Filipinos In China Urged To Comply With Visa Conditions

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The Philippine Embassy in Beijing has reminded all Filipinos in China to comply with the conditions and restrictions of their visas to avoid arrest, prosecution, detention, deportation and blacklisting in the host country.

In a statement, the embassy noted that about 200 foreigners were expelled from China in 2013. Out of this number, 48 or 24% were Filipinos.

The Filipinos were apprehended and detained for holding spurious Chinese

visas or forged passports, working without proper employment visas and

permits, assuming false identity, and overstaying in the country.

Some were arrested for illegally entering China then using it as jumping-off

point for travel to other countries.

The embassy’s information campaign sought to increase the Filipinos’ awareness of Chinese immigration policies, particularly rules for foreigners entering the country on a visitor or tourist visa.

The salient points of the campaignfollow:

1. Filipinos should respect the laws of China and observe the

restrictions of their visas. If their visa is for tourism purposes

only, they should not engage in any employment without proper visa

or permit, whether they are compensated or not.

2. They should not be involved in any unlawful activities or criminal

acts, such as illegal drugs trade and prostitution.

3. They should return to the Philippines on or before the expiry of

their authorized period of stay in China to avoid violating

immigration and labor regulations of that country.

What Is China Doing?

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WHAT seems evident is that China is taking small but provocative steps to assert her sovereignty over what we call the West Philippine Sea by shooing away the fishermen and some of our naval vessels who were sent to resupply some of our troops. She knows that we are no match for her much more modern and fully equipped naval vessels and so when she pushed, we backed away. She is obviously testing the waters by escalating her control over the shoals and the sea.

It would seem that what we will likely see over the next several months will be more provocative actions from China but actions carefully calibrated not to produce a reaction from the US. China in all likelihood feels, and correctly, that the US for all of the rhetoric is not eager to engage China in these waters, what with the Crimean problem the US is also facing.

In this latter case, Crimea is at the border of Russia and it was easy for Russia to mobilize forces apart from the fact that it would seem there is much Crimean sympathy to reconnect with Russia. Of course, historically, Crimea was part of Russia until her recent collapse and dismemberment.

I frankly don’t believe Russia will give in at all for all the sanction threats and other actions that Obama might threaten Russia with from 10,000 miles away. But for the US to take military action seems far-fetched. Maybe many condemning speeches at the UN.  But they can’t even pass a resolution at the UN Security Council because Russia is a permanent member who will veto any such resolution.

So the carefully controlled actions of China in the South Asian seas will use minimum force, or no force at all, just threats and bluffs and sneaky moves which she has been doing anyway from quite a few years back. It will be more of simply establishing her presence because we are incapable of doing the same or resisting such efforts and our getting used to it.

Troops in small islets or shoals are ineffective if unable to move or realistically defend themselves when push comes to shove. All of these moves gain for China the dominion of the seas and the islets and shoals even if not overt total control which they have as an objective. This is the pragmatic element of China’s moves in the area. While the US appetite for confrontation is weak, China realizes that militarily they are still behind the US in rather important ways.

Furthermore, more military actions at this time can hasten the establishment of US forces here in the Far East which would make China’s objective, total South Asian hegemony a much more difficult objective. In sum, the conclusion for the moment seems to be one little step at a time while it is not yet easily quantifiable what the consequences of reckless action on China’s part might trigger. In other words, presently China has more to lose should a shooting war break out. But that will not always be the case. By 2020 or even a little earlier, the equation might be truly different. The Chinese economy will likely overtake the US by or before then, and the military equation might well be tipped more in China’s favor as the US downsizes her forces and China keeps on aggressively expanding her capabilities.

Can technology make up for a smaller military size so that the US can stay significantly ahead of China? Some Israeli senior cabinet member, obviously with the PM’s blessing said that the US is showing a weak posture to the world and many people are questioning the value of US commitments overseas.

Pres. Obama is supposed to come to our shores soon and we are shortly supposed to have some agreement about co-sharing our military bases with her. I am not sure exactly what it means. Co-sharing the bases is rather impractical to begin with and it would be very hard for our AFP to retain control of our military bases when used by two sovereign nations and one is much more competent and better equipped than the other.

Will the US flag fly under the Philippine flag or will the flags fly together? Will the situation be like in corporations, there will be two co-equal heads? It looks like a situation looking for trouble. Of course, others might argue and say what choice do we really have? We can’t play ball with China, she wants to eat us up. All the rhetoric about mutual respect and friendship is just that, rhetoric! Well, the outcome seems not too difficult to predict. The US will not risk a bloody confrontation with China.

I wish that cooler heads handled this problem with China without handing the seas to China without a whimper from the start and did not add to the heat of the day with ill considered if not bravado statements. If both sides end up boxed in a tight corner, everyone’s guess about the outcome will be just as good as any other! But I suggest this is time for some contingency planning on a rather wide level. We cannot see the problem as something only affecting the seas. We will see a few other areas regarding our domestic economy that need to truly plan ahead with wisdom and determination.

Capital Flight

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By Miguel Raymundo

NOT just ironic, but unpatriotic as well.

While the government has been hard put wooing foreigners to invest in the capital-starved Philippine economy, the country’s elites are doing the opposite—taking their money abroad. Mind boggling, the capital flight has gone unabated for decades, largely running to billions of pesos in foreign exchange which could have been used to create jobs in an impoverished nation.
Yet, the moneyed few had gone on a splurge as it were coming from a country where average daily wage is a paltry US$7-10 and poverty remains widespread. Based on the latest Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data, the few rich and famous took out nearly US$7 billion as of December 2012, a figure which has been rising over the past years. Meant for investments in the offshore capital market, the money found its way to the United States, China and other countries where returns are relatively higher than in the home front.

The Taipans

Equity-linked securities and other debt issues accounted for the bulk of the money placements by Filipinos abroad, many of them among the country’s richest such as ethnic Chinese taipans Henry Sy, Lucio Tan and John Gokongwei. The three tycoons, who all trace their roots to China, have sizeable investments in China, ranging from property to retail, banking and finance and manufacturing.

Capital flight is the movement of capital from a resource-scarce developing country to other countries due to political and economic reasons. Statistics showed that capital flight from the Philippines began in the 1970s at the height of martial law which amounted to US$16 billion, rising to US$36 billion in the 1980s, and US$43 billion in the 1990s. Undoubtedly, these figures are significant amounts of lost resources that could have been utilized in the country to generate additional economic output and jobs.

Contingency Measures

Based on some technical studies, capital flight from the Philippines followed a revolving door process–that is, capital inflows were used to finance the capital outflows. This process became more pronounced with government’s adoption of financial liberalization in the 1990s. Thus, it may be argued that capital flight resulted obliquely in the hollowing out of the Philippine economy.
Alarmed by a capital plight that has sapped the economy of its financial strength, the BSP has warned it would enforce “contingency measures” to stem the rising outflow of money. In times of uncertainty, the BSP has standby powers to provide foreign exchange liquidity through the spot and swap markets as well as hedging facilities and granting temporary and limited regulatory forbearance to banks. Under its legal mandate, the BSP may also opt to relax the banks’ access to rediscounting facilities, or tweak reserve requirements, among others.

Tough Task

Overall, the BSP wants to minimize the impact of capital outflows and ensure that liquidity remains adequate to fuel the economy’s requirements. In its analysis, French bank Credit Agricole says the BSP is faced with “a tough task of managing the ripple effects” of the US Federal Reserve’s decision to withdraw its economic stimulus. “We anticipate significant outflows of portfolio capital from the Philippines, which will reduce the availability of funding needed for growth,” it said. Capital flight currently experienced by emerging markets such as the Philippines is due to the US Federal Reserve’s impending tapering of its massive bond buying as the US economy gains traction. The adverse effects of the recent developments abroad have already been felt in the Philippines: The peso depreciated, the stock market wiped out gains, and spreads on Philippine debt widened.

Asset Bubbles

Analysts say these asset market effects are largely temporary and may be viewed as a healthy correction that may have helped defuse the risk of an actual build-up in financial imbalances. However, the bigger concern with capital flows is the “excessive volatility” that could easily impact business activities and even the financial system. The BSP’s strategy has been geared toward increasing the economy’s resilience against the risks posed by both capital inflows and outflows anchored on promoting non-inflationary growth and safeguarding financial stability. It is also keeping an eye on capital inflows in case they might form asset price bubbles. But more revealing are data in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Investments’ World Investment Report 2013 showing the extent of capital fleeing from the Philippines.


In 2012, a whopping US$1,845 million was shipped out of the country, the biggest outflow since 2008. It was more than the US$1,816 million invested by foreigners in the country the previous year. This was despite that the economy chalked up an impressive 6.8 growth rate that prompted foreign credit rating agencies to give the Philippines an investment grade rank. The 2012 capital outflow raised the Filipinos’ stock of investments abroad to a whopping US$9 billion, equivalent to 29 percent of foreign investments in the country. Against that backdrop, one can’t avoid but speculate: Is the Philippines’ elite expecting a political or economic upheaval in the remaining two and a half years of President Aquino? Apparently, they feel that parking their funds abroad is safer than in their own country. Analysts recall two instances in recent history when Filipinos’ capital investments abroad breached the US$1 billion mark. In 1984, the Philippines suffered its worst political and economic crisis sparked by the global debt crisis and the assassination of Senator Benigno Aquino in August of the previous year. There was also a US$579 million blip in 2004 due to the economic elite’s worry that the jailed Joseph Estrada’s proxy, Fernando Poe, Jr., would win the presidential elections that year.


The second was in 2007 when the Asian financial crisis set in, leading to an exodus of capital from the Philippines.
The UNCTAD data also show that while foreign direct investments (FDI) into the Philippines increased to US$2.8 billion in 2012 from US$1.8 billion the previous year, the country lags far behind its Asean neighbors. In that year, Indonesia got $20 billion; Malaysia, $10.1 billion; and Thailand, $8.6 billion. The Philippines’ key rival now as a preferred investment site is Myanmar which nearly had the same FDIs as the Philippines’ US$2.2 billion in 2012. Based on the UNCTAD’s survey of 159 global companies, the Philippines in 2012 was ranked 19th attractive site for investments, way below Indonesia, which is ranked 4th; Thailand, 8th; and Vietnam, 11th. After over three years of Aquino’s daang matuwid rhetoric, the Philippines finds itself sinking deeper in a financial quagmire exacerbated by political uncertainties in the years ahead.


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By Ronald Roy

THERE is no such thing as a conflict-free era, lifetime or moment. Conflicts are as unavoidable as typhoons and earthquakes, hunger and disease, fear and despair. They are however as natural as sunrise and spring, reliance and resolve, compassion and love.

JPE versus MDS

It’s been said that proverbial cooler heads notwithstanding, seething mutual distrust or hatred triggers tragedies that nobody wants. But I do not foresee any kind of tragic ending in the case of the ongoing JPE-MDS feud, even if Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago is known to freely order her enemies to die, or brand them as sex maniacs.
Her brutishness is such time-consuming bravado, and her stamina is so impaired by a chronic cardiovascular condition, that her performance is often suspected to be “scripted” along the patterns of showbiz entertainment. I therefore join observers who do not take her seriously.

On the other hand, erstwhile Senate President and now Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce Enrile has surprisingly failed, in my view, to uphold his lofty stature by wasting the time of the chamber. It truly surprises that his heretofore popular trait of octogenarian wisdom and sobriety has succumbed to the enticements of getting back at his tormentor, rather than preparing a defense of himself against an ignominious pork-related charge of the capital felony of plunder. Thus, his image is seen as being further soiled or tarnished by his own hand. JPE is trouncing himself, indeed, in his conflict with MDS — which is even more ludicrous than a mismatch between a heavyweight and a flyweight.

US and Asian allies versus China

Beijing, by setting up an air zone over contested islands in the East China Sea, might have underestimated a quick response from the United States of America and her alerted network of Asian allies, with South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia and the Philippines linking up in a posture of defiance against China. At the same time, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia have for years been embroiled with overlapping claims against China over West Philippine Sea areas.

Notoriously acknowledged as the region’s bullying bête noire, China is now clearly forewarned after the recent flight of two of America’s giant Stratofortress bombers over disputed East China Sea islands being claimed by her, coupled with US Vice President Joe Bidden’s “psychologically advantageous ” visit to Japan. Two principal factors obligate America to side with Japan in the event of an armed conflict with China: a mutual military defense pact and the proximity of Guam, a US protectorate, to the contested islands.

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s caveat, transcending the flexing of his country’s military muscle — which is good — is, to countless Christian believers, a grim portent of the horrors of the biblical end-of-times Armageddon, a conflict that should be avoided but unfortunately must be waged by the allies in their quest for justice, as against China’s unprincipled proclivity to bully her way thru the disputed areas without resorting to the usual peaceful UN remedies like arbitration or negotiation.

Beijing’s top officials should cogitate on their culture of crime and punishment, particularly their very strict attitude towards offenses involving dishonesty. Their defendants are presumed “guilty beyond reasonable doubt”, instead of “innocent until proven guilty” — which parenthetically is the norm that should be imposed for heinous crimes committed within our jurisdiction under the authority of “judicial activism”. So, one can imagine the severity of the penalty for a Chinese who steals from his neighbors in order to feed his starving wife and children.

However, Chinese moral inconsistency befuddles. In order to feed their burgeoning population in particular, and dominate the world in general, Chinese employ imperialist methods to control both the West Philippine Sea and the East China Sea to acquire all the riches found therein, like oil deposits and other energy-related resources, corals, precious metals and the like. Hmmm…Is Armageddon, the ultimate battle between good and evil as prophesied in the New Testament, just around the corner?

Andres Bonifacio versus Jose P. Rizal

It’s simply asinine, this raging debate over who the greater Filipino hero was between Bonifacio and Rizal. Without belittling Bonifacio’s heroic contributions to the Filipinos’ quest for freedom by leading the KKK revolution, it is like asking ourselves if we’re ready to revise history by hailing him now as the greatest Filipino hero, over and above Rizal. Bonifacio was born in Manila, so I’m supportive of the Manila City Council’s Resolution urging P-Noy and Congress to recognize Bonifacio as the first president of the so-called Gobiyerno Tagala (Tagalog Government).

However, the Resolution should see rough sailing on the true meaning of “Gobiyerno Tagala” as conceived by the Kapituneros, e.g., in relation to its territorial size, its structural components for legislation, execution and interpretation of laws, etcetera.

Bob Arum versus Pacquiao and Henares

Yes, why not a conflict between American boxing promoter Bob Arum in this corner, and boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and BIR Commissioner Kim Henares in that corner? We certainly would not wish to view our boxing idol as a tax cheat (i.e., a thief of our money), given that, with his sensational win over Brandon Diaz, he relieved us, if only momentarily, from the horrors of a bungling government and a couple of natural calamities. No, I refuse to accept that Manny and Kim are separately trying to deceive us over money. So, I propose we consider the following WHAT-IF scenario starring Bob as the culprit who has “shortchanged” Manny and Kim.

The speculative scenario stirs suspicion in light of a long-rumored fight-fixing boxing mafia operating in Las Vegas, Nevada, the world’s known gambling capital, of which Arum is but a member following off-camera bosses. These guys make sure they don’t cross America’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS), by remitting to it the correct taxes derived from all the fights he promotes.
With respect to the 2008-2009 period covering Manny’s bouts that are the focus of Kim’s eagle-eyed scrutiny, Arum must’ve submitted to the IRS Manny’s correct and true Income Tax Returns (ITRs), along with all tax payments due, as assessed by the IRS. But WHAT IF what Arum had given to Manny were Certified True Copies (CTCs) of falsified (watered down) ITRs?

Surely, with the many legal ways the BIR has in verifying tax documents with the IRS, Kim would then have a reason for insisting that Manny submit not the CTCs, but the original ITRs, after detecting substantial discrepancies between them. If this is the case, Manny can then proceed to sue Bob Arum for breach of contract. Likewise, with Manny’s good faith established, a reported Palace plan to grant him an “amnesty” may gain impetus.

In any event, I would have the highest respect for Manny if he stopped his gambling ways, stopped dreaming about the presidency, and stopped using the Holy Rosary like a rabbit’s foot.
( | 09186449517 | @ronald8roy | #musingsbyroy)

China’s Mad

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by Erick San Juan

“NOTHING in China happens overnight,” Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, the director of Asia-Pacific programs at the United States Institute of Peace, said. “Any move you see was planned and prepared for years, if not more. So obviously this maritime issue is very important to China.”The maritime issue referred here is the contested area in the South China Sea and there is another one with Japan in the East China Sea. These two areas in the region, believed to be likened to a ticking bomb just waiting for a trigger to ignite it and explode into a world war in the process.It is quite obvious by now that one of the reasons why China and the other claimants are restive in the disputed area in the South China Sea is about oil (and natural gas).

And maybe the so-called freedom of navigation that Washington has been insisting that China has to abide with, by not bullying its neighbors.But what about the maritime issue of China with Japan? In an article by Perry Diaz of Global Balita – Xi Jinping’s ‘Pax Sinica’, he wrote : With no economic value that’s worth fighting for, it makes one wonder what do these eight uninhabited small islands and islets have that is making China go gaga over them? Could it be that there is something else that China wants that is of far greater value than these desolate specks of land in the middle of East China Sea?

If China gained control of the Senkaku group of islands, which is 114 nautical miles west of Miyako Island, she would be in a position to control or block the Miyako Strait, which connects the East China Sea to the Philippine Sea… and the Pacific Ocean beyond.Like in the case of the Luzon Strait – “the most likely route for Chinese submarines into the wider Pacific Ocean is through the Luzon Strait, which is situated between Taiwan and the Philippines. It provides direct access into the Philippine Sea.

The Luzon Strait is a safer access point than those that lie north between Taiwan and Japan because the Philippines does not have an anti-submarine warfare capability and Taiwan’s anti-submarine capability is relatively limited, especially when compared to Japan’s. Furthermore, U.S. conventional forces are not stationed in Taiwan or the Philippines like they are in South Korea and Japan.” (PH Sea, Luzon Strait Key to China Nuke Ambitions, Stratfor, re-published @manila times online)

The geostrategic plan of China through its People’s Liberation Army Navy, is to become a naval power in the very near future is being manifested today with Beijing’s relationship with its neighbors and most recently with Japan.“Last October 31, 2013, China’s state-run Global Times published an article, saying that escalating tensions between China and Japan over territorial claims to the Senkaku Islands could ignite a war. It said that Beijing was preparing for a “worst-case” scenario of military conflict over the disputed islands.

It seems that China’s “worst-case” scenario is a deliberate attempt to fulfill Xi’s “Chinese Dream,” which is the revival of imperial China — or Pax Sinica (Chinese Peace) – that had maintained Chinese hegemony in Asia during the reign of the Ming dynasty. “The great revival of the Chinese nation is the greatest Chinese Dream,” Xi said before taking office in November 2012.Surmise it to say, China’s carefully orchestrated actions in the past two years are leading to war against Japan… and ultimately against the United States, with the goal of ending American hegemony – Pax Americana — in the Pacific.” (Perry Diaz)

Basically all these preparations by China lead to its goal of countering the move by the United States in its pivot to Asia-Pacific. Although there are other plans like “Operating from the East China Sea, South China Sea or Yellow Sea, Chinese submarines will soon have a credible sea-based nuclear deterrent against Russia and India. But the Chinese submarine fleet will still need to access the open waters beyond the first island chain to maintain a sea-based deterrent against Western Europe and the United States.

Until China builds a nuclear submarine fleet (with well-trained crew and support) stealthy enough to routinely attempt access into the Philippine Sea, or submarine-launched ballistic missiles with enough range to target the continental United States, it will have to rely on its land-based strategic nuclear forces as the primary nuclear deterrent against the United States.” (Stratfor)There seems to be no stopping China’s PLA Navy with its orchestrated moves in the East and South China Sea. It is really a full-speed ahead scenario and anyone caught in the way, might lead to a mutually assured destruction.

De-Americanizing the World

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By Richard James Mendoza

IN the wake of the U.S. government shutdown comes an editorial straight from China’s state-owned media outlet Xinhua entitled: “U.S. fiscal failure warrants a de-Americanized world.” The editorial points out the increasing expansion of the U.S. as a “global empire by imposing a postwar world order” by citing the actions the U.S. government did after World War II such as “fueling recovery in Europe… and encouraging regime-change in nations that it deems hardly Washington-friendly.” The editorial was also critical of the hypocrisy of the U.S. government, mentioning its efforts to make it seem that they have the moral high ground, while pointing out the abuse of its status as the world’s superpower, such as “…torturing prisoners of war, slaying civilians in drone attacks, and spying on world leaders,” as well as “…shifting financial risks overseas, instigating regional tensions amid territorial disputes, and fighting unwarranted wars under the cover of outright lies.”

According to the editorial, the actions that were committed by the U.S. government had the international community reeling from the effects of a financial collapse due to the avarice of those in Wall Street, as well as agonizing many nations across the world, since their dollar assets are jeopardized due to the recent government shutdown after Washington failed to reach an agreement as to if they are going to raise the debt ceiling, as well as reaching for a solution for the federal budget.

The editorial gave several ideas as to what can be done to start the “de-Americanization” of the world. Among others, it suggested for countries to learn the basics of international law and respecting other countries’ sovereignty. The recent disputes between the Philippines, China, and other neighboring countries in the Southeast Asian region regarding the ownership of several islands and shoals on the South China Sea (or the West Philippine Sea), most notably the Spratly Islands, is a good example. While China has insisted that the U.S. government keep its hands off the issue, the Philippines, mostly through the inanity of DFA Secretary Alberto Del Rosario, is practically begging for the help of the U.S. in settling the dispute.

As a sovereign country, we shouldn’t allow the intervention of other countries that are outside the matter at hand, most especially the U.S., since they’re only going to serve their own national interest and not ours. Those who believe that the U.S., either through plain ignorance or sheer idolatry of the U.S., are the ones who will save us from the “bullying” China fail to see that the ultimate bully is the U.S. government, using us as mere pawns to advance their own interests at the expense of our country and the region as a whole.


(photo credit:
(photo credit:

The Xinhua editorial also calls for the recognition the United Nations as an authority for global issues, explaining that no country can wage any military action against one another without a U.N. mandate. As detailed in the book “Rogue State” by William Blum, the U.S. along with fellow rogue state Israel, has nullified and overridden hundreds of U.N. resolutions and mandates with its singular vote. As long as the U.S. veto exists, as well as the manipulatory influence of Israel, the votes of hundreds of countries are effectively deemed null and void. The U.S. has also staged wars, especially in the last decade, without a congressional hearing or a U.N. mandate. Thus, it can be deducted that the wars that they’ve waged then and now are illegal.

I’ll add to the suggestion that the United Nations should change its address to a place that is considerably neutral, given that because the U.N. receives it’s funding from the U.S. since it is located there, its decisions are most likely influenced by the U.S.. Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has called this “…an example of a relationship the US established with developing countries in the form of subordination.”

Calling on the world to embrace “substantial reforms” in the financial system, such as better representation on major financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, “so that they could better reflect the transformations of the global economic and political landscape,” the editorial also suggested for an introduction of a new international reserve currency that shall replace the U.S. Dollar, that could put the international community permanently away from the “spillover of the intensifying domestic political turmoil in the United States.” In his article for the Asia Times, Pepe Escobar says that China isn’t really advocating for the abolition of the Bretton-Woods system – for now – but it’s for more deciding power, given that they have slightly more weight in the IMF than Italy. He also notes that the move from the U.S. currency is underway, in particular the BRICS coalition. “The US dollar is slowly but surely being replaced by a basket of currencies,” he says.

Towards the end, the editorial says that the purpose of these suggestions “…is not to completely toss the United States aside, which is also impossible,” but simply to have the U.S. play a more constructive role in global affairs. I beg to differ. Throughout its history, the role of the U.S. has been that of a deadly harbinger which brought nothing but destruction and misery to the countries that put its cursed touch into. Unless their system changes, we can’t expect the U.S. to play a “constructive role” even if these reforms took place. Only through the national democratic revolution and international solidarity can we break the vicious cycle of US imperialism. A multipolar world free from US hegemony is possible.
Richard James Mendoza is an Information Technology student at AMA University; the administrator of the Bagong Katipunan blog site; and, a member of the youth organization Anakbayan.