Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Might is Right by Erick San Juan

Might is Right by Erick San Juan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Anti-Drugs Deja Vu by Erick San juan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

WPS: Foreign Policy Shift by Erick San Juan

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

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

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

Blackwill’s paper states (emphasis added):

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

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

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

It is an open, modern proclamation of imperialism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

How The Triad Drug Cartel Controlled the Nation by Erick San Juan

Finally, drug operations in the Philippines is now truly being addressed. Thanks to the strong will of President Rodrigo Duterte. But how this nationwide operation came about and now already embedded even to the highest and smallest fiber of our society?

The British opium operation in China was exported in Hong Kong and to some parts of Asia including the Philippines. Even in the books of Jose Rizal, he exposed how even our so called Illustrados were used by Chinese businessmen and barter traders to bring in opium to the country in disguise as support to finance their revolution. Even the NPA's in the mountain provinces plant marijuana to support their cause.

The Triad Gang of China was in gambling, prostitution, smuggling, trading opium to producing shabu, money lending and laundering.

A book manuscript of Col. Balbino Diego, former FM's PSC (Presidential Security Command) chief legal, tycoons like Li Ka Shing of Hong Kong, Stanley Ho of Macau and Run Run Shaw of Singapore were part of the Triad.

Under the Marcos regime, a mafia – like code of silence was strictly observed to hide illicit transactions with the Triad using their underworld connections to smuggle including war loots especially gold.

When the US government found out this secret connection of Marcos with the underworld, FM was forced to create his own legitimate Chinese connection by creating his own dummies like Henry Sy, Jose Yao Campos, etc.

To avert his link with the Triad, he discreetly ordered the burning of the floating casino of Stanley Ho to justify the discontinuity of Ho’s operation. Diego orchestrated the killing of the chemist of FM's Triad asset, a certain Co. Lim Seng, the chemist of Co from China didn’t even understand English nor Tagalog. Lim Seng was told by Co that he will be killed in disguise using dud bullets. FM ordered to shoot Lim Seng via musketry to show to the world that he is against drug proliferation.

FM sent his children abroad to study and avoid friends with bad influence, especially those using downers, marijuana and other prohibited high end drugs. Remember the plane crushed during the time of Marcos where most of the 'friends' of Bongbong Marcos died? An accident in disguise?

When Marcos and family went to China and visited Mao Tze Tung, he secretly invested his war loots of precious metals in China, claiming that it’s payback time and admitted to Mao that his real father was a businessman from Amoy, China named Andres Chua, a rice miller in Ilocos Norte.

In the 80’s, FM laundered money with the help of an American insurance company with direct connection in Hong Kong and China. Hot monies were poured in the Philippine financial system. The Binondo Central Bank of then Finance Minister Bobby Ongpin managed the underground economy.

In my previous report which I have written a summary and can be read at my blog, I have shown how our government was penetrated by Chinese underworld through some government officials like Marcos, head of G2 (AFP), then Gen. Pedro dela Pena and other military and police officers and big business including media owners.

Now these Chinese front men of our politicians control basically everything including the Church hierarchy disguised themselves as philanthropists.

The Triad gang expanded and metamorphosed in the late 90’s and was called the Six Golden Triad and with Bamboo Gang of Taiwan and 14K of Hong Kong included. Meaning from 3 they became an elite member of 18 Chinese mafia boss worldwide.

Triad History

The term 'Triad' was given by the Hong Kong government to Chinese secret societies based on the triangular symbol which once represented such societies. The symbol is the Chinese character 'Hung,' encased in a triangle, representing the union of heaven, earth, and man. So Triads even today are sometimes referred to as the 'Hung Society' or the 'Heaven and Earth Society.'

The commonly accepted myth about triads is that they began as a resistance movement to the Manchu emperors. The Manchu were from a country north of China (Manchuria) and were seen as foreign rulers, who took China's northern capital (Peking now Beijing) by force, and established their dynasty around 1674.

The Chinese Nationalist government was established in Nanking during 1927 and led by a known killer and criminal member of the Shang Hai Green Gang, Chiang Kai Shek.

Triads took over the government of southern China, fought the Communists (later under Mao Tse Tung) for total control, and Western powers used this "Green Gang" organized crime group to suppress any labor unrest and kill-off communists.

When Japan invaded most major China cities in World War II, Triads offered to work for them instead. In Hong Kong, Triads ran criminal enterprises for Japan while Japan united the gangs under an association called the "Hing Ah Kee Kwan" (Asia Flourishing Organization).

The gangsters were used to help police the residents of Hong Kong, and to suppress any anti-Japanese activity. The gangs were paid through a Japan front company named LEE YUEN COMPANY.

Following World War II, the target of the West and the Triads became Communists again, and the Chiang Kai Shek nationalist government campaigned to increase Triad membership. In Southern China, this campaign was under Nationalist Army Lieutenant General Kot Siu Wong whose headquarters were at: Number 14, Po Wah Road, Canton where the name of the "14 K" Triad is thought to have originated. It was estimated that in 1947, there were 300,000 Triad members in Hong Kong alone.

When the Mao Tse Tung communists were victorious by 1949, these Triad nationalists were dispersed to Hong Kong, Macao, Thailand, San Francisco, Vancouver, and Perth Australia while the remnants of the Chiang Kai Shek KMT (Kuomintang) South China Army was forced into the Burma highlands where they became pivotal to smuggling drugs to the West via Thailand under Khun Sa. The Communists suppressed Triads on the mainland, executing and imprisoning many. Mao's Prime Minister Chou En Lai banned cultivation and use of opium in 1950.

At its most basic level, the hierarchy of triad members matters little except in each individual relationship between two members, each based on ties between the Dai Lo (big brother) and Sai Lo (little brother). The big brothers give work, protection, and advice to the younger brothers who give loyalty, support, and money in exchange. In many cases, this is the only relationship that matters.

But there is a Triad hierarchy. It is not really known to what extent it is still used. Most analysts agree the lower level ranks are still commonly in place, but how many Triad groups use the more complicated higher rankings and to what extent cannot be accurately measured. Along with the names of each rank, Triad ranks also have numbers, all beginning with the number 4, which represents the four  oceans said to surround China in ancient times, and therefore signifying the universe as a whole. ( Source: China Triad Secret Societies Bank Trillions by Unwanted Publicity Intelligence - Staff Writer, November 2008)

At the end of President Fidel Ramos regime, i wrote an article, "Narco-politics will Control Future Administrations" which was published in several newspapers. Sad to say, they did. Even in the 2010 elections, there were reports that “narco-politics has become a major issue in the Philippine election campaign following the release of a US state department report in which it expressed concern that the illicit drug trade may influence the outcome of the May 10 poll.

The state department's 2010 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, made public March 1, 2010 said the illegal narcotics trade "continues to pose a significant national threat, especially in view of the coming national elections". According to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the illegal drugs trade in the country totals US$6 billion to $8bn annually and is growing.

"Narco-politics is a serious concern in our country and is growing," said Gilbert Teodoro, a former defense secretary, said he was aware of the claims made in the state department report but added: "the problem does not involve politicians at the national level". "The problem is at the local and provincial levels especially in some parts of Mindanao," he told the Manila Overseas Press Club on March 5.

The former chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board, Vicente Sotto, who ran for a Senate seat, said some candidates' campaigns had "probably already been infiltrated" by drug lords but were unaware of it. He said the best advice for local politicians is not to accept campaign contributions from unknown sources. The Commission on Elections, which oversees the electoral process, said the reports were "quite alarming" and asked the PDEA to name those candidates who are alleged to be receiving drug money from traffickers for their campaign.” (Source: Philippines poll 'hit by drugs trade' by Karl Wilson, March 15, 2010).

There were already reports and possibilities were high even in the 2010 elections of narco-politics or the use of drug money for campaign funds, but what is the difference compared to the Duterte administration now? Our present leadership has enough courage and sincerity to stop this menace – proliferation of illegal drugs and has given names of high-ranking police officials who are reportedly protecting people who are in the drug trade.

The list of President Duterte is long and I am pretty sure that in due time he will name names again. Beware, the change is here and Pres. Duterte is very angry to those who are actually committing treason in the process. This is the right for the nation to support a righteous leader's out of the box agenda.