he arrogance of China is
becoming readily apparent with each passing day. With their newly acquired
economic and military power the Chinese appear unrestrained in their
assertiveness towards their neighbors. China, instead of positioning itself
as a 21st century superpower appears to be turning back the clock resembling
more and more the 12th century empire of Genghis Khan and the Mongol hordes
who conquered most of Eurasia...just because they could. Today's China it
seems adheres to the philosophy that "might makes right." And since it has
the biggest "guns" in the region it can do or take whatever it wants.
Is this a superpower's
prerogative as the Chinese might argue? In similar fashion, for most of the
20th Century, the United States saw the Caribbean Sea as its own private
"sandbox" where it would operate unimpeded. However, the US—although it
could have—never operated with the arrogance and impunity that China
currently displays. It has the most powerful navy in the region so it
intimidates all its neighbors.
And the Chinese seem to
derive perverse pleasure from picking on Filipinos in particular. Robert D.
Kaplan, recognized as one of the world's "top 100 global thinkers" by Foreign Policy magazine in 2011, and a member of an advisory committee to
the US Department of Defense notes in his book Asia's Cauldron that "the
truth was, that pushing the Philippines around served a purpose in
nationalistic circles in Beijing that pushing Vietnam around just didn't.
Hating Vietnam was a default emotion inside China and therefore did not
advance any Chinese official's or military officer's nationalistic bona
fides; whereas because the Philippines was a formal treaty ally of the
United states, bullying the Philippines telegraphed that China was pushing
back at the United States. And this was easy to do because of the Philippine
military's own lack of capacity."
In addition, based on
China's dealings with the Philippines during the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
administration, they must have likewise concluded that Philippine government
officials, from the president on down are both corrupt and gullible. After
years of the Philippines telling its ASEAN neighbors to stand united against
China, Arroyo suddenly broke ranks in 2004 to make a secret deal with China
and Vietnam called the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU). Even members
of the Philippine Senate and House of Representatives were kept in the dark
as to the details of this joint undertaking. The secret project abruptly
ended in early 2008 after an article published in the Far Eastern Economic
Review characterized the project as a "sellout" by the Arroyo administration
to China and Vietnam. The late Barry Wain, a well-respected researcher from
the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore authored the article
noting that "the Philippines ... has made breathtaking concessions in
agreeing to the area for study, including parts of its own continental shelf
not even claimed by China and Vietnam." It is no wonder Arroyo wanted to
keep everything under wraps! Now remember to include treason to the list of
charges being leveled against her.
The JMSU and the NBN-ZTE
scandal that soon followed gave Chinese leaders the first-hand experience
they were looking for when dealing with the top echelons of the Philippine
government. And they may have likely concluded that getting Filipinos to do their
bidding would be a cakewalk so long as you "greased" enough palms.
that this current Aquino administration has shunned corruption does not mean
that future ones will. But China does not even have to wait for a new
Philippine administration it can bribe. China can simply continue with its
"salami slicing" strategy, grabbing one small island after another until
it eventually controls everything it wants. A war weary United States will
likely not confront China or even come to the aid of its treaty partner
especially when that partner is in a hole it dug for itself when it forced
the US military to leave in 1991.
business leaders who now control much of the country's commerce and industry
are unlikely to show overt support for the Philippine cause for fear
they may be blacklisted from doing business in China. The only viable option
open to the Philippines was to run to the United Nations and seek
arbitration. Any decision from the UN's Permanent Court of Arbitration is at
least a year away but China has already made clear it will not abide by the
UN court's ruling.
In the recently concluded
regional security summit at Naypyidaw, Myanmar, China's Foreign Minister
Wang Yi hinted that China would be willing to halt activity in disputed
areas of the South China sea if the Philippines withdraws its arbitration
case in the UN. Hoping that Filipino officials take the bait, and drop their UN
suit, it is highly unlikely however that China will give up its plan to
dominate the entire South China Sea.
Where does all this lead
to? It is difficult to say at this point but one thing is for sure. The
bucolic, laidback lifestyle of the average Filipino will most certainly have
to change. And that in itself might be the best thing to happen in a long,
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?