancestors had small feet, but now no more!

STATE SECURITY MINISTER (SSM): This is actually farther than we have gone before, Mr President. In the past, we used the enticement of building infrastructure through government to government partnerships but they all got cancelled. Today, even the company that’s building our military garrisons in the area will likely bag a contract to reclaim islands in Davao.

CHINESE PRESIDENT: By the way, what’s the status of our island-building?

DEFENSE MINISTER (DM): We’re still continuing build-up on the Paracels and Spratlys – we now have weapons handling, fuel storage, air defense missiles, fighter aircraft, anti-ship missiles. When completed, we will have facilities for harbors, communications, surveillance systems, logistics and airfields. The deep water canyons in the area would make excellent submarine sanctuaries.

FOREIGN POLICY ANALYST (FPA): Be careful, Duterte may just be like so many couples here, filing fake divorces to circumvent rules to get that second housing loan! Ha ha ha.

CHINESE PRESIDENT: Well, just like any other asset we have cultivated, we will just give him enough, but not too much. He is really obsessed with his anti-drugs campaign, so we’ll help him there. We will never comment on human rights abuses, but that has never been a concern for us. Tiananmen has been forgotten.

We think in thousands of years, while Filipinos think in six-year periods.

CHINESE PRESIDENT (to the Defense Minister): By the way, ease up on Scarborough Shoal. Let those poor Filipinos fish for now. We grabbed that piece to test everyone’s capacity to resist and to use as a concession chip in negotiations. Anyway, we can reverse on that later, and they can’t do anything about it.


POLITBURO MEMBER 1: Is there a scenario where Duterte comes running back to the US for support in case we tighten the screws on him?

CHINESE PRESIDENT: That’s why my immediate concern is how to further loosen the grip of the United States in the area. Other countries like Thailand and Malaysia seem eager to get on the gravy train. If we succeed with other countries, Duterte will have no one to run back to.

FOREIGN POLICY ANALYST: Layer by layer, we peel them, like an onion.

CHINESE PRESIDENT: It will be very hard for Duterte to swing back to the other side of the pendulum within his term, after all the dowry we have given him. That can likely happen with the succeding president, not him. So it is in our interest to help him remain in power. But we position that as “independent foreign policy.”

Besides, of what use is the arbitral decision now that he has gone bilateral?

DEFENSE MINISTER: May I add, Mr. President, that Duterte has visited Japan as well, affirming his support to Shinzo Abe. But I wonder what support can he give to Japan in real terms, since they have no money or arms? Besides, supporting Japan means aligning with US strategies . . .

CHINESE PRESIDENT: (smiling) That’s why Mr Duterte has nowhere to go really once he went to us. He has no more leverage. None.

STATE SECURITY MINISTER: Mr President, I want to report that we have finished building a large drug rehabilitation center for Mr Duterte. Others are in the works. It’s now an end-to-end integrated operation for us! (winking)

CHINESE PRESIDENT: Good. Patience, everyone. Almost all the cards are now in our hands.


224 Responses to ““We now have almost all the cards!” Red-Teaming Duterte”
  1. Ybarra Crisostomo says:

    Whatever the goods that happened there will always be criticism, and that is welcome. But in whatever angle we are seeing, PRD delivers.

    • The cynics among us are seeing him deliver the bodies of poor people to the morgue and Philippine seas to China and democratic freedoms to the manipulations of propaganda and civility to the devil. Indeed, I heard people are starting to call his backers “China’s boys”, but I myself would not be so impudent. After all, I am sure most of you actually believe in your best mind that you are working for the Philippines.

      • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

        Deliver not the poor people, but addicts and criminals. The WPS was delivered already to China wayback 2012, we took it back. We are winning the social media, the most unregulated media among them all, crying foul of manipulations and propaganda is laughable. Civility is not saleable to the middle class and lower class, they grew in the streets not in the front of their corporate boss. “China’s boys? You only heard the people of your camp. We are working for the Philippines, and to those few whom their own interest was not well-served, pack your bags.

        *I am using here “red-teaming.”

        • Sup says:

          I am using red herring for you guy’s

          ”A red herring is something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important issue.[1] It may be either a logical fallacy or a literary device that leads readers or audiences towards a false conclusion. A red herring might be intentionally used, such as in mystery fiction or as part of rhetorical strategies (e.g. in politics), or it could be inadvertently used during argumentation”


        • You who judge people as criminals outside the courtroom act as if God, but without His compassion. The WPS was sealed to the Philippines by law thanks to the arbitration hearing won earlier this year by President Aquino; the giveaway in 2012 is common propaganda and ignores your patron, China’s, deceit. You are winning the social media, or were until the President turned to China, now you have your work cut out for you. Civility is something killers know little about. Red teaming needs to be reasonably accurate to be meaningful.

          • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

            God acts through man, vox populi vox dei. The arbitration hearing didnt sealed the WPS to the Philippines, it didnt solve (it ignored) the issue of who owns the WPS, get your facts straight, and leave the propaganda (that the court said it belongs to the Philippines) already. Look at facebook, twitter, etc. if you think you won it. Continue believing in civility, people already calling it hypocrisy.

            • You define a separate reality by making up your own set of facts and moral judgments. If that works for you, kindly keep on doing that, but I consider it a form of intellectual pollution, so kindly remove it from my blog. Take it elsewhere. Especially the Latin. Thanks.

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                Should i say here the atheist belief of God? I think not, we are not into theology. I suggest to avoid discussions that could not be verified, like who is the most popular in social media. Also discussion that promotes ones philosophical beliefs and also speculations, what do you think?

                You said this statements, “The WPS was sealed to the Philippines by law thanks to the arbitration hearing won earlier this year by President Aquino.” There was no sealing to the Philippines of anything as per the award of the court. Here is a wiki link so that you can verify both our statements.


                Lets present facts, not propaganda.

              • Please discontinue posting here. It is my blog and I’ll post bullshit if it suits my mood. You piss ant moralists of no discerning contribution to anything constructive drive me nuts. Just go and stay far far away. Thank you.

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                I am moderated then, sorry for violating any rules of your blog. Emotions can be the culprit sometimes.

    • andy ibay says:

      I hope this is NOT CRITICISM.

      I try in all my writings not to attack or criticize people, tried my very best to stick to issues which can be gossips, rumours, ideas, opinions, notions, conjectures, hypotheses, theories or established laws as I measure them against the criteria of divergent knowledge and my own limited experience.

      In this piece NOT the author of “all the cards: red-teaming” I don’t intend to nit-pick or go to the extent of splitting hairs or beating meat to schnitzel. I am peacenik pretender (also a wannabe poet bystander) who does not believe in “bugbog sarado.” Here’s an anecdote hopefully verifiable from some still living casts in the anecdote.

      I was requested to fly and lecture– to Cagayan de Oro City by Ben Muego in his so called Master of Public Administration Program in the whole of Mindanao– to a senior public servants class. The assigned subject was on DECISION-MAKING. Knowing I had limited time, I choose what could be useful and applicable : the DECISION -TREE MODEL of decision making.

      At the time President Nixon called tricky Dicky by his detractors was being roasted above the barbecue pit of USA rational politics. The issue was yet to become the rubric of historic shame called Watergate. Simplified the climax seemed to boil down into two : for Nixon to be impeached or to resign in shame. I dropped the idea of impeachment because of my gross inadequacies in jurisprudence; choose instead to resign or not to resign as lecture content because of my lesser inadequacies in public administration and public management decision-making.

      Computers were not yet used at the time and I may not anymore have a copy of the lecture in my old files. Anyway I used the whole time explicating the decision-tree model which I thought then was more suited to business economics problem, a milder, less mathematical for dummy version of game theory. Moreover, the whole bruhaha of decision analysis must start with THE CORRECT PERSPECTIVE AND VIEWPOINT: in whose self interest as against the public interest must the decision be analyzed.

      It was merely about exhaustible identification of qualitative and quantifiable variables and their outcomes in dollar terms for President Nixon as decision maker. If he resigns or impeached , how much will be his lifelong pension; how to consider shame and loss of face; effects on his descendants, better judgment of history. Still at the heat of the controversy, the result of my analysis was that President Nixon WILL RESIGN. I flew home sad because I felt I failed to convince the class about the efficacy of a decision making technique. I thought my lecture was a failure. HOW COME?

      Verifiability: The President of the senior public servants class was really senior being the Regional Director of DPWH who had a very logical discourse against the premises of my lecture and majority of the class members joined him in disbelief and rejection of the worthiness of the d-m technique. I was impressed of the reasoning of the DPWH-RD who was the elder brother of AFP-CAS Gen Fabian Ver.

      Hah, hah, hah. A few weeks after my lecture WORLD NEWS headlines were big: PRESIDENT NIXON RESIGNS. Members of that Class who have not passed should point out the untruths and exaggeration of this piece. I was JUST30 at the time, not DU30 but may be Mr. Ben Muego will remember or may be ditto for that smart attractive looking young Siliman Visayan girl , also Muego’s resource person named Leonor Magtolis who was may be JUST24 at the time (Leleng is now DU30’s Sec of DoEd).

      BUT WHAT IS MY BEEF if it is not pork? Well I can analyzed the purported Bad China neighbor versus also Bad benefactor USA foreign policy decisions using three VIEWPOINTS. Being a permanent natural born Filipino regardless of acquired citizenship I will do an analysis FIRST from the viewpoint of the Philippines, SECOND from the viewpoint of USA and THIRD from that of China. It’s time and neurons consuming work fit only for highly paid think tanks and I am not competent to do it. But HAH, HAH, HAH, in terms of Benefits it could hardly be a triple tie. Or Philippines can win by a mere free throw as in PBA or NBA.

      In teaching Development Projects Feasibility Analysis, I always emphasize while tackling economic feasibility aspect that if you do it using the wrong VIEWPOINT doing COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS, your grade is dead meat. What will it benefit the Philippines from a drastic change in foreign policy? It is more than what a BADOY hears from sizzling noise and the putrid smell of what’s cooking. It’s in the eating like pudding. After all charity they say begins at home not in a neighbor or distant country.

      • andy ibay says:

        To accept illegal drugs crusade as contextual to substantive foreign policy change is not germane to current discussion. The context of illegal drugs war is deep rhetoric and could be esoteric like : “destruction and emancipation are identical, ” or devastation is not extinction or even more: extinction is the solution.

        • andy ibay says:

          This is not in support or criticism of PRESDU30.

          Is there anything in the Bible that says: Know thy friends as thou shalt also know thy enemies? Far from what the Bible says: Love thy neighbor as thou love thyself?
          Is PRESDU30 our friend or our enemy; albeit neither, even both as friend and as an enemy should we not know him ? For God’s sake, man for our own sake shalt we not know him?

          Can we believe: me, you and every Juan, Pablo and Pedro or every Juana, Paula and Petra have in us ONLY the stereotype Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? A Mr. good and handsome against a Mr. bad and ugly? A biblical Abel and a Cain? A friend will do good for us whereas an enemy will do bad for us? It is us then us then in capitals US that matters. Nevertheless we should know them whether friend or enemy if we know what’s good for us.

          And that’s it ? There’s nothing and no one in-between Jekyll and Hyde like a DU30? Who could appear Hyde to USA and Jekyll to China? Darn! Enormous are so barnacled with centuries of insight and no outsight? Psychiatry may accept existence of more than dual personalities. A third personality perhaps that’s self interest seeking dealing with enemies as friends and treating friends as enemies for the sake of permanent national interest. That volatility is the new unheard of experimental kind of survival diplomacy. In fine try to list down, detailed and itemized PRESDU30’s foreign policy inputs against his intended and expected outputs and lo and behold he can not achieve those by being confined to the personalities of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. A President to be effective should transcend dichotomies. Take as examples leaders of the world’s top Ten, they are not two-faced coins of Jekyll and Hyde.

          • andy ibay says:

            I cannot claim I know PRESDU30 since I know him only through extraneous factors. There is a weak and loose connect to truth. I have during freshman year a roommate from Danao Cebu who is a Durano whose mother is an Almendras. I was told Duterte name starts from D and should have roots in Danao whose artisans can make guns as good as Smith and Wesson’s. Fresh from high school I only had two room mates in College, a Cebuano and a Tausog. Twice I was offered to teach in Eastern Visayas first in UP Tacloban and second in UP Cebu by the former Dean of both UP Regional Units, Vanguard brod Dr. N.M. Nisperos but I did not want to relocate my family.

            My first baptism of political fire was in Romblon, Western Visayas right after graduation as soils fieldman trying to practice Ho Chi Minh mantra of working, sleeping, singing, dancing , eating with the village people. I also had my comeuppance with Aklan and Antique Mayors when I was assigned to direct a Local Government Course in UP Iloilo for all mayors of the Region. Some Mayor participants did not like my style and an uprising was aborted by Visayan colleague who flew in from Manila.

            In Zambo del Sur as Head of the Institutionalization Studies of the Australian assisted project I had interacted as counterpart with the Visayan Project Manager who was Project Engineer Head in the construction of San Juanico Bridge.

            But what’s the juice of this me, me posting? Young as I was I learned immediately in the field there was a subtle difference between Luzon Filipinos and Visayan (like Mindanao) Filipinos. As to Who seems superior or inferior in prowess and machismo. So what then?

            When I watched over the internet the two speeches of PRESDU30 after his Japan sortie. It dawned on me. There is nothing new here. Darn, I have heard all of this yakking and yakking before. It was like in the sixties when PRESDU30 said solemnly his priority is Agriculture . This is what the country really need. But his number one is Education and then Health to revive Botica ng Bayan so the poor can have free medicines. Without his peroration on illegal drugs, I thought of a blast from the past like I was hearing jeepney driver Timawa Mayor Roding Ganzon of Iloilo City or Josue Cadiao Governor of Antique the province then of so many washed away to the sea bridges. It takes exposure to Visayan leaders to really know what makes them tick.

            By their posts and comments in SOH I try to figure out who are Visayans? Can they stand up and be counted. Well, that’s me being tribal just like most Filipinos.

      • NHerrera says:

        andy ibay,

        Congratulations for being vindicated in that analysis leading to the conclusion of RESIGN of Nixon, which he did.

        In the case of decision making viewed ONLY from Nixon’s viewpoint, I believe you were right in considering the traditional d-m via Decision Tree and its associated “payoff” or benefit to Nixon instead of using Game Theory. He is not in a conflict situation for which GT is suited. He in effect was deciding only FOR HIMSELF — if that is the viewpoint taken; not what is good or bad for the country. At that point it probably was a matter of survival for him — thoughts of what is bad or good for the country was most probably low priority for him.

        In the case of a CONFLICT situation among Philippines, China and US, a RAND-type of analysis may use game theoretic methods, looking at the basic strategies of each country, which are in CONFLICT with each other. If one were to use only three basic strategies for each, then we have a 3-player, 3-strategy situation which can be rather complex, especially since assigning payoffs for any combination of this 3-players, 3-strategies is at best still a guesswork. Computer GT software’s developed by these three — Russia, US, China — of course aids a lot in lessening the drudgery.

        Additionally, implicit in the GT analysis, of course, are common foundational assumptions of GT which may be in the minds of practitioners in such countries as Russia, US and China, but not in the case of the Philippines. Duterte or Yasay being GT practitioners I highly doubt.

        • chemrock says:

          Obviously a man who knows what he is talking.

          • NHerrera says:

            Thanks for the kind words, chemrock. GT appealed to me because of its mathematics content. I am still a student at it.

        • andy ibay says:

          Thanks NHerrera. Didn’t I say it’s VIEWPOINT. As revealing as when Research and Development (RAND) has done great things for whose VIEWPOINT but USA? As when this piece at bar can be mistaken (the dialogue) as written from the view point of China? It is no longer medieval but the long unfolding epoch of diplomacy and conflict are heavily loaded and weighted by PAYOFFS.

          • NHerrera says:

            Yes, payoffs from each player’s viewpoint whether done through diplomacy or physical conflicts.

            I read Barbara Tuchman’s “Guns of August” and it’s instructive how WWI got started, including how before the war, there was this “romance” of soldiering and going to war for love of country. We all know now that it was a messy kind of war — the less than noble motivations of the countries’ leaders and generals, their behaviors during the battles, and the actual battle engagements by the soldiers — as most wars are.

  2. NHerrera says:

    As long as we are on the subject of red-teaming or exploring alternative views to improve analysis, here is a possible alternative view: a probability that there is a feedback mechanism

    China >> Duterte >> China >> Duterte

    Then instead of “We now have almost all the cards” it is

    We will have all the cards shortly.

    • NHerrera says:


      Back from a dinner with friends. I note that fireworks have started. Read the blog-topic again. I was about to write “creative imagination.” But no. You have creative imagination alright, from a lot of blog articles you have written for TSH, but not to diminish your talent — this one seems aided by a spy in the Politburo. Great Job. And thanks. I like the dialogue from all the characters. A bestseller. Part II, please.

  3. edgar lores says:


    A very thoughtful and thought-provoking item.

    The long-range goals and the short-term tactics you describe are highly plausible.

    It is the methods employed by China and Duterte that are unacceptable. They are bereft of morality, humanity, honesty, and respect.

    • chemrock says:

      That is statecraft. Morality and emotion are nonexistent. If you are stupid, that is your problem. Too bad your countrymen suffers. Next time consider your votes properly.

      Santiago eats death threats for breakfast. Duterte eats drug pushers for lunch. Chinese politburo eats nuclear missiles for diner. Know who you deal with, that’s lesson uno in negotiations

      • edgar lores says:

        Chemrock, thanks for the sarcastic tone. I hope it is effective.

        My non-sarcastic attempts to change the current paradigm and to lift human consciousness does not seem to be working.

        If there is no morality in statecraft, why do we condemn China for the 9-dash line? Why do we condemn Putin for his grab of Ukraine territories? Why do we condemn Assad for making war on his people? Why do we condemn Duterte for his killing spree?

        Historically, why do we condemn Hitler for the Holocaust?

        On the positive side, why do we praise Lincoln for ending slavery? Why is social justice a concern of the state? Why do we have an International Court of Justice?

        Morality should govern the behavior of individuals within a society, the behavior of government to its citizens, as well as the behavior of states within the international community.

        We are far from accepting this paradigm. Maybe we will in a better place in five to ten millennia as we colonize space. God help us if the Mars colony makes war on Earth. Or the Proxima Centaurians send hostile ships to our solar system.

        • chemrock says:

          You argument is superior and I humbly bow to that.

        • chemrock says:

          Sorry I’m always cutting myself off. It’s difficult posting from mobile.

          Anyway, perhaps I can rephrase my comment in a more specific situation of the China-Phils brush. The proponents give no consideration to morality, prime concern is national interest. Outsiders will evaluate the actions on a detached moral plane .

        • caliphman says:

          The methods used by any government in furthering what is in the national interest is subject to what is lawful and more subjectively and less clearly to mores. Let me reiterate my comment that Duterte via his idea of statecraft has achieved what is in the crucial economi national interest of restoring the Philippines fishing access at Panatag. It is a result that has been sought unsuccessfully by the Philippines since 2012. As Joe states, the permanence of such access is uncertain but that is all that can be achieved because there is no force the Philippines can muster or persuade to match what China can deploy. We can only know and judge whatever statecraft Duterte has utilized from public disclosures. Statecraft can be legal or even if so condemned by those who consider the methods used as immoral, as Edgar has pointed out. For example, the CIA and NSA have used methods as part of statecraft whether disclosed or not such which were illegal or immoral.

          There should be little or no dispute that this behavior is completely wrong and forbidden if it is unlawful and should not be justifiable by whatever national interest is being sought. My views apply to EJK’s when cases can clearly be established as such and the administration is wrong or condemnable when it exhorts cops to ignore due process when enforcing its drug war, if not itself committing a crime when it is directly responsible for the drug killings itself.

          The Scarborough affair is no different. Duterte and his entourage should receive no style points for the statecraft they have utilized in restoring our fishing access. In instances it is cringeable and incomprehensible but it has accomplished its basic intended and clearly commendable result. It comes with significant and unnecessary known costs, specifically damaging the historically close and friendly relationship with the US. But I hesitate to accuse Duterte of secretly resorting to illegal statecraft including ceding sovereignty or other concessions that he cannot lawfully bind his country to. Similar to the demand that police apply due process to their drug suspects, there should be a bit more evidence that Duterte has secretly entered into unlawful deals with China to induce it from stopping its practice of forcibly denying Filipinos from fishing at Panatag. This is but fair regardless of my dislike for this administration.

      • chemrock says:

        Oops Edgar, just realised my above didn’t turn out well. The ‘you’ is not directed at you, but people in general.

  4. andrewlim8 says:

    Re Duterte’s anti-Americanism, I wonder how much of it is authentic, or is it a prerequisite of China?

    • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

      Google “most hated country.” Top on the list is USA. Wonder now?

      • chemrock says:

        Depends on who you ask, what you ask, and where you looked.

        Last I checked at thetopten.com the rankings were #1 Norkor, #2 Japan, # China, #4 USA.

        Of course you and I know that’s nonsense, but so too from which ever site you clicked.

        • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

          Agree, nonsense. Here, US is more liked than China. Surveys like this are nonsense. So lets refer to what History will say. Viola! America stole our independence! Accused our ancestors of ignorance in governance.

          • chemrock says:

            Yes I do agree US has some grievance issues to address, but so too the Malayan settlers have grievances to address with the indegenious peoples. Where is it going to stop. And the what its in history. If no US would Filipinos have lived ever after with Spaniards, could there have been worse atrocities, or how about if Japan had won would it have been better for Phil’s? There is no end to these. Stop the whining and get on with building up our country.

            Leave the US out of the equation. The question before us is the D way a better one, that’s all. You have your opinions, others have their own. Thing is, you have never enumerated the whyfors you think D ways will achieve what’s best for the country. You’re just phoo-phooing away other’s point of view that is not aligned to yours.

            • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

              We are of Malay race. If no US after Spaniards we have not lost our identity as a nation, its Philippines ruled by Filipinos. If no US we would be allied of Japan, and a very possible turn of event in WW2 since our strategic location with Japan. Well, this is just a mention that there is a dormant hate for the US within the Filipinos.

              • China might completely destroy Filipino identity.

                This is today and tomorrow you might be losing.

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                They may, but we wont let it happen, and i believe you wont let it too.

              • chemrock says:

                It’s what I said. The what-ifs is a discourse in futility.

                Dormant hate is not what SWS survey show. Majority of Filipinos like Americans.

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:


                Filipinos like Americans because of decades of being above us. Its called colonial mentality and that is the Filipino trait we should forget.

              • sonny says:

                @Ybarra C
                “We are of Malay race … ” Anthropologists & sociologists would have plenty to say about this. The present day Malays mostly have their own versions that are apropos to them only. Generalizations are tenuous at best. Chempo is right what-ifs will be highly speculative. Philippines ruled by Filipinos is strictly a moving and changing reality.

                Some Japanese tried this by settling mostly in Mindanao. As far as I could tell, this was a demographic push-out from Japanese geographic realities (limited arable land).

                “… dormant hate for the US” This was more applicable in the early independence years and early 1950s due to US negligence and omissions (post-war Marshall plan & US-RP parity provisions)

          • Psychologists say that living in the past is deranged. You might want to update your context.

          • Istambay sa Kanto says:

            “Accused our ancestors of ignorance in governance.”
            Ancestors of ignorance? Or is it the generational crop of Pinoy polticians/leaders who don’t know how to take care of the nation?

            • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

              After the Spaniards sold Philippines to the Americans, whom the Filipino patriots never agreed and there was this Filipino-American whom the Americans won, the American colonized us. They stole our independence whom Rizal, Bonifacio, Aguinaldo and the others have died for. They believe that our ancestors dont know anything about governance but what about the tract records of the above mentioned name along with our fathers who fought Spain? And you too, believe that our leaders that time dont know how to take care our nation? How shameful.

            • Istambay sa Kanto says:

              @ TSH
              Pepe is the local nickname of Joe; do not be surprised if someday someone may call you “Mang Pepe”. lol

              @YC, on colonial mentality, looking in the rearview mirror is fine, but if you keep on staring at it while driving, you may end up with stiff neck or worse in the Emergency Department. lol

          • Thea says:

            There is a difference between “stole” and “bought”.
            @YC, please use these words properly.

            • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

              Ah as requested. America gave money to Spain so that they will leave the Philippines. And America stole the Philippines from the Filipino. And how come Aguinaldo didn’t know anything of governing, he is a general of numerous experiences. And he will not govern alone. The key words is Filipinos governed by Filipinos. Let it be a civil war or some sort because of Magdalo and Magdiwang factions, it is an ingredient of growth of a nation like that of the Confederates vs Union and Koumintang vs Communist.

              • I emphasize that trying to judge American actions through Filipino eyes will always end up with a warped result. One can understand the situation by reading about what was driving American actions in the Philippines. One was the Spanish American War, a global war, and the other was a fear that the Philippines, given independence while still fractured and divided (Filipinos killing Filipinos prior to and during the Philippine American War, and the division between Manila and the rest of the nation) would be taken by other interested parties, the French, the Dutch, the British and who-knows who else. Racism was prominent at the time and the American conquest was indeed brutal, with the rationale that it was the only way to unify the nation.

                Once can argue that the US in fact saved Filipino independence by being willing to part with the colony after it had a semblance of organized national government, education, and the other intellectual infrastructure that was put in place (and abused by Filipino corrupt leaders).

                Rather than look at the US as a culprit, if one wants to stand tall and get rid of the colonial mentality, Filipinos should look at their own tendency to fight amongst themselves rather than truly unify around a national agenda and set of honest principles. Then do the unifying. That makes the US completely irrelevant.

                Your holding onto this colonial mentality is in fact representative of what is holding the Philippines back from working on unification. You can’t unify around a finger pointed outward. It has to be pointed inward.

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                The Society,

                I think I have already drop the issue of colonial mentality, agreeing to you that we will stand up and should get rid of it.

                Right now, we are already discussing about Philippine History. I disagree with you that seeing history through Filipino eyes will end up to a warped result. It will actually lead to Filipinos finding their own identity which until now is arguably missing. Even before the Americans came, Philippines already produced so many great minds and brave hearts, one of them could have been the likes of Lincoln. It is not at all Filipinos killing Filipinos. Internal conflict is common on a nation that is about to be born a new, like the American Civil War and the Chinese Civil War. Even America experienced this themselves. Americans were the colonizers and it is colonialism, and no matter how one will reason, one culture was destroyed by the other. As what you said, it is the fear of the Americans that someone other than them will colonize the Philippines and can be used against them probably. In the end it is self serving for the Americans. If the French and the British did the colonization same can be said to them, but it was the Americans.

                Considering the Philippine History in the point of view of the Filipinos and considering the vendetta of PRD right now one could conclude that this hatred of the President is deep rooted in history. Same holds true to the Muslims of Mindanao. They were the living testament of American hatred. They have this sentiment that the puppet Philippine Government of the United States annexed them where they have their own sovereignty, like the Sultanate of Sulu.

                Deep in the Filipino hearts, slumbering is the hate of their colonizers, the Americans. A little bit of inspiration, or propaganda as you may call it, is enough to awaken this. But yes a revolution of this era would be different than before.

              • You hold onto these myths and cite them as truths, like the idea that Mindanao is anti-American when that has not historically been the case. Only those wishing to use anger to stoke allegiance rely upon such myths. Mindanao is a Filipino problem, and has been for a long, long time. Now it may be true that you, deep in your heart, hold a slumbering hate of America, and you ascribe that to others. But I’d bet the President’s attempt to use that as a method of unifying the Philippines will fail. It has for sure turned former President FVR against him, and President Aquino has said the reasoning is unsound, and the international community is thinking that President Duterte has a screw missing. But you are entitled to think what you think, hate whomever you hate, and push your myths to see who buys them. I won’t. For sure, you give Filipinos so little credit, so very little credit, by looking for scapegoats rather than asking Filipinos to simply prove, through constructive deeds, that they do not need America or anyone else. Try building for a change rather than hating.

              • chemrock says:

                To what extent is Moro’s hatred for Americans deeply rooted in historical mistreatment in the Phils-US wars is difficult to quantify. After all, Filipinos’ tendency to forgive and forget is well known. Historical amnesia is prevalent. I think this hatred for US amongst the Moro’s is religion driven. US is Satan to Muslims world wide, it’s drilled into their brains since young in the madrasah, it’s all over the internet of Islamist hate sites. US have no historical entanglements in Malaysia and Indonesia, how then do you explain the hatred for Americans amongst the Muslim populace there.?

              • NHerrera says:

                @Chemrock, if I may.


                EE-US = Emotional Entaglement with the US

                P1 = Muslims WITH EE-US
                P2 = Muslims NO EE-US

                Q = Hate US or Americans

                YC: P1 therefore Q (P1 > Q) (a)

                Chemrock cites the case of Malaysians, Indonesians, cases of P2, but they also hate US:

                (P2 > Q) (b)

                (a) and (b) taken together clearly imply that —

                EE-US is NOT THE BLANKET CAUSE of the Muslims hating Americans.

                There are also significant number of Muslims in the US not hating the US or the other Americans.

              • edgar lores says:

                NHerrera, Love your logico-mathematical reductions.

              • NHerrera says:

                @edgar, You guys have been doing the heavy lifting. So I thought I may do some doodling. 🙂

              • chemrock says:

                Your last Lara – some Muslims in US also don’t hate Americans.

                I’m not Islamophobic. Of course there are Muslims everywhere that don’t hate Americans. Hate only comes from closed minds, and a great tragedy of the Islamic world is that many kids grew up whose only knowledge base is in the madrasahs and if the imam is militant fundamentalist, the child is fodder to the hatred machinery.

                Coming back home to Philippines, the message we should propagate is love, not hate. What is the point of being stuck in a cycle of hate.

              • NHerrera says:

                @chemrock, Yes love to bring home, unlike some who go home to hate, worse act violently to partially satisfy that hate. As some say love begets love; and hate begets hate. I like the first cycle.

              • edgar lores says:

                I will settle for disinterested competence.

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:


                Because since time immemorial US imperialism is prevalent in the Muslim world, especially in the Middle East. Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, the list is long. And that resonates all over the world.

                As for Mindanao, the Moros wanted separation since 1898. Here they are now, still fighting for it.

                US trust rating is at 76% in September, let’s see at the end of the quarter.

              • Prior to WWII, the US had given up on its global adventures and was pretty deep into isolationism. WWI was unkind, and the economic depression rocked the nation back to a position of survival, not adventures. President Roosevelt knew well what was developing in Europe and had fallen to begging Congress for authority to engage American troops. Congress declined. Winston Churchill did his own begging trying to get the US engaged. When the US entered the war, she became a huge, monolithic war machine. My mother helped on the production lines and my father served six years in the Army. When the war ended, uncomfortably in Berlin with Russia posturing to retain the states she had won and launch into global leadership under the Duterte-style leadership of Stalin, the US was virtually the last man standing for freedoms that you enjoy, and democracy that you appear not to appreciate.

                The Middle East has been a powder keg since Jesus, so we can take our historical review back to Him, if you wish. You should, you know, to stop looking at the US with very smudged glasses of a provincial Filipino of no apparent depth of perspective on historical developments. Muslim states have also been imperialistic at places and times in history. Incorporate that into your thinking, as well. you display a huge crab mentality toward the US success at bringing peace and prosperity . . . and the freedoms that Duterte is seeking to end . . . and I find the narrow, biting view, so trollish and misleading, tiresome. I’d really prefer you stop commenting here, because you seem intent to bring nothing but blather, bias and misleading commentary here.

              • “In 711, troops mostly formed by Moors from North Africa led the Umayyad conquest of Hispania.” Wiki

                The US did not exist until 1776.

                Time immemorial bullshit.

              • The American engagements in Iraq and Iran were blowback from the dropping of the World Trade Center towers in 2001, not imperialism and not time immemorial. Gadzooks, you are the master of making up realities that are totally fake. You stand as an example of the dumbing down of an entire world, thanks to the ease of re-writing history by any schmuck with a Chinese keyboard and a good imagination.

              • Over 15,000 Muslims serve in the US military. Isn’t that an interesting bit of information? The US admits over 100,000 new Muslim immigrants a year. The hate, the hate . . .

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                The US bringing peace and prosperity by being the number one supplier of arms. US taking good care the world’s democracy using freedom bullets and freedom bombs. US invaded middle east because of weapons of mass destruction they are hiding in the form of oil. US is so focus in guarding the world order to the point that he failed to guard herself of the deadliest terror attack last 9/11. Here I am again, a provincial Filipino without depth of perspective in historical developments because I am not seeing it in the eyes of the Americans. Yes, I am trolling.

              • And you are banned from the site for that admission, and distortion.

              • NHerrera says:

                Ybarra Crisostomo,

                Can you be good enough to admit that your statement “since time immemorial US imperialism is prevalent in the Muslim world” is incorrect given the historical facts sighted by the SOH?

        • edgar lores says:

          Chemrock, Ahaha!

          Some people are just haters.

        • Crabs would always put a successful nation high on their list, it seems to me. The fact that 3.5 million Filipinos live in the US (oops, they were just “disowned” by president Duterte as Filipinos) and 2,500 live in China is a pretty stark measure.

          I would also say it is always best to judge the US from the standpoint of US interests, and the context for many acts becomes clearer. One cannot view the US through Filipino eyes and come away with an accurate understanding of history or motives. Well, one can if one is well-read like Irineo-the-German, but not if one is a troll.

          • If Filipinos living in America are not really Filipinos because they are in America, does that make me a Filipino because I am in the Philippines?

            • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

              Lets look at the code if you are Filipino… length of residence? I could enumerate many list to hate US. You could enumerate many to love it. Then its up to PRD if he will love or hate US.

      • Waray-waray says:

        “USA on top of the list as most hated country”.

        I ask: does it matter to the Filipinos? If it does would I see a shorter queue at the US Embassy very soon?

      • karlgarcia says:

        It topped in Abcnewspoint, which appeared first in google.

        About Abcnewspoint
        Abcnewspoint is a plate form to deliver you healthy, complete and brief stories about latest all over the world, the most comprehensive look on the international concerns since 2014. Abcnewspoint is proved a best forum for breaking news gave you latest information in a very diverse and innovative manner. Click Abcnewspoint to see the latest updates of your required category.

        maybe they meant platform or template?

      • Filipinos hold America in higher esteem than even Americans do, so we know you are just blowing smoke like a good seller of pig’s ears.

        • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

          Result of being a vasal state of US for decades. This is called colonial mentality, and this is the Filipino attitude that we want to put in the trashcan.

          • Colonial mentality is feeling envy or anger toward another state, versus just dealing with them as an equal, confidently. It is blaming one’s own performance on others. One escapes it by holding oneself accountable for results. In other words, it is growing up.

            • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

              So are we changing now the meaning of the phrase “colonial mentality’? Should i link online sources to prove that it is not the meaning you are telling here? Remove the “feeling of envy or anger toward another state” and we are good. You are not being angry or envy to others if you prefer theirs than yours.

          • chemrock says:

            @ Ybarra

            Australia, New Zealand, UK, Singapore, Sorkor, Germany, and Japan all have very strong relationships with US. There are US bases or facilities for US military, have joint military exercises, lots of collaboration in all sorts of spheres. None of these countries vew themselves as vassals. From time to time they have taken positions on issues not aligned to US. Singapore for example, once canned an American teen for vandalism despite pleadings from several high ranking Americans including the president of the time, Bill Clinton.

            These countries took the best of what the US offers, and the Americans have been generous to a fault.

            It’s only the Philippines ruled from the south that’s spewing this hatred, and self-denigrating themselves as submissive little brown brothers. It’s only the Philippines under the current admin that turn a blind eye to all the positive contributions of the US to Filipino national interest (I stand corrected, some Secretaries in fact acknowledge the US contributions) and are ready to jettison the US because of some personal slights, or personal interests?. Tell me Ybarra, is it because Duterte say so then it must be so. Or if it’s your independent opinion, then outline the reasons to that led to the conclusion that Philippines is a vassal state.

            Also tell me, do you look up to your president? Sure you do, and you have your reasons – there are traits that you admire, right? Now then, why is it wrong for Filipinos to look up to US, there are similarly traits that folks admire. Why must what they admire be thrown into the trash can? Must they adopt only what you admire?

            • if Filipinos were on the losing side with respect to the USA like many Muslim countries, certain sentiments would be explainable. But on the whole Filipinos have profited from the US relationship, maybe a bit too dependent and with too little own capacity-building.

              But to now act as if they were the losers and kept dependent, while seeking to lean on China instead – this is all simply bullshit and the usual excuses for not moving forward.

            • Ybarra Crisostomo says:


              My friend, the reference of the vassal state was that of history, after Spain sold Philippines to the US in 1898, the Americans ruled us until they recognize our independence in 1946. It is wrong for the Filipinos to look up to US, we should look to them at the same level, we are both freemen. It is not that we admire to be thrown, it is the colonial mentality.

              • chemrock says:

                Exactly Ybarra. It is you who insist on the colonial mentality. Why makes you think other Filipino looks up to the Americans with that mentality? Ginebra players might look up to the US for their NBA quality games, Pacquaio could be looking up to US for their capability to hold multi- million $ boxing matches, Dado Banatao may look up to US for their technological leadership, etc. Ask them if they have colonial mentality.

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:


                It is not the colonial mentality that makes Paquiao playing in USA, it’s the money. I am not familiar with Banatao. Wonder basketball has an association here in Philippines, but what about our national sport? Are we even playing it? It is the colonial mentality like the thought of being white is more beautiful, that’s why whitening products is so common. The fact that our local actors and actresses are half-bloods, there was this talent show that the contestants with halfbloods, preferably white, are being chosen despite of being less in talent. In coffee commercials, we can always hear this american blend. When we measure something, we are still using inches and pounds, where it should be centimeters and kilos already. In choosing names for a our babies we mostly pick names like John, Joseph or Mary, why not names like Makisig, Lualhati or Liwayway? Our toddlers know the stories of Snowhite and Jack’n Jill, but do they know of Maria Makiling and Malakas at Maganda?

              • karlgarcia says:

                We must quit the victim mentality, and the so called colonial mentality will go with it.
                But in case of manufacturing, I would want the made in USA to make its come back, that is also a victim mentality of mind, I am a victim of Chinese key boards.

              • Thea says:

                @YC, don’t tell that white skin is beautiful as viewed by the Filipinos. They are not alone in this thinking, even the Indian and African ladies have cosmetic products to make their complexion whiter. On the otherhand, why did the “White Ladies” subject themselves to solarium, tanning lotions and excruciating sun(if no money) to get darker skin? That is not colonial mentality, that’s Fashion. 😛

              • chemrock says:

                @ Ybarra

                Thanks for the engagement here, it’s interesting. But we have digressed too far from Andrew’s subject so in deference to the author, this is my last say in the thread.

                Colonial mentality is deep rooted in the past, where a superior civilization imposes itself on another that is more backward. Three factors perpetuated this mentality – ignorance, being held back from lack of access to knowledge; psychological-survival instinct to butter up one’s superiors (today you can replace the word colonial with duterte to get a somewhat similar meaning). A third factor is libertarianism has seen a fundamental shift in thinking by western countries. Where it used to be bossing over, it is not developmental assistance and friendship.

                This colonial mentality went out the window after WW2 when we witnessed the invincibility of the mighty Britannia humbled by an Asian country. Britain no longer ruled the waves. A modern world with easier access to knowledge, especially now with internet, has eradicated much of the old ignorance. Peoples and countries have moved up the ladder and some are on par, even exceed, standards of ex colonial powers. We do still respect, note the word is respect, them for some areas, and they too have come to respect us for some stuff too.

                You have gone on a tangent onto issues like whiteness. As someone commented, that’s fashion. That is a creature led by power ads and key fashion leaders. Too bad today the west leads in many fields – in sports, in creative entertainment industries. But you wouldn’t know the success of Kpops in the west, it may be short lived, but it’s there. One thing I remembered very well – there was a nobody in the west want to watch any Chinese movie. Then enter Bruce Lee and everybody including westerners went crazy.

                What a shame you don’t know Dado Batanao. I don’t mean it as an insult, but as a regret. Dado is one of a few Filipino giant in the world of international biz. He has earned his place in the hall of fame in the IT industry. He developed the first 10megabit microchip, a great achievement at the time. My point about this is if you achieve and contribute, people look up to you. Drop the colonial mentality tag. Its an outdated imoverused excuse. It’s regained current prominence on the back of duterte’s pronouncements.

              • chemrock says:

                Sorry, just can’t help adding this.

                Ybbara, you mentioned you are still using inches and pounds and that’s due to colonial mentality. That’s called the Imperial system. UK is still stuck with this. Please tell me who is their colonial master

              • Waray-waray says:

                YC would you blame colonial mentality for your education (remember our education system and our form of government is patterned after the US’ just to name a few) and most of all your English proficiency? Do you think as a still developing country we could compete with other countries if we cannot speak the King’s language?

          • Thea says:

            Well, putting the “colonial mentality” in the trash can would mean putting the superior-quality products mostly from the West, ironically made in China, in the trash can too. But how can we be different from Chinese consumers that line up crazy in the opening sale of iPhone 6? Bringing their children in Mc Donald’s and eat beef nowadays? Is China colonized by US? That thing “colonial mentality” is only coined by people who cannot compete to win the tastes and preferences of the Filipinos. As well as the tastes of my Chinese ladies-acquaintances getting crazy on make-up and fashion trends of the West. Come on, YC, open your mind. It is not the colonial mentality that makes the Filipinos feel inferior. It is being poor. Put poverty in the trash can, that is better.

            • A rare “10 likes” award to Thea. The colonial mentality is a deficiency in esteem of those who claim others impose a colonial mentality. Just stand up, that’s how to get rid of it. And indeed, poverty, as aided by corruption, are the real problems of the Philippines, popping out in many symptoms, drugs and colonial mentality and excessive thuggery to “get even” among them.

              • Ybarra Crisostomo says:

                Look Thea, my boss working in the US sent me these Balikbayan Boxes containing various products from US which most of them were tagged “made in china.” Have you try looking at those make up kits to see where it is made? Or should we wait for the iPhone6 chinese version with 4x less the price? We should not confuse our purchasing power with colonial mentality, I have said examples of it somewhere here with no considerations of someone’s purchasing power. Atleast The Society agreed that we should stand up and get rid of it.

              • Thea says:

                Thank you,Joe. 👍🏾

            • NHerrera says:


              In a similar vein, the guy who used the phrase “mental colony” probably has the same take. Either that or he cannot express himself enough and so equated:

              mental colony = colonial mentality


              I like that image too of queueing for iPhone, bringing children to McDo; being crazy on make-up and fashion trends of the West, be they Chinese or Filipinos.

              “Mental colony” indeed. I like iPhone and McDo too, but I settle for plain vanilla talk-text phone because of a geriatric budget; and Sinigang na bangus for health reason.

      • Istambay sa Kanto says:

        Seriously?… how come a lot of “them” all over the world would like to study/migrate to America?

    • The joining of Alvarez to the fray makes me think it is not a personal anti-Americanism, but policy.

    • a distand observer says:

      Andrew, this is a really good question.
      Is Duterte’s anti-americanism authentic?
      We know that Duterte was a member of the Kabataang Makabayan, a leftist movement and founding group of the Communist Party of the Philippines. It was the the time when the US just overcame McCartyism a few years earlier and leftist ideologies and Americanism were considered highly incompatible. There are these stories that Duterte reinforced his anti-American stance after the incidents involving Michael Meiring, an alleged CIA spy with ties to Muslim groups in the southern part of the Phils. I don’t know much about this Mr. Meiring (well who knows anything more?), but his case seems like a rather complete CIA fail.
      I personally think that his sentiments towards the US might not be faked.

      Is Duterte’s anti-Americanism a prerequisite of China?
      It depends on what one thinks about whether Duterte was deliberately “brought into office” by Chinese forces or not. If one answers this question with “yes”, then of course it was a prerequisite, probably the most important one. If one answers this question with “no”, then the answer might be not so straightforward.

  5. Gemino H. Abad says:

    Thanks, Andrew Lim! In the end, one has got to know who one is negotiating with — the track record of a dictatorship (with millions of countrymen in dire poverty and without freedom) that spurns international law whenever it doesn’t suit its own self-interests (i.e,,power, domination, wealth of the Communist Party).

  6. karlgarcia says:

    Duterte and Alvarez should read Adobo Chronicles.


    Maybe they did, and they learned it was fake news.

  7. caliphman says:


    Scarborough Shoals has been classified as a ‘rock’ under the Hague ruling which is naturally uninhabitable but visible even at high tide. As such it does not delimit a separate EEZ to whomever owns it which is in continuing dispute between China and the Philippines. Note that the Hague ruling did not resolve this territorial dispute as it confined itself strictly to maritime issues including those waters covered by China’s 9-dash claim. Consistent with this classification, the Hague ruling states that while Scarborough is not entitled to a separate EEZ, the waters within a 12 nautical mile radius around the rock formation is part of its territorial sea. Territorial seas are subject to more extensive and tighter control by the owner but I do believe but am not absolutely sure that fishing access is given to outsiders who traditionally fished there.

    This rock is really an atoll with the rocks forming a rough ring around a body of shallow water which has an area of 150 square kilometers. As the above article says, the best fishing is within this inner sea and outside the atoll and irs territorial sea, the catch is usually poor and not worth the expense incurred by Filipino fishermen.

    Why is this all important? The current status at Scarborough is that the Philippines now again has fishing access within atoll waters and the territorial seas surrounding it. China maintains a strong coast guard cutter presence within the atoll. There is no agreement that has been reached or disclosed between China and the Philippines that can be linked to the status quo. Given the discussion above, one would not expect China to withdraw it cutters from the atoll so long as they insist on the contested claim that Scarborough Shoals is theirs even if they did recognize the Hague ruling. Under the ruling, ownership of the atoll is no longer irrelevant since restrictive control and enforcement rights are conferred with it.

    Until the ownership issues related to Scarborough can be agreed upon and legally settled by more bilateral and friendly, it should be no surprise to continue seeing Chinese cutters side by side inside the atoll absent any formal agreement.

    • Grace Sapuay says:

      Those “Rocks” has been part of the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone since 1980 and during that time, the UN approved it, without any contesting party from any of the countries now claiming those rocks. It’s just a matter of who has the power to expand. And China’s expansionist move happens to plan around the Philippines because of its rich natural resources. Because now they have the power and the capability compared to 1980 when they were still poor. Thanks to multinational corporations locating to China. And Duterte’s arrogant moves of challenging the multinational investors to get out of the Philippines is plain stupidity if not naivete. Having an independent foreign policy is one thing, but changing masters for a few billion dollars is another. Boombastic diplomacy.

    • edgar lores says:

      Caliphman & Grace,

      The facts seem to be:

      1. The EEZ is an area that extends to a distance of 370 km (200 nautical miles) from a country’s coastal baseline.

      2. Scarborough Shoal — also known as Panatag Shoal, Bajo de Masinloc, and Huangyan Dao — is located 220 km from Palauig, Zambales, which is the nearest landmass.

      3. The Hague ruling did not explicitly establish which country has sovereignty over Scarborough Shoal. However, it rejected China’s historical rights based on the nine-dash line.

      4. The Shoal has formed part of the fishing grounds of Filipinos, Chinese and perhaps fishermen of other countries. (?)

      5. In 2012, China seized control of the Shoal and denied fishing access to Filipinos.

      6. Now, in 2016, China has allowed fishing access to Filipinos while maintaining a Coast Guard presence.

      7. China foreign ministry has declared, “The Chinese side has continuously exercised normal jurisdiction over Huangyan Island, and the situation has not changed.” This declaration contravenes the Hague ruling.


      My conclusions:

      1. Scarborough Shoal is well within the Philippine EEZ.

      1.1. However, an EEZ does not confer full sovereignty over the waters. It merely confers sovereignty rights, which refers to a state’s rights below the surface of the water.

      1.2. Below the surface, a state has special rights regarding exploration and the use of marine resources.

      1.3. However, the surface waters are international waters.

      2. Filipinos have the absolute right to fish in Scarborough Shoal area.

      3. China has a right to have ships in the area on the surface of the waters. They have no right to control access to the area. And they have no right to economic exploration below the surface of the waters.

      4. China has taken what they are not allowed to take and given what is not theirs to give.

      • Thanks for this. Very helpful.

      • caliphman says:

        Not so, Edgar. A close reading of the hearings and the ruling will confirm my views and comments here. EEZ ,territorial seas, and international waters have specific legal meanings which confer treaty defined rights to whomever has sovereignty over the land mass the seas are adjacent to. UNCLOS itself stays away from applying this concept of sovereignty or ownership to these adjoining bodies of water or the open sea. The Hague ruling rejected China’s 9-dash line precisely because it claims sovereignty not over disputed islands or rocks but over a vast expanse of what has been known as the South China Sea.

        What the Hague ruling concluded about Scarborough atoll is that while it did not merit its own EEZ which if China owned it would mean overlapping and shared EEZ’s with the Philippines. However, since the atoll was above water at high tide, it was entitled to is own territorial sea with its greater set of rights and tighter restrictions on access. Additionally, the specific provisions governing territoritorial seas trump those conferred to EEZ’s.

        As I have pointed out repeatedly, the UNCLOS treaty and the Hague ruling says nothing about who owns the atoll at Scarborough. But whomever owns it has the right to patrol and protect its territorial waters as provided for in the treaty, these waters being defined as those ringed by the atoll ring and those defined by the seas within12 nautical miles around the atoll. The treaty and the ruling allows foreiign fishermen access to traditional fishing grounds in EEZ and if I recall correctly, even in territorial waters. The fishing being in accordance with local laws such as restrictions on poaching, catch limits, and species conservation.

        In aummary, as I have said previously China’s current conduct is in keeping with the UNCLOS treaty and even if it does not recognize the Hague ruling, it definitely is not in contravention with it as a disputed owner of the Atoll.

        • caliphman says:

          I fear I am sounding like a broken record repeating the same views and explaining the relevant points of the treaty and provision. Its truly all that easy to understand. The topic really deserves a blog of its own as it is a very controversial, important, and continuing issue. Unfortunately I absolutely have no time to do it and maybe there are others who can clarify its obscure areas more clearly than I can.

          • NHerrera says:

            I believe, the current blog thread starting from

            caliphman says:
            October 31, 2016 at 3:43 am

            has enough material to start discussion right here for those who have different views or variation of views — edgar already offered his — if no one takes up your suggestion, caliphman. I certainly hope you change your mind and do it yourself subject of course to Joe’s ok for stylistic change, length (not a novel length, I would suppose 🙂 ) etc.

          • a distand observer says:

            I am working on the Scarborough Shoal issue for some time now and would love to write an article about its legal and political aspects. Unfortunately I do not find the time at the moment, but with Joe’s permission I would gladly contribute here in the future. I would definitively appreciate this society’s comments on it.

        • edgar lores says:

          Caliphman, thanks.

          I agree and disagree with your points.

          1. It is clear that the Hague ruling rejected the nine-dash claim of China.

          2. I agree the ruling did not determine which country has sovereignty over Scarborough Shoal. But in consonance with point 1, the implication is clear: the Shoal does not belong to China. But neither does it belong to the Philippines.

          3. I intentionally did not mention that the Shoal is an outcropping of rocks and not an island so as not to muddy the issue. As you point out, and I agree, atolls have different characteristics from islands, and atolls that appear above the water at hightide also differ from atolls that do not. The characteristics have to do with rights concerning the classification of internal waters, territorial waters, and the exclusive economic zone.

          3.1. I would also agree that territorial water rights trump EEZ rights. But this is irrelevant to my simplification of the discussion as Shoal ownership has not been established.

          3.2. Similarly, the right to patrol the Shoal is irrelevant… or should be irrelevant. That China seems to be doing this is a contravention of the Hague ruling, especially since patrolling meant controlling access to the area until recently. China may navigate ships in the area, but it should not patrol/control the area. This is where I would significantly disagree with you… unless there is something in UNCLOS treaty that allows China to do this.

          3.3. I would also agree that fishing is permitted to whomever.

          (3.4. sorry, the UNCLOS treaty is too long and I do not have the patience to go through it.)

          4. What is clear to me is that barring specific ownership by China or any other nation, the Shoal is within the Philippines EEZ. Therefore, the Philippines has EEZ rights.

          • caliphman says:

            Some brief comments, Edgar.
            2. Ownership of the atoll has not been legally resolved and the Hague court did not even attemp to addreas the issue. It is not correct to say neither China nor the Philippines own the shoal. One of them owns it or both co-own the atoll, the relevance having to do with does a body of water enclosed by the owners territory also belong to the same owner? Laguna Bay is definitely the sovereign of the Philippines. Is Manila Bay? If China is the atoll owner are the waters inside the atoll part of its territory? Territorial seas confer access restriction including notification and permission requirements. Inland waters carry with it the same restrictions to access and perhaps more. Just what was the relevance of the non- ownership note given our discussion? The EEZ zone cannot be compared to territorial seas in so far as notice and permission requirements for accessing foreigners.
            3.1 and 3.2 I have covered above why being a territorial sea is indeed relevant and less so for EEZ zones which Scarborough does not merit and which Zambales does. Whoever owns Scarborough has the exclusive right to monitor and control entry as well as enforce local and international laws, ie conservation, gambling, poaching, etc. Its a huge issue and as I have already recounted, this crisis started with a Philippine cutter intercepting a Chinese fishing boat for illegal fishing within the atoll. This is precisely why being a terrirorial sea and the rights UNCLOS connected with it is very relevant.
            3.3 Fishing access under the treaty is not to whomever but have traditionally fishes in otherwise restricted areas orior to the treaty. There would not be much fish left if it was open season for anyone.
            3.4 Get a good summary from a reliable source. I recall getting my info from legal abstracts and briefs. IF one must, see what Wikipedia says but thats really hit or miss.
            4. If the Hague ruling clarified anything, it is that the Scarborough shoals falling within our EEZ is meaningless as Philippine fishing is concerned because the sought after catch is within the atoll or the territorial seas surrounding it. If oil or gas deposits can be extracted outside the 12 mile territorial boundary, which by the way is unlikely, then the Hague ruling benefited the Philippines in the case of Scarborough. Otherwise, my previous conclusions still hold true and that China is acting as if it is the owner of the disputed atoll while abiding wth the UNCLOS treaty and the Hague ruling.

            I hope these remarks have addressed your comments adequately. By the way, it may be of interest to note China and the Philippines have ratified the treaty whilst the US has not. Go figure.

    • NHerrera says:

      Posting this for the readers appreciation of distance-scale, and the locations of Scarborough Shoal and Zambales.

    • NHerrera says:

      This is CNN writer Ashley Townshend extended article on Duterte, China and the US dated October 31, 2016 as it relates to Scarborough Shoal and the trip of President Duterte to China.

      I believe it is relevant to the discussion.


      • edgar lores says:

        NHerrera, thanks. The second sentence confirms my view that China’s patrol and control of the Scarborough Shoal are illegal.

      • caliphman says:

        “In fact, by sharing fishing access at the shoal, Beijing has surreptitiously brought itself in line with the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s July 12 ruling on the South China Sea, even as it continues to reject the legality of the verdict.”

        Manong and Edgar, the article makes the above observation which is also one of my main conclusions. It is central to the question of whether the Philippines can legally argue that what China is doing at Scarborough violates international law regardless of who owns the atoll based on the UNCLOS agreement and the Hague ruling. To have an informed discussion on this question, at least two people have to know what the treaty and the ruling really says and apply it to the situation at Scarborough. Otherwise we will all be exchanging useless verbiage here without educating ourselves on what the known facts are and its implications on what the Philippines should and can do. Thank you for posting this article as I agree with the author’s observation about the legality of China’s current conduct at Scarborough but perhaps not with its implications on US and Philippines WPS policy.

    • NHerrera says:

      I am joining in the fray. First off, I have not read the full text of the Hague Ruling (HR),except writers summaries and quoted excerpts in those summaries, shortly after the Hague Ruling (HR) was released.

      My comment really is different from the flow in the discussion here between caliphman and edgar. It is touched, however, by edgar in his post above. Mine is over two statements from the HR which puzzle me. This is a rephrasing of those two statements:

      1. The ruling which essentially said that the China’s Nine-dash Line has no legal basis.

      2. The ruling which essentially left unsaid/ untouched the issue of ownership or not by China of Scarborough Shoal/ Atoll.

      If my understanding is correct, the ownership claim by China over islands, groups of islands, shoals, atolls, rocks is that these are inside their — in the first place poorly defined — NDL. One of those enclosed inside the NDL is the Scarborough Shoal.

      Now if the basis of ownership of SS is NDL — I have not read of any other basis, at least in the case of SS — then does it not naturally or logically follow that at least China does not own SS? It may be owned of course by another country but not China. Of course, China had not participated in the Hague deliberation like the Philippines did, except through submissions of documents which I understand Hague have considered and studied. May this explain something?

      So if Hague ruled Item 1, why leave unsaid ownership or not by China of SS?

      • edgar lores says:

        NHerrera, As I understand it, the Hague Court did not accept jurisdiction over the question of ownership.

        • NHerrera says:

          Ok, thanks. But what was the 9-dash line of China all about?

          • edgar lores says:

            Well, it was rejected, invalidated.

          • edgar lores says:

            Both your items 1 and 2 are true. They are not mutually exclusive.

            • NHerrera says:



              Again, on the nine-dash line and Hague Ruling:

              A = Islands, shoals, atolls, rocks inside the nine-dash line is owned by us (China)

              Scarborough Atoll is inside the NDL

              B = Scarborough Atoll is owned by us (China)

              A > B

              Hague Ruling: NDL is a myth, a fiction or whatever legal-diplomatic/ non-derogatory description Hague actually used. In other words

              A /> B or A does not imply B

              It is possible of course that some other C is such as to imply B,

              C > B

              I believe the term used is wrong antecedent A. There may be some C (?) which is the correct antecedent to B.

              My point is: China did not participate formally in the Hague Deliberation but submitted their documents or their BEST SHOT which is A or NDL to support their claim. If there is another antecedent better or as good as A, meaning my C, in the note above, they (the Chinese) would have logically submitted this but apparently did not (?).

              Perhaps their best shot as an antecedent C is:

              C = Might makes right.

              Sorry, folks — as I said, I am writing on a slow day.

              (What would have happened if the Philippines were claiming the NDL and submitted the same documents as China did to support the NDL, and China was armed with the documents the Philippines presented? Would Hague have tippy-toed or be more cautious?)

              • edgar lores says:

                NHerrera, slow day indeed.

                Caliphman makes some good points, chiefly that we are to a great degree ignorant of the UNCLOS treaty and the Hague ruling.

                My initial post on November 1 at 5:57 am was an attempt to clarify my understanding of the Scarborough Shoal issue.

                In my ignorance, I stand by my conclusions and the logic I used to arrive at them.

                To me, the main issue revolves around ownership. I am not duly concerned about the nuances regarding islands, atolls, shoals, territorial waters and so forth. This is my starting point. My contention is that no country owns the Shoal. Caliphman contends either China or the Philippines or both does.

                Perhaps Caliphman will be right — at some future point.

                At this point, now, I stand by my contention.

                Does China own Scarborough Shoal? No.

                Does the Philippines own Scarborough Shoal? No.

                If ownership is not established, what rules apply in the meantime?

                To me, the basic concepts that apply are those of (a) the Global Commons and (b) the EEZ and the special rights that go with it. The concept of the EEZ is part of the Law of the Sea, which is essentially UNCLOS.

                1. As part of the Global Commons, the Shoal is open to passage by any country. It is also open to fishing by any country. No country should control or impose restrictions on the Global Commons. (I think this last is important as China’s objective is to establish de facto, but not necessarily de jure, control over the Shoal and the entire South China Sea.)

                2. As part of the Philippine EEZ, the Shoal confers special rights to the country.

                Again, I emphasize this is me talking in my ignorance and this is opinion. Note that all of these matters are iffy and are in transition. As noted, the US has not even signed UNCLOS. Hillary, should she win, has made the ratification of the treaty a priority.

              • NHerrera says:

                Fair enough. Talking of factual ignorance — coming from all relevant documents, to my mind, you are less ignorant than I am. Thanks. Over and out from me on this item until triggered again by something or other. 🙂

      • I think they could not address all the specific conflicts with proper thoroughness, so addressed none. It falls to the contestants to file individual cases in a proper court.

      • NHerrera says:

        edgar, Joe:

        Thanks to both of you for responding. I really should seriously read up on this matter.

        • caliphman says:

          Manong, the answer to your question is that the dispute over Scarborough, Spratley, Paracel and other islands and rocks precedes the UNCLOS agreenent which has been ratified around the turn of the century and is now in force. China’s so-called NDL expands on its earlier territorial claims as it now says it should also have sovereignity over a huge expanse
          of the South China sea. I myself have not read China’s riginal written declaration of their NDL claim but go by what the ruling says about it. What I know for a fact is it was rejected because UNCLOS is an agreement superseding prior claims on ownerships and rights over the worild’s seas and the marine resources on and underneath it. That the NDL claim was rejected is not relevant to who really owns these disputed rocks and islands. There is no established international agreement that can be used to resolve disputes that involve land like the UNCLOS covers mariitime quarrels.

          I think I am flogging s dead horse here but what is needed is to establish facts and less speculation on those facts. You are all my friends but sharing what I know is requiring more time and effort than I can afford right now. We are all on the same side which is to know and try to make sense of the burning issues that are affecting us.

          • NHerrera says:

            caliphman, thanks for the note.

            a distant observer (November 2, 2016 at 7:29 am) offered to write an article on the Scarborough Shoal — its legal and political aspects. Joe welcomed that offer.

            I will refrain from further comments along the line I wrote until I read that forthcoming blog article of ado.

            • caliphman says:

              That is good news, Manong. I am glad there is someone willing and hopefully able to thoroughly research, verify, organize, and present reference material for all of us to educate ourself on this important topic. That info can serve as a solid foundation of knowledge for the many bright minds here to discuss and evaluate intelligibly the country’s WPS issue and appropriate foreign policy.

              • karlgarcia says:

                In my other life, life away from TSOH, I am a researcher for my dad, it is amazing what my dad can do with the data I provide him, I dump internet research (which I do not read thoroughly, just scan), then after a few days, a paper is produced.

                My dad has his own opinion, but he always told me that we are all entitled to our opinion, but not our own facts.

                This subject is important, because he has been talking about this with the Maritime league for years, and the developments keep on coming, meaning more round table discussions, he even took a break, then the administration changed, and back to square one.

  8. karlgarcia says:

    off topic.

    For those who want the peso dollar exchange to go above 50:1, This one’s for you.


    Our outstanding debt wil also increase.
    We try to borrow from domestic sources, but we all know infra projects and other big tickets require foreign funding.

    Plus your electric bill has this forex component.

  9. karlgarcia says:

    If Duterte makes it a policy to go anti US, the US software companies might move to …not China, but Russia.


  10. karlgarcia says:

    According to Heydarian, some Chinese are baffled by Duterte’s ant-US talk.


  11. karlgarcia says:


    I agree with the script writer.

    • chemrock says:

      Now that’s real sickening. Its basically a legislation that is in total conflict with the SC ruling that abolished the Aguinaldo Doctrine.

      I wonder in a situation like this in a democracy, do the general population have a chanel to block the passing of idiotic laws.

      • Sup says:

        When everybody looks at Duterte Sotto get’s his sneaky chance hoping everybody is to busy watching him…bah.

      • caliphman says:

        The Aguinaldo doctrine had to do with a public official who is reelected to the same office. The jurisprudence was the official could not be be subject to preventive suspension while serving the term he or she was reelected to. The theory being that his reelection by the public absolved him of crimes committed during his previous term. Thus there was no rationale to suspend him while still in reelective office to investigate the official for wrongdoings implicitly pardoned for. The SC prospectively abandoned the doctrine in the Maor Binay vs Ombudsman case.

        I have read the summary in the article but not the actual bill Sotto is proposing and do not think it is counters the SC decision junking Aguinaldo. Perhaps I am missing something but the proposal seems unnecessary or the article summary is wrong. Why propose a bill so that a person cannot be suspended from an office he no longer occupies? Maybe instead a bill should be introduced preventively suspending public officials for extreme stupidity or inanity.

    • karlgarcia says:


      Alvarez filed the same bill. He is saying that the congressmen can no longer use their iffice influence witnesses.
      I say they still can, let say the current mayor owes the current congresman who was former mayor, then influence would be exerted.
      In this quid quo pro, scratch my back world, this bill is useless, though it would benefit Ruffy Biazon, ( who I have to disclose, is the son of my former boss) if this was enacted six years ago.

  12. NHerrera says:

    Off topic

    Strong words by former President Ramos on the Climate Change Issue:


    In his own bluntly-worded manner, former President Fidel V. Ramos said that President Rodrigo Duterte was “full of S….T” if he thought his diatribes against the Philippines’ allies and the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change Agreement was his God-given destiny, given that his rejection of the climate agreement was akin to him and the entire country “shooting [themselves] in the mouth”.

    Ramos, in an opinion piece written for a Manila broadsheet, pointed out that mitigating the effects of climate change required international cooperation and collective positive action, and that this collective action was embodied in the Paris climate agreement.

    The former president explained that Duterte was wrong if he thought the agreement limited greenhouse gas emissions similarly among participating countries, not taking into account the major responsibilities developed countries have to the problem while also stunting the economic progress of developing nations.

    Rather, Ramos argued, the Paris Agreement was based on the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR), and thus recognized the larger burden for emissions limits for developed countries while allowing for the growth of developing ones.

    “[The agreement], in fact, recognizes that developing countries can peak their emissions at a later time, as they pursue sustainable development and poverty eradication according to their respective national plans,” wrote Ramos.

    Furthermore, the Paris Agreement also called on developed nations “to set aside at least $100 billion yearly as financial assistance to developing countries starting 2020 to enable all countries to actualize renewable (or green) energy sources.”


    To the credit of the Palace, it responded to the


    call of Ramos as follows:

    A Malacañang official on Monday said the Duterte administration “will be guided” by former President Fidel Ramos’ statements on the need to ratify the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. 

    “We appreciate former President FVR’s advice. We will be guided by the wisdom of former President FVR,” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a text message to reporters. 

    Nice development on the Climate Change Issue. Apparently President Duterte was not informed well of the facts on the 70 percent emission-reduction goal the Philippines submitted to the UN last year as its intended Nationally Determined Contribution.

    Ramos explains that “… [the submission was] just an indicative number and is conditioned on the provision of financial, technological, and capacity-building support [by the developed countries] … the Paris Agreement did not impose emission reductions on the Philippines. Should any country decide to eventually become a party to the agreement, it will only [be then when it will] be asked to submit its Nationally Determined Contributions.”

    • NHerrera says:

      This tells me that Duterte listens, especially from one he respects. The problem probably arises when the responsible Cabinet officials are not able to give him the correct brief on the matter, or he gets it but he selecst some items putting aside the nuances or other facts, this at a time when — on a roll at the start of his Administration — he may have wanted to appear decisive, etc.

      • Of interest, China has clarified that the situation at Scarborough has not changed and will not change. They will work with President Duterte as they see fit.


        • NHerrera says:

          Consistent with Andrew’s current article.

        • caliphman says:

          That article is just official confirmation of my comments above. THe Hague ruling was never about ownership of disputed territories but rights and control of adjacent seas. China does not recognize the ruling but its actions including letting Filipinos fish at Scarborough abides with it. Both parties have agreed to disagree on who owns the atoll. As I have noted, this is as good an outcome for the Philippines as can be expected for the present until we have more numerous and more powerful gunboats to pit against China to enforce our claims…hehehe.

      • chemrock says:

        Most high achievers are high energy types and their days start very early. Most of these especially presidents, read up on all sorts of important matters before the day starts. Aquino spends lots of night hours reading up. Duterte is not made of this cutting. His day starts at 12 pm. His reading material probably 144 character types. His free time – well when he was congress man he went for movies during congress sessions, so what do you expect.

    • karlgarcia says:

      FVR resigned as special envoy to China, but Malacañan has yet to receive the memo.


    • karlgarcia says:

      I wanted to comment, but you know I have several rants. From pharing out old vehicles, which I later retracted because of lack of mass transport, to the discussions with lance corporal x about carbon capture, methane capture, waste to energy, waste to fuel, etc. To our discussions on Nuclear technology.
      What we need is a balance, we cannot abandon fossil fuels yet.

  13. cha says:

    In psychology , it’s called Cognitive Empathy or mental perspective taking – being able to see things from another’s point of view.

    In The Art of War, Sun Tzu says – To know your enemy, you must become your enemy.

    Which of the two would most likely have been China’s frame of reference in dealing with the Philippines all along?

    To refuse to acknowledge the possibility that these thoughts, as outlined by Andrew, have actually crossed the minds of the Chinese leadership is to be foolhardy. To dismiss the article as mere criticism of Duterte is to underestimate Duterte himself, who would probably have gone through a similar exercise himself; though it remains to be seen if such exercise did him (or his country) any good. Did he or is he reading the Chinese right?

    It will take a while, possibly years, before we find out. For our country’s sake, we can only hope he did.

    “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”
    – Confucius

    • edgar lores says:

      Hmm. Dat Confucius — him wise guy!

      • There is so much we can learn from the Chinese.

        On so many levels.

        • NHerrera says:

          cha, top of the morning to you!

          yeh, never stopa de lerning say my ancestor. pilipin people changa da name to spanis. way not we do too. so pilipin people treat us good. they lok layk chini anyway.

          • Ni hao, sir NH. 🙂

            Just came across this today, a lesson on how China goes about “learning” from other countries and likewise, how to stop them:


            • NHerrera says:

              The reward/risk ratio from the Chinese viewpoint must be good enough. Indeed a 3-year prison seem low enough a risk versus the reward for him from China, I would suppose. What would have been the ratio were it done by Chinese-American doing it for his company in the US? I don’t know of course, but I would presume it is not a lighter punishment.

              The US continues to be a land of great opportunities.

              • Maybe the reward/risk ratio for investing in a candidate for the Philippine presidency was also seen as good enough from the Chinese viewpoint?

                Which makes one wonder, did they then steal this special inbred seed from the Filipinos or was he planted?

                Or should we just stick to fisheries matters and away from agriculture? :p

  14. karlgarcia says:

    Off topic:

    Learning from neighbors.

    Thanks to post world war 2 quality gurus from the west transferring their knowledge to Japan, Quality control standards can be paseed on to its neighbors.

    Exhibit A: Steel manufacturing.

    Japan thought Thailand Top notch quality control, now Indonesia is planning to send people to Thailand to learn top quality steel manufacturing.


    In the advent of ASEAN integration, now is the time to learn from our neighbors.

    • chemrock says:

      I have worked under several nationality managements.

      Russians — bumbling management, couple of spies masquerading as admin managers.
      French – panel de crabe management. Much like Filipino crab mentality. Politics get in the way of how they view fellow French managers, they are either capitalists or socialists. Much internal conflict amongst themselves.
      British – fair blokes, sensitive to local cultures but conservatism sometimes get in the way.
      Canadian – fairer than the Brits. Mind their own business.
      Middle- east — what managers? Depends on who they hire, Brits or US mostly.
      Americans – loud, abrasive, creative, blunt but very fair. They have a whole supply chain view, because their product quality depends on all the services and products down the whole supply chain. Because of this, the whole industry they are in benefits. They motivate, teach, transfer technology, inspects down the whole supply line. These are things that most people do not appreciate about Americans.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Wow Chem, you have been around. Thanks for that per usual.

      • sonny says:

        Neph, I also came across the father of Quality Assurance, W. Edwards Deming, and his influence on Japanese manufacturing standards.


        I would like to read about the other guru, Karl. Thanks.

        @ Chempo, I happily was also sent to manufacturing workshops, viz Kepner-Tregoe (Manufac) & De Marco (Information Tech) and got overviews of American management principles in the workplace. Really positive experience.

        • karlgarcia says:

          You would know betterr of course, but here are a few names.


          • sonny says:

            This is plenty information on the names in QA, Neph. Thank you. QA is very close to my early professional experience. The scale of measurements in the Chemistry lab is ‘micro’ compared to the requirements of compliance one is thrown to in industry. It was in the intensity of the Cold War and the Space Race that tens of thousands of printed circuits and computer components had to be fed into the electronics of missiles, on-board computers and guidance systems. Indeed, those were heady days for all technical fields. Sorry for getting carried away by nostalgia, Neph.

            • karlgarcia says:

              I love it when you are caught in nostalgia.

              • sonny says:

                Neph, it is important that a critical number of your generation meet and form and exchange ideas and ideals to reinforce similar interests and form a continuity with a national agenda for progress and development. How and when this can come about is partly destiny and partly preparing the readiness for this confluence. This opportunity has already passed my generation (viz. Sen Gordon’s & GMA’s generation).

  15. gerverg1885 says:


    I’d been telling my friends that it is easy for a leader like Duterte to say separation without thinking about the end results of his word. I told them that I was already hired by Iran Air when the Americans imposed embargo(s) on the Iranian economy. One of those severely affected was the airline industry which during that time was dominated by Boeing. They stopped sending spare parts that grounded all the aircrafts and prevented me from working there at that time.

    Countries who have oil but do not have the technology to extract it from the ground and refine it are still reliant from that technology from the US. Iran was a major oil exporting country during that time of the embargo but had to import gasoline when parts they needed for the refineries did not come.

    It’s easy to say that we must be economically independent from the US but even the Chinese could not do it because they are still a backward country in terms if technology. They still could not be compared to Japan in terms of military capability since their technology comes mainly from industrial espionage from the West.

    And that is one thing that the Chinese are only good at – stealing of industrial designs from people who have more intelligence than they possess as well as piracy of products they did not even have any idea how to make.

    Which, by the way, is one thing that we also do not possess. Can we claim to have manufactured a car of our own, or even a jeepney that runs on locally made engine and parts?

    • chemrock says:

      You are absolutely correct. Today we live in an interconnected world. In terms of products, there is hardly any manufacturer that can roll out products with 100% country of origin certification in terms of materials, parts, or machinery used. And there are various reasons such as its cost effective to buy some parts from overseas country, lack of technology for something, no raw materials in one’s country, etc

      Even for the US plane maker Boeing, the jet engines come from Rolls-Royce of UK. All watch makers source a certain high precision part from the Swiss.

      Because of these interconnectivity, political decisions need to be threaded very carefully. That’s the real reason why businessmen are wary of a govt that is volatile, unpredictable, and prone to knee jerk reactions.

      Does it mean that sometimes the govt’s hands are tied? Absolutely. So a govt has to make a choice, what is in the country’s best interest. If they are forced to take a choice where there are benefits in some ways, but at the sacrifice of something else, it doesn’t mean a loss of sovereignty, a loss of independent foreign policy, or a loss of face. It’s just the govt making a decision that gives the best overall outcome whether economically or best security. The present admin seems unable to accept this reality of decision making.

  16. edgar lores says:

    The anti-drug war death toll has reached 4,700.

    • NHerrera says:

      If we count the deaths as roughly starting June 1 and ending October 31 — we have 5 months. That comes to an average of about 31 deaths per day (=4700/150).

      It is apples and oranges, but based purely on numbers, two days of such deaths gives 62 — more than the much discussed 44 SAF deaths.

      • I don’t remember the exact number of dead at the end of each month, but I get the nagging feeling that the number of deaths per day is accelerating. Maybe a look at the figures per month would reveal an acceleration which would not be surprising at all, but still dismaying.

  17. karlgarcia says:

    Now what to do?

    Insist on our sovereign rights, be on perpetual protest?
    For the time being continue with our aquisitions for the military,police and coast guard.
    Fix our relationship with US, the arguments of Ybarra to hate on the US is preposterous and ridiculous.

    We don’t have to go to bed with everybody and at the same time claim that we are no puppet or lap dog.
    If we are told to end the wars we have, why antagonize and create new wars?

    • Andres10,000 says:

      “Insist on our sovereign rights, be on perpetual protest?” I think this was the strategy of PNoy admin. Continuing this strategy, Filipinos could not fish at Scarborough up to now and for the many years to come. Credit to PNoy for fighting for it. Woe to USA for not finding ways to trigger the mutual defense treaty. This issue should have been settled already if USA interfered and force the Chinese to leave.

      The result of what Duterte admin did was the status quo before 2012. Credit to Duterte admin for rewinding back to 2012. But no credit to Duterte for winning Scarborough claim completely and totally. Credit to China for increasing its hold on the Philippines without losing something. Woe to USA for its weakening influence on the South China Sea.

      Here is my 5peso for the South China Sea Arbitration:

      1. The Arbitration ruled that China 9-dash-line is in contradiction with UNCLOS.

      2. The Arbitration ruled that Mischief Reef and other reefs in the Spratly are within the Philippines EEZ and these are low tide elevation. Low tide elevation does not have territorial seas, EEZ and continental shelf of its own. Meaning, this low tide elevations should not be owned by someone or could not generate territorial rights and should be part of Philippines EEZ. China constructed artificial islands on these low tide elevations and violated Philippines EEZ rights.

      3. The Arbitration ruled that Scarborough Shoal is a high tide elevation. High tide elevation has territorial seas, however, it cannot sustain economic life of its own so it has no EEZ and continental shelf. (In comparison, the Island of Palawan is a high tide elevation and can sustain human habitation and economic life of its own so it has territorial seas, EEZ and continental shelf.) This means that Scarborough Shoal could be owned. To own means to exercise sovereignty on the atoll itself and to its territorial seas. Territorial seas means the seas from the atoll’s baseline extended up to 12 nautical miles. The Arbitral Court did not conclude who owns the Scarborough Shoal. Meaning it remains disputed between the Philippines, China and Vietnam. However, since the Scarborough Shoal is within the Philippine EEZ, the territorial waters of the Scarborough and the EEZ of the Philippines overlap. Outside of the Scarborough’s territorial seas, the Philippines has undisputed EEZ rights.

      Now, China is exercising administrative jurisdiction over Scarborough Shoal. Administrative jurisdiction does not mean sovereignty, so the ownership of Scarborough remains disputed. Administrative jurisdiction was exercised by China since it has the capacity to do so. Capacity here means that someone has enough naval power to control passage in and out of the area. Assuming the Philippines has enough naval power, it could also exercise administrative jurisdiction over Scarborough.

      • chemrock says:

        Your 1,2,3 are also my understanding of the status. Have to admit I didn’t read the full UNCLIS. My understanding was gleamed from Justice Caprio’s explanations.

        Your comment on Pnoy strategy is weird. That strategy was never allowed to run its course, any discourse is pure conjecture

        Getting fisherfolks back to fish in SS again is not a victory, but good diplomatic work no doubt, save for a proviso that nothing was given away.

        • Andres10,000 says:

          Hi Chemrock,

          My comment whom i called PNoy Admin’s strategy was my personal interpretation of what Sen. De Lima said because she mentioned that we are already in the period of enforcement and assertion of the ruling. Base on my understanding, to continue the international campaign against China is the opposite direction for bilateral talks, which will lead to a different result that we can only realize not in the near future but far far away who knows when. Agree to you that getting fisherfolks back to fish in SS is not a victory with respect to Scarborough sovereignty, but it is a credit to due to Duterte Admin, granting nothing was given away. However, lets not dwell n these as these are our own personal assertions.

          The statement of Justice Carpio was geared to his interpretation that we cannot engage in joint operation with anyone in the entire WPS since it is a violation of the Constitution. This is only partly correct. Correct up to the parts of WPS that we maintained undisputed EEZ. However, with respect to Scarborough Shoal (the atoll itself and its 12-mile territorial seas) whose ownership is still disputed, this interpretation of Justice Carpio is not applicable. Yasay state that we could enter into joint operation with China is only correct with respect to Scarborough Shoal and its territorial seas for the reason that it is disputed, but unconstitutional with respect to the entire WPS.

          With regards to UNCLOS, exploitation of EEZ is exclusive to the coastal state who exercise jurisdiction over the area. Exclusive means that if the coastal state has no capacity to exploit the marine resources in the area other states could do it provided with the express consent of the coastal state.

          With respect to China, what they are doing now is in accordance with the UNCLOS. They no longer claim absolute sovereignty in Scarborough Shoal but only administrative jurisdiction. They are respecting the rights of other state for freedom of navigation and overflight and the rights of the Philippines to fish. It is a win-win afterall.

          • “They no longer claim absolute sovereignty” Source for this conclusion? My reading, a quote from one of their officials, is that “nothing has changed and nothing will change”.

            • Andres10,000 says:

              1. China respects freedom of navigation and overflight in the SCS, basically, the area within the Nine Dash Line. In one of the Philippine submissions with the Hague, Philippines pointed out that China claims that China respects freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea.

              2. Recently, Filipino fishermen can fish in the Scarborough without Chinese intervention.

              If China claims absolute sovereignty, 1 and 2 will not exist.

              “Nothing has changed and nothing will change” – China is ever solid in its claim within the Nine Dash Line. This claim is vague. So it may mean claims as territorial seas, EEZ or continental shelf.

              • chemrock says:

                Are you serious.
                ? You are not evening listening to yourselves.

                Filipinos can now fish in SS — For heaven sake Andres, Filipino fishermen have been fishing there from time immomerable, till the Chinese came along.

                Chinese respect freedom of navigation — why did they make a fuss about US planes and warships going near the islands, why they chase our naval boats away with their cutters.

                China nine dash lines — they made it clear in no uncertain terms, everything in the 9 dash lines is theirs, their territory, ono negotiable.

              • Andres10,000 says:

                Hold your horsie Monsieur Chemrock,

                Filipinos fisherfolk could not access Scarborough Shoal for the past four years until recently. This means China loosen its sovereignty claim. Why? Because if you let other nationalities fish on your territory it is an act of surrender of your sovereignty on that area.

                Respect of freedom of navigation on the areas within Nine Dash Line. Trade valued at $3T passes to it every year right? Don’t mistake it as referring only to disputed islands. What happened was a stand off, not a chase right? Filipino navy did an overflight there just recently, also the US.

              • Fascinating, so your “facts” come from a deduction in reasoning that China loosened its sovereignty claim rather than from an authoritative source. This is the syndrome of “make up facts to suit my argument” that underpins the dumbing down of conversations on the internet, and is the hallmark of the Duterte supporters.

                I’d be interested in you reconciling your position with the comments of the Chinese authority in the following article:


              • Andres10,000 says:

                In addition Sir Chemrock,

                I think you are confused on what is this Nine-Dash-Line and the claims within it. You said “China nine dash lines — they made it clear in no uncertain terms, everything in the 9 dash lines is theirs, their territory, none negotiable.”

                China never made claims like that everything in it is theirs, their territory, none negotiable and they are very certain. In fact, they never issued any formal statement on what constitute this claim. It is very vague. We dont really know if this claim is claim on territory, an EEZ or anything. Unless, you can provide me any write-ups that explain this 9-dash-line claim.

              • Andres10,000 says:

                Hey Joe,

                China’s foreign ministry said this, “Asked about Philippine fishermen entering the area unimpeded, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said China always had “normal administration” over the Scarborough Shoal.”

                Notice that she said “normal administration” not “sovereignty.” I would to know how you understand the terms “sovereignty” and “normal administration.” I am not making up facts here Joe.

              • The fact you are making up is that something changed because China let Filipinos fish outside the shoal. Nothing changed. China controls now, and will control Scarborough, no matter what name you attach to it. They permitted the fishing because it is to their advantage to have Duterte succeed in bringing them the Philippines. They are acting for their interest ONLY and you are doing just as they want. Indeed, I was inclined to ask if you are stationed in Shanghai. Or if you like having your strings pulled by China.

              • chemrock says:

                Am I confused with the nine dash lines? Certainly not an expert, but confused, NEVER. You’re trying to confuse me and it ain’t goñna happen.

                When someone draws a line to demarcate a territory, I know what that means. Doesn’t need a brilliant mind to figure that out nor to go and request a documentation.

              • Andres10,000 says:


                So what does the Nine Dash Line really mean?

          • karlgarcia says:

            TY Andress 10k, but I question the “In accordance with UNCLOS” , but are you saying they abandoned their 9 dash line Imperative?

            • Andres10,000 says:

              “In accordance with UNCLOS” means that parties will resolve any dispute peacefully. Freedom of navigation and other rights of states as prescribe by UNCLOS should always be respected. Simply, by not disrupting Filipino fisherfolks fish in the area China abide on the wisdom of the UNCLOS.

              They are not abandoning their 9 dash line. The act of not disrupting fisherfolks or respecting freedom of navigation is not an act of abandonment. Remember, Chinese claim based on 9 dash line is vague.

          • chemrock says:

            Lets put it this way. Where your interpretation differs from Carpio’s, it gives me headaches to try to process it. Between the brains of an experienced SC justice and other grey matters, my money is safer with where wisdom lies.

            Be careful with the accolades on China. There is a fine line between truth and treachery.

            • Andres10,000 says:

              Thus Carpio have any interpretation of his own? What i heard is that Carpio warned Duterte that any joint operation within the Philippine EEZ is unconstitutional. Which i agree. .
              On the other hand, Yasay said that Philippines could enter into a joint operation with China on areas with overlapping interest. Which is also possible without violating the constitution.

              My money is on both, joint exploration and exploitation on Philippine EEZ with whom we have no undisputed claims is unconstitutional. With regards to Scarborough Shoal, considering my statements 1, 2 and 3, joint exploration and exploitation is possible as it is disputed.

              Way back in GMA’s presidency, we have entered into joint exploration with China and Vietnam on the areas around Reed Bank with the premise that this are disputed territories. However, something went wrong that it was alleged that the area includes areas whom we have undisputed control and within the Philippine EEZ, rendering it unconstitutional.

              • Andres10,000 says:

                Please ignore grammatical errors. I was using phone.

              • Andres10,000 says:

                Fuck, i am using phone.

              • chemrock says:

                Come on Andres, Caprio and Yasay are on opposite sides of the table. You can’t believe both are correct. Either one, it’s exclusive.

              • Andres10,000 says:


                I am asking you what was the statement of Carpio? What was it again?

              • chemrock says:

                On nine dash line and Caprio’s statement, a regurgitation by me here will take two screen pages. In any case, after my hard work if I attempt to, you have your peculiar interpretation, so I’ll save the bother
                Go google if you haven’t done so. Just make sure you avoid Mocha Unson site

              • Andres10,000 says:

                You can link it. It would be a great read for everyone.

              • He is not your research agent. Just google it rather than badger people because you are more interested in winning points than sharing information. You are on a short string here, and testing me mightily.

              • I’ve put you into moderation because I don’t like the tenor of the discussions you are a party to, or your attempts to dominate the discussions in chat-room style. You are not banned, but I want you to slow down and be more respectful of others. Do your research. Elaborate on the point. Don’t challenge others. How, when, and if they respond is up to them. You are not the editor here.

        • And nothing was really gained. We just lost 4 years or so.

  18. caliphman says:

    As an OFW with some familiarity with UNCLOS and the Hague ruling, here are my penny thoughts. Joe is absolutely correct and China has done nor said anything to show it has retreated from its 9-dash claim.In fact, its refusal to recognize the Hague ruling has to do with the decision including rejecting this claim. It is no surprise that China continues to adhere to the THE UNCLOS provisions inspite of not recognition the ruling. These provisions as I have noted previously rights to control access and enforce restrrictions unique to territorial seas both broader and stronger than those for EEZs, with specific exceptions, ie. fishing. Joint patrolling particularly in a territorial sea is definitely problematical as that is an exclusive right grantedt to the owner of the land meriting the territorial sea and could be legally interpreted as an act ceding its sovereignty. Besides thats how the Scarborough standoff started, with one country’s naval patrol intercepting the other country’s fishing boats who then summoned its own patrolling cutters to intervene. That situation is a recipe for disaster aptly described as wasting four years not to mention a fortune in legal costs just to return to the status quo.

    • Andres10,000 says:

      Sir Joe,

      Please continue discussions here if you wont mind. Lets start with what is “sovereignty” and “normal administration.” We need first to have a common understanding of these terms.

      China’s Foreign Ministry mentioned “normal administration” instead of “sovereignty.”

      Here, “Asked about Philippine fishermen entering the area unimpeded, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said China always had “normal administration” over the Scarborough Shoal.”

      • chemrock says:

        In the Malaysia vs Singapore maritime dispute over Pedra Banca, Singapore won the case on the basis of it’s being able to demonstrate it had administrative authority because it constructed the lighthouse, operated it, and required Malaysian authorities that visited the island from time to time to register their visits. From administrative authority flows sovereignty. Your ‘ normal’ administration I can only equate to authority as it administers the place, is administrative authority.

        • Andres10,000 says:

          And these i agree. It is also like that of Pagasa Island in the Spratlys whom the Philippines administered, but claimed by China and Vietnam. The World does not recognize Philippine Sovereignty on Pagasa Island, but rather called it “administred by the Philippines.”

          • chemrock says:

            The world does not recognise Philippines’ sovereignty on those islands for two reasons — they are rocks, cannot sustain habitation, and they are outside Philippines’ maritime boundary, thus it only has EEZ rights.

      • I am happy to discuss things with visitors who are here to teach and learn, speak and listen. But I don’t march to the beat of people who are obviously here to pound an agenda.

        • Andres10,000 says:

          Here is a link from New York Times:


          Some important notes i will highlight:

          “Flybys of our planes reported Chinese coast guard ships are still there, but our fishermen were fishing unmolested,” Lorenzana told The Associated Press, adding that the government would try to carry out surveillance flights regularly in the area.

          “We’re happy that we were able to sail back there,” said Gil Bauya, who returned Saturday with a huge catch of red snapper and other fish to Cato village in the northwestern province of Pangasinan. They just let us fish,” Bauya said, referring to three Chinese coast guard ships fishermen saw at the shoal from a distance. “We were waiting what they would do, but they didn’t do anything like deploying small rubber boats to chase us like they used to do.”

          I am not making things up out of the blue Joe. What i said are on the news. There was a change in ambiance in Scarborough. Like this, “We were waiting what they would do, but they didn’t do anything like deploying small rubber boats to chase us like they used to do.”

          Yes, any news that will come out that would be contrary to what i said will render my statements false, but i did not make it up, rather, there was updates whom i did not know yet.

          With regards to Chemrock, i am requesting him a link on the statements of Carpio. Because the link i found in Rappler is only a summary and not comprehensive.

          • China controls Scarborough. Nothing has changed, nothing will. You are entitled to your opinion, and you can join those putting the Philippines under the unrelenting grasp of China. But you cannot dictate facts out of your imagination. You can’t smush them about with intellectual gyrations to create a new set of facts or deny the reality that is out there. That business is called trolling and it is what got you suspended previously. I suggest you try opening your mind and listening to others rather than persist on pushing your pigs ears in this forum, which is made up of intelligent and respectful people.

            • Andres10,000 says:

              Sorry Sir Joe, i almost forgot this is a private space, not the likes of Facebook. Suggestions noted. According to GMA news, a senior official in fisheries management in Subic said this:

              “Yes, there’s some leniency now, there’s no more harassment. But there is still anxiety, they still worry.”

              On another note, our own Esperon said that Philippine Coast Guard will start patrolling the Scarborough this Thursday. Negotiations are going on i think. Since the status of Scarborough Shoal remains disputed, it seems joint patrol on the area is possible.

              • Thanks.

                Most interesting if PH Coast Guard can resume patrols there.

              • Andres10,000 says:


                A solid statement from Yasay, “There is no agreement that has been arrived at with China insofar as these ships leaving or our fishermen having access to Scarborough but I would imagine as part of our quiet diplomacy trying to build mutual trust and confidence with two countries, these have been made possible,”

                “We do not want China, for instance, to allow our fishermen to fish there because allowing our fishermen to fish there will suggest sila may authority to allow us,”

                You can give the benefit of the doubt.

            • a distand observer says:

              To underline Joe’s argument: Xinhua: ” China’s jurisdiction over Huangyan Island unchanged”

              Beijing can now proceed to signal “benevolent hegemony” for its citizens and the whole world to see. Well done comrades!

        • Andres10,000 says:

          Nevermind Chemrock, here is the link on Karen Davila’s interview with Carpio. This covers almost everything about the Hague Ruling:


          • NHerrera says:

            Andres 10,000:

            Thanks for that link. Justice Carpio explained the topic in very clear terms. Karen Davila helped a lot with a very good set of appropriately sequenced questions. It is most instructive to me — cleared a lot of my ignorance, coming from an intelligent, no-nonsense, well respected and experienced Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

            I suggest it is read by our friends here at TSH who are still relatively ignorant of the topics discussed. Needless to say I bookmarked it for future reference.

            • chemrock says:

              I caught this interview on TV. Caprio put up a more detailed presentation for Duterte who felt he is smarter and didn’t grant Caprio an audience. But that interview is very instructive.

            • May I remind you that blanket insults, such as mass ignorance, are banned here at TSH, especially because I am a part of that particular batch of ignoramuses. But you get a freebie because it is actually factually correct.

  19. caliphman says:


    Reference has been made about Justice Carpio’s views regarding UNCLOS, the Hague ruling, and the Scarborough situation. Carpio is a brilliant jurist but he is definitely fallible as the SC rejection of his position on Grace Poe’s presidential qualifications has shown. His expertise is not not international law and I advise caution on citing his statements as the final authority on UNCLOS treaty, the Hague Ruling, and their application to Scarborough.

    In many instances, he conflates and mixes up the concepts of inland waters, territorial seas, and exclusive economic zones. The first two are essentially under the sovereignty of the coastal state they belong to except for foreign vessels transiting under innocent passage. These waters are subject to exclusive security and control by the sovereign coastal state whereas beyond the 12 mile limit, the coastal state enjoys the exclusive rights to the economic bounty of any marine or undersea resouces extending out 200 miles beyond the coastal state. This EEZ is not subject to the security and control regimen which the coastal state has over its territorial waters. Instead this part of the EEZ extending beyond it is classified as open sea or international waters where minimal supervision of foreign ship and air traffic is granted to the coastal state.

    Carpio’s failure to differentiate these concepts is a monumental blunder in the case of Scarborough. Since it is an atoll, the lagoon enclosed within the ring of rocks falls under the technical concept of inland waters. The ownership of the atoll confers with it full sovereignity over its internal waters and ultimate authority as to who may have access and who may catch at its very rich fishing grounds. Surrounding the atoll are its territorial waters going 12 miles out where the Hague ruling is that those who have traditionally fished there should bè granted the same right by the coastal state. Carpio is wrong in stating that control of these waters is in dispute because they also form part of the Philippine EEZ. Unfortunately, inland as well as territorial water rights trump those granted EEZ’s.

    In the same vein, its possible that China may permit joint patrols at Scarborough even if that exclusive right is associated with atoll ownership which they are claiming. I would be very pleasantly surprised if they permitted that.

    Do not take my word on any of the above assertions. The link above is to the text of the UNCLOS agreement, the part that explains what territorial and inland waters are all about. Have fun!

  20. caliphman says:


    Maybe I spoke too soon about Scarborough joint patrols. Tugade says the government is just testing the waters. I would not be surprised if the administration neither knows or cares that under UNCLOS rules their armed cutters could be violating and challenging China’s administrative authority and control over Scarborough’s territorial and internal waters if they enter the atoll. One can probably say the same for China’s ministry of foreign affairs although they are a bit more knowledgeable about the treaty. Hopefully Duterte or Esperon has a China hotline in case this test turns ugly.

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