Monday, March 28, 2011

And Now the Aftershocks

And Now the Aftershocks
By Erick San Juan

It was in March 2009 when former President Gloria Arroyo signed the controversial Republic Act No. 9522 (or the Philippine Archipelagic Baselines Law) in compliance with the May 2009 deadline of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) then.

It was a very complicated matter as it is controversial given the fact that our country is one of the claimants on the disputed area on the South China Sea. Therefore drawing the baseline or the territorial extent of the Philippines was not that easy. It was even reported back then that China expressed its opposition to the House Bill defining our boundaries through a note sent to the chairman of the House committee on foreign affairs. Under HB 3216, the Philippines’ archipelagic baseline would include the Kalayaan Island Group and the Scarborough Shoal which are also being claimed by other countries aside from China.

“Rep. Antonio Cuenco (Lakas, Cebu) said Beijing expressed its objection to House Bill 3216 in a “note” to the Philippine embassy in Beijing last December.”

“China is shocked by and gravely concerned with this negative development. We request the clarification from the Philippine side,” said the two-page letter which was faxed to Cuenco’s office by Philippine Ambassador, Sonia Brady.

The unsigned note reiterated that China “has undisputable sovereignty over Nansha islands (Kalayaan Group of Islands) including Scarborough Shoal and its adjacent waters.”

Now we are feeling the aftershock of the past administration’s foreign policy with regard to the extent of our territorial waters.

The recent incident at the Reed Bank, a disputed area west of Palawan province where a reported Chinese Navy patrol boats harassed a Philippine-sanctioned oil exploration vessel has made us wonder – why is China so aggressive in asserting its claim in this part of the South China Sea?

There were other oil explorations in the past we had conducted in the area and we didn’t hear any protests much about interference from China as well as other claimants. And added to this, in 2002, China, the Philippines and the rest of ASEAN members (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) signed an accord for the peaceful resolution of competing territorial claims and to freeze any steps that could spark fighting. Meaning the so called “harassment” was really out of tune.

Then, a couple of days ago China warned against any oil exploration without its consent in waters it claims in the South China Sea after the Philippines announced plans for possible drilling after which the Department of Energy (DOE) and the UK-based Forum Energy had completed a seismic survey for the Reed Bank, near the disputed Spratly Islands.

It was very clear that the Reed bank is about 80 nautical miles from mainland Palawan and within our 200 nautical miles economic zone. It is still a part of our continental shelf and physical territory which is in accordance with the law of the sea. Translation – RP has every right to explore (and if there is oil, to drill) this area without violating any country’s sovereignty.

Although speculations still loom as to what has transpired between the Arroyo government and Beijing before which somehow explains the reaction of China on the Reed Bank survey. The GMA administration signed 67 bilateral agreements with Beijing and to include here was the very controversial Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) conducted by RP, China and was later joined in by Vietnam within the waters off Palawan.

If there is any truth in such speculations that Mrs. Arroyo had a “deal” with Beijing, what is happening now could be the aftershock of this executive agreement. We have to remember that Beijing praised Mrs. Arroyo as “a good leader” and that she has shown "she is in control." based on the leaked documents courtesy of Wikileaks. In control of what? Just asking.

The present administration should address this issue with cooler head as not to give way to some foreign friends’ advise that might spark a gloom scenario in the process. Although PNoy must stand firm and assert the country’s right over its territory no matter what but with a huge dose of diplomacy.

Now that we are in a very tight situation with China when it concerns our fellowmen to be executed on Wednesday, there is no room for more confrontation on the issue of the Reed Bank. We must be vigilant and pray hard that we will resolve this matter peacefully.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Our OFWs’ Dilemma

Our OFWs’ Dilemma
By Erick San Juan

As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours. The present administration is now being faced with the mass evacuation of our OFWs from countries ravaged with unrest and uncertainties that has put them in grave danger. From man-made disaster to natural calamities, our modern day heroes are faced with uncertainty of coming home safely and losing their jobs in the process. And now, even the country’s economy is at stake here as thousands of our OFWs are coming home, so is the reduction of their remittances that keep our economy afloat.

Who could have thought that countries where thousands of our OFWs are staying will someday reach a point where they would rather leave than face uncertainties of losing their lives. But then again, thoughts of going home and losing a well-paid job abroad is something else that has to be considered seriously.

As the OFWs struggle for their lives (and jobs) in various countries, this administration is still in a slow motion mode. What is fast here is the finger pointing on who should take the responsibilities. While they are still contemplating on what to do, thousands of OFWs stranded in places where danger lurks are in the wait and see mode. Our officials only told them not to leave their houses, and there’s no need for mass evacuation because its only alert level 2. Do we have to wait for the Japanese government’s announcement on the need for evacuation?

Is this the way to treat our OFWs in a life and death situation? When all the other governments of various nationalities have started evacuating their citizens? Or is it because there is no fund to move them out from places where there is a possible danger? If this is so, why is PNoy very quick and even bragged that PH is one of the first to give donations to Japan?

We are not against in giving donations to our neighbor country, but the point here is that if the government has the money (14 million dollars) to donate, where is the money or funds to help our kababayans in distress? Methinks now is the right time for the president to order an independent audit of all government funds. Mafioso's from within it's agencies must be unmasked.

Now that the issue of funds was brought out, a lot of OFWs in different countries are now asking if the OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) fund is still intact. Because this is the time wherein such fund should be utilized for the OFW’s welfare. And we are talking here of several billions of pesos fund just for the use of the OFWs in times like this.

Recently, OWWA officials reported that the fund is still intact and can be tap anytime they need it, why only now? Where is it when our "Bagong Bayani" (modern day heroes) needed it? Are they being taken for a ride here with their own money?

The clamor to audit the OWWA funds is growing so is the discontent of the poor overseas workers. The OFWs are waiting for some real action and not just rhetoric from the palace to address their grievances. The people in PNoy’s loop must take action immediately. What is happening now could just be the start of more problems to come concerning our workers abroad.

The brewing unrest in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is now being contained by their government, so with the other countries in the Middle East. But the nagging question is – for how long? I believe that these events will reach a boiling point, yet, it can be delayed. That is why our government should act fast and plan well on what to do. Remember that there are over a million OFWs in the KSA alone. As an observer of events unfolding, PNoy should be prepared for the worst case scenario concerning the exodus of thousands of our OFWs.

There is no room for blame game and wait and see mode. Act fast and act with conviction to help our fellow Filipinos working abroad.

God bless our Bagong Bayani!

Monday, March 14, 2011

US Losing the War?

US Losing the War?
By Erick San A. San Juan

The world has entered a new kind of war, a new phase that is far reaching even in the remote areas of the globe. The internet age has set the new arena for a global war,the global information war. And guess what, who admitted that they are losing this new war in the cyber space? Uncle Sam through his Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Sec. Clinton in her presentation before the US Congress, (can be seen on of Russia Today) defending the 47 billion dollars budget for the State Department, declared that the US is losing in the global information war. She cited that CNN and BBC are cutting back while the television network of Russia, China, Iran and South America led by Venezuela, are the ones winning the info war. Based on the report of Russia Today, RT is getting almost 300 million views on you tube compared to CNN with only 3 million views.

This only shows that there is a clamor for more alternative media that will give fresh viewpoints on major issues and not be dependent on the American mainstream media. Given the fact that the US international broadcast department is getting a budget that is far bigger than RT, Iran’s press TV and Telesur combined, they are still losing the info war. What went wrong? Is the world fed up with the globalists constant feeding of lies and obvious bias towards deception?

Right after the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center tragedy, the US mainstream and all those who parroted its line, conveniently dragged the whole world into believing that the culprit was Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda group. They supported the railroaded 9/11 Commission investigation report in the process.

This big lie prompted the alternative media through the internet, to search for the truth and thus created lot of blogs, websites and videos exposing the deception. To date, there are around 156 million websites (including blog sites) in the internet.

The surge in the number of websites is already a proof that the information war has started in full scale. Even the social network sites are being used as showground for some advocacy groups endorsing different point of views about the latest issues around the world.

This is the beauty of the internet, as I always say, we can exchange information around the globe in seconds. Even our radio broadcast can now be heard worldwide through live streaming ( daily from 4:30 to 5 p.m.) and also our blog ( where we post our articles and several video/audio archives of our past radio programs.

Here at home, we cannot ignore the growing need for information coming from different point of views and reputable sources. That is why there are groups advocating the need for freedom of information where people can have access to important data that can affect the lives of every Filipino.

Soon there's a possibility of a law that will censor the internet and punish people using the cyber space as propaganda tool in their advocacy. If we are a truly a democratic country, we will allow such freedom and be thankful enough that there are people like us giving out information that are nowhere to be found on mainstream media and the likes.

We have to admit the shift to a multipolar kind of interaction among peoples of the world in order to neutralize some networks in carrying out their daily spins of deception.

Like what has been already said, “money alone will not provide worldwide media clout”.

This could be a reminder to government's, that no matter how expensive the PR agency that you will hire to polish an adminisltration’s image, the bottom line is still how you perform in your daily duties and obligations to the people. Those who understands the situation are tired of being taken for a ride every time. Now with the help of the internet, a growing number of patriotic and vigilant individuals can make that big difference.

We should learn how to read between the lines......

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sans South, Sans Sovereignty

Sans South, Sans Sovereignty
By Erick San Juan

The truth behind the saga on the anomalies in the Armed Forces of the Philippines seems to be nowhere in sight as some of the people allegedly involved are being attacked by hypertension and selective amnesia. As we all wait and see as to what could be the end to this storytelling-a-lie, the nine-month old administration of PNoy should be on the look out on what is developing in the south.

This writer never stopped reminding our people especially our government (through writing: and our daily radio show at DWSS 1494khz AM @ 4:30pm) that MinTSuPala – Mindanao, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu and Palawan, is where our riches are and should be protected from foreign interventions. If there's foreign interests, we should get what's due us.

The country’s past administrations’ mistakes in letting our military to be dependent on US support should be corrected as soon as possible. Or else, it would be too late for we will all be drawn into a war and possibly be a battleground for a regional conflict. And, all our resources will disappear in the process.

Let me cite some crucial events here: The global war on terror myth was launched through the 'Operation Enduring Freedom', the name applied to the Central Asian campaign in which the Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF-P) was created here in the Philippines. The task force — without engaging in direct combat — has "advised and assisted" the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

This so called task force has been in our territory through a virtual military base stationed in Camp Navarro since 2002. Over the years, the JSOTF-P has conducted activities here in the guise as humanitarian purposes. That’s what they kept on saying since then.

Based on the research of Focus on the Global South in 2007 titled, "Unconventional Warfare: Are US Special Forces Engaged in an `Offensive' War in the Philippines?"

It said, it had "gathered pronouncements by US troops themselves who have gone on record to say that their mission in (Mindanao) is `unconventional warfare' – a US military term that encompasses combat operations."

"With the Philippine government not giving a definite exit date, and with US officials stating that this unit – composed of between 100 to 500 troops depending on the season – will stay on as long as they are allowed by the government, it is presumed that it will continue to be based in the Philippines for an indefinite period," the statement read.

"Beyond being involved in the war, Focus draws attention to this unit having effectively established a new kind of basing in the Philippines," it said.

Since the previous administration did allow the stay of this special task force, it went further with its additional task of helping the Coast Watch South. The Coast Watch South project’s aim is “To provide centralized maritime surveillance and response in the waters of the Southern Philippines in order to facilitate the movement of desirable people and goods and prevent the entry and exit of dangerous goods and other lawless elements.”

According to reports, Coast Watch South entails sustained maritime surveillance and maritime patrols involving ships and planes on known routes being used by terrorist groups in going in and out of the country.

Areas covered by the Coast Watch South are the long shorelines and vast sea-lanes of Davao, Sarangani, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

This effort is presently being undertaken under the Fleet-Marine concept with direct participation of the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Marines as well as the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

Also (like the VFA) with the US Pacific Command, this US funded project plus the assistance from the Australian government, will guard the southern backdoor used by alleged international terrorist groups. Specifically, they are going to assist us in putting up radar stations in the Sulu, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi archipelago and the eastern part of Mindanao.

What was omitted here are Palawan and the Balabac island which are both strategically located. Balabac island is in the same geographic region in the Sulu Seas and that the island is astride the Palawan Passage to the South China Sea where China has various listening posts in the Spratly islands chain and the Paracel islands.

That is why the military operations in Balabac are meant to be a prelude to the ramping of a jointly-run military installation or listening post with the US in the Sulu Sea and guarding the gateway to the South China Sea in the Palawan Passage. (from

The efforts taken by the Arroyo government that implemented Coast Watch South with full support of the Pentagon, with Australian and British government on the side, the vast wealth in MinTSuPala is very much secured…. by our “foreign friends”. This is the real reason behind this US-funded program.

Coast Watch South is reportedly guarding our wealth and rest assured that they are doing their best.

C’mon, wake up Pinoy! And PNoy(President Noy)! Are we going to allow another chubibo(circus)? We never learned from our VFA experience. Remember, without the MinTSuPala, there is no sovereignty for the rest of the archipelago. Beware: Balkanization is still on.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Healing the Nation, Lets Get Our Act Together!

Healing the Nation, Lets Get Our Act Together!
By Erick San Juan

The hope of many Filipinos that the EDSA 1 People Power anniversary celebration by the present administration could be an opportunity but has turned out to be a dividing force again. Instead of setting an example of how a true leader and a statesman should act, the two juniors of the past presidents failed at that and engaged in a word war instead.

Our country just can’t afford to be caught up in the middle of this petty and childish show of disunity in the midst of so many problems here and abroad. Because of the blunders recently committed by several people in the government, so many of our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) had suffered the consequences..

We can’t blame our modern day heroes for the obvious reason that it is becoming a trend. For the past decades, the government is no longer functioning as it should be, it can neither give decent jobs to our citizens. Our OFWs are always at the losing end especially when diplomatic ties between the Philippines and other countries are in jeopardy.

If not for this reason, like what is happening now in the Middle Eastern countries and in North Africa, a lot of our OFWs are caught in the middle of violent unrest. These events should serve as a wake up call to our government officials who seem caught sleeping in their posts. OFWs are complaining for delayed help and assistance in saving them from
possible danger and threat. There seems to be no contingency plan at all. If there is any, how come that there were so many complaints from the families of the OFWs? What's happening now is your word against mine. But who will the people believe?

PNoy’s administration is being put to test again here. The perception is, this government is in the "service" for eight months now biut it still groping for ways to solve such
problems? We are talking of so many lives here in danger. These are the people working hard abroad to earn money to keep our economy afloat. And yet, they are the ones being neglected when they need the government’s assistance. What happened to the OWWA funds?

Instead of engaging in rhetoric and too many praise releases, our country’s leaders should unite the Filipinos and act as one to help in facing the difficulties ahead. We are living in these very exciting times. It is no joke at all as of how events are unfolding right before our eyes.

For whoever is orchestrating these scenarios, the whole world is being drag to regional and global conflicts not of our liking. They already started in the oil-rich regions through regime change. But we haven’t seen nothing yet. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. Whether we like it or not, we have to get our acts together and brace ourselves for a possible confluence of events.

As of this writing, China is still trying to contain the growing clamor towards unrest in what they call "Jasmine Revolution",an oplan or name borrowed from the Tunisian revolt that set off the Middle East turmoil.. Activists, possibly from outside China, have called on the citizenry in China to express their displeasure at the country’s lack of reforms and officials’ corruption. The scenario being instigated was to silently meet in front of department stores or other public areas to make a build up of critical mass for a national resistance that can bring change.

God forbid, if the globalists are orchestrating the same method of destabilization here in our region, Philippines will be caught unprepared. That is why we are asking every Filipino to commit in helping unite this country. Enough of those political bickerings and focus on nonsense issues. We have to move towards a common goal of saving this nation to survive this impending crisis. We have to heal old wounds and move forward to unification. Unless we do these things fast, we will all end up disunited and
face a mutually assured destruction.

We will not stop with our advocacy to unite for the common good as what we always say in our daily radio show (now in our new home DWSS 1494khz AM band @ 4:30 pm).

We must all be vigilant and pray harder that we can overcome
all these. God save our country!