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!