Sunday, December 26, 2010

Peace by All Means

Peace by All Means
By Erick San Juan


The recently concluded China-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) joint working group (JWG) fifth meeting on the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DoC) in southwest China's Kunming City, reaffirmed the importance to make the South China Sea a place of peace, cooperation and friendship.

The DOC is meant to diminish the threat of war or a military clash in the South China Sea. It has important significance in creating an environment for cooperation, peace, and stability in the region and in promoting trust, confidence building, and mutual understanding between ASEAN and China. That is why Beijing is very firm on its stand on the bilateral settlements of whatever disputes which concern the islands in the South China Sea because as a matter of policy, to include the U.S. will complicate things in the process. Although the navigation security and navigation freedom have always been upheld in the South China Sea.

The Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) was signed on November 4, 2002 during the Eighth ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia by leaders of ASEAN and China. The parties unanimously considered that this event has made an important contribution to the maintenance of peace and security in the region and to the promotion of development and cooperation.

The South China Sea is of great importance to China, to the ASEAN and other countries. About 25 percent of world shipping transport moves through the South China Sea. It is also critical for the military fleets that move from the Pacific region to the Indian Ocean.

Being a part of this important region, we should be cautious at all times and put the welfare of our country first and the rest of the region second. We have been shortchanged and outwitted through the collaboration of some of our leaders. We cannot afford a repeat of our country’s history where our protectors failed us.

Like all the other peace-loving countries, we want peace and development in this area although we have to play another role as an ally to a perceived rival of China – the US. When these two superpowers claim their “core interest” and “national interest” in this region respectively, how about “our interest”?

The last DoC meeting is just among the many efforts that the countries in this part of the world will have to undertake to keep the peace and harmony in this region alive. The impending threat of a regional conflict via the Korean peninsula is still in the offing and it could be the next "Pearl Harbor". The world is breathlessly awaiting a peaceful resolution to put an end to this brewing dispute.
In this globalized world where new powers are playing through soft touch operation and behave like "Maggi bearing gifts", diplomacy should be revised and updated. War freak ops does not apply today where most rich nations and rogue states are now members of the NUKE club. It will be MAD(mutually assured destruction). We should all be vigilant as we wait for that elusive peace to happen and more prayers for a peaceful New Year.


God bless us all!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wikileaks Weaving a www (Worldwide Web of War) Scenario?

Wikileaks Weaving a www (Worldwide Web of War) Scenario?
By Erick San Juan


What could have been confidential cables from the US embassies around the world to a few, for others they were treated as pure gossips and should belong to entertainment page of a tabloid. Others treat such leaks and the plight of its founder as something out from a Bond movie. But whatever and however people take this information technology saga, the question is – who benefits? What could be the agenda of the manipulators behind such “leak”?

Since the release of classified US military papers by WikiLeaks, the material has been aggressively spun by various political factions. Meanwhile, virtually no attention has been devoted to investigating the source of this “leak”, or questioning the agenda behind it. (The Political Spinning of the WikiLeaks Release: Anti-war Whistleblowing or War Propaganda By Larry Chin)

It is very important to take into consideration the views of several sections of the society who are skeptical as to the authenticity of the cables and what motivated such propaganda.
In the case of our country, the timing of the leak is quite suspicious and the content of the cables is obviously laying the predicate of something this government has to look into seriously.

The point raised by former President Fidel V. Ramos that "They (leak of the US State Department's "secret cable") are not really reliable. It's possible that some of them may have been manufactured. You have to accept that possibility. That's the way it is just like the social media it's not completely factual. I'm not saying these are lies, they may be exaggerations of concoctions to fit a certain situation."

Could this be possible?

Actually the word Wikileaks came from wiki and leaks, and wiki is the Hawaiian word for quick. Just like the famous Wikipedia, wiki and encyclopedia. So, just what is a Wiki? What made them so popular?

At its core, a wiki is a content management system. What this means is it is designed to allow people to create and edit web pages without any knowledge of HTML. This allows writers to do what they do best, which is to write, and editors to do what they do best, edit.

The main thing that sets wikis apart from the pack is that they are community-oriented projects, often allowing the public at large to write and edit articles. This allows a wiki to draw upon the expertise of a large number of people, and to grow much quicker than if only a limited number of people were able to add to it.

The open-ended aspect of wikis does lead to some downsides. A wiki can be a target of people who want to post misinformation or simply vandalize an entry. However, the good outweighs the bad, and the open-ended nature allows wiki users to police themselves.

Also, compared to traditional methods of delivering content where one person or a limited group of people write and edit material to be posted on a website, wikis are very fast. Because they draw upon such a larger pool of writers, subjects can be entered at a much faster rate.

What differentiates a wiki from a blog is the fact that multiple people can -- and usually do in the case of popular wikis -- work on a single piece of content. This means that a single article could have as few as a single author or as many as tens or even hundreds of authors.

The bottom line here is that the Wikileaks can be edited, in Pinoy’s term – “bawas – dagdag” by a “community” who can “edit” the wiki to fit a certain situation. Translation – to create a pretext that will lead to a planned scenario that could benefit the interest of the few.

And the mainstream media’s role here is as crucial as the people behind the source, which is the Wikileaks, to choose what to make public and above all – the timing. Because the fact that the leaks that pertain to the Philippines are laying the predicate towards the overstretched global war on terror by our “neighbor”, this is quite alarming. Even our relationship with China is being pushed to the wall by unverified intrigues.

All these scenario-building, if not handled properly could lead to a regional conflict here and including the Korean Peninsula and in the Middle East.

Like the people in the Palace and those who occupied it before, they are now saying that we should be wary and take these “leaks” with a pinch of salt.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cables and Leaks: Friends and Foes

Cables and Leaks: Friends and Foes
By Erick San Juan


So much has been written about the Wikileaks, or I should say – too much, and anything in excess is not good especially when it is creating a scenario where friends are being pushed to become enemies in the process.

The Philippines is a victim in this propaganda scheme, wherein a leak came out that “China has constructed a lighthouse on Subi Reef in the disputed areas in the South China Sea which Chinese troops are occupying but is being claimed by the Philippines and Vietnam.”

Methinks, the timing of the “leak” is suspect in laying the groundwork of intrigue between China and the Philippines, in lieu of the bilateral signing of military hardware deal. That was very substantial to our country which, unfortunately, has one of the weakest armed forces in East Asia. Our AFP is fighting a long-running insurgencies with both Communists and Islamic rebels.

It was a relief to know that the Wikileaks’ RP scenario was met by cooler heads and was actually downplayed by our military through the officials of the Department of National Defense, saying that the lighthouse had been constructed even before the Declaration of Conduct was signed in 2002. The said Declaration of Conduct prohibits any claimant country from constructing any structure in the area.

Eight years after the signing of the DoC, the implementing guidelines have yet to be finalized. China has been consistent with its position that the South China Sea is a bilateral issue among claimant countries and has tried avoiding discussion of it in ASEAN meetings. ASEAN, however, succeeded in having it discussed at the Asean-China summit in Hanoi last September. It was there that they agreed to meet in Kunming City on December 22 to 23 for the implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, a gathering which I believe will be fruitful amongst the claimants sans Uncle Sam.

Amidst the scripted “Subi reef lighthouse” courtesy of Wikileaks, the meeting of Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff, Gen. Ricardo David Jr., with China’s Defense Minister Liang Guanglie on December 7 and People’s Liberation Army Gen. Chen Bingde on December 8 in Beijing, was reportedly a success. Reiterating the stand of Beijing on the issue of the South China Sea disputes, Gen David said that peace and harmony shall be maintained in the region and together with the rest of the Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] countries, the disputes will be resolve peacefully.

Tensions in the South China Seas started since the saber rattling became an open secret. When US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced at the Asean Regional Forum a couple of months ago, that the U.S. “has a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime commons, and respect for international law in the South China Sea,” where the islands are located. Clinton added that “We oppose the use of threat or force by any of the claimants,” as "America’s future is intimately tied to that of the Asia-Pacific.”

Going back to Wikileaks’ cables and leaks, according to the article of F. William Engdahl (Wikileaks - A Big, Dangerous US Government Con Job) - Most important, the 250,000 cables are not "top secret" as we might have thought. Between two and three million US Government employees are cleared to see this level of "secret" document, and some 500,000 people around the world have access to the Secret Internet Protocol Network (SIPR net) where the cables were stored. Siprnet is not recommended for distribution of top-secret information. Only 6% or 15,000 pages of the documents have been classified as even secret, a level below top-secret. Another 40% were the lowest level, "confidential", while the rest were unclassified. In brief, it was not at all that secret.

And…..

What is emerging from all the sound and Wikileaks fury in Washington is that the entire scandal is serving to advance a long-standing Obama and Bush agenda of policing the until-now free Internet. Already, the US Government has shut the Wikileaks server in the United States though no identifiable US law has been broken.

The process of policing the Web was well underway before the current leaks scandal. In 2009 Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller and Republican Olympia Snowe introduced the Cyber Security Act of 2009 (S.773). It would give the U.S. President unlimited power to disconnect private-sector computers from the internet. The bill "would allow the president to 'declare a cyber-security emergency' relating to 'non-governmental' computer networks and do what's necessary to respond to the threat." We can expect that now, this controversial piece of legislation will be a top priority when a new Republican House and the Senate convene in January,2011.

The raging information war via the freedom to surf the internet will now be curtailed for the benefit of the globalists who don’t want to be exposed on their agenda to deceive the world. Let us all be on the lookout for such deception and careful not to be carried away with the hype created for the convenience of the few.

Many Filipino scholars believe that the U.S. government has never recognized Philippine sovereignty over the Kalayaan group of islands. In 1992, the U.S. even signed an oil exploration with China in the KIG. Our policy makers should read between the lines. Let's be wary of double talks so that we can protect our national interests and so as not to sacrifice our national security and sovereignty.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rhetorics and Deceits

Rhetorics and Deceits by Erick San Juan


The Philippines and the rest of the world is now in the wait and see mode as the events in the Korean Peninsula unfold. When the possibility of a unified Korea is not a far-fetched scenario to encircle China in the process. While here at home, a balkanized Mindanao is in the offing. How can we afford to enter a war not of our choosing when we have a ticking bomb down south waiting to explode if things are not handled properly?

There is no other term more appropriate to describe the efforts of some evil-minded and selfish individuals than the word balkanization. It is a negative geopolitical term originally used to describe the process of fragmentation or division of a region or state into smaller regions or states that are often hostile or non-cooperative with each other. The term has arisen from the conflicts in the 20th century Balkans. While what is now termed Balkanization has occurred throughout history, the term originally described the creation of smaller, ethnically diverse states following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. (Source: Wikipedia)

Throughout history, nation-states were divided or balkanized as orchestrated by globalists to suit their agenda. But always the bottom line is – to exploit them and their natural resources.

The age-old imperial method of divide and rule is very much in force to countries that had experienced such scheme. But in the age of globalization, David Icke calls this technique: problem-reaction-solution (P-R-S). Create the problem, encourage the reaction “something must be done”, and then offer the solution. Create the chaos and then offer the way to restore order. Your order.

Actually there are some underlying elements and concepts behind every balkanization process such as:

- Protracted Social Conflict is a theory developed by Edward Azar. The term refers to conflict situations characterized by the prolonged and often violent struggle by communal groups for such basic needs as security, recognition, acceptance, fair access to political institutions, and economic participation. The communal groups may experience deep-seated cleavages based upon racial, religious, cultural or ethnic lines. These cleavages are characterized by continuing hostility with sporadic outbreaks of violence; and caused by the frustration of human needs for security, recognition, and distributive justice.
- Sectarian violence and/or sectarian strife is violence inspired by sectarianism, that is, between different sects of one particular mode of thought/ideology or within a nation/community, with the division not necessarily based upon religion. Religious segregation often plays a role in sectarian violence.
- Social polarization is associated with the segregation within a society that may emerge from income inequality, real-estate fluctuations, economic displacements etc. and result in such differentiation that would consist of various social groups, from high-income to low-income.
As we write this piece, the ongoing peace talks between the GRP and the MILF is also in the wait and see mode as they near the deadline come December 9, 2010 because the government has requested the four nations to extend for three months their involvement in peace-monitoring activities in Mindanao with formal talks to start soon.

In a statement, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Q. Deles said the Department of Foreign Affairs has issued notes verbal to member-countries of the International Monitoring Team (IMT), namely, Malaysia, Brunei, Libya and Japan to extend their stay beyond December. Under the terms of reference signed by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Kuala Lumpur on Dec. 9, 2009, the IMT has a one-year term which ends this month.

Malaysia has 20 representatives in the IMT with 15 members from Brunei and two from Japan. Libya also has three representatives in the ceasefire monitoring group.

The group monitors the implementation of ceasefire, socioeconomic and humanitarian agreements in the peace process.

Last Friday, Japan and Brunei have agreed to extend their participation in the IMT and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles said the government is also confident that Malaysia would likewise heed its request for an extension of the stay of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) in the south.
Meanwhile, the MILF through its negotiating panel member, Maulana Bobby Alanto has been issuing intriguing statements at the Luwaran, the MILF's website, the latest of which is entitled "The Clash Between Two Political Realities: Will it Lead to Final Peace?" He said that as revolutionary negotiators, guesswork is not our cup of tea. As they evaluate and assess things, they look at the roadsides for tell-tale signs. The 'negotiated peace' as the destination and the 'peace process' as the vehicle. The MILF are seeing 'signs' which cast doubt on whether they will arrive at the desired final point of disembarkation. He said, "The road is not only bumpy and full of potholes, the 'milestones' indicate that we are nowhere near our goal. The road signs tell the 'vehicle' has veered farther away and is moving into an unknown destination in the twilight zone.
Since the start of Alanto's statement. the MILF is cynical of the peace agreement and I believe that the MILF is asking for the sky which is really an impossible dream because of their claim for 'statehood'. It would require the amending of the constitution which the Supreme Court already rejected.

Dean Marvic Leonen of UP Law and the chair of the GRP Peace Negotiating Panel used catch phrases like "universe of possibilities" which the MILF believe is a synonym for thinking 'out of the box' in resolving a sovereignty based conflict. The MILF even castigated several newspapers and Manila based radio commentators who they believed mislead and outrageously claimed that it's a 'sell-out', giving away to the MILF and their foreign benefactors the oil and gas rich territory of the Philippine state. The MILF insists that Liguasan Marsh is part of their ancestral domain. Alanto said that the constitution should be amended to rectify the injustices committed on the Bangsa Moro people.

Excuse me? Alanto should be reminded that even some "geniuses" in their camp like Michael Mastura ran and was part of the Philippine government in the past. Why blame the Philippine government for the wrong doings of your local Muslim leaders and politicians who did injustices to their fellow Muslims and constituents? Alanto is even comparing our Muslim brothers to what's happening in Palestine. Our Muslim brothers were never deprived of food, medicine and shelter. They can move freely anywhere in the Philippines except for combatants bringing weapons which is not authorized by our existing laws.

Our government should think twice and should stop giving these people the 'Status of Belligerency' where their warlords/leaders and foreign benefactors will just benefit. The word "PEACE" has been prostituted again and again. Let's be wary that greed and power is the name of the game in warlordism. In the end, these warlords will fight each other, especially now that a force from within wants to have a new 'master' who has "something better to offer". Just wait and see, that’s the true face of political reality.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The VFA “fixers” and RP Repeating History

The VFA “fixers” and RP Repeating History
By Erick San Juan


Can we defend our nation against aggression from other countries? Can we do it alone in this chaotic world if we are going to cut off relationship with the U.S.? Some nagging questions that hovers above the archipelago for quite some time now amidst the growing tensions in the region coupled with the tensions for the review and abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

VFA is simply an implementation of the Mutual Defense Treaty (signed in August 30, 1951). If we didn’t ratify this treaty, we don’t have the VFA today and might not have any visible opponents around us.

Actually the Mutual Defense Treaty was as hot as the VFA when it was ratified back then and one of the opponents was Senator Claro M. Recto (but he signed the treaty anyway together with the other senators). Here is the explanation of Sen. Claro Recto :

“I shall vote for its ratification, and I trust that the number of senators required by our Constitution shall vote likewise, but let us vote with our eyes open to what our votes shall mean to our people and this republic. We were outmaneuvered, outsmarted, and outreached in the negotiation of this treaty. But at least, in ratifying it for lack of something better, let us not believe we are getting a good bargain. It is hard enough to be outwitted. Let us not fool ourselves, and let us not build a fool’s paradise for our trusting people.”

Let these words by Recto be a reminder to our current leaders in “fixing” the VFA. But like Sen. Recto, when he was careful during that time as not to antagonize the US too much, we always say that US is not our enemy though we must be given what's due us and not be shortchanged in the process.

Here is another direct remark from Sen. Recto when he stressed the lack of mutuality in the MDT :

“… it is not true either that America is giving us almost everything for nothing; on the contrary it is we who have given, and are giving, and will continue to give America almost everything for nothing...”

With this in mind, let me cite a news article that came out last November 23 that -Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) received $100.8 M worth of goods and services under a deal with U.S. last year. But it was charged $109.5 M according to the Commission on Audit. COA said that the AFP still reported a PhP6.2 billion balance in its guaranty deposits despite having wire transferred PhP5.32 billion to the US Treasury under foreign military sales required in the letters of offer and acceptance between US and RP. (Source: Manila Standard Today)

What Sen. Recto said 58 years ago is very much true today. Trust begets trust. We were shortchanged and outwitted again into believing that everything given by Uncle Sam is free. . .

In this case, as I always say, history repeating itself or that people keep on repeating history which is clearly not beneficial to us before, and until today.

Lest we forget, from the words of another nationalist – Dr. Francisco “Dodong” Nemenzo, “As a general rule, the stronger party in a bilateral negotiation prefers ambiguity because it allows a larger room for maneuver; but the weaker party - if mindful of its national interest - must insist on concrete formulations because it wants to limit the capacity of the stronger party to act unilaterally. In the particular case of the VFA, ambiguity is extremely dangerous for the Philippines. As I just pointed out, it can involve us in unnecessary conflicts with America's potential enemies in the region. And it runs counter to our avowed foreign policy objective of developing good relations with our neighbors."

This is the fundamental issue: Are our interests identical with those of America? Are America's enemies necessarily our own? I believe that our national interests may be different and, at times, contrary to those of the US. Therefore, we must pursue an independent foreign policy.”

We still don’t have the capacity to stand alone (and have an independent foreign policy) – militarily speaking because since the Americans left Subic and Clark, we did not have something to fall back on and had remain dependent on Uncle Sam’s support (which comes in trickles). That is why when China showed interest again in the disputed islands in the South China Sea, VFA was the convenient answer.

Can our leaders fix an agreement that was born out of the crucial need to counter a perceived enemy of Uncle Sam? In the midst of a possible regional conflict, are we going to allow a repeat of going to war not of our own liking just because we have an agreement that says so?

This is a wake up call to our leaders, our sovereignty is at stake here and hopefully, let's have a much better living legacy for future generations to come.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Party Talks and the United Nations, What Went Wrong?

Party Talks and the United Nations, What Went Wrong?
by Erick San Juan

Will there be peace in this world? This is the big nagging question being asked by many people not only nationwide but worldwide. The main query is why some power blocs, who used to be known in the past as the number one defender of democracy throughout the world are now perceived as the main sponsor and "protector" of terrorists and rogue state leaders. Most of the peace talks in all parts of the world were either stalled or have failed. Even the United Nations is becoming fragmented. There's now BRIC- Brazil, Russia, India and China; NATO- North Atlantic Treaty Organization; SALT and other geopolitical and international organizations whose main purpose is to achieve peace and order. .

Instead of denuclearizing, every nations now are arming and many are members of the Nuke Club. One example is the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula. The 6-Party Talk over the North Korean nuclear weapons program and the incident at Cheonan between the two Koreas was stalled. As of this writing, North Korea bombed a border island of South Korea which created unrest to the two Koreas and the world. Geopolitical observers believe that this turbulence will be worst than the Korean War in 1953. At the onset, two South Korean mililitary were killed while some civilians and S.K. soldiers were injured. North Korea fired several artillery. The South Korean government held an emergency meeting to avoid the escalation of war. The attack was reportedly sparked by the South Korean military exercise near the island border, YEON PYONG.
The concerns of the South Korean and the U.S. on the North Korea's new nuclear facility could possibly irked the Kim's. An evolution of the situation in the Korean peninsula could push it's neighbors to arm and rearm their nation-states. Same pattern happens in other parts of the globe. Instead of warding off the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, it seems that some nations continue to sell arms. Methinks, deterrence and diplomacy could still work. The Security Council could be a dynamic participant in resolving the problems of nation-states , like the de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula where U.S., Russia and China are involved. The one who has no special interests in the region should chair the peace settlement. This could be the reason why the United Nations chose Russia as the chair of the 6-Party Talk in working out peace and security mechanism in the North East Asia.

The meeting between US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev on board the Air Force One, after the NATO meeting at Lisbon last week could be a welcome move. Both nations are considered top guns of the NUKE, INC. What about the relationship of Russia with China and China with the USA?
Here in the Philippines, the flash point to watch is the possible balkanization of Mindanao. The MILF could be the witting and unwitting tool in starting a firefight which could involve the Malaysians and the US in the process. Let's watch and deter the confluence of events in the offing. President Noy's administration, especially the National Security Council, should ever be vigilant to prevent a "designed war" using the blame game scheme of some evil genius through a false flag op!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Terrorized Region Index"

"Terrorized Region Index"
By Erick San Juan


Maplecroft, an international global risk advisory firm that rated the Philippines as No. 8 in terms of countries that are under extreme risk for terrorist attacks, is the same firm that rated RP at no. 6 last 2008-2009 Terrorism Risk Index. A report that was disputed by the Philippine military as baseless and had to be validated further to improve the situation in our country.

What is TRI anyway?

The Terrorism Risk Index (TRI) is developed by global risks advisory firm, Maplecroft, to enable organizations to identify and monitor terrorism risks to human security and international assets. The index uses data from June 2009 to June 2010 to assess the frequency of terrorist incidents and the intensity of attacks, which includes the number of victims per attack and the chances of mass casualties occurring. It also includes a historical component assessing the number of attacks between 2007 and 2009 and looks at whether a country is at risk from a long-standing militant group operating there.
Sixteen countries are rated as ‘extreme risk’ with Somalia (1), Pakistan (2), Iraq (3), Afghanistan (4), Palestinian Occupied Territory (5), Colombia (6), Thailand (7), Philippines (8), Yemen (9) and Russia (10) at the bottom of the ranking. (Source:Maplecroft website)

Sounds convincing if one will just take such report hook, line and sinker and not consider the most important element i.e. geopolitics.

The following are the definitions of geopolitics (for the information of our readers) :

For Oyvind Osterud, “In the abstract, geopolitics traditionally indicates the links and causal relationships between political power and geographic space; in concrete terms it is often seen as a body of thought assaying specific strategic prescriptions based on the relative importance of land power and sea power in world history... The geopolitical tradition had some consistent concerns, like the geopolitical correlates of power in world politics, the identification of international core areas, and the relationships between naval and terrestrial capabilities.”

For Henry Kissinger, “Geopolitics is studying geopolitical systems. The geopolitical system is, in my opinion, the ensemble of relations between the interests of international political actors, interests focused to an area, space, geographical element or ways.

From the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia: The study of geographic influences on power relationships in international politics. Geopolitical theorists have sought to demonstrate the importance in the determination of foreign policies of considerations such as the acquisition of natural boundaries, access to important sea routes, and the control of strategically important land areas. The term was first employed in the early 20th century by the Swedish political scientist Rudolph Kjellén (1864 Р1922).

The cited definitions clearly denote the importance of an “international interest” in certain areas, may it be water, land or terrestrial space. Maplecroft actually identified the regions that are being terrorized for reasons that benefits the “international political actors” as defined by Kissinger.

Obviously this is not something new especially to our blog followers and to our daily radio show listeners (over dzXQ 1350khz 4:30-5:30p.m.), we wrote several articles about the global war on terror (GWOT) and how countries are terrorized by some “bogeyman” or such “brand name” as al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden who were exposed by several American patriots as state sponsored "Frankenstein" . In this way, unwiiting and witting US troops together with the "coalition" with the pretext to restore democracy and uphold human rights can come into the picture with ease.

We will notice that majority of the countries that are rated in the “extreme risk” category are located in the middle east region and situated within the very important water ways. Somalia and Yemen are strategically situated along the Gulf of Aden, a major water way exit from the Red Sea towards the Indian Ocean. Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are the immediate casualties of Dubya Bush’s "war on terror" for obvious reason that they are somehow “related” to bin Laden and his al-Qaeda terror group. And, are located in the “heartland” together with Russia as what Sir Halford Mackinder in England, in his formulation of the Heartland Theory in 1904. That is why the AQAP – al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was created.

Unfortunately, our country ranked at No. 8, will have to stay in the top ten list together with Thailand because geographically speaking we are tactically and strategically positioned in the South China Sea where tensions are gradually building up between the two giants – US and China. Both nations (Philippines and Thailand) have insurgency problems along their borders. Mischief between Christians and Muslims occur once in a while. Mindanao is on the verge of balkanization due to intervention and conflicting interests of some foreign governments. The region is very near to another major waterway – the Strait of Malacca.

As for Colombia, the neighbor of Venezuela (another terrorized nation as per Dubya Bush and the chicken hawks), is hugging the coastline of the Caribbean Sea, another major body of water.

Lastly, the Palestinian Occupied Territory where a “perpetual war” seems to be convenient to the “international political actors” to justify their presence in the region through an “ally”.

To conclude, the release of this so called TRI study is in line with their Atlas that would be made available in the market next month. What a PR work!

It will be best for our government to go back to basic. Address the terror myth by regulating the so called "security experts" who are used to parrot a spin. Reactivate our National Intelligence Board and maximize the coordination with no foreign observers. We have to protect and secure our national interests this time. Need we say more?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Another Terror Storm on the Horizon

Another Terror Storm on the Horizon
By Erick San Juan


“If we understand the mechanism and the motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it?”
(Taken from the book Propaganda by Edward Bernays who is considered as the Father of Public Relations)

The discovered bomb packages from Yemen to Chicago might be a failure. For they did not serve the intention of destroying the aircraft where they were found nor reach its destination. The alleged sender of the packages as reported is the "al Qaeda" in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The “brand name” that is always conveniently use by its creator whenever there’s a need. It is no different with the Philippine setting of using the ASG-Abu Sayyaf Group, NPA-New People's Army, ABB- Alex Boncayao Brigade and now JI-Jemaah Islamiyah, etc. as the usual suspect. The pattern is easy to comprehend especially if the information is coming from the usual operators who are "experts" in fear-mongering. Unfortunately, the intention to sow fear and tension among the American populace and the rest of the world was achieved by the operator(s) of the failed bomb plot because of their assets in the media who readily leaked the myth without validating the story..

For those who are aware of such action, one can clearly identify this as a false flag operation – covert operations conducted by a clique in governments, corporations, or other organizations which are designed to appear as though they were carried out by other entities. Clearly the entity here is no less than the AQAP who many believed was a creation of an intelligence agency and state sponsored.

To name a few of the false flag operations that happened in contemporary history: Reichstag Fire (1933), Operation AJAX (1953), Operation Gladio (1947-1981), Gulf of Tonkin Incident (1964), Operation Northwoods, the London bombing (2007) and the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center bombing.

For every act of terror, one cannot help but ask the nagging question – who benefits?

Remember the failed underwear bomber plot from last year? “The plot is being played to the hilt on the TV media and especially on Fox "news." After reading recently that The Washington Post allowed a lobbyist to write a news story that preached the lobbyist’s interest, I wondered if the manufacturers of full body scanners were behind the heavy coverage of the Underwear Bomber, if not behind the plot itself. In America, everything is for sale. Integrity is gone with the wind.” (Is Anyone Telling Us The Truth? by Paul Craig Roberts, January 07, 2010)

Obviously, some governments use fear to control its citizenry and in the process the citizens will surrender their rights in the name of security. In the case of the former US President George W. Bush, he benefited from the 9/11 terror attack in several ways. The Indict Bush Now came out with this report of how Dubya Bush gained from 9/11 : 1) Bush got to implement the PATRIOT Act, which gave him an extraordinary amount of personal control by fiat over the country's society, commerce and economy, 2) Bush's War on Terror scared people into re-electing him for a second term, 3) the demolition of WTC7, which was executed under cover of the attacks, meant that records supporting the SEC's case against Enron, which Bush's longstanding friendship with Enron CEO Ken Lay left him susceptible to, was in an instant, vaporized. These are just some of the benefits enjoyed by the former President and the so called 'chicken-hawks' who actually warned the Americans and the rest of us that the war on terror may last a hundred years!

With the continuous scare-mongering coupled with actual acts of terror by the greedy evil-minded individuals, humanity will always be faced with fear and tension. To address this dehumanizing terror acts, people of the world must be united and watchful at all times.

Methinks that with our concerted efforts, we can endure every terror storm that will come our way especially with the help of the internet. Vigilant groups through their blog sites can easily spread the word of an impending terror act so that it could be exposed. Like what we are doing here in our country, vigilance is always the antidote against the criminal-minded individuals and vested interest groups and expose their plans before they can implement them. In this way, several lives will be saved in the process and such perpetrators will have to think twice before doing another criminal act.

Let us not allow another 9/11. We can do it if we will always be alert and equipped for the next terror storm.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Alarming Falsehood and Half-truth

The Alarming Falsehood and Half-truth
By Erick San Juan


In today’s world of high technology and as the world becomes smaller through fast paced means of communication, ordinary people now find it hard to sift through all the information they are getting. But for those who are aware of the daily spins where the mainstream media, most of the time became the witting and unwitting tool in feeding the public, it is easier to draw the line between truth and a lie. As an observer of events unfolding here and abroad, we can say that where fact ends, lies and bigger lies begin to condition the minds of the people who are afraid to think beyond what is being forced to them to believe. Thus, creating delusion in the process. For as long as there are people who are willing to believe and for others, to be willing tools to the myth – mongering, humanity will suffer the consequences.

Take for example the recent bomb scare allegedly found inside an ink cartridge in a plane bound for Chicago, USA. The alarming truth to this false alarm was clearly reported that – “After having examined the suspicious ink toner device for six hours and found it to be a dud, bomb experts at East Midlands Airport only reversed their decision after being ordered to re-inspect the package by US authorities following President Obama’s Friday afternoon speech in which he claimed that the devices did in fact contain explosives”. (Did Obama order British Authorities To Find Non-Existent Ink Bomb?, Paul Joseph Watson of Prison Planet.com) The telling contradiction in the timeline of the cargo bomb plot fiasco proves that the story was being hyped and manipulated from the very early stages.

However, despite the fact that authorities not only in the UK but also in the cases of the Newark and Pittsburgh packages, initially gave the “all clear,” according to CNN, President Obama, having already been informed of the plot the night before, simply contradicted the very experts who had dismissed the devices as duds, claiming the packages contained explosives. This soon mushroomed into a media scaremongering blitz about powerful explosives that could have knocked dozens of planes out of the sky. (Ibid)

Now that the predicate was laid, it is but logical to ask – who benefits? (Note: I will elaborate this terror scare in global perspective on my next article. Let me focus first here at home.)

It is quite obvious that our country is one of the casualties here, as one foreign government after another gave their travel advisory that RP is faced by an imminent terrorist attack, particularly – Manila. We can’t help but cite here the statement of the good Ambassador, Harry K. Thomas, Jr., a day after the inauguration of President Aquino III (this was only last July 1, 2010) : “I don’t see the Philippines as a breeder of terrorism but I see the Philippines as a partner to rid the world of terrorists.”

And at the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) change of command ceremony last July 3, Amb. Thomas said that the rebel groups Abu Sayyaf, Jemaah Islamiyah and Rajah Solaiman Movement (RSM) have become much weaker.
With the above mentioned reports, as a loyal ally and friend of the rest of the community of peace-loving nations, why is it that the US government was among the first who issued the travel warning against the Philippines?

Again, we have nothing against the Americans, like us, majority of them are being taken for a ride here on the global war on terror (GWOT) which took effect after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. But let us all be clear here as to the credibility of the said terror threat. As a nation that had suffered enough especially in our tourism industry in the aftermath of the hostage crisis three months ago, we just cannot take this sitting down.

It is good that President Benigno Aquino III said that foreign governments were wrong in warning of an imminent terrorist attack in Manila. Government security forces even downplayed the separate arrests of five men and the seizure from them of explosives, which evidently were meant for fishing rather than bombing. It was President Aquino’s strongest statement yet in the past few days against what he had described as unsubstantiated intelligence reports on the supposed terror strike in Metro Manila.

Filipinos should unite in support of our leaders against this terror myth affecting us as a nation. A group headed by a certain Professor Rommel Banlaoi, executive director of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research (PIPVTR), after they announced that the “bomb expert” with links to the regional terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and who stayed in Mount Cararao in Maguindanao in the last few months has made contact with the Sulu-based bandit group Abu Sayyaf, travel warnings were issued. It became a "gospel truth" after his group predicated it at an international security forum at Dusit Hotel last October 29. In local lingo-"NABILI NA YAN." "LUMANG SCRIPT NA YAN.'

Who are we going to believe? Marine General Ben Dolorfino, a converted muslim and a real expert on jihadists or a certain “security expert” Prof. Rommel Banlaoi? Who is he really working for? PIPVTR should have coordinated what they know, as courtesy to our DND, NSC, NICA or ISAFP so as to assist in apprehending these terrorists and neutralizing them..

There is no hope to this country if our fellowmen themselves will be part of the scare-mongering. Let us stop this and be steadfast in protecting our nation against state-sponsored terrorism slowly eating into the minds our citizenry and the rest of the world. The alarm bells for truth should be louder than that of the false alarms being concocted by some evil-minded heartless individuals who could be working for foreign governments or vested interests.

God bless the Philippines!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

VFA or MBA (Mutually Beneficial Agreement)?

VFA or MBA (Mutually Beneficial Agreement)?

By Erick San Juan





The review of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) by the Presidential Commission on the VFA headed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. has started and with the commitment to have a “thorough review of the VFA so that refinements could be introduced to ensure that the country would get maximum benefits from the bilateral agreement.”



Someone might ask, why the Executive Secretary and not the Senate to do the said “review”? According to the Executive Secretary, the commission (Presidential Commission on the VFA) was created in 2000 under the Office of the President “to ensure that visiting US troops will respect Philippine laws, policies, public morals, customs and traditions.” But, did the commission did its best to attain that respect for our laws, policies, public morals, customs and traditions in the Subic rape case?



Then last Oct. 1, President Noynoy Aquino issued Executive Order No.9, which amended EO 67 released in January 2002. This EO 9 reorganized the Presidential Commission on VFA and named the Executive Secretary as chair of the commission with Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin as co-chairs. The other members of the commission are the secretaries of the Department of Justice and the Social Welfare and Development, the executive director of the commission, and a private sector representative to be appointed by the President.



With the reorganized commission in place, PNoy should be clear of what he meant by “refinements” to the agreement. As what Senator Francis Escudero the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice said that the term “visiting” must be clarified. “Where in the world can you find a visit that lasts for 365 days? That’s no longer called a visit. Either change the name or follow the definition of a ‘visit’,” he concluded.



Sen. Escudero is for renegotiation but the Senate should be involve in the review and for him, termination of the VFA could be the last option. He still thinks that the VFA is useful because of the $60 to $80 million in US annual military aid to our country.



Methinks that this must be changed and opt for that “maximum benefits” that the commission promised to achieve. Let us not settle for less, we have been shortchanged for a long time. If the agreement has to be mutually beneficial, our share of the benefits should be equally given or more.



Remember that our country is Uncle Sam’s lightning rod in this part of the globe, whether we like it or not. And the confluence of events clearly signifies that Uncle Sam needs us more than ever. So, why not demand what's due us that has been put off in the past by the previous leaders.



The moment is now to be a demanding ally and a long-time friend, the fact that Washington is very keen on the developments in the South China Sea particularly the claimants’ stand in relation to Beijing’s “core interest” in the region.



The Filipinos must stand united behind our leaders to get what must be given to us by Uncle Sam,to truly achieve a mutually beneficial treaty and not MAD (mutually assured destruction) in the process.



God bless the Philippines......

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

RP : “Asia’s Lightning Rod”

RP : “Asia’s Lightning Rod”

By Erick San Juan





It would be five years now since that fateful day in November, 2005 when “Nicole” accused US Marine Lance Corporal Daniel Smith of raping her as his three companions cheered inside a moving van. In April last year, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Makati court and ordered Smith’s immediate release, saying “a careful and judicious perusal of the evidence on record does not convince the prudent mind about the moral certainty of the guilt of the accused, hence, we must acquit.”



This time around we refuse to say “the rest is history” line because the case of “Nicole” (whatever life she has chosen) is beyond the issue at hand that has affected (and will affect) the Filipino nation. The 2005 Subic rape case by a US Marine has triggered several sectors in our society to review and/or terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) that was used by the US government and gave them the custody of the said Marine soldier through their embassy here.



As we write this piece, Senator Miriam Santiago is again, calling for the termination of the VFA even though PNoy has already told the US government through the good Ambassador, Harry Thomas Jr. that the agreement needs to be “refined”. And PNoy appointed his Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. as head of the Presidential Commission on the VFA. Ochoa will only discuss the possible modifications in the agreement with US officials. Aside from this, the Department of Foreign Affairs has started reviewing the VFA for the past weeks and a DFA official said that the abrogation of the agreement is too extreme.



The militant groups see this "safe" stand by our government on the VFA question as a possible side effect of the $434 million US grant which the Millennium Challenge Corporation gave to PNoy in the U.S.



In the midst of all these, we should be wary and heed the call of Senator Santiago because what is happening now, just right in our backyard is a brewing regional conflict. As the good Senator has put it – our country is “acting as a lightning rod for the enemies of the US.” Translation – through the VFA, we cannot do anything but to follow the dictates of Uncle Sam, be the shock absorber and fight a war that we never wanted.



Sad to say that such things are possible considering the glaring truth of the US troops presence in the south for over a decade now. Do we call that “just visiting”?



The urgency for the termination of the VFA is only fair, as Sen. Santiago has kept on saying that presidential action is not necessary in terminating the VFA because Congress has the power to revoke laws.



“Because treaties are considered as part of the laws of the land, Congress can abrogate the treaty on its own. The Constitution states that the country adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land. it is within the powers of Congress to unilaterally terminate the VFA through a joint resolution, and that the executive’s role is to give notice of termination to the United States, although the decision itself is one for Congress to make. In the case of the U.S. government, there should be no problem because it does not recognize the VFA as a treaty. The US Congress never gave its advice and consent to it”.



Therefore, she said the VFA is not valid and constitutional because it is not recognized as a treaty by the US on the account of its own Constitution and law.



We are not against the U.S. government but we have to get what's due us.Need we say more?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Let's Make a Beneficial Deal

Let's Make a Beneficial Deal

By Erick San Juan





This week, from October 21 to 24 is the Philippine Russian Business Forum and Exhibition to be held at the Cebu International Conventional Center. This year’s event will highlight products and services related to tourism and wellness, trade promotion and development; mining and energy; education and culture; labor, placement services and outsourcing; retirement facilities and real estate development. Russia is the country’s largest trading partner in Eastern Europe. It is the country’s 23rd trading partner at a global scale with a total trade value of $389.736 million. The country’s export to Russia increased by 15.21 percent reaching $39.086 million last year from $33.93 million recorded a year ago.



I was amazed to know that even last year’s business forum was joined by about 170 local and 30 Russian delegates. Its key achievement was the signing of the Air Service Agreement between Philippines and Russia.



This will be the second forum and according to Panay News report, this will go on for the benefit of both countries. They will allegedly be transparent as possible in their partnership.



Another old partner and neighbor – China, also expressed its support for PNoy’s public-private partnership (PPP) projects for infrastructure particularly in the country’s railway system and also for renewable energy. This is a very promising show of support after what we have gone through since that fateful August 23 incident. The PPP projects that China will invest in are the ones that we need badly, like in our railway system.



Actually, RP has used only one-third of the $1.8 billion loan facility from China’s Export-Import Bank and we can tap this loan anytime for the said projects.



The undertakings of both Russia and China to help boost our economy are the concrete actions that we are hoping this administration will prioritize so that all us will mutually benefit in the process.



We must not be taken for a ride by the rhetorics of some western investors’ pledges that had gone with the wind as PNoy rode the plane back from his recent reported “fruitful” trip. What we need are tangible results and not mere lip service which all Filipinos had too much of it in the past.



According to a statement by IBON Philippines Foundation - the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) signed during Aquino’s US visit “is biased against Philippine national interest and gives way for more erroneous policies that have eroded the local economy”.



The MCA’s US$434-million compact grant agreement of the US government’s Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC) requires the Philippines to meet certain indicators such as open trade, economic freedom, good governance, adherence to human rights, etc. to continue receiving the aid.



We can’t help not to ignore the fact that strings are attached when it comes to Uncle Sam’s aid or grant. They have even enumerated the projects that this fund will go to. Still we must see beyond the rhetorics. Will it benefit the Pinoys more than the US? Or is it the other way around?



The investments in the fields of education and health seems to be not in tune with what this administration had adopted to attain its promise to eradicate poverty. A big section of our population is not agreeable to the additional years in basic education, and now the ever controversial use of contraceptives. We can’t help but ask, are these the instruments towards depopulation? Will this really benefit our people or the globalists’ through the IMF,World Bank,etc?



At the Daily Tribune's Sunday Editorial(Nov. 17,2010), it unmasked the truth about a cabinet secretary of President Noynoy. Despite his being in the president's loop handling a very sensitive post, he remains the governor of World Bank group,ADB and an alternate governor for the IMF for the Philippines. He allegedly facilitated the $434 million Millenium Challenge Corporation grant for "PNoy's anti-poverty program. We were not told that such funds, if it will really be given to this administration will be managed by an appointed IMF resident adviser at the BIR whose stay and payroll will be paid through that grant. The "embedded" IMF team would be reporting directly to the MCC-IMF..So expect more taxes. Our Asian neighbors like China are always there to help us. Even Russia now seems interested in doing business with us. Opportunity knocks only once. PNoy should not look farther away and put his heart for the good of the Filipino people. Now is the time to show greatness and political will.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sino-American relations in the Sovereign Region

Sino-American relations in the Sovereign Region

By Erick San Juan





It is beginning to be a constant worry for countries in this part of the Asian continent where China always finds itself to be in conflict with a disputed territory among its neighbors. Just recently, China and Japan had settled (for the meantime) the Minjinyu 5179 incident that happened in the disputed islands of Diaoyu/Senkaku in the middle of the ocean between the said countries. The dispute has lingered for decades over the political and economic regional balance of power and could well take a few more decades to settle. No matter what the consequences are, the conflict was peacefully settled and the perceived bigger dispute was put off, sans Uncle Sam’s intervention.



As one renowned Singaporean analyst of global affairs observed, Kishore Mahbubani in his essay ("Smart Power, Chinese Style", 2008), praised China for the "competence" of its diplomacy. He contrasted China's "deft geopolitical instincts" with American "incompetence" and "arrogance." He noted admiringly Beijing's fealty to ancient principles of Chinese statecraft once summarized by Deng Xiaoping, including admonitions to observe and analyze calmly, deal with changes patiently, and avoid the limelight.



Unlike the self-absorbed Americans, in Kishore's view, the Chinese had "developed a remarkable capacity to understand the voices of others around the globe." Compared with Washington's record of "geopolitical fumbles" abroad, China had evinced superior "geopolitical acumen and better professional diplomacy." He illustrated China's ostensible respect for the sovereignty of other countries with an item in the official China Daily stating that China had offered "no-strings-attached" aid to Africa.



This so-called “soft power” approach of China seems to be the threat to the Americans, as Beijing established economic allies in the process, instead of enemies regardless of territorial matters existing among its neighbors. The established economic ties was strengthened furthermore by the inauguration this year of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement, which will lower or eliminate tariffs.



The following quote from a high-ranking official in an ASEAN country as told to Donald K. Emmerson in his article China's 'Frown Diplomacy' in Southeast Asia : "Remember, for us in Asia, the US is geopolitical, but China is geographical." In other words: Faraway friends are welcome and helpful, but the local landscape is a permanent fact. One has to adapt to it - and to the seascape - to survive. Translation – Asia is a sovereign region with independent countries trying hard to work out in an atmosphere of peace and interdependence among its citizens. Anything that will stir the calmness in the region through media hype via the mouthpiece of the globalists, could create a regional conflict in the process.



The aborted clash between China and Japan is just one of the hurdles that this Asian region had to overcome for there are still many perceived disputes, if not handled correctly may lead to a broader conflict. All of us will be drag to a war that we never wanted.


As for our “faraway friend” and his commitment to ASEAN, the South China Sea issue will be discussed again (with other crucial issues like economic and finance) before the year ends. US President Barack Obama and his two officials – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary for Defense Robert Gates will be in Asia to attend summits to further discuss the regional security and its national interests here. What's in it for us? I hope that our citizenry will be vigilant enough and our president,PNoy should not be cowed, pressured nor tow the line of the globalists.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

PNoy and the Legacy of Subservience

PNoy and the Legacy of Subservience

By Erick San Juan







Some Pinoys think that the working visit of President Aquino III in the US was successful for he brought the bacon (and the hotdog?) home. We are referring to the $434-million Millennium Challenge Corporation “grant” that will be spread out in five years which is around $87 million per year that will reportedly fight poverty and corruption, and some alleged other pledges for investments.



Although one sector in our society who is not happy with the outcome of the President’s trip is the Catholic Church particularly on the issue of using contraceptives to curb the growing population. PNoy stressed that it should be the couple’s choice in the end as to what method of family planning that they will use. But the hype on the birth control issue persisted as word war continues. The Palace defended PNoy saying that he is just being consistent in his stand on the matter since the election campaign.



Unfortunately, the one important concern that PNoy must be constant in his position is the issue on the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) which he did not mention in his US visit to President Barack Obama or even to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Maybe PNoy was in a very tight situation during his visit as the coordinator of the second ASEAN-US summit that he was not able to bring the VFA matter up. Or the situation was just right for the RP President to discuss the issue because the ASEAN leaders, especially the claimants on the group of islands in the South China Sea , tackled the peace and security in the region,



The joint US-ASEAN statement came after a luncheon between US President Barack Obama and leaders of ASEAN member states on the sidelines of the United Nations' General Assembly meeting in New York, which stated - "We reaffirmed the importance of regional peace and stability, maritime security, unimpeded commerce, freedom of navigation, in accordance with relevant universally agreed principles of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other international maritime law, and the peaceful settlement of disputes." A White House version released the same day notably added the phrase "including in the South China Sea ."



Such interference of Washington in the South China Sea is not and will always be a threat to Beijing as the encirclement of China (and possibly including Russia and North Korea ) build up through the help of Uncle Sam’s allies. PNoy just have to follow orders from a perceived master. So, in the end, what the Palace said about PNoy as not an American lapdog seems to be a lie? Will PNoy continue the legacy of subservience that might put this country into a battleground for the next regional conflict?



Unfortunately, Pinoys are being taken for a ride in all the propaganda (and lies) that confronts our nation today which are actually non-issue. We must be vigilant at all times because intended or not, the inverted Philippine flag at the UN General Assembly could be ominous as to where our country will be if this leadership will continue “that legacy” that might bring us all to a war that we never choose.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rape with Consent?

 

  Rape with Consent? by Erick San Juan

 

 

The Aquino administration’s effort to investigate all Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), Government Financial Institutions (GFIs) and other government agencies, where rampant expenditures and other perks are being given to government officials, is a welcome change. True to his words, PNoy is trying hard to eradicate corruption in order to achieve his commitments to those who voted for him (and for those who are still doubtful about his sincerity and capabilities to fulfill this).

 

Adding to the government’s list of offices that has to be investigated is the Malampaya. Just recently the “Commission on Audit has found that the government lost P53.140 billion between 2003 and 2009 from its share of the net proceeds from the sale of natural gas and condensates from the Malampaya project.”

 

This came about because the corporate income taxes of the project’s service contractors were deducted from the government’s 60 percent share, the COA said in its 2009 report on the Department of Energy. (Source: Phil. Daily Inquirer 9/18/2010 )

 

Then research group IBON urges the Aquino government to demand the service contractors of Malampaya Gas Project to immediately pay the Philippine government its share of the project’s income and refund the amount of taxes that the government practically paid on their behalf.

 

The understated proceeds are said to amount to Php53 billion because contractors Shell Exploration, Chevron and PNOC have been deducting their corporate income tax from the government’s 60%-share of the gas project since 2004. IBON notes that ironically, these lost revenues occurred during the period when Filipino consumers were reeling from sky-high prices of petroleum while the economy faced huge budget deficits.

 

The above mentioned reports appeared recently but I have been consistently urging the government for some years now, especially through my daily radio program (over DZXQ 1350khz, Mon. to Fri. 4:30-5:30 p.m. ), to look into the government shares in the Malampaya project. This is not new to all my regular listeners and I even mentioned about this a few times in some of my articles. Actually, the Malampaya exploration was a project of the late President Ferdinand Marcos with the late Armand Hammer, owner of Occidental Petroleum which was changed to Oxy and then Shell-BP. But like any ordinary Filipino will ask, why was the Malampaya oil and gas project given to Shell?

 

Let me quote a portion of Emil Jurado’s  column that was published in Manila Standard Today dated January 8, 2010 – “And then there was this sweetheart deal between Cory and Shell that exempted Shell from income tax payments in the multi-billion Malampaya project off Palawan . This still holds true today and the amount involved is P70 billion, according to records. Cory was said to be very close to the then Shell Philippines president, Cesar Buenaventura who showered her with attention and flowers daily.” After a while, Buenaventura was given the Knighthood of her majesty, the Queen of England.

 

Sadly, this Malampaya issue had to come out in the late President Cory’s son term, but like Hacienda Luisita, PNoy must tackle this very important matter that is very near to every Filipino’s stomach that involves two giant oil companies – Shell and Chevron.

 

This matter had to be addressed as soon as possible especially now that there is an impending electricity rate increase because the power distribution company gets its supply from the Malampaya natural gas through WESM.

 

The Filipino people is now hit with a triple whammy "chubibo" courtesy of the oligarchs here and abroad.  Are we going to just sit and be shortchanged again? And again? President Noynoy and DOE secretary Rene Almendras cant do something if we wil not get our acts together. Wake up Pinoy!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Sino-American Conflict is Inevitable?

The Sino-American Conflict is Inevitable?
By Erick San Juan

More than ten years ago, I wrote an article with a quite similar title that was published in one of our local papers, and this time around with another reason to be concerned about is the growing tension (again) between these two superpowers when it comes to geo-economics. We (and the rest of the world) are thankful enough that for the past decade since I wrote that article, the conflict was averted.
A lot of changes occurred in the field of firepower amongst strong nations and I am referring to hi-tech nuclear weapons’ unimaginable power that can annihilate huge areas with just a push of a button. Currently there are several IRBMs with nuclear warheads that were deployed and installed in the Asian NATO and unfortunately, the ICBMs installed here in our country will serve as a magnet during that regional conflict between the US and China, whether we like it or not.
This was carried out via the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), an agreement that was asked to be reviewed and if possible, terminated by several senators since the Arroyo administration. The VFA review did not materialize then because the Philippines was and still is, with Uncle Sam in his fight against global terrorism. Several pressures were sent to then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo through some high ranking US officials that “ Washington was happy with the VFA and there’s no need for renegotiation or review.”

Every time there is a clamor to review the VFA, we noticed that bomb threats and actual bombings particularly in the south, take place (translation – a false flag operation to justify the presence of US troops and the retention of the VFA). But this time, we just cannot afford to swallow such excuse and be apathetic in the midst of a serious global turbulence right here in our region where China and U.S.have both already established several chokepoints as preparation for a regional conflict.

The forthcoming working visit of President Benigno Aquino III to the U.S. is very significant because he will attend the UN General Assembly and also the meeting of the ASEAN plus the US . With the ongoing saber rattling, the United Nations should make the necessary preemptive move. Although China claims that it’s a regional problem that can be resolve by stake holders without the meddling of the U.S. If China do not want US, why not the ASEAN seek the help of probably India or Russia , who are big nations that cannot be bullied by neither of the contending giants.The NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) could also also be of help in pacifying the two nuclear giants.

As for P-Noy, he must listen to those who know a lot about international dealings based on geo-strategical perspective when it comes to the VFA issue, if ever he will have to meet US President Barack Obama. It is quite clear that the Filipino nation cannot afford to be the next battleground of the superpowers.
We hope and pray that the coming gathering of nations who subscribe to world peace and security, address this crucial issue and intervene to deter the impending Third World War.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

US Overstretched GWOT (Global War On Terror) towards the “Boiling Point”

US Overstretched GWOT (Global War On Terror) towards the “Boiling Point”
By Erick San Juan


As John F. Kennedy once said, “The greatest enemy of the truth is not the lie – deliberate, contrived, and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, pervasive, and unrealistic.”

And this is exactly what the operators of the “war on terrorism” myth are doing since September 11, 2001 – to sow fear and instill in the minds of all people that there is always a threat from a terrorist group that can put the lives of many innocent people in great danger.

Take for example this news item that appeared last August 6 locally @ GMA News.TV: MIAMI – A suspected al-Qaeda operative who lived for more than 15 years in the US has become chief of the terror network's global operations, the FBI says, marking the first time a leader so intimately familiar with American society has been placed in charge of planning attacks.

Adnan Shukrijumah, 35, has taken over a position once held by 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was captured in 2003, Miami-based FBI counterterrorism agent Brian LeBlanc told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview. That puts him in regular contact with al-Qaeda's senior leadership, including Osama bin Laden, LeBlanc said.

It was clearly stated here that whoever is behind al-Qaeda and bin Laden is actually putting more fuel to the already dying ashes of the said terror group and its leader. I want to share with you this article from Andrew Gavin Marshall : Robin Cook, a former British MP and Minister of Foreign Affairs wrote that al-Qaeda, “literally ‘the database’, was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians.” Thus, “Al-Qaeda” was born as an instrument of western intelligence agencies. This account of al-Qaeda was further corroborated by a former French military intelligence agent, who stated that, “In the mid-1980s, Al Qaeda was a database,” and that it remained as such into the 1990s. He contended that, “Al Qaeda was neither a terrorist group nor Osama bin Laden's personal property,” and further:

The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaeda. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the 'devil' only in order to drive the 'TV watcher' to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The brains behind this propaganda has long been burn-out and the lobbyists for the US war on terrorism are only interested in making money.

The creation of Al-Qaeda was thus facilitated by the CIA as reported and by allied intelligence networks, the purpose of which was to maintain this “database” of Mujahideen to be used as intelligence assets to achieve the globalists foreign policy objectives, throughout both the Cold War, and into the post-Cold War era of the ‘new world order’.

We have written a lot already about bin Laden and his group together with credible and prominent writers on the internet, the bottomline here is – the global war on terror (GWOT), no matter how overstretched, is still the only reason for the globalists and its allies to justify its "humanitarian interventions" geared towards restoring ‘democracy’ in sovereign nations.

Such reasoning is very much felt in the Philippines through the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and how the secessionists in the South, including the ASG bandits, will remain there as active as possible (like al-Qaeda and bin Laden) to justify the American troops’ presence in the area. Most especially now that the US-China conflict is inevitable, in the midst of the deployment and installation of the Asian NATO in this part of the region. And the Philippines could be the battleground between these superpowers as the confluence of events might lead to that “boiling point” as told by my "primo",Dr. Jaime Sison. We will all be caught unaware, as our leaders seemed to be nonchalant and apathetic towards this very crucial unfolding of events.

As an observer of events, P-Noy should heed the advice of former President Fidel Ramos when he said that “he hopes that President Aquino III will see the big picture, noting that there is an ongoing power play between the US and China; and the Philippines could suffer collateral damage in the process.”

The Filipinos and the rest of the world could not afford another war, especially a nuclear war. Let us hope that the US visit of President Noy Aquino could bring positive outcome especially with the matters pertaining to the controversial VFA. God bless us all !

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

RP’s VFA and the GWOT (Global War On Terror)

RP’s VFA and the GWOT (Global War On Terror)
By Erick San Juan


On Saturday, the world will commemorate the September 11, 2001 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York, USA. It was nine years ago and the effects of the so-called global war on terror (GWOT) is still very much in place in the hearts and minds of those who were fooled to believe the myth and the existence of the likes of Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda terrorist group.

Different countries, especially those that benefit from Uncle Sam’s aids and grants, towed the line on the so-called war on terror and incorporate in their legal system, laws that will punish "terrorists" and their cohorts. In our case, as a faithful US ally, the government passed into law the anti-terror act and later on made the former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the coordinator of the US government for Asia. In fact, this nine year old war on terror (now overstretched) has been conveniently used to justify a questionable agreement resulting to a more inconvenient relationship.

I am referring to our country’s alliance with the US and the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) that our government ratified in 1998 and entered into force in 1999, eight years after the closure of U.S. military bases in the Philippines in 1991. And two years after – the 9/11 terror attack.

Under the present administration of President Benigno Aquino III, there is a renewed call for the review/abrogation of the VFA from some of our legislators and several patriotic Filipinos. We are entering a very exciting times in world history and our leaders had to make that important decision for the sake of all Filipinos.

As I write this piece, investigations are being done on the two recent bombings in Mindanao that may be designed to prioritize our country’s commitment against global terrorism. Now that the period of Ramadhan has come to an end, P-Noy will now have to put the discussion on the VFA issue as his top agenda in his forthcoming US visit. Sadly, the perception is that P-Noy still lacks the experience in global perspective and in many aspects of governance that are much needed in this kind of international undertaking. That is the reason why we must require P-Noy to be transparent in his dealings with President Barack Obama. Especially now that we are in a very tight situation in relation to the growing conflict between US and China.

Added to this, P-Noy’s taking full responsibility of the August 23 hostage situation will not stop the Chinese nationals from criticizing him. The continuing show of naval military forces in the disputed islands in the South China Sea between US and China as reported worldwide plus P-Noy’s admission, can put our country in a difficult condition especially now that he has shown his partiality to the US as USS George Washington super aircraft carrier and three other warships docked in Manila for four days.

Let us all hope that this historic US visit of P-Noy (aside from being transparent) will bring positive results especially on the VFA matter that will benefit Uncle Sam and the Filipino nation as a whole. How I wish that it will not drag us to a shooting war (as part of Washington’s military - industrial complex) and raped with consent. . Political pundits are even wary of the Aquino clans political betrayals in the past. I hope that P-Noy can rectify this, preempt a repeat of bad history and will not be pressured to kow tow to the globalist agenda. May God save the Philippines!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Eco-politics of War

Eco-politics of War By Erick San Juan


Our country and the rest of the Southeast Asian region has been on the lookout as tensions in the South China Sea grow by the show of force by both US and China through their naval military drills. As Washington renews its “ties” with Asian countries (particularly claimants over the disputed South China Sea’s group of islands), Beijing is not far behind, doing as much as possible the "soft power" approach in dealing with its neighbors.

Why the growing interest in the SCS (South China Sea)?

The focus on SCS started in the 90's and the saber rattling became an open secret when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced at the Asean Regional Forum recently that the U.S. “has a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime commons, and respect for international law in the South China Sea,” where the islands are located, and that “We oppose the use or threat of force by any claimant,” as "America’s future is intimately tied to that of the Asia-Pacific.”

While Beijing is being accused as the dominant force in the region, the Chinese are just expressing their core interest in the SCS which has been repeatedly reported that this disputed area is very rich in natural resources, specifically - oil and gas. This could be the underlying factor that draws the two powerful nations into this region. The fact that the Obama administration has been fighting so many fronts, the US economy has been losing a lot in the process. By contrast, the US military manufacturing is now 123 percent greater than it was in 2000 -- it has more than doubled while the rest of the manufacturing sector has been shrinking...

It's important to note that the trajectory -- the military economy is nearly three times larger, proportionately to the rest of the US economy, as it was at the beginning of the Bush administration.

The change in leadership in Washington does not appear to be abating the trend..

Most of the job creation has been by the public sector. But because the job creation has been financed with loans from China and private banks, trillions in unnecessary interest charges have been incurred by the U.S. (War and the Economic Crisis, Washington’s Blog).

As for the Chinese economy, with its fast growing industries, it needed all sources of energy available within its reach. Obviously, it will use it's firepower to protect it's claim over the group of islands near it's territory. Can the present Chinese leadership sustain this, amidst the growing domestic dissension among its elite members in the ruling Communist Party?

Moreover, there are rumors going around that have circulated in China that People’s Bank of China (PBC) Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan may have left the country. The rumors appear to have started following reports on Aug. 28 which cited Ming Pao, a Hong Kong-based news agency, saying that because of an approximately $430 billion loss on U.S. Treasury bonds, the Chinese government may punish some individuals within PBC, including Zhou. Although Ming Pao on Aug. 30 published a report on its website indicating that the prior report was fabricated by a mainland news site that had attributed the false information to Ming Pao. Rumors of Zhou’s defection have spread around China intensively. Zhou’s name has allegedly been blocked from Internet search engines in China. (China: Rumors of the Central Bank Chief's Defection, Stratfor Report 8/30/2010)

According to some of my sources, this is just the tip of the iceberg and that the money involved could have reached trillions of dollars. If its true, like the US, China is also financially in trouble and the growing elite conflicts may lead to a “dash for democracy” like what happened in other Communist countries.

There could be a lot of reasons for the continuing conflicts in the South China Sea but no matter what, everything boils down to economics. This was proven in the recent past as we witness the big anti-terror war lie of the US as it ravaged oil-riched countries, one after another. Some pundits are even worried that the political bickerings among the elite in China could provoke a possible civil war or a fight against another nation could be the "wag the dog" scenario to unite them. For what ever it's worth, is our government prepared for this? Wake up!

Monday, August 30, 2010

When Foundations for a Regional Conflict Were Laid…

When Foundations for a Regional Conflict Were Laid…
By Erick San Juan


China said on Thursday it had used a small, manned submarine to plant the national flag deep beneath the South China Sea, where Beijing has tussled with Washington and Southeast Asian nations over territorial disputes.

The submarine achieved the feat during 17 dives from May to July, when it went as deep as 3,759 meters (12,330 feet) below the South China Sea, the official China News Service said, citing the Ministry of Science and Technology and State Oceanic Administration.

Chinese news reports did not say where the submarine went, whether it visited disputed waters, or why the announcement was held off until now. It was the first time a Chinese submersible vehicle has gone that deep, said the reports. (Source: Phil. Daily Inquirer Online 8/27/2010)

And . . .

[Adm. Robert Willard, U.S. Navy]:
"The overall security, the maritime security and security of the air space in these international waters - vitally important. So the role of the United States Navy will be to maintain a continued presence in the region and to continue to work together very closely with our partners in the region to ensure that the sea lines and air lines of communication remain safe."

Admiral Willard says the U.S. Navy continues to monitor movements and provide military assistance in the South China Sea, a vital artery for trade with some of the world's busiest shipping lanes. The sea holds valuable fishing grounds and largely untapped oil and natural gas fields.

Given these scenarios and as one of the legitimate claimants on some of the islands in the South China Sea, we are in a helpless situation wherein most of our military officers has been trained and schooled in the U.S. (translation – the Philippines have to tow the line of the US foreign policy). And recently, the US will provide us with the necessary firepower to protect our maritime territories. Enough reasons that were clearly laid out by the US’ intention to establish a permanent presence thru our waters which is the shortest route between the Pacific and Indian oceans where half of the world’s oil tankers passes through.

After reading several articles on the internet by leading authorities on the growing disputes between US and China, both countries are actually testing each others capabilities in naval powers while the rest of the region just have to wait and see for who will make the first move that will trigger the next regional war.

But, US intervention, in which it aims to take a dominating role in the South China Sea disputes, will further complicate this issue, said Su Hao, director of the Center for Asia-Pacific Region at China Foreign Affairs University.

"It is supporting territorial claims of China's neighbors in order to contain China, but its intervention will have limited impact as long as China sticks to its position," Su said.

"China must be persistent in regional cooperation, bilateral and multilateral cooperation," urged Su, "but not have a sensational reaction and fall into the US' trap."

Gradually, Beijing is being drawn to Washington’s trap as the US Department of Defense's latest assessment of China's military, "2010 Annual Report to Congress on Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China", was released. The US has provided the world with sobering news about China's military buildup and modernization.

"Other than limited credit given to the Chinese military's overseas peacekeeping efforts and humanitarian assistance, the annual report is making vague accusations over China's military power, growth and intentions," declared the Global Times. "The report calls for sustained and reliable US-China military-to-military relations. Yet, given the recent US military activities surrounding China's Yellow Sea and the South China Sea, including the symbolic presence of the aircraft carrier George Washington, has US military shown willingness to build mutual trust? The report illustrates the Pentagon's hostility against the Chinese defense sector. It also sent a confusing message to the world about China's military role."

The official Chinese reaction is no less irate. China described the assessment as exaggerating and distorting China's military strength.

"We firmly oppose this report," said Jiang Yu, a spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry.

The US report also "ignored objective facts" and is "not beneficial to the improvement and development of Sino-US military ties", said Geng Yansheng, a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman.

Methinks that the release of the said annual report only heightens the tension between US and China and contributes to the growing mistrust between them. Sadly, the South China Sea will be the arena for the next regional conflict as foundations were laid by the two powerful nations.

When and how are we going to make a stand as a sovereign nation despite the fact that our leaders seem to kowtow to Uncle Sam’s wishes. We must take the lead to resort to peaceful dialogue and not through military might that will only add to the adversaries’ hostilities. We can’t afford to be at war, much more to a war that will never benefit us. May God bless and unite our people. May He touch our leaders, wake them up to reality, have the wisdom to do what is right and what will benefit the nation..

Sunday, August 22, 2010

For Whom is the VFA?

For Whom is the VFA?

By Erick San Juan





The week following the call of Senator Miriam Santiago to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) was filled with uncertainties and vague answers as to the fate of the said treaty. According to presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, the Palace is open for the review of the VFA but its abrogation is not an option in the discussions made.



Statements and press releases from the different departments made the review of the VFA, and much more its abrogation, a minor issue and not the immediate concern of the administration. Such disposition changed overtime when the US Pacific Command Chief Adm. Robert Willard visited the country and attended the RP-US Mutual Defense Board meeting at Camp Aguinaldo last August 18. According to the Department of National Defense Spokesman, Eduardo Batac, “This matter is being taken up by the Senate. It has been presented. We will wait for the debates or action on this,” and “… we will just heed the recommendations of the legislators. When there is necessity for us, we will review it (VFA).”



In reference to the Joint Resolution No. 3 filed by Sen. Santiago, the Congress as a whole can terminate the VFA. Now the ball is with the legislators and the country will just wait on how long they will “dribble” the decision on the matter. Like Sen. Santiago, I can sense the urgency to resolve the VFA issue because we might be overtaken by events unfolding on the US-China relations when it comes to the South China Sea territorial disputes. As one of the claimants on the disputed islands, together with some of our neighbors, we are being led (like a herd of cattle) towards a regional conflict where China is the main enemy.



An increased defense alliance with the U.S. leading to a quiet escalation of its military presence will make the Philippines a pawn in the Pentagon’s plan of containment and encirclement of China. If Aquino III makes the mistake of succumbing to this pressure, he runs the risk of antagonizing Beijing’s trade ties with Manila and its growing investments in mining, electronics, and other industries. It could provoke retaliation from China in the disputed Spratly islands. (Source: Center for People Empowerment in Governance)



Even the US government (and our government) kept on denying that there is no American military base in Mindanao and that their troops are here only for military trainings, but we just cannot deny the reality that the US is using the VFA to have their military base here. As reported by the New York Times – “at least 600 American troops under the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines, headquartered in the Philippine military camp in Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City, have remained in the country and have been using the VFA as a means to stay.”



Moreover, the controversial agreement has created an atmosphere of dependency on the part of our AFP and will continue to do so now that the US government has approved the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) $434 million to fund three projects in the Philippines for five years. On top of this was the reported $18.4 million worth of precision - guided missiles and the suggested leasing of a squadron of F-16 along with T-38 supersonic trainers, aircraft for maritime patrol and two FFG-7 guided-missile frigates to provide a recognized capability to enforce the Philippines’ offshore territorial claims.



Based on the abovementioned facts, Filipinos should be wary on the US visit of President Aquino III next month for this might be the beginning of what the previous presidents did – the continuing subservience to a perceived master. If this scenario will push through, let those who voted for PNoy ask, where is the CHANGE you promised?



And the rest of us will say – for whom is the VFA anyway?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

RP’s Role in “Asian NATO”

RP’s Role in “Asian NATO”

By Erick San Juan





Who could have thought that the naval incident that happened in March can create tensions that might lead to a regional conflict and a global war in the process. I am referring to the March 26 sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan in the Yellow Sea where US took the lead of putting the blame on North Korea. But it didn’t end there, after four months, tensions began to build up again using the incident for the US to conduct naval exercises – first with South Korea and then with Vietnam. The timing is perfect as the ASEAN countries met for the Asian regional security meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam. In the said meeting, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced her intention to begin meddling on a grand scale in the already difficult disputes about the islands and oil in the South China Sea, parts of which are claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. As the New York Times sums up Mrs. Clinton’s demarche: ‘Opening a new source of potential friction with China, the Obama administration is stepping into a tangled dispute between China and its smaller Asian neighbors over a string of strategically significant islands in the South China Sea’.



Through Sec. Clinton, Washington expressed its willingness to help facilitate meetings with countries which has claims over the disputed groups of islands in the South China Sea. ‘Though presented as an offer to help ease tensions, the stance amounts to a sharp rebuke to China. Beijing has insisted for years that all the islands belong to China and that any disputes should be resolved by China. In March, senior Chinese officials pointedly warned their American counterparts that they would brook no interference in the South China Sea, which they called part of the “core interest” of sovereignty.’ (Source: Mark Landler, ‘Offering to Aid Talks, U.S. Challenges China on Disputed Islands,’ New York Times, July 23, 2010)



The renewed interest in South China Sea, as tensions build up between US and China, put our country in a very difficult situation as “Retired Navy Adm. James Lyons, in a commentary in the editorial pages of The Washington Times (August 11), said the US should consider leasing a squadron of F-16 along with T-38 supersonic trainers, aircraft for maritime patrol and two FFG-7 guided-missile frigates to provide a recognized capability to enforce the Philippines’ offshore territorial claims.”



Lyons said,"Now that President Barack Obama’s administration has directly challenged China, the US should expand its relations with ASEAN by building on our Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines.”



Then in August 14, a news item came out through Reuters, " A senior Chinese military strategist called planned US naval exercises in the region a provocation and accused the Obama administration of seeking to encircle China and pursuing a “chaotic” approach towards Beijing. The commentary, in the top paper of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was China’s latest verbal broadside against Washington, which Beijing has accused of stirring tension in the region with a series of military drills near its borders.



“On one hand, it wants China to play a role in regional security issues. On the other hand, it is engaging in an increasingly tight encirclement of China and constantly challenging China’s core interests,” Rear Admiral Yang Yi wrote in the Liberation Army Daily. The Pentagon plans new joint naval exercises with ally South Korea and will send a US aircraft carrier into the Yellow Sea, between China and the Korean peninsula.



Given this scenario, as perceived by the world community, Taiwan News ran a feature entitled "China reports: the US means to set up another NATO in Asia," which cited Chinese news media, scholars and analysts warning that "The US is establishing another 'NATO' in Asia to contain China as evidenced in the ongoing high-profile naval exercise with South Korea and a perceived intrusion in South China Sea affairs. These moves including explicit intervention in Asian affairs underline the US's schemes to challenge China over its growing presence in this area...."



Chinese scholar Shih Yongming, asserted that "The US is capitalizing on the contradictions among East Asian countries to form a front against China," in reference to U.S.



Now that the Filipino nation is in a very tight position between the growing US – China rift that could affect our stand as one of the claimants in the disputed group of islands and our friendly relations with both countries. It is high time that our leaders and the Filipinos as a nation to show a united stand amidst the growing conflicts besetting this region.



As US Retired Navy Adm. James Lyons put it - “The new Philippine president will come under intense pressure from China to prevent any expansion of US activities. However, neither we nor the new Philippine government should be deterred by Chinese bluster from doing what is right.”



This is the litmus test that will show the real color of P-Noy, if what they say is true that he is not an American lapdog. Let us all be vigilant and always be on the lookout when it comes to his administration’s foreign policies. As we always say, for the benefit of all PINOYs!