China is getting tough with
the Philippines for a reason…it can easily afford to. As far as the Chinese
Scarborough Shoal is the “low hanging fruit” that is the
easiest to pluck. Among the nations that claim ownership to parts of the
Spratly and the Paracel Islands, the Philippine military appears the least
able to stand up to China’s military might. The Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP) has no air force or navy that can pose a credible
counter-threat to the Chinese. The Philippine Air Force (PAF) no longer has
fighter jets that fly while the Philippine Navy (PN) ships are mostly of
World War II vintage—except for the two Coast Guard Cutters the United
States recently turned over to the Philippines, which were built in the late
1960s. How did the once proud Philippine military deteriorate to the state
it is in today? The Philippines was the first Southeast Asian country to fly
supersonic fighter jets, and now it has none.
If one has to point
fingers—and in order to have a clear understanding of the issue one must—many are
to blame. Start with Ferdinand Marcos and his use of the military to
suppress freedom and keep himself in power. Before Marcos, Filipinos had a
generally healthy and positive perception of their military. That all
changed during Martial Law when the army was feared and despised for its
brutal, heavy-handed treatment of the people. The Colonels and Generals at
the time had become exceedingly powerful (as well as wealthy) in exchange for keeping Marcos
in power. And there was nothing the ordinary “Juan” could do but grin and
When the Marcos clique was
eventually forced from office by the EDSA People Power uprising, the
military gained back a bit of its prestige, but the decade of martial rule
had irreparably damaged the relationship Filipinos had with their military.
Soldiers were a group you had best be wary of.
Then Gringo Honasan and his
trigger-happy RAM (Reform the Armed-Forces Movement) Boys proved everyone
right when they staged coup after coup during the 1980s. Those actions
pushed an already distrustful President Cory Aquino to be even more guarded
towards the military.
What the AFP brass at the
time failed to comprehend is that the military needs to have both the
government and the people on their side if they are to survive and even
flourish. Because what sitting president would push to increase military
spending after being strafed and shot at by coup plotters? What public would
demand that their soldiers be given more tanks and powerful modern weapons
when they fear that those weapons could be used against them? Even today the high
esteem that other countries bestow to their men and women in uniform is
noticeably absent in the Philippines.
For the most part, the
military got itself into the pickle it is now in. More to the point: the men
in uniform then are largely to blame for the atrociously sorry state that
the men in uniform now are in.
And to make matters worse
you have the NPAs, the MILFs , the MNLFs, the Abu Sayyafs and all the other
armed bands of ideologues and brigands that continually do battle with
Philippine soldiers—whittling away at both their numbers and their
So now the powerful Chinese
military is strutting around the West Philippine Sea rattling its sword and the Philippine military
is caught with its pants down. Their flotilla of aging rust buckets and squadrons of propeller-driven
aircraft are no match to the 21st century superpower that China is becoming.
The Philippines can run to Uncle Sam for help but the US is saddled with its
own problems. In addition, the wars it pursued in Afghanistan and Iraq have
taken such a heavy toll in lives and resources that the American public
seems to have no appetite for involvement in yet another conflict,
especially with a
world-class military power like China, regardless of what the US-Philippine
Mutual Defense Treaty states. All we can say is “hold on to your hats
‘cause it’s a rough and bumpy ride ahead.”
Is Manny Pacquiao Giving Floyd Mayweather an Unfair Advantage?
Doctor Expedito Castillo, a retired internist with training in sports medicine thinks so. Castillo who lives in New York points out that Los Angeles—where Manny Pacquiao now trains for his May 2nd fight, and Las Vegas—where Floyd Mayweather trains and where the boxing match will take place, have enormous differences in terms of elevation. Los Angeles is just 233 feet above sea-level, while Las Vegas is a whopping 2,000 feet above sea-level.
Just When You Thought Filipino Cops Were the Worst, Here Come US Cops
What in the world has happened to cops in the United States? It seems that today only psychotic, unstable, individuals are joining the U.S. police force this days. People from all across the globe were more than willing to give American cops the benefit of the doubt, at first. But in instance after instance, from Ferguson, MS and the killing of Michael Brown, a young black man who witnesses say was unarmed and posed no threat at all to police; to today’s cold-blooded murder of Walter F. Scott, 50 by South Carolina police officer Michael T. Slager,
NPA Celebrates 46 Years of Destroying the Philippines
Founded by Bernabe Buscayno, or “Kumander Dante” as he was more commonly known, the New People’s Army established on March 29, 1969 marks its 46th year of existence. From less than 40 founding members and a handful of firearms, the NPA grew to over 26,000 members in the 1980s. Today however the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) places NPA membership at less than 5,000 nationwide. That number is expected to dwindle even further as progress and education creep in to the far-flung towns and barrios that were once breeding grounds for recruits.
Lee Kuan Yew and Ferdinand Marcos, What a Difference!
An Australian living in the Philippines published a book titled: “The Unlucky Country. The Republic of the Philippines in the 21st Century.” The author Duncan McKenzie came up with the title as the counterpoint to “The Lucky Country” a book written in the mid-sixties that refers to Australia. In his book McKenzie explains that the Philippines is unlucky because, for starters, it is an archipelago and therefore naturally fragmented.
Will the Philippines Ever Speed Up Its Glacially-Slow Justice System?
We’ve all heard the saying “justice delayed is justice denied.” That maxim has been around since time immemorial. In fact the Pirkei Avot (Hebrew for “Ethics of the Fathers”) which dates back to the 1st century B.C. mentions an old rabbi saying that goes: “the sword comes into the world, because of justice delayed and justice denied." In 1215 A.D. a clause from the Magna Carta similarly declares that “to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice."
Amal Alamuddin Clooney Wants to Defend Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ...Why?
Okay so she's George Clooney's wife, she's got great looks, a law degree and ambitious enough to make a name for herself apart from that of her superstar husband. Fair enough. So Amal Alamuddin Clooney decides to take on high profile cases of injustice around the world. Even better. But filing a complaint with the United Nations Human Rights Council on behalf of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? What's up with that? Better do your homework Mrs. Clooney. It won't take long for you to realize that Arroyo is getting exactly what she deserves.
Manny Pacquiao Should Not Be Given a Tax Exemption
Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III has proposed a bill to grant Manny Pacquiao a special tax exemption for the income he will earn from his May 2nd boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pimentel justifies his bill as a "fitting tribute" to the Filipino eight-division world champion adding that "Manny is now part of our history and of world sports history. Let’s give him this tax incentive in recognition to his invaluable efforts to promote boxing and the country around the world."
With Negotiators Like These on Our Team, Who Needs an Opposing Side?
What on earth happened to these two women—supposedly handpicked by the president himself to argue on behalf of the Philippine government in peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front—who now seem to be mouthpieces for the Moros? Have Secretary Teresita Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, chair of the negotiating panel become mesmerized by the tough "macho" image the rebels project?
Why is the NBI Going After Those Who Uploaded the Sagonoy Video?
According to NBI Director Virgilio Mendez, they have identified the individuals who uploaded the video showing the coldblooded killing of PO2 Joseph Sagonoy. The cellphone video was purportedly taken by Muslim rebels during the Jan. 25, 2014 encounter between the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebel group. The video shows a wounded Sagonoy who is shot twice in the head at close range.
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