editorial

Inciting Upheaval

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opinyon-editorial

By Ray L. Junia

RAPID changes are occuring in the economic front, hence OpinYon’s focus on its dynamics and how it shapes the fate–and future–of ordinary Filipinos as they plod on with their daily lives.

Research-based and interpreted in a layman’s language,  the story aims to be a wake-up call for the decision makers, both in government and private sectors, to assess how and why policy measures failed miserably in stemming the surging tide of disparity in democratizing the wealth of the nation.

Our Asian neighbors like Thailand and Malaysia succeeded in scaling down the dominant control of their economy by a few families, and there’s no reason why we can’t do the same for the sake of millions of Filipinos who continue to languish in silence under the yoke of poverty and deprivation.

Certainly, the people are sick and tired of glowing and self-serving government statements that the economy is booming. To them, economic growth is an empty boast as it has failed to uplift the quality of their lives.

Our government takes pride in being democratic. But in reality, it’s a subtle form of dictatorship by proxy in disguise because it it allows the oligarchs to reign supreme in the economy.

Unless decisively addressed, the worsening rise of poverty incidence vis-a-vis the insatiable appetite of the rich to rake in more profits may be likened to a ticking time bomb.

If the economic system is flawed, then why the heck do we insist on it? The clamor for a drastic change is resounding and unless we heed it, we may find ourselves jolted again by an onslaught of an irreversible
political upheaval.

Kamag-Anak, Inc.

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opinyon-editorial

ONLY modest reductions in poverty have been made since the economic and political collapse of the mid-1980s. Without doubt, severe regional disparities remain and the gap between the rich and the poor of this country continues to widen.

While 75 percent poor Filipinos live in rural areas, the urban poor have contributed to the rising share of total poor population since 1971. Manila, once the bustling center of post-war business activity, is no longer the promised land it used to be. Migrating to the city is no longer a guarantee of a better life.

By World Bank calculations, urban poverty stood at around 23 percent and rural poverty at 53 percent in 1991. The numbers are far worse today. Most of our poor have little education and are engaged in the agriculture, fishery and forestry sectors and anemic government support have driven our farmers and fisher folk to the brink of poverty.

Compared with the rest of East Asia, government performance on poverty reduction has been downright disappointing, because the Philippines has not been able to sustain growth long enough to better the living conditions of the poor.

Stranger even is the fact that poverty declines remained modest even during the times of rapid economic growth as government policies discriminated against labor, subsidized capital-intensive production and gave low priority to agriculture and exports. This resulted in growth that was narrowly based and inequitable—trapping many Filipinos in low-paying jobs while capitalists made money out of labor’s misery.

The rich get richer while the poor stay poor—and multiply. If you look closely, the rich in this country bear the same face with politicians and government executives. People who run big business are—more often than not—related to someone in government. “Kamag-anak Inc.” never really left the building. The same evils hounding our society back in the 70s remain with us today.

There is no quick fix and panacea for everything that bedevils this nation. But getting rid of crooks in government and in big business is definitely a good place to start.

Kamag-Anak Inc.

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ONLY modest reductions in poverty have been made since the economic and political collapse of the mid-1980s. Without doubt, severe regional disparities remain and the gap between the rich and the poor of this country continues to widen. While 75 percent poor Filipinos live in rural areas, the urban poor have contributed to the rising share of total poor population since 1971. Manila, once the bustling center of post-war business activity, is no longer the promised land it used to be. Migrating to the city is no longer a guarantee of a better life.

By World Bank calculations, urban poverty stood at around 23 percent and rural poverty at 53 percent in 1991. The numbers are far worse today. Most of our poor have little education and are engaged in the agriculture, fishery and forestry sectors and anemic government support have driven our farmers and fisher folk to the brink of poverty.

Compared with the rest of East Asia, government performance on poverty reduction has been downright disappointing, because the Philippines has not been able to sustain growth long enough to better the living conditions of the poor.

Stranger even is the fact that poverty declines remained modest even during the times of rapid economic growth as government policies discriminated against labor, subsidized capital-intensive production and gave low priority to agriculture and exports. This resulted in growth that was narrowly based and inequitable—trapping many Filipinos in low-paying jobs while capitalists made money out of labor’s misery.

The rich get richer while the poor stay poor—and multiply. If you look closely, the rich in this country bear the same face with politicians and government executives. People who run big business are—more often than not—related to someone in government. “Kamag-anak Inc.” never really left the building. The same evils hounding our society back in the 70s remain with us today.
There is no quick fix and panacea for everything that bedevils this nation. But getting rid of crooks in government and in big business is definitely a good place to start.

FROM THE CHAIRMAN: Inciting Upheaval

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By Ray L. Junia

RAPID changes are occuring in the economic front, hence OpinYon’s focus on its dynamics and how it shapes the fate–and future–of ordinary Filipinos as they plod on with their daily lives. In this week’s issue, we are delving into the widening and alarming rich-poor gap, often glossed over by the mainstream media in favor of sensational political stories. Research-based and interpreted in a layman’s language,  the story aims to be a wake-up call for the decision makers, both in government and private sectors, to assess how and why policy measures failed miserably in stemming the surging tide of disparity in democratizing the wealth of the nation.

Our Asian neighbors like Thailand and Malaysia succeeded in scaling down the dominant control of their economy by few families and there’s no reason why we can’t do the same for the sake of millions of Filipinos who continue to languish in silence under the yoke of poverty and deprivation.

Certainly, the people are sick and tired of glowing and self-serving government statements that the economy is booming. To them, economic growth is an empty boast as it has failed to uplift the quality of their lives.

Our government takes pride in being democratic. But in reality, it’s a subtle form of dictatorship by proxy in disguise because it it allows the oligarchs to reign supreme in the economy.

Unless decisively addressed, the worsening rise of poverty incidence vis-a-vis the insatiable appetite of the rich to rake in more profits may be likened to a ticking time bomb.

If the economic system is flawed, then why the heck do we insist on it? The clamor for a drastic change is resounding and unless we heed it, we may find ourselves jolted again by an onslaught of an irreversible political upheaval.

Bothered, Bewildered and Bewitched

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by Mentong Tiu-Laurel

“PEOPLE are always blaming circumstances for what they are. But the people who get on in this world are those who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, they make them.” – George Bernard Shaw

We’ve see the tragic result of this nation complaining about its circumstances but incapable of defining what it wants and taking steps to making them happen. Vision and planning – strategic thinking, without this activity is just as Einstein described – insanity, repeating a thing over and over expecting a different result. The Philippines has a history of natural calamities and tragedies from Ormoc in 1990 with 5,100 dead to Sendon’s 1300 dead in 2011, and now Yolanda’s 5,000 and still growing number of casualties. It was not always like this, in Marcos’s time government had helicopters, amphibious vessels, and the disciplined government machinery – then Edsa I and the Yellows arrived on the scene.

Bothered

In Yolanda’s wake we find this nation’s “dependent personality disorder” become a trait of the national psyche. A people bothered and blaming ceaselessly, many had in 2010 actually voted to power the inexperienced and clueless government they are blaming today. The circumstances they bellyache about today are also caused by two decades of Edsa I that a majority of the population also supported – including dismantling and privatization of the nation’s strategic assets (power, water, infra, etc.) to local oligarchs backed by global monopoly-finance-capital (Goldman Sachs, Salim, IMF, etc.) siphoning trillions out and leaving the people impoverished, a plundered economy and a government bereft of resources.

The bothersome mendicancy of the Filipinos and its government, was perfected since Edsa I for the resurgence of neo-colonial control by its traditional master – the U.S. which supports corrupt and inept political leadership (Amb. Thomas congratulated BS Aquino even before proclamation) performed with perfect ineptitude in the Yolanda crisis, allowing the “international community” to takeover all aspects of rescue and recovery to smother the last breath of national dignity and sovereignty. The petty Philippine “social media” joined in self-deprecating everything Filipino, contributing to CNN’s blog the insults damning all Filipinos as an incapable of changing their corrupt rulers.

Bewildered

Dependency pervades the Filipino mind, including its bewilderment on climate issues led by environmental groups controlled by Western interests and institutions. Remember W.H.O. peddling the 2009 Swine Flu panic for global Big Pharma’s multi-billions sales of vaccines; the panic was baseless. The IPCC, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is another, peddling a “consensus” on Anthropogenic (man-made) Global Warming (AGW) where there is none, while the global financial institutions rake it in on “cap-and-trade” of carbon credits. Haiyan/Yolanda became the “strongest” typhoon to dramatize the Warsaw Climate Change Conference and further instill in Filipinos the false AGW theory.

Meteorologist Dr. Ryan Maue at Weather BELL Analytics, LLC, Florida, formerly with Naval Research Laboratory, Twitted: “Over past 1,000 years, Philippines have been hit by 10-20 thousand tropical cyclones. Don’t be so arrogant to believe Man caused Haiyan.” And demolishes claims that Typhoon Haiyan was ‘strongest storm ever with the “‘Fact: Haiyan is 58th Super Typhoon since 1950 to reach central pressure of 900 mb (1 millibar = 0.145 lbs. /sq. inch) or lower from historical records’ — Maue: ’50 of 58 Super Typhoons with pressure of 900 mb or lower occurred from 1950-1987 — only 8 in past 25 years’” but Philippine media and crying Yeb Sano claims it is the strongest ever.

Bewitched

Bewitching PMSM, Phil. MainStream Media, serves Western propaganda and discounts China’s view, as in “US bombers enter China’s claimed air defense zone” highlighting U.S. spokesman Jen Psaki “This will raise regional tensions … “. ADIZes are not new, from Wiki:  “An air defense command … was developed in 1950 … The Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) is an area – in which the ready identification, location, and control of civil aircraft over land or water is required … under … North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) … aircraft entering an ADIZ is required to radio its planned course…” Jets and missiles fly 60 km. per minute, crossing China’s ADIZ takes only 3 minutes.

From Yomiuri Shimbun: Nov. 27, 2013, “Countries such as Japan, the United States, South Korea and Taiwan have set their ADIZ in areas surrounding their airspace, asking aircraft that pass through the zones to give prior notice for the purpose of confirming whether such aircraft pose a threat.” But as far as PMSM is concerned the Western interpretation of news is highlighted and China’s ADIZ is treated pejoratively. PMSM is also biased for dumbing down the pubic, like making boxers heroes (like Pacquiao) and quibbling over his tax tiff with government while scant priority is given to meager salaries of weather experts who are thus leaving the country in droves for high paying foreign jobs.

Also, befuddled

News touted the World Bank’s $ 500-M loan for Yolanda assistance, but in July 2012 the Philippines lent $ 1-billion to Europe! Media trumpets that GDP will not be direly affected by Yolanda, yet the P 2-Billion the privatized NGCP’s (National Grid) will charge taxpayers for damage to its grid in Yolanda’s wake – that goes into the GDP “growth”. A business daily headlined “National government debt drops to P 5.61T” – fantabulous good news, but behind the lead is the real story: “The total national government debt, however, increased by 7.6 percent if compared to the P 5.213- trillion recorded in September last year.” Arroyo’s 2010 debt was P 4.9-T, Aquino added almost P 600-billion in three years.
The Filipino is really befuddled in his economics. The U.S.-Iran “detante” changing the face of Middle East politics has brought down world oil prices. U.S. gasoline prices have gone down as a consequence, equivalent to P 42/liter in peso terms, but in the Philippines gasoline is still P 52/liter while auto LPG has gone up by almost P 2.00/liter. People complain not about this but about the BIR’s Pacquiao tax persecution (reportedly because he didn’t drop by Malacañang after winning vs. Rios). Two top Inquirer columnists wrote about Pacquiao, i.e. “Being a hero” and “TKO” but nothing on these befuddling material issues (get it?). No wonder this nation is befuddled in almost all the important matters.

Strategic thinking

The Filipino nation is bothered, bewitched, bewildered and befuddled because it has no strategic view – a strategic vision – of what it wants, how to attain it and who can lead the nation with intellectual honest and executive ability. Observe the leadership choices in the past five elections and two coup d’états disguised as “People Power” – the social elite, the PMSM (mainstream media), the social media and its core of “civil society” political-socialites defined the circumstances. The people were hoodwinked to accept BS Aquino, they’ll be hoodwinked again with a new set of false hopes (especially one poe-seur) who are from the same storeroom of puppets of the Status Quo.
***
The People’s Struggle should be focused on clarifying this strategic vision and leadership. Keep reading this space for it. (Watch “Nature’s defence for shoreline communities” with environmental “Bakawan” advocate Jaime Layug: GNN Destiny Cable Channel 8, Skycable Channel 213, www.gnntv-asia.com Sat., 8 p.m. and replay Sun., 8 a.m.; tune to 1098AM, Tues. to Fri. 5pm; ; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com; and text reactions to 0923-4095739)

Storm Surge

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by Raymund L. Junia

I GREW up in the biggest barangay of this small town, Tolosa, Leyte. This barangay, and the town proper, faces the Pacific Ocean. In our side of the country, a typhoon is no stranger. We’re used to typhoons. But this does not mean, we neglect any typhoon’s fury. I find the debate on storm surge  interesting, the term not being understood. One journalist described it as a new phenomenon. Ted Failon, who comes from Leyte, admits he does not understand the meaning of storm surge. That really surprised me.

In my elementary days in the barrio, I remember every time there was a typhoon, we had our own “coast guards”. They took turns in watching the sea level and ready to issue a “bandillo” (public warning) on the rising of the sea level and imminent flooding of the barangay. There being no satellite warning on TV then, this was the method of early warning to prevent deaths from big waves and rising sea levels—a storm surge.

That many lives were spared and saved from Yolanda’s fury in my town, I think this primitive early warning system did it. Although folks way back home say San Miguel saved lives in the middle of Yolanda’s strike. On San Miguel saving the town, I very much agree. Our patron saint had always come to the rescue of this town. Another interesting fact is, until this writing, people in most Yolanda-ravaged areas are still asking where is government?

The dead littered the streets of Tacloban and nearby towns until the sixth day after the typhoon. Relief has not reached barangays and towns just 20 kilometers from Tacloban City. Relief was active only in media but zero at the ground. Media was well managed but not the relief operations. Media was managed not to tell the truth. Malacañang’s problem was that it could not manage foreign media like CNN, ABC news and others. They could not control social media also.

How media was managed could be seen from the reaction of ABS-CBN channel 2 over reports by CNN of absence of government at ground Zero. Korina Sanchez embarrassed herself in her refuting reports by CNN’s Anderson Cooper. She was swarmed in social media by accusations of her impartiality in defense of Pres. Aquino leadership and for lying bare faced on the true situation in Leyte.

Easily, Korina Sanchez stood out as a disgrace to Philippine journalism.

CNN is the new shining example if not the hero in true journalism and Channel 2 lost much of its credibility.

Enough lies please.

Power sector debt: $ 34-B

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by Herman Tiu-Laurel

WHILE the country is being distracted with the Napoles hearings revolving around P 10-Billion pork barrel scams involving four dozen opposition and administration “sow-lons”, a national shame of $ 34-Billion or P 1.5-Trillion of unjust debt on the shoulder of the people continues to weigh down the nation, its economy and its chances for economic take-off astride other Asian countries. The P 1.5-Trillion debt of the power sector is a fifth of the total debt of P 5.46-Trillion and yet there has been no executive or legislative investigation, senate hearing or national media uproar on it, thence the continuing public ignorance of this national shame and injustice.

The P 1.5-Trillion debt is the combination of the National Power Corporation (NPC) and Power Sector Asset and Liabilities Management (PSALM) current obligations amounting to $ 16-Billion and $ 18-Billion respectively. These two debts began as a single debt, of NPC in 2001 of $ 18-Billion. Gloria Arroyo’s third Yellow government, after Cory Aquino and Fidel Ramos, passed the Electric Power Industry Reform (Epira) law creating PSALM to liquidate NPC debts by buying and selling of NPC assets for private takeover. It should shock the nation that after 12 years and 91.75% of NPC assets privatized, NPC debt remains almost unchanged, while the new mountain of debt of PSALM had been created.

Iligan, EPIRA gone amok
Iligan City, Mindanao, is a prime case. Blessed with the Maria Cristina Falls and the wellspring of the massive Agus-Pulangui hydro-electric system. Iligan City with its 60,000 power consumers had for the longest time the lowest power cost in the Philippines. Up to only recently, delivered power cost there was only P 5/kWh; today Iligan City residents will face a 100% increase to P 10/kWh. The rise of globalist economic colonialism in the guise of “free trade” and “privatization” in the 80s, reassertion of oligarchy-elite Philippine politics with Corazon C. Aquino’s ascendance and the surge of profit-manic Filipino family-corporations led to the Epira and privatization of the power sector.
There was no Mindanao power shortage in 1992 but Cory Aquino, two days before her term ended, signed a midnight IPP contract for the Alcantara family-capitalist group (relations go back to Boston). The Alcantaras bought land for project at P 200/sq. m. and valued it at P 20,000/sq. m.. A three years later FVR signed a second Alcantara IPP, the two now valued at m P 3.5-Billion. The BOTs expired and returned to NPC, but confiscated by Iligan City for tax delinquency. In 2010 despite a higher P 500-M bid the plants the Iligan City council resold them to Alcantaras for P 300-Million, less than 10 cents to the Peso. Rehab cost of P 34-M was bloated to P 614-M and entire project cost to P 1.5-B as rate base.

Worse privatization cases
According to PSALM it has privatized 26 power generating plants and 4 decommissioned facilities (whatever that means) for 91.73% of its assets in Luzon and Visayas. Among the assets bought from NPC to privatize is the Bohol-Panay Power Plant Complex which was set up for P 19-Billion but sold to SPC for P 293-M, or two centavos to the Peso. One power plant in the complex was rehabilitated by NPC for P 1-Billion, that alone was a huge loss. Investigating further we found that a Chan Lok Lim heads SPC, he was formerly with ITE Power Corporation, a Singaporean company; we can be sure that behind these are also British finance-capital groups.
Another privatization scam sale and transfer of Transco, the transmission grid of NPC before which was earning P 16-B per annum when it was privatized. A Ramos-Razon-Carlyle first took over the $ 6-Billion grid for half that price, and then a transfer to the Sy-China Grid Corporation group for a $ 1-B down payment on a price of $ 4-B, to become National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). NGCP is now raking in profits that used to go to NPC and NGCP debt to Psalm is part of the latter’s P 568-B collectibles. NPC continued to pile up debts because its profit centers were gradually removed from it,

War in the Palace

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opinyon-editorial

IS THERE trouble brewing in Malacañang? With two camps running the Palace—the so-called Balay and Samar groups headed by Sec. Mar Roxas and Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa, respectively—the answer is a resounding YES.

It’s an odd marriage forged in 2010 during the election campaigns, a partnership that was immediately strained with the loss of Mar Roxas to Jejomar Binay in the race for Vice President. From then on the two camps barely managed to co-exist, engaging in minor scrapes and arguments every now and then on the handling of issues of national import. But that was before the PDAF scandal got out of the bag which put the whole administration in its biggest quandary.

The fragile relationship between the two camps have reportedly reached critical mass anew with President Aquino’s “I am no thief” speech, which aired on primetime television recently. Apparently, the idea of giving the speech was a unilateral decision made by the Roxas camp—a call made by the Liberal Party. This means Ochoa and company were against the speech which put PNoy on a defensive stance on the PDAF issue.

In hindsight, PNoy’s speech appeared to have had very little positive impact on the public perception that PNoy and company are equally liable in the PDAF scandal. If the intention was to disconnect PNoy from the PDAF fiasco and reinforce his “matuwid” image, the speech backfired. “Why deny involvement in the PDAF scam if you are not involved in it the first place?” Ochoa’s camp must have argued.
As it is, the PDAF scandal will involve lawmakers in both the opposition and administration camps. The present ploy of limiting the scandal to a handful of lawmakers is simply a means to buy the PNoy administration some time to figure a way out of the fiasco.

If there is a way out.

With the Senate Blue Ribbon failing to get a piece of testimony from Janet Lim-Napoles, it is clear that the PDAF scandal will be a long-drawn drama. It will take years before charges are filed against the guilty parties and even longer before the guilty are brought behind bars. PNoy and company do not care if the whole investigation process takes forever. Right now, they just need to survive until 2016.

Editorial : Not So Perfect Alibi?

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DIFFERENT speculations  came out as to why US President Barack Obama did not attend the important summits together with his Asian tour particularly in the ASEAN nations. Some pundits believe that the so-called partial US government shutdown was not the real reason.  And the situation became more suspicious when even US Secretary of State John Kerry also cancelled his visit to the Philippines ‘due to bad weather’ (kuno). The mere fact that this visit of President Obama and Sec. Kerry to the region, is very crucial to US pivot to Asia, particularly to its allies, one will wonder—did the sudden change of travel plans of both Obama and Kerry have something to do with China? Is the Chinese pressure so strong that such important plans had to be cancelled?

 

Photo credit: http://www.washingtonpost.com. Used under Creative Commons)
Photo credit: http://www.washingtonpost.com. Used under Creative Commons)

Just asking because both alibis seemed quite shallow.As what Manong Ernie Maceda said in his column in the Philippine Star last week– the cancellation of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Manila because of storm Santi shows the low priority that the Philippines has with US officials. Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) was open. No flights were cancelled. The storm was coming in from Catanduanes, while the flight path from Brunei is through Mindanao.

Kerry’s visit was supposed to substitute for President Obama’s state visit. It should have gone through at all costs. Yes, at all costs, that is why the excuse he gave was not valid at all.We also have to consider the statement of President BS Aquino at the APEC about the Philippines-US Framework Agreement on Increased Rotational Presence. PNoy said the United States should be clear with the words they use concerning the said agreement.

“During negotiations, we always get entangled with all the semantics. Those words that are actually used to convey the thoughts.”He said that the words to be used in the agreement on increased rotational presence should “satisfy both parties needs and wants; and satisfy all or addresses all concerns and anxieties.”“Their language is geared to support the request for budget when they go to Congress,” the President pointed out. “Their language might be perfect in an American manner of speaking English but might be construed differently through a Filipino.” (Source: Aquino presses careful crafting of US rotational presence deal by Roy Mabasa mb.com 10.9.13)

If PNoy felt this urgency to discuss this executive agreement that entails another pact that will make the country beholden to a perceived master in the offing, it is very clear that our relationship with Uncle Sam is one way. So Manong Ernie is right, we are being given low priority by these US officials.

This is the sad reality I have been saying for so many times now, these so-called agreements and treaties we entered into with Uncle Sam are always for the benefit of their country than ours and in the process we are always shortchanged. When are we going to learn to assert our rights as a sovereign nation?

This is not a simple matter that we can just to ignore and let Washington craft the agreement to their own liking. This is about national security, and most of all, our sovereignty (what was left of it) is at stake here.

In the four rounds of talks that transpired regarding the access agreement, there are “gaps” in the “critical provisions” that need “more work,” according to Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino, who heads the Philippine panel.
The military-to-military agreement is expected to boost the defense capability of the AFP amid growing territorial threats, increase the training of its troops, and improve disaster response.

Batino said they have narrowed down the framework agreement to 5 key provisions namely: scope, agreed installations/AFP Facilities, prepositioning of defense equipment, supplies, and materiel, ownership and security. (Source: Bases access: PH, US disagree on ‘critical provisions’ by Carmela Fonbuena, rappler.com)Now that the chance for our President and other government officials to tackle the crucial decisions covering the new access agreement was postponed (until who knows when), methinks that this pact is already a done deal on Washington’s side for their Congress to release the budget, and will left us (again) to just accept it with open legs, as usual. So, what else is new?And don’t forget  (as Reuters reported last October 3), also on the cards is the development of Oyster Bay, which lies about 550 km (340 miles) southwest of Manila.”It will be a mini-Subic,” Commodore Joseph Rostum O. Peña, the commander  of the Philippines’ western navy, said in the first public comments about converting Oyster Bay into a major naval base.

“A future port here would extend the reach of the navy’s two frigates, both former U.S. Coast Guard cutters, over the disputed Spratly Islands, in the southern part of the South China Sea.” he said in an interview from his office overlooking the mouth of the bay.

Oyster Bay is about 160 km (100 miles) from the Spratlys.

“In Manila, the leaders must move behind rhetorical blandishments about a new spirit of partnership and start to detail specific actions that will strengthen Philippine defense capabilities,” said Patrick Cronin, an Asia-Pacific security expert at the Center for a New American Security in Washington DC.

That includes building a permanent home for the Philippines’ two big warships. It also means finding strategic areas where the United States could rotate troops, ships and naval aircraft — all within easy reach of territory claimed by Beijing. Oyster Bay may be the best choice,” said Cronin.

After reading this, the access agreement is already a done deal, to hell with the other critical provisions that we wanted to further discuss with Washington.

Need we say more?

Editorial : MVP for President

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by Ray Junia

SERIOUSLY, I want MVP for President.

I walked late into last week’s editorial meeting. Editors and consultants were discussing this week’s main story.
On top of the list was the impact of a USA default.  Very interesting discussion, a doomsday scenario for the Philippines, but actually good if handled correctly. They forecast the currency values will go crazy. But the flipside is we escape from being a victim of globalization.

(illustration by Kirby Agbas)

Second was the burning and bombing of Zamboanga City. There were speculations that PNoy and his cub scouts deliberately burned the city not to take out the MNLF rebels but to grab the news headlines from the Napoles case.
Finally, the decision was to rest our criticism on PNoy.  Anyway, almost everyone else is shouting his angst and deep disappointment on the President. And many are asking who should replace PNoy and run this country? We have trusted many of them, from political geniuses to the very sick in mind.

I asked if the Philippines were a corporation, who do you think is the best person to run Philippines, Inc.? The response was almost a chorus: MVP. One said Lucio Tan.

The discussion centered on why MVP? The week’s banner story tells why OpinYon picks him for President.
Most of our political leaders lack the backbone to stand up before the onslaught of foreign economic forces. The country is both a victim and loser in the globalization scheme.  We get a pittance from shares of our natural resources extracted by foreign companies. Compare our take from Malampaya with what the Malaysians get from their oil, you will see how badly we are being treated even in our own country.

It is time we get a President who has the skill and character in getting for and giving what is due the Filipino.
Even when OpinYon has been accused of being anti- MVP, there was nothing personal in our review of his business activities. OpinYon coming from consumers’ interests and MVP representing his stockholders’ interests, a clash is always likely. Again, there is nothing personal.

I don’t take it against him, his dogged focus on protecting the interests of his stockholders, his bosses. In fact, I appreciate that kind of loyalty and dedication to his mission.
Now I am throwing the possibility of his making the Filipinos his bosses if and when he becomes the President of our country.

I believe he is the person we need to run our country.