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Feb 28

Today the Spratlys, tomorrow Palawan (updated)

Something interesting happened yesterday. Early in the afternoon, the Palace alerted media, saying it should cover the President’s speech in Mindanao, because she would announce the revocation of Executive Order 464. ANC dutifully started covering the speech.

Then it was interrupted by a live press conference at the Palace (see Jove Francisco’s account).

Speaking to reporters were Secretaries See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Say No Evil, otherwise known as Favila, Ermita, and Mendoza. Favila told a touching tale of a befuddled President who left her (potentially dying) husband so that she could honor a request from Fidel V. Ramos to address the Asian equivalent of the Davos gabfest; she got a call, though, from her husband’s doctors and so, rushed home (the Chinese officials couldn’t speak English, Favila said, most undiplomatically, and so he had to converse with them through sign language). Ermita then did his usual folksy uncle schtick about his (not the President’s, mind you) setting up a committee to review E.O. 464. And Mendoza launched into his usual monologue about how utterly above-board the NBN-ZTE deal was. At a certain point, Palace admits Arroyo said ‘anomalya’ in radio interview: but only after the three cabinet members had their bluff called by reporters.

End result? Even if the President had announced she was revoking E.O. 464, it would have been drowned out by the live Palace press conference; but anyway, she didn’t, and the best anyone’s been able to gather is… She changed her mind.

Why?

Who knows. But let me hazard a guess. I think a power play took place, between the time the media was alerted to expect a presidential announcement, and the unscheduled Palace press conference.

I say this, because by some accounts, it’s happened before. The President’s plans to impose martial law were foiled by a rebellion of sorts on the part of her Secretary of National Defense, Avelino Cruz, Jr., with the tacit approval of the generals, in November, 2005 (See Philippine Commentary for details). In February, 2006, the President, never short of clever lawyers, had decided that if she declared a State of Emergency, she could wield martial law powers without defying the United States. This is why, as many people subsequently noticed, the President’s declaration of a State of Emergency was virtually a word-for-word copy of Marcos’s Proclamation of Martial Law in 1972.

And here enters the cabinet rebellion. Soon after the President made her announcement, some of her cabinet then appeared on TV to state that the proclamation authorized the President to wield considerable extraordinary powers; this was followed by Cruz and others appearing on TV to say that no, the President’s proclamation did not confer on her additional powers; at that instant the attempt to wield extraordinary powers was nipped in the bud.

I’m convinced something similar happened yesterday, but unlike Avelino Cruz, Jr. heading off martial law and then an effort for the President to assert extraordinary powers, this time around, Favila, Ermita, and Mendoza engineered the scuttling of the revocation of E.O. 464.

This is part and parcel of their efforts to counteract the President’s efforts to wriggle her way out of the NBN-ZTE mess by claiming that she knew, all along, that the deal was defective (somehow) and that it took her a long time to scrap the deal because she didn’t want to offend China. Had the President pursued that excuse, it would have left members of her cabinet exposed as liars and accomplices to the wrongdoing the President disowned.

So the President’s story was disowned, regardless of the reversal beggaring disbelief. So the President’s effort to pander to the bishops was scuttled, regardless if by doing so, it weakens the ability of the President’s bishop-allies to help her in the future: these cabinet members aren’t about to take a dive any more than they already have, for a President obviously prepared to feed them to the wolves.

Just a hunch. Meanwhile, enjoy this: Palace story on P.5M given to Lozada now on 3rd version.

My column for today is Today the Spratlys, tomorrow Palawan. I have been following the unfolding diplomatic tack taken by this administration for some time now. For a backgrounder, see my Inquirer Current entry titled “The China Card.” It traces my articles on the subject and other relevant readings about the ongoing positioning among the Great Powers in our region as well as ASEAN, collectively, and its member countries.

At a time of American indifference with regards to Southeast Asia, and uncertainty over American attitudes towards the present government, courting China has become a major diplomatic priority of the Palace: on a commercial basis, this is no different from any other country eager to partake of China’s booming economy. But in terms of security and natural resources, American ambivalence about ASEAN has fostered a sense of regional solidarity among member nations, in the hope that acting as a bloc, it can extract better concessions from China as well as resist Chinese pressure better.

Because of her unique political problems, the President has had no qualms about projecting China as a potential -and at times, actual- replacement for the United States as an ally and source of assistance. But the diplomatic gambit has had domestic repercussions, too: NBN-ZTE.

Lately, however, besides domestic problems, the President’s relying on the China Card has upset ASEAN, too. This was revealed in a Far Eastern Economic Review article, Manila’s Bungle in The South China Sea. In our own media, Ricky Carandang tackled the issue in The Correspondents, in a segment you can watch on YouTube. And the papers have picked it up, for example, Malaya’s Treason in dirty Chinese loans? Under Beijing gun, Gloria commits RP to Spratly deal.

In light of the above, something John Mangun wrote on April 25, 2005 in The Philippines and China: A Bad Match now makes perfect sense:

Malacañang refuses to accept and deal with the fact that China invaded, occupied, and stole Philippine territory in the South China Sea. The Spratleys may be worthless outcroppings or the gateway to boundless treasure. It does not matter. Those atolls and islands are Filipino property as much as the ground on which the President walks each day. China’s conduct and treatment of the Philippines shows their inconsistency and lack of honesty in their conduct of foreign relations.

To view China and Japan similarly in our economic relations is a disaster for the nation. Madame President, listen well: China is a business COMPETITOR; Japan is a buying CUSTOMER. Fifteen years ago, ninety percent of all Christmas ornaments and decorations sold in the United States were imported from the Philippines. Now that ninety percent comes from China. The same trend occurred with Philippine garments and shoes.

According to the FEER report, there are two agreements of significance. The first is “Agreement for Seismic Undertaking for Certain Areas in the South China Sea By and Between China National Offshore Oil Corporation and Philippine National Oil Company” signed on Sept. 1, 2004, and later superseded by a “Tripartite Agreement for Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking in the Agreement Area in the South China Sea,” signed on March 14, 2005. The agreements were kept hush-hush by the three governments, understandably so in the case of Socialist Vietnam and The People’s Republic of China, but not so in the case of the ostensibly democratic Philippines.

As the FEER report says,

…the details having leaked into research circles, the reasons for wanting to keep it under wraps are apparent: “Some would say it was a sell-out on the part of the Philippines,” says Mark Valencia, an independent expert on the South China Sea. The designated zone, a vast swathe of ocean off Palawan in the southern Philippines, thrusts into the Spratlys and abuts Malampaya, a Philippine producing gas field. About one-sixth of the entire area, closest to the Philippine coastline, is outside the claims by China and Vietnam. Says Mr. Valencia: “Presumably for higher political purposes, the Philippines agreed to these joint surveys that include parts of its legal continental shelf that China and Vietnam don’t even claim.”

Worse, by agreeing to joint surveying, Manila implicitly considers the Chinese and Vietnamese claims to have a legitimate basis, he says. In the case of Beijing, this has serious implications, since the broken, U-shaped line on Chinese maps, claiming almost the entire South China Sea on “historic” grounds, is nonsensical in international law. (Theoretically, Beijing might stake an alternative claim based on an exclusive economic zone and continental shelf from nearby islets that it claims, but they would be restricted by similar claims by rivals.) Manila’s support for the Chinese “historic claim,” however indirect, weakens the positions of fellow Asean members Malaysia and Brunei, whose claimed areas are partly within the Chinese U-shaped line. It is a stunning about-face by Manila, which kicked up an international fuss in 1995 when the Chinese moved onto the submerged Mischief Reef on the same underlying “historic claim” to the area.

The “higher political purpose” euphemistically mentioned suggests purely partisan interests: that of the administration, which has, up to now, never disclosed these agreements. The Palace can always counter that “nobody asked,” and I’m sure this will be a Palace defense in the coming days. It may even claim that the agreement is a state secret, and covered by Executive Privilege.

This must be challenged. Not wanting to tip our government’s hand in negotiating international agreements may be understandable, but once signed, agreements should be subject to official disclosure. Reading old volumes of the Official Gazette, a regular portion was the publication, by direction of the President of the Philippines, of international agreements signed by the Republic. An agreement with economic consequences, and which involves defying an existing ASEAN consensus, certainly requires full disclosure. While MeiZhongTai pointed out in 2005 that an agreement had been signed and that exploration for oil had commenced (briefly noted by Ben Muse also), but never trumpeted, for obvious reasons, by our government although it liked trumpeting virtually every other China-related deal at the time.

The reason of course is that the deal would have negative political repercussions at home, and the government was not about to broadcast to its own people that the Philippines went against an ASEAN consensus.

I can think of many ways the administration will get stuck in another mess of its own making on this one.

Why?

Read Ricky Carandang’s entry, Treason:

Aside from angering our neighbors and potentially undermining regional stability, Arroyo’s action may also be illegal. Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez–who was then acting justice secretary — told former Senator Frank Drilon, who was then allied with the administration, that she believed that the deal violated the constitution, because while it was a deal between the state owned oil firms (PNOC of the Philippines and CNOOC of China) of the two countries, it implicitly gave China access to our oil reserves. Officers of the Foreign Affairs Department were also upset because the deal effectively strengthened China and Vietnam’s claim to the Spratlys.

What would compel Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to sign a deal that potentially undermines regional stability, possibly grants China parity rights to oil reserves in the Spratlys that we claim to be ours, and likely violates our constitution?

How about $2 billion a year? After the Spratly deal was signed, the Chinese government committed $2 billion in official development assistance a year to the Philippines until 2010, when Arroyo is supposed to step down from office. My sources tell me that the Spratly deal was an explicit precondition to the loans.

A sizable amount to be sure, but for the Arroyo administration the China loans are particularly appealing. Not so much because the interest rates are so low and the repayment terms so lenient, but because Chinese loans do not have the cumbersome requirements that loans from the US, Japan, the EU, and big multilateral lenders have. Requirements for documentation, bidding, transparency and other details that make it very difficult for corrupt public officials to commit graft. In fact, in November of last year, those cumbersome requirements made it impossible for some government officials and private individuals with sticky fingers to avail themselves of the World Bank’s generosity.

It had gotten to the point where a corrupt government could no longer make a dishonest buck. That is until China’s generous offer came along.

My column, of course begins and ends with a jab at the bishops. An account of how the bishops voted: Mindanao bishops ‘saved’ Arroyo. Noteworthy tidbit, concerning another portion of my column, on E.O. 464, is this:

In seeking the abolition of EO 464, Cagayan de Oro Bishop Antonio Ledesma said the bishops also wanted the Palace to waive executive privilege “in the spirit of truth and accountability.”

Although it was not expressly stated, Ledesma said a waiver on executive privilege “is the essence of the recommendation.”

Iniguez, one of Arroyo’s more vocal critics in the CBCP, echoed Ledesma’s position. Thus, the CBCP reached a consensus on asking President Arroyo to revoke EO 464 in order not to stifle congressional investigations on anomalies in government.

But Oliveros said the CBCP stopped short of categorically asking the President to give up executive privilege since this is a right vested to the Office of the President.

“We are not trying to protect the President but the Office she represents,” he said.

***

Update 10:47 PM:

Newsbreak emailed me to point out they’d published a report in 2006, unfortunately, it’s only available online at the Geological Society of the Philippines Yahoo Group.

What is available at Newsbreak’s site is the full text of the Agreement Between the PNOC and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation.

I’ve been apprised that June 2009 is some sort of deadline for the passage of a law on identifying our territorial baseline, and so agreements like this take on a greater significance. If anyone has information on why this deadline exists, and on what basis, I’d appreciate it

***

On China, additional relevant readings are Parag Khanna’s provocative Waving Goodbye to Hegemony:

Without firing a shot, China is doing on its southern and western peripheries what Europe is achieving to its east and south. Aided by a 35 million-strong ethnic Chinese diaspora well placed around East Asia’s rising economies, a Greater Chinese Co-Prosperity Sphere has emerged. Like Europeans, Asians are insulating themselves from America’s economic uncertainties. Under Japanese sponsorship, they plan to launch their own regional monetary fund, while China has slashed tariffs and increased loans to its Southeast Asian neighbors. Trade within the India-Japan-Australia triangle – of which China sits at the center – has surpassed trade across the Pacific.

At the same time, a set of Asian security and diplomatic institutions is being built from the inside out, resulting in America’s grip on the Pacific Rim being loosened one finger at a time. From Thailand to Indonesia to Korea, no country – friend of America’s or not – wants political tension to upset economic growth. To the Western eye, it is a bizarre phenomenon: small Asian nation-states should be balancing against the rising China, but increasingly they rally toward it out of Asian cultural pride and an understanding of the historical-cultural reality of Chinese dominance. And in the former Soviet Central Asian countries – the so-called Stans – China is the new heavyweight player, its manifest destiny pushing its Han pioneers westward while pulling defunct microstates like Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, as well as oil-rich Kazakhstan, into its orbit. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization gathers these Central Asian strongmen together with China and Russia and may eventually become the “NATO of the East.”

(I don’t know if the “rallying to China out of Asian cultural pride” is exactly accurate; at least for ASEAN, since the 1990s there have been efforts at strengthening the regional bloc at the very least, to try to prevent individual member countries being intimidated by China; but American indifference has left the region no alternative but to cozy up to China):

This applies most profoundly in China’s own backyard, Southeast Asia. Some of the most dynamic countries in the region Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam are playing the superpower suitor game with admirable savvy. Chinese migrants have long pulled the strings in the region’s economies even while governments sealed defense agreements with the U.S. Today, Malaysia and Thailand still perform joint military exercises with America but also buy weapons from, and have defense treaties with, China, including the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation by which Asian nations have pledged nonaggression against one another. (Indonesia, a crucial American ally during the cold war, has also been forming defense ties with China.) As one senior Malaysian diplomat put it to me, without a hint of jest, “Creating a community is easy among the yellow and the brown but not the white.” Tellingly, it is Vietnam, because of its violent histories with the U.S. and China, which is most eager to accept American defense contracts (and a new Intel microchip plant) to maintain its strategic balance. Vietnam, like most of the second world, doesn’t want to fall into any one superpower’s sphere of influence.

Also, see the entry of Steve Clemmons on Khanna’s article in his blog, The Washington Note: for an American’s view on the Khanna article.

And see Us and Them: The Enduring Power of Ethnic Nationalism by Jerry Z. Muller in Foreign Affairs.

Also, while reproduced in one of my responses below, let me add, here, the relevant provision of our Constitution:

Article XII

National Economy and Patrimony

Section 1. The goals of the national economy are a more equitable distribution of opportunities, income, and wealth; a sustained increase in the amount of goods and services produced by the nation for the benefit of the people; and an expanding productivity as the key to raising the quality of life for all, especially the underprivileged.

Section 2. All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State. With the exception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be alienated. The exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State. The State may directly undertake such activities, or it may enter into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens. Such agreements may be for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and under such terms and conditions as may be provided by law. In cases of water rights for irrigation, water supply fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, beneficial use may be the measure and limit of the grant.

The State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.

The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by Filipino citizens, as well as cooperative fish farming, with priority to subsistence fishermen and fish- workers in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons.

The President may enter into agreements with foreign-owned corporations involving either technical or financial assistance for large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of minerals, petroleum, and other mineral oils according to the general terms and conditions provided by law, based on real contributions to the economic growth and general welfare of the country. In such agreements, the State shall promote the development and use of local scientific and technical resources.

And on a final note, more charges, filed against a President who knew her father when he was President: Salonga files plunder case against GMA.

In the blogosphere, an entry related to my previous one, on the Mandate of Heaven: Taoist lessons from Akomismo II. And sad but very, very true reading in Brown SEO.

247 comments

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  1. mlq3

    something wierd going on. a few minutes ago, the page design was different. now its different again. i informed abe and i hope he’s trying to fix it, whatever caused it.

  2. tonio

    sir, have your people back up your SQL database. it should be on the server. it’s where all the posts are.

  3. hawaiianguy

    Sorry, got mixed up there. Kalayaan is a 5th class town in the island province of Palawan. It has a population of at least 230 persons (2000 census), mostly migratory pinoy fishermen and soldiers.

  4. hawaiianguy

    Wow, mlq3’s blog just returned to normal!

  5. supremo

    mlq3,

    You might miss my post a while back about the June 2009 deadline. It’s all here www continentalshelf org

    I hope you can get back at those hackers.

  6. cvj

    Geopolitical rivalry between the US and China, together with our local leaders’ push for Federalization are forces that are pushing for the break-up of the Philippine State. As i mentioned in this blog post…

    http://www.cvjugo.blogspot.com/2007/09/american-protectorate.html

    …i fear that Mindanao will become an American Protectorate while Luzon and Visayas will be subject to Finlandization. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s policies is leading us down this road.

  7. mlq3

    tonio, tnx. abe’s fixing it. a glitch, he says, with updating wordpress.

  8. tonio

    mlq3:

    ah, ok. so that’s what a wordpress update looks like. glad everything’s, back to normal. 🙂

  9. joker

    Bencard,

    Pakisagot mo naman yung patutsada sa yo ni manuel buencamino. Kung nagbulag-bulagan ka, eto ang sagot ni mb sa yo:

    “buencamino, it’s my business to understand the concepts of “sole ownership” and “sovereignty”. what about you?”

    I am a diplomat. It is my business to understand matters involving national territory and sovereignty because that is my business.

    So I am telling you that recognizing another country’s claim to territory we say we is ours weakens our claim and strengthens theirs!

    So once again I ask you: which part of SOLE OWNERSHIP AND SOVEREIGNTY did you not understand?”

    Hanep sagot ni mb!

    O, bencard, magaling na abogado, ano nga ba ang hindi mo maintindihan sa SOLE OWNERSHIP at SOVEREIGNTY? Pakisagot lang!

  10. james

    from MST

    SENATOR Juan Ponce Enrile yesterday accused Senator Panfilo Lacson and whistleblower Rodolfo Lozada of engineering the ongoing exposé of high-level corruption in the national broadband network deal as a way of undermining the government.

    “I believe this whole thing is a ‘planned affair,’ contrived by Senator Lacson and Lozada to make it appear that it was government that made Lozada leave for Hong Kong to elude the Senate hearing, but it was in fact Senator Lacson and Lozada who planned it,” Enrile told Standard Today.

    —EDITORAL -A PIT bull will viciously and with single-minded determination attack until it locks its jaws on and sinks its fangs into its intended target. There is nothing subtle about such an attack. There are no niceties, no Articles of War. Brain power never comes into play in what is essentially an assault built on hatred and blind rage.

    The pit bull is a vicious and nasty creature that has been banned from many countries. It’s a shame there is no similar ban on mindless attack dogs in the Senate. We could all do with a little more thinking, civility and decency even in the halls of the Senate.

  11. mindanaoan

    the deadline is about extending the exclusive economic zone. is our claim to the kalayaan based on the eez? anybody, please enlighten us on the status of the joint exploration project, as well as our own effort to map our continental shelf. maybe the joint project will be to our own benefit after all (with regards to this deadline), because the data we get will be on our continental shelf, not chinas’s or vietnam’s!

  12. mindanaoan

    joker: in your opinion which claim did we strengthen, china’s or vietnam’s?

  13. watchful eye

    CBCP has “urged the President . . . to take the lead in combating corruption” as the country “face today a crisis of truth and the pervading cancer of corruption.”

    Isn’t CBCP in effect proposing to place an accused child molester in charge of the parish youth choir . . . with instruction though “to moderate his sex compulsion”?

  14. cvj

    That’s a very fitting analogy Watchful Eye. If the La Salle Brothers went through the same thought process as the CBCP, they would have allowed Lozada’s kidnappers to hold on to him with the instruction to “drive safely”.

  15. hawaiianguy

    cvj,
    (re ur post of 2/29 10:44 am)

    Your concept of American protectorate is not new. USA’s interest in Mindanao had begun much earlier, way back in 1903 when the Moro Province was created there.

    The first serious effort to make Mindanao part of the US was in 1910, when the US planters in Mindanao (thru the Zamboanga Chamber of Commerce) passed a resolution that “the Congress of the United States be requested to enact such laws and regulations as will effect a permanent separation as early as possible of the southern islands, including Mindanao, Sulu Archipelago, Palawan, with all the smaller islands adjacent thereto, from the rest of the Philippine Archipelago.”

    In 1926, a bill was passed in the US Congress (thanks to NY Cong. Robert Bacon) to separate Mindanao from the Philippines and make it a permanent territory of the United States, in collaboration with some Moro elite (“amigos”) who despised the Filipino rulers. Also see MLQ3’s blog entry (http://www.quezon.ph/?page_id=1516). It is essentially a repeat of the 1910 Resolution of the Zamboanga Chamber of Commerce.

    That was the culmination of a failed attempt to separate Mindanao from the Philippines, from a series of tug-of-wars between Filipinists and Americans who regarded the Moros as their wards. Among these Filipinists is mlq3’s grandfather, Manuel L. Quezon, who played a big role in keeping Mindanao for the Filipinos.

    In retrospect, had the Bacon bill succeeded Mindanao would have been the 50th state of USA and not Hawaii, where the movement for statehood began much later. Hawaii became a state only in 1959.

  16. The Equalizer

    GLORIA: POLITICS WITHOUT PRINCIPLE

    You have been in power as President for seven years
    Prior to EDSA 2,you have held other high government positions
    You have been in the public spotlight for almost all of your adult years.

    You have spent millions of pesos
    From private and government funds
    To create a “movie star” image to get votes and gain office.

    That image has been superficial
    No substance,no meaning
    That’s why the people do not trust you at all.

    Your speech writers are an excellent bunch
    Their lofty words ,however,are followed by your feeble actions
    That’s why your speeches are not credible at all.

    Your basic problem is obvious to all
    Except to you and your Palace gang
    You have tried to build an image,that’s all.

    No Principle
    No True North
    Nothing people can depend on.

    According to Mahatma Gandhi
    One of the seven deadly sins is Politics without Principle.
    You have been guilty of this deadly sin.

    Your value system has been distorted.
    You will do almost anything for your political objectives
    Your value system is no different from common criminals.

    Moses told the Pharaoh
    “We are to be governed by God’s law, not by you.”
    We cannot be governed by a person unless that person embodies the law!

    Natural laws and principles govern – that’s the Constitution
    Even the top people must bow to the principle
    No one,not even you,is above it!

  17. jakcast

    I feel the outrage. But I have to say that Mr. Brian’s arguments be given some thought. That is, if we even want have a semblance of participative democracy as opposed to mob rule.

    Sure, Mania is the capital and center of power. But Manila is not the Philippines. Unless civil society in Manila could convince the people in the countryside that the PGMA has to go, that the only way is people power, then so be it.

    But there are other actors in politics, not only civil society in the capital. That’s what democracy is all about.

    Sometimes its not a matter of right or wrong. It’s the perception.

    N.B I was born, raised, educated in Manila

  18. tommy

    Even if 1 million people are rallying in the streets the military will not intervene. That’s how it should be! It would be great if the GMA resigns on the strength of 1 million protesters against her even without military withdrawal of support! A truly civilian people power should welcome a Noli Presidency! Am I dreaming?

  19. magdiwang

    I wonder how some people feel regarding the posturings of big name politicians in grabbing the limelight in today’s interfaith rally. They know fully well that if they suceed in ousting GMA, the people who truly work hard for it will again be elbowed and pushed in the sidelines. How about the red banner crowds who have consistently provided the warm bodies in these demonstrations? Will they be again outmaneuvered by the traditional politicians just like the two previous people power revolutions. Hmmmmm….this will be interesting to see since no leader has emerge to lead. A good recipe of political instability. Sad indeed.

  20. mindanaoan

    you see guys, there’s a danger that this method of changing leaders will become institutionalized. it’s like a reset button. it’s handy in a pc, but dangerous in a 90 million-user computer. why all this energy to topple gma, and no effort to think of a better system? most of those rallying on the streets are angry and just want to get what they want. never mind if we are looking at the possibility of chaos afterward. anybody hazard a guess what happens if a mob topples gma?

  21. UP n student

    In retrospect, had the Bacon bill succeeded Mindanao would have been the 50th state of USA and not Hawaii, where the movement for statehood began much later. Hawaii became a state only in 1959.
    – hawaiianguy

    Or Mindanao would be like Puerto Rico — a commonwealth. [Note: Puerto Rico is governed by Puerto Ricans, with the additional “feature” that Puerto Rico citizens are US citizens.]

  22. watchful eye

    anybody hazard a guess what happens if a mob topples gma? – mindanaoan

    a mob toppling gma can be made to mean “constructive resignation,” that’s one not as hazardous a guesswork maybe

  23. Aames

    If Arroyo resigns, what do we do with de Castro?

  24. benign0

    Everyone’s crowing about not trusting our institutions to do the right thing but we’d just as soon place the entire future of the nation on the ebbs and flows of a mob of hakots.

    Priceless.

  25. benign0

    We were here just a shot time ago. July of 2005 to be exact. I wrote at the time:

    “Yes, the President is answerable to the people. But she is entitled to be answerable via the proper channels. Why do we rely on the media to do our “investigations” for us? Why do we rely on citizens’ groups to do our “prosecution”? Investigating is the job of the police and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Why can’t Filipinos demand that the police and justices do their job? So much outrage has been dished out in the last couple of weeks. Yet in the last five decades, our own law enforcement agencies and judiciary have consistently done shoddy jobs. Why aren’t we just as outraged when the police, the NBI, and the judiciary don’t do their job? We should demand that they step up to the challenge of overseeing this whole thing. We should focus our vigilance on institutions — ensure that institutions do their job properly.”

    Furthermore…

    “A society that once elected a famous philanderer, drunkard, and under-educated man to the presidency now lashes out against a president “who has lost the moral ground to govern”. Indeed. An irony wasted on a people with utterly weak faculties to fathom irony.”

    See the full article here:
    http://www.getrealphilippines.com/agr-disagr/18-4-calls.html

    Same characters. Different time.

    Same activities. Same country. Same moronic thinking applied.

    Priceless.

  26. UP n student

    Aames and others: GMA should be a student of history. Not only does she know Erap’s strategic mistake of abandoning Malacanang; GMA also knows how the Beijing politburo – Tianamen Square — answered the question of what to do against a citizenry march.

  27. jakcast

    Today’ game:
    Start of play:
    1. Anti-Queen Pawns gather in Piazzi Benigni (in the city-state led by an enemy of the Queen).
    2. Called by inter-sect Bishops, Black and White Pawns, former courtiers of greed (trapos)
    3. Former Queen will speak
    4. Merchant guilds still divided
    5. Labor Pawns number
    6. Young Pawns number
    7. Military knights still with the Queen (at this stage)
    8. . .

  28. Nick

    I think I’m cross eyed. Oh glorious MLQ3 BLOG… what happened?

  29. cvj

    Jakcast, in case you haven’t noticed, we’re already under ‘Mob rule’ at least since 2004, many say even earlier.

  30. cvj

    hawaiianguy, thanks for the background info, much appreciated!

  31. grd

    That’s a very fitting analogy Watchful Eye. If the La Salle Brothers went through the same thought process as the CBCP, they would have allowed Lozada’s kidnappers to hold on to him with the instruction to “drive safely”… cvj

    cvj, these kidnappers of mr. lozada, are you referring to mascarinas & his men? were they included in the kidnapping case filed by mr. lozada in the doj?

  32. grd

    …i fear that Mindanao will become an American Protectorate while Luzon and Visayas will be subject to Finlandization. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s policies is leading us down this road…

    cvj, you’re paranoid on a lot of things. take your medicine religiously and you’ll be fine.

  33. TheColdKing

    HEY BENIGNO , WHY DON’T YOU JUST SHUT UP AND FUCK OFF EH? THE PEOPLE WHO WENT TO EDSA ARE TRUE PATRIOTS, YOU AND YOUR CROWD ARE THE REAL HAKOT !

  34. TheColdKing

    SIGE NA NGA, MAG-APOLOGIZE NA AKO SA MGA TAGA-BISAYA, HINDI NIYO NAMAN ATA KASALANAN NGA KUNG BAKIT HINAYAAN AT PINAYAGAN NIYONG MANAKAW NI GMA ANG HALALAN, NA-POSSESS LANG SIGURO KAYO NG MGA DEMONYO. MAS MAY KASALANAN ANG MGA TAGA-KAPAMPANGAN, SA KANILA GALING AT LUMAKI ANG MGA PIDAL !

  35. Pochero

    If what you say is true that GMA is at odds with her top lieutenants, would it be to our benefit to deepen this conflict? How can we drive a wedge between them? In this case, CBCP’s joint statement may be right on the money to exhort GMA to “see the light” and in the process, increase disharmony within the administration ranks. If this continues, something’s got to give (we hope).

  36. hawaiianguy

    UPnS, “Or Mindanao would be like Puerto Rico — a commonwealth. [Note: Puerto Rico is governed by Puerto Ricans, with the additional “feature” that Puerto Rico citizens are US citizens.]”

    That’s very unlikely as a scenario if Mindanao was chunked off from the Philippine Islands. For one, American officials believed that the Moros were “savages.” They were incapable of governing their own, and respected no laws except force. Thus, they preferred a direct rule over them, ironically with many Moro elites acquiescing as “wards” of the nation (meaning, like the American Indians of the wild west, they needed “protection”).

    cvj, welcome.

  37. UP n student

    Hawaiianguy: Moros — minority in Mindanao. Didn’t somebody mention Bisayans?

    ———-
    but not to focus on the wrong island or the wrong century.

    CIA playbook, in today’s times, would prefer Palawan (and only Palawan) to Mindanao. Palawan as US protectorate can much more easily be developed, first into a next-Guam (and soon after, towards Macao-equivalent if not Hongkong-status). Entire Palawan easier to electrify – easier to develop — than the entire Mindanao. As Guam-type (Guam citizens are US citizens) Palawan-us-protectorate has attractive potential.

  38. hawaiianguy

    UPnS, Palawan as protectorate? Nah! The GIs didn’t like it. I saw an old doc (in the 1930s) where local officials wrote a petition offering Palawan for naval and coaling stations (and more) instead of Mindanao. No American bit it.

    Today, no Palaweno in his right mind would do it again. Never! Palawan even opted out to become part of the Moro autonomous govt.

    Moros a minority in Mindanao? At that time, they were, but only in some provinces in the north and west (Bisayans and tribal groups were the majority group there).

  39. UP n student

    hawaiianguy: In the stratosphere of speculations about Palawan as protectorate, no sweat tagging your speculations as better than mine.

  40. hawaiianguy

    UPnS, yeah. Mine could not be any better than anyone else’s. But for the whole Philippines, baka pwde pa. Kung document ang pag uusapan, marami na yung nagpetition mula noon hanggang ngaun. Kaya lang, ayaw naman ng USA. 🙂

  41. Bert

    “An irony wasted on a people with utterly weak faculties to fathom irony.””–at 2:17pm

    At times, the moron and the smart are on the same level, at times the smart is even at a lower level, being not only weak in faculties to fathom irony but also weak in sight to see that the proper channel is a one way street, and that the institutions are prostitutes.

    “Why can’t Filipinos demand that the police and justices (instead of condemning the PRESIDENT, inclosed parenthesis mine)do their job?”

    See?

  42. Andres

    This is Treason committed by the Arroyo regime! The agreement with the Chinese Oil firm strengthens the claim of China over Spratley islands.

    It is virtually allowing the Chinese to exploit the oil reserves and other natural resources over and under the islands!

  43. aurora

    “I’ve been apprised that June 2009 is some sort of deadline for the passage of a law on identifying our territorial baseline, and so agreements like this take on a greater significance. If anyone has information on why this deadline exists, and on what basis, I’d appreciate it”

    Dear Mr. Manolo,

    2009 is the deadline for signatory states to UNCLOS to submit their delineation of the 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and not the deadline to pass a law on identifying our baselines. UNCLOS does not require us to submit or register or legislate our baselines. However, we are required – if it is our interest to keep our 200-nm EEZ (and I think should be our interest) – to delineate the said EEZ. Delineating our EEZ would require a set of base points and baselines that are/would be recognized by UNCLOS. UNCLOS came into force in 1982, and the baselines/points that we are using (based on the 1898 Treaty of Paris – Sen. Tolentino worked on RA 3046 in 1961, which was amended in 1968 (RA 5446)) need to redefined with respect to the Convention. The base points and baselines are important because they are our basis for demarcating our territorial sea, EEZ, continental shelf and others. And it is more important for us (than any other country) because the Philippines is one of the few “archipelagic states” under UNCLOS. Sen. Tolentino, who was our UNCLOS delegate, worked really hard on having the archipelagic doctrine recognized, which is a major contribution to one of the most binding international agreements that any international organization has ever produced. Archipelagic states enjoy special privileges for their strategic geographical features/properties. We have to do everything to secure this special position…and everything starts with the baselines. During the 13th Congress, Rep. Antonio Cuenco of Cebu filed House Bill No. 1202, seeking to define the country’s archipelagic base points. This bill has been revised and is now HB No. 3216. It passed second reading last week or two weeks ago.

  44. Kabayan

    test

  45. Gerald F. Misa

    The luminary from Cagayan de Oro, Senator Aquilino Pimentel, has long batted for federalism as a solution to the so-called Mindanao problem, but his plan was relegated to the backseat.

    While he wants the region of Mindanao to remain intact, which idea is shared by all other like-minded individuals, I strongly propose secession from the Republic of the Philippines and the partition of the island into two sectors. The Moors should have their own republic, or whatever they call their country and it will be made up of the Islamic-influenced provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi. The Christians and the native peoples will make up the republic comprising the predominantly Christian provinces and areas. A demarcation line must be drawn between the two sectors defining their borders and a wall must be constructed to forever separate the Moors and the non-Moors, who can never co-exist in this part of the world. The Christians and Moslems in Singapore can co-exist and there is no question about it but the Christians and the Moors in Mindanao, which Moors are totally different from the Malay Moslems and Moslems in the First World countries, cannot co-exist. That is a fact only the ignoramuses cannot accept. If the Albanian, Russian, or Chinese Moslems are different, the so-called Mindanao-based Moors are much more different, and if you let these groups live together, the latter, who have a predilection to murder anyone they consider not one of their kind, will exterminate the former. With their bizarre culture as a basis, a wall similar to the Great Wall of China must be erected to separate the two nations and prevent those people who, since childhood, have been taught to despite, hate, and eliminate the “infidels” in Mindanao – the Christians and non-Islamic influenced natives.

    The Moors living in Christian-occupied areas must be uprooted and shipped back to their homeland, Bangsamoro, or Republic of Moorland or Republic of the Moors, or whatever they choose to call their nation. All vestiges of Moorish influence in Christian areas must be removed and anything related to the Moorish people must be exterminated. Similarly, the Christians living in the Moro-controlled areas must move to the Christian republic and those Christians who refuse to leave the Moorish areas must not be forced. Those with Christian-Moro blood must decide between joining the Christian Republic in the North and fighting on the side of the Moorish Republic in the South. Those who choose to be on the side of the Moors should forever be prevented from entering and seeking refuge in the Christian-controlled areas. The construction of a wall, which will later become a classic symbol of separation between the two groups, will serve this purpose. Sea borders must be tightly guarded to prevent or stop any future Moorish intrusions or aggressions.

    Us here; them there.

    The Christians and the non-Christian natives and other ethnic groups must not have any dealings with them at all and must not meddle in the Moorish affairs.

    The Moors must be left to their own fate. Let them stand on their own! Let the Moors have their own homeland. After all, this is what they have always longed for. Give them what they want and let them alone.

    Since they have their Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Moro National Liberation Front, and the Abu Sayyaf, as well as other minor groups, they can work for their independence. I see no intelligent reason why that Republic of the Philippines, an overseas territory of the United States of America, cannot and will not grant them what they have been fighting for. After all, the separation of those Moors is the beginning of peace and stability in Christian-controlled or influenced-areas.

    The non-Moorish and, therefore, Christian-controlled portion of Mindanao must not be called “Republic of Mindanao”, for such name is not and will never be imposing. The term “Mindanao” connotes a negative meaning bordering or associated with banditry, kidnapping, or terrorism perpetrated by those infamous rebel organizations in the southern areas. I cannot imagine calling a citizen in the region “Mindanaon”; such nationality can only elicit complete shock, blank stares or even taunting from other nations. If I were to decide, I would call it “The Republic of Landwig” and the citizens would be called “Landwigians”.

    The Republic of Landwig must not establish diplomatic ties with that Republic of the Philippines as such move will only be seen as recognition of the culture of neglect the Philippines has long nurtured and promoted in the region.

  46. The Urban Moccasin

    ColdKing:

    Your remarks only confirm the naked truth that the Filipinos are the world’s worst racists. And since it is national knowledge that the Tagalog-speaking inhabitants of this impoverished country, the Philippines, are the only Filipinos and since we Cebuano-speaking peoples are not one of your kind, then it is but correct to state that we, Cebuano language-speaking peoples are not Filipinos but subjects of that imperial Philippines. Branded us second class citizens, we have every right to fight for our independence and eventually secede from your beloved Philippines of which I am not proud. If you have an innate dislike for the people of the Cebuano-speaking areas of Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Samar Region, Camiguin, Negros Oriental, and Mindanao, then your Filipino common sense dictates that you should not venture outside the imperial metropolitan area or the greater Tagalog-speaking region and visit Cebu province. It is safe to say you do not even wish to come into contact with someone of Visayan descent. Miss Pilita Corales is of Visayan extraction. Will you also taunt her? You need to be re-educated Mr. ColdKing. I pity you because your god created you. You are his worst creation! I would love to see the Visayan provinces secede from that Philippine Republic and when the war of independence is declared, I would look forward to seeing you in the battlefront along with your infamous Tagalog-speaking Filipino soldiers and your allies.

    The Urban Moccasin

  47. UP n student

    disregard this entry

    paragraph here to put in blockquote

    this is blockquoted text
    alphabet
    soup
    (and don’t forget to close your tags)

    and you will get this

    this is blockquoted text
    alphabet
    soup
    (and don’t forget to close your tags)

1 3 4 5

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