Open Discussion: All in the family

Corleone family

By Joe America

This is an open discussion post. You need not restrain your comments to stay ‘on topic’. Discuss current events or the weather or price of pancit in Batangas, it’s all good.

However, there is one topic that is about the most intriguing subject I’ve come across since sliced bread: the Duterte family. And here I mean family in its broader sense, rather like a mob family I suppose, with the President as the Godfather and a cast of main characters who are outside the central government (which is just the President’s day job, not his passion) but intimately linked to the President’s legacy.

Here are four characters who seem to be prominent, but there could be others:

  • Paolo Duterte, the President’s son, the Vice Mayor with a tattoo and unsavory connections in the, er, uh, cough cough, transportation business.
  • Sara Duterte, the President’s daughter and Mayor of Davao
  • Bong Go, the president’s shadow and consigliere
  • Sammy Uy, the president’s . . . um, er, investment advisor?  (see article Someone named Sammy Uy came to the Duterte-Abe summit)

Uy is acquiring a very impressive array of businesses for a guy who was running a chicken restaurant with Bong Go just 12 years ago. Where does he get his money? That’s the burning question. If he was in Japan with the President, he’s a big deal.

So I drop that topic off for your amusement, research, and commentary. The only thing I ask is that you not just drop off links as your contribution, but provide a synopsis of what the source is saying, rather as if you were doing a report for the boss. You would not give him a link and tell him to read it. You’d tell him why it is important, and then leave the link with him in case he wanted to explore it further.

  • Can you masters of charting draw pictures of the family network? Is that doable? I dunno.
  • Can you draw it in words, if not in pretty pictures?
  • Can we crowdsource the Duterte family and put some meat on those backroom bones?

That’s the main topic for your consideration in this open discussion.

As always, you must disavow receiving this message, which will self-destruct in 10 sec . . .


236 Responses to “Open Discussion: All in the family”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    This is what Rappler has on Dennis Uy.
    For older articles about him, just scroll down.

      • karlgarcia says:

        The golden age of Dennis Uy

        MANILA, Philippines – It’s not an easy task keeping track of Dennis Uy and his ever-expanding portfolio of companies. It seems that at every turn, there he is acquiring yet another business or enterprise, or increasing his stake in companies he is already involved in.

        The latest addition to his growing empire – it may be premature, but it’s looking more and more like an empire – is Enderun Colleges, a school of hospitality management and culinary arts located at McKinley Hill in Bonifacio Global City, his first venture into the education sector.

        As of this writing, Uy has not made an announcement on the deal.

        “Will let you know if we close,” Uy tells STARweek.

        But the 43-year-old Davao-based businessman hardly looks the part of a corporate Pac-man. Though he rides a sleek, black Lexus and sports a multimillion-peso watch on his wrist, Uy is a simple, soft-spoken gentleman and not one to call attention to himself or his achievements – and there are a lot.

        Uy disrupted the top three oil industry players in the country – the so-called Big Three of Petron Corp., Pilipinas Shell and Chevron – with the entry of his Phoenix Petroleum in 2005.

        He is perceived to be media shy, more comfortable chatting with journalists over dinner that includes his favorite Hainanese chicken, a green salad with some artichokes and a bottle of Dalmore 12 rather than in a formal press conference.

        Yet, no matter how low-key he attempts to be, Uy cannot conceal his success and his aggressive expansion to various industries – from logistics to gaming and now to education.

        Strike while the iron is hot, so goes an old adage and it’s what Uy – fueled by passion, armed with hard work and lots of guts – seems to be doing. He has been described as the next big tycoon or the businessman to watch.

        And while he is already a known entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience and a track record of building businesses to profit and growth, there’s no time like the present that has seen Uy on such an aggressive expansion mode.

        Observers in the business circle say this is not surprising given his close ties to Malacañang.

        “That is expected,” says a top official from a rival oil company in the Philippines.

        But it’s not his fault that his close friend and fellow Davaoeño, Rodrigo Duterte, would be the 16th President of the Republic.

        For sure, Uy isn’t complaining. After all, in the Philippine business environment, who you know matters a lot.

        While other tycoons struggle to get even just one foot inside Malacañang to get to Duterte’s “inner circle,” Uy knew Digong long before he even considered the presidency.

        Indeed, this might well be called the Golden Age of Dennis Uy.

        Since last year’s presidential elections, Uy has been on a deal-making spree, quietly sealing business ventures left and right, but he stresses that these projects have been planned even before the age of Duterte.

        In April, his holding company Udenna Corp. successfully gained entry into the 2GO Group, an integrated logistics company, after months of tumultuous legal battle with other shareholders.

        “We are committed to bring 2GO to new heights,” Uy says.

        Uy, chairman of Udenna, says the company is poised to further expand its footprint in the logistics sector with the planned consolidation of its stake in 2GO with its other shipping businesses under Chelsea Logistics.

        Just weeks after gaining entry into 2GO, Uy announced a plan to bring Chelsea to public hands this July to raise up to P8 billion for the company’s expansion.

        “We are accelerating the expansion of Chelsea Logistics, with a view to making it the prime mover of goods and passengers in the Philippines,” Uy says.

        He also just recently announced his foray into the lucrative gambling business.

        The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., the gaming regulator, has granted Udenna a license to develop a $300-million, 12-hectare integrated resort and casino in Mactan, Cebu.

        Lapu-Lapu Leisure Mactan will have iconic modern buildings, infinity pools, a skydiving center on a pier, a retail complex, a convention center, luxury hotels and villas, specialty dining options, private residences, and condominium suites – the works.

        But Uy has no plans to stop there.

        “We will always look for opportunities to grow,” he tells STARweek.

        In the last week of May, Udenna sold its 25 percent stake in Phoenix to ES Consultancy Corp., a little known financial strategy company, for P4 billion, the money to be used to fund the development of Uy’s casino.

        Phoenix also revealed plans to acquire the liquefied petroleum gas business of Malaysia-based Petronas Dagangan Berhad in the Philippines, marking its foray into the LPG industry.

        “We are very excited about this asset not only because it represents a new product that Phoenix can offer but also because we know that it has been operated in line with the operating standard of Petronas, a Fortune 500 company,” Uy says.

        Uy’s success did not happen overnight but entrepreneurship is in his blood, coming from a family of entrepreneurs. “I was born to parents based in Davao City,” he shares.

        He is the eldest and the only boy among four children of an entrepreneurial family of Chinese descent.

        As the eldest sibling, Dennis is the ideal kuya, says his younger sister Debbie.

        “Mabait na kuya, responsible, caring and generous,” she tells STARweek.

        Dennis belongs to the third generation of the Uy family whose ancestors Ega Uy and wife Tao Sui Eng were migrants from Fujian, China who settled in Davao as merchants.

        Even as a young boy, he was already doing some hustling. “I liked playing basketball. On the side, I would sell school supplies and basketball cards to my classmates,” he says.

        He was exposed to business at an early age. His grandparents owned a shop selling fishing equipment and bread. “My parents, meanwhile, operated a small business trading copra,” he says.

        After finishing his studies – he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business

        Management at the De La Salle University in Manila in 1993 – he spent a decade working in the family’s copra business.

        “I helped in the family business after graduating, spending time with older businessmen,” he says.

        While he was in college, he was already trading in the stock market and when he later decided to venture into his own business, he was able to fund this with income from stocks.

        He started with a barbecue business, Dencio’s, which is not related to the popular food chain in Manila. He put this up because after playing basketball, he often found himself hungry but could not find a good place to eat.

        Known for its chicken inasal, Dencio’s expanded to six outlets, but he later passed this on to his sister when he moved to the oil retailing business, where he made a name for himself.

        He started with a six million-barrel oil terminal for existing players in Davao and as he learned the ropes of the trade, he thought of having his own brand.

        “Hindi naman pwede benta lang ng benta (You can’t just always be selling),” he reasons.

        His main problem was coming up with a catchy name. “I couldn’t think of a name. How about Gas Boy? Ang baduy,” he laughs.

        He sought the help of an expert in the creative industry to create a brand that would be able to compete with the oil industry’s Big Three.

        “I knew someone, a good creative artist. I asked him, ‘Bai, gawan mo ako ng brand that can stand out against the Big Three’.”

        Thus, Phoenix Petroleum was born in 2005, opening its first station in Digos City, the capital of Davao del Sur.

        And the rest, as they say, is history.

        Today, Phoenix has no doubt disrupted the industry. By the time it listed in 2007, it had at least 20 gasoline stations, mostly in the Southern Philippines, from an initial five. Now, it has 505 gasoline stations and accounts for 6.9 percent of the market as of the first half of last year, according to data from the Department of Energy.

        Citing this data, Phoenix said it is “on track to becoming the third largest oil company in the country by the end of 2017.”

        Aside from being an acute businessman, Uy is also a known sports enthusiast and patron.

        Like most Filipinos, Uy obviously loves basketball – as a player, fan and patron. It had always been his dream to enter the Philippine Basketball Association, Asia’s first professional basketball league.

        This dream came true last year when Phoenix purchased the Barako Bull Energy franchise.

        It’s this love for basketball that brought Uy and the Sy family together since way back, says Hans Sy in a recent interview.

        Uy and the Sy family’s SM Investments Corp. are partners in the 2GO Group.

        Before that, the Sy group’s BDO Unibank helped Uy when he was just starting Phoenix.

        Indeed, Uy’s love for basketball is legendary, even back in Davao, so when Duterte became president last year, he appointed Uy as Presidential Adviser for Sports.

        In this role, Uy plans to advance the interests of the country’s athletes and elevate sports in general.

        Aside from basketball, he is also an avid golfer (he has a handicap of 23), his sister Debbie says. Phoenix holds a yearly golf tournament in Davao.

        When he is not busy with his different businesses or sports-related commitments, Uy tries to hit the gym or spend more time with his lovely wife and their two children. “He travels with his family when he has the time,” Debbie says.

        His wife, Cherylyn Chiong Uy, is a fashion and style icon in Davao and is known for her striking beauty. She is a graduate of Business and Finance from Ateneo de Davao and is also one of the pioneers of Udenna Corp.

        They have two daughters, Chelsea Denise and Charlize Donatela, and are expecting their third bundle of joy any day now.

        Asked about his secrets to success, Uy says it has a lot to do with timing.

        “Timing, timing lang. That is life. It’s destiny,” he says.

        But it also has a lot to do with hard work and continuous learning.

        “Until now, I spend time learning from talking to people and being curious,” Uy says.

        Debbie says her brother also loves to read business books.

        And perhaps, it also has a lot to do with sheer luck – having a direct line to Malacañang and being able to convince Duterte, who publicly criticizes oligarchs, that businessmen can help him and the country.

        “I met President Duterte when he was still the mayor of Davao City. As a businessman, I was able to contribute to discussions on the economic potential of Davao and how the business sector could help unlock that,” Uy says.

        Now with his friend at the helm of the country, Uy says as a businessman, he is all too willing to continue helping.

        “When we established Phoenix, we supported the city through road safety programs and disaster relief, among others. And we intend to continue contributing to the growth not only of the city but of the entire country,” he says.

        In Greek mythology, the Golden Age denotes a period of stability and prosperity. It is said that during this time, people did not have to work because the earth provided more than enough food. And so they lived to a very old age with a youthful appearance.

        It’s the perfect metaphor to describe Uy’s life nowadays.

        And it’s not just because of the stability and prosperity that he enjoys but because the man still looks not a day older than when he was in college.

    • Sup says:

      Is Jesus Jacinto from this article related to JR Jacinto…Duterte adviser?

    • karlgarcia says:

      How the Sy family and Dennis Uy became business partners

      Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy has earned the trust of the Philippines’ richest family, the Sys, who backed him in his foray into shipping and logistics

      Published 6:04 PM, August 15, 2017

      Updated 6:17 PM, August 15, 2017

      IN THE SPOTLIGHT. Sit-down interview with Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy last July 12, 2017. All photos by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

      MANILA, Philippines – How did Dennis Uy, a businessman from Davao and President Rodrigo Duterte’s staunch supporter and friend, become a partner of the country’s richest family, the Sys?

      Their partnership was over a decade in the making, culminating in the Sy family’s holding firm SM Investments Corporation’s announcement in April 2017 of their entry into logistics firm 2GO Group Incorporated.

      The Sys allied themselves with Uy, who was working to wrest control of the logistics firm from its previous owners in late 2016.

      The Sys, whose patriarch is the only Filipino in Forbes’ list of top 100 world billionaires, spent $124.5 million for a 34.5% stake in 2GO that they wanted Uy to run.

      Bank branch in Davao

      The link between the two business groups had its roots in a bank branch in Davao, Uy’s hometown.

      Uy and his family transact their banking requirements at the Davao branch of PCI Bank, which eventually became Equitable PCI Bank after a 2006 merger.

      The Uys have roots in Tagum City and are prominent in the Davao region’s local business and political circles. The Uys’ relatives have stakes in mining, supermarket, car dealerships, and other businesses, mostly in Davao. Uy eventually set out on his own.

      “That time, Equitable PCI was our main banker. The branch manager was introduced to me by my parents since they were already comfortable doing busines in that branch,” narrated Uy. If he needed a credit line for his petroleum business, however, Uy still needed to put up collateral.

      In 2006, the Sys acquired control of Equitable PCI Bank and merged it with their existing BDO Unibank in an aggressive bid to control the country’s biggest bank.

      Uy, on the other hand, was in the thick of preparations for the 2007 listing of his independent oil retailer, Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Incorporated, in the Philippine Stock Exchange. He was also spinning off the shipping and logistics ventures into Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corporation.

      After the dust settled in the BDO and Equitable PCI Bank merger, Jesus Jacinto, the vice chairman of BDO Unibank Incorporated, paid Uy a visit in Davao. It was Uy’s first indirect link to the Sys.

      “Jacinto visited me in 2006 – among all his clients – then I presented to him my Phoenix business plan on going public. He gave me a P100-million clean credit line to help my petroleum business,” Uy said, stressing that BDO became the first bank to lend to him without asking for collateral.

      That vote of confidence was memorable to Uy, who said that most big banks had snubbed him in the past since he was perceived as an unknown small player from the province.

      THANKFUL. When Dennis Uy was being denied loans by big banks, it was Equitable PCI Bank that trusted the Davao-based entrepreneur. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

      “During the time, I had really nothing and it was them (the Sys) who gave me a [credit] line. I was their client at Equitable PCI Bank so they knew how my businesses were doing back then. They saw the potential and they supported me. The rest is history,” Uy said.

      “I owe it to them,” he stressed.

      Eye on 2GO

      The year 2006 was busy for Uy. It was also the same year Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), an infrastructure conglomerate run by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan, decided to sell its controlling stake in ailing Negros Navigation, 2GO’s parent company.

      Metro Pacific had to take it out from their books because it was a drag to them, Uy said. In the first 9 months of 2006, Metro Pacific reported P235.4 million in operating losses from Negros Navigation.

      Uy was familiar with 2GO since his oil retailing arm, Phoenix Petroleum, was supplying fuel to Negros Navigation since 2006.

      “When we put up our first [Phoenix Petroleum] gas station in Metro Manila – in Marikina in 2008 – one of our first customers was Negros Navigation, which at that time was still owned by Metro Pacific [Investments Corporation],” Uy said.

      “I had Sycip Gorres Velayo & Company audit the Metro Pacific assets. But at the time, [2GO] was still too big for us to swallow,” Uy explained.

      He added that Metro Pacific was selling its Negros Navigation assets for P2 billion, but Uy’s credit lines that time reached only P200 million.

      “It was too ambitious for me so I had to pass. That is how it ended with the management of [Sulficio] Tagud [Jr]. They are my friends. [The Tagud-led] management [told Metro Pacific] to just sell it to them and they will pay for it gradually,” Uy said.

      When the financials and operations of Uy’s oil and shipping business eventually stabilized, Uy said he was ready to expand his empire. He started to look for acquisition deals. It was 2016 and Rodrigo Duterte, a provincemate from Davao, just won the race to become the 16th president of the country.

      Uy then saw the opportunity to buy into 2GO anew when one of its shareholders, KGLI-NM Holdings, was open to selling its stake in the 2GO parent firm.

      BDO and 2GO buyers

      Tagud was keen to keep control of 2GO. He was in the proces of buying back the shares of KGLI-NM Holdings in 2GO and had the backing of the Sy’s BDO Unibank.

      In May 2016, Tagud’s firm signed a term sheet with BDO for a $120-million loan to finance the share buy back. Tagud, however, failed to secure some of BDO’s terms, causing the deadline for the option of his first refusal to lapse.

      That’s when Uy swooped down on 2GO.

      In September 2016, Uy’s holding firm Udenna Corporation acquired the stake of KGLI-NM Holdings in Negros Navigation through a $120-million loan from BDO.

      “I was the one who went to Tessie (Sy-Coson, BDO Unibank chairperson),” Uy said. “I could have gone to Lance (Gokongwei) since we are also good friends, but I needed to move fast.”

      “To acquire [2GO], I needed a partner because I don’t have the capital for it. The easiest route was to approach BDO because they know the account and I’m familiar with them. They are very good partners and easy to talk to,” Uy told Rappler.

      Tagud questioned and blocked Uy’s entry into the 2GO board. (READ: Ex-2GO chief decries attack over accounting scandal)

      “Una naman ako. Dapat ako lang eh, eh hindi ko kaya ang size. I wasn’t able at first to join the board kasi di ba somebody was blocking me. I was entitled to board but I cannot. I only assumed [the position] when natapos na lahat. Together with them (Sys). Kasi binara ako eh. And ultimately, it is all fair naman eh,” Uy said.

      “(I came in earlier than the Sys. I should have entered alone but I could not take the size. I wasn’t able to join the board at first because somebody was blocking me. I was entitled to board but I cannot. I only assumed the position when the [SM’s acquisition] deal was done. Together with the Sys because I was being blocked. Ultimately, it is all fair.)”

      A nominee company of the SM group, Unique Choice Global Limited, then bought the rest of the Negros Navigation shares of Tagud’s group.

      Uy eventually replaced Sulficio Tagud Jr as president and chief executive officer of 2GO’s parent firm.

      “I told them (the Sys), let us help each other run 2GO. They don’t know anything about shipping and logistics and I don’t have capital. So I said, ‘let us help each other because this is too big for me,'” Uy said.

      He currently works closely with Ricky DyBuncio, president of SMIC and director of 2GO. “We help each other,” Uy said.

      From time to time, Uy said he contacts BDO chairperson Sy-Coson – whom he calls achi (eldest sister in Chinese) – for guidance. –

      • methersgate says:

        The 2GO business is very odd, and that article manages not to mention the Mainland Chinese angle to 2GO.

        In fact I suspect the Uys of being dummies for Mainland China.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Maybe they thought that if it is in wikipedia anyways, why bother?

          “The first precursor company to 2GO Group Inc. began on May 26, 1949. Eventually, the Aboitiz Transport System was formed by, first, the breakup of WG&A SuperFerry into SuperFerry and Carlos A. Gothong Lines and then the merging of SuperFerry with Cebu Ferries and SuperCat fast ferries to form the Aboitiz Transport System.[4]

          In December 2010, the former major stockholders of the company, namely Aboitiz Equity Ventures and Aboitiz and Company Inc. sold their shares to Negros Navigation Co. Inc. (NENACO), for US$105 million.[4] The equity value included all the logistics and shipping businesses of the company, except its interest in its joint ventures with the Jebsen Group of Norway.

          At the same time, December 2010, Negros Navigation announced that the China-Asean Investment Cooperation Fund acquired a controlling stake in the company through an equity infusion. The China-Asean Investment Cooperation Fund is a Netherlands-based,[a] private equity firm wholly owned and controlled by the Government of the People’s Republic of China.[2][4][6] Because Negros Navigation was a privately held firm the exact amount invested by the Fund was not disclosed.[1] In short, the mainland Chinese government set up the China-Asean Investment Cooperation Fund, which then among other investments in the region took a controlling stake in Negros Navigation, which in turn purchased SuperFerry and related brands and re-branded itself 2GO Group.”

  2. Sup says:

    1 billion DOLLAR Clark hub to Uy 6 days ago from a Cayman Islands group…

  3. karlgarcia says:

    That is Dennis Uy,
    now who is Sammy?

    Like Dennis, he is a campaign contributor.

    • Sup says:

      A comment from Nat. Inquirer…


      ”i keep wondering if he is related on Sammy UY a Duterte’s friend who showed on his bank account records depositing millions with Duterte every 6 months.”

    • manangbok says:

      Question: If one will equate PRRDs immediate family/ circle of friends to the mob ala The Godfather, what role does the PDP Laban has in this teleserye?

      I am asking this because of this article that reports about Top 1 PRRD donor (at least among those declared financiers at hindi under-the-table) Tony Boy Floreindo being expelled from PDP-Laban:

      Follow up question: Sino ang magiging mas matimbang sa puso ni PRRD, si Tony Boy o si Panty Alvarez?

      Third question: May puso ba si PRRD? (totally rhetorical, need not be answered)

      Thank you sa mga magre-reply 🙂 🙂

      • karlgarcia says:

        They now control the legislature, at least the lower house.
        That makes Alvarez more powerful for now.
        All Floirendo can do is ride along and wait for his sweet revenge.
        Duterte goes with the more powerful.
        Duterte still needs Floirendo, if Sara is running for Congress or Senate and if Baste will run for vice Mayor, he might run out of chinese friends after the presidency.

        Alvarez and Floirendo feud is just a battle of the number twos.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Re: PDP laban

          Post Duterte, sans a strong party system and an anti-turncoat law.
          PDP-Laban will just be replaced by the new coaltion alphabet soup.

          Who will Duterte groom, Paquiao?
          Will China like him as their Manchurian candidate?

      • Edgar Lores says:

        1. I have thought about the first question but have not a firm answer. I think the analogy of the Duterte’s to the Corleone’s stops there.

        1.1. Just to tease it out: PDP-Laban was a vehicle that allowed the criminal Duterte family to ascend to the highest political post. I see it as a business front that gave legitimacy to Duterte’s — and China’s — ambitions.

        1.2. What kind of business is PDP-Laban engaged in? I believe it’s a mortuary franchise.

        2. As to the second question, without a doubt it’s Alvarez. Affective relationships stand on firmer ground than mercenary ones.

        3. The third question confounds. I can only turn to my theory of the Loyalty Triangle for an answer. We form loyalties — and disloyalties — as a matter of Fate or Choice. What love possesses a man who has murder in his heart? And is the love the motivating force? Or is it the hate?

        3.1. I think that hatred is a greater motivating force than love. When Duterte looks at the drug problem, he does not see a vision of healthy, well-fed, and well-dressed Filipinos. No, he sees these skinny, dirty, and shirtless or kamiseta-garbed addicts. The dregs of society that the world is better off without.

        3.2. I would say Duterte has a heart… but it is black.

  4. karlgarcia says:

    According to Sammy, the closer you are to the president, the harder it is to have business with the government.


    Contrary to popular opinion, being close to President Rodrigo Duterte doesn’t mean life is easier for his friends because he can move heaven and earth for them.
    On the other hand, being friends with Duterte is harder for one since you cannot expect to get any favors from him even if he has the entire bureaucracy in his hands.
    Just ask Davao businessman Samuel Uy.
    The owner of Davao Farm Corporation, the largest egg supplier in southern Mindanao, said he knows better than to run to Duterte for business-related matters.
    “They don’t know that the closer you are to the President, the harder it is for you to have business with the government,” Uy told Asian Dragon magazine.
    “Even his brother and sister, his children, they are not allowed to get involved in the presidency. They will have a hard time,” he added.
    Uy has known Duterte since childhood sincer the President’s younger brother, Benjamin, was his classmate in high school.
    “Their house was near our school, so I always ate at their house during lunch time,” he said.
    Aside from egg production, Uy also owns DIMDI Centre Inc., an appliance store. He is also a stockholder in the Davao Import Distributor Inc., which distributes vehicle brands such as Ford and Honda in Southern Mindanao.
    His family also runs a chain of budget and business hotels.
    During the 2016 polls, Uy contributed P30 million to Duterte’s campaign.

    • Sup says:

      Davao Import Distributor Inc., which distributes vehicle brands such as Ford and Honda in Southern Mindanao.

      Duterte was stockholder at Honda cars..

      ”When he assumed the presidency after winning the May 2016 elections, Duterte quit being an incorporator of at least two businesses – Honda Cars and Poeng Yue Foundation, Inc., his SALN shows.”

        • An says:

          Wow. That is a good pointer…

          More low margin businesses, but “the Chinese community”…

          And, I suspect, the Chinese Government.

          • karlgarcia says:

            A chinese plane was seen and photographed in Davao pre-elections.
            Duterte has been going back and forth to China for his back pains and rumored cancer and rumored meetings with campaign contributors and the Chinese government.
            He met that Drug rehab donor before elections.

  5. karlgarcia says:

    Hooray for Philippine Science!

    Filipina physicist bags prestigious ‘Women in Science’ fellowship in Australia

  6. Sup says:

    Yeah….we are keeping it in ”the family”

    Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will be gunning for a seat at the House of Representatives while Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte announced that he is retiring from politics in 2019.

    The vice mayor however said there would still be a Carpio-Duterte tandem in the city as the mayor ‘s husband, lawyer Manases “Mans” Carpio, might run for office.

    Ps…….. What happened to the anti dynasty bill….and FOI?

    • karlgarcia says:

      Anti-Dynasty: Senate
      Legislative History

      [ 2016 ]
      7/4/2016 Introduced by Senator FRANKLIN M. DRILON;
      8/2/2016 Read on First Reading and Referred to the Committee on ELECTORAL REFORMS AND PEOPLES PARTICIPATION;
      [ 2017 ]
      2/1/2017 Conducted COMMITTEE MEETINGS/HEARINGS;
      (The legislative history/plenary deliberations is prepared by the INDEXING, MONITORING AND LIS SECTION, LEGISLATIVE BILLS AND INDEX SERVICE; The data entry on committee meetings is prepared by the Committee Affairs Bureau)

      • Sup says:



      • Edgar Lores says:

        1. I find that there are 2 Senate anti-dynasty bills in the Senate 17th Congress:

        o S.B. No. 230 – introduced by Drilon on Jul 04, 2016
        o S.B. No. 1258 – introduced by Legarda on Dec 01, 2016

        2. Both bills have similar definitions, conditions, and provisions of:

        o Political dynasty
        o Political dynasty relationship
        o Spouse
        o Second civil degree of consanguinity or affiliation
        o Term limits
        o Running for elective office
        o Holding an elective office

        3. The difference between the two is that Drilon’s version prohibits a relative running within the same province within the same election, while Legarda’s version says same city/province within the same election.

        3.1. The same applies when the candidate is related to an incumbent public official holding national office.

        4. My interpretation of these provisions will allow the following:

        4.1. A relative running for national office when an incumbent occupies a national office. Case in point: Nancy Binay running for the Senate when her father was Vice-President.

        4.2. A relative running for national office whether or not an incumbent occupies a national office. Cases in point: (a) JV Ejercito running for the Senate while Jinggoy Estrada was an incumbent senator; (b) say, an Alan and Pia Cayetano running in tandem for a senate position in the same election; (c) say, Nancy Binay running for Vice President and Abigail Binay for the Senate in the same election, both running for the first time.

        5. Elsewhere I have stated two principles that need to be observed:

        o The principle of non-consecutive service. This seems to be covered.
        o The principle of non-concurrent service. This does NOT seem to be covered per the above cases.

  7. karlgarcia says:

    FOI status in the Senate.

    Legislative History

    [ 2016 ]
    9/28/2016 Introduced by Senator RISA HONTIVEROS;
    10/18/2016 Returned and submitted jointly by the Committee(s) on PUBLIC INFORMATION AND MASS MEDIA, CIVIL SERVICE, GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION AND PROFESSIONAL REGULATION and FINANCE per Committee Report No. 3, recommending that it be substituted by SBN-1208;
    10/19/2016 Committee Report Calendared for Ordinary Business;
    10/19/2016 SUBSTITUTED BY SBN-1208 UNDER C.R. NO. 3.
    (The legislative history/plenary deliberations is prepared by the INDEXING, MONITORING AND LIS SECTION, LEGISLATIVE BILLS AND INDEX SERVICE; The data entry on committee meetings is prepared by the Committee Affairs Bureau)

  8. Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

    All in the family led by Duterte, Sons,Daughter and grandchildren in their Davao and Manila fiefdoms.

    They will divide the whole archipelago among themselves thru federalism/parliamentary government with each federal government led by the family dynasty currently in position therein.

    And they will rule forever and ever, ad infinitum, one to sawa. Any attempt to interfere will be met with strong resistance from the tribal leaders, shades of Iraq, Iran, Libya, and Afghanistan. Civil war, anyone?

    Not satisfied yet, he’s floating the idea of a revolutionary government so he can arrest anyone who dares to speak out against him or his family or the families of his BFF plunderers.

    Don Corleone of the mafia family, here comes Du30, what you failed to do, he will do easily if he successfully implements his plans.

    AFP, please … don’t let this happen, don’t believe the surveys, believe and obey the constitution. Be on the side of the democratic loving people; do your utmost best to prevent the bastardization of the constitution to suit their evil deeds.

  9. Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

    This is a very insightful article written by our resident guru’s elder brother, Rex D. Lores

    The EU and human rights

    In an increasingly interconnected world, vast currents of trade, capital, information and people flow ceaselessly across countries and regions, virtually unhampered by geography or borders. Underlying these currents are legal and ethical norms so fundamental in governing a globalized world, a world struggling to reduce enmity and discord while fostering stability and prosperity.

    It is in this context that Philippine policymakers should view the United Nations and European Union’s anxiety over and interest in the murderous war on drugs raging in our midst. When the UN and EU express their concerns, as they are obliged to do, they are not meddling in the Philippines’ internal affairs. They are acting on principles and executing policies that bear the imprimatur and consent of the Philippine government and the international community.

    The Philippines, after all, is a signatory not only to the UN Charter but also to the UN Human Rights Council and its predecessor. We have a partnership and cooperation agreement with the EU, signed in 2012, that provides for engagement and cooperation on a broad range of areas, including human rights and justice.

    Under these legal frameworks, it is difficult to see how Philippine sovereignty is being violated. In any case, sovereignty cannot be a lid to cover the excesses of state power or the atrocities committed by public officials.

    For these reasons, the recent political rant against the EU diminishes us, to say the least. The EU, for many years, has been the Philippines’ second largest source of remittances from Filipinos abroad and the largest provider of foreign direct investments. In the first half of this year alone, almost a third of all newly approved investments in the country were sourced from Europe. Philippine goods to the continent made the EU the second largest market for Filipino exporters. And since 2014, the EU has extended enhanced trade preferences to our country under its Generalized Scheme of Preferences plus (GSP+).

    But while commerce and economics underpin our bilateral relations, it is the powerful elements of shared ideals and core values that ultimately bind us: peace, the rule of law, freedom, tolerance, and the sanctity of human life.

    This is why the EU repeatedly calls for the need to address more systematically the issue of impunity, and to bring the perpetrators of gross human rights violations to justice. This is why it is funding projects that focus on the protection of Filipinos’ economic, social and cultural rights, as well as on social development and good governance.

    Europe’s postmodern ideals have been forged by its violent past. For centuries the continent was a cauldron of conflicts and warring states, even before the rise of the Roman Empire down to the cataclysms of two world wars. Contemplating this tragic past, the visionary Jean Monnet and the architects of today’s European common market believed that long-term peace and prosperity would only be possible if, among others, there was a vigorous and intense commitment to human rights.

    It is true that the Europeans’ high-minded virtues sometimes reek with hypocrisy, given the continent’s imperial heritage and its problematical responses to unprecedented waves of migrants fleeing from oppression, poverty and the havoc of the less developed world. But these virtues, too, derived from a sordid past where, as Eric Hoffer lamented, “the arrogant gesture, the complete disregard of the opinion of others, and the single-handed defiance of the world” often prevailed.

    Considering our governance deficiencies, perhaps we should aspire to assimilate the qualities of the European Union’s mainstream political culture. It emphasizes negotiation, diplomacy and commercial linkages. It rejects the use of force or the threat of force, relying instead on self-imposed rules of behavior. It believes in compromise rather than confrontation.

    Today the most powerful principle that Europeans are striving to establish is that all nations, strong or weak, are equal under the law. In this sense, what the EU offers the world is not power “but the transcendence of power.”

    * * *

    Rex D. Lores

    Read more:
    Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

  10. methersgate says:

    Dennis Uy’s tax returns will be as informative as Al Capone’s.

    He ran a half dozen, chicken restaurants, with Bong Go, then he suddenly goes into fuel distribution, a low margin business, and twelve years later he is buying all sorts of stuff.

    Any observer will ask “could this have been done on the retained earnings of a fuel distribution business?”

    The answer is “no”, so who are Uy’s friends in the Cayman Islands?

    • Sup says:

      ”who are Uy’s friends in the Cayman Islands?”

      Mambabatas alligators?


      • karlgarcia says:

        Can we do the math from this?

        Phoenix Petroleum has risen against the oil industry’s Big Three
        Dennis belongs to the third generation of the Uy family whose ancestors Ega Uy and wife Tao Sui Eng were migrants from Fujian, China who settled in Davao as merchants.

        Even as a young boy, he was already doing some hustling. “I liked playing basketball. On the side, I would sell school supplies and basketball cards to my classmates,” he says.

        He was exposed to business at an early age. His grandparents owned a shop selling fishing equipment and bread. “My parents, meanwhile, operated a small business trading copra,” he says.

        After finishing his studies – he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business

        Management at the De La Salle University in Manila in 1993 – he spent a decade working in the family’s copra business.

        “I helped in the family business after graduating, spending time with older businessmen,” he says.

        While he was in college, he was already trading in the stock market and when he later decided to venture into his own business, he was able to fund this with income from stocks.

        He started with a barbecue business, Dencio’s, which is not related to the popular food chain in Manila. He put this up because after playing basketball, he often found himself hungry but could not find a good place to eat.

        Known for its chicken inasal, Dencio’s expanded to six outlets, but he later passed this on to his sister when he moved to the oil retailing business, where he made a name for himself.

        He started with a six million-barrel oil terminal for existing players in Davao and as he learned the ropes of the trade, he thought of having his own brand.

        “Hindi naman pwede benta lang ng benta (You can’t just always be selling),” he reasons.

        His main problem was coming up with a catchy name. “I couldn’t think of a name. How about Gas Boy? Ang baduy,” he laughs.

        He sought the help of an expert in the creative industry to create a brand that would be able to compete with the oil industry’s Big Three.

        “I knew someone, a good creative artist. I asked him, ‘Bai, gawan mo ako ng brand that can stand out against the Big Three’.”

        Thus, Phoenix Petroleum was born in 2005, opening its first station in Digos City, the capital of Davao del Sur.

        And the rest, as they say, is history.

  11. Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

    Shared by Felipe Buencamino:

    Joke time

    Panelo’s interview could have been hilarious if they handled him correctly
    Felipe Buencamino·Thursday, 26 October 2017
    Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo created a kerfuffle over a joke he made to journalists Karin Wenger and Ana Santos during a live interview on Swiss National Public Radio.
    Towards the end of the interview, Karin Wenger decided to humanize Panelo by asking him a personal question. She got more humanity than she wanted,

    Karin Wenger: And one personal question: You play piano, right?
    Salvador Panelo: Yeah. I play by ear.
    KW: Do you have any—
    SP: I compose, I play, and sing and dance. But I’m better in bed.
    KW: You’re better in bed?
    SP: Yes.
    Ana Santos: Says who?
    SP: Says me.
    AS: How do you know?
    SP: Well, when I was still a bachelor, they said I f*ck like an 18 year old. I f*ck my clothes like an 18-year-old. Because I travel a lot.
    KW: You f*ck your clothes?
    SP: You didn’t get the joke? I wanted you to laugh.
    KW: No. I missed the joke. I’m sorry.

    SP: Pres. Arroyo was telling me, because I visited her every once a week when she was incarcerated, and one time I went there and she was with her Assumptionista classmates. Apparently, they were talking about me. “Hi, ma’am.” “Hey Sal, they want to ask you one question.” “What is it, ma’am?” And then I sat down. And they said that “You don’t look your age, you look trim, you look strong. What’s your secret?” And my reply was so fast. I said, “Ma’am, I f*ck…my clothes. Because I travel a lot. And so they all laughed.”

    After the interview Karin Wenger posted on social media
    “If a guy like that, who talks like that, is the legal adviser of the president…it tells a lot about the nature of this government.”

    Poor misunderstood Sal. Not only was he disparaged by a journalist from the EU, a female at that, but he was also called to report the next morning by ANC Morning School Headmistress Karen Davila to explain his behavior.

    SP: “It should be, ‘I pack my clothes, P-A-C-K.’ They spelled it incorrectly and apparently they didn’t get the joke…When you pronounce ‘pack’ with an F, that’s the joke.”

    Headmistress Karen didn’t seem convinced so he reiterated

    SP: “That’s a joke. I’ve been saying that joke to a lot of people. They just laugh. It’s just a joke and they quoted me incorrectly, spelled the words incorrectly. They wanted to put me in a bad light as well as the President.”

    And reiterated again

    SP: “I told them, ‘I’m telling you this to make you laugh,’ but apparently these writers are obviously anti-administration. They didn’t write about the essence of the interview.”

    And then he pulled out the victim card.

    SP: People are already biased against the government. They will always change the tenor and depth of your language (to put the) government into bad light. For almost a year, they’ve been doing that to us.”

    And finally sprayed on the deodorant.

    SP: “Our conscience is clear. We’re doing our job. We’re enforcing the law.”

    I wish they pulled a Tai Chi move on Panelo instead of fighting him with moral outrage that won’t do any damage whatsoever to him

    SP: I f*ck my clothes like an 18-year-old. Because I travel a lot.

    Interviewer: Really? You f*ck your clothes when you travel? Do you have a particular outfit that serves as your favorite traveling companion or do you just f*ck anything you pull out of your suitcase?

    SP: You didn’t get the joke? I wanted you to laugh.

    Interviewer: No but I’m laughing at the image of you in bed f*cking your clothes…or do you f*ck them elsewhere like on the floor or in the shower?

    SP: Apparently you’re obviously anti-administration and you will always change the tenor and depth of our language (to put the) government into bad light. You want to put me in a bad light as well as the President. For almost a year, you’ve been doing that to us.”

    Interviewer: “The president is also into f*cking his clothes when he travels? He travels a lot, doesn’t he?”

    SP: “Our conscience is clear. We’re doing our job. We’re enforcing the law.”

    Interviewer: “Okay, but what I want to know is, at your age, can you still f*ck your clothes without help from Viagra?”

  12. Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

  13. Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

    Crap…just after I shared a joke posted by Felix Buencamino, I came across this…What the heck is going on!!!!!


    Office of the Ombudsman dismissed Jed Patrick Mabilog as the mayor of Iloilo City.

    In a 13-page resolution penned by Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer II Rachel Cariaga-Favila on Aug 29, 2017, the Ombudsman discovered Mabilog responsible of ‘serious dishonesty relative to unlawful acquisition of wealth’

    The Ombudsman additionally dominated that Mabilog can not run to every other public workplace and he’s now ineligible to obtain retirement advantages from the federal government.

    Former Iloilo provincial administrator Manuel Mejorada filed the ‘plunder, dishonesty, grave miscounduct and perjury’ case on 2015 towards Mabilog.

    According to the grievance of Mejorada, the wealth of Mabilog all of a sudden elevated by ₱50-M when he turned the Mayor of Iloilo City.

    Majorada additionally added that the Mabilog didn’t disclose his actual internet price in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) on 2014.

    He questioned how Mabilog gained a lot wealth and constructed a luxurious mansion beside the Iloilo river regardless of of simply being the City Mayor of Iloilo and solely having small companies.

    The former Provincial administration identified that Mabilog failed to clarify in his SALN the place did he get the cash that used to construct his mansion.

    The home of Mabilog additionally gained the eye of President Rodrigo Duterte and described it as ‘like a palace’

    As of writing, Jed Mabilog who’s nonetheless on a sick go away just isn’t but releasing an announcement on the newest ruling of the Ombudsman towards him.

    Yesterday, President Rodrigo Duterte warned Mabilog that he’s the subsequent goal of the present administration due to his alleged involvement in unlawful medication.

    “The mayor of Iloilo City, I identified him, I said: You’re next, you’re next,” Duterte stated in a speech in the course of the commemorative session and live performance program of the Association of Southeast Asean Nations Law Association (ALA) in Malacañang.

    Last week, a bag man of Berya Drug group implicated Mabilog as one of many prime unlawful drug protector in Visayas.

    He claimed Mabilog was a drug protector of late Melvin Odicta Sr., head of the Odicta group.

  14. Sabtang Basco says:

    The chart JoeAm is asking for should not start with Duterte.


    … and that would be fun not even Rappler and so-called Philippine Investigative Journalism of the Philippines would dare publish.

    Since it cannot be published, LET US BEGIN WITH DUTERTE LYNCHING FIRST.

  15. Sabtang Basco says:

    Since this is an open discussion …. and the usual suspects of the Philippine Fake News are pure 100% unadulterated Filipinos … WHY NOT THE MESTIZO CLASS BE PRESIDENTS? Because NOT ONE articles or news since 1898 when Admiral Dewey wiped out the Spanish Galleons were there derogatory or bad news about the LAST REMAINING COLONISTS.

    Philippine Historian Zaide must be wrong about the colonists. If there was, is and will be no news about the colonists thieving, therefore, by virtue of grandfather rule COLONISTS FROM MAGELLAN TO 1898 TO PRESENT the colonists as accused by Zaide must have got a bad rap from Philippine Historians.

    So, if colonists were honest who was Zaide and Jose Rizal talking about? PCIJ should look into this … NAAAAH … never mind … PCIJ are run by Filipinos. IS THERE SOMEBODY ELSE OUT THERE?

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      The long-secret JFK file is to be released today to bring closure to all conspiracy theorists …. Let us bring closure to the allegation of Jose Rizal’s stories … RELEASE THE LONG-SECRET COLONIST FILES: Were they really bad as what they had written?

      Imagine if you are a descendant of colonists you study in Ateneo, la Salle and U.P. and is forced to take Jose Rizal course because this is not elective … I WONDER HOW YOU’D FEEL when your colonist-parents brought Philippines to the 3rdWorld from Medieval Era.?

      Maybe they studied abroad to get away from Jose Rizal course.

      To put the above in context, there is no story, news in schools about Americans obliterating Manila back in the days. IF THEY DID, I WOULD PROTEST !!!

      • karlgarcia says:

        What about the ancestors of Mike Arroyo, hiw did they get lands almost as big as Metro Manila?

        Tuason Family
        The Tuasons are the only noble Filipino family, that is they were elevated by the King of Spain Carlos IV to the Spanish nobility by a royal decree of 1782. They are descended from an intermix of Chinese, Spanish and Filipino families.
        The great patriarch of the Tuasons was an Chinese immigrant from Fukien, Son Tua who settled in Binondo, Manila in the early 18th century. He came to Manila to engage in the galleon trade. Quickly amassing wealth because of his business acumen, he became possibly the richest man in the Philippines by late 18th century.
        Contents [hide]
        1 Son Tua as the Most Prominent 18th c. Filipino
        2 Succession of the Tuason Lords
        3 Succession of Tuasons in Business
        4 The Dissolution of the Tuason Noble Estate
        5 Real Estate Empire
        6 Reference
        7 External Links
        8 Citation
        Son Tua as the Most Prominent 18th c. Filipino

        His prominent role in Philippine society was only emphasized during its British Occupation from 1762 to 1764 when Son Tua was one of the very few residents to rally people around the Spanish colonial troops. He even financed and helped direct counterattacks. He was promoted to colonel and he organized 1,500 Chinese mestizos, which was dubbed the Battalion of the Royal Prince. It was a treacherous time for Spain in the Philippines, as the British invasion had weakened Spain’s power and occasioned rebellions and demands for independence.
        In gratitude for helping the Spanish Governor General Simon de Anda drive the British redcoats out of Manila he was exempted him from paying tributes for two generations in 1775 and he was encouraged to hispanize his name. In that time it was the practice to reverse the syllabry of a Chinese name, so Son-tua was hispanized to Tua-son. From that time on he was called Don Antonio Tuason.
        He was awarded large tracts of prime land. Family lore relates that the governor general promised Don Antonio that whatever lands he could encircle by horseback from sunrise to sunset would be his. Being very astute Don Antonio prepared several horses in different stations in what was known the Diliman and Mariquina area. Through this feat Don Antonio made sure that he traversed thousands of hectares in a day. Thus began the Tuason real estate empire which survives to this day.
        By this time the Tuasons had emerged as the leading Chinese mestizo family not only in Binondo, but in the entire Philippines. This prestige was further elevated when the King of Spain conferred a noble title on the family in 1782. To express his gratitude Don Antonio was posthumously allowed by the King of Spain, Carlos IV, to found a mayorazgo (noble estate) on February 25, 1794. The mayorazgo was officially approved by the King’s decree of August 20, 1795.
        Succession of the Tuason Lords

        This was the only mayorazgo granted by the king in the history of the Philippines. Its cardinal principle was the succession was based on male primogeniture (first born or eldest son, which coincidentally was not only a Spanish policy but also a Chinese custom). Son-tua, the original surname of the Tuasons, actually means “eldest son.”
        Don Antonio died in 1794. The successor to the mayorazgo was Antonio’s first-born son Don Vicente Dolores Tuason. He is considered the first lord. From this line came the Manila Tuasons.Don Vicente was succeeded by Don Mariano Tuason who married Maria Juana Fabie. The third lord Don Jose Maria Tuason married Doña Maria Josefa Patiño y Tuason, his first cousin. The fourth lord, Don Jose Severo Tuason married Teresa de la Paz against his parents’ wishes. Don Jose Severo loved her dearly and had several pet names for her: “Mariquit na Teresa” when she was being courted by him, and later on, “marqueza” when she came into possession of the Marikina hacienda and later Hacienda Sta. Mesa. (Family legend speculates that the name Mariquina was derived from Doña Teresa’s pet name.)
        The fifth lord was Jose Victoriano Tuason, the son of Jose Severo Tuason, who tragically died at the age of 13 on 25 January 1878 in Metz, Germany (now part of France). The lordship of the mayorazgo was to pass the next oldest male heir, being his younger brother Juan Jose Tuason. Instead the usufruct and administration was passed to his mother Doña Teresa de la Paz, viuda de Tuason.
        When the heiress married barely a year after her widowhood the dashing 22-year-old lawyer Benito Legarda y Tuason, it was agreed that the administration of the mayorazgo would pass on to Don Jose Severo Tuason’s favorite brother Gonzalo Tuason y Patiño.
        Succession of the Tuason Lords This was the only mayorazgo granted by the king in the history of the Philippines. Its cardinal principle was the succession was based on male primogeniture (first born or eldest son, which coincidentally was not only a Spanish policy but also a Chinese custom). Son-tua, the original surname of the Tuasons, actually means “eldest son.” Don Antonio died in 1794. The successor to the mayorazgo was Antonio’s first-born son Don Vicente Dolores Tuason. He is considered the first lord. From this line came the Manila Tuasons.Don Vicente was succeeded by Don Mariano Tuason who married Maria Juana Fabie. The third lord Don Jose Maria Tuason married Doña Maria Josefa Patiño y Tuason, *(Her daughter Doña Emilia Tuason Patiño married Don Jose Rocha de Icaza (a rich banker and businessman), left Philippines with their daughter Doña Maria Rocha y Tuason and her husband Don Ramon Despujol y Sabater, Marquis de Oliver, to live in Spain in 1904. She has eight grand Children Ramon Despujol y Rocha (b. Manila, Military d. in the Battle of Annual, Maroc), Luis, Jose and Jose Despujol y Rocha, all deceased in youth and Doña Mercedes Despujol y Rocha (b. Manila) Marquise de Oliver, Married with Don Federico Ricart, Marquis de Santa Isabel; Doña Maria Emilia Despujol y Rocha (b. Barcelona), Marquise de Vallcabra, married with Don Javier Saenz de Heredia; Doña Concepcion Despujol y Rocha (b. Barcelona), married with Don Eduardo de Garay, Count del Valle del Suchil and Doña Pilar Despujol y Rocha (b.Barcelona), married with Don Carlos Gutierrez Pombo, all with succession). His first cousin. The fourth lord, Don Jose Severo Tuason childrenmarried Teresa de la Paz against his parents’ wishes. Don Jose Severo loved her dearly and had several pet names for her: “Mariquit na Teresa” when she was being courted by him, and later on, “marqueza” when she came into possession of the Marikina hacienda and later Hacienda Sta. Mesa. (Family legend speculates that the name Mariquina was derived from Doña Teresa’s pet name.) The fifth lord was Jose Victoriano Tuason, the son of Jose Severo Tuason, who tragically died at the age of 13 on 25 January 1878 in Metz, Germany (now part of France). The lordship of the mayorazgo was to pass the next oldest male heir, being his younger brother Juan Jose Tuason. Instead the usufruct and administration was passed to his mother Doña Teresa de la Paz, viuda de Tuason.
        Succession of Tuasons in Business

        Himself the scion of the most affluent Spanish-Chinese-Filipino family, the industrialist Don Gonzalo Tuason y Patiño was a business genius who parlayed his father’s inheritance into many business interests, including investments in trading and manufacturing companies. His biggest investment was in a brewery corporation established by the Roxas-Ayala-Zobel clans, the immensely profitable ,La Fabrica de Cerveza de San Miguel, founded by Don Enrique Barretto y Ycaza. When Don Gonzalo Tuason died he was considered one of the richest men in the Philippines at the turn of the 20th century, together with the French exile Don Pedro Pablo Roxas, his other co-investor in the brewery, and the young Don Enrique Zobel de Ayala
        Don Gonzalo Tuason y Patino married the Spanish aristocrat Dona Isabel viuda de Gil de Sola. Don Gonzalo’s fortune survived through his two natural and nine legitimate children, in particular with Carolina [ grandmother of the Ortolls ] and Dr. Manuel [ grandfather of the Todas ]. Don Gonzalo’s daughter Doña Carolina Tuason married the prominent lawyer Don Salvador Zaragoza y Roxas and accumulated a large fortune. Their only child and sole heiress is Doña Concepcion Zaragoza y Tuason who married Don Jose Antonio Ortoll of Barcelona on the inauspicious day of December 8, 1941, the day of the Japanese invasion.
        Don Gonzalo Tuason y Patino and some of his children are interred in their family plot at the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris, France. It is located near the tomb of the English writer Oscar Wilde and is accessed through the Gambetta gate.
        Another Tuason industrialist was Don Celso Tuason who bought the American trading company Squires & Bingham in 1941, just before the outbreak of the war. After World War II Don Celso venture into manufacturing. He focused on firearms and ammunition. In 1952, the President granted the Tuason family permission to manufacture firearms which led to the establishment Squires Bingham Manufacturing. Inc., the predecessor of today’s Arms Corporation of the Philippines (Armscor).
        In the mid-1960’s, Don Celso turned over the business management to his three sons: Bolo, Butch and Konkoy. In 1980, Squires Bingham Co., Inc. became the holding company of the Celso S. Tuason family and their varied business interests. The First Gentleman Jose Miguel Tuason Arroyo is a nephew of Don Celso and his firsts cousins Bolo, Emilio, Konkoy, and Butch Tuason.
        The great patriarch Don Antonio had a younger brother Don Gregorio Tuason which is the other line of the Tuason family. He settled in Bacolor, Pampanga and married Maria Pamintuan around 1764. From this line came the Tuasons of Pampanga and Central Luzon. They had two two daughters, Escolastica and [[Maria Juana Tuason-Hilario |Maria Juana]. Escolastica is known in Philippine history as the most prominent Filipina to be kidnapped at six years of age by Moro pirates and held hostage in Mindanao. She was ransomed by her parents after eight long years and considerable expense of the Tuason family. She married Olegario Rodriguez (1806-1874) also of Bacolor. From this couple are descended the Escaler, Gonzalez of Sulipan, Apalit, Pampanga, Santos of Malabon (Prudential Bank), and the Guanzons of Pampanga. Escolastica Tuason Rodriguez died in 1850.
        Don Antonio had an illegitimate son Don Benedicto Dimaculangan Tuazon who was the grand ancestor of the Tuazons of San Fernando and Mabalacat, Pampanga and of the Sauza clan of Marikina.One of his Sauza in-laws was Don Santiago Sauza, the 22nd gobernadorcillo of Marikina from Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico. Don Antonio’s granddaughter Doña Matilde Dela Peña Tuazon, one of the daughters of Don Benedicto Dimaculangan Tuazon married Don Miguel Sauza, one of the sons of Don Santiago Sauza, the brother of Don Hilario Sauza, the brainchild of the famous Sauza Tequila.
        The Dissolution of the Tuason Noble Estate

        Don Antonio Tuason had requested the King of Spain for approval of a mayorazgo (noble and inalienable estate), which he outlined on 25 February 1794 as a corollary to his last testament. On his death he bequeathed two-thirds of his vast estate equally among the younger eight children, including Doña Eustaquia (married to de los Reyes); Don Santos married to Rufina Augustina; Doña Petrona who became a nun; Don Felix who married Doña Teresa Aranas Bargas; Doña Eusebia, a Dominican nun; Don Pablo who maried Doña Magdalena de los Reyes; Doña Martina, a Dominican nun; and Doña Gregoria who married Don Luis Rocha, builder of Malacañang Palace. One third was willed to his oldest son, Don Vicente Dolores Tuason, who would become the 1st lord of the mayorazgo. Carlos IV would later approve the mayorazgo posthumously in a royal decree of 20 August 1795.
        The provisions of the mayorazgo required the lord to distribute one-fifth of the net revenues of the noble estate to his eight siblings. The 1st lord’s heir and succssors continued to respect the mayorazgo until 1919, when the descendants of the of the younger siblings, led by Antonio Ma. Barreto challenged the successors of the mayorazgo then led by Augusto Huberto Tuason y de la Paz, third son of Jose Severo Tuason.
        Meanwhile events in Spain had long overtaken the mayorazgo, which was in the throes of a social revolution. The liberal 1820 consitution of Spain required the dissolution of noble estates. In 1836 a law of disentailment was enacted in the peninsula. But it was not until 1 March 1864 that the law was enacted in the Philippines. However, the third lord Jose Severo Tuason opted to ignore the law, maintaining the landed estate and continuing to distribute one-fifth of its net revenues to the mayorazgo’s descendants.
        When the disgruntled descendants of the younger siblings brought the case to the Philippine courtson 19 July 1919 they moved for the dissolution of the mayorazgo, and asked for the conversion of their share of the revenues to the enforced sale of one-fifth of all the mayorazgo’s properties.
        With Associate Supreme Court Justice Norberto Romualdez penning the landmark decision and concurring en banc, the heirs of the mayorazgo represented by Augusto Huberto Tuason y de la Paz were ordered to distribute one-fifth of the properties to each of the four families of the Don Vicente’s younger siblings, as follows:
        Heirs of Doña Gregoria Tuason married to Rocha, and her sixteen heirs, including Antonio Maria Barretto y Rocha (plaintiff), Isabel Rocha Pereyra, Alfredo Rocha Pereyra, Carmen Rocha Pereyra de Beech, Santiago Rocha y Ruiz Delgado
        Heirs of Don Pablo Tuason, including Ciriaca Tuason, mother of Benito Legarda, Cayetano Tuason, Tomas Mercado, Gaston O’Farrell, Remedios Ayala de Reyes, Juan Tuason y Rosello, Carmen Tuason y Rosello, Vicente L Legarda
        Heirs of Don Santos Luciano Tuason, including Cirila Tuason viuda de Calvo, Mariana Aurelia Tuason and Santiago Alvarez.
        Heirs of Don Felix Bolois Tuason including Don Francisco Beech y Rojo, Pilar Rojo y Tuason, Teodora Benitez Tuason de Reyes and Romana Fuentes de Salgado
        From 23 March 1927 the mayorazgo estates would be deemed as free properties and released from any entailment. Although their estate was diminished by a fifth, the six children of Don Jose Severo Tuason and Teresa de la Paz still retained four-fifths of their vast landholdings.
        Real Estate Empire

        The basis of family wealth was the Hacienda Diliman. Subsequent lords of the mayorazgo further aggrandized these holdings.
        For example when the Jesuits were expelled from the Philippines in 1768. all its properties were expropriated. The second lord Don Vicente acquired the Jesuits’ Hacienda de San Isidro de Mariquina at a public auction in 1794 for the amount of 33,750 pesos. Hacienda Santa Mesa was acquired by the fourth lord Don Jose Severo Tuason on October 1, 1878.
        The successor of the fifth lord Don Gonzalo Tuason y Patino purchashed the Maysilo Estate covering a land area of 1,660 hectares in parts of Caloocan, Malabon, Valenzuela and Quezon City. Subsequently it was resold and was mired in legal suits. To this date it is known in Philippine courts as the longest-running real estate dispute dating from 1917.
        The Tuason family is forever identified with the founding of Quezon City as it was their family that sold the thousands of hectares of Hacienda Diliman to the government of President Manuel L. Quezon. They were also very generous and donated the present area of the University of the Philippines. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her husband’s house in Las Vista overlooking the Marikina Valley on which stood the Tuason’s Hacienda Mariquina stands on the oldest Tuason property.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Tama ka din.
          I did not learn about the Tuasons in school, nor the tabloid media
          Dumadaan ako sa P. Tuazon without knowing who the guy was.
          I learned about them sa Senate hearing ng Jueteng, straight from the mouth of Mike Arroyo.

        • Sabtang Basco says:

          Philippines was occupied by the British from 1762 to 1764. Why did they leave after two years?

          Remind you that all British colonies including the North America are progressive and became 1stWorld, they are:

          1. Canada
          2. Australia
          3. America
          4. India
          5. New Zealand

          to name so many …

          What Spain colonized became rotten catholic countries. Spain sold religion not intelligence.

          • karlgarcia says:

            We could have been playing Cricket instead of baseball and softball and Our rugby team could have joined the Commonwealth games.

            Religion has nithing to do with it.
            If they allowed literacy, there could have been more Rizals.
            Illiteracy programs was a world wide practice then

            • karlgarcia says:

              The Pre-American revolution splinter wars made the Redcoats leave the Philippines.

              • karlgarcia says:

                “The war ended with the Treaty of Paris between France, Spain and Great Britain and the Treaty of Hubertusburg between Saxony, Austria and Prussia, in 1763.

                The war was successful for Great Britain, which gained the bulk of New France in North America, Spanish Florida, some individual Caribbean islands in the West Indies, the colony of Senegal on the West African coast, and superiority over the French trading outposts on the Indian subcontinent. The Native American tribes were excluded from the settlement; a subsequent conflict, known as Pontiac’s War, was also unsuccessful in returning them to their pre-war status. In Europe, the war began disastrously for Prussia, but a combination of good luck and successful strategy saw King Frederick the Great manage to retrieve the Prussian position and retain the status quo ante bellum. Prussia emerged as a new European great power. Although Austria failed to retrieve the territory of Silesia from Prussia (its original goal) its military prowess was also noted by the other powers. The involvement of Portugal, Spain and Sweden did not return them to their former status as great powers. France was deprived of many of its colonies and had saddled itself with heavy war debts that its inefficient financial system could barely handle. Spain lost Florida but gained French Louisiana and regained control of its colonies, e.g., Cuba and the Philippines, which had been captured by the British during the war. France and Spain avenged their defeat during the American Revolutionary War, with hopes of destroying Britain’s dominance once and for all.”

  16. Sabtang Basco says:

    I mentioned “sidewalks” in past comment.

    See, in Thailand and Vietnam their sidewalks have designs. It may be bricks or cement but they do have designs. Beautiful to look at.

    Their cuisine are colorful like the rest of the neighboring countries of the Philippines. Philippine cuisine is just bland. No garnishing. No side dishes like banchan if in Korea or sprigs, lemon, mongo sprouts, chiles to name a few if in Vietnam and Thailand.

    Does sidewalks and cuisine measure intelligence of a country? Possibly because in Africa theirs are as bland and boring as Philippine cuisine and Filipinos are better than them.

    • karlgarcia says:

      You have been around From Batanes to Cebu.
      Is Bicol express to bland for your taste?
      medyo wala syang sinabi sa Thai food pero, bicol express is not bland at all.

      Diba yung McDonald’s nga ang bland at Jollibee ang hindi?

        • Sabtang Basco says:

          Gosh, Karl, early in the morning and you are titillating my culinary senses already. Thank you for the link. I will jump on the first ferry from Basco battling huge waves to mainland Philippines to seek out these carenderia cuisine. Veni, Vidi, Manducare (I came, I saw, I eat)

          “carenderia” a roadside eateries run by moms-and-pops. Instead of obligatory vino rosso served in Italian trattorias, I prefer heavy bold fattening niyog fresco vino a coconut wine. These are authentic “family restaurants” snooty arrogant conceited people wouldn’t even dare be seen bending over a bowl of sigsig and lugaw except those by low social class. Low class cuisine are traditional authentic cuisine.

          Spicy juicy deep fried chicken from Jollibee is not authentic Filipino food. These are American food.

          SM and Ayala do not serve these as beautiful as in the picture. WHY? WHY, OH, WHY? Aren’t they proud of their cuisine?

          • karlgarcia says:

            Bon apetit!

          • karlgarcia says:

            Before the KFC social media administrators followed the Spice girls and guys named Herb to follow 11 Herbs and spices on twitter, the Portuguese and the Dutch were trading Spice and the portuguese were in our region long before Magellan landed in Leyte.

            Mace and Nutmeg trade became the in thing then cauding supply and demand manipulations like today’s stock market trade manipulations.

            Maguindanao Overrlords even offered their lands for nutmeg plantations to the Dutch.
            Now as to the reason why Filipino food is to bland for your taste maybe because we are left out of the spice trade.

            Because of Balboa’s discovery of the Pacific, because the Chinese failed to hire a publicist or maybe the chinese saolies did not know how to write chinese caligraphy, Magelllan was challenged to use the pacific ocean route.

            Maybe the Ottoman empire blocked the short cut to the Indian ocean and they do not want to go South Atlantic then the Indian ocean so they used the pacific.

            Now as the rest who tried the south Atlantic made most of what they can in South America.
            They went there without knowing where to get food,so they found people to feed them and found people to look for gold for them ,build ships for them,etc.

            The Galleon trade happened and it benefitted we got American goods(North Central and South) until the Briish Came and went.

            If the British won the American revolution and remained here, the Philippines could have been a protestant nation, and the world wars would been fought differently.and there would not be a KFC and they would not be following the Spice girls and those guys named Herb.

  17. karlgarcia says:

    Sabtang Basco says:
October 26, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Davao Light & Power serving Metro Davao, Cotabato Light & Power serving Cotabato, Visayan Electric Company Cebu, Hydro Electric in Luzon are owned by Aboitiz. Ernesto Aboitiz used to be the President of NAPOCOR in the days of President Cory Aquino.
MERALCO by the Lopezes now by Pangilinans? I still do believe in proxies and dummies.
Let us put all of these in context …. do you find any “Filipino” not in name but in ethnicity and culture in Forbes’ Philippines richest?
If there are no “Filipino” therefore Water, Power, Internet and by proxy … THE GOVERNMENT is owned by a few. The government is just a puppet on a string.


    Manny Villar.

  18. karlgarcia says:

    The government is owned by a few.

    That is why we want a god damn anti-dynasty law.
    But to make it happen, we need a bloody damn revolution that comes with an irrevocable decree that forbids dynasties.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Revolutions led to the likes of Oliver Cromwell and Napoleon Bonapart, we must not let that happen.

    • Francis says:

      Or you need to put dynasties “out of business” in the political marketplace; to wax poetic: politicians are the merchants of hope and dream, aren’t they not? If dynasties are the current merchants of hope, we should sell better to make them bankrupt.

      What unnerves me in the anti-dynasty campaigns/advocacies is their legalistic brand of idealism, the sort of idealism that somehow insists that all that one has to do to combat an evil (i.e. dynasties) is to decree that it shall not be allowed. Which is missing the point; dynasties don’t exist just because politicians wanted dynasties to have power—but because culture and institutional arrangements dictated to politicians that having dynasties was a feasible path to power that also happened to be the most “efficient” (read: most effective at giving power to them) path to do so. We ought to target the systems that produce and incentivize dynasties, in order to rid ourselves of them.

      Is wiping one’s hard drive and starting over (revolution) the only realistic way?

      I think the most effective way to combat dynasties would be to build genuine political parties with authentic connections to a grassroots political base, to citizens. Filipinos don’t vote trapos over and over again because they’re foolish—rather, it’s because they either see no alternative (how can one think of “alternative” politics, if his barangay chairman, councilor, mayor and governor all fall from the same tree?) or they cannot conceive of the idea of an alternative since they’ve been under trapo rule for so long that anything else seems like ridiculous telenovela fantasy.

      Akbayan was an attempt at doing this. Ateneo Press actually has a book (“Contested Democracy and the Left in the Philippines After Marcos”) about Akbayan and its attempts to actually combat the system on an electoral level. It’s interesting reading, to say the least.

      (My two cents about it though: two differences between populist Marcos/ka-DDS and Akbayan reformists, and why one caught on and the other didn’t: the former was primarily online-based whereas the latter was primarily offline-based, the former seized the metropolis (NCR) and urban areas—and the middle classes—while the latter was focused on the provinces and rural areas—just farmers and fishermen there.)

      • Francis says:


        -By “no alternative” I mean—the average Filipino does not enjoy the “luxury” of seeing a clear “alternative” non-trapo candidate; except for maybe the national level of politics, he or she is always faced with a choice between Trapo A and Trapo B.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Are you the one who is still in College?
          You are brilliant!

        • karlgarcia says:

          Francis after tracing the root problems on why there are dynasties, I still say that the Parliamentary/ Federal form of government will be acceptable to me if there are no more dynasties and party turncoats.

          If that process has to pass through the eye of a needle and go to hell and back, it first has to start.
          I have a separate dialogue about dynasties with Popoy,Edgar and Sup and we do not like dynasties.
          But let us turn this discussion to cha cha.
          It seems that by 2018, they will go ahead with Charter change.
          Arroyo has a proposal different from that of Alvarez.
          I have yet to review each, but I guess the Macapal-Arroyos is still the most powerful pinoy Dynasty and i already traced the origin of the Son Tua or Tua Son family tree.
          The Macaoagal-Arroyos are spread in the three main Islands, they are The Dynasty.

          It is impossible to get rid of them, they were the richest pinoys starting from the 18th century, and they are still rich.
          Quarter them, you only divide them by four, and Decimate them, you only divide them by ten, you get what I mean.

          So the problem of this country past,present and future aside from culuture and bad habits are Dynasties, turncoats and the Arroyo family.

      • Sabtang Basco says:

        Those in Dynastic politics are dinosaurs not serious in uplifting the plight and flight of Filipino people. They run for elected positions because their parents and grandparents before them were in politics and politics is the only career they know of and knowing Filipino voters prefer name recognition than what they did.

        There are good dynasties regardless. I can name them with my number of fingers in just one hand, they are:

        1. The Aquinos
        2. The Roxases
        3. Osmenas (?) Are they good? I hear their names mentioned often.
        4. I do not know about the Dutertes all I hear are bad news
        5. Robredos (they maybe kick starting their Dynasty her daughter is in the U.S. studying science, Political Science, easiest science of all)

        OK, I ran out of fingers. Karl, can you hand me your other fingers and name more good Dynasties in the Philippines?

        Clinton dynasty stopped at lying Hillary.
        We have Bushes
        The Kennedys

        • Sup says:


          Xia dynasty. Xia dynasty is considered to be the first dynasty in ancient China which lasted for almost 500 years including the rule of 17 emperors. …
          Shang dynasty.
          Chou(Zhou) dynasty. The founder of this dynasty was Wuwang. …
          Qin dynasty. …
          Han dynasty. …
          Six dynasties. …
          Sui dynasty. …
          Tang dynasty.


        • karlgarcia says:

          Next five:
          Including the hope to improve
          …blip blip system error

          All the good things about dynasties have been mentioned by Francis.
          I guess nasa nagdadala yan.
          It’s how they bring it!
          Carry ba nila? Carry pa ba natin?

  19. karlgarcia says:

    After this post break muna, unless a comment needs my reply.

    We are a maritime country, we have problems like kidnapping, drugs,smuggling,dynamite fishing, poaching,terrorism,name the problem we have it.

    Sesame street told us of a solution that’s called cooperation.

    Good luck with that.

    This again from my dad

    This is a part of a study on Maritime Security: Intraagency cooperation.

    This is only up to the Scope,Limitations and Objectives.
    I won’t paste the whole study.




    The DND/NDCP/SSG Research program on Interagency Cooperation for the Enhancement of Maritime Security read as follows: “The maritime geography of the Philippines creates tremendous security challenges. As a maritime state, the Philippines need to enhance its existing maritime security structure. Since maritime security encompasses the entire archipelago, interagency cooperation will be critical in its implementation. This proposal seeks to establish the proper interagency cooperation which could enhance maritime security” (underscoring mine).

    Cooperation is not a silver bullet to exorcise the ghosts of our maritime security structure. In maritime security cooperation the buzzwords are “cooperation, coordination, integration, and capacity-building”. In a recent SSG RTD on pandemics the challenge of coordinating and integrating the numerous agencies concerned was raised by a Fellow, Dr. Sosmena. Certainly cooperating is also critical, from self-quarantine to washing the hands. But cooperating in maritime security is more than banning pissing in our troubled waters. The research guidance above suggests the magnitude and complexity of our archipelagic waters.

    A hierarchy of strategy and policy and time scales is in Figure 1 below. (1) One approach is to improve upon current policies on interagency cooperation that is situational and temporary, to attain the required proper policies/strategies through a review and analysis of the objectives and practices of the maritime security structure with our values and interests in mind. The caveat is carving even operational tactics in stone and contingency task arrangements permanent. Alas, are our values beyond economical repair?

    It would not be earthshaking to declare that before an agency can cooperate it must first be able to operate and to be able to operate further effectively it must be ready to inter-operate with other agencies to attain the same goals. Inter-operability is both technological and doctrinal. But before it can be able and ready, it must be willing. Willingness is cultural and behavioral. One analysis as to why General Malvar was relatively more successful than the other revolutionary groups was due to his commanders and staff belonging to the same class at Santo Tomas Batangas High School.

    Figure 1​

    The Preamble of the Constitution indicates fundamental policy guidance on maritime security and interagency cooperation. The phrases are “conserve and develop our patrimony” and “secure to ourselves and our posterity” our “blessing”, under a “regime”, among other ways and means, of “love”. To love, a notch lower than the commandment of the Christian God of to “love one another as I have loved you”, is the admonition to “love others as you loved yourself”. That love is made operational by cooperation. Cooperation is defined as: “to work together to attain a common purpose”. It is a willing one with others of goodwill, able to operate with others that are more or less as able, and ready to inter-operate as well.

    To be willing, able, and ready to cooperate has the contradictory acronym of WAR. But to enhance Maritime security, it should be WARM. And because we are always in emergency, according to the National Security Adviser, it should be WARMER with ER for protracted emergency. (2) The “alphabet soup” should be warm indeed, because the main dish sounds like one – SWARMA. S is for the strategic end and MA is the ways and means of Maritime Administration. Yet the soup and the entrée are not for the sea-sick. It is for a tempestuous maritime condition liken to what Shakespeare called in his play Tempest as Sea Change that cooperation in our jurisdiction may need.

    Cooperation has long been a principle of war of maritime powers. That principle was subsumed in land military powers within the principle of “unity of command” and “coordination”. (3) To coordinate is “to combine, integrate, and adjust so as to relate smoothly one to another” under a common commander while to cooperate is “to be helpful or willing to fit with others’ works”. (4) The impetus for cooperation in security matters was the demise of the Cold War and the emergence of non-traditional, transnational, and non-state threats that respect no borders in a planet that is 80 percent water.

    In this connection, the UN, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), APEC, US PACOM, ASEAN ARF, BIMP – a regional arrangement of Brunei, Indonesia. Malaysia, and Philippines, and bilateral agreements of RP with US, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and others have vigorously pushed cooperation after 9/11 with the strands of coordination, integration, and capacity-building. (5)

    Presidential candidate Barrack Obama, speaking on security matters, declared that: “Cooperation is not a choice. It is the only way”. Then Secretary of State Clinton appealed that “the world unites against sea piracy”. (6) That was preceded in 2008 by the monumental “Cooperative strategy for 21st century Sea Power” formulated by the US Navy, US Marines, and US Coast Guard for the first time in history. (7) It was received by the “public intellectual complex” and the PLA that has long adopted the principle of cooperation within the armed services in China and ostensibly with neighbors. (8)

    Would the numerous RP maritime agencies in general and the PN, PCG, and MARIGRP PNP in particular follow suit? In the Navy we pretend not to be serious when we claim that there are three ways to do things: The right way, the wrong way, and the Navy way! How about inter-departmental cooperation of executive departments at the management level and as members of Councils at the policy level? Would the three branches of government – the Executive, Legislative, and the Judiciary – lead the way even just on national security matters? Or would the checks matter more than the balance?

    Alas, cooperation in the Philippines is heroic. Getting our acts together is a swan song. Unity was crucial enough to be an end as well a means to national security. (X) Perhaps because the vernacular for cooperation is “bayanihan”. The root word “bayani” means hero. It is depicted in art as a “barangay” relocating a nipa hut on their shoulders on land called “balikatan”- the label of the cooperative-training exercise with the Americans with asymmetric shoulders. Even the more common vernacular “pakikisama” is double entendre. “Sama” is to join. It also means “evil”. In olden times the sea was symbol for evil.

    The “barangay”or the “balangay” was the boat that our ancestors, with maritime prowess and cooperation, built and intrepidly sailed to settle in our shores to become the many nations that Magellan found 500 years ago. It now stands for the smallest political unit – the ‘barangay” – a microcosm of the national unity or disunity of an archipelagic nation crying out for maritime security and cooperation.

    More than ever, the RP is now a unique mid-ocean archipelago, a classic archipelagic state, and a quintessential coastal state that as mentioned at the outset, cooperation becomes “critical”. (9) Figure 2.

    It is unique because it is set apart among mid-ocean archipelagos because of very closely-grouped islands and other geological features; crisscrossed by shipping lanes and obliged to grant foreign vessels and aircraft the right of archipelagic sea-lanes and innocent passages through its archipelagic waters. It is the “maritime heartland” of Southeast and East Asia. It is the “center of the center of marine diversity” being among the highest in the world and including a substantial part of the so-called “coral triangle”. (10) It is unique because it is one of the two dozen mid-ocean archipelagos that declared to be an archipelagic state.

    It is classic by RP being the first with Indonesia in positing the “archipelagic doctrine” that took exception to the exclusion of mid-ocean archipelagos in the drawing of straight baselines. In brief, the RP position was that the baselines should be drawn to “connect the outermost points of the outermost islands” according to the general configuration of the archipelago. To the credit of RP, it was the first country to advance the concept of an archipelagic state as early as 1955 in a note verbale to the Secretary General of UN. It enacted in 1958 RA 3046 as amended by RA 5446 in 1962 as an early pre-UNCLOS application of straight baselines for itself as mid-ocean archipelago until finally amended in 2009 in compliance to UNCLOS.

    It is a quintessential coastal state, a term coined by the Partnership in Environmental Change of the Seas of East Asia (PEMSA) because not a single town or city is more than a 100 kilometers from the coast (that is twice as long as the US coastline) and 70 % of population located along the coast for residence and livelihood. And 80 % of maritime pollution was from the coastal land-sources. But it is also a volcanic archipelago, with earthquake fault lines beneath, and with frequent typhoons making RP at several times the disaster capital of the world.

    The above geographic, geological, geopolitical picture of the maritime jurisdiction and governance concern applies to the archipelago, archipelagic state, and coastal state and radiates westwards to the SCS with the controversial KIG and Scarborough Shoal; northeastwards to the East China Sea and Taiwan; towards the south overlapping the Sulawesi Sea of Indonesia and the sea area southwest of Mindanao, and eastwards to the Pacific where two largely unexplored geological features of great interest, namely Benham Rise and the Philippine Deep. All together with a sea area more than six times its land area of a nation with borders entirely maritime, it is confronted by the huge twin and interrelated immense problem of maritime development and security. Figure 3.

    In this regard, a National Marine Policy (NMP) was issued in 1994 to address priority concerns, namely (1) Extent of national territory, (2) Protection of the marine ecology, (3) Management of marine ecology and technology, and (4) Maritime security. NMP was conceived as a development program that emphasized the Philippines as an archipelagic state. (11)

    Already the fourth priority concern, the maritime security aspect was more concerned with the protection and defense of “the integrity of the marine resources” than territorial integrity. But its priority maritime security aspect was more revealing: “To promote maritime security as a component of national security”. Because of a twin insurgency obtaining in the land territory that is one-sixth of its maritime jurisdictions, maritime security is praying to be but a component instead of being essentially the national security itself as an archipelagic state.

    The NMP, however, has provided the only official definition of maritime security as follows: “A state wherein the country’s marine assets, maritime practices, territorial integrity and coastal peace and order are protected, conserved, and enhanced”. Furthermore, it recognized that the complex maritime priority concerns require a key feature: “the cooperation and coordination of all maritime agencies”. And there are about twenty three (23) maritime agencies to cooperate and coordinate.

    Since 1994, so much water, internal, territorial, or archipelagic, “has gone under the bridge”. Earlier in 1992, internal security operations (ISO) were placed under the responsibility of the PNP, providing the favorable factor for the modernization of the AFP. But in 1995, ISO was returned to the AFP affecting the capacity-building of PN and PCG. The Asian financial crisis of 1996-97 hit the development thrust of the NMP. Under a new administration in 1998 that announced a “bankrupt government” in the first presidential SONA the fiscal crisis hit the security aspect as well. When the Chinese “repaired” its facilities at Mischief Reef that is within the RP KIG claim in late 1998, the new President could only be misunderstood as suggesting a naval blockade when what he meant as explained by his former English instructor was basketball. (12) Then maritime terrorist attacks, bombings and kidnappings occurred before and after 9/11 accompanied by natural and man-made disasters. Yet maritime security stayed as a poor relation of national security. Not even the academe to include the NDCP has given maritime security as much attention given to national security policy.

    By 2004 however, a Regional Maritime Security Initiative (RMSI) emerged in the region as suggested by the US Pacific Command as a protocol to foster cooperation under a maritime security spectrum indicated in Figure 5. This concept encompasses “the full range of law enforcement and military activities aimed at monitoring illegal traffic, identifying and preventing illegitimate activities, and if necessary, resolving crisis in the maritime environment”.

    In contrast with the NMP that is a development policy with a security concern, the RMSI was security oriented with environmental concerns. The operational model is shown in Figure 4. Shown is not only information sharing but also a responsive decision-making infrastructure and interagency cooperation. In 2005, DND came out with a maritime security construct with the feature of interagency cooperation, admittedly derived from an Australian Border Protection Model that was inspired by RMSI for the Coast Watch South (CWS) project. CWS provide a model to be studied for interagency cooperation to enhance maritime security.

    In 2009, the Baselines Law was passed. On Day-one, China protested the assertion of sovereignty over KIG and Scarborough as included in a baseline statute for the purpose of the ECS. Nevertheless, the Chinese ambassador suggested cooperation at the SCS as agreed with ASEAN in the Declaration of Amity and Cooperation.

    Cooperation however in such a vital international issue of sovereignty and territorial integrity was not apparent in the domestic political front. A group of lawyers and political law students questioned the constitutionality of the Baselines Law before the SC. It is said that bipartisanship in national security matters is imperative but not in the Philippines. That was true in the 1967 Jabidah-Sabah adventure. Then in the 1980’s a case of illegal fishing by Chinese fishermen at Scarborough was dismissed by a Zambales Court with speed to the delight of Beijing that front-paged the decision that was hardly noticed by the local media. Recently in 2008, controversy arose in a joint mineral exploration venture with the Chinese, and so on. Pending in Congress are proposed legislation on a Department of Maritime Affairs, Maritime Code and Admiralty Court, Commission on Marine and Ocean Affairs, Philippine Coast Guard punctuated by differences with Marina that are both under DOTC. It would seem that cooperation and security are strange bedfellows.

    The strands of “cooperation, coordination, integration, and capacity building” however are the current buzzwords of multi-lateral and bilateral maritime security. (13) But a reality check is that, on one hand cooperation is needed because coordination and integration of maritime agencies are weak, and on the other hand cooperation is complementary when coordination and integration strengthen. To support capacity-building in the Philippine situation of all maritime agencies at the same time is not affordable making the cooperation of the more developed desirable. As mentioned earlier, there are at least twenty three (23) agencies involved in maritime security.

    To be sure, while the maritime structure may be replete with the lack if not absence of cooperation, there are recent initiatives that indicate bright promise other than the CWS. The UNCLOS, itself suggested cooperation in Article X among nations in the resolution of complex issues in borders, sea-lanes, and over-lapping ECS. The national agencies should do no less. But it is easier said than done that if nations could downplay sovereignty matters in the name of cooperation, national maritime agencies could do as well with their turf interests and stove pipes, so to speak, to achieve the common goal.


    Interagency cooperation is highly necessary towards the enhancement of maritime security but not sufficient without coordination, integration, and capacity-building. (CCIC)

    Cooperation and coordination are overlapping, inter-related and mutually supporting.

    Such cooperation must not only be at the operating level but also in the management and policy levels.

    Cooperation to enhance maritime security should be willing, able, and ready (WARM) under a strategic maritime administration (SWARMA) to be responsive to our security challenges.

    To be willing, able, and ready (WAR) is not linear in that order but instead mutually supporting as an attribute of as well as a condition precedent to cooperation.

    Maritime security and structure have weaknesses due to socio-cultural, political, and economic reasons that cooperation at all levels should address.

    Cooperation is a problem before it becomes a solution.

    Scope, Limits and Objectives

    While the inter-related and over-lapping strands of cooperation, coordination, integration, and capacity-building are all essential to maritime security enhancement, the focus is on cooperation. Cooperation is not a substitute for the lack of the other three strands but would benefit from their enhancement with better interoperability and decision-making infrastructure.

    The levels of cooperation are policy, management, and operating. At the policy level are the National Security Council, Commission on Marine and Ocean Affairs, National Disaster Coordination Council, Anti-terrorism Council and the like. At the management level are the Executive Departments with Heads that are mostly members of the Councils at the policy level. While all the departments involved in maritime security would be honorable mentions, the focus shall be with DOTC, DND, and DILG, with DENR, and BFAR, BUCUS, BI, BQ as supported agencies and their inter-department cooperation. The pattern shall be repeated at the operating levels of the agencies under said departments and bureaus, with focus on PCG, PN, MARIGRP PNP as sea-going agencies and supporting agencies to lead and supported agencies. Special attention shall be focused on DOTC and its operating agencies, namely, PCG, MARINA, and PPA and their inter-play with the Office of Transport Security (OTS).

    The paper aims to answer the following research questions that serve as the objectives:

    What is the maritime domain of the Philippines and its historical, cultural, and juridical dimensions?

    What are the strategic and policy frameworks bearing on the problem of maritime security and cooperation? What is the resultant maritime security concept?

    What are the challenges to our maritime domain in terms of threats and opportunities?

    What is the existing maritime security structure? Is it responsive to the maritime security concept and the dynamic challenges to the maritime domain?

    What are the lessons learned in interagency cooperation? Are there case studies to serve as model/s for interagency cooperation?

    What are the derived guiding concepts in the establishment of a willing, able, ready maritime interagency cooperation?

    What is the necessary maritime administration in terms of structure, policy and management issuances, and executive and legislative mandates?

    • sonny says:

      Karl, the studies and reflections of your dad on national security are, to understate them, awesome whichever way one cuts it. Thanks for sharing them in print, no less. This way those same studies and reflections can be comprehended, reflected on in turn.

      Somewhere in the past, I came across an anecdote (could be apocryphal) that entering freshmen at Caltech in a Physics course were given a standing problem to be solved: a good-sized meteor took an errant orbit and headed straight for a head-on collision with planet earth. The stated problem asked for a solution that provided what to do to effect a maximum-optimum survivability for the human race.

      Your dad’s questions reminded me of this challenge to the question of national security that would address survivability and viability of the Filipino and the Philippines. In 1998, celebrating our Philippine centennial, I did revisit the Caltech question; in place of the Caltech freshmen I imagined PMA freshmen being challenged with the question How would you plan for the defense of Philippine national security, as the principal professionals to accomplish the task.

      I am glad there are patriots like your dad, capable and willing to keep searching for the answers to such a vital question.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Hi Uncle Sonny! Thank you for the note. I have been rereading the stuff of my old man.
        I did some of the research, especially after he lost access to the reasearchers of the DND/NDCP, that is where I am glad that I could help.
        He wanted to publish a book, but he gave up, he might still change his mind.
        If not, I have shared some his works here and at Irineo’s in hoping some one could pick up some pieces and build something out of it.

      • sonny says:

        @ Karl
        I like that USec Garcia undertook to present his thoughts in a stream-of-consciousness manner: his narrative comes across as personal, w/expertise, highly-informed, cross-disciplinary, historically circumscribed, detached but with much concern and with much skin invested. These are some of the qualities that jumped out as I read the installments you included, Neph.

        • sonny says:

          🙂 I just saw your reply. You’re very welcome, Karl.. I feel so much of my sentiments resonating with your dad’s points. With you around him, I feel more secure that his thoughts and yours will not just fade away. My dad was not as readily to communicate his experiences as a young man caught up in the events of his day (his teens and war-years and military career). I sense that there were hardships and pain associated with his memories, enough to inhibit them from sharing w/me or my siblings. I hope your dad will continue to be less inhibited than mine was. My dad’s remembrances went with his passing.

          For now, I hope I can organize my own syntheses and share them such as they are as we (you, Irineo, me) have started at Irineo’s blog and Joe’s TSH.

          • sonny says:

            Karl, PS.

            Pls preserve the USec’s thoughts on “the defense of the Philippine Archipelago.”

            • karlgarcia says:

              I read your draft emailed to me and Irineo and I suggest you work on it, submit it to either TSH and/or Filipinogerman learning center.
              Joe discourages duplicates so I suggest two versions.
              Its rich in history.

              Life is short. Bring it on!

            • karlgarcia says:

              Uncle Sonny, I found an audience in you and you are more than enough for me to decide to share the rest little by little.

              We are here to learn, and kakapalan ko na ang mukha ko ulit sa pag post ng mga ito.


              Maritime domain is “all areas and things of, on, under, relating to, adjacent to, or bordering on a sea, ocean, or other navigable waterway, including maritime related activities, infrastructure, people, cargo, and vessels and other conveyances”. (14)

              Maritime domain awareness is indispensable to maritime security and necessary to interagency cooperation. That domain is a unique archipelago, a classic archipelagic state, and a quintessential coastal nation.

              Historical and cultural dimensions

              The national anthem sang before 1946 in English has a line: “Never shall invaders trample thy sacred shores”. It was not sacred seas. There was no romance of a “Mare Nostrum” of a coastal people that sang in Latin, before Spanish and English.

              But there was a romance of Juan de Salcedo, the nephew of Legazpi with the niece of Lakandula, named Candarapa, according to Quijano de Manila. And the alias of the flagship captain of the San Juan de Letran, who named our islands after King Philip of Spain, was Calabasa. Our history seemed to be: “Calabasa na, Candarapa pa”. (15)

              Levity aside, it is said that colonialism robbed our people of the maritime spirit. Our ancestors were slaved to build ships that were “the best in the universe” and man them but not to command them. (16) Probably Magellan could have defeated Lapulapu earlier if he sought the advice of Rajah Humabon as to tides and currents, costing him the use of his naval gunfire. Martin de Goite defeated Rajah Lakandula and later Rajah Macabebe at the sea Battle of Tondo with the help of the Visayan Pintados. While the historian de los Reyes did not agree with Rizal’s annotation of Morga, I wanted to believe that we needed sea stories to love the sea a little more. Alas, the percentage of Filipinos that know how to swim is too unbelievably low. More Filipino go to the beaches to eat than to swim at the risk of their complexion damaged by sun and sea. But they would risk skin cancer to play golf.

              Our damaged maritime cultural unravel in the heroic struggle of a group to build a “balangay” boat of our ancestors and sail them, manned by PCG personnel that climb the Everest, nationwide and in the region. The boat yard is the Cultural Center of the Philippines near the Philippine Navy and Manila Yacht Club. The PN and PCG are the poorest in the region but the Manila Yacht Club has the poorest boats in quantity and quality, moored at a concessional lease for 50 years from the government of a people not too aware of its maritime domain.

              In a draft prologue of a paper on the national interest, I painted a surreal myth of how the defeat of the Spanish Armada could have been avenged. There was a Spanish princess (infanta), daughter of Philip II called Filipina because of a cute pug nose. I suggested that Legazpi and Goiti could have recruited Visayan Pintados and Moro Tausogs to man the Spanish Fleet. Filipinas I could have deposed Elizabeth I of England and Filipina would not be the word for domestic helpers and Filipino for cooks and stewards aboard foreign vessels. (17)

              Our maritime history could use some mythology but the geography is real.


              The Philippines that was sold by Spain to US for 20M dollars is now a unique archipelago, the classic archipelagic state, and the quintessential coastal nation were described earlier. But the geography was not exactly like that in 1898 although the 1996 satellite image seemed to be similar to 1899 Atlas de Filipinas – Mapa General. Figure 6.

              The 1898 Treaty of Paris used an inaccurate map excluding portions of the Basco waters with the northern boundary below what was written as 21 degrees 5 minutes latitude. The 1900 Treaty between US and Spain was unable to correct the anomaly until discovered just before the 1935 Constitutional Convention. Then a US-UK convention was signed in 1930 on several islands and waters in southwestern Philippines but did not take up Sabah. Meanwhile the Dutch and Indonesians continued to occupy Las Palmas within the Treaty of Paris southeast of Davao while Mindanao could not be populated enough until that rich fishing island was lost. (X) However, the KIG at the SCS was declared as Philippine territory in 1978 by PD 1596 under protest of at least four other claimants and Scarborough under protest by China. Our geographic domain is in troubled waters.

              In 2009, RA 9522, RP Baselines Law was enacted to harmonize existing laws – RA 3046 as amended by RA 5446 – with UNCLOS with policy imperatives declared by the Marine and Ocean Affairs Commission (MOAC) as follows: (18)

              First, RP is an archipelago and an archipelagic coastal state of 7,100 islands; 31,800 km of coastline; and 62 of 71 provinces are along the coast. Figure 7.

              Second, RP is geo-strategically located at the heart of Southeast Asia – Lying between 21*5’N and 4*23’N, and 116*E and 127*E and surrounded by three prominent waters: the Pacific Ocean on the East, the SCS on the West, and Celebes Sea on the South. Figure 8.

              Third, RP is at the crossroad of major international routes. More than half of the world’s tankers estimated to contain 353.42 thousand barrels of oil pass every year through the Straits of Malacca and Singapore and Sunda and Lombok Straits, with majority continuing on to the South China Sea. Figure 9.

              Fourth, the waters of Southwest RP are a hotbed of geological resources and activity. There is a high potential for the area to yield oil and gas. Figure 10.

              Fifth, RP is the “center of center of marine biodiversity” having the highest in the world. RP hosts a greater part of the Coral Triangle, which is the ocean space with the highest degree of biological diversity. It is the spawning grounds of the world’s tuna fish and supply of the world’s harvest. Figure 11.

              Accordingly, the maritime zones and jurisdiction of the Philippines as filed with UN is shown in Figure X. The area of the archipelagic waters plus territorial sea over which RP has sovereign power to enforce the laws is about 690T km square or more than twice the land area of 300T km square. The area of the contiguous zone plus EEZ over which RP has the sovereign rights to exploit resources is 1.3M km square. The total is a huge water area of 2M km square to cover with surface and sub-surface and aerial surveillance and patrol. The PN and PCG, not to mention the Mari-Group PNP, and PAF have too much to cooperate about. Figure 12.

              The enclosed and semi-enclosed nature of the mid-ocean archipelago created many channels and straits as entry and exit points of international shipping routes that are also choke points. Figure 13. Five of these coke points are critical for naval defense.

              Because UNCLOS grant innocent passage and archipelagic sea lane passage to all ships, the maritime domain must designate sea lanes. Figure 14. Because the Philippines have been granted primary jurisdiction over archipelagic waters, RP may exercise the actions as shown in Figure 15.

              RP domain has overlapping EEZ with several countries. Figure 16. And all of its borders are on water. With the regime of islands at KIG, there are overlapping EEZ among the five (5) claimants within the larger EEZ overlap. There is much more in the continental shelf (CS) and extended continental shelf (ECS)

              Related maritime domain activities

              They are the infrastructure, people, vessels, cargos and other conveyances. They are the ports and harbors, beach tourist resources, shipyards, etc. They are flag and port state vessels that ply our waters with passengers and material cargos, legal or illegal. They are the border crossing stations, navigational aids, coast watch stations, vessel traffic and monitor systems, etc. They are the fishing boats and maritime research vessels.

              Maritime domain challenges

              While less traditional concerns pose a more immediate threat, traditional conflict cannot be ruled out considering the serious implications of the proximity of international sea lanes. Territorial disputes with significant maritime dimensions resurfaced when China protested RP assertion of sovereignty over the KIG and Scarborough as “regime of islands” in the 2009 Baselines law, after the option not to enclose the same within the baselines in consideration with the over-lapping claims of China and other countries. Vietnam followed likewise.

              Additionally, there are concerns on over-lapping claims to EEZ. These concerns are characterized by the anticipated vast reserves of petroleum and gas and the strategic location for sea lane control and surface and sub-surface warfare. Any escalation could affect the huge volume of shipping with serious consequences. Last but not the least is the outstanding claim to Sabah.

              Terrorism by Al-Qaida, JI, ASG, and MILF have all been suspected of planning and executing maritime attacks and the use of the sea to transport weapons, forces, and raise funds. The most successful was the ASG raid of Ipil in 1995; Sipadan kidnapping and hostage-taking in 2000; Dos Palmas kidnapping in 2001; suspected MILF bombing of the Lady Mediatrix ferry in 2001; and the confirmed ASG claim of bombing a Super Ferry near Manila in 2006. The productive oil and gas rigs are potential targets as well.
              Transnational crimes are non-traditional concerns. Routes in Celebes and Sulu seas are known to move persons, explosives, and firearms between Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Piracy and robbery at sea are growing more violent and complex. Crew members and passengers have been made hostage by pirates and ransomed from hidden jungle lairs. Piracy is said to have a nexus with terrorism. Minister Tony Tan of Singapore said: “Pirate attacks could be a training-run for a future terrorist mission.” (19) Maritime pilferage mostly oil products together with its smuggling is believed to amount to tens of billions of Pesos.

              As the RMSI Concept Paper stated, maritime threats include terrorist and other illicit transnational maritime activities. They exploit the maritime environment that permits ease and non-transparency of movement. The nature of maritime threats “will change in the future as a result if increased maritime security activities”. Thus, the RMSI suggested: “We must continue to identify these changes and adapt maritime security activities to the evolving threat or we risk increased illicit exploitation of the maritime domain”. (20)

              Environmental harm through the destruction of reefs and corrals and overexploitation of fishing areas are immensely contributing to poverty and exacerbating domestic violence. Figure X. Foreign trawlers have been targeted in southern Philippines because they are perceived as holding advantage in the traditional Moro fishing areas. The rapid depletion of fishing stocks has been the cause of “friendly” encounters between the RP and RI navies. (21)

              Maritime disasters made the Philippines the disaster capital of the world after the Doña Paz sinking and lately the “Princess of the Stars”. Figure 16. Even land disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, floods, landslides, and man-made calamities are rescued and assisted through the sea. The earlier sinking of MT Solarz I off the Coast of Guimaras and the huge oil spill, was an ecological and environmental disaster that highlighted “the benign neglect with which the government has tended to treat maritime and ocean matters”. (22)

              The challenges magnified with the 2009 Baselines Law as we asserted our sovereignty over KIG and Scarborough that China claimed as its own while engaging in a declaration of amity over the contested SCS area. Over and above the transnational and non-traditional threats to our maritime security is a territorial dispute with China as well. Then there are the overlapping claims to a huge EEZ and ECS and establishment of sea-lanes passages in the territorial and archipelagic waters. Figure 17.

              Maritime domain awareness

              In a US National Plan to Achieve Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA), MDA was describe as “the effective understanding of anything associated with the maritime domain that could impact the security, safety, economy, or environment of the United States”. (23) Even for a maritime power like the US, MDA is considered extremely difficult. But two elements of the MDA initiative has been earlier recognized, both requiring interagency cooperation: Information collection and Information sharing. (24) They are true for international cooperation and truer for national interagency cooperation. It may be the litmus test of interagency cooperation.

              The said MDA in our case, however, is not preceded by an adequate maritime consciousness of our maritime history and culture and updating of our national marine policies and its information.


              The Constitution

              The Preamble of the Constitution has been cited for fundamental policy guidance on maritime security and cooperation. Article I of the Charter is National Territory – the piece de resistance of maritime security. However, the conversion of the internal waters by the RP Baselines Law into archipelagic waters and the reduction of our Treaty of Paris territorial sea into the UNCLOS territorial sea by 15T square miles have been questioned before the Supreme Court.

              Article II Section 3 has mandated the lead armed agency for the security of the sovereignty of the State and the integrity of the national territory – the AFP that has then the PN, PNP, and PCG. The transfer out of PNP and PCG made them at least support agencies. The same Section also mandates that the AFP is “the protector of the people and the State”, but Article II Section 4 mandates that “The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people”. The State is people, territory, and Government and the AFP is an agency of government.

              Article II Section 5 mandated that the principles of “maintenance of peace and order” and the “protection of life, liberty, and property” are essential for the enjoyment of the people of the blessings of democracy. The maintenance of peace and order in the in the coastal waters would be a function of MARI-GROUP PNP as lead agency and PN and PCG as support agencies. The protection of life and property at sea (SOLAS) under existing laws and international conventions is deputized to PCG by MARINA.

              Article XII Section 2 mandates that: “The State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in the archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens”. This is a tall order for maritime security and necessitates the utmost cooperation of all maritime agencies and non-government organizations.


              The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was covered earlier in Parts I and II as to implications to maritime security. It should be noted, however, that RP registered eight (8) reservations when it ratified the LOSC on May 8, 1984. See Appendix X. RP had explicitly guaranteed to allow the right of innocent passage within its internal waters and manifested desire to harmonize municipal laws with the LOSC as early as 1988. (25)

              The necessary cooperation of states and agencies is covered in Article 123. The global cooperation initiatives to enhance maritime security using UNCLOS and other international, regional, and bilateral frameworks follow:


              In the international scale, notable was the initiative by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for an International Ships and Ports Security (ISPS) Code that was in effect in 2004. In 2008, the 9th Session of the UN Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and Law of the Sea was held in New York with the theme of “Maritime Security and Safety: Enhancing Cooperation, Coordination, Integration, and Increasing Capacity Building”. The session stressed the pro-active approach to emerging maritime security threats that requires “establishment of a robust partnership with international partners based on a shared commitment to strengthen the capacity of the global maritime system”. The theme was a “cooperative and coordinated approach” by “sharing maritime security best practices”. (26) It would seem that cooperation is necessary because coordination, integration and capacity building are wanting on one hand but more effective when the said strands are tied to each other.


              In the regional scale, the APEC held a High Level Meeting on Maritime Security Cooperation 8-9 September 2003 in Manila. There were 300 participants from 21 APEC economies, IMO, ILO, Council for Security Cooperation (CSCAP), Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), etc sharing the “best practices in maritime security” and anticipating the July 2004 global implementation of the International Ships and Ports Security (ISPS) code. The RP DOTC Secretary delivered the keynote address “highlighting international cooperation against maritime terrorist threats in APEC”. The participants have committed future actions in which the committed tasks of RP were: (1) Creation of an interagency maritime preparedness team, (2) Training seminar on the 2004 ISPS code, and (3) Building a “model secure port”. (27)

              In the ASEAN level, a Concept Paper for the establishment of an ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) was adopted on 9 May 2006 to “further complement other efforts in the region in promoting regional peace and security cooperation”. In November 2007 a Three Year Work Programme was adopted by ADMM, on non-traditional security issues under several “cooperative headings” in order to seek and identify appropriate approaches and mechanisms for inter-organizational support “to fulfill and uphold the purposes and principles of the ASEAN Charter”. In this connection, a Concept Paper for the establishment of cooperation between ASEAN Defense and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on non-traditional security was drafted on 19 August 2008. (28)

              In the 5th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting in Australia 2007, a Transportation Working Group (TPT-WG) was formed to work on transport facilitation, safety and security. It was followed in 2008 in Peru, where the Maritime Security Experts’ Group pursued cooperation, coordination, integration and enhancing capacity building as earlier initiated by the UN. The 6th Transportation Ministerial Meeting was scheduled to be held in Cebu, Philippines in April 2009 on seamless transportation system, and maritime safety and security. A follow-up meeting is scheduled be held in Singapore in July 2009.

              In March 11-15, 2008, Maritime Security Cooperation and Confidence Building Measures (CBM) was the subject of a forum of 26 defense scholars from ASEAN and China held in Beijing. One of the papers read was “Cooperation between Regional Navies to Enhance Maritime Security” by Senior Colonel Junshen of the PLA Navy “to encourage building of a fair and effective collective security mechanism and CBM in order to prevent conflicts and wars”. It was recalled that in 2005, the US and Singapore hosted the ARF on “Regional Cooperation on Maritime Security”.

              In the said ARF meeting, the call for cooperation was loud and clear in the papers presented: “Coordinating mechanism of Offshore Search and Rescue Operations”, by China; “Information Sharing between National Maritime Agencies”, by India; and “Coast Guard cooperation with Asian countries”, by Japan. The IMO Secretary General delivered the Keynote address: “Multi-lateral Cooperation in Maritime Security”. It was recalled that a “Regional Cooperation Agreement on Controlling Piracy and Armed Robbery in Asia (RECAAP) has established an Information Sharing Centre (ISC). (29)

              In 2004, the US launched the Regional Maritime Security Initiative (RMSI) as mentioned earlier to foster sharing of information. Then it promoted the so-called “alphabet soup” of anti-terrorism focused cooperation in South East Asia, namely, Container Security Initiative (CSI) and Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). In April 2004, a joint US-ASEAN workshop on “Enhancing Maritime Anti-Piracy and Counter-Terrorism Cooperation in the ASEAN Region” reflected the US commitment to maritime security cooperation. The RMSI listed the following cooperative security activities: (30)
              ​Bilateral and Multilateral Exercises
              ​Container Security Initiative (CSI)
              ​Counterdrug (CD) Operations
              ​Customs-Trade Partnership versus Terrorism (C-TPAT)
              ​International Port Security Program (IPSP)
              ​International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code
              ​Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)
              ​Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA)
              ​Multinational Planning Augmentation Team (MPAT)
              ​Regional Cooperation Agreement on Anti-Piracy (RECAAP)
              ​Secure Trade in the APEC Region (STAR)

              In the Malay areas of ASEAN, the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) was formed from 1992-94. While the immediate goal of BIMP cooperation is to increase trade, investments, and tourism, the effort to establish sea linkages and people mobility coordination depend on maritime security and safety cooperation. (31)


              In the bilateral level, RP has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Malaysia and formed a Working Group for Military Cooperation (WGMC) that led to naval exercises between the Philippine and Malaysian Navies to promote CBM and interoperability. A similar MOU exists between Indonesia and the Philippines that cover the Border Crossing Stations and border patrol naval exercises. (32)

              For non-traditional security threats and that are mostly maritime the Philippines and US has a Security Engagement Board (SEB) that is the same Mutual Defense Board (MDB) for traditional security concerns. The bi-lateral training exercises being held yearly is called “Balikatan” (Shoulder to shoulder), cooperative as named. Similarly, RP has extensive defense cooperation with Australia with a VFA sooner or later. (17) The MDB emanated from the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) with US oriented to a Cold War with then communist countries and SEB was a development of the non-traditional threats to security.

              In a visit to Australia in April 2005, SND was presented a proposed template for integration of maritime agencies. At the 2nd RP-Australia Defense Cooperation Working Group Meeting in August 2005 SND expressed keen interest in the establishment of a national maritime monitoring and surveillance mechanism. In an annual gathering of Asia Pacific Defense Chiefs June 2005 in Singapore SND raised the focus on the need “to enhance cooperation among littoral states in providing maritime security in critical maritime domains”. In this connection, three (3) Multilateral Marine Security Workshops have been held 2005-2007 all focused on cooperation. (33)


              The framework for maritime security suffers from the lack of voluntary issuance and updating of a national security strategy. The US, as adopted at least in part by several states in Asia, has an array of strategies as required by law. It has a National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy, National Military Strategy, and National Strategy for Maritime Security. The latest addition, as mentioned earlier, that has made waves internationally is “Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Sea Power”. (34) Cooperation seems to get as much prominence as maritime security strategy.

              In our jurisdiction there is no law that mandates the publication of national security strategy and maritime strategy. The National Defense Act of 1935 that was a program to defend the country by land forces has not been updated.

              Defense Policy Paper

              In the Philippines, the 1998 Defense Policy Paper that was written under the gun of the ASEAN secretariat was written without a National Security Strategy. As of this writing, that White Paper has not been formally updated. It would seem that in this jurisdiction security strategy has become too complex because security studies have assumed too many dimensions to the point of intellectual incoherence. Another alibi was the perennial hiatus between strategic objectives and the resources made available. But an explanation by the National Security Adviser that strategic planning in RP is almost impossible because we are always in crisis could not be disregarded. (35)

              National Marine Policy

              With that state of national security studies, maritime security studies could not be too close behind. But in 1994, four years earlier than the Defense Policy Paper (DPP) a National Marine Policy (NMP) was issued. Maritime security for the first and last time as of this writing was defined: “A state wherein the country’s marine assets, maritime practices, territorial integrity and coastal peace and order are protected, conserved, and enhanced.” The NMP aimed to: (36)
              1. Emphasize the archipelagic nature of the Philippines in development.
              2. Implement the UNCLOS within the framework of the NMP.
              3. Coordinate and consult with the concerned and affected sectors.
              4. View coastal areas as a locus of community, ecology, and resources.
              5. Address the following priority issues:
              a. Extent of national territory
              b. Protection of the marine ecology
              c. Management of the marine economy and technology
              d. Maritime security

              While maritime security and safety is a concern of the said first three priority objectives, maritime security is the last item. In turn, the maritime security aspect has the following priority concern: “To promote and enhance maritime security as a component of national security”. Be that as it was, the NMP has a key feature: “The cooperative and coordinated effort of all maritime agencies”. (37)

              In 1999, the Cabinet Committee on Marine and Ocean Affairs approved a 13-point priority work program with the updating of the NMP as the first priority and the information dissemination of the NMP as the 13th: (38)

              1. Updating of the National Marine Policy
              2. Determination of Archipelagic Base points / Baselines
              3. Delineation / Demarcation of Territorial and Maritime Jurisdictions
              4. Delimitation of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf
              5. Designation of Archipelagic Sea lanes
              6. Negotiations with Relevant States for Delineation of Territorial / Maritime Boundaries
              7. Negotiations with Relevant States for Joint Development and / or Joint Cooperation Arrangements for Exploration / Exploitation / Conservation of Living or Non-living Resources in Overlapping Territorial or Maritime Jurisdictions
              8. Establishment of National Capability for a Monitoring, Control and Surveillance System (MCS)
              9. Conclusion of Agreements with other Countries for Cooperation in Marine Scientific Research and the Development and Transfer of Marine Technology
              10. Protection and Preservation of the Marine Environment
              11. Resolution of Piracy and Sea Robbery Problems in Regional Seas and Philippine Ports and Waters
              12. Formal Establishment of Tie-ups and Networking Between CABCOM-MOA and Centers of Excellence, NGOs, and Private Sector Entities on Maritime and Ocean Affairs
              13. Information Dissemination of the National Marine Policy

              Of the thirteen (13) items of the NMP wish plan, only the passage of the Baselines Law in implementation of UNCLOS has been achieved. The designation and control of archipelagic sea lanes would be a crucial initiative for interagency cooperation.

              National Internal Security Plan (NISP)

              The NISP developed a so-called Strategy of Holistic Approach (SHA) with the following components: legal, political and diplomatic; peace and order and security; socio-economic and psycho-social; and information.

              The security component calls for armed intervention in land conflict areas. The most recent update to this plan, now called the Enhanced NISP (E-NISP) on insurgency revolves around five (5) offensives to the SHA mentioned earlier and three (3) programs. (X) Perhaps the fourth program should be Maritime Security. (39)

              National Plan to Address Terrorism and its Consequences (NPTC)

              While the country was reeling from the 2004 Super Ferry bombing later admitted by the Abu Sayaf, PGMA established an Anti-Terrorism Task Force (ATTF) that pursued a 16-point anti-terrorism agenda. (X) None of the items is directly related to maritime security. Item 15 called for the modernizing of the Police and Armed Forces, the Coast Guard excluded. Yet all the major acts of terrorism were maritime terrorist acts, namely, the bombing of Lady Mediatrix and Doña Ramona before the Super Ferry, and the hostage abduction of the Sipadan and Dos Palmas. (40)

              National Anti-Terrorism Strategy

              Of the thirty nine (39) items of the strategy there were only three items related to maritime security. Collaboration, however, is one of the three guiding concepts. In the Protect component, “collective and cooperative efforts” is one of the fourteen (14) items and in the Collaborate component, “coordination and cooperation cover a broad range of aspects of the strategy”. The structure of this strategy will be covered later, to show the maritime security participation. (41)

              Coast Watch South “maritime security construct”

              DND from 2006 to date adopted a “maritime security construct” adopted from the “Australian Border Protection model administered through the Australian Border Protection Command which is a partnership between the Australian Navy and the Australian Coast Watch of the Australian Customs”. See Figure X.

              Seemingly, the Australian model was inspired by the US PACOM RMSI as depicted earlier in Figure X, except that it added to the template “Legal authority and Jurisdiction” in the Philippine adaptation. The maritime security spectrum of the RMSI “encompass the fill range of law enforcement and military activities aimed at monitoring maritime traffic, identifying and preventing illegitimate activities and if necessary, resolving crises in the maritime environment”.

              Maritime security concept

              The maritime security concepts of the NMP and the RMSI satisfy the development and security concerns of maritime policy and the importance of interagency cooperation. But as an award-winning thesis at NDCP in 2008 asserted that: “a strategic definition of maritime security, injecting therein socio-cultural, environmental, political, and technological dimensions to go with the traditional military and economic dimensions” has been provided by the NMP. His lamentation was that: “Sad to say, this policy was never translated into a more concrete national maritime strategy”. (42)

              The sad refrain is that we do not have a national strategy. That is too much to accept considering that a strategy is nothing but ends, ways, and means. Obviously, we have an abundance of ends and shortage in means. The imbalances we are not too open to admit to the extent that some hodgepodge of ends and means are hidden from public view by classifying something the enemy may not be too keen to know by the classification of Secret or expanded in abundantly in too many dimensions. Yet the Constitution mandates that the President make annually a State of the Nation address (SONA) that is a national strategy.

              Other countries, the US included, have long resolved this so-called absence of a strategy by mandating its periodic issuance and publication. Absent that publication we have maritime security concepts to serve as bases for the enhancement of maritime security. It tells on our maritime security structure. A summary matrix of strategic and policy frameworks is shown in Appendix X.

              • karlgarcia says:


                At the apex of the maritime security structure is the President and Commander in Chief. In a 2006 report to the President, USND indicated that “governance in our maritime domain is undertaken through at least twelve (12) Departments, eighteen (18) line agencies and attached bureaus and four (4) other agencies and bodies created for specific maritime-related concern”, with Councils and Commissions atop. (43)

                Vertically, these agencies are policy, management, and operating levels. Horizontally, they are lead, supporting, or supported agencies as mandated by presidential decrees, congressional legislation, executive orders, or memorandum of agreements.

                Brief historical background

                The maritime security structure from the American colonial period began in 1901 with the Bureau of Coast Guard and Transportation under the Bureau of Commerce and Police. The Coast Guard (CG) was the maritime law enforcement arm of the colony with an initial fleet of fifteen (15) Chinese and Japanese built steamers. It commenced with a range of sea-going functions which included policing against illegal maritime entrants and providing sealift to the Philippine Constabulary (PC). (44)

                The PC was preceded by the Philippine Scouts activated to assist the US military forces in suppressing Filipino resistance against US occupation. With the reluctance of US military forces to address growing problems of law and order, the Philippine Commission decided to establish an insular police force to complement the local police force under the Department of Interior. The police and scouts have a lot of problems from insurgents on land to worry about the maritime sector.

                In 1905, the CG was abolished and its functions absorbed by the Bureau of Navigation. In 1913 it was dissolved with its maritime police functions under the Revenue Cutter Service and its Lighthouse Service split between the Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Public Works. Eventually these Services were absorbed by the Philippine Naval Patrol, the forerunner of the PN.​

                In 1935, the PN was a support unit of the Philippine Army under the National Defense Act that envisioned to defend the nation by land forces, to include the integration of the PC to the Defense Department from the then Department of Interior. It was only in the 1950’s that PN became one of the four major services of the expanded AFP that was engaged in an insurgency war against the HUKs. The navy and air force were but supporting services to the army.

                The event that could have shifted our security attention to territorial defense was the manifestation in the 1960’s by President Diosdado Macapagal of the Philippine claim to Sabah in the islands of Borneo. He played a role in the successful negotiation with the British for the return of the Turtle Islands, within 10 miles of Sabah, before he became President. Earlier, Las Palmas that is within the Treaty of Paris southeast of Davao was lost by default to the Indonesians without a whimper. But catalyst for maritime territorial security, they were not.

                It was when President Marcos took over that a scheme to pursue the Sabah claim by means other than diplomacy was exposed by the opposition. Earlier in the SONA before Congress he called for the activation of a Coast Guard. In 1967, PCG was activated by an act of Congress as the lead agency for maritime safety, environmental protection, and maritime law enforcement of the country. The placement of the PCG under the Navy as it was done earlier by the integration of the PC with the AFP was to gain access to the US military assistance program.

                Recognizing the need to further strengthen the PCG, Marcos issued PD 601 to separate the coast guard from the navy and to place it under the direct supervision and control of SND in 1974. PD 601 provided for the consolidation of all functions related to safety at sea and the enforcement of all pertinent laws at sea to one agency. But soon enough PCG was back as unit of the PN.

                When Marcos was ousted in 1986, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) was created and eventually after 1987 the PC was taken out of the AFP and renamed Philippine National Police (PNP). Then MARINA was created taking out the control of commercial shipping from the PCG together with regulatory and enforcement functions.

                Under the Ramos administration, relative internal stability, economic progress, departure of the US forces, and continued Chinese intrusions in the maritime area led to a refocus of attention to territorial defense and the possibility of the modernization of PN that included the PCG. But the 1997 Asian financial crisis rudely interrupted and the twin insurgencies regained momentum. In 1998, the AFP reassumed the lead on Internal Security operations that was previously assigned to PNP in 1990.

                The law creating the PNP in 1990 contained a provision creating the PNP Maritime Group. It was a compromise from the original scheme to absorb the PCG ostensibly in line with the provision of the 1987 Constitution mandating a “one police force”. Thusly, the sea-going services became three (3), namely PN, PCG, and PNP Maritime Group. Later BFAR would be acquiring fisheries control vessels to be manned by PCG personnel. Otherwise the maritime security establishment would have “four navies”, all under-capacity units.

                Absorbed with a largely twin land insurgency and Abu Sayaf terrorism, not only the capacity-building of maritime agencies is suffering but their legal mandates and jurisdiction as well. The PCG bill to rationalize its transfer to DOTC in 1998 by executive order is still pending in Congress. So are the bills for a Department of Maritime Affairs, amendment to NDCC, Admiralty Court, Maritime Code, Philippine Maritime Commission, and Commission for Marine and Ocean Affairs that was created by an executive order. There are many more to review and analyze.

                National Security Council

                The National Security Council (NSC) is the principal advisory body on the proper coordination and integration of plans and policies affecting national security. The President chairs the NSC reestablished by Executive Order in 1986 to include a National Security Adviser (NSA) that is also Director of the NSC Secretariat, the Vice-President, Executive Secretary, SND, SDFA, SDILG, SDOJ, and CSAFP. The Administrative Code of 1987 authorized the President to designate additional members of the NSC. PCCA convened the NSC twice. PFVR designated former Presidents and the Chairs of the Defense Committees of both Houses of Congress as members. PJEE convened NSC with full membership during his impeachment crisis. PGMA convened the same post 9/11 but thereafter only the members of the Cabinet Committee on Internal Security (CABCOM-IS). The NSC and CABCOM-IS do not include the Secretary of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), ostensibly the lead Cabinet Department on maritime security, up to now.

                Maritime and Ocean Affairs Commission

                PGMA abolished in 2001 the Cabinet Committee on the Treaty of the Law of the Sea (CABCOM – LOS) created by Marcos and maintained by Aquino, Ramos, and Estrada. It was replaced by a mid-level Maritime and Ocean Affairs Centre as a unit of DFA. In 2007, PGMA by executive order created the Maritime and Ocean Affairs Commission (MOAC), the proposed legislation pending in Congress. It was explained that: With the country’s financial condition now improving, various issues related to oceans and maritime policy that affect the Philippines as an archipelago demand no less than a dedicated and focused expert office with ample resources to address the multi-faceted aspects of maritime concerns”. (45) The former MOAC DFA was made to serve as the Secretariat.

                Headed by the Executive Secretary with the Secretaries of Foreign Affairs and Justice as Vice-Chairmen, the members are the National Security Adviser, SDND, SDILG, SDOTC (not member of NSC), SDENR (not member of NSC), SDOT, SDTI, SDBM, BFAR Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, and Commandant PCG. FOIC PN is not a member. SDOE was finally included by Executive Order 612A in December 2007. But DOF/BUCUS and DH/BQ to network with DOTC/PPA for CIQS are missing.

                Anti-Terrorism Council

                The Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) is headed by the ES as Chairperson and Secretary of Justice as Vice-Chair. The members are the heads of DFA, DND, DILG, DOF, NSA and Office of Transport Security (OTS) DOTC as non-voting member. Just like the NSC, the Secretary DOTC is not a member.

                The support agencies belong to the member-agencies: NBI, BI, OCD, ISAFP, AMLC, PCTC, and PNP Intelligence and Investigative elements. If Secretary DOTC is a member of ATC, as it should be, OTS could be a support agency.

                The National Counter-Terrorism Action Group (NACTAG), under the direct supervision of the ATC Chairman, was created and organized to respond to specific and /or significant terrorist events before and after. The intervention of NACTAG related to maritime security occurs on massive disruption of mass transportation and communication; hijacking and hostage-taking of sea vessel; and other terrorist attacks that threaten public safety and security.

                National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC)

                As the name implies, it coordinates the preparedness for, prevention of, mitigation of, and responses to disasters, natural or man-made. With SND as Head, it was created by PD 1566 to be composed of eighteen (18) agencies plus CSAFP, PNRC, PIA, with Administrator OCD as Executive Officer. It operates through member agencies and local networks. A bill for a National Disaster Risk Management System (RDSMS) to amend PD 1566 has passed the Senate Committee. However, it increased the number of agencies concerned to twenty seven.

                Department of National Defense (DND)

                The SND is a member of all the policy councils commission for national security in general and maritime security in particular; the Chair of the NDCC with Administrator Office of Civil Defense (OCD) as the Executive Officer; and Co-Chair with NSA of the National Coast Watch Council. Under DND is the AFP that is the lead agency for the security of the integrity of the national territory. As mentioned earlier, the sea is more than six (6) times the land territory of RP.

                At the time of the 1987 Constitution, the AFP was composed of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Constabulary, and Coast Guard. By 1992 and 1998, the Constabulary and Coast Guard respectively were transferred out of the AFP. The AFP, however, has the PN assisted by the PAF for maritime territorial defense and further assisted by PNP MARI-GROUP DILG and PCG DOTC.

                Specifically, PN is tasked to perform the following: (46)
                1. Secure the border areas from smuggling, piracy, drug trafficking, poaching and other illegal activities;
                2. Protect the EEZ from illegal intrusion and exploitation of resources;
                3. Assist in the protection of the country’s natural resources and environment; and
                4. Assist in national economic development, to include relief and rescue during disaster and calamities.

                The PN is the supporting agency among others of the following:
                • BFAR – Fisheries Law enforcement
                • PPA – Port and Harbor security
                • MARINA – Safety of life at sea
                • BUCUS – Customs enforcement
                • BIQHS – Quarantine
                • NAMRIA – Hydrographic survey
                • DENR – Marine environmental protection
                • OTS DOTC – Marine transportation security
                • PCG DOTC – Coast Guard functions
                • MARIGROUP PNP – Coastal peace and order

                Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)

                The SDILG is a member of all the Councils and Commission on maritime security. The PNP was the former PC-INP under AFP/DND that was transferred to DILG to be under the Police Commission with SDILG as Chairman. Under PNP is the Maritime Group with mission and functions in Appendix X.

                The MARI-GROUP PNP is a supporting agency among others of the following:
                1. BFAR – Fisheries Law enforcement
                2. PPA – Port and Harbor security
                3. DENR – Marine Environmental protection
                4. OTS DOTC – Marine Transportation security

                Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC)

                The SDOTC is a member of the MOAC and NDCC but not the NSC and the Anti-Terrorism Council. But under the administrative supervision of SDOTC are the three vital agencies of maritime safety and security, namely MARINA, PPA, and PCG. Their missions and functions are in Appendix X.

                MARINA is the lead agency for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) with PCG and PN as supporting agencies and BUCUS and PPA as supported agencies. It is supporting agency of OTS DOTC on Marine Transportation security and with BUCUS and BID as supported agencies.

                PPA is the lead agency for Port and Harbor security with PCG and MARIGRP PNP as supporting agencies and BUCUS, BID, MARINA, NICA, and ATTF as supported agencies.

                PCG supports PN for naval defense and supports each other for border crossing stations, coast watch stations, navigational aids, marine environmental protection, disaster rescue and relief, oil pollution from ship source, etc. It is supporting agency of the following lead agencies:
                1. BFAR – Fisheries Law enforcement
                2. PPA – Ports and Harbor security
                3. MARINA – jointly on Safety of Life at Sea
                4. BUCUS – Customs Law enforcement
                5. BIQHS – Quarantine
                6. NAMRIA – Hydrographic survey
                7. DENR – Marine environmental protection
                8. OTS DOTC – Marine transportation security

                Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
                The SDENR is a member of all the Councils and Commission for maritime security. As lead agency for Marine Environmental protection, it has National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), Prohibited Areas and Wildlife Bureau, Environmental Management Bureau, and Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau.

                Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)

                The BFAR is the lead agency for Fisheries Law enforcement supported by PN, PCG, and PNP MARIGRP with LGUs as supported agencies.

                Other Departments and Agencies

                There are many other departments and/or agencies that have maritime concerns as cooperating agencies, if not also lead, supporting, or supported agencies. The summary of agency deputation is in Appendix X.

                The enlarged maritime security establishment

                They include the whole-of-government, non-government organizations, civil society, shipyards, shipping companies, offshore mining companies, fishing fleets, beach tourist resorts, and the media. A matrix of lead, supporting, and supported agencies and their mandated tasks is in Appendix X.


                To be sure, the maritime security structure was hard put to respond to the challenges of the maritime domain. It did not have ample resources to be able and ready to operate and cooperate. The norms of cooperation are inadequate to mitigate turf sensitivities aggravated by fiscal shortages and resource competition not to mention the cultural obstacles to the cooperative movements that remains pervasive. Numerous and overlapping agencies chase the scarce peso and the elusive glory. International and regional maritime cooperation can only do so much for demonstration effect or sources for capacity-building.

                The cooperation dilemma is that it is a problem before it becomes a solution. A review of our instructive experiences in maritime cooperation at all levels would help address the problem. Common to all the levels of cooperation are intelligence gathering and intelligence sharing – the universal starting point for cooperation. But here the “golden rule” prevails: Those that did have the gold cooperate.

                The frameworks for cooperation are at the policy level, Inter- Council/Commission members; management level, inter-Department and intra-Department; operating level, interagency as task-organized and/or as lead, supported, and supported.

                Policy level

                National Security Council

                In a national condition that the incumbent NSA described as in perpetual crisis, or words that effect, the NSC met but rarely and when it did by its cabinet national security cluster. The President is authorized by the 1987 Administrative Code to invite former Presidents and Chairpersons of the Committees of National Defense and Security of both Houses.

                Under the Ramos presidency the NSC met in full and more frequent in addition to the Legislative-Executive Committee (LEDAC). The Cabinet Committees on security (CABCOM-SEC) and Maritime and Ocean Affairs (CABCOM–MOA) were known to meet quite often. In 1994 CABCOM-MOA directed the formulation of the NMP that included a prayer: “To promote and enhance maritime security as a component of national security”. (47) The NSC was not convened after the first known intrusion by the Chinese at Mischief Reef perhaps in consideration of the 1992 Manila Declaration on Amity and Cooperation at SCS.

                The NSC convened only twice under the Aquino presidency. It encountered problems in the membership of the Cabinet, most especially the Secretary of Defense. When SND resigned to win a Senate seat, he could be invited as Minority leader. Having reestablished the NSC in 1986, key actors in maritime security, namely, DOTC, DENR, DOE, DOF, and DA/BFAR were not included. But the National Intelligence Security Agency (NISA) of Marcos was converted into a National Coordinating Agency (NICA), a scheme between integration and cooperation.

                Under the Estrada presidency the NSC was not known to have met before he declared an “all out war” against the MILF at Narciso Ramos highway. But to his credit, the NSC to include the members who publicly stood for his resignation was convened prior to the impeachment trial.

                PGMA was known to have convened the NSC after 9/11 in the presence of two former Presidents. After 2005, the NSC did not meet in full – political partisanship at its height as perceived – with two former Presidents and Senate Defense Committee Chairman asking the incumbent to resign and with the NSA brutally grilled in a Senate hearing. It was reported that the NSC meetings were by the members of the CABCOM-SEC notwithstanding the Abu Sayaf hostage crisis and the bombing of the Super Ferry, among other maritime incidents. And up to now, the Secretary DOTC is not a member of the NSC while serving as the country’s contact official on international and regional maritime security matters.

                The NSC could be a better example to the operating level of political non-partisanship in security policy and inter-departmental cooperation. Maritime security is still praying to be a component of national security.

                Cabinet Committees

                Starting with the Ramos administration cabinet clusters especially on security, the CABCOM-SEC as mentioned earlier, was created. This cluster composed of NSA, DND, DFA, DILG, and DOJ was active, among other issues, on the KIG/SCS. Maritime security is represented in this cluster by DND that has AFP/PN and DILG that has PNP/MARIGROUP.

                Maritime safety that is indispensable to maritime is inadequately represented in the cluster even if PCG was at that time a part of PN because it is only deputized for SOLAS by MARINA. Furthermore, security at port and harbors that is also customs-immigration-quarantine security (CQIS) was perhaps assumed by the NSA. Cooperation is not impossible but improbable with agencies that are not around.

                Under PGMA CABCOM-SEC has become CABCOM-Internal Security (IS). It is understandable that the twin insurgencies plus terrorism has relegated territorial defense and other aspects of maritime security to a lesser priority.

                The other crucial cabinet committee – CABCOM LOS/MOA – that formulated the NMP that has a maritime security aspect has been functionalized by PGMA into a Maritime and Ocean Affairs Commission (MOAC).

                Maritime and Ocean Affairs Commission

                The MOAC itself is a victim of political partisanship and low prioritization of maritime security. Created as a Secretariat of the CABCOM –LOS/MOA from the Marcos era to the Estrada presidency it was abolished in 2001 and reestablished as a mid-level unit of DFA. Congress failed to create a Commission for Maritime and Ocean Affairs in spite of UNCLOS and enact at least 10 other bills for maritime development and security.

                The Centre at DFA experienced controversial reports that reveal the state of interagency cooperation: “The draft of the country’s claim under UNCLOS is a tale of infighting among agencies to take the lead and subsequently controlling billions of pesos of government funds for that undertaking, including 250 T USD from the Norwegian government”. (48) Earlier there was a report of a project costing a billion pesos for the survey of the continental shelf only to be reduced to a hundred million pesos. As early as 1994 there was also that controversy between DENR and DOE on the erection of lighthouses at KIG. (48)

                In 2007, PGMA finally created by executive order the Maritime and Ocean Affairs Commission with the DFA MOA Centre as Secretariat.

                The MOAC has so far attained one of its 13 priority programs – Baselines law. The No. 1 priority of updating the NMP would improve policy cooperation and coordination, among others, implementation of Fishery Law, SOLAS, and CQIS.

                Anti – Terrorism Council

                As mentioned earlier, the Secretary DOTC that exercises administrative supervision over the PCG, MARINA and PPA is not a member of the ATC and Office of Transport Security (OTS) is but a non-voting member. The said three agencies are vital in the collection of maritime information and border control and crucial to a Coast Watch System. Threats to transportation security were actually maritime, namely Sipadan and Dos Palmas hostage crisis, and the bombing of Lady Mediatrix, Doña Ramona, and Super Ferry 14.

                More so because the ATC strategy calls for “effective border control operations” and port and harbor security related to movement of cargos and people that has experienced at least three (3) terrorist ship bombing. The “collaborative” guiding concept of the ATC strategy is lacking without maritime cooperation and coordination.

                National Disaster Coordinating Center

                A large part if not most of disasters happened at sea or are rescued through the sea. NDCC functions are preparedness for, prevention of, mitigation of, and response to said disasters. Often the cooperation and coordination happen after the disaster. Even then the participation of PCG and MARINA and other marine-concerned are found to be lacking in spite of the many lessons learned from Dona Paz to the Princess of the Stars. The NDCC after all these years have not attended to the preparedness aspect by legislation and to cooperative actions of maritime agencies by drills and exercises of not capacity-building. Recently, however, NDCC sponsored the issuance of a Typhoon doctrine and proposed a law for Disaster Risk Management System (DRSMS). Indeed, the member agencies should initiate more discussions and technical work before the disaster.

                Management Level

                DND – DILG – DOTC

                The PC was taken out of DND by RA 6975 and renamed PNP in 1990 under DILG. The game plan was to have PCG absorbed by PNP ostensibly as mandated by the 1987 Constitution for a “one police force”. Congress did not buy the idea but instead transferred the “police functions of the Coast Guard” to PNP/DILG. PCG was then under the PN/AFP/DND. Aside from performing police functions authorized by the PCG Law for the enforcement of maritime laws it was deputized by BFAR for the enforcement of Fisheries Law and by BUCUS, BI, and BQ for Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine Security (CQIS). But the Maritime Command later Maritime Group PNP did not have the capacity to do that until now. Therefore the PN/PCG did that and after PCG was transferred to DOTC in 1998 was still doing it. PNP MARIGRP would insist on the power without the capacity to perform the function for the last 19 years. The law was silent and there was no cooperation understanding instead of continued passing the buck between PNP/DILG and PN/DND/ and PCG/DOTC. The PNP insists on its powers but DILG and DOTC did not mind doing the function without powers.

                That was not the case on the internal security operations (ISO) that was transferred to PNP/DILG from AFP/DND in 1990. The law mandated that the transfer be determined within two years by the Secretaries of DND and DILG. Instead in 1998 ISO was returned to AFP/DND by RA 8551. But the police function was not considered by the new law for return to PCG. Instead PCG was transferred to DOTC. In this connection, the UP Law Center opined in 2009 that the PCG does not violate the “one police force” mandate by assuming the peculiar maritime law enforcement, an opinion that DOJ is yet to make.

                This rigmarole happened for lack of attention of the policy and management levels to the maritime security structure and the absence of cooperation between DND, DILG, and DOTC and their operating units. One, MARINA, assumed the power without capacity, the other, PCG, the capacity but not the mandate.

                DND AND DOTC

                PCG was created in 1967 as a major unit of PN. In 1974, it was placed directly under SND, only to be returned to PN soon after. In 1987, the function of SOLAS was transferred to a newly created MARINA, only to be returned to PCG by deputation. In 1998, it was transferred to OP by executive order, only to be transferred to DOTC. There it stayed up to now.
                As in the case of the transfer of PCG police functions to PNP in 1990 that was not coordinated by DND and DILG before and after the implementation of the law, there was no coordination much less cooperation between DND and DOTC in 1998. DND legal counsel objected and PN was lukewarm. With that transfer the function of PN pursuant to Section 52 (4) went with PCG although the 1987 Executive Order 125 has amended that in favor of MARINA. That Section is: “Enforce laws and regulations pertaining to navigation safety of life at sea, immigration customs revenues, narcotics, quarantine, fishing and neutrality of the territorial contiguous waters of the Philippines”.

                While PN has a lot to worry about the borders, EEZ, maritime environmental protection, and disaster relief and rescue the change of functions was a critical area of cooperation and coordination involving not only between DND and DOTC but also with DOF/BUCUS, DA/BFAR, DOJ/BI, and DOH/BQ in so far as CIQS was concerned.

                It would seem that DOF, DA, DOJ, DOH, and Dangerous Drugs Board and other agencies at the management level have relegated to their respective operating agencies the aspects of cooperation and coordination.

                Operating level

                PN and PCG – Maritime security

                The lack of cooperation and coordination of maritime security and safety at the policy level of NSC and MOAC and at the management level of DND and DOTC led to strained relations between PN and PCG mitigated only from the sourcing of most of the officers from the same school and from the Navy.

                As provided in the transfer executive order, the promotion quota of PCG officers was part of the PN. PN demurred because it would have reduced their quota. Thus PCG with the approval of Secretary DOTC computed its own outside the limitations of the AFP promotion system. Now the head of the PCG is 4-star while that of the bigger PN is 3-star and so on down the line. The asymmetry is not a warm basis for cooperation.

                Then the Supreme Court ruled that its flag officers and captains need not pass the Commission of Appointments because PCG is no longer a part of the AFP. After that the Court of Appeals ruled that PCG personnel is subject to the Articles of War because its character as a military unit as mandated by the law creating it was not altered by its transfer to DOTC by executive order. (X) The PCG seemed to have in the words of the Chairman of the Senate Defense and Security Committee the “best of both worlds”. (49) That situation was not conducive for cooperation with PN that has a lot more capacity to perform its sea-going function to attain missions in common with PCG.

                The norms of non-cooperation are mitigated somehow by the sourcing of most of its officers from PN and from the same school. After eleven years PCG is now generating officers from other sources. Later, it will be shown that PN-PCG operations and cooperation are functions of legal mandates and jurisdiction, fiscal resources, and decision-making infrastructure.

                PCG/MARINA/PPA – Maritime Safety

                The three operating agencies are natural cooperators. They are under a common superior that has administrative supervision of their coordination, integration, and capacity-building. Their powers and functions are overlapping, inter-related, and mutually supporting as lead agency, supporting agency, and supported agency. But lapses were apparent.

                The PPA is the lead agency for the mandated task of “Port and Harbor security” with PCG as the supporting agency and MARINA as supported agency. It is the pier operations regulator and the harbor master but it cannot secure the harbor alone. However, it has the means to erect lighthouses and install navigational aids. In a TWG on the PCG bill in the Senate last May the PPA representative suggested that the powers and functions of PCG on navigational aids be qualified. PCG did not agree. He reminded the TWG that PCG is responsible for anti-ship pollution but it does not stop PPA from doing something. What was needed are cooperation and coordination indeed.

                MARINA is the lead agency for SOLAS for domestic and flag state vessels with PCG as the supporting agency. That function was taken away from PCG in 1987 Executive Order 125 only to be returned to PCG by deputation a few months after. Up to now, after 22 years MARINA has not developed the capacity. PCG in the TWG mentioned earlier believed it has cooperated enough at its own budget. Thus, the new PCG law may put a deadline for MARINA to build its capacity or the function returned to PCG.
                PCG is the lead agency for navigational safety but MARINA and PPA are not supporting agencies and instead are supported agencies. However, MARINA is the supporting agency to PCG for foreign vessels/port state control on SOLAS as mandated by international convention. PCG questions how MARINA can be a supporting agency for foreign vessels when it could not be for smaller domestic vessels. The terms of endearment are not conducive to cooperation indeed.

                PCG – PN – PNP MARIGRP – Maritime security

                For navigational safety, ship-based pollution, and anti-piracy and armed robbery at sea, the supporting agencies of PCG are outside DOTC. Because there is no common superior at the operating level cooperation is a problem before it becomes a solution.

                For navigational safety the supporting agencies are PN and PNP MARIGRP and not MARINA. They are the same supporting agencies to PCG for the task of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships although PNP MARIGRP does not have the capacity in the open sea and Ship-borne Pollution with little technological capacity. Cooperation here is a function of inter-operability.

                PCG /AFP / PNP – Commercial ship security

                For ship security (sea marshals) PCG is the lead agency supported by the AFP and PNP. The high estimate requirement is 20,000 marshals. That number, even the AFP and PNP cannot provide. This is one task that the cooperation of the shipping agencies is imperative. Even the vaunted US Navy and Coast Guard cannot totally secure its commercial ships from piracy and armed robbery at sea. (50)

                BUCUS/BQHS/BI – CQIS

                For customs, immigration, and quarantine security (CQIS) the lead agencies are BUCUS, BI, and BQHS respectively. The supporting agencies for each are PCG, PN, PPA, and MARINA. CQIS is composed of bilateral cooperating agencies that are network security systems. But there is no network security plan. Smuggling in the ports has become more technical with electronic scanners reading containers.

                OTS/PPA/PCG/PNP MARIGRP/MARINA –Transportation security

                The Office of Transport Security (OTS) DOTC is the lead agency for transportation security per EO 311. For the maritime sector the support agencies are within DOTC except PNPMARIGRP. Logically, the plan starts and ends with post and harbor security and in between – navigational safety and safety of life and property at sea. With or without a security plan, interagency cooperation in this task is paramount.

                PDEA/PCG/PN/PNP MARIGRP/NBI/NICA – Illegal drugs law enforcement

                PCG, PN, and PNP MARIGRP are supporting agencies to PDEA on Illegal Drugs/Narcotics Enforcement. This network is inter-related and mutually supporting to CQIS, port and harbor security, and coast watch system.

                BFAR/PN/PCG/PNP MARIGRP – Fishery Law enforcement

                The lead agency for the enforcement of fishery and aquatic resources law is the BFAR with mandated supporting agencies, namely PN, PCG, and PNP MARIGRP. In this task, BFAR has maritime control ships (MCS) manned by PCG personnel. Unlike the MARINA-PCG conflict on the function of SOLAS and the PCG-PNP MARIGRP on “police functions” BFAR is not questioned as to lead function and makes available equipment and technology to its supporting agencies

                TF for offshore energy activity

                The interagency task force with DOE as supported/lead agency has the PN, PCG, and PNP MARIGRP as supporting agencies. It was found that DOE has not made good the original commitment to assist the supporting agencies with capacity – building. The pipeline from Malampaya to the users of the gas is protected by the same task force. But there are also exploration activities in the Sulu Sea area that need to be protected.

                TF against marine environment degradation

                Protection against ship-based pollution is a function of PCG per PD 600. In this task, it was supported by the international community in terms of equipment, etc. The disaster off Guimaras of oil tanker Corral stretched to the limits the capacity of PCG for the task and the cooperation of national agencies and international partners. But after the last oil traces are gone, nothing has changed. In the proposed 2009 PCG Law, however, marine pollution is no longer limited to ship-based oil. National and international shipping dispose of garbage, etc.

                Supported Agencies

                All the lead and supporting agencies mentioned above have supported agencies as summarized in Appendix X. A casual random interview of said agencies revealed that most did not know all of their supported agencies that did not know them likewise. A summary matrix of the IAC is in Appendix X.

              • karlgarcia says:


                The non-traditional and transnational security challenges and safety threats in our disaster prone area are motivating factors to interagency cooperation indeed. They were also the trigger to global maritime cooperation that aimed at global partnerships to enhance maritime security. Lessons learned from internal interagency cooperation and external assistance and cooperation towards enhanced “cooperation, coordination, integration, and capacity-building” led to recent and current initiatives that also further promote international maritime security cooperation. (51)

                National Maritime Aerial Reconnaissance and Surveillance Centre (NAMARSC)

                NAMARSC created in 2006 by Executive Order 492 to be the primary provider of imagery information to all intelligence agencies in the country. (X) Critical to this function is the employment of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), sources so far unknown, but the source of Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR) is US. Significant to this framework is “the sharing of operating and maintenance costs among all supported agencies that are feasible under the direct control of NSA.” (52)

                Border Crossing/Joint Border Patrol Agreement

                The major function of the Agreement is immigration control on traditional cross border movement and related coordinated law enforcement. The lead agencies are the AFP Western and Eastern Commands particularly PN with PCG as the major supporting agency. The other supporting agencies are BQIHS, BI, BUCUS and local government units in southern Mindanao. Indonesia is the major partner in this Agreement but technical support is known to come from European countries. Capacity-building of operating agencies led to closer cooperation and coordination.

                MOU with Malaysia on Anti-Smuggling Operations

                The objective of the MOU is coordinated anti-smuggling and law enforcement between RP and Malaysia. The lead agencies are AFP Western and Eastern Commands particularly the PN. The support of PN and PCG to BUCUS in anti-smuggling is crucial because the goods in this area are not containerized. The PN and Malaysian navies held naval exercises to promote interoperability and confidence building. There are no border crossing stations because of the Sabah territorial question. Unlike Indonesia however, the immigration problem is on Malaysia. It seems that the CQIS problem is on Malaysia too.

                ASEAN Convention on Counter-Terrorism (ACCT)

                ACCT is a legally binding regional framework to counter, prevent and suppress terrorism. The lead agency for RP is the ATC particularly OTS DOTC. As mentioned earlier, DOTC is not a member of ATC and OTS is a non-voting member. Supporting OTS on the maritime aspect are PN, PCG, and PNP MARITIMEGRP. However, OTS is not even listed as a support agency of the ATC. This framework revealed that RP anti-terrorism strategy is more terrestrial than maritime.

                Regional Cooperation AAP/ISC/IFN

                The PCG is the lead agency for the regional cooperation on piracy and armed robbery against ships and its civilian-military intelligence fusion. The partners and proponents are ASEAN plus 3 (Japan, China, and South Korea). Supported by the PN and PNP MARIGRP this activity takes advantage of information from the powerful maritime fleets of the partners that can be fused with our intelligence agencies. The aim of the regional effort is “to strengthen cooperation among each country’s maritime law enforcement organizations to the establishment of an effective mechanism to share piracy information and a network for cooperation”. (53)


                The lead agency is PDEA for civil-military anti-narcotics and maritime terrorism intelligence fusion and coordinated maritime operations. The foreign partner is the US. All intelligence units of AFP and AFP as well as NBI and NICA are involved in this cooperation. Under Project Octopus, PDEA proposed to forge an interagency alliance with the AFP, PNP, PG, and NICA harmonize anti-narcotics intelligence and law enforcement efforts. (X) But before it reached first base, it was expanded and interfaced with the US-led war on terror in the Philippines, hence the entry of US agencies and the activation of a Maritime Drug Enforcement Coordinating Center (MDECC) with focus in Mindanao. The facilities and equipment of MDECC were primarily funded from the Joint Interagency Task Force-West of US PACOM. It has satellite offices in strategic places in the country called Maritime Intelligence Coordinating Centers (MICC). Figure X.

                APEC Maritime Counter-Terrorism Plan

                The major objective sponsored by Asia Pacific countries is the security of international shipping routes and seaports. This is crucial to the control of sea lanes in the Philippine archipelagic waters that is yet to be established after the 2009 RP Baselines Law. Vessel Traffic System (VTS) in harbors has PPA on the lead. Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) is PCG. The lead agency would be the OTS DOTC with PN, PCG, PNP MARIGRP, and PAF.

                Coast Watch South

                The first attempt to institutionalize a modest surveillance system was Case Operation Plan Coast Watch in 1976. In 1995, PN conceptualized and approved Project Coast watch to conduct 24/7 electronic and visual surveillance at identified strategic areas and chokepoints throughout the country of which Coast Watch South (CWS) is a derivative. In a briefing by FOIC PN, the nationwide project would cost 17 billion pesos. (54)

                Costs and the obvious maritime security gap in the South led to CWS. This led to an environmental scan jointly by the RP and Australian government that identifies areas of cooperation between the two countries. The common goal is the incubating notoriety of the South for terrorist activities especially after the Bali incident and the security of the sea lanes where 80 percent of Australia’s trade to North Asia passes. The CWS concept was developed through a series of interagency workshops, discussions, and workshops, spanning two years and involving almost a hundred legal, operational, and technical experts from the Philippines, Australia and the US governments.

                The operational model that was taken from the Australian Border Protection model administered through the Australian Border Command (formerly Joint Offshore Protection Command JOPC) which is a partnership between the Australian Navy and the Australian Coast Watch of the Australian Customs. As mentioned earlier, it is similar to the operational model of the RMSI.

                The conceptual framework of the CWS as derived from ABC and/or RMSI was more maritime security-oriented than the developmental NMP. But it was the singer and less than song. Coming from foreign partners mean a lot more to a maritime security establishment lacking in maritime awareness much more maritime domain awareness. Much more so, if coming with assistance in financial and material resources that RP can ill afford.

                CWS up to now is a work in progress. A matrix of the IAC linkages with international cooperation is in Appendix X.

                VII. CWS TO NATIONAL CWS/MCS

                Coast Watch South

                CWS or its improved version is a template for the development of a national inter-agency surveillance and response mechanism. Towards this end a Navy-led interagency group developed a maritime security construct with situational awareness of the maritime domain as the foundation. As mentioned earlier, the construct was developed in more than two (2) years of discussion by more than one hundred members of more than twenty three (23) with the assistance and cooperation of Australian and American experts. The developed concept was mainly by and for twelve (12) maritime agencies. Figure X. The PN briefing omitted PDEA perhaps to avoid number thirteen (13).

                The cooperation of the Australians and Americans were crucial not only in the development of the security construct but in capacity building. US provided Rigid Hull Boats (RHB) and programmed Forward Looking Infrared Radars (FLIR) for use of navy aircrafts. Earlier there was European assistance on the Philippine Border Management Project. (55)

                The external cooperation was not enough for internal interagency cooperation. As crucial were the policy level initiatives and the cooperation between the NSA and SND. DND issued Department Order 36 that instructed the PN to conduct the necessary interagency workshops to make CWS operational. In support of the DND initiative, the NSA organized in 2007 an interagency technical working group on border crossing that seeks to harmonize CWS with the European-funded Border Management Project (BMP). Figure X.

                The policy level initiatives and the external cooperation resulted to a Framework as shown in Figure X. The areas of consideration are Legal Authority and Jurisdiction, Situational Awareness, Decision-making Infrastructure, Interdiction Capabilities, and Interagency and International Cooperation. It was about the same framework as the RMSI, except for the legal mandate and jurisdiction that is imperative for a national adoption of a regional model especially in a legalistic public administration system like the Philippines.

                In this connection, the interagency working group formulated an Executive Order for the approval of the President that outlines the government aims, clarifies the powers and functions of maritime agencies in an inter-agency set-up, and provides for the organization of CWS. To govern the CWS and the prospective national CWS would be a National Coast Watch Council (NCWC) chaired by SND and co-chaired by NSA. The council would be composed of representatives of twenty three (23) agencies. Figure X.

                At the management level, Interagency Working Groups (IATWG) shall assist NCWC. Four strategic working groups shall be formed on threat assessment, information sharing, capability development, and public affairs. Two operational working groups shall be established to coordinate the planning and operations and provide legal support for interagency operations. Figure X.

                At the operating level, a Coast Watch Centre (CSWC) to be empowered to control and task assets allocated to CWS by provider agencies. The AFP/PN shall provide the CSWC with assets under its operational control in Zamboanga. The PC, PNP MARIGRP, and BFAR shall contribute direct support assets to CWS. Figure X.

                With the CWSC under the NCWC and its policy working groups, CWS is expected to have a responsive decision-making architecture. In addition to clear lines of command and control, the essential feature is “the fusion, sharing and analysis of information, prioritization, location and assessment of threats, and the determination and implementation of appropriate response that results in successful interdictions”. Different agencies working together under a common command and control framework and where the credit is shared attempts to mitigate turf interests and stove pipes, so to speak, is the hallmark of interagency cooperation.

                CWS is thus a coordinating body for joint civil, military, and law enforcement surveillance and response operations. As such, it does not own any operating assets that have to be provided by the AFP/PN, PCG, PNP MARIGRP, BFAR, and PDEA. The Centre would have the capability to task assets allocated to it to address the requirements of the different agencies based on a common risk assessment methodology. Thus, the cooperation must pass its litmus test in information collection and sharing before its meager assets are allocated to the CWS.

                Having the capability to pool and manage assets, the IAWG and the CWSC would address the perennial resource constraints. Agencies with specific mandates as lead agencies would be able to rely on interagency assets for enforcement purposes. PN as the most equipped agency, relative to other maritime agencies, could then share them in CWS. Even before the CWS, PCG has relied on PN on border crossing management, PDEA on intelligence, PNP MARIGRP on coastal peace and order, and BFAR on fishery law enforcement.

                More than individual agency cooperation is the linkage of CWS with the AFP intelligence establishment. CWS will be linked to the PMBMP that fuses all border crossing data and as developed with the fusion of information collected through other maritime security operations become the interagency information-sharing architecture. (55) One of these agencies is the MDECC of PDEA.


                The current state of CWS is promising but has a long way to go. The good news is that CWS knew where it is going even not when it will get there.

                The not so good news is that the proposed Executive Order to institutionalize the CWS after several years of study and discussions of representatives of 23 agencies and participation by Australian and American experts at considerable expense is pending consideration at DND. Also pending is the proposed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) of the cooperating agencies.

                It was in November 2006 when PN was directed by SND to put CWS in operation by 2007. The preceding milestones are as follows: (56)

                August 2005 – SND Cruz expressed in the 2nd Defense Cooperation Workshop Group Meeting a keen interest in the establishment of a national maritime monitoring and surveillance mechanism using the Australian model as a template to be adapted to suit local conditions in RP.

                June 2005 – SND Cruz spoke at the 4th annual gathering of Asia Pacific Defense Chiefs for the need to focus international attention on the need to enhance cooperation among littoral states in providing maritime security in critical maritime domains.

                June 2005 – the PN delegation to the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) echoed the proposal of SND and invited the delegations from Indonesia and Malaysia to a trilateral conference to enhance security in the tri-border area covered by the Sulu, Celebes, and Sulawesi Seas.

                August 2005 – the US Pacific Command organized the 1st Trilateral Maritime Counter-Terrorism Workshop between RP, Indonesia, and Malaysia to discuss terrorist transit in the tri-border area and plug gaps in this critical maritime domain attended by representatives of PN, PCG, PNP MARIG, and PAF.

                May 2006 – the RP delegation composed of PN, PAF, and PCG participated in the RP-AUSTRALIA Defense and Customs Border Security Visit to observe the Australia Coast Watch model working at the strategic, operational, and tactical level.

                August 2006 – the US Pacific Command and the Southeast Asian Center for Counter-Terrorism (SEARCCT) organized the 2nd Multilateral Maritime Security Workshop in Malaysia. The RP delegation of representatives from PN, PAF, PCG, and PNP MARIG met with security agencies of Indonesia and Malaysia to build on the success of the 1st Workshop. Single points of contact and response to enhance information sharing and coordination in the conduct of tri-border patrols were established.

                September to December 2006 – SND Cruz and his staff resigned from DND. However, DND 0rder 3 and 6 was issued in November to PN to put CWS as a Navy unit to be supplemented in early 2007 by a NSC Special Order creating a PN-led IATWG on Border Crossing to be harmonized with CWS.

                December 2006 to September 2008 – a series of interagency maritime security workshops refined the original concept and drafted Executive Order defining its philosophy, mission, function and organization as an integrated interagency maritime security mechanism. The last of these workshops produced “a validated set of policies and procedures for the operation of CWS”.

                25 January 2009 – FOIC PN submitted a progress report to SND reiterating the approval of aforesaid proposed Executive Order and consequently the proposed MOA.

                The CWS and ultimately the National Coast Watch System was the most successful model of interagency cooperation in the conceptualization and planning stage that is ready to be operational as an interagency structure for maritime security. Its success so far was motivated by the maritime challenges in the South that was crucial not only to RP security but also to its international partners. The cooperation of said partners and their assistance in capacity-building enabled an advanced interagency cooperation of our maritime agencies. However, its pendency may be attributed to political sensitivities, turf interests, and conflicting mandates that an executive issuance may not be able to resolve.

                The capacity-building plans of the said work in progress have been remarkable. The option plans are shown in Table X.

                The PN has gone a long way with international cooperation of course. (X) For surveillance, it is upgrading existing and constructing new coast watch stations. Recently upgraded was Zamboanga. The construction of Taganak was recently completed and equipment delivered. In various stages of completion are four (4) stations. (X) Moreover four (4) more stations will be funded under Section 1206 of the US National Defense Authorization Act for transfer to RP NLT September 2010. Two more stations in Eastern Mindanao and another in Palawan are projected to be funded from the same source.

                The PN has already deployed to the CWS six 7-meter rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) and high frequency radios from US. Four 11-meter RHIBs are due to arrive. In addition, the US will soon deliver seven forward-looking infrared radars (FLIRs) for use of PN aircraft. The upgrading of PN under the CWS enhanced its capacity to share its capabilities to agencies in CWS especially the PCG, PDEA, PNP MARGRP, BFAR, BIQHS, and BUCUS.

                Citing the report of FOIC PN to SND dated 25 January 2009: “The ultimate objective is for CWS to be replicated in other parts of the country which will hopefully have a sub-regional or even a regional reach as the single point of contact of maritime security operations with Malaysia’s Maritime Enforcement Agency, Indonesia’s Bakorkamia, Sigapore’s C2 Centre and other similar organizations in the region”.

                Future projects

                The CWS is a current project with its national version as a future project. But there are urgent projects under the NMP/CMOA as mentioned earlier. Of the 13 projects, the designation and control of sea lanes under UNCLOS and the protection of the marine environment are separate projects or conceived within the National Coast Watch System. Another related project is the Maritime Monitoring, Control, and Surveillance System MMCSS. (57)

                One area of future consideration of the Maritime security construct of the CWS is the sea lane passage control emanating from the choke points and navigational passages in its AOR that is not nation-wide. Logically from the Coast Watch stations/ navigational lighthouses VMS and VTS could also be installed as a part of CWS and the sea lane control mechanism. A related MOAC project is the MCS. Figure X. It would require the interagency cooperation that would be crucial to CWS, the national version of CWS, the sea lane passage control, the protection of the environment – that could be covered by an expanded National Coast Watch System.

                The resulting system could be a national model for interagency cooperation to enhance maritime security. But it has taken IAC to reach first base with cooperation and assistance from strategically-interested allies.

              • karlgarcia says:


                It could be gleaned from preceding Parts that structural, normative, security, and economic realities have adversely affected interagency cooperation. (58) Trans-national security threats and global maritime cooperation, however, were mitigating factors.

                The review of our maritime security concepts, maritime security structure and practices reveal factors bearing on cooperation, namely, political sensitivities, maritime awareness, prioritization of maritime security, turf interests, fiscal resources, and maritime administration and laws. International and regional cooperation are enabling factors with a little help from common maritime threats.

                Political sensitivities

                Political partisanship caused the absence of an NSC meeting on the Jabidah adventure on the Sabah territory leading to its embarrassing exposure in 1967. The presidential decrees on the KIG, creation of PPA, and rationalization of PCG happened later without the need for political cooperation being in a period of martial law.

                When the NSC was reestablished in 1986, the initial period of a revolutionary government enabled the issuance of an executive order creating the MARINA to pursue the development of the maritime industry. The inertial political forces aiming at removing powers and functions from the navy over the maritime industry resulted to the removal of navigational safety and SOLAS from PCG that has the sea-going capacity that MARINA did not have until now. The expedient was the protracted deputation of PCG that was not conducive to interagency cooperation.

                The NSC from 1986-92 convened only twice most probably due to political in-fighting within the Cabinet. But then much more than the political sensitivities within the NSC was the political upheaval caused by the military rebels.

                FVR seemed to have managed political non-cooperation by reaching out to political opponents and pursuing peace and reconciliation with the armed rebels. LEDAC was created for executive-legislative cooperation. But the NSC did not convene as expected even after the discovery of Chinese intrusions at KIG. Probably it was due to 1992 Declaration of Amity and Cooperation between ASEAN and China. Instead there was a very active CABCOM –NS.

                ERAP convened the NSC in his term of less than 3 years once after the 1998 hardening of Chinese facilities at Mischief Reef and late in 2007 when political instability in an advance mood for the president’s resignation. To his credit NSC members of all political persuasions were invited.

                PGMA relied more on the Cabinet Committees on National Security, later the same Committee for Internal Security. Political sensitivities with former Presidents and opposition members of NSC resulted to minimal political cooperation at the policy level.

                If internal security and the peace process were victims of political sensitivities, external security and maritime concerns that are beyond pissing distance suffered even more. Above all, lack of cooperation in the policy model provided a bad example to the management and operating levels. To be sure the NSA has taken recently a very active hand in the Philippine Border Management Project.

                Economic Resources

                Increasing economic resources has promoted security cooperation among maritime nations. In the national level agencies would be encouraged to cooperate with more resources for capacity-building and inter-operability. The financial requirements are huge: 17 B pesos for CWS/NCWS according to FOIC Golez and 50 B dollars for maritime security according to Congressman Golez. (59) The recent global financial crisis would make it even harder.

                Maritime awareness

                The lack of maritime awareness and its threats and opportunities on one hand, and preoccupation over twin insurgencies on land result to maritime domain awareness inadequacy by government in general and the maritime security structure in particular. We cannot love enough what we do not know enough. We cannot cooperate enough what we do not know what to operate enough. While awareness of our maritime environment and its challenges is not an assurance of interagency cooperation, no awareness is a guarantee of no cooperation. As in Alice in Wonderland, when we do not know the destination there are many roads to reach it.

                From the normative to the empirical, the review revealed that up to now the Secretary of DOTC is not a member of the NSC. Yet SDOTC is the contact functionary with international and regional organizations on maritime security and not NSA. Likewise SDOTC is not a member of the Anti-Terrorism Council that listed the OTS as a non-voting member only. Yet the most serious incidents of terrorism happened in the maritime domain – the Sipadan and Dos Palmas international hostage taking, and the bombing of Lady Mediatrix, Doña Ramona, and Super Ferry 14.

                On the other hand, the 1994 NMP was formulated by a MOAC that included the Commandant PCG that was then under PN without the FOIC PN if not the CSAFP. Yet the maritime security aspect of the NMP included a prayer: “To enhance and promote maritime security as a component of national security”. (60) Yet the AFP has the PAF, for maritime surveillance and mapping.

                Short of maritime awareness, the more technical maritime domain awareness (MDA) follows with difficulty. MDA is a universal activity for interagency cooperation and found feasible in developing countries in the areas of cooperative intelligence collection and sharing. (61)

                Prioritization of Maritime security

                Just as increasing prioritization of maritime security has improved maritime cooperation among nations, increasing interagency cooperation in one nation is expected from similar development. (62) To be sure, cooperation is easier to attain with objectives that are important to most stakeholders. In another perspective, if threats are perceived to be growing, maritime agencies cooperate more with each other and with stakeholders.

                Alas, internal security threats by the protracted twin insurgencies overwhelm external security of the territorial defense nature. When the AFP Modernization Law was enacted in 1993, the Navy that included the Coast Guard and the Air Force that would fly maritime surveillance aircraft were given priority on the assumption that insurgency scaled down. In 1995 however, ISO was returned to the AFP from PNP. Aggravated by the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the prioritization of maritime security was back to square one.

                Chinese intrusions at Mischief Reef in 1998 and the most serious terrorist attacks occurring in the maritime areas since 1999 did not out-prioritize the terrestrial ISO. As in marital cooperation, “no money, no honey”.

                Fiscal resources

                The budget was never enough even during martial law. The more inadequate the fiscal resources lesser cooperation was found to result. Charity begins at home! Those that have extras would not be wanting in cooperative agencies at the door. For example the Comptroller is known to control funds. It has an excess of cooperators.

                A better example was the transfer of SOLAS to MARINA from PCG in 1987. MARINA had the budget but not the capacity. It was deputized to PCG from Day One up to now or 21 years of unwilling cooperation that adversely affected safety of life at sea. It was also 21 years of time and budget for MARINA for capacity-building that did not happen.

                The case of BFAR having the vessels – the maritime control ships (MCS) is another example. As the lead agency, it has for one of its support agencies the PCG that provide the crew for the MCS. BFAR had the fiscal resources to support the crew over and above what PCG can provide.

                The factor of fiscal resources makes the agency more willing, able and ready to cooperate. Better coordination and preparedness are attained by drills and exercises that are not that cheap and ability by capacity-building that are not free.

                Turf interests

                Armed forces have service interests classically called parochial. There is no substitute for victory and glory is what they relish in going through harm’s way. In peace, the budget is a battleground and in war the mission or battleground objective is paramount. Civilian agencies have its own turf interests and its own version of victory and glory.

                Turf interests may not solely be for institutional glory. It may go the way of the ego trip of the leader either on its own or as handed down. It may involve political power or pecuniary interests related to the powers and functions of the agency. While nations would not be bashful with sovereignty issues, agencies may not be frank about such interests making it problematic to mitigate. The running differences of opinion between MARINA and PCG, between PNP MARIGRP, and between PN and PCG are not without turf interests. In the case of the nautical highway project, the active oversight of the President and the available resources made available to PPA and DPWH lessen turf interests.

                Legal mandates and jurisdiction

                Powers and functions of the 23 or more agencies with maritime concerns are provided in the 1987 Administrative Code issued under the post 1986 EDSA revolutionary government preceded by presidential decrees of a martial law administration. The changes were fast and furious.

                The 1967 PCG Law was amended by the 1974 PD 601 by a rationalization of its functions but changing its status as a major unit of PN to be directly an agency under SND. Sooner than later it was returned back to PN. Since then, the relationship of PN and PCG was never the same.

                In 1987, after the Administrative Code was made effective, Executive Order 125 was issued creating MARINA and absorbing therein the function of navigational safety and SOLAS from PCG. Sooner than later, Executive Order 125 was issued to have said function deputized to PCG because MARINA did not have the capability to enforce the same. Until now, PCG is deputized with regrets.

                In 1998, PCG was transferred by executive issuance to OP and then from OP to DOTC, from a major subordinate unit of PN to attached agency of DOTC. With that separation confusion set as to what unit was the lead or supporting agency in the enforcement of maritime laws although PN was unquestioned on its role on territorial defense.

                Then PCG was perceived in the vernacular translated as “boating on two rivers”. With PN not willing to share its promotional quota with PCG that was strangely conceived at the start, PCG upon approval of SDOTC created its own until it has attained a four-star Commandant as against a three-star FOIC of a larger sea-going agency. Up to this writing, the “character” of the PCG is hanging in both Houses of Congress in the proposed 2009 PCG Law. The Civil Service Commission asserts that it is a civilian agency. The UP Law Center thinks differently. The Supreme Court ruled that its senior officers are exempted from the Commission of Appointments because it is no longer a part of the AFP but the Court of Appeals ruled later that its personnel are subject to the Articles of War.

                The PCG is yet to have a character. (63) And MARINA is yet to mind its powers and functions before it can manage the maritime industry.

                The factor of mandated powers and functions adversely affecting cooperation was also that of the PCG and PNP MARIGRP. Having failed to absorb PCG in the 1992 PNP LAW, the mandate was the confusing transfer of “police functions” because of the concept of “one police force”. Yet PCG was also mandated by law to enforce maritime laws. With DOJ temporizing on its opinion, the UP Law Centre opined that PCG is not violating the “one police” concept. (64)

                Maritime security challenges

                The enormous security challenges crystallized by MDA from an increased maritime awareness should be an enabling factor for interagency cooperation. It is axiomatic that those in the foxholes and in the killing fields tend to cooperate.

                The impetus for international maritime cooperation was the said threats. As mentioned earlier, internal security threats overwhelm said threats. To be sure, some of our political leaders put higher priority to maritime threats when a reduction of ISO was felt in early 1990’s until returned to the AFP in 1995.The terrorist attacks up to Super Ferry 14 did not make a dent on the focus on terrestrial insurgency threats. However, the sinking of the oil tanker Corral and the capsizing of the Princess of the Stars highlighted the urgent need for interagency cooperation in the fight against marine degradation and the enhancement of maritime safety.

                Global maritime cooperation

                Global cooperation is an enabling example for national interagency cooperation. But the greater benefit of this factor is capacity-building of the supported nations that have also positive effects on coordination, and integration.

                Negative and positive effects

                The aforesaid negative and positive factors bearing on interagency cooperation also bear on the desirable attributes of cooperating agencies, namely, willing, able, and ready.


                Willingness is the piece de resistance of cooperation. Traditionally, command demands obedience and not cooperation. Then when there was unity of command and integration of command and staff, coordination was the buzzword and not cooperation.

                In the modern era, cooperation was a principle of war in naval forces, not because discipline is any less stringent in a man of war but because of the span of control. Ships in formation are not shoulder to shoulder and naval ships operate at great distances from one another. The difficulty in command and control and coordination was mitigated by cooperation and operating doctrines. Then military discipline developed to be defined as “the willing and cheerful obedience to the will of the leader”. (65) And likewise, cooperation.

                Mentioned earlier was the observation that cooperation is highest in the fox hole. But a common danger may not be enough. Against global terrorism President Bush called for “a coalition of the willing”. But the framework worked only for a few, notably Great Britain and Australia. Its foundation is a commonality of values and national interests. Another reason is the commonality of danger, not one nation more endangered than the other or willing only so much to endanger itself.

                Surely maritime agencies would cooperate when the chips are down, so to speak. After all the national anthem intone “Ang mamatay ng dahil sa iyo” (To die for thee). But that situation does not happen often enough.

                For practical reasons willing cooperation would happen between agencies when their leaders came from the same old school. The success of General Malvar against the Americans was attributed to its officers coming from the same high school. That way of developing willingness would take some time assuming it is feasible to do so.

                Willingness if not personal from the cradle or professional from the school may also out of some material motivation. For example, very willing interagency cooperation in the nautical highway project was quite noticeable as a favorite project of the President and the availability of funds that ensued. (66)


                No matter how willing an agency to cooperate would be feeble if the agency cannot or hardly operate. Interoperability is hard enough for military agencies with different sources of equipment not to consider the civilian agencies. Another is the availability of a common doctrine. After the sinking of the Princess of the Stars, the maritime agencies came up with a Typhoon doctrine that has long been taken for granted. Certainly, ability and willingness are mutually-supporting. Capacity-building is a major strand in the international cooperation for the enhancement of maritime security.


                To be ready is to be willing and able. But readiness is also vocational and professional. In the post 9/11 IMO ISPS international cooperation, the pledge of RP was to prepare “readiness teams” and a ready “model port”, as mentioned earlier. (60) Friendly if not allied armed forces conduct regular training exercises. Civilian agencies may have drills and desk-top exercises. A cooperating agency is a ready agency. But readiness is also a function of inter-operability that in turn is a function of technology.

                Lessons Unlearned

                In view of the aforesaid factors bearing on IAC and the desirable attributes of cooperating agencies, the following are several lessons unlearned:

                Creation of additional agencies

                The country has now four (4) navies, namely, PN, PCG, PNP MARIGRP, and BFAR. Under different superiors and with overlapping mandates they are coordinated by MOAs that need the norms of cooperation to succeed. The transfer of powers and functions to a new agency under different superiors in the case of PCG and MARINA created interagency conflicts that even under the same superior DOTC continued to rear its ugly head. Congressman Gutang, now an SSG Fellow was trying to address this situation then and now, and Dr. Pobre, an SSG Fellow is not giving up with AFP re-structuring. Good Luck!

                Deputation arrangements

                For maritime law enforcement alone there are more than a dozen arrangements of lead, supporting, and supported agencies. See Figure X. The supported agencies did not have the capability to enforce the law it responsible for. Thus another agency that may have the capability becomes the lead agency. But said agency may not also have the capability or inadequate thus requiring a supporting agency. The supported agency has no say on capacity-building of the lead or the supporting agency. And the rigmarole goes on!

                Doña Ramona incident

                On 28 August 2005 a bomb exploded aboard MV Doña Ramona at the Port of Lamitan while awaiting departure for Zamboanga. Under the 1967 RA 5173, PCG was to convene a BMI to investigate the cause of the incident. But in 2004 RA 9295 caused the transfer of that function from PCG to MARINA. The common superior, due to the sectoral issues between the two agencies, decided to create a board called the Fact Finding Board on Maritime Security (FFBMS) but an interim body consisting of representatives from the PCG and MARINA and usual members of the old BMI. When the Princess of the Stars capsized after three years, DOTC was back to the old BMI. (67) During the recent first anniversary of the disaster Congressman Biazon recalled that ten years ago a congressional investigation recommended the creation of a Marine Transportation Safety Board. The proposed bill on Maritime Administration is still pending.

                Sole lead agency

                The implementation of the ISPS Code in 2004 in the Philippines has been a contentious issue as to the lead agency in view of the confusing charters of the PCG and MARINA. Accordingly DOTC through an Executive Order created the Office of Transport Security (OTS) to insure timely compliance to the IMO ISPS Code. But while the stopgap measure made RP ISPS-compliant, the executive issuance did not stop the two agencies from performing ISPS functions in accordance to their legal mandates in spite of the OTS as the “sole lead agency”. (68) OTS cannot impose punitive measures without an enabling legislation. Yet until now no such law is forthcoming. Even the 2009 PCG bill that has already passed the House has not addressed the issue.

                RP-Indonesia Border negotiation

                Of the many overlapping EEZ with Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, and China RP had the best chance to settle the boundaries with Indonesia except for a stretch of I to 2 nautical miles. The MOAC head was the chief negotiator with representative NAMRIA, MEDCO/BIMP, AFP, and PCG. On the date of the signing, the RP panel did not follow the lead of MOAC and suggested that they be allowed to go home for consultations in spite of the availability of cell phones. Feeling the hesitancy of the RP side, the Indonesian panel backed out from the previous understanding. RP lost a chance to settle an EEZ dispute that with the recent passage of the Baselines Law would have been one country less. (69)

                CWS impasse

                After 4 years of NSC and DND – directed Inter-agency workshops with the technical and material assistance of Australia and US PACOM, the proposed Executive Order creating CWS and the consequent MOA of numerous maritime agencies are pending. It may take some time for a new administration to put the model project in operation. But the Navy part, however, is proceeding as scheduled.

                MOAC agenda​

                Of the 13-point of MOAC in 2000 only the Baselines Law has been accomplished. The upgrading of the Centre into a Commission headed by the Executive Secretary in 2007 was expected to expedite at least the updating of the NMP. Hopefully the new administration would learn from the MOAC experience. The present set-up could avail of the mandate to form interagency technical working groups.


                Pursuing a “quick and dirty” review and analysis of our maritime domain awareness, strategic and policy frameworks, interagency cooperation experiences and external linkages, and the factors and attributes of maritime cooperation, led us to a surfeit of policies to consider.

                Strategic goal

                To establish a proper Interagency Cooperation (IAC) in the maritime security structure in order to enhance maritime security.


                1. To promote maritime security at the policy level in order that IAC is provided with enhanced strategic and policy frameworks.
                2. To enhance inter-departmental cooperation at the management level in order that IAC at the operating level has the proper guidance and example.
                3. At the operating level to promote the willingness to cooperate, develop the ability to inter-operate, and enhance the readiness to operate in IAC that inter-relates and mutually-supports coordination, integration and capacity-building in the maritime security structure.
                4. To harness the policy, management, and operating levels towards the National Coast Watch System or an expanded Maritime Monitoring Control Surveillance System through IAC.

                Policy Level:

                1. LEDAC

                a. Promote the culture of bi-partisanship in matters of national security especially when the soldiers and sailors are in harm’s way.
                b. Enact a law mandating the formulation and publication of a National Security Strategy and succeeding changes thereto within three (3) months of the SONA.
                c. Create a Commission on the National Territory and/or legislate the Commission on Maritime and Ocean Affairs.
                d. Certify as urgent and enact the bills on the Maritime Code, Maritime Administration, Philippine Coast Guard, Omnibus Merchant Shipping Act, and the National Disaster Risk Management System.
                e. Consider prioritization of maritime security.
                f. Consider the bill on a Department of Maritime Affairs especially its relevance to the pending bills on maritime matters.

                2. National Security Council/NSA

                a. Issue a National Security Strategy and consequently a Maritime Security Strategy with or without a law mandating its formulation and publication.
                b. Accelerate the 1994 recommendation of the NMP to “promote and enhance maritime security as a component of national security”.
                c. Convene the Council in full in consideration of the security implications of the UNCLOS as implemented by the 2009 Baselines Law and demonstrate cooperation at the highest level.
                d. Create a Cabinet Committee on Maritime Security (CABCOM-MS) as a counterpart of CABCOM-IS.
                e. Include the Secretary of the DOTC in the NSC.

                3. Commission on Maritime and Ocean Affairs (CMOA)

                a. Enact the CMOA that was created by Executive Order into a law that include members of both Houses of Congress.
                b. Add to the Commandant PCG as members of CMOA, the FOIC PN and CG PAF to enhance IAC.
                c. Update the NMP as intended in 2001 especially its maritime security aspect.
                d. Pursue the thirteen (13) priority projects especially the Control of Sea Lanes and the Maritime Monitoring Control and Surveillance System that call not only for IAC but also international and regional maritime cooperation.
                e. Touch base with private archipelagic security research organizations, domestic and international.
                f. Review the concept of maritime security as contained in the 1994 NMP.
                g. Review the powers and functions of all maritime agencies.
                h. Spearhead the revival of our maritime history and culture.
                i. Activate the TWGs as provided in the EO creating CMOA.

                4. Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC)

                a. Revise Anti-Terrorism Strategy to address the maritime aspects of sea-transported international hostage-taking, bombing of Lady Mediatrix, Doña Ramona, and Super Ferry 14, and access of JI through the maritime domain of Celebes and Sulu seas.
                b. Include Secretary as voting member of ATC.
                c. Weigh in IAC in the Anti-Terrorism strategy.

                5. National Disaster Coordinating Centre (NDCC)
                a. Intervene in the deputation relations between MARINA and PCG as it affects marine disaster prevention and maritime safety.
                b. Pursue NDRMS to promote IAC in the local governments.
                c. Adopt a Typhoon Doctrine and similar guidance on other calamities as framework for IAC.

                6. National Coast Watch System Council (NCWSC)

                a. Adopt the IAC in the conceptualization of CWS in the suggested activation of Coast Watch North (CWN) to validate the model sans international participation.
                b. Adopt the validated IAC for the establishment of the Control of Sea Lanes (CSL) and Maritime Monitoring Control Surveillance System (MMCS) to further validate CWS IAC template.

                Management Level

                1. DND and DILG and DOTC

                a. Cooperate in the formulation of a maritime security strategy under the oversight of NSC/CMOA.
                b. Pending legislation, resolve with advice of DOJ the irritant of the “one police force” concept in the light of the functions of maritime agencies to enforce special maritime laws.
                c. Coordinate the capacity-building program as to maritime equipment to avoid unnecessary duplication and promote inter-operability.
                d. Conduct with BFAR a semi-annual maritime security review with NSA and/or Chair CMOA as convening authority.

                2. DND and DOTC

                a. Resolve the overlapping functions between the two agencies after the transfer of PCG to DOTC.
                b. Mitigate the benign neglect of the professional asymmetry of PN and PCG officers in terms of promotion and rank.
                c. Program maritime exercises between PN and PCG.

                3. DOTC and DILG

                a. Resolve with DOJ the issues of “one police force” and the related “police functions” in the enforcement of special maritime laws.
                b. Conduct coastal patrol exercises between PCG and PNP MARIGRP.

                4. DOE and DND/DILG/DOTC
                a. Resolve the equipment and logistics support of the supporting agencies in the security of the Malampaya gas field and its pipeline as well as the security of the Sulu Sea exploration contracts.
                b. Harness the cooperation of the energy private corporations in security as well as logistics to the maritime security agencies.
                c. As the latest addition to CMOA, harmonize the security of the energy production, distribution, and exploration with designation and control of sea lanes.

                5. DA/BFAR and DOTC/PCG, DND/PN, DILG/PNP MARIGRP

                a. Review MOA between BFAR, PCG, PN, and PNP MARIGRP as enforcement of Fishery Laws in general and the MCS in particular due to expire in August 2009.
                b. Consider the commissioning of the fourteen MCS vessels under PCG for better maintenance and operation.

                6. DENR and DND/PN, DOTC/PCG, DILG/PNP MARIGRP

                a. As a member of CMOA, formulate the implementation of its priority program for the protection of the environment and the deputation of support agencies.
                b. Consider the protection of the environment in the control of sea lanes and the exploration and production of energy resources.
                c. Review the coastal environment program and the roles of the support agencies. ​.

                7. DOF/DOJ/DH and DOTC/PCG, DND/PN, DILG/MARIGRP

                a. Review CIQS in the context of technical smuggling, human trafficking, and pandemics that call for new MOAs.

                Operating Level

                1. All Agencies

                a. Revive interest in our maritime history especially the forgotten pre-Spanish period.
                b. Display permanently at the Conference Room or the like two Filipino maps, one national and the other global with RP at the center.
                c. On call by CMOA, review powers and functions in view of the impending legislative consideration of a bill on Maritime Administration.
                d. Maximize advantage from international maritime cooperation.

                2. PN/PCG/PNPMARIGRP/PAF – Maritime security
                a. Formulate a cooperative maritime strategy among the four armed maritime agencies on maritime security.
                b. Pending such formulation, determine capacity to help protect and secure our maritime jurisdictions less capacity devoted to internal security.
                c. On the principle that one is not willing to share what one does not have, minimize stove pipes and tell the lead agency/supporting agency what one is capable of.
                d. Coordinate equipment acquisition on maritime protection with the other agencies for inter-operability and avoid unnecessary duplication.
                e. The presidential directive for sea marshals that PCG estimated to be 20,000 should be recommended for reconsideration.

                3. PCG/MARINA/PPA – Maritime safety
                a. Under the USEC for Maritime Affairs DOTC iron out the conflicts on powers and functions bared in public during the hearings on the PCG bill.
                b. Under the OTS DOTC, harmonize the transportation security aspects especially on counter-terrorism.
                c. Resolve responsibilities on pre-franchise inspection of passenger vessels in the light of a recorded 200 accidents a year and the deputation arrangement in this regard between PCG and MARINA.
                d. PPA to consult PCG on the erection of lighthouses inside ports and harbors.
                e. Review the budgetary support of deputation activities.

                4. BFAR/PCG/PN/PNPMARIGRP – Enforcement of Fishery laws
                a. Review MOA due to expire in August 2009 towards better maintenance and operation of MCS vessels.
                b. Study the advantage of MCS vessels under the maintenance responsibility of either PN or PCG for as long as operational responsibility remains with BFAR on fishery and aquatic laws. ​

                5. DOE and supporting agencies – Energy offshore
                ​ a. Participate in the designation of sea lanes.

                ​8. PDEA and supporting agencies – Illegal drugs
                ​a. Study the feasibility of making the MDCECC as Coast Watch Operation Center as a temporary arrangement.

                Coast Watch Center (CWS)

                1. CWS is an outstanding product of IAC in the national and international levels and upon implementation has IAC as a principal feature.
                2. The proposed Executive Order that was a product of said IAC should be approved so the draft MOA among the 23 maritime agencies would be issued.
                3. From Coast Watch South the National Coast Watch could proceed to Coast Watch North and hopefully to the entire maritime jurisdictions.

                Maritime Monitoring Control Surveillance System (MMCSS)

                1. The MMCSS that was conceived earlier by MOAC with minimal external support may absorb or be absorbed by the NWCSS would be the ultimate test of IAC that succeeded.
                2. Because of jurisdiction of sea lane passages it would receive the mandatory cooperation of global partners especially and Japan not to mention the US.
                3. The costs however may be prohibitive. If the NCWSS was estimated to cost 17 B pesos, the MMCSS may be more.
                4. This project would require IAC at the policy level.
                5. As authorized by Executive Order 612, CMOA should organize Technical Working Groups for this purpose using the lessons learned of CWS.

                Maritime Administration

                1. The IAC Policy/Policies as proposed herein cannot fly without the willing cooperation of the maritime community.
                2. The initiative of DND/PN or DOTC/PCG would need Executive support if not the Legislative.
                3. The policy implementation would need to be approved and implemented by the CMOA because the chances of a Department of Maritime Affairs (DMA) may take another Congress after the 14th. The explanatory note of the DMA bill is in Appendix X.
                4. The mandate of the 2007 CMOA may not be adequate for the nationwide maritime systems envisioned herein that requires appropriation of government funds. See Executive Order in Appendix X.
                5. If an amended version of CMOA cannot be legislated soon enough a proposed Executive Order 612 B is in Appendix X.


                Cooperation is a problem to be addressed before it becomes a solution. “Turfing” is a national pastime. Maritime cooperation is a special problem with a maritime culture, historical or mythological, crying out for revival. In this connection, the “Balangay Project” by the group that climbed the Mt. Everest should be iterated in various forms. At least symbolically, it should be manned by our politicians to develop maritime bonding.

                Without a “Mare nostrum” (Our Sea) in the romance languages, maritime awareness and consequently maritime domain awareness has suffered. We once had a National Anthem in English that evoked “Never shall invaders trample thy sacred shores”. And Chinese submarines and fishing boats come pissing in our troubled waters. That was even after the Manila Declaration of Amity and Cooperation.

                In this predicament, it was DFA with little interagency cooperation that went beyond the diplomatic dimension of maritime security to spearhead our Maritime and Ocean Affairs. With no Department of Maritime Affairs and an abolished Cabinet Committee on MOA-LOS, it was MOAC before it becomes the Secretariat of the 2007 CMOAC that meandered through the divisive seas of our national territory to fashion out the 2009 Baselines Law. With NSC and DND pre-occupied with protracted terrestrial twin insurgencies before their ardent participation in Coast Watch South and Border Security, it was DFA that formulated the 2004 National Marine Policy. And DOTC is not even a member of the NSC.

                But the PN has recently assumed the posture of “damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead”. Before its CWS initiative could be fully implemented, it has proceeded to propose the national version of CWS. Recently it has gathered the stakeholders of maritime security in a forum for maritime domain awareness and naval-civilian cooperation. (70) ​

                In this maritime situation, interagency cooperation is the proper subject of interagency cooperation itself. The Coast Watch South was such a product of IAC. But before it becomes the cooperation of the willing, it was international cooperation that made it possible. And after it has succeeded so far, it was lack of domestic interagency cooperation that is delaying its full implementation.

                Under the present economic condition and consequently lower prioritization of maritime security, the crucial ability of maritime agencies to operate and cooperate, and much less ready to inter-operate is apparent. Policy cooperation and coordination at the policy and management levels are mandatory to enable capacity-building and avoid unnecessary duplication.

                While domestic policy cooperation and coordination are mandatory for IAC, it appears that international cooperation is highly necessary. In this connection, the existing cooperative linkages in maritime security cooperation should be sustained. These linkages range from bilateral to regional and to international.

                The linkage that has yet to be developed is with the non-government organizations and civil society groups. Last year meeting of ASEAN Ministers of Defense (AMDM) had highlighted that role. The participation of the media in the launching of the symbolic “balangay” boat promised a cooperative thrust in the revival of maritime interest. Civilian research groups for archipelagic maritime security are yet to be organized perhaps waiting for external funding.

                The crucial factor in this endeavor is policy direction underscored by legislation in maritime administration. Benign willingness to cooperate is not realistic. While discipline is willing and cheerful obedience to the will of the leader, the leaders are the key. That was what a departed member of SSG, Dr. Nisperos, has been saying all along.

                And because we believe in the Golden Rule without which cooperation is shaky, the gold will spell the difference. Congressman Golez, a former NSA, estimated that RP would need 50 billion dollars to protect and secure our maritime domain that is quite bigger than the 17 billion pesos estimated by his brother, FOIC Golez.

                However, while hoping for the first billion pesos to be made available, there are recent “examples of promising practices” in the absence of “models of best practices”. In addition to the aforesaid DFA and NSA/DND/PN initiatives we count our blessings with the following:

                Maritime Drug Enforcement Center (MDECC) and Maritime Interagency Coordinating Center (MICC)
                The concept of a whole-of-government cooperation in maritime anti-drug operations due to increasing incidence of maritime trafficking in southern and northern Philippines was proposed by PDEA in 2002 to forge an interagency alliance with AFP, PNP, PCG, and NICA under Project Octopus. (71) “Turfing” was not only ineffective but also susceptible to the corrupting influence of the drug lords as experienced. The awareness of a common menace and the consistent support of the President up to now provided the necessary impetus to interagency cooperation. But most critical was the support of the US as a part of its war on terrorism that led to a focus in Mindanao and consequently the capacity-building of the MDECC. The facilities and equipment were established through funding from the Joint Interagency Task Force-West of US PACOM. (72) The Center was found good enough to be also the WCS operations center.

                Fishery law enforcement cooperation

                The MOA of BFAR with PCG is expected to be renegotiated with minimal changes in August 2009. PCG no longer suggests that the MCS vessels owned by BFAR from Spanish assistance be transferred to it for better operation and maintenance because of the need of legislation. PCG mans and operates the vessels and BFAR is responsible for ship repair. BFAR in a spirit of cooperation was liberal with logistics support especially with POL that may be expended by the MCS for missions such as law enforcement patrols and disaster response. In turn PCG assists BFAR in the repair and dry-docking of their vessels.

                Joint inspection of vessels (SOLAS)

                After the recent incident of an out-rigger ferry boat in Mindoro with quite a number of lives lost even before the first anniversary of the capsizing of the Princess of the Stars, MARINA agreed to a joint inspection of vessels with PCG to include pre-issuance of permits or franchises. This interagency cooperation should really not be as problematic as between agencies under different superiors.

                Nautical highway cooperation

                The building of port and harbor facilities by PPA and the access roads to the ports of the nautical highway by DPWH was too good to be true. The cooperation even as to milestones was smooth because first, it is a favorite project of the President, and second the two agencies have the resources for the project. The President as the virtual common superior is a boon to IAC.

                Vessel Traffic Monitoring Systems (VTMS)

                PCG has the mandate to establish VTMS but PPA has the resources to install some in the ports and harbors. PCG under Commodore Agustin installed one in Corregidor but was not sustained when he retired. When he got appointed as PPA GM later he planned to pursue the project but run out of time. PPA has now installed a VTMS in South Harbor to take care of traffic in Manila Bay and another in Batangas both in cooperation with PCG. PCG may have the third unit in Romblon to take care of that busy navigational route that the Princess of the Stars and Dona Paz took in a 3.5 hectares donated by Congressman Madrona for a Search and Rescue (SAR) station. Another cooperation development was the MOA between PCG and PHIVIDEC for PCG to operate its VTMS to cover vessel traffic in Majalacar Bay in northern Mindanao. In turn PCG cooperates with the PPA in that area for its security in that port and harbor. (73)

                Maritime Communications

                The PCG with the help of JICA is now in the net with all Coast Guard stations with VSAT. JICA also provided NAVTEX that enable PCG to transmit communications to all commercial vessels. Domestic vessels are slowly acquiring receivers. PAGASA was recently equipped with same and NDCC will follow. Cooperation and inter-operation are conditions precedent to effective communications.

                Maritime affairs legislation

                There is a perceivable growing interest in Congress for the passage of laws in maritime affairs. The bill to make the NDCC more responsive by means of a National Disaster Response System (NDRS) involving local government units has passed third reading. The revival of the 10-year old proposal for a Marine Transportation Safety Board may be taken care of by the bill on Maritime Administration due for public hearing. The 2009 PCG bill has passed the House and the Committee in the Senate and an Omnibus Shipping Act is reportedly going to be certified urgent by the President.

                The bill for a Department of Maritime Affairs (DMA) may encounter unfavorable seas but the legislation for a Commission on Maritime and Ocean Affairs now created by Executive Order would further strengthen CMOA. This Commission is crucial in the promotion and establishment of a responsive IAC as well as coordination, integration, and capacity-building towards a more robust maritime security that only interagency TWGs can put to action.

                The lucky 13-point agenda that MOAC established in 2000 towards enhancement of maritime security would need a lot of Interagency Cooperation.

              • sonny says:

                Whew! Like WOW, Karl! I need to congratulate myself to actually have read and understood a good many points of archipelagic security laid down by your dad and you. Maraming kalawang and utak ko. Malabo pa ang mata ko. ‘Di bale natuto naman. 🙂

                So, Neph here goes: takeaways and comments. (the short of it)

                1. Maritime security – yes, very complex; plus archipelagic, lalo pa;
                2. Needed and addressed partially: a multi-disciplinary Maritime Secretariat include specialists/experts in the field , e.g. marine biologists, hydrologists, maritime economists, etc.) who are also information systems savvy (systems-analysts); czar for national maritime affairs to start with;
                3. As a total outsider (mr. citizen), part of the national curriculum must be maritime geography and plate tectonics, formal and continuing education; increased emphasis in the basic sciences of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology and human anatomy and physiology; these last two because they mimic the complex interconnectedness of living systems that are inherent in the eco-systems of an archipelago.

              • karlgarcia says:

                I just google unc, but I am still impressed with how my dad synthesizes all the data I dump to him. Others are old fashioned library research, interviews and stock knowledge of my dad. The curriculum is towards STEM but they must not forget humanities of course.
                Maritime history,geography all the maritime awareness stuff too.
                And military history too should be taught even in brief.

  20. madlanglupa says:

    Oh, what a slip for the world to see how low this government has gone, a government worthy of Mugabe and Maduro.

  21. NHerrera says:


    The Good

    Studies show that infrastructure development contributes to both economy growth and better income distribution, thus poverty reduction. Provided there is an associated improvement in public policies, institutional framework and efficiency. One area of infrastructure development which has a magnifying effect in both growth and income distribution is human and physical infrastructure associated with education.

    The Bad

    There is already the caveat mentioned above: Provided there is an associated improvement in public policies, institutional framework and efficiency.

    Recall the words of former NEDA Chief Neri to Lozada and that was only the (ultimately scuttled) National Broadband Network-ZTE Project: “just moderated their greed” in reference to the then family members and associates who could not help dip their hands in the project.

    If thus, the family and associates greed aspect is again present, in such a massive infrastructure development program now on-going, we will not only get the economic growth expected but also the favorable income distribution and reduction of poverty.

    • NHerrera says:


      “just moderated their greed” = “just moderate their greed”

    • karlgarcia says:

      Another problem: Chinese laborers.
      We already saw the gaming industry employ Chinese.

      Ghana Resident: Why Does China Send Workers To Africa When So Many Here Are Unemployed?

      And Benjamin Diokno even suggested Chinese workers for China funded projects.

      What a lame idea!

    • Edgar Lores says:

      For clarification.

      Should that last clause read: “…we will not only NOT get the economic growth expected but also the favorable income distribution and reduction of poverty.”

      • NHerrera says:

        Correct: not only NOT it is. How the two “not”s make a world of difference. Thanks edgar. (Nuts abound; I have not been too careful of the all important “not” as I should. 🙂 )

    • NHerrera says:

      Further musings on a Sunday on my “just moderate their greed” comment above:

      It is clear to me that invariably, except for very rare exceptions, greed manifests itself to those in power or those seeking power. The leader may want to moderate his greed, but his family or associates may not — and in an effort at perhaps unreasonable fairness — he may not know this.

      It is thus important that the mechanisms of institutions continue to be strong, a theme discussed repeatedly here in TSH. The question is how this is to be done in the PH. The laws, starting with the Constitution, are certainly there. It is like having an all-encompassing bible or book on how to be a good father and mother. But we know that that is only a tenth-of-a-help.

      Now shifting the scene across the Pacific: if Trump gets away with how he continues to debase the spirit of its Constitution and norms and thereby change how things are done, including the general thinking of average Americans, henceforth, then goodbye America. But my reading is that he is too small to wreck the institutions built up from so many historical pains. Well, I remain to be proven wrong.

      • NHerrera says:

        Here is a tip of the iceberg of how institutions in the US are doing corrective measures. The link below reports the first fruit of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into the Russia-Trump 2016 campaign collusion — which by the way is the also the fruit of the appointment of Mueller as Special Counsel by Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, who has been in charge of the Russia investigation since Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, recused himself.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Somewhere here I posted the family tree of Mike Arroyo’s ancestors who told Joey De Venecia to back off.
        Moderate the greed was uttered by Abalos to Neri.
        Human nature to be extreme so one has to guide us to moderation but now it id only to be responsible.
        It is no longer drink moderately, it is drink responsibly.

  22. popoy says:

    Karl malayo na, pangatlo sa nakaraan blog ang talakayin natin. Bilis na ng arrangkada dito sa TSOH. Di ko mabasang lahat. eh. Yun primacy ng civilian rule over military rule, eche bucheche lang yan sa demokratikong US, UK, Canada, Australia, at iba pa. Wala yan rule rule na yan pag ang bansa nadali ng SALOT na parehong corrupt ang civilian rule at military rule. Let us pray hindi kayang remediohan yan.

    • popoy says:

      Karl, salamat binasa ko rin yun huling link mo. Yun palang inuuoakan ninyo ngayon dito eh inupakan ko na noong 2015 pa.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Sa sobrang dami ng iniisip mo kalilangan mayroon pang magpaalala sa yo ng ginawa mo.

        Kung mayroon ka pang naalala sa mga past works mo feel free, ipost mo habang naka open discussion tayo.

        Binabasa ko naman kahit malalim, kung di ko maintindihan e di magtatanong ako.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Popoy, Allow me to post this.
        THE PHILIPPINES IN 2030 (First of a Series)

        By Alejandro B. Ibay | January 18, 2015

        A lot of  older people (and I am too)  always claim they are only too glad to be wrong and not right because of the dire consequences  or tragic results if they are proved right in their assertions.  But in this article and the many to follow it through—I  will be too damned  glad to be right—against   thick and thin disbeliefs,  criticisms,  guffaws, and whatever as  I  choose to  wrestle with incredulity  to write  what will not happen, WILL HAPPEN  or something like it anyway  in the Philippines in the year 2030.   
        By  2030 the country would have undergone four national  parliamentary elections held every four years simultaneously with  the twelve  regional parliaments; massive no nonsense nation building have  involved the 100 million citizenry from the Barangays to towns, cities and provinces  under regional governance. Each region is developing strength like a country by itself.   The world  led by the United Nations, WB, the IMF, the EEC, the NATO  are all increasing their support in this novel cosmic experiment in human rehabilitation  and draconian socio-cultural transformation.
         The Filipino diasporas  in every nook and corner of the globe are giving more than all out support to this unexpected and unparalleled  experiment.  This is the resurgence of the interrupted, patented Filipino  People’s Bloodless Revolt in EDSA in 1986 . From 1986 to 2030  is  44 years. It’s  a long wait for this CHANGE to happen. If 2030  will not happen as written here, then condolence  and sympathy from the rest of the world may be the unintended expected.
        FAST FORWARD TO THE  YEAR 2030: The  nation’s   political will having hurdled the insurmountable financial  impossibility of  mind boggling  large scale financial outlays for the required  social and physical infrastructure and after the new political leaders courageously accepted to start from almost nothing while avoiding extravagant and ostentatious  governance,  successful governance  has gained a foothold  and continue to dominate the fabric of the Philippine Society. 
        The head of State a non politician outstanding citizen  president appointed by the Prime Minister with concurrence of the National  Parliament  is serving the last year of his six-year term.  POLITICAL decentralization and devolution is gaining strength in lagging regions
        Government departments and appropriate government corporations and instrumentalities had been broken up and dispersed to the regions; lawmaking and the judiciary had  been devolved to the regions as regional parliaments and regional supreme courts
        Kings of corruption in the three branches of government had passed on or been put away in glamorized jails; large regional  penitentiaries had been established;  an island in the Spratlys had been made a prison for  illegal drugs and corruption, and  heinous crimes convicts;  there was no need for capital punishment only life imprisonment for  such crimes;
        The horsemen of the four cultural  apocalypse  of  impunity, corruption, lawlessness, and poverty  are all on the ground with their horses ready to be put down.
        The Armed Forces: Army, Navy. Air Force, Coast Guard  had  been  assigned to the Regions to develop  strength like a country in itself
        Disaster Management and Control  and Relief Operational Capability had been regionalized.
        The constitutional offices like  COA, CSC, COMELEC,  retains central supervision and control but field offices  were devolved  to regional governments; 
        Three times Prime Minister Benigno Simeon Aquino III  has retired.
        The PNOY  model of Executive Administration combining lawmaking and development administration  assisted by  a supportive judiciary  has gained recognition from ASEAN.  The constitutional tripartite equal powers  of the three branches to  govern and loot the treasury  and natural resources  are  waters under the bridge.
        There was a marked DECREASED of elected  Parliament  members (both national and regional) coming from the ranks of lawyers and movie actors; there was INCREASED membership from educators, young businessmen, doctors, engineers, accountants, and other professionals ;  Governance had aimed for no  national statesman or political heroes, or handsome or sexy celebrities.
        Known political family dynasties are mostly recent history losing elections consistently;  vote buying had been severely punished for ward leaders and candidates;  extreme limitations on campaign contribution and spending had been enforced;  Massive decentralization  in the COMELEC led to the dismissal  of corrupt personnel;
        There was a rebirth in the  moral fabric of the members of the two ancient political parties: The Liberal and the Nationalista Parties. All the opportunist political parties and the party lists politicians are just becoming  memories.   
        The regional governments run by regional premiers are making waves in most aspects of human and political development  as  volunteerism and civic mindedness  had demonstrated unexpected resurgence  which  to a large extent had dampened the activities of NGOs  established   by charlatans  to provide themselves  with employment and cash cows.
        The national budget in Trillions of Pesos has been broken down into billions and sent to the regional treasuries. 
        Regional Government budgets are resource seeking assisted by  strengthened  decentralized  Regional  Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs.
        Regions had been encouraged  and empowered to strike on their own  strength and resources like little countries competing with the other regions in uplifting the human condition.
        Out of humility perhaps, NOSTRADAMUS  did not exclaim:  “Who says history is only a written record of the past?”  So he wrote some historic elements of the future  and got it right in some parts.
        REWIND TO  2015,  the PRESENT
        By 2030  some politicians in the news today may already be retired or just out of the scene. J.P. Enrile will be 106; J. erap Estrada 93;  J.C. Binay, 88; Mirriam Santiago, like Rodrigo Duterte will both be 85;   G.M. Arroyo, 83; Panfilo Lacson, will be 82.
        After fifteen years the young leaders in 2015 may likely have already  assumed the mantle of mature parliamentary leadership in the national scene or the many regional governments.  If still alive and  active like vintage wine in 2030 they are:  Antonio Trillanes IV, 59; Alan Peter Cayetano, 60; Grace Poe, 62; Koko Pimentel III, 66; Leni Robredo, 69; Kim Henares, 70;  Noynoy Aquino III, also 70; L D Lima and T. Guingona both 71; lastly the old man of group  Mar Roxas at 73.  Noynoy  Aquino and Mar Roxas could be the stirling figures straddling two decades as Prime Ministers  and later appointed as Presidents, the ceremonial Heads of State.
        State governance by twelve regions in 2030 speaks of  an exciting public administration  by mostly young politicians, home grown, move by goals and objectives driven politics. The Prime Minister’s Cabinet and the Regional Premiers’  Cabinet will have  adopted a sci-tech based approach to  kinky problems  caused by force majeure and disease epidemics.
        The departments instead of following traditional  multi-disciplinary, division of labor, specialization oriented solutions like : you announced the typhoons, I  take care of  rescue operations,  you take care of relief and relocation, he takes care of the flooding,  you provide medical services, blah, blah, blah.  This is strengthened by a proactive  INTERDISCIPLINARY cabinet  strategies  synthesized by  technical specialists in the PM  and Premiers’ offices.   
        It should be interesting to paint este write on the forest and the landscape of  the  parliamentary system  that’s  anathema  to  the Filipino articulate  critical mass  but could well be beneficial  to  the larger  clueless masses.  Next time, May be.  ****

        • karlgarcia says:

          PHILIPPINES 2030 (Third of a Series)

          By Alejandro B. Ibay | March 21, 2015 0 Comment
          What was it that I wrote in the first two pieces using my crystal ball in my time travel?

          FIRSTLY: “By 2030 the country would have undergone four national parliamentary elections held every four years simultaneously with the twelve regional parliaments; massive no nonsense nation building have involved the more than and still growing 100 million citizenry from the Barangays to towns, cities and provinces under regional governance. Each region is developing strength like a country by itself. The world led by the United Nations, WB, the IMF, the EEC, the NATO are all increasing their support in this novel cosmic experiment in human rehabilitation and draconian socio-cultural transformation.

          The Filipino diasporas in every nook and corner of the globe are giving more than all out support to this unexpected and unparalleled experiment. This is the resurgence of the interrupted, patented Filipino People’s Bloodless Revolt in EDSA in 1986 . From 1986 to 2030 is 44 years. It’s a long wait for this CHANGE to happen. If 2030 will not happen as written here, then condolence and sympathy from the rest of the world may be the unintended expected.”

          SECONDLY: “The Political System will do away with the multiple opportunistic political party system and will allow no more than two to three ideology based political parties. The PRESIDENT an outstanding citizen elected by the National Parliament is the Head of State, the PRIME MINISTER is the Head of Government who will also be the head of National Ministries (Cabinet). From among the members of the National Parliament there will be a Regional Deputy Prime Minister to exercise coordination powers over all Regional Premiers. There will be national ministries of Defense, Foreign Affairs, Health, Education, Labor and Employment, Agriculture, Environment, Science and Technology, etc.

          Regional Governments under Regional Premiers (the Governors’ primus inter pares) shall administer all provinces and cities, all local level governments within each region of the twelve (12) regions. There will be no changes in the number of provinces, cities, municipalities, barangays and sitios. The regions may be re-drawn and boundaries re-designated base on demographic and other socio-economic and political criteria.”

          For this third of a series and as promised last time, I will now tackle the Mindanao Gordian Knot.

          REWIND BACK TO PRESENT 2015. Zoom in to Muslim Mindanao. To divide this great land mass and adjacent islands into autonomous territories based PRIMARILY on religion, tribal groups or cultural justifications will be disastrous and can lead to civil war. Ethnic interests articulation can turn bloody if hot heads will claim: Why can’t there be ALSO an Ilocos Autonomous Region, Tagalog Autonomous Region, Bicol Autonomous Region, Cebuanons or Hiligaynons Autonomous Region. Philippines can then be disemboweled, dismembered into blood flowing little countries of cultural fiefdoms of hundreds of cultural minorities.

          To accede and acquiesce to such political accommodation make specific groups of citizens special. Special and unequal before the law and in the eyes of God. Special against hardships and favoured with blessings from the government. Special in the enjoyment of democracy having special freedoms of speech, religion, from fear and want.

          Autonomous regions goes against the grain of globalization, of assimilation, of Pope Francis’ journey of solidarity, of Prophet Mohammed’s teachings. In a democracy regardless of religious or political affiliations, language or ethnic backgrounds everybody is equally special to make everybody common citizens.

          WHAT THEN should be pursued between 2015 and 2030 particularly in keeping intact and solid a multi-ethnic polity. It used to be three: just Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. It became eleven in 1972. Now in 2015 the regions had increased to seventeen (17). Twelve regions could be the best experimental number. How to reconstruct this proliferated regional model governance into a manageable twelve: I might yet but it is a long shot, in future write ups attempt to tackle the mechanics of the process.

          Suffice at the moment to suggest examples of successful experiments of regional governance by UK’s England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (spawned by colonialism without even a written constitution) ; of the 50 united states of America (sired by revolt and civil war), 14 provinces and First Nations territories of Canada, of the 6 states and territories of Australia (formerly the continent-size island penal colony of UK). But be wary of the struggling ones in other parts of the world like Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

          The essence of regional government is self reliance not parasitism from periphery to the center. Regions work and succeed with what they have in natural and human resources NOT with what they can get from the national government as permanent DEPENDENTs. It is also motivated sharing a little to other laggard regions their surplus for diligence and hard work.

          Regional governments autonomy is not about freely deciding on what has been received from the taxes of the citizens at large but striving to reduce and eliminate dependence to other regions.. Regional governance should be an effective more stick and less carrots to make Provincial Governments to ship up. Among regions and among provinces, it is the constant challenge and competition to keep up with if not go ahead of the others. It is not about religion and prayers. IT IS MOVE YOUR BUTT OR BUST.

          FAST FORWARD TO PH2030. To the Islamic world or the world of Islam, our Muslim brothers in Mindanao after fifteen years seemed content and proud that even without natural wealth coming from inland oil deposits, they have pushed aside centuries old blockade of human progress; by their honest toil. Without their guns and bombs they have advanced significantly in the pursuit of social and economic equality among fellow Filipinos.

          That through their own governance, being farmers, fisherman, small businessmen and merchants and professionals in the sciences and the arts and being honest public servants, they can compete and even beat their Christian brothers in carrying out socio-economic change and achieving progress. BY REMAINING AS INTEGRAL PART OF THE PHILIPPINES.

          What brought about such dramatic dreamlike change was the miracle that took place in the hearts and minds of both Filipino Muslim and Christian political leaders to be little patriots, REHABILITATED to be honest and upright, to have unleashed their talents and skills in the service of their 60 million disadvantaged countrymen.

          What beautifully happened in Mindanao regions is a consequence of the leave the regions alone policy to let the people find and prove their rightful place under Philippine sovereignty like mini models of unified North and South Vietnam or worst the differentiated North and South Korea.

          If there will be odorous CHA-CHA, este constitutional change before, on, or after the 2016 National Elections, there should be an ARTICLE on Twelve Independent Regions of the Philippines. The Twelve Regions need just one and only one mini constitution. *****

          • karlgarcia says:

            PHILIPPINES 2030 IS A DUD

            By Alejandro B. Ibay | April 29, 2015 0 Comment

            PH2030 is a dud. In Tagalog it means mintis, in Espanol Pidgin: pallado. For Pinoy New Year’s Eve revellers it’s a fizzled whistle bomb. Very likely by 2030 in the Philippines 24/7 it is still happy days for the sons of guns (sanamagans coined by the late Max Soliven). That is if the realist reader has read PH 2030 to the 3rd of this series. I told my realists friends the essays on PH2030 are fiction based on truth learned from 17 years of formal schooling and 42 years of experience working nowhere else but in and under only two governments (my country’s and a foreign one as OFW) soaked by the service motive, disdainful of the profit motive which sucks poor peoples’ plasma.

            I think PH2030 started in the days before Ninoy Aquino’s assassination, on the long nurture nights of his song: “The Impossible Dream.” When he also declaimed: “The Filipino is worth dying for.” The signs of the times portents worse times; the handwriting on the wall was mere graffiti as they seemed to continue to mock Ninoy. Not his impossible dream but his word about dying for the Filipinos.

            To heroes in their dying moments HEROISM probably was never in their minds. Jose Rizal absorbing bullets in the Luneta; Andres Bonifacio receiving hacks and thrusts of bolos in the wilds of Maragondon, Cavite and Goyo Del Pilar defending Tirad Pass. Patriot Supreme Court Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos died for his principles in the hands of the Japanese invaders . Presidential aspirant Ninoy Aquino it can be said died for his politics and dream for his people. The 44 Special Action Force cops died in line of duty.

            Our heroes are sans frontiers while plunderers and thieves live on bickering searching for the sacrificial lamb to perpetuate their existence. Max Soliven’s sanamagans continue to generate ideas, invent events and act them out hoping for success and financial security to their descendants. The rascals. God forbid they succeed to thwart PH 2030.

            Bad or good or no change in PH2030 is the result of the seeds planted by Ninoy and Cory’s only son in a land in dire need of social, political and ecological upheaval. How the Aquinos son’s governance mocked skills, battered by orchestrated criticisms by his detractors who are scared white to be disenfranchised or imprisoned, plus the nonchalant support to defend his administration by his own cabinet secretaries is President Noynoy’s personal tragedy as he walk limping along his tuwid na daan.

            Noynoy has NO TEAM. For almost six years no P Noy teamwork was visible. Two major factions can not gel as a team. Significant achievements in the economy and other areas were individual and institutional efforts and competence. Team building resulting into real Teamwork is alien to politics. Big political parties are composed of many unorchestrated sub teams. Small fly-by-night political parties are one-man teams surviving on the strength of its leader. Only to each each own bonanza is achieved by adherence to walang iwanan sa nakawan (you got your fair share of the loot).

            If ever, the realization of the transformation outline here by the first three essays in what ever degree of success will be to the credit of the awakened and reformed citizens and only by a handful of political leaders. But for HEAVEN’S SAKE, why is PH2030 likely to be a dud? WWHHYYY? I can think of may be five reasons.

            ONE: WALK THE BAD TALK meaning moral hikers versus moral sinkholers, diggers too– It is difficult to understand much more to believe that every day language popularized by media usage could actually reflect realities of the here and now. For example, the expression “walk the talk” which means do the good things you are saying or do what you want the people think you will do on matters of right and wrong can be nothing but an oxymoron.

            When politicians are accepted to be “good crooks” and voters are “wise fools”; when some honourable judges and justices are thieves in robes making injustice the real justice, what kind of talk can leaders and their followers walk ? Pretty soon “legal murder” literally or figuratively (thanks to Encarta dictionary for those words in quotes) could well be the unspoken (and accepted too?) justice for wrong doing.

            Moreover, when moral ascendancy is a quality that is no different from a lost needle in a haystack pervades authoritative law making (legislative branch) and law interpreting (the courts) institutions, what is there to expect of leaders who are entrusted to implement the law? The kind of walk depends on the kind of talk. Talk is defined and contextualized by emergent values in the society that is manifested in its deviant and divergent cultures.

            Economics-wise the law is supposed to benefit and to profit equally or fairly everybody, not only the few and the powerful. If it does not and with a laugh, then everybody tries and succeeds to walk the bad talk. So the followers as a consequence follow their leaders. If it is okay and expected secretly or openly for justices in the high court to accept great and humble gifts in exchange for doing and undoing their sworn duties, then like communicable bacteria and infectious viruses to all others, it is also okay to do the same down the lowest ranks of security guards and janitors. Although fighting the odds, the business and the religious sector perforce might not be far behind. Walk the bad talk assumes the semblance of an epidemic.

            To concoct and connect economics (of poverty) with the administration of justice seems preposterous if not absurd. Not if big decisions on small, worst on big business cases have subliminal effects on governance and the governed. That’s the kind of talk leaders walk.

            It is unfortunate that “walk the talk” can be an invisible ID tattoo on the forehead of the youth as they pass initiation into their professions. Intelligent and capable youth become new dentists, physicians, nurses, dieticians , lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers, etc. Knowing the profession of their choice the tattoo can be in lower or upper case: “Trust me,” regardless of public opinion.

            The common man or the masses constitute the majority in the society. The regime of the professionals comprises the minority, the elite from which are drawn most of the rulers of towns, cities and provinces and the entire country. The kind of talk by both the majority and the elite minority will decide the kind of walk towards a PHILIPPINES 2030. Operationalized PH2030 talk is the substance of what Pope Francis refers to as a “journey of solidarity” and the media mocked Noynoy’s “tuwid na daan”.

            TWO: WHEN GOD IS NOT CAESAR— PH2030 is likely to be a dud because of the way the country does not heed the biblical edict : render into Caesar what is not God’s and vice versa. When the clergy who are God’s apostles among the sinners fails to see the watermark demarcating the distinct territories it is not far fetch to claim that PH2015 will hew closer to some countries in the Middle East where there is no Caesar’s but only God’s governance. However, PH 2030 will not be a dud if it understands and follows the way Canada, USA and the Scandinavian and Western European countries render into Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.

            In the final and quantum analyses, name the country often featured in world news: China, Russia, North Korea, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, etc. and have an idea where the difference lies between the velvet gloves of God and the iron hand of Caesar’s hold sway. The ideal state of affairs seems to be a balance between Caesar’s way and God’s way. Again search for evidence from the top twenty countries named in the UN Human Development Index and even the blind will see the message. Through a well-balanced God’s and Caesar’s Way Philippines 2030 should strive to be among UN’s top twenty countries; after all (is not said and done?) the Philippines (134.556 millions souls ) by then will be among the world’s top twenty most populous country .

            The bible is an elaborate construction of the Ten Commandments. A hundred thousand words it might have used to dramatize the meaning of a single commandment. However, the bible needed only short passages to demonstrate how Jesus Christ could had been the first victim of his render to Caesar teaching. In an Easter dedicated movie, Jesus’ fate might have been decided in this manner by Governor Pontius Pilate and Caiaphas, the High Priest of the Jews.

            Caiaphas demanded to Pontius Pilate: “You have to sentence him, put him to death because he violated the law. He is a blasphemer.”

            Pontius Pilate to Caiaphas: “I can NOT he did not violate any Caesar’s law. He violated your own law. You are the High Priest, you do it.”

            Caiaphas with finality: So, IT MUST BE THE PEOPLE THEN WHO MUST DO IT.”

            The ultimate point then of this discourse is: IT MUST BE THE PEOPLE THEN WHO MUST DO IT to make or bust PH2030.

            For the FIFTH of the series next issue I will touched on: THREE: Four Horsemen Versus The Five Cultures, FOUR :The Greatest Energy The Holiest Power , FIVE: Condonation As Absolute Pardon, and SIX: Macro Questions To Micro Answers. ****

            • karlgarcia says:

              PHILIPPINES 2030 IS A DUD

              By Alejandro B. Ibay | June 16, 2015 0 Comment
              The ending (of this series) is the beginning so says me who also have tipsy moments trying to impress silent and sober readers. It is really the shut up piece and the beginning of silence waiting for
              another think coming, from readers. If as Heraclitus has said character is fate and if essays have character, then this is the essays’ time to be released to its destiny, into the nothingness of the cosmos. Writing those thoughts had reached the “point of no return” that says ENOUGH ! STOP! And let circumstances “BRING IT ON”. Let the people make PH2030 happen or just float in contentment letting the status quo take tomorrow.

              But let us continue this seeming song of a swan . . .

              FIVE-A: SINGIT: The Mary Jane Veloso event had unmasked a lot of people and groups for what they really are. THEY ARE NOT ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE as any dictator or despot will try to get rid of them I
              shall mention them as news media had in their pages. The “Migrante,” “Gabriela,” “Credit grabbers” they are not repeat, enemies of the people. They could be their own enemies, the potent enemies of
              progress. Why and how? They have not improved themselves nor the population they are trying to help. That’s why. They are still at it,that’s how. In a remote barrio if you see an old jeepney still running after 25 or more years; that’s them.

              SIX: THE MACRO QUESTIONS TO MICRO ANSWERS — My occupational habits really do die hard as will be obvious from the style and content of these series. Let me be anecdotal. As OFW during the mid-90s in Papua New Guinea, I was Administration and Economic Sector advisor to a province. My first speech contribution to the Annual Budget Conference drew a retort from a PhD (Econ) Member of Parliament: “The provincial advisor’s program of development is good and we should adopt all of it. My reservation is that it is all solutions, all answers. He did not tell us the questions, and the problems. I hope he enlightens us about those too.”

              I thanked the MP for his kind remarks and kept my mouth shut because I can’t say many of those who are the, or just the big part of the problems just don’t get it.
              In writing PH2030, I am on, back to my old habits sidestepping micro problems and focusing more on macro solutions. The pieces had presented micro reasons for a dud PH2030. However, there are macro
              questions the answers to which will be determinant variables that will ensure a substantive PH2030. Filipino writers and their books should provide the answers to such macro questions suggested below.

              How did morality as fathered and mentored by religion gradually but surely contributed to PHILIPPINES 2015? To what depths had the rule or misrule of law corrupted the body, mind and spirit of the
              Filipino? What is the contribution of POLITICAL-ECONOMY—political science and politicians; of economics and economists to poverty in PH2015?

              Was there good political family dynasty before the Macapagals and the Marcoses? What made political family dynasties invasive and pervasive down to the regions and provinces? What is the contribution of vote buying to mendicancy, nourishment and entrenchment of family dynasties?

              How come the politicians’ armoury of guns and goons in the fifties and sixties had been effectively reduced if not replaced by vote buying of electors and election officials, without the government
              lifting a finger? How many government officials had been elected to Office not by the voters but by the COMELEC or by the courts? Are not vote buying and bought voters only a decoy or scapegoat of a more
              sinister politics?

              What is the (macro) role of law against the (micro) rule of law in shaping and nurturing a people towards a higher human development index? IS LAW IS WHAT IS ALL THERE IS TO LIFE? You make the law.
              You implement and enforce the law. You interpret the law according to your own law. Nice if the laws are nice to the poor and disadvantaged and not loaded against them.

              If the lawmakers, make laws which are not for the people but are implemented and interpreted only for some of the people, what happens then? If the Public Interest is so defined as the sole interest of the elite what happens to the masses ? If it is going on for at least 55 years? When and how had it started? By whom? For example, for whose sake was the law enacted to abolish the death penalty ? Compassion for the lives of the criminals maybe or saving the skin of plunderers? It is unimaginable even to Paul McCartney if for more than half a century, life is going just fine for Filipinos, making it elsewhere as global citizens.

              Is greed for power and money the politicians’ shrine of the devil in the Philippines? Is it the ultimate cause or the ultimate effect leading to realization or Dud of PH2030? Simply put is losing that excessive power and money fixation by the few the light and the way out of the tunnel 15 years from now.

              Between PH2015 and PH2030 several writers should plumb the depths of Philippine laws to establish once and for all whether it was and still is the zygote (fertilized ovum) of bad history of the Philippines. This piece is my swan of a long song. *****

    • karlgarcia says:

      Sabi nila bat ang China umasenso kahit me korapsyon?
      Bakit daw sa South Korea nagpapatiwakal ang mga CEO at former president kahit walang tradition na Harakiri o Sepoku, gaya ng sa Japan.
      Sabi ng pinoy, Gago ba ako, bat ko gagawin iyon?

      • karlgarcia says:

        Speaking of the Japanese tradition and shame.
        Let me insert this comment of Irineo and Edgar here.

        Irineo B. R. Salazar says:
        October 28, 2017 at 6:23 pm
        Karl, your father’s comments about PMA ethics violations confirm something I have often observed and what I always thought could be a pattern in the Philippines:

        Honor and Shame is less about what you do than about not getting caught doing it!

        In fact there are leaders and parents who get more worked up about things they are TOLD by people around them, especially important people, regarding children or employees etc., than the wrong they see on a day-to-day basis which they could use to teach people how not to do things..

        But no, those who get caught are often permanently marked and often chosen to be blamed the next time, so the question is: is LOOKING GOOD more important for some Filipinos than BEING GOOD?

        Of course your father is right, those who have honor from childhood onward can never get caught, probably a system like PMA enhances their honor – others learn to lie better for survival, I guess.

        Edgar Lores says:
        October 28, 2017 at 7:20 pm
        Generally, looking at politicos — the Marcoses, the Binays, the Revillas, the Estradas — we value or are impressed by appearance more than substance.

        But there is suicide here(and I am bot trivializing it), not because of shame, but because of mental health which the attitude of Joey De Leon towards it, explains our ignorance about it.

        Pag mayaman daw nadepress pag mahirap daw nawalan ng pag-asa.

        Mabalik tayo sa shame, maybe Koreans and Japanese commit suicide after getting caught also.
        It is also after the fact,, if they have integrity,they would not have commited it in the first place.
        Nahiya lang din sila sa sasabihin ng iba.

  23. karlgarcia says:

    Time magazine interviewed Trillanes.
    The article also touched on Delima a little bit.

    • Edgar Lores says:

      Karl, thanks for the link. There’s almost nothing in the article that we do not know. It is very objective and leaves it to the reader to make up his mind.

      • NHerrera says:

        edgar, a different topic:

        Talking about PH infra projects some may dip their hands into, such a PH National Broadband Network, I read about the travails of the Australian NBN.

        Australia aims to have 98 percent of homes connected by 2020. But presently there have been quite a few complaints. And some finger pointing.

        The NBN Project was announced 2007 and the current estimated cost is AusD 49 bn. The cost I believe is partly because of the large size of the country, and bringing the network to that large percentage (98%) means bringing the network to even the sparsely populated areas. But it will have its future benefits when those places are more densely populated in the future, I understand.

        I am bringing up the topic because PH may encounter problems on NBN, not necessarily of the same kind as Australia, especially if the “family” gets into the act.

        • Edgar Lores says:


          1. The NBN, an Internet highway to the future, was proposed by PM Kevin Rudd of the Labor Party. It was conceived as an FTTP network. That is Fiber to the Premises. It promised speeds of 100Mbits to 93% of the population. The project was launched in 2009.

          2. In 2013, Labor lost government and one Tony Abbott of the Liberal Party ascended as PM. Abbott is a climate change agnostic and a computer illiterate. He said people did not need speeds of 100Mbits and 25Mbits was more than sufficient. He tasked his Communication Minister, one Malcolm Turnbull, to redesign NBN to make it “faster, cheaper, sooner.” Turnbull, banker and computer literate, proposed to change the technology to an FTTN network. That is Fiber to the Node. This would connect optic fiber to existing telephone copper wire in neighborhood nodes.

          3. FTTP was a pure optic fiber solution. FTTN is a hybrid solution.

          4. As it turns out, there has been no realized savings and no realized earlier completion date. The Internet highway that promised to turn Australia into nerdy royalty has turned the country into an imbecilic commoner. What is worst, neighboring New Zealand is installing an FTTP network with great success. Many computer people are flocking to the country to participate in technology ventures like the computer gaming business.

          5. Turnbull is now PM and he is in all sorts of problems. Just this week, he had the gall to blame the Labor Party for the NBN disaster. Here is a technocrat who understood computer and communications technology but allowed his computer illiterate PM to dictate to him and to destroy a dream.

          5.1. Lately, members of Parliament in both houses have discovered to their horror that they are ineligible to sit in the legislature owing to dual citizenship. Turnbull’s Deputy is one such. As Turnbull’s government exist on a thin margin, the Liberal Party reigns in parlous times.

          5.2. Some commentators have said Abbott and Turnbull should be charged with treason for sabotaging NBN. I would support such a call.

          6. Two months ago, in early August, I was forced to shift to the NBN.

          o My download speed tests are consistent between 23.34 – 24.01 Mb/s.
          o My upload speed has shown remarkable improvement from 1.91 to 4.89 Mb/s.
          o However, before NBN I did achieve a download speed of 30.29 Mb/s!

          o Just now my download speed was 21.37 and upload was 4.96 Mb/s. This is the first time I have tested at nighttime.

          o Fortunately, I have not suffered slowdown and outages. Knock on wood.

          7. There was a great misconception about the NBN. It was viewed as a commercial infrastructure venture that would bring in returns, just like a public utility — electricity, water, gas. It should have been seen as an investment into the future like a superhighway, a railroad, or a water dam. This was, I believe, the original sin.

          • Edgar Lores says:

            The question remains: why was Tony Abbott motivated to sabotage the NBN? Abbott is small-minded with a small, small letter “s.” But, in this case, it is easier to attribute to malice that which could be adequately explained by stupidity.

            And the malice comes from Rupert Murdoch, the newspaperman extraordinaire and supporter of the Liberal Party, that won the election for Abbott. Murdoch also owns Foxtel and the influential right-wing Fox network that operates in the U.S. and U.K. and god knows where else.

            And here is the explanation: “At the moment, Foxtel enjoys an effective monopoly over the distribution of online entertainment content in Australia. A fully functional modern broadband network like the NBN would destroy the monopoly by providing competitors with a fast, reliable communications platform, which they could use for the distribution of entertainment content.”

            Foxtel has the biggest interest in pay TV in Oz.

        • Edgar Lores says:

          The NBN pricing is tiered. For a higher dollar premium, I can select and upgrade my speed to 50Mb/s and up to 100Mb/s.

          However, I had to purchase a new laptop as my old HP one, acquired in 2010, was dying. This new laptop has an i7-7700HQ CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB of SSD storage, and 1TB HDD. It is fast.

          People who have opted for the higher speeds complain that they are not reaching that speed at all, and there are bottlenecks at certain times of the day.

        • NHerrera says:


          Thanks a lot for the notes. Now I understand how the mess evolved. I find interesting your note on the New Zealand case. Interesting too is your note about your download speed pre-NBN and post-NBN — but the latter speed, I suppose is temporary until the full-scope NBN is up and running? Birth pains? 🙂

          • Edgar Lores says:

            It’s more than birth pains because the child conceived is a hybrid monster. I believe with FTTP we would achieve “natural” speeds of 100Mbps. With FTTN, the theoretical average speed is 46Mbps.

            Political idiocy is not limited to the Philippines… and the US.

      • That is the way a feature article should be. In most advanced countries, even normal newspaper articles give short backgrounders so people don’t have to waste their time keeping up with tsismis. Philippine papers often expect you to know the entire background story.

        The result being that only those who are constantly reading them get the big picture, it is like you have to be always in the barangay or barrio to know the latest fights and romances. 😀

    • NHerrera says:

      Thanks for the link.

      We already know the contents of the TIME article. What it does is bring the narrative to a larger international audience. And it projects our local David somewhat bigger than our still large local Goliath — but a Goliath with a lesser shine, if not boring, because of overexposure and overused antics (Exhibit A: my wife used to listen when he appears on TV until he finishes his piece; my wife now quickly switches to a TV food channel).

      • karlgarcia says:

        Yes Sirs Edgar and NH,
        After that BBC thing, which you draw your conclusion depending which side on the fence you are, if you are a hater you will laugh and deminize him because of tgat democrat thing.
        Another international outlet this time ini print from rival Tine-Warner gave him another look, and let the reader have a fair and objective analysis as Edgar pointed out.

  24. karlgarcia says:

    For some using transmission lines for internet is moving backwards, but I think a step back and two steps forward is the way to go,

    All itt needs iis congressional cooperation.

    • NHerrera says:

      If the technical factor is sound, then it probably make sense because TransCo is nationwide and the physical structure is already there to piggy back on. I wonder what obstacles the existing telcos will put, if any. This is just my knee-jerk reaction.

  25. Sabtang Basco says:

    Who has ever heard of INTERNATIONAL CONSORTIUM OF INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS? Well, only few. ICIJ published the Panama Canal Scandal, there were plenty of Philippine companies in the list … BUT PHILIPPINE FAKE MEDIA IS SOOOOO HUSH QUIET ….. They are not investigating who owns the companies and where the money is coming from.


    Here is the link!

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      They can analyze politics but cannot follow and investigate money trail. Well, “investigation” is not the forte of Philippine Press. They prefer science, yes, Virginia, Political Science that is what they are good at: Political mudslinging, Political innuendoes, Political analysis!


    • Sabtang Basco says:

      These are the Filipinos behind above corporations, Politicians, Criminals, Rogue Industry that hides their cash in Panama …

      Here if anyone is interested:

    • karlgarcia says:

      Batman taught me to doubt almost eveything.
      Doubting includes giving its benefit.

      Btw, I clicked the link, but there is this big disclaimer.
      Palusot agad.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Imee and JV Ejercito was in their list and I clicked on the link and the disclaimer and I never heard of those companies, maybe I have to google them one by one.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Senate investigations: We hate it if there are too muchnof them, and we also hate it,when there is none. We are haters!
      Non airconditioned Living room and Airconditioned Living Room!
      Sala sa init at Sala sa Lamig!

      • Sabtang Basco says:

        If investigation is due to foreigners opening of can of worms: GOOD
        Investigation due to Filipinos affidavits: BAD

        Karl, your CNN link is auto-protect of wealthy people. Angara is there. Why do they deposit their money abroad instead in their “BELOVED” country?

        WHY? OH, WHY?

        • karlgarcia says:

          Why does the sun go on shining
          Why does the sea rush to shore
          Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
          ‘Cause you don’t love me any more

          Why do the birds go on singing
          Why do the stars glow above
          Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
          It ended when I lost your love

          I wake up in the morning and I wonder
          Why everything’s the same as it was
          I can’t understand, no, I can’t understand
          How life goes on the way it does

          Why does my heart go on beating
          Why do these eyes of mine cry
          Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
          It ended when you said goodbye

          Why does my heart go on beating
          Why do these eyes of mine cry
          Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
          It ended when you said goodbye

          • karlgarcia says:

            I saw the light on the night that I passed by her window
            I saw the flickering shadows of love on her blind
            She was my woman
            As she deceived me I watched and went out of my mind
            My, my, my, Delilah
            Why, why, why, Delilah
            I could see that girl was no good for me
            But I was lost like a slave that no man could free
            At break of day when that man drove away, I was waiting
            I cross the street to her house and she opened the door
            She stood there laughing
            I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more
            My, my, my Delilah
            Why, why, why Delilah
            So before they come to break down the door
            Forgive me Delilah I just couldn’t take any more

            [insert trumpet solo here]

            She stood there laughing
            I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more
            My, my, my, Delilah
            Why, why, why, Delilah
            So before they come to break down the door
            Forgive me Delilah I just couldn’t take any more
            Forgive me Delilah I just couldn’t take any more

            • popoy says:

              SCROLL halfway of the link to save time: daming eche bucheche Eh.

            • popoy says:

              Nobody may have seemed to connect the dots. But Neil Sedaka sang it first to sing that unfair image of a pretty girl. Women’s Lib should say something in the weaker sex defense. Tom Jones’ Delilah song is late in coming to depict a biblical warning about beautiful women. Hear Neil Sedaka first before listening to Tom Jones.

              • popoy says:

                It’s poignant, libidonal, heart warming story of the girl Hedy Lamarr who played Delilah in the film. No other beauty could have matched hers, so was her life of hollywoodish saga. Snoozers probably doesn’t know she was heroine of the West as she spied against Germany during the war. Also being the first star–when she was yet a teenager ?–of the banned first porno movie. Go Google it if you like.

              • popoy says:

                From Google: Hedy Lamarr
                Actress Hedy Lamarr made a valuable contribution to the intelligence division by co-producing an anti-jamming device for torpedoes. She also devised a clever way of “frequency hopping” that prevented the interception of American military messages. Famous for the “Road” movies with Bob Hope, everyone knew she was an actress but few were aware she was an inventor of military importance.


              • sonny says:

                Magagalit si Dorothy Lamour. Multohin, ka Popoy.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Thanks for the background information Popoy!

              • karlgarcia says:

                I will google them Popoy and Unc!

              • karlgarcia says:

                Delilah is the matron of the barber shop salon with eye plucking services.

          • sonny says:

            One of my ole time favs sang by Skeeter Davis. Good show, Neph.

  26. Sup says:

    Hope Hariette tells Duterte to jump over the fence like he told that German during the Pemberton drama…..

  27. popoy says:

    If I may be broad and deductive again in this TSoH I have read here lots of stones from batong buhay to marmol. But this one blog with a photo of the one and only Marlon Brando isn’t as hard as diamond but THE BEST as soft as innards of the wicked; like it is and no other THE UNDERBELLY OF THE BEAST. It’s anatomy, it’s physiology the organs inside the belly which are hell to smell under putrefaction and when deep fried people savor as chicharon. This piece exposes the Achilles Heel of the monster. When organs inside the underbelly dies, so also the body. The point is the power of this piece was not known in the first EDSA.

    Did the guru here said my paragraphs could be poetry?

    If I may be broad and deductive again
    in this TSoH I have read here lots of stones
    from batong buhay to marmol.
    But this one blog with a photo of
    the one and only Marlon Brando
    isn’t as hard as diamond but

    THE BEST as soft as innards of the wicked;
    like it is and no other piece
    It’s anatomy, it is physiology
    of the organs inside the belly
    which are hell to smell
    under putrefaction
    and which when deep fried
    gourmet people savor as chicharon.

    This piece exposes
    the Achilles Heel of the monster.
    When organs inside the underbelly dies,
    so also the brain and the body.

    The point here that people
    fail to see is the power
    of this blog was not known
    in the first EDSA..

    • karlgarcia says:

      Kung laman loob din lang e di isaw,sisig,bopis at betamax na.
      I invite sabtang Basco to try them!

    • karlgarcia says:

      This is how Buddha will teach the subject of family dynasties?


      By Alejandro B. Ibay | October 18, 2014 0 Comment
      In these BALITA’s pages, comments—on stars and
celebrities of the good or bad, beautiful or ugly family dynasties
–intoxicate the unwary and the innocents; so to make it
More complicated, I write this . . . .

Gautama was asked what really are you teaching?
and the sitting fat man answered: it is both about suffering
and annihilating it into nothing. Suffering is life’s essence while
nirvana este heaven is attained by cessation of suffering.
Even with success and riches “life is suffering” since
There will always be sorrow and pain for every one
Everyday mostly continuing for the grandchildren.

Family dynasties is suffering and they will surely continue
because only life is stopped by death and impermanence
Hindsight tells us only Earthquakes and floods and famine did stop
the ruling dynasties of Korea, Japan and China. Only to be
Inflicted In ours and in other poor and destitute lands
Seeds of politics sprouted into dynasties, the new mania.
Because of BUDHI of insatiable desire for power and money
Of constant lust, cravings for success and riches and fear of losing it

Life for members and descendants of dynasties is never ending suffering
Not a day will they be truly happy even in hating those who hate them.
As they suffer in worry in losing success and riches and lose sleep
Unashamed of their misdeeds, so will be the life
0f those around them whom they love or are averse.

AND THAT perhaps is how Siddhartha Gautama
Might simplify Buddhism where DUKHHA means life of suffering
And NIRVANA seemingly difficult to attain within dynasties simply
Means: “the extinguishing of the fires of desires and aversion,
and the annihilation of ignorance. It is freedom from obsessive
self concern and self grasping. Nirvana is true happiness that
brings inner peace.”

      • karlgarcia says:

        Re: Dynasties
        About Francis point that there are lack of alternatives that is why is why it is only a choice bet trapo A and Trapo B, but my problem is it isnit limited to Trapos A and B but trapos A,B,C,D,E and so on.Francis proposes to target the system that made things the way they are.

        If I emulate my old man, I will trace it to its historical origin, until the present situation, but alas,I am not my old man, and here I am, trying to talk about something without complete background info except that I know that it is there.

  28. karlgarcia says:

    @Uncle Sonny,
    I was checking my archives and I could not find your draft article. Last year or early this year pa ata yun.
    Can you resend it to me?

  29. popoy says:

    Karl, the Buddha may be is the super guro and the Dalai Lama his modern wannabe and all the cult leaders are mere charlatans; THEY ARE NOT SCIENTIFIC, meaning what they profess and sell can not be the TRUTH that will be proved or refute by EXPERIMENTATION. Replicate one thing like water a thousand or a million times will remain water. Here in TSoH and elsewhere quite a few times I toyed with the social science approach to strip naked Family Dynasties of the nasty kind. I offered the presumptive formula:
    FD = (VB + M) squared (ala-Einstein heh, heh,) where FD is Family Dynasty; VB is vote buying; and M is Mendicancy. Forget and Disregard thinking or defining Family Dynasty. A thorough and scientific approach to undressing VB and M squared will EUREKA, lead you to FD. But both VB and M will need exhaustive paradigms. I told my Economist professor Ilocano friend if the Ilocos political culture will not change BAKA (perhaps and may be only) ma-Tacloban sila. I am not talking about tribal people but trying to read the wisdom of nature. Who knows may be FD control and annihilation is nature-based. God is mysterious; the holistic universe is a mystery that science slowly tries to unravel. .

  30. madlanglupa says:

    It seems that the disturbing perception of some emigre Fil-Ams are so warped by social media that basically we have here a family believing one they they’ll be safe by a Great Man.

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      This is the human side of Duterte. He personally touches people even as young as 11 years old in the far-away land of California. The Filipinos watching GMANetwork are overwhelmed for taking time to say Hi! Hello! to this child (he is not “emigre” he was born and raised in California that makes him not an immigrant unless “imigre” has just recently been defined) despite his “busy” schedule.

      Other people Duterte touched wound up dead.

  31. andrewlim8 says:

    Abella’s replacement as presidential spokesperson means the baritone has become a Soprano. 🙂

    (and that’s not a musical voice; it’s the crime family)

    • NHerrera says:

      I don’t know about this replacement. It is sorta like replacing a soft wiping tissue with a very coarse sandpaper. A Panelo without the clown component.

  32. andrewlim8 says:

    I just attended the SCARIEST, SPOOKIEST Halloween party.

    There was a kid dressed as a bank waiver and he was chasing another kid dressed in checkered polo shouting “druga, druga, druga…”

    ha ha ha ha ha

  33. NHerrera says:


    Amazon Man Jeff Bezos has leapfrogged Microsoft Man Bill Gates again for the title of world’s richest billionaire with Bezos worth USD 90+Billions and Gates worth USD 88 Billions.

    Poor Bill Gates. I feel very sorry for him.

    • Edgar Lores says:

      Yep, he’s such a loser.

      • sonny says:

        Can he still re-invent himself? Say, be world-class surfer doing the Banzai tube in Hawaii. Have you seen it by any chance, Edgar? 🙂

        • Edgar Lores says:

          I haven’t had the pleasure. But I did read that an Oz female surfer survived a pounding by a 30-35 feet wave. Gadzooks! Ten meters! She had to deploy her “oxygen canisters.”

          I like her Oz spirit when she said, “I’m OK but my board is badly injured.”

  34. popoy says:

    JoeAm If I may, though I may not should say it: The snoozers may see now what happens if TSoH opens the flood gates to the strongest unrestrained energy (thoughts) in the world: the blog becomes the underbelly of the beast, the generator of largest comments and the echo mountain of disgusts and discontent. Notwithstanding life remains hard but free and pretty. Karl, just for play rearrange this into a poem to see how easy is wannabe poetry.

    • TSoH has been unrestrained, but disciplined, for years. That it has not descended into garbage is the result of a lot of people working to be disciplined about how it is said, and unrestrained as to what is said.

  35. madlanglupa says:

    Offtopic: I’m sorry, sir, but my closest friend has been claimed by the system by subscribing to a pro-government propaganda Facebook page.

    I felt like someone closest to me has died.

    • Edgar Lores says:


      It’s rather surprising, this late in the game, to have someone go against the rising tide of disenchantment.

      There are true believers who can change faiths at the drop of a hat. There are those whose scales drop from their eyes. And there are those that somehow have scales adhere to their eyes.

      So the initial motivating force was never a clear rational perception of the situation based on principle. It was the misplaced adoption of an ardor — perhaps from a forceful friend — that was never truly understood.

  36. Sabtang Basco says:

    U.S. Special Prosecutor has sealed indictment. Monday is the day Mueller will unseal it. Investigation without fanfare. Investigation without drama. Investigation without American media spouting gossips and innuendoes.

    Can Rappler and the rest of Philippine Media emulate America? Can they make analysis so their readers can understand why America is doing the way they are doing their investigation not the Philippine way … Not the Philippine Media way …. NOT MAKING IT A CIRCUS AND SWARMS OF GOSSIPS.


    This challenge is simple. All they have to do is keep their mouth shut lock their keyboards.

  37. Sabtang Basco says:


    It made me puke !

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