China is peeling the Philippines like a ripe banana

Analysis and Opinion

By Joe America

The announcement of the presence of 200 Chinese boats on Whitson (Julian Felipe) Reef shocked the Philippines. The armada was like China jabbing President Duterte in the eye with a stick. All of his warmth toward China was laid bare as fraudulent, a one-way ticket. All in favor of China.

Well, the relationship was never much of anything, was it?

  • China’s infrastructure deals never worked out because China wanted to charge high interest rates, employ Chinese workers, and hold other favors.
  • Joint development for oil exploration never worked out because China would not agree that the projects, in Philippine territory, should be under Philippine law.
  • The Chinese online gambling joints (Pogos) proved troublesome, a bed of corruption, sleaze, crime, and arrogant mainlanders.
  • The favoring of Chinese vaccines got the Philippines no vaccines, or vaccines that Filipinos clearly did not want. Un-tested ones.

Clearly, China has been playing Philippine leaders. Its advocates, like Senator Bong Go, have kept the nation on its back, or knees, or whatever position is best for abuse.

If we look back, we can observe that the history of Philippine loss of islands in contested seas is a fascinating portrayal of a nation with no sense of nationhood, or accountability, for how things work out. It’s a beggar-me Philippines expecting the United States to step in to stop China from taking her land, or pointing fingers everywhere but at China.

We know Scarborough Shoal was lost in 2012 to China during the Aquino and Obama years when the US had no Asian military policy to speak of. US armed forces were fully engaged in the Middle East. There was confusion among the Philippine front-door and back-door representatives and the US. China did not leave, as agreed.

Interestingly enough, Mischief Reef was lost to China in 1996 during the Ramos and Clinton years when the US focus was on global economic well-being. Efforts were being made to bring China into the civil fold. At Mischief, bullets were fired. A 90 minute gun battle between the Philippines and China. But the Philippines and US did not put the Mutual Defense Treaty into effect.

The US should have been obligated to take the reef back for the Philippines. But that conflict was before the arbitration win for the Philippines in 2016 that set in cement the terms of land and sea rights. The Mischief conflict quickly drifted off into ‘bilateral discussions’ seeking peaceful resolution. China loves this approach. She sets the terms. Mischief Reef today is an armed Chinese island with runway. It is actually closer to Palawan than Whitson Reef where the 200 boats were anchored.

Whitson and Mischief are within the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The structures China has built there belong to the Philippines.

Lots of luck getting them. By LAW, the Philippines could sail up to Mischief, demand China vacate, get fired upon, and call for the US to defend Philippine land, seas, aircraft, and watercraft. And take Mischief.

But politics is in the way. And World War III. So LAW won’t happen. And China is playing that angle. Relentlessly.

Democracies are unreliable, actually. Cumbersome. Slow. Argumentative. Inconsistent from one president to the next. President Duterte is no warrior. We don’t know about President Biden. We can guess that he is cautious, not a warrior either.

That leaves China.

Yes indeed. That leaves China to peel the Philippines like a ripe banana. Playing democracies for the patsies that they are.

Should the US save the Philippines?

From whom? From China, or from Filipino leaders?

Only the Philippines can save the Philippines, I think. Pushback against China. More court actions. Sanctions. Policing. Directing alliances.

Or not.

That, too.

Comments
124 Responses to “China is peeling the Philippines like a ripe banana”
  1. Rosario says:

    Really heartbreaking.
    And no amount of DFA letter complaint would be listen to by China.
    All countries that uses the international water for their goods will soon pay China of toll fee if and when china took the 9-line they so dreamt of.

    • Yes, it is. China is very good at finding weaknesses and using them. Democratic clumsiness is one. President Duterte is one. The Philippines holds cards, too, but doesn’t play them, or plays them poorly (Secretary Locsin criticizing Western nations, showing a weak alliance). That’s the pity.

      • The archipelago hasn’t fully evolved yet from the old attitude of 1521:

        1) chiefs called datus accepted an overlord called Raja for their benefit
        2) Humabon by some interpretations expected Magellan to solve his problem (Lapu-Lapu) for him and dropped the Spanish when that failed
        3) Manila accepted the more organized and better armed (with lantakas) Malays of Brunei as overlords until Spain came and threw them out. Spain even attacked Brunei in 1581 to prove its point that it was there to stay in the area.
        4) Philipp II made the chiefs an offer they could not refuse in 1594 – help tax your people including forced labor and we (The King) exempt you from it.
        5) Aguinaldo had Americans take him home to Cavite and hoped for their protection, even writing it into the 1898 Constitution. McKinley and I guess even more his gung-ho Defense Secretary Teddy Roosevelt “punked” Aguinaldo.
        6) Philippine elites easily shifted to being under US patronage until 1902, then most easily did the same towards Japan in 1942 and back in 1944.

        Dutz expected the same kind of patron-client relationship he has with his stooges in Congress from Xi, but got the raw end of the deal as we see by now. His fault.

        By contrast, the Sri Vijayan Empire (basically also a federation of rulers with one loosely recognized paramount ruler, typical Malay set-up, but also typical tribal like the groups allied with Arminius when he decimated Roman legions, or the Gallic tribes that faced Caesar under Vercingetorix) saw the disadvantage of being very loosely organized when the Chola Tamils attacked them. The Majapahit Empire that followed was way less fluid by all indications.

        The Philippines had the relative comfort of being protected by others from 1594-1991, basically. The time to grow up and learn to take charge was short. Lapu-Lapu and Humabon were tactically good, the strategic part I doubt.

        Nonetheless there are strategic thinkers. Karl’s father wrote about “sacred shores” in the English version of the national anthem, and said what about the seas. I doubt that Humabon and Lapu-Lapu thought far beyond their respective beaches either, unlike the Majapahit who had lantakas mounted as swivel cannons on their naval vessels. The Dutch only managed to conquer most of Indonesia from the 19th century onwards, as its Sultans had already mastered the art of using their options as independent rulers.

        The Air Force recently photographing the man-made islands and responding cooly to Chinese radio challenges was a smart move, showing presence but avoiding a full stand-off, see Chiara Zambrano’s FB posting below. The Coast Guard getting close enough to photograph the ships anchored of Philippine reefs was also smart – using white fleet i.e. no military vessels to avoid direct confrontation.

        https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10162657651249815&id=529839814

        This is a standoff even more complicated than West Berlin in the years from Stalin’s blockade to the Checkpoint Charlie standoff and the Wall. It cannot be resolved as easily. Though West Berlin did win full US support especially Kennedy by showing loyalty. I can imagine that policymakers in the USA have a hard time trusting the Philippines since Dutz, just like the EU’s trust was eroded by NAIA3 and then Dengvaxia. Jerking around with partners is not something easily forgotten, so why be surprised today?

        • Yes, jerking allies around is a peculiar way to get to prosperity, investment, and defense. There is no accumulation of “mutual capital”, just short-term expedience.

        • sonny says:

          Irineo, am tempted to think along these lines:

          1) Philippine trajectory is similar to Liberia; the Rajah/emperor has no clothes;
          2) Consider de facto thalassocracies: Spain & Portugal, England, United States, Japan;
          3) Woulda-been thalassocracies: Sri-Vijaya, Majapahit;
          4) Wannabe supreme thalassocracy: China

          • Indonesia is an existing thalassocracy, the successor of Sumatra-based Sri-Vijaya and Java-based Majapahit. All Indonesian presidents were Javanese BTW, I have been told the old Javanese aristocracy, the priyayi, still play the major role in government offices. Sumatran Batak are said to play a major role in top military posts. Postwar consolidation of Indonesia was by military and migration from overpopulated Sumatra, transmigrasi. Moluccans for instance wanted an own republic after the Dutch left. Some decided to migrate to Holland instead of living in Indonesia. Timor Leste eventually managed to become independent as it has a distinct culture highly influenced by Catholicism and Iberia, and also because of decades of EU diplomatic pressure in their favor. Filipinos BTW were among the UN peacekeepers there at some point if I remember correctly.

            Habibie (whose mother was a Javanese aristocrat) BTW was behind the present capacity of Indonesia to build own ships and planes. That in a country where the military still lacked radios and had to rely on WW1 type runners during the 1965 military coup.

            The cousins of Filipinos (and maybe even more of Ilocanos, as they also call fish ikan and blood dara) had the historical luck of already having had proto-states before being conquered by Westerners and a certain cultural continuity so their mindset was ahead. The national motto Bhinekka Tunggal Ika comes from a Majapahit poem. Filipinos have to catch up quickly as things don’t look good. Some see the state and nation like a foreign body while state and government sometimes treat citizens like colonized natives.

            • Re Indonesia, the Philippines and China this article by Richard Heydarian is worth reading in full as the author understands international politics very well:

              “Despite five years of servility, China’s President Xi Jinping has rewarded has Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte with nothing, not even the COVID vaccines China promised to deliver by the end of 2020.” Meanwhile, Indonesia is to manufacture or is manufacturing Chinese vaccines in license and has to my knowledge done a tech transfer deal similar to its aerospace partnerships.

              https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/How-Jokowi-bested-China-while-Duterte-ended-up-a-lackey

              • kasambahay says:

                duterte is hardly a statesman, once a mayor, always a mayor, and many in his cabinet want him that way. he rarely punishes those that do wrong, and those that got bested by public opinion and reluctantly given marching order, duterte appoints them again. and the senate’s committee on appointments is on the take and keeps on endorsing duterte’s appointees time and again. they’re relatives afterall, kins, friends, and supporters.

                good servant of china is duterte, gives and gives and got nothing in return. duterte is simple, bong go’s honest summation of duterte on duterte’s 76th birthday.

  2. LCPL_X says:

    “Democracies are unreliable, actually. Cumbersome. Slow. Argumentative. Inconsistent from one president to the next. President Duterte is no warrior. We don’t know about President Biden. We can guess that he is cautious, not a warrior either.”

    Joe, Biden is basically a more polite and quiet Trump. With this infrastructure program coming, I gotta feeling MAGA is here to stay just with less tweets and retweets.

    I just got done perusing thru Locsin’s tweets to check his #StopAsianHate reactions , pretty standard stuff, nothing that was too serious leveled at American society. I actually like this dude’s tweets, like Trump but with a brain.

    He keeps on saying communism works but only with China, Cuba and Vietnam, I’m sure he’s not talking economic system but hierarchical , kinda true actually. I see he has no choice here the writings on the wall, there’s really no interest as far as Biden, or maybe later AOC’s administration about foreign involvement with territorial stuff anymore. Trump doctrine is now in play.

    So forget about Philippine waters, that’s sealed. The Philippines has a bigger area opposite it and because that abutts Guam and actual American protectorates, then the US military will play a role.

    It does look like the US is going full on electric by 2030, so the best the Philippines can do is invest in this. I know more electric vehicles are being produced in China, but see the US has an interesting dilemma lack of rare earth metals that make the batteries thus more innovation incoming because of this, plus all the Mars stuff.

    Money for Amtrak and railroad is also interesting, I don’t think Americans are too keen taking the train really, maybe they are talking about high speed stuff. Biden messed up at the border because he opened his mouth too soon instead of leaving the situation as is. He understands that now.

    But Biden’s infrastructure has a lot of promise essentially because Biden’s listened to Micha , and now ignoring deficit.

    In conclusion, China is there to stay, so I agree Locsin must be a closer friend to her (thats reflected on his tweets); US is now far away and doing its own thing (finally, thanks to Trump who jump started this new way of doing things). That own thing, like electric and other innovations, etc. is where the Philippines can profit, grab the coat tails of that , move on.

    No more foreign adventures for us, but innovation is in-coming. I think Locsin is hip to all this, and has adjusted his rhetoric so. Though I’m not seeing the latter part.

    • Biden is not like Trump in moral grounding and decency. He has eliminated a lot of Trump’s policies and will keep some. Kindly stop writing horseshit. It’s so typical of today’s modern social media manipulators. And don’t go re-explaining the horseshit, it just makes it deeper.

      We’ll see about the WPS. Blinken talks a good game, but I’m guessing you are right. All feathers, no peck, and the seas are lost.

      I’ll be writing my next blog on Locsin if I can get the new WordPress tech horseshit figured out. They cancelled the easy editor.

      • https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-us-canada-56620915

        The US has lifted sanctions on the International Criminal Court (ICC) top prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.
        The sanctions were imposed under former President Donald Trump over the court’s investigation’s into alleged war crimes by the US in Afghanistan, and US ally Israel in the Palestinian territories.
        Announcing the move, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the sanctions “were inappropriate and ineffective” and called for closer co-operation.
        The US is not a member of the ICC.
        The US has also removed Phakiso Mochochoko, head of the ICC’s Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division, from the Specially Designated Nationals list, and has terminated a separate 2019 policy on visa restrictions on specific ICC personnel..

          • LCPL_X says:

            Looking forward to the Locsin article, Joe. It says on Wiki that he was basically speechwriter /spokesperson at Malacanang from 1986-1992. Then he was in the media til around 2015, then a stint as law professor, before returning to Malacanang.

            He seems a crafty character.

            But reading Ireneo’s link by Heyderian on Indonesia having gotten more out of the China relationship; I wonder what Locsin has gotten out of this China pivot, like you’ve listed seems all crap deals.

            DU30 and Go are mental midgets obviously compared to Locsin. Rhetoric-wise,

            Makes sense attack American Asian hate, but has Locsin tweeted or expressed similar stuff towards China, Uighurs/HK protests? if not then Voltairian precept below is relevant.

            I guess what I’m really curious about is if Locsin is just some rhetoritician, or is he the guy that makes things happen from the shadows, as evidenced by the dude’s sharp wit. Because I sense from his twitter, that he likes to post shadowy stuff like Michael Cohen, Trump’s fixer.

            Always hinting at stuff he’s doing behind the scenes, always ridiculing media/journalists for not being in the know.

            But what’s his track record and what sort of stuff has he produced/made happened for the Philippines, during all those years in Malacanang?

            Of the comments here, the most like Locsin’s twitter feed in spirit is kasambahay’s and since I still think its MRP, I’m gonna conclude satire, but sure

            fight China, rah rah, chest thumping, etc. but what’s the endgame if you start a war in the South China Sea, and its just you against China? seems not very strategic. just chest thumping for chest thumping’s sake.

            What’s Locsin’s endgame vis-a-vis China.

            If Locsin is a deal maker, the guy driving the ship (not DU30 or Go) he’ll have more evidence of good deals from Vietnam. That’s if he’s made things happened. Either way looking forward to the Locsin blog, Joe.

            • My blog may not drill that directly into Sec. Locsin. He’s a chameleon, a troll, and a well-read-rhetorician (nice word). He’s been tight with the US military alliance but seems to be pushing away recently with a lot of anti-Western comments. It will be instructional what he decides to say, or not say, when he’s back from China. I have no special insights, just watch without the venom many consign to him.

  3. Chris Albert says:

    I wouldn’t be so sure that China will get this all it’s way. Yes Du30 and Go will do nothing and probably try to get the nation on its side with a massive delivery of Chinese Vaccines (which BTW are not as bad as we are made to believe) and maybe another 7h glitch to “correct” the numbers in 2022. I wouldn’t bet on the Filipinos accepting that so.
    The main point that will make China trip over this is the World view on this and China in general. The Alaska meeting showed that USA is not having any of this nonsense as the Democrats are way more willing for violent confrontation. (something Trump did not as it made no “business sense” to him). Oz/NZ/Jp/ and the UK will not allow this to go any further either…….The real question is….do the Filipinos really want an armed conflict right at their doorstep……….coz that one could turn nasty.

    • A major conflict could devastate the Philippine economy even more.

      But then again Filipinos are “resilient” which might just mean they are a bit masochistic and like starting over again and again while others progress.

      • kasambahay says:

        I think, those that have progress down to pat is because they too have many beginnings, maybe too many to enumerate and too painful to remember. but they have patience and perseverance by the truckloads and let their ‘investments’ grow. slow but sure.

        • kasambahay says:

          as I see it, there was a major conflict albeit bloodless and it has given birth to our betters: edsa, followed yet by another edsa, and as a result our economy benefited, our people as well.

          if we have major conflict now, bloodless or others, our economy may well nosedive, maybe not.

    • Filipinos don’t want an armed conflict.

      • kasambahay says:

        I say do it! porbida nangangatog ako, but. maggi thatcher once sent frigate to the faraway falklands and won.

        if we do nothing, we could lose all. might as well do something while we can. we may lose heroes, but that’s what heroes are for.

        if our pilots got shot down by the chinese, does not mean our pilots will die. they may be unseated but they’ll eject and if they’re good swimmers, they’ll be rescued. our pilots have trained for eventualities, wanna chance it?

        • I think there is a difference between typing it on paper and climbing into the seat of a noisy jet, closing the cockpit bubble, zooming off the runway, flying over ships with real people on them, diving down and shooting.

          • kasambahay says:

            I’m for letting the air force have a go, but if they’re content to just sit and enjoy the sunset, sipping tequilas, and letting grass grow between their toes, they may as well hand the command over to me! I’m kidding.

            watch it, china, here I come! happy easter!

            • LCPL_X says:

              There’s also the issue of not having gas, and lack of maintenance, and logistics of parts since most of your aircrafts are hand me downs; your most modern fighters from Korea are prone to mechanical failures, top that with Filipinos penchant for preventive maintenance– this bahala na mindset is just no match for China.

              Youre better off swarming with bangkas.

              I just don’t see it, sorry. Kinda like this,

              • kasambahay says:

                that’s weird, lack of gas? and yet how many times chinese aircraft refueled in dabaw? and if they’re not paying for their gas, porbida! as well, duterte has bought new aircraft, may air force one siya, exclusively for his own use, for him and entourage to travel all over the country, racking up mileage and nothing much.

  4. kasambahay says:

    we are used to armed conflict, marawi is example. we always have armed conflict and violent confrontation, local or others and we are used to seeing bloodletting specially during election. duterte’s drug war saw massive bloodletting on the streets too, right on our doorstep and under our noses. we have lawyers and politicians executed and killed in public places, churches bombed and priests killed while officiating mass.

    does china wants armed conflict? it is hankering for one and it got its nose bloodied by the indians.

    massive deliveries of chinese vaccines is maybe cosmetic, in my opinion, for your eyes only. some of me friends are asking, are there really vaccines inside them boxes? coz, as regards epidemiology, those vaccines ought to go to places where it is most need, like the ncr, national capital regions, where numbers of infection are highest. yet, the numbers of ncr infections are rising still and shows no sign of slowing. and many are still not vaccinated and some are now jumping the line just to get vaccinated.

    • They will not be as foolish as Magellan and land on any beach or on Mactan as their strategic goal is probably not to control the Philippines.

      Natural Resources they can access thanks to corrupt people in the country.

      Even if Filipinos are used to violence and the Philippine Navy thanks to PNoy has more than just 3 bancas and a dog (charot) China has a huge modern fleet.

      India has manpower and equipment at an almost similar level to China and in the mountains the fight is still more mano a mano than in the high seas. That is why mountain nations have an easier time being neutral.

      India already defended its border in the mountains decades ago. As for Filipino violence it has for most of history been against fellow Filipinos. Even in revolution or come on who killed Bonifacio and Heneral Luna or had it done.

      • kasambahay says:

        we might be passive but have given the spaniards a bloody hard time. and we have been to world war two vs a foreign power and won!

        people everywhere are the same and bleed underneath, and violence is transportable. if filipinos can be killed, foreigners as well. all we need is reason.

        • The bloody hard time is a legend. Native soldiers outnumbered Spanish (mostly Mexican) soldiers 5:1 during the early colonial period. Of course there were rebellions here and there but mostly native troops suppressed them. My last article was pretty clear about that. The datus mostly collaborated with the Kastila and had a good life becoming principalia. That is proven as well.

          One of the Guardia Civil groups that Bonifacio and his men encountered just after Pugadlawin were local enlisted men and a few Spanish officers.

          One of the mestizo Guardia Civil officers who originally red-tagged, I mean denounced, the Katipunan, was later an officer in Aguinaldo’s army. So it goes around both ways, the merry switching of sides typical of Filipino history.

          True, the WW2 resistance was a great thing. Filipino pride once wounded can go to great extents, the Japanese managed to ignite it then by arrogance such as slapping people for not bowing to them. But then again one of Aguinaldo’s former top generals, Artemio Ricarte who was so extremely anti-American that he spent most of the American period in Japanese exile, was involved with the occupation regime and ended up missing, probably killed by guerillas.

          China is probably smarter than Japan. Not occupying the Philippines but putting in place a puppet President who makes Filipinos kill each other.

          Reason as well as maybe better controlled tempers would help Filipinos. Something more like Trillanes’ “directed anger” as Joe calls it. Not the kind of anger that feels insulted when Europeans call out Dutz on Human Rights. Or the kind of anger that seemingly wanted to kill PNoy after Mamasapano but has strangely enough mostly ignored many abuses of Dutz over five years.

        • Kasambahay, I just found out there is a Netflix series Barbarians about the Germanic encounter with Rome. This scene is striking, showing how Arminius comes back to his own people as a Roman who has learned to look down on his own people, even as he still understands their language. The Romans speak a pretty fascinating reconstruction of what Latin probably sounded like, the barbarians speak modern German but there is also a dubbed English version:

          This is the trailer of the series:

          My father once joked that Arminius is the Germanic Lapu-Lapu. A bit different as Arminius really served the Roman Empire, like many did in the days when the people of Germania were still tribal. Hmm, I guess I will finally get Netflix.

          • Oops, this is the scene I wanted to paste in:

            • sonny says:

              (Off blog theme)

              “… Romans speak a pretty fascinating reconstruction of what Latin probably sounded like, …”

              You and me both, Irineo. In order to get to that reconstruction, one would have to read other literary works written in Latin that are contemporaneous to Caesar’s Gallic Wars in order to get the feel of sentence construction with syntax inflections, e.g. Omnis Gallia divisa est in tres partes … compare to Cicero’s “Usque tandem abutere Catilina patientia nostra …” 🙂

              • Cadence and rhyme for instance of poems seems to be one way linguists find out about these matters.

                Another is probably looking at the descendants of a language and how they branched out, which for Latin is quite well documented.

                The Latin spoken in the film somehow combines Italian diction with the soft vowels of Portuguese, one of the most archaic Latin languages.

                Quite interesting too how the cavalryman speaks a mix of official Latin, the kind taught in schools, and colloquial Latin from which modern Latin languages descended. Makes sense as a cavalryman will speak more polished Latin than a regular legionary, but not the same Latin as the men in togas. Seems the movie had good advisers, even unto a lot of details like costumes.

                What IS fascinating about it is the age-old theme of underdog vs. overdog, heavily armed and organized societies vs. those at a “simpler” stage.

                Lessons from that are back on topic both when it comes to Magellan vs Lapu-Lapu AND the present challenge the Philippines faces. Karl’s comment on bee fleet and industrial simplex come to mind, defend oneself leveraging the means one has at one’s disposal. I think I will recheck what happened in the Gallic Wars re why Vercingetorix lost to Caesar, or the Helvetii (proto-Swiss).

            • kasambahay says:

              daghang salamat, Irineo, sa visual feast. though I dont like netflix because of meghan markle, lol!

              seriously though, I cannot look at the men in the series without noticing how well presented they are, they must have their own dressers. as actors, very convincing sila sa dialogue, most actors are excellent mimic at may voice coaches sila.

              historically? like the movie 300, I cannot help by laugh and was greatly shushed. I find it hard to believe me-di-te-ran-yan men are that tall and hairless. when they’re usually short and hairy and stumpy as sure footed mountain goats! hair removal aside, I tried to enjoy the movie.

  5. Karl Garcia says:

    I just want to repeat that my beef is with the Chinese government’s bad decisions and bad commands like I would feel about any other country. I would not call this xenophobia like what Carlos Jugo repeatedly call this,because the Chinese people or anyone so long as they are peaceful and orderly do not deserve hate of any form.

    The Chinese’ claim of fishing vessels should not be confronted militarily,sure but what can stop them from claiming that their gunboats with hidden guns are fishing vessels, they may even claim that their aircraft carrier is a fishing vessel… Of course they would be crazy if they do that.

    We have a long way to go to be a Naval power or a Military power.
    Our Coastguard became a civilian institution because some donor countries like Japan, Spain, France,etc would not donate to military institutions. If ever, we will have no Coast guard fleet , because looking at the inventory most if not all PCG vessels came from donor countries that refuse to donate to military.

    We have a mendicant Military, Mendicant Coast Guard and a mendicant foreign policy and we can afford to be tough and badmouth our allies.

    Our bureaucracy is in an entangled web, we have turf wars, fragmented institutions, in short chaos. Much have been said about inter-agency cooperation, but we need more than buzz words, we need actual transformation.

    • kasambahay says:

      my understanding as to why donations of military hardware are not forthcoming from friendly countries is maybe because our armed personnel have been ordered to kill civilians and drug suspects, already thousands have thus been killed. also redtagging by armed personnel with view to primary execution of the redtagged.

      as well, methink many of donated armaments ended up sold to insurgents and to private armies of the super wealthy, causing more anxiety and uncertainly to law abiding citizens.

      law and order barely exist in our country and being chaotic, foreign investors have given our country a miss.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        That is part of the reason. It wasn’t called red tagging back then or tokhanging, some say it is hypocrisy(especially Dutz)for countries to question human rights.

        • Dutz’s view of the world is stuck in the 1970s. That was when the USA supported a lot of dictatorial regimes and LBJ (Pres. Lyndon Johnson) said “it doesn’t matter if he’s a SOB as long as he is our SOB”. Then you had the protests in the USA against the Vietnam war, even with some shedding their short military haircuts after being sent there and protesting against the war as long-haired hippies, some of them even looked like Jesus Christ Superstar.

          The spirit of the times changed and eventually the USA had a President, Jimmy Carter, who made human rights part of US foreign policy and was the first American President to call out Marcos. Those who think democratic countries are hypocrites for evolving towards the better probably think peoples and states are like the Borg and these changes just superficial. No they are deep, for instance it was the Greens who first questioned a Bavarian politician for going hunting with Marcos and even giving him a pistol early 80s. Nowadays the Western public is mostly more woke and will question deals with dictatorial regimes. Or even commercial deals that oppress foreign labor – the new German supply chain law for instance, just out, obliges German firms to check the compliance of their suppliers even abroad with labor standards. Those who think stuff like that is hypocrisy probably think people can be only bad or pretend to be good.

    • Karl, always good to read your good sense.

  6. pablonasid says:

    You did not mention the possible infiltration from within. A third generation Filipino-Chinese contractor installing equipment on my project mentioned that, “ofcourse the Chinese are taking over, the Filipino’s can’t manage by themselves”. To say that I was shocked was an understatement, but then I looked around in my provincial town and noticed that every reliable business working on my project was owned by 2nd ,& 3rd generation Chinese-Filipino’s. The statement from my contractor was not so much a threat as a matter-of-fact and I thought it became even more scary because it was meant in earnest. There is a part of the population which runs it’s own schools in a foreign language, which has it’s own business groups, which socializes amongst themselves. While at the same time supporting the local structures enough to be seen as beneficial. They are not necessarily a threat, but the question is what will happen when China puts pressure on that community which considers itself distinctly separate but identifies for a big part with China?
    The political structure is still in the hands of the old powers, but eventually, it will be the economic power which will decide the course. Unless China gets impatient, the combined external economic power (loans, trade) and internal economic power as described above can guide the country into the mighty Chinese hands without shots being fired. Like Joe mentioned, there is a long term strategy being implemented making optimal use of structural weaknesses.

    • Interesting read. My understanding is that multi-generational Chinese-Filipinos are loyalists and don’t care much for mainland ways. Whether they could be ‘bought out’, I don’t know. The nation seems completely adrift right now. Vulnerable.

      • LCPL_X says:

        Those Chinese language schools, or schools that teach Chinese, tend to be Christian schools also. Same same with hospitals with Chinese names in the Philippines, they probably have more connection with church groups over here than in China, Joe.

        • Interesting. I didn’t know that and it makes sense. Thanks.

          • LCPL_X says:

            I Googled this awhile back, Joe. I first had the same thought as pablo above, but more digging on this matter essentially got me to the boxer rebellion.

            So for example, Asociacion Benevola de Cebu, owns hospitals, cemeteries, connected to church groups (and by church groups I don’t mean Jehovah’s witnesses, but also Chinese christian churches, mostly Protestant, also based here).

            Very similar to tongs, which there are a lot of over here too, they runt retirement centers here, as well as other community focused enterprises. Offer loans to folks, encourage businesses.

            The Koreans here have something similar but they tend to do it only thru korean christian church, which are less well-oiled compared to Chinese ones which tend to be eclectic. so there are no Tongs amongst Korean community here.

            Tongs, usually carry the “benevolence” word in their names. So I think Koreans over here are just new to this concept of tongs, thus they only express it thru their churches, much like Jewish community centers around the temple, which has to be walking distance from where you live, due to sabbath rules.

            Similarly, Falun Gong a religious martial arts movement also runs Epoch Times, a newspaper here which became avid Trump supporter due to its anti-Chinese stance, the Falun Gong are hunted in China.

            now the Falun Gong movement is closer to the Boxer rebellion. it’s an interesting rabbit hole to explore, but my point here is that pablo’s conclusion is over simplistic. And it pays to examine these groups further.

            As comparison Filipinos there and over here tend to be better at planning and organizing fiestas and beauty pageants, but you’ll never see them build something these Chinese organizations have theres cohesion, and I think that’s pablo’s point above…

            though that is something very different from loyalty. pablo’s jumping from one to the next w/out appreciating the gap in between.

          • kasambahay says:

            we also have catholic schools po, muslim schools, jewish schools, japanese, koreans, etc. melting pot talaga.

            we have hospitals run by catholic orders too, and they have charity wards that charges nothing and offer free hospitalisation. they have stores that sell catholic memorabilia, and same with other religious institutions.

            our chinoys tend to be independent of china and dont really like pogos. chinoys are more like taiwanese and value their freedom too. will chinoys be happy living under the thumb of chinese communist party? hardly. they want to live in peace and ply their trade and commerce, not be constantly on alert and watching their backs, beholden to xi who is acting more and more like mao tse tung.

            I went to school with some chinoys, and much to my shame, I bully some of them. I dont know why they let me. teachers keep eye on me though. mabunganga raw ako. and during class presentations when we all team up, I ended up teaming with chinoys, they give me all items and stuff for presentation, all I have to do is talk and present and answers questions that are sometimes meant to harass, adlibbing often and shouting and harassing in return. we got good to very good scores. many in the audience thought me hilariously entertaining, though I was do or die and wanted top score for the team.

            • Ah, very rich description. Amused me. Thanks.

            • sonny says:

              Some historical background on the Chinese diaspora in the 14th century:

              “Research shows that the Chinese explorer Zheng He (1371-1433) helped establish Chinese communities in Indonesia and Malaysia probably to impose imperial Chinese control. Beginning in the late-1700s, large numbers of Chinese began emigrating to Southeast Asia. Most were illiterate, landless peasants oppressed in their homelands and looking for opportunities abroad.
              … After 1683, many migrated to Formosa (today Taiwan), an island not far away.So many other people also left Fujian for Southeast Asia during the late 18th century and early 19th century that the Manchu court in China issued an imperial edict in about 1718 recalling all Chinese to the mainland. In about 1728 they declared that anyone who didn’t return and was captured would be executed. So there were a lot of challenges along the way.
              … Most of the Chinese who settled in Southeast Asia left China in the middle of the 19th century after a number of ports were opened in China with the signing of the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 after the first Opium War. The ports made it easy to leave and since the British were running things there were fewer obstacles preventing them from leaving. It was also convenient to head for British controlled destinations.
              … A large number of Chinese left from Xiamen (Amoy) and Fuzhou (Foochow) in the Hokkien (or in Mandarin, Fujian) province. Many were encouraged by colonial governments so they could provide cheap coolie labor in ports around the world, including those in colonial Southeast Asia. Many Chinese also fled the coastal province of Hokkien after famines and floods in 1910 and later during World War II and the early days of Communist rule. Today many of the legal and illegal immigrants from China continue to come from the Hokkien province.

              … Chinese Advance in Southeast Asia
              Of the Chinese who went abroad, some returned, some died under harsh working conditions but many stayed on where able to prosper and thrive under European colonial rule. In the British-controlled Malay states the Chinese managed the lucrative opium farms and controlled opium distribution. In Indonesia, the Chinese collected taxes and worked as labor contractors for the Dutch.
              Over time, the Chinese became moneylenders, and controlled internal trade in the Southeast Asia countries where they lived. They also played various roles in the trade between Southeast Asian countries. Some accumulated great wealth and this encouraged other Chinese in China to follow in their footsteps.
              Overseas Chinese worked as shop owners, traders, middlemen; became involved in wide variety of businesses; and founded family businesses and international firms. By the late 19th century they controlled much of the commerce in Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Cambodia and Indonesia and ran companies that did business through the Asian-Pacific region.”

              • kasambahay says:

                these days, communist china has gone on leaps and bounds po, unlike the china of old. modern china is more aggressive, highly tech evolved, uberly paranoid and singularly aiming for world domination.

                methink, china’s wuhan lab ought to be closed and never to be opened again. the lab is doing research on super viruses with view of creating vaccines as antidote in case super viruses become pandemic problematic. having headstart then and being solely proficient in pet superviruses created, china will also have headstart in stockpiling designer vaccines intended for commercial use. then china can fine tune its vaccine diplomacy, only those countries dominated by china can have the vaccines. the rest can rest in peace. dust to dust.

                chernobyl was disaster, iran was made to close its nuclear reactors, and china should be made to close wuhan lab too. the lab does not augers well for mankind.

  7. Just to give an idea of the sheer power of the world’s now largest navy:

    • https://wap.business-standard.com/article/international/europe-signals-opposition-against-china-s-intimidation-in-south-china-sea-121031900365_1.html

      ..China officially possesses the world’s largest navy, with some 360 ships in active service. By 2035, Xi wants 40 major combatants afloat, reported news.com.au.

      “Already commanding the world’s largest naval force, the People’s Republic of China is building modern surface combatants, submarines, aircraft carriers, fighter jets, amphibious assault ships, ballistic nuclear missile submarines, large coast guard cutters, and polar icebreakers at an alarming speed,” warns the US Pentagon’s recent Advantage at Sea report.

      In December last year, NATO for the first time issued a report putting China on an equal threat footing as Russia.

      France has led the way since in signalling its renewed interest in the “Far East” as it has territories in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It maintains military facilities on Reunion Island, New Caledonia and French Polynesia.

      Britain has announced its new aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth will spearhead a multinational task force in its first active deployment later this year. This small fleet is expected to conduct exercises in the South China Sea.

      Also, the United States has publicly praised Germany’s decision to send a frigate through the South China Sea to Japan in August. “We welcome Germany’s support for a rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific,” a US State Department release reads. “The international community has a vital stake in the preservation of an open maritime order.”

      A handful of warships will, on their own, appear insignificant to Beijing. But, the UK, France, Germany and The Netherlands are signalling their willingness to at least show their flags in opposition to China’s regional intimidation, wrote Seidel.

      Moreover, the European countries’ ships are modern, capable and designed to operate seamlessly with the US and their crews regularly train with each other around the globe.

      This makes them ideal for providing moral and physical support for the evolving Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) between India, Japan, Australia and the United States, wrote Seidel.

      Meanwhile, Beijing finds itself increasingly friendless – mainly because of its own ‘wolf warrior’ diplomacy and military intimidation..

      • The Quad, an Indian POV:

        • kasambahay says:

          china is teaming up with iran, russia, syria and now turkey. many of uighurs refugee from china that settled in turkey are in precarious situation, fearful that turkey will soon send them back to china.

          • kasambahay says:

            the world’s largest navy, looking back, elizabeth the first of england must have been very kabado, looking at the humongous spanish armada massing not far from english port, braying for elizabeth’s blood and ready to drag her in chain. worst, elizabeth was relying on a quasi pirate, a drunk and a womaniser, to lead her ragtag fleet: francis drake, full of alcohol and bravado and a thief in the high seas. gotta hand it to elizabeth, taking on the might of spain. to go in chain or fight? and she chose to fight, and won.

            the world’s largest navy; it’s just number, I hear the god of cyber space talking. it’s just numbers, lol!

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Do you remember this Quad?

          • Yes, though I don’t think we ever watched a movie there as Makati was too far.

            For us living in UP it was initially some cinemas along Aurora Boulevard in Cubao, as these became too shabby and neglected with time it was Delta (Quezon Ave corner East Avenue, near PNB) or Circle (Timog corner Quezon Ave near Maalikaya) which were newer and by then felt safer. Late in high school it was the cinemas in the then still new Ali Mall in Cubao.

      • sonny says:

        Just a little lookback on China’s mighty naval armada.

        Reminiscent of Zheng He’s Dragon Fleet in early 1400s, the construction of today’s China naval fleet seems to be channeling Emperor Yongle and Zheng He.

        Interesting read (easy mode):

        https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/big-history-project/expansion-interconnection/exploration-interconnection/a/zheng-he

        “… In 1402, Zhu Di took the throne from his nephew by force and proclaimed himself Emperor Yongle (“Perpetual Happiness”). He made his companion Ma He the director of palace servants (similar to a chief of staff), and changed Ma’s name to Zheng He in commemoration of his role in battles to win the throne. (Zheng was the name of Yongle’s favorite warhorse.) Yongle ruled from 1402 to 1424.

        Yongle proved extremely ambitious. He temporarily conquered Vietnam and tried to overpower Japan. He built a new imperial capital in Beijing, including the Forbidden City, and extended the Great Wall. Since he was determined to control trading in the Indian Ocean, one of his first acts was to commission the construction of 3,500 ships, with Zheng He supervising the construction and then commanding the fleet.
        Some of these ships were the largest marine craft the world had ever known. Zheng He’s nine-masted flagship measured about 400 feet long; for comparison, Christopher Columbus’s Santa Maria measured just 85 feet. On the first voyage, from 1405 to 1407, 62 nine-masted “treasure ships” led the way, followed by almost 200 other ships of various sizes, carrying personnel, horses, grain, and 28,000 armed troops. …”

  8. Karl Garcia says:

    If ever the Filipinos would want to vote for a tough guy again who bad mouths allies they should step back and think. Until we have the capability to build our own, we should thank our allies, without them, we would not have a coast guard.
    In wiki you can see the country of origin of the vessels.
    Like kasambahay said…another think coming is our human rights record, it does not sit well with donors who would never donate to military institutions.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine_Coast_Guard

    • kasambahay says:

      betrayal yan to vote for another strongman or strong woman of his ilk. sins of the father.

    • LCPL_X says:

      Here’s a good article about the US Coast Guard and Filipinos, karl:

      During the late 1800s and early 1900s, Asian recruits continued to serve mainly on cutters based out of the West Coast. However, the 1898 Spanish-American War altered the service’s recruiting and the early 1900s saw countless Asian and Pacific Island enlistments from captured territory, primarily the Philippines. In 1898, Congress also passed legislation annexing the Hawai’ian Islands as a U.S. territory. As a hub of Pacific commerce and culture, Hawai’i brought even more Asian and Pacific Island recruits into the Revenue Cutter Service. So when the U.S. Lighthouse Service began overseeing lighthouse operations in Hawai’i, many of the keepers and assistant keepers were native Hawai’ians. These men included Manuel Ferreira and Samuel Amalu, who joined the Lighthouse Service in 1906 and served over 30 years. He became the dean of Hawai’ian lighthouse keepers and set the performance standard for future keepers. Known as one of the “grand old men of Hawai’ian lighthouse lore,” Ferreira began his career in 1908 and retired in 1946. He served as the keeper of seven lighthouses over the course of his nearly 30-year career.

      Asian and Pacific Island personnel saw advances as well as setbacks in World War II. Hawai’ian-American Coast Guardsman Melvin Kealoha Bell manned the Diamond Head radio station during the attack on Pearl Harbor warning commercial vessels that a surprise attack was underway. He later served as a member of the U.S. Navy’s intelligence office helping crack the Imperial Japanese Navy’s secret codes. Some Asian and Pacific Island men joined the Coast Guard as wartime temporary Reservists, such as Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, considered Hawai’i’s greatest athlete and the father of international surfing. On the other hand, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese Americans were excluded from participating in the Coast Guard bringing to a temporary close the 85-year record of ethnically Japanese service members. That policy was later reversed and Japanese Americans returned to the Service.

      During WWII, Filipinos comprised the largest ethnically Asian and Pacific Island group to serve in the Coast Guard. Most of these men were American citizens, but many native Filipino military men personnel transferred to the Coast Guard after the Japanese captured their homeland in 1942. The exiled president of the Philippines even transferred the patrol boat Bataan and its crew to the Coast Guard for the duration of the war. Native Filipino Florence Finch worked for Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s intelligence office before the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. After the fall of the island nation, she smuggled supplies to American prisoners-of-war and Filipino guerrillas. The Japanese arrested Finch, but American forces freed her in early 1945 and she boarded a Coast Guard-manned transport bound for the U.S. She next enlisted in the Coast Guard Women’s Reserve, or SPARs, becoming the first Pacific Island-American woman to don a Coast Guard uniform.

      Asian Americans were the first minority graduates of the Coast Guard Academy.
      https://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2017/05/the-long-blue-line-coast-guards-asian-american-pacific-islander-history/


      ________________________________________________________________

      But i think the whole Filipinos recruitment to the US Navy and US Coast Guard stopped awhile back. After American bases left there. But that’s a bit of trivia that Filipinos actually first went to the US Coast Guard and not the US Navy.

      Was just Googling as to Coast Guard authority, and yeah, the Coast Guard of the Philippines should be the first to engage the Chinese fishing vessels. But this falls under the Sec. of Transportation.

      • LCPL_X says:

        They are still recruiting Filipinos, but via the Coast Guard Academy… interesting. I know there’s programs specific to military folks to go to military schools in the US, but you needn’t be military for this one.

        International Cadets at the Coast Guard Academy

        The Coast Guard Academy is uniquely suited to prepare international maritime leaders to address the most complex global challenges of our time, those that require transnational solutions and long-term cooperation between nations:

        Polar climate change
        Protection of ocean resources
        Terrorism
        Transnational crime
        Large-scale human migration
        Disaster response and recovery

        Young people who are citizens of nations other than the United States, who seek leadership roles in their own country, are invited to apply for admission to the Coast Guard Academy. The Congress of the United States has authorized 36 such positions.
        https://www.uscga.edu/international-cadets/ and

        https://www.uscga.edu/admission-and-tuition/

        The admission process for international applicants is different from the admission process for U.S. citizens and those with dual citizenship. This is because the Academy works through American embassies to identify, interview, and enroll foreign nationals. You must:

        Contact the U.S. Defense Attaché Officer or Coast Guard Liaison Officer stationed in the U.S. embassy to request an application
        Gain the support of your host country, via the U.S. embassy
        Interview with your embassy official
        Demonstrate English proficiency
        Apply on paper, not online

        International applicants will be guided by the International Cadet Admission Officer once notified by the embassy you are working with.

        (it looks like West Point, Air Force and Naval academies have similar programs but you have to be in the military it looks like, or official capacity already to apply; but the Coast Guard Academy is direct, all you have to be is a foreign national, no need to be in home nation’s military or gov’t service).

        Key Dates and Deadlines

        August: Contact the U.S. embassy & open your application
        August – January: Take the SAT or ACT, and TOEFL (if required)
        1 February: Deadline to submit all application requirements
        March: Admission Office notifies applicants of decision
        1 May: Deadline to accept an appointment

        (Joe, can you get your buddy Teddy Locsin to retweet this info.)

        • Well, the Secretary is not my ‘buddy’. We share an appreciation of being unattached to convention while on opposite sides of the political fence. He uses me to speak to yellows and I use him to speak into the Admin. We alternately irritate and enlighten each other. I would not impose on him for retweets and I’d suspect the pandemic affects the coast guard recruitment program.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Thanks but the transfer of the Coast Guatd to the transpo dept made us turn into mendicants.

        The transformation of the PCG into a non-military organization has a tremendous impact and significance. Its civilian character has allowed it to receive offers of vessels, equipment, technology, services, cooperation and other needed assistance from other countries, something which would not be readily offered to a military agency.

  9. Karl Garcia says:

    This mendicant mentality of ours should stoop,we should have a military industrial simplex (c) JoeAm and a Bee Fleet (c) JoeAm.

    • sonny says:

      🙂 “… mendicant mentality of ours should stoop, …”

      Karl, even the typewriter agrees with you. luv this.

    • sonny says:

      The development of a military-industrial simplex is almost paradigmatic. An example: During the WW-II, International Harvester (IH) dedicated its agricultural truck manufacturing capability to the manufacture of military truck transports for the war effort (I suspect on credit). Years after when International Harvester was undergoing financial difficulties, the US government came to assist IH and tideover the industrial giant into solvency. I witnessed the internals of this relationship while working for UNIVAC (and Control Data Corp) servicing contractual relations for the manufacture of on-board computers for the USNavy and USAirForce.

      For the PH gov’t and would-be suppliers of logistics, baby-steps would be the order of the relationship.

  10. Karl Garcia says:

    I used to dream of a Philippines with air craft carriers and submarines, but now the Thai are regretting having an aircraft carrier and soon many a Thai pundit say they having a submarine would be another huge mistake.

    https://www.nationthailand.com/opinion/30313968

    • sonny says:

      In the ’50s’ there was talk of PNavy acquiring and operating a submarine. Idea was quickly abandoned; reason, operating one would quickly empty government’s coffers.

  11. Somewhat OT, VP Leni’s Sunday morning radio show:

  12. From 2016, by Boom Buencamino:

    UP Prof Clarita Carlos, in a recent FB post, advised that we wait and see before we criticize du30’s pivot to China.

    She wrote,

    “Foreign relations is rarely static. It throbs with the needs and exigencies of the moment…So, the apprehensions many may be experiencing with the repivot to other countries may just be part of the roller coaster of international politics…How about we give some slack to our new Chief Executive because we cannot discern what “strategy” he has in mind…He is certainly “cooking” things differently, maybe with a different recipe…so, how about we also wait for the food to be cooked before we start with our critiques…”

    Prof Carlos is right that “foreign relations is rarely static”. Indeed a country’s foreign policy is always supposed to be a balance between a nation’s immediate needs, its long term goals, and the opportunities and constraints that dictate the actions or inactions it can or must take within a certain time-frame. Still national interest should be both the north star and template of an independent foreign policy because the nation’s welfare is the only constant.

    Let’s grant that du30 sees a need to rebalance our foreign policy. But is he really “cooking things differently maybe with a different recipe”? No.

    His recipe as announced at that business forum in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People is,

    “I, in this venue, your honors, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States both in military — not in social — both in military but economic…So please, you have another problem of economics in my country. I am separated from them, so I will be dependent on you for all time. But do not worry. We will also help.”

    Du30 has clarified what he meant by “separation” so let’s leave his clarification be. But let’s take a closer look at his second sentence “I am separated from them so I will be dependent on you for all time.” That sentence is ripe for criticism.

    Is du30 embarking on an independent foreign policy? No. He is simply jumping from one sugar daddy to another. That’s not foreign policy, that’s paramoureign policy, born of the same “kept-partner” or “querida” template.

    That’s why I disagree with Prof Carlos’ “cook and recipe” metaphor. I believe it incorrect. Du30 is not the cook. China is the cook. And it is already done cooking our dinner – unrestrained EEZ encroachment and exercise of sovereign power over it – and force-feeding it to us.

    Furthermore, why announce to a country that has encroached on our EEZ – prevented our fisherfolk from fishing in those waters, and even turned one reef into an unsinkable aircraft carrier – that “I will be dependent on you for all time”?

    We are all familiar with Thucydides’ Melian Dialogues where he points out the relationship between “right” and “power”:

    “Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must”.

    That is as true and concise a statement about realpolitik as anybody can put it. But nobody ever said that he who is force-fed shit has to say, “yummy”.

    There is world of difference between “grin and bear it” and saying “yummy”, even in the world of realpolitik. Unfortunately our Ever Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent Great Leader doesn’t even know there is a difference.

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=717362351748405&id=100004239395915

    • Micha says:

      Yup, the mendicant posture of that dickhead from Davao means he (and the country) can always be asked to bend over backwards. Zero regard for national dignity or aspiration to build our independence and sovereignty.

      That dickhead doesn’t deserve to be called our Leader.

      • LCPL_X says:

        Micha allow me this metaphor, re Buencamino’s article above.

        That article strikes me as gotcha journalism. I’m assuming this was the same Buencamino who commented here awhile back?

        On Locsin’s tweet he just posted a link to the Economist detailing China’s lending practices around the world, top that with Heyderian’s how Indonesia got more from China article, and you get the sense that either DU30 has nothing to leverage with, thus no better deals, or just doesn’t know how to make deals.

        Humabon did, Magellan couldn’t deliver, so the rest of his men died. Now that’s collateral !

        So the metaphor here is that people as well as the media always plays the videos with all the yelling and stuff, when all this time there was a CCTV (police) footage of the whole thing from across the street.

        Floyd’s arrest was documented on CCTV from start to finish.

        He’s placed inside the squad car from the sidewalk side, then he pops out into the street, obviously pushing 3 officers in the process. From there the 3 officers are on top of him, to restrain. Body weight is not really considered use of force.

        So instead of cherry picking moments or certain segments, the best approach is to take a far away perspective and view holistically. Like the CCTV footage.

        I think 4 years after DU30 s China speech, basically like Humabon siding with Magellan, he’s gotten the West nervous thus more attention towards the South China Sea than ever. the Philippines has no economic leverage, no military power, not even resources except maybe for the sand to make more islands with.

        So if you really take a step back in the last 4 years, DU30 has got the West really nervous, and after that Suez Canal clogging up debacle, I’m sure the West is now seeing DU30 as the Marwa Elselehdar of the South China Sea, someone to pay attention to, not necessarily the person to blame.

        The knee to the neck is the most obvious red herring. As such the prosecutors are focused on that, and not the whole notion of placing a man on 8 ball (speed and downer) on a prolonged prone position. That is the cause of death.

        The 4 officers responsible for criminal negligence would’ve been a better argument, slam dunk, instead the prosecution rests on one officer with his knee as excessive force, thus murder.

        the Red Herring for China-Philippine relations is the South China Sea, but if you pan out CCTV-style I’m sure Buencamino could’ve found other dots from which to connect as to draw a clearer picture. Holistically.

        Thus far, DU30’s gambit that he can dangle the future of the South China Sea and the West will come to the rescue seems to be working, I mean forcrissakes, NATO is now there, they’ll have to come up with a new acronym!!!

        [Post edited by JA to remove needless sexist commentary and photo.]

        • LCPL_X says:

          p.s. — The fact that you can hear the 4 officers ask Floyd what he was on, means they knew he was under the influence, thus should’ve placed him up right after he was handcuffed. And that would’ve solidified criminal negligence;

          instead its knee to the neck that killed Floyd, and with the drug levels in his blood, beyond reasonable doubt is a difficult legal standard to meet.

          • LCPL_X says:

            That’s fine, Joe. Folks can just Google said name above to get context of metaphor.

            So the wider metaphor is furthering this quote “Foreign relations is rarely static. It throbs with the needs and exigencies of the moment…”

            DU30’s ” I will be dependent on you for all time” , is obviously a red herring, just bad speech writing and/or extemporaneous speech, since it invokes both eternity and infinity.

            Similarly , the officer’s knee to the neck as cause of death is too a red herring, because it satisfies the first quotes’ “the needs and exigencies of the moment”.

            That one man is responsible for all. That’s the flaw in both issues being compared.

            This is what will be on trial this week, officer training and the use of force manual. The defense will say Chauvin was within his parameters, prosecution will say he failed to stay within said parameters. Below is the use of force policy at the time or near the time of the incident—

            been really curious about this because the website went down a couple of times last year and stuff were changed. but IMHO this would’ve been the use of force parameters Chauvin was bound to at the time.

            Unlike foreign affairs, use of force is clearly defined.

            Clearly, Chauvin would’ve been within the parameters of his powers. He had a combative suspect. Well within his powers. Intention was to control.

            What’s not clear is the temporal aspect of said use of force. “I can’t breathe!” is no reason, because if you watch the officer cams, before Floyd was entered into the squad car he was yelling “I can’t breathe!” already, repeatedly.

            So if you were within the bounds of the use of force policy and the person dies in your custody. and that person has bad toxicology, then the benefit of doubt goes to the officer , as a rule, as legal standards go.

            But if you frame it differently, not as use of force but criminal negligence, then the temporal aspect of that same use of force policy comes into play, which is that he has bad toxicology and that Floyd should not be in the prone position for too long (too long because the arguing point) due to this toxicology assumption.

            Thus the “reasonableness” of the officers’ decision making process is put on trial.

            This metaphor concludes with DU30’s reasonableness of his foreign policies vis a vis with China, and IMHO the only other variable to consider is the Philippines’ relationship with Vietnam given Vietnam’s anti-Chinese stance.

      • LCPL_X says:

        Here’s what came up today, actually the ER doctor brought it up too, but eventually both pathologists for the county (coroner) and Floyd’s (hired examiner) will have to testify on this,


        Click to access floyd-autopsy-6-3-20.pdf

        So the lack of injuries to the area of the neck in question proves the amount of force to the neck used. No bruising no force typa reasoning, which now leaves just the carotid choke with the knee as cause.

        Can you squeeze both carotid arteries rendering no blood flow to the brain thus unconsciousness to death? More and more it looks like the knee was not the cause of death.

        Relevance to DU30 China policy is evidentiary. Eventually history books will do a pathology report. If neck bruising and /or injuries were missed, then right now is the best time to document.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      So that is what he means by a demarche.

      • Seems so. Well-written statement. One should always hire journalists as SFA.

        • LCPL_X says:

          Joe, do you know if Locsin tweeted on this? I ‘m scrolling down his twitter, but none I can see.

          If Locsin retweets said statement, I imagine the statement becomes more official. Him being the head and all.

          • The posting is from the DFA web site and was posted on line by the DFA account, not Secretary Locsin’s. As an aside, he tweeted to me that he was writing a protest between tweets, and I believe this is the one he was referring to. He’s also tweeted about my favorable review of the protest.

            • LCPL_X says:

              This was funny as f* , Joe!

              But since the publishing of your blog, its seems to me at least the Sec. of Nat’l Defense and Sec. of Foreign Affairs over there are now taking a stance and moving national policy by themselves?

              Or is this in concert?

              Or has DU30 been promised more by the Biden administration, thus the turn-around now?

              Or is this just DU30’s cabinet pulling a 25th amendment?

              If so, I wonder if there’s a person or team in AFP or DFA that’s coordinating with other ASEAN nations involved in the South China Sea dispute, especially Vietnam.

              I don’t know where it would fall under in this list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabinet_of_the_Philippines

              But the DFA should have a person assign ASEAN and/or the South China Sea specific.

              • Yes, funny for sure, as is a lot of his stuff when he’s not busy pissing people off. I think the answer is pretty simple. The 200 boats betrayed Duterte and it pissed him off. He told Lorenzana and Locsin to deal with it. No grand strategy or plans. The state-to-state thing is secondary to his crony business dealings with Go, Uy, and Yang in Beijing. I note today the President, through his spokesman, was walking it back a bit, touting the good will of the vaccine program. But I don’t think L and L can walk it back. So we must wait and see.

              • LCPL_X says:

                I’ve changed my view on this, Joe. And I’m with kasambahay now.

                Send the Navy though, not Air Force.

                Specifically, send the vessels that were recently donated or given or gifted specifically for the South China Sea stuff.

                Then enforce.

                If the Chinese use force. Its a naval war.

                But care has to be taken to not over extend, essentially its a suicide mission.

                Once Chinese start firing, the assumption will be that NATO other allies will help out, if not… Well it was worth the PR stunt, and leave it at that. Effectively cementing the Philippines position, forget int’l tribunals and courts, do it the old fashion way.

                Its an invasion. The Philippines should respond by force. Only don’t expect to win.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                The reason why we are reluctant to send the Navy is to avoid the repeat of ghe Scarborough shoal standoff.
                White vs grey no can do says who?
                But I guess if we are not the provokers,we just got to prove that they started it, when push comes to shove.

      • kasambahay says:

        karlG, duterte wants peaceful solution sa julian felipe reef and his own demarche if you got my drift, is lamest. methink, duterte can only be chinese advised dahil china benefited the most.

        biro mo, our navy’s maritime vessels are poorly maintained despite us having very good mechanics and top class engineers. they must have been told not to service the vessels and to let vessels rot. they’re also deprived of fuel/gas at hindi sila basta-bastang pumalaot out to sea to check on the chinese flotilla. fuel is only enough for surveillance to and from, our navy cannot linger or they’ll run out of fuel and have to be towed back home.

        lack of fuel kuno at walang crudo. yet maraming privately owned maritime vessels ply the route port to port, island to island, carrying passengers and produce. scheduled sila to travel many times a week, fuel is never problem for them, only money to afford.

        same thing with aircraft. cebu pacific and pal service the islands of our archipelago and have not problem getting aviation fuel and being serviced. international air carriers often refuel here as well and rarely have problem obtaining fuel.

        peaceful solution sa julian felipe reef just as duterte wanted, just the chinese wanted. and just as they both wanted, our air force and navy are neutered with their hands tied firmly behind their backs, barely reliable vessels for them to use, rarely enough fuel supply for the journey, lamest of ducks.

        to international audience abroad, duterte et al, called off the chinese flotilla with righteous umbrage. back home, it’s a different story.

        • kasambahay says:

          iba po ito, party lister mike defensor is giving away the veterinary anti parasitic drug invermectin to people sick with covid. he thinks invermectin is curative.

          if so, mike defensor should ready himself with millions of indemnity fund at may indemnity insurance din po siya, so he can pay off the people that suffers adverse side effects and died because they took the drug invermectin that defensor gave to them.

          so pls lang po, mike defensor should put his money where his mouth is.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Mas naniniwala ako sa DOST pero sayangtist ba si Domingo, kung hindi yung mga underlings scientist. Yung mga Tulfo brothers ina-araw araw nga itong si Domingo, hinukay pa nakaraang issues ng kapabayaan daw nito.

            • kasambahay says:

              doctor po si eric domingo and knows what he’s talking about.

              people will thank mike defensor more if instead of invermectin, defensor gives money so people can buy food, pay bills at pay rent.

              anyhow, para sa akin, mukhang sales representative tuloy si defensor maybe employed by the pharma that manufacture invermectin and will use his influence to push through the sale. and if congress endorse the sale of invermection to the whole nation, defensor’s sales commission may well be astronomical. all the more reason for defensor to bullish in his pursuit.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Even Merck disowns the claim kuno that Ivermectin ca be used to treat Covid.
                Defensor, Tulfos Bah!

              • kasambahay says:

                it’s the local distributor that worries me, demand and supply. if there is demand, invermectin will be supplied, regardless. if the sale is big enough, strong enough, high enough, defensor will still get his commission.

                and if defensor has any sense, he’ll make deal with jinggoy to have erap put under ivermectin therapy. if erap pulls hrough and recover from covid, defensor might have a stronger leg to stand on.

                thanks, karlG, for putting up with me.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Welcome

  13. OT for Sonny: Twitter thread “Today in History” on the anniversary of the foundation of Pangasinan back in 1580:

  14. madlanglupa says:

    I so remember a novel about loose nuclear weapons during the Cold War 80s I once read years ago, it was entitled State Scarlet and written by a former SALT negotiator; one of the interesting parts was the discussion about the city of Venice, specifically during its time as one of many powerful city-states — at the zenith of its power and splendor, the Serene Republic was said to produce one fighting warship a day, the raison d’etre of Venice is its naval power, to ensure trade — carried in the cargo holds of her sailing ships — goes smoothly within the waters of the Mediterranean.

    If the Mainland regime — China’s expansion as a result of becoming the “world’s workshop”, no thanks to Western capitalism fueling that expansion in the last 25-30 years, goods and services made by hands of cheap labor — figured out what supremacy means in terms of trade routes and influence-peddling along the way, then building an arsenal — both martial and electronic — is required to protect their trade routes and commerce, as much as they would emulate old Venice and its naval arsenal, and of the East India Company.

    However, to have a powerful modern arsenal and show it to the world is one thing, to be able to actually use it in a provoked shooting conflict is another. It is why, in the bid to keep face, the Mainland battle for the supremacy of the world is still done through much electronic propaganda and disinformation, and the considerable investment on such work, despite the PLA warhawks being so eager for action.

    • The Venetian-Genoese wars https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venetian%E2%80%93Genoese_wars give an idea of the intense competition and war between the thalassocracies of the European Middle Ages: Venice and Genoa which had colonies all over the Eastern Med, Aragon (now Catalonia in Spain) which most notably held the Balearic islands (Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza) and Sicily, the fertile granary of the Med which already was an object of competition between Greek and Phoenician/Carthaginian colonists long before Rome, but which was to be under Aragonese and then Spanish landlords for six centuries (ask a Sicilian about Spanish times and more often than not get an angry silence even today) and finally the Byzantine Empire. The latter of the four with a secret weapon not even figured out until today (how the Hagia Sophia was built earthquake resistant is now figured out, but the Byzantines were amazingly advanced technologically) called Greek fire, which they used to set enemy ships on fire, something even the Vikings respected, which is why they traded with Constantinople instead of raiding it as their wooden ships were vulnerable.

      But even before all that, the https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Crusade had already weakened Constantinople as Venice and its Allies raided and ruined it. Greek fire was lost after that defeat. Eventually the Ottoman Turks were to take Constantinople in 1453, cut off Europeans from the Spice Trade by taking a huge margin as they had it under control.

      Is it any wonder that a Genoese, Christopher Columbus, wanted to reach India sailing west? Or that a Venetian like Pigafetta (some historians speculate that he may have been a spy of Venice, by then declining as its most lucrative business was gone) was with Magellan’s expedition? But it was too late for the two port cities, and even Aragon with its much older maritime culture was to fade in importance against landlocked Castile which was to dominate Spain politically and linguistically. The Spaniards at times call their own language Castellano for a reason. Well, history shows how stuff comes and goes.

      • LCPL_X says:

        Here’s the book that Baron Zemo was reading when the Winter Soldier came to visit,

        The relevance is that all the stuff that happened above had already happened and Da Vinci/Machiavelli had to roll with it. or so its thought.

        From Publishers Weekly

        Providing a remarkable window on the birth of the modern age, this meticulous study examines the little-known collaboration of Leonardo da Vinci and Niccol? Machiavelli. The two worked together in Florence between 1503 and 1506, where Machiavelli, the Florentine republic’s second chancellor, enlisted Leonardo then military architect and engineer to warlord Cesare Borgia in a grandiose scheme to redirect the Arno River’s course and make Florence a seaport. Machiavelli’s strategic goal was to deprive Florence’s bitter rival Pisa of water from the Arno, which flowed through that city. Beyond this, Leonardo envisioned a transformation of the Arno valley into an irrigated flood-control system that would generate wealth and security for Tuscany.

        Leonardo and Machiavelli also collaborated on the renovation of a fortress and other military projects, yet most of their joint projects including the ill-conceived scheme to divert the ArnoAwere failures. Nevertheless, through parallel biographies of his two famed protagonists, Masters, a Dartmouth professor of government, presents architect-inventor Leonardo as a visionary who sought a rational society based on science, while Machiavelli is defended here for his realistic worldview that stressed the inevitability of selfishness and conflict. This surprising dual portrait is beautifully illustrated with Leonardo’s architectural and engineering drawings, urban-planning sketches and maps.

        Roger Masters examines Leonardo da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli’s cooperative efforts on behalf of the Florentine government in the early 1500s. Their assignment was to make the Arno River navigable from Florence to the Ligurian Sea for military and economic purposes. Masters reveals the reasons for the project’s failure and shows the politics and intrigue of the time. Other major events of Leonardo’s and Machiavelli’s lives also figure in the narrative, in addition to interesting highlights of the lives of other prominent people and events. One example is his treatment of Amerigo Vespucci and the impact of his New World explorations on Florence. The scope of this interesting book makes it suitable for academic libraries. This volume bears comparison to R.W.B. Lewis’s The City of Florence (Farrar, 1995).

        _______________________

        Relevance to the blog, maybe Locsin and DU30 have a similar relationship?

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