Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Don't Be Pessimistic? By Erick San Juan

Our country is once again divided as various issues confront us, vital to our day to day lives. With the personalities up front raging word wars, so are the people especially the netizens.  After the initial two-day hearing on extra-judicial killings at the senate chaired by Senator Leila de Lima, several points were cleared by the PNP chief Gen. Ronald dela Rosa on the war on drugs. After the so many hours spent on the senate hearing in aid of legislation, the 'war' continues and so are the killings.

The so-called war on drugs is concentrated mostly on the poor drug users and pushers, the public is asking time and again, where are the ‘big fish’? So many questions and the answers were so limited and very evasive. Like most killed are reportedly 'assets' of some scalawags in uniform who wanted to silence them and not to spill the beans. The suspected drug lord Peter Lim and family already left through a private jet for unknown destination. The case of father and son tandem – Mayor Rolly and son Kerwin Espinosa, some observers believed that they were treated like VIPs and were released eventually. Reason? No case to file against them, yet. The one was met by the President himself in Malacanang and the other one even stayed in the PNP’s white house. Pundits believe that if these are the ways the ‘big fishes’ were being treated, can we blame the public for asking why such biased treatment is being done if the present leadership is really waging this war on drugs seriously without fear and favor?

Remember we are not alone in this war, at the senate hearing it was mentioned by the Commission on Human Rights head Chito Gascon that there is a possibility that the International Criminal Court can investigate and may impose sanction on the responsible individuals who allowed the rampant extra-judicial killings. In other words, the people in the government should be wary on how to conduct their operations because we are being watched by the international community. Whether the President likes it or not, we are a member in a community of nations who are outside the box looking in for any possible violation of human rights.

But we have to remind the Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations that some alleged 'salvaging' were executed before the Duterte administration.

Yes, we are one with the President in upholding our sovereign rights as an independent nation but diplomacy dictates that we should respect people and organizations who are doing their jobs to maintain peace and harmony among sovereign states. And if we as a member of such group, we should respect and follow its rules for the protection of our citizenry.

As we wrote before, the present leadership of President Duterte is faced with a lot of problems and issues handed down from the past administrations. One is the communist insurgency which is now conducting the peace talks in Oslo, Norway. Some observers are asking why it had to be outside the country, this peace talk?

Like what former National Security Secretary Bert Gonzales said in his article that was published at the Manila Times – “Why can’t the peace talks be held where they are now? Government can easily provide suitable facilities for talks within their detention area. For those in Utrecht, except for Jose Maria Sison, who continues to be on the international terrorist list, they have been freely traveling to the Philippines, anyway."

"Sison claims to be a mere consultant in the talks. His absence should not really matter. The Norwegian third party facilitators certainly will not mind enjoying Manila hospitality. What is important is that doing the talks here will not require the Philippines to bend its laws."

"It is a good time to confront some communist beliefs that threaten national security. Many communists all over the world went through this in their respective countries, where they have now become important political players and are effectively co-existing with other ideologically founded political forces. The talks will not bring peace as intended if these beliefs are not confronted and reconciled with once and for all.”

The peace talks with the communist group is just one of the so many government tasks, there is also the problem with the MNLF and the MILF and the possible new BBL version to reckon with.  And the continuing military confrontations with the bandits of the Abu Sayyaf Group.

That’s not all, even the nagging question of the burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos, whether it should be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani or not really divides the people. But as of this writing, the Supreme Court came out with its status quo anti order for twenty days on the fate of the Marcos burial. It was put on hold until the day of the oral arguments next month.

We have to remind our people that  I was part of the entourage from Hawaii to Ilocos Norte of the former President Ferdinand Marcos  body and he has long been buried beside his beloved mother, Dona Josefa. What many people are seeing in Ilocos is the refrigerated wax replica of Marcos patterned to Lenin's open museum at the Red Square in Kremlin that we saw during the visit of former President Fidel Ramos in Russia.

These are just among the so many hurdles that President Digong had to face day in and day out. Maybe the severity and scope of these problems had made the president looks uneasy sometimes and tend to say words that later on regrets as saying. For whatever its worth, he is the elected president and we should support his administration but not to forget also that we are still in a democracy with all its flaws, let us all be vigilant and pray for the best that this nation will survive despite all the problems.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Will All Hell Break Loose Soon? By Erick San Juan

Will All Hell Break Loose Soon? By Erick San Juan

Or Who Will Strike First?

If the world thinks that after the PCA’s (Permanent Court of Arbitration) ruling on the territorial disputes between the Philippines and China, conflict in the region or a possible war will be farfetched, think again.

Despite the diplomatic talks between the US and China and military to military arrangement like the recent meeting between US Army chief of staff Gen. Mark Milley and China's Peoples Liberation Army Gen. Li Zuocheng Tuesday, August 16 in Beijing, the war cycle is still on.
In the recent study from the Pentagon’s think tank RAND Corporation - War with China, Thinking Through the Unthinkable, it stated that “premeditated war between the United States and China is very unlikely, but the danger that a mishandled crisis could trigger hostilities cannot be ignored. Thus, while neither state wants war, both states' militaries have plans to fight one.”

How can one avoid the crisis (by design) if it is a programmed one and yes it can be delayed but it will happen whether we like it or not. Unfortunately, in this case, it could be sooner than we think.

As the present administration is busy solving problems here and there, even the problem with China using the backdoor (so to speak), according to RAND’s report, the US-China war could start in the East China Sea. In this case, the Japan-China territorial dispute at the Senkaku islands could be the trigger that will start the war between US and China. The bad part of this ‘studied scenario’ is the glaring reality of the US virtual military bases here via EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) and before we know it, we are waging the American war against China just because we allowed it or should we say, our past leaders did it as slaves to a perceived master.

Another irony (according to RAND Corporation) is the use of conventional warfare if ever the US-China war will happen. No nukes! Seriously?

In this age, if one is in the league of nuclear-armed superpowers, and not to use nuclear weapons if threatened or in the line of fire and in the middle of a war, is insane.

To continue the RAND study it states – “As Chinese anti-access and area-denial (A2AD) capabilities improve, the United States can no longer be so certain that war would follow its plan and lead to decisive victory. This analysis illuminates various paths a war with China could take and their possible consequences.

Technological advances in the ability to target opposing forces are creating conditions of conventional counterforce, whereby each side has the means to strike and degrade the other's forces and, therefore, an incentive to do so promptly, if not first. This implies fierce early exchanges, with steep military losses on both sides, until one gains control. At present, Chinese losses would greatly exceed U.S. losses, and the gap would only grow as fighting persisted. But, by 2025, that gap could be much smaller. Even then, however, China could not be confident of gaining military advantage, which suggests the possibility of a prolonged and destructive, yet inconclusive, war. In that event, nonmilitary factors — economic costs, internal political effects, and international reactions — could become more important.

Political leaders on both sides could limit the severity of war by ordering their respective militaries to refrain from swift and massive conventional counterforce attacks. The resulting restricted, sporadic fighting could substantially reduce military losses and economic harm. This possibility underscores the importance of firm civilian control over wartime decision-making and of communication between capitals. At the same time, the United States can prepare for a long and severe war by reducing its vulnerability to Chinese A2AD forces and developing plans to ensure that economic and international consequences would work to its advantage.

Both sides would suffer large military losses in a severe conflict. In 2015, U.S. losses could be a relatively small fraction of forces committed, but still significant; Chinese losses could be much heavier than U.S. losses and a substantial fraction of forces committed.

This gap in losses will shrink as Chinese A2AD improves. By 2025, U.S. losses could range from significant to heavy; Chinese losses, while still very heavy, could be somewhat less than in 2015, owing to increased degradation of U.S. strike capabilities.

China's A2AD will make it increasingly difficult for the United States to gain military-operational dominance and victory, even in a long war.”

Now they are talking about a severe long war. A perpetual war? God forbid!

We have to be ready and if there is still time correct the mistakes of the past leaders and demand what is due us from our treaty allies if war really is inevitable.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

After Ramos, Narco-Politics Proliferate by Erick San Juan

After Ramos, Narco-Politics Proliferate by Erick San Juan

“I don't want to defy economic logic and say supply creates demand, but to a certain extent it feels that way,"  Steven Dudley, co-founder of InSight Crime, a foundation that studies organized crime in Latin America.

Because as long as there are people willing to produce and supply the illicit drugs to users and would-be users, demands will be created in the process for something that is very addicting creating the demand would be that easy.

This perennial problem of drug trafficking tackled at the meeting of diplomats and top officials from governments around the world in mid-April this year at United Nations headquarters in New York to discuss what to do about the global drug problem. Over the course of four days and multiple discussions, the assembled dignitaries vowed to take a more comprehensive approach to the issue than in years past — but they also decided to keep waging the war on drugs.

The "outcome document" adopted during the UN General Assembly's special session (UNGASS) calls for countries to "prevent and counter" drug-related crime by disrupting the "illicit cultivation, production, manufacturing, and trafficking" of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and other substances banned by international law. The document also reaffirmed the UN's "unwavering commitment" to "supply reduction and related measures."

Yet according to the UN's own data, the supply-oriented approach to fighting drug trafficking has been a failure of epic proportions. Last May, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) issued its 2015 World Drug Report, which shows that — despite billions of dollars spent trying to eradicate illicit crops, seize drug loads, and arrest traffickers — more people than ever before are getting high.

The UNODC conservatively estimated that in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, 246 million people worldwide, or 1 out of 20 individuals between the ages of 15 and 64, used an illicit drug, an increase of 3 million people over the previous year. More alarmingly, 27 million people were characterized as "problem drug users." Only one out of every six of these problem users had access to any sort of addiction treatment. (Source: The Golden Age of Drug Trafficking: How Meth, Cocaine, and Heroin Move Around the World by Keegan Hamilton, April 2016)

The efforts of the Duterte administration on its war on drugs for its first month has already shown how this drug problem has deeply penetrated the very roots of our society. Unfortunately, President Rody Duterte said that the so-called big fish is not here in the country. Supplies are just coming in from abroad and the contacts here – the drug lords and its minions are the ones selling the “merchandize” to the locals.

How to stop drug trafficking is the number one problem now because experts believe that the rise of globalization and high-speed and hi-tech form of communications made the trafficking or transactions of illegal drugs much easier.

Of the three most used illegal drugs - meth, cocaine, and heroin, it is the methamphetamine (or shabu) that is very popular here in the country.

According to Hamilton in his article, demand for methamphetamine has soared since the UN's last drug summit in 1998, and it has become one of the most popular — and profitable — illicit substances in nearly every corner of the world. From Australia and Asia to Africa and North America, meth is the poster drug for the global narco economy.

The quantities of meth confiscated by authorities over the past decade reflect its rise. According to the UNODC, global meth seizures nearly quadrupled from 24 tons in 2008 to 114 tons in 2012. Meth seizures in Mexico increased from 341 kilograms in 2008 to 44 tons in 2012. In Australia, meth seizures in Australia soared by more than 400 percent in a single year, climbing from 426 kilograms in 2011 to 2,269 kilos in 2012.

In Asia, meth is primarily produced in China, where the precursor chemicals needed to synthesize the drug are abundant, and in the lawless Golden Triangle region of Myanmar and Laos. Douglas, the UNODC rep in Southeast Asia, said that "crystal meth is exploding in the region." According to the UNODC's preliminary estimate, 25 tons of meth were seized last year across the region.

Douglas said part of meth's appeal for drug traffickers is the relatively low startup and overhead costs. Producing heroin requires paying hundreds of farmers to tend crops that can produce only a limited amount of poppy gum per harvest. For meth, it takes only a shipment of relatively easy-to-obtain chemicals and a little bit of scientific knowhow. The drug can be shipped to countries like Australia, which offers the highest price per kilo of meth anywhere in the world, and sold for an enormous profit.

But for the most part, the chemicals used to make the world's meth originate in China, where a booming pharmaceutical industry manufactures all the raw ingredients to produce "ice," the common name for glassy shards of high-purity crystal meth. According to data presented by the Chinese government at UNGASS, the country seized a whopping 20,338 tons of meth precursor chemicals from 2009 to 2015. Busts have shown that individual villages are capable of producing enormous quantities of the drug. On a single day in 2013 in Boshe, a village northeast of Hong Kong on the Chinese mainland, authorities seized three tons of meth and more than 100 tons of precursors.

"With crystal meth, the leader appears to be China, but they also produce significant amounts in the Philippines and in Indonesia, and also to some extent in Myanmar," Douglas said. "But what we've seen in recent years is industrial-scale production from a few labs in China."

In 1995, i wrote an article, 'After FVR, Narco-Politics in the Offing', published by several newspapers. I'm now vindicated.

It is about time that all of us should be ever vigilant and help the Duterte government to put a STOP to this drug menace and really pray harder that his administration will have the strength to continuously fight this ‘war’  and that he may live longer to see its success. May God bless us all.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Left, Who's the Real Leader? by Erick San Juan

The Left, Who's the Real Leader? by Erick San Juan

More power to President Rodrigo Duterte and his goal to unify the nation since day one of his term, a sweeping unity making waves across the political spectrum but unfortunately it was not rightly reciprocated by the other party from the left. The President’s offer of a unilateral ceasefire to the CPP-NPA-NDF announced during his State of the Nation Address was recently cancelled.

According to reports, President Duterte issued the ultimatum after a government militia man was killed and four others were wounded in what the military said was an ambush by the NPA (New Peoples Army) in the southern province of Compostela Valley last Wednesday. The rebels owned up to the attack, but said they were thwarting an Army offensive.

The response from the communist party was later given after three hours from the deadline. It is now clear that local NPA's are not the ideologues that we know in the past. There appears to be 'phantom' leaders for every faction within. They could be corrupt politicians, scalawags in uniform, dubious businessmen in the provinces and covert power blocs. Even Joma Sison does not control the local combatants. I don't even believe that he has the real say in that NDF(National Democratic Front) office in Utrecht. So why talk with a Christian for National Liberation inspired NDF?

Historically, PKP (Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas) was infiltrated by foreign agents like US clandestine operator William Pomeroy and even the so called 'muscovites'. Pomeroy studied in UP, met and married Celia.

Taken from their website CPP       (Communist Party of the Philippines), the Philippine Revolution Web Central, this is what they say about Pomeroy.

"It is clear why sharp attention has been given to Pomeroy. He has been the most valuable among the Lava revisionist renegades in spreading in the Philippines and abroad counter-revolutionary revisionist ideas. His writings have been published and circulated by the Soviet, American and Philippine revisionist renegades."

"Pomeroy is liable to have spread noxious ideas more than the Lavas themselves, the dynastic chieftains of the Philippine revisionist renegades, whose writings are sparse and crude. As a matter of fact, his writings are often quoted and cited by the Lava revisionist renegades who look up to him as some sort of ideological authority."

Among the Lava revisionist renegades, Pomeroy enjoys today the status of being the most trusted agent of Soviet social-imperialism. Under the cover of revisionist phrase-mongering, he also exercises his role as a special agent of U.S. imperialism. There is ample proof to show that he has been an undercover agent of U.S. imperialism, with the specific task of sabotaging the Philippine revolutionary movement.

His counter-revolutionary record is well-known in the Philippines. He collaborated with the notorious anti-communist Luis Taruc in writing the “autobiography” of betrayal, Born of the People. Under the pretext of gathering material for this book, he gathered intelligence data for U.S. imperialism. At the same time, he glorified Taruc in a sleek maneuver to spread counter-revolutionary ideas and the black line of capitulationism. To keep himself planted in the old merger party, he followed the Jose-Jesus Lava clique in its shifts from Right opportunism to “Left” opportunism.

After giving himself up to the enemy in the course of Operation “Four Roses” in 1952, he spent time in prison only to be part of the reactionary government’s campaign to break the spirit of political prisoners and sponge for information that filtered in from the revolutionary mass movement. He wrote in prison the first draft of the pessimistic book, The Forest, despite the objections of others. It was upon the intercession of the U.S. government that he was released from prison in late 1961, a decade ahead of the release of those who had been sentenced like him to life imprisonment at the least. His release was in line with the U.S. imperialist support for the splitting activities of the Khrushchov revisionist renegade clique in the international communist movement. His ability to write opportunist trash qualified him for a new task from his U.S. imperialist master. (Pomeroy's Portrait: Revisionist Renegade, April 22, 1972)

There is so much to learn from history. This is the reason why we are being faced with this perennial problem created by the so called communist rebels. Even the late President Ferdinand Marcos created his own clandestine operation of leftists through the late General Galileo Kintanar then of ISAFP but some of his people used them in extracurricular and illegal activities and blamed the NPA.

Same thing happened to the late Popoy Lagman’s Alex Boncayao Brigade. At first it was instrumental in the killing of scalawags in uniform but in his last days he got worried that his ABB was being used and tagged as behind some criminal activities.

And now we have the leadership of an action man who will do whatever it takes to unify the nation peacefully, we hope and pray that with the support of the whole Filipino populace, such peace and unity can be achieved.

For the other questions that still unanswered in the course of understanding the so-called ‘reds’ like - how was the NDF created without the sanction of the Politburo of the CPP/NPA? And why was PKP dismantled and metamorphosed into CPP without the approval of the hierarchy of PKP/HMB(Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan)? Who are the puppet masters and puppets behind the scene? Is Benito Tiamzon the real head of our local communists? Who is George Madlos of NPA in Mindanao working for? What was the real participation of the late Jesuit priest Fr. Jose 'Derp' Blanco of Ateneo in the recruitment of former UP Professors Jose Ma. Sison and Nur Misuari to destabilize the Marcos regime? Please read my book DOSSIERS, to know more. It will be out in the market very soon. Also read my other 5 conspiracy books at

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Might is Right by Erick San Juan

Might is Right by Erick San Juan

In the midst of the anticipation and excitement before the much awaited State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the newly elected President Rodrigo Roa Duterte plus the euphoria over the Permanent Court of Arbitration (The Hague) ruling in favor of the Philippines against China, there were several important international meetings/conferences we overlooked.

Among these meetings were the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and other key ASEAN-related meetings – including East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), a 27-member security dialogue – held from July 23-26 in Vientiane, Laos, ASEAN’s current chair and the Trident Special Defense Symposium at the Solaire Hotel in Metro Manila.

It would be good to note that while other pro-China and the Chinese media itself seemed to project China as the underdog in the South China Sea dispute with the US siding with our country, we'll take a look again.

In the several meetings among ASEAN and non-ASEAN members, the pressure tactics employed by China were quite obvious. The mere fact that the ASEAN meetings host country of Laos (and Cambodia) both had their objections and did not join in expressing any common position on the verdict.

The objection of Cambodia and Laos, both of which are Beijing’s allies and largely depend on it economically, is seen as the reason behind ASEAN’ “no-statement” or “no-comment.”

Beijing allegedly uses it's economic influence to lobby its two small and poor neighbors and that it exploits ASEAN’s consensus, the regional grouping’s modus operandi, to divide ASEAN on the South China Sea issue is universally recognized.

In 2012, ASEAN failed – for the first time in its history – to issue a joint communiqué after its AMM in Cambodia. Last month, for the second time, it was unable to agree on a joint statement after a special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Kunming, China. In fact, it released a statement but retracted it immediately afterward.

If China succeeds in doing so, which will likely result in ASEAN’s failure to issue a joint statement for the third time, the regional organization’s unity, centrality and even its existence are greatly threatened.

It is very difficult, if not impossible, for the grouping to maintain its centrality in the Asia-Pacific’s evolving regional architecture if it is continuously split and manipulated by a powerful outsider.

It's relevance is also greatly questioned if it ignores the South China Sea disputes, which is probably the region’s biggest security concern. Moreover, four ASEAN members – Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam – are directly involved in the disputes.

As it is also seeking to establish and advocate for a rules-based regional order, ASEAN cannot be silent on a ruling by an international court established under the aegis of UNCLOS.

While in another important conference at the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM, a biennial summit of Asian and European leaders), in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, from July 15-16, it did not directly mention the South China Sea dispute in its closing statement.

The European Union (EU) was only able to issue a statement on the South China Sea ruling on July 15, three days after the PCA published its award. Moreover, this declaration made by Federica Mogherini, the EU’s High Representative, on behalf of the 28-member bloc, did not directly name China.

The EU, which is an ardent advocate of the rule of law, failed to release an immediate and more strongly worded statement on The Hague ruling because Croatia, Hungary and Greece reportedly blocked it.

These small EU members, notably the latter, are facing many economic problems and seeking closer economic ties with Beijing.

While the EU managed to issue a common – though rather weak by its standards – statement on the PCA’s award, ASEAN has conspicuously failed to do so.

China’s blunt interference in the internal affairs of ASEAN, whose core principle is non-interference, has already alienated many ASEAN members. Its relationship with ASEAN is actually at a very low ebb.

If China continues to pursue its long held divide and rule tactics vis-à-vis ASEAN, it will further anger many ASEAN members and push them to seek closer ties with the US, Beijing’s geopolitical rival. This is not good for China in the long run.

It's a realpolitik approach or “might-makes-right” strategy to the South China Sea issue which is being questioned and scrutinized. It is also facing huge regional and international pressure that may eventually prompt it to comply – either partly or fully – with the PCA’s ruling. (Source: Will China’s realpolitik prevail in sea row? by Xuan Loc Doan, 7/23/16)

As to what extent thus the international community can extend its hand to China to comply with the rule of law? And with China’s might makes right policy, it will continue to bully its neighbors especially the Philippines even after the PCA ruling.

As the countries in the SCS area continue to turn to the US for moral and military support, tensions in the SCS will also continue to rise. And this will never look good for China and it will assert its claim using the nine-dash line based on its so called historic rights. An end to this dispute is farfetched if China will not adhere to what is right and push for who is mightier and stronger militarily.

One have to analyze and understand why China’s Xi Jinping is so stubborn and does not listen to reason.

Leaders like Xi and Turkey's Erdogan, (who reportedly hatched his own palace coup ala Ferdinand Marcos) tried anticipating future ouster by creating plans to ferret out their enemies from within. The worst is Xi who pretends to be strong by bullying us.

The leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte shows adherence to the rule of law even when it was not during his term that the country went to PCA at the Hague for arbitration. President Duterte’s concern is to preserve peace in the region and war is definitely not the answer to solve the territorial disputes.
 Pres. Duterte is correct, we will not start a fight with China, its the right strategy. We just want to get what is due us especially our fishermen through co-existence and to have freedom to sail and catch fish and other marine life in the SCS-WPS area.

Actually, Xi’s bullying is an art of war so as not to show his domestic problems and weaknesses. The situation in China will not be a repeat of Tiananmen Square incident because Xi is fighting so many fronts from within this time. He has to heed Deng Xiao Ping’s popular warning that if there will be a Chinese tyrant leader,a bully and aggressor, the people of the world should work together with the Chinese people to overthrow it, a possible truth that could happen anytime soon.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Anti-Drugs Deja Vu by Erick San juan

This three-month reign of perceived police terror left at least 2,274 people dead. The government and police implausibly ascribed the deaths to gangland feuding, insisting that only 42 drug suspects were shot by police officers ”most of those in self-defense". In fact, the government openly encouraged the police to carry out extra-judicial killings so that the arbitrary goals of its war on drugs could be met on time.

The Narcotics Control Board provided the indices: 1,765 people arrested as major drug dealers and another 15,244 as minor dealers. More than 280,000 drug pushers and addicts gave themselves up to authorities and were sent for rehabilitation. In all, some 15.5 million
pills were confiscated and the street price for the drug doubled or trebled over the course of the three months from February 1 to April 30.

Sounds familiar! In Thailand's 75 provinces, it reported that they had more than fulfilled their quota of reducing the number of drug dealers by 50 percent. In some cases, officials boasted of a 100 percent success rate that is, all drug dealers in their province either dead or detained. Interior Minister Wan Muhammad Nor Matha claimed that 440 local officials and politicians, including two police colonels, had been dismissed because of links to drug trafficking.

The Thai government used a system of bribes and threats to ensure that regional governors and police chiefs carried out the campaign. Three lists were compiled: one by police; the second by local administrative organizations and village heads; and the last by the Narcotics Control Board. Officials who failed to meet their quotas faced dismissal. Those
who brought in a major drug dealer ”dead or alive” received a bounty of one million baht ($US23,600).

But just who has been arrested or gunned down is unclear, as the allegations against those on the blacklists have not been tested in a court of law. Those whose names appeared had no way of finding out the nature of the accusations against them. Terrified of being framed up or shot dead, thousands opted to hand themselves in and submit to a course of boot-camp style rehabilitation. (Source:  Susanne Ilchmann, May 9, 2003)

The above-mentioned scenario looks almost similar to what is happening in our country under the newly installed presidency of Rodrigo Duterte and his war on drugs. With the ever growing number of individuals surrendering to the authorities, from drug users to drug pushers, the current problem now is where to put these people for rehabilitation.

Even before the election day, several people involved in illegal drugs surrendered or face the consequences of being shot to death. The power of President Duterte's words against drug use and its proliferation in the society made them surrender. But for every popular campaign that might involve lives of people and its impact in the community has a
corresponding reaction, may it be positive or negative. In our case, and in Thailand under Prime Minister Thaksin, a former chief of police, the human rights advocates are the ones seeking justice for those who were victims of extrajudicial killings and summary executions.

This is one of the reasons for the ouster of Thailand's Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (aside from other accusations like corruption and other government policies), to wit: The Nation (an English-language newspaper in Thailand) reported on November 27, 2007:

"Of 2,500 deaths in the government's war on drugs in 2003, a fact-finding panel has found that more than half was not involved in drug at all. At a brainstorming session, a representative from the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) disclosed that as many as 1,400 people were killed and labeled as drug suspects despite the fact that they had no link to drugs. ... Senior public prosecutor Kunlapon Ponlawan said it was not difficult to investigate extra-judicial killings carried out by police officers as the trigger-pullers usually confessed." (Wikipedia)

There were reports that Thailand's war on drugs ended up a failure after all until PM Thaksin's ouster in 2006. One factor to be considered seriously was the cross-border trafficking of drugs and the issue on drug lords.

Thailand's War on Drugs victory was temporary. PM Thaksin's campaign has decimated the drug market at the local drug trafficker and street-user level, but it has not reduced cross-border trafficking or attacked the drug trade's higher elements. Additionally, his battle against "Dark Influences" has been ineffective, with few arrests of note. Thailand's King has even tactfully admonished PM Thaksin for his ebullient trumpeting of a victory, when in fact the war is far from over. Burma and Laos are still major contributors to Thailand's drug problem, and most major Thai drug lords remain free. In fact, traffickers have simply changed routes or are storing their product in border areas awaiting a time for safe shipment.

While Thaksin's "war" has had a major impact on Thailand's drug problem, it should be viewed as a relatively successful campaign in a long war, and not as a victorious end to the war itself.(Ibid)

The international community is closely watching the ongoing war on drugs of Duterte's administration and there are global organizations (known for its hands on regime change of some nations) that are critical on its judgment that if you do not kowtow to its policies and so-called international standards, you are headed towards the exit door like what happened to our neighbor“ Thailand.

President Duterte has to act fast before his enemies could re-group and destroy him and his loop. Blackmail operation is on. Try to analyze some of the columnists hinting that the president and some of his trusted men have one way or another have links with the top honchos of the underworld.

Many hopes that the president's promise of getting the big fishes is for real. Act fast Mr. President and avoid a deja vu of Thaksin's downfall.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

WPS: Foreign Policy Shift by Erick San Juan

After the long wait, the United Nation Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) released its decision and is still trending on the internet.

And we thought we are done with so much politics after the recent elections and the continuous movement of political butterflies from one party to another, think again.

In the article of Anthony Carlucci, The Politics Behind the Philippines vs. China Court Case, he writes: “The corporate-financier funded and directed policy think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) published a paper titled, “Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China,” penned by Robert Blackwill – a Bush era administrator and lobbyist who has directly participated in Washington’s attempts to maintain hegemony over Asia.

Blackwill’s paper states (emphasis added):

    "Because the American effort to ‘integrate’ China into the liberal international order has now generated new threats to U.S. primacy in Asia—and could result in a consequential challenge to American power globally—Washington needs a new grand strategy toward China that centers on balancing the rise of Chinese power rather than continuing to assist its ascendancy.

Indeed, a US policymaker openly admits that the US perceived itself as possessing  and seeking to maintain 'primacy in Asia', primacy being defined by Merriam-Webster as, “the state of being most important or strongest.”

The United States then, literally an ocean away from Asia, presumes 'primacy' over an entire region of the planet, and is openly seeking to deny the very nations within that region 'primacy' over their own destiny, people and resources.

It is an open, modern proclamation of imperialism.

It is also the true reality that underlines US foreign policy in the South China Sea and explains why an American and British, not only a Philippine legal team has spent years trying to exact a ruling from the UN and other 'international' organizations regarding Beijing.

In this context, it is quite clear why Beijing plans to ignore the ruling.”

Indeed, since the very start, a lot of thinking Filipinos wondered why we have an Anglo-American panel of lawyers who handled our case at The Hague because they were worried about the cost (in dollars) of these lawyers and its impact when the ruling was released. But the mere fact we had a leadership of  ‘slaves’ then kowtowing to a perceived master, this foreign-led pool of lawyers went ahead to ‘help’ us win the court battle. And the irony began when we are fighting for sovereignty over territories while we have given up our sovereignty to be represented by foreigners. Tell me, is that a big B.S. or not?

Can we blame China for not believing in the PCA decision?

In his another article, The Philippines vs. China Case is a US Stunt, Carlucci reminds Asians that  the "Philippines vs. China Hague ruling” is meaningless for ASEAN.  It is a court case in which a US law firm is representing the Philippines against China, from which the Philippines has absolutely nothing to gain except a growing, senseless, and costly confrontation with China.

The perception is that the US however, gets to use the case to further divide and destabilize the region while giving itself an opportunity to reassert its hegemony in the region.

We are adviced that ASEAN had better not fool themselves into thinking they have anything to gain by playing part in this. This is about dividing and weakening ALL of Asia. The US says so in its own policy papers.

If ASEAN wants to navigate this ruling intelligently, it will dismiss it as a public relations stunt, and continue seeking a bilateral settlement for whatever the problem actually is in the South China Sea with China directly.

We are told by the same paper that if the ASEAN tries opportunistically to use these US-backed stunts against China, they will eventually find themselves the victims of such stunts in the near future.

Asia’s future must be determined by Asia – not by Western-controlled ‘international institutions” or by the US and its meddling.”

Very well said, pundits agree that as Asians we have to confront our problems in the region without the meddling of ‘other parties’ whose possible interest and intention is to create chaos in the process and balkanize the region into warring sovereign states.

This is the wisdom we saw with our new president Duterte, he will find solutions to the territorial disputes with China through bilateral talks and bilateral projects in the mineral-rich South China Sea/West Philippines Sea and avoid confrontation.

Now that the International Arbitration Court ruled in favor of the Philippine rights in the sea dispute. We also have to remind the leadership of China that they are also a signatory to UNCLOS, the rule of law must prevail. Let us not submerge the West Philippine Sea into chaos but instead let us cooperate to develop the region so that Asians will gain from it.

Let our neighborhood be the ground for mediation between the two superpowers so that peace will be ensured and not be the battleground and prelude to the next world war.