hile the Aquino
administration has been making many of the right moves lately, such moves
remain woefully inadequate given the
situation the Philippines faces with China. If President Benigno Aquino III
entertains any hope of keeping our islands in the Spratlys, he needs to get
off his behind this minute and start building a strong coalition with other nations.
This is one situation where
only a true leader can make the cut. Unfortunately Aquino, whose tenure as
congressman and senator can be described as nothing beyond mediocre, may not
have what it takes to rally support across the globe; because that is what
it will take to stop China.
After centuries of Spanish
domination, coupled with heavy-handed Catholic indoctrination, most
Filipinos see themselves as inferior to other races. They feel more at ease
just sitting in a corner and following others rather than taking
center-stage and leading. This makes it even more difficult for someone like
Aquino—who even by Filipino standards is seen as middling—to do what he must
do: hop across the globe from country to country; press the flesh with
presidents and prime ministers; argue the Philippine case; and secure
commitments and support. If Aquino fails to do this, then Filipinos
may as well give up all their Spratly claims because China will seize
them—one island at a time.
In the mean time, here’s
what we Filipinos can do to help our president. Remember Sadam Hussain’s use
of civilians as human shields to prevent the coalition forces from bombing
certain sites during the 1992 Iraq war?
Filipinos can create our own version of this tactic by taking a trip to
Pag-asa Island. Pag-asa is the second largest island in the Spratly’s chain.
It already has a landing strip built by the Philippine military which can
accommodate small and medium-sized aircraft—including military C130 cargo
planes. Let us charter flights and set up island tours. The island appears
surrounded by white sandy beaches ala Boracay. It would certainly be
“more fun in Pag-asa.”
Make no mistake; China
wants to get their hands on Pag-asa more than any other island in the
Spratlys. Pag-asa will easily allow them to project military force all
across the region. The island is strategically located almost at the center
of the South China Sea and because of its size, it can be used as a base for
China's air and naval forces.
An article written by Chan
Kai Yee in the China Daily Mail on January 13, 2014, compared Zhongye (Pag-asa)
Island and the world’s largest aircraft carrier the USS Gerald R. Ford.
noted that “the Ford, costs $12.8 billion to build but has only a deck area
of 0.026 square km. An air base established on Zhongye Island will be a
dozen times larger and cost much less.” It will also be unsinkable and have
a very long service life, the author added.
Given that Pag-asa is an
extremely important component to the Chinese quest for dominion over all of
Southeast Asia, there’s no time for Filipinos to dilly-dally. Start the
tours, send in the tourists, make Pag-asa the IN place to be this
If we do nothing except run
to the UN and file cases against China’s creeping invasion of our islands,
we will wake up one day to find all of them gone! The situation is that dire
my fellow countrymen. So pack the suntan lotion, the straw hat, and the
margarita mix, and head for the island. You’ll be doing your country a great
service while having fun under the sun in Pag-asa.
It is incomprehensible to many that despite all the negatives piling up against it, the Aquino administration is still pushing for Congress to ratify the Bangasamoro Basic Law (BBL). First and foremost, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with whom the Philippine government entered into an agreement with, massacred 44 Special Action Force (SAF)
policemen who were serving an arrest warrant on an international
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?