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?
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?
- The Philippines is Building a New Naval Base in South China Sea (thediplomat.com)
- Food security & food aid as alibi, GMO being massively pushed into Africa (ethiopiaobservatory.com)
- Philippines Set to Reopen Zamboanga Airport as Fighting Recedes – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Rappler Newscast | September 2, 2013 (rappler.com)
- Temporary structures by US troops may be allowed, says PH panel (globalnation.inquirer.net)
- Friends of Aurora kidnapping suspect claim he has alibi (kdvr.com)
- May I Have More Bread With That Baguette? (kneedeeplife.wordpress.com)
- Finding Coupons for Alibi Pizza in Troy (coupons.answers.com)
- Environmentalists warn of destruction with increase in US troop presence, military facilities (bulatlat.com)
- PH, US tackling ‘gaps’ in defense talks (globalnation.inquirer.net)
by: Bobby Starr
CHEER and applause as the country’s first Miss World Megan Lynne Young arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 in Paranaque City last October 10, 2013. She was accompanied by officials of the Miss World Organization led by its chairperson Julia Morley and were welcomed by Cory Quirino, exclusive licensee and franchise holder of Miss World Philippines and Mister World Philippines contests, local officials, Young’s family members and friends.
“Our daughter has come home and she is Miss World 2013,” says Quirino, who is very excited about Young’s homecoming visit following her success in Bali, Indonesia where she beat 126 other candidates late last month.
From the airport, Young and her entourage proceeded to the Solaire Resort and Casino in Paranaque City where a press conference and victory ball awaited her. The new beauty queen is on a six-day homecoming trip and kicked off her world tour, as part of her duties as Miss World. #OpinYon #ePlus #MeganYoung
read cont | http://bit.ly/172v0q0
- Miss World: ‘I’m Against Abortion,’ ‘Against Divorce’ and ‘Sex is For Marriage’ (cnsnews.com)
- A Message from Ms. Cory Quirino (normannorman.com)
- Hopes are high for Megan Young (entertainment.inquirer.net)
- Miss World: ‘I’m pro-life’ and ‘Sex is for marriage’ (lifesitenews.com)
- MW2013 Megan Young in the USA (normannorman.com)
- Sunday Specials: Megan, Julia & Cory (normannorman.com)
- Cory Quirino Confirms Plot to Destroy Megan Young’s Chances at the Miss World Crown (adventuresofabeautyqueen.com)
- Miss World opens in Indonesia after protests (bigstory.ap.org)
- Will Megan Young finally bring home the Miss World crown? (manilastandardtoday.com)
- Congress cites Miss World Megan Young, Miss Supranational Mutya Datul (arloc888.wordpress.com)
by: Erick San Juan
PNAC—the Project for the New American Century was a neo-conservative think tank (1997 to 2006) that had strong ties to the American Enterprise Institute. PNAC’s web site said it was “established in the spring of 1997” as “a non-profit, educational organization whose goal is to promote American global leadership.” PNAC’s policy document, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” openly advocated for total global military domination.
The centerpiece of this operation clearly manifests the move to dominate sovereign nations by force through military intervention. And it was carried out successfully after the ‘terrorists attack’ in September 11, 2001. Since then, the pattern for regime change has been to help nations to unseat leaders who are anti-democracy. Such countries were categorized as part of the Axis of Evil, Rogue States and Arc of Crisis. #OpinYon #US
read cont | http://bit.ly/GN5qZn
- 9-11 – A Godsend for PNAC (onesquarelight.wordpress.com)
- War with Syria Would Fulfill Neoconservative Plan for Middle East Regime Change (newamericamedia.org)
- CBS’s Face the Nation: Blatant Pro-Israel Pro-War Bias Revealed (opednews.com)
- When You Tell The Truth- and They Call You Names… (dailypaul.com)
- 9/11: 12 years later, the truth remains buried (thefreedomagenda.wordpress.com)
- Narcissism, Voyeurism and Hubris: The Reality Programming Triumverate (aleksandreia.com)
- The leader of the free world: Obama or Putin? (english.pravda.ru)
- Daily WSOPE 3-Bet: Hellmuth 100, Doc Hubris, Danny Darko (pokerlistings.com)
- Global Trauma and Sustainability: Systems of power, control, individual and group culpability (rockeymoore.wordpress.com)
- Alan Watt on PNAC and Syria – the Agenda for the Middle East Was Published Before 9/11 (financearmageddon.blogspot.com)
BEFORE shifting to foreign service, WILHELM Maximillian Donko—Austrian Ambassador to the Philippines—was a writer and journalist by profession.
Born in Scharding, Linz, Donko worked as a free-lance journalist in the 1980s writing mainly about US naval issues. And even after joining the Austrian diplomatic service in 1990, Donko never lost his love for writing.
Coming to Manila in 2009 from his first posting as ambassador in Korea, Donko is the author of two books: “An Austrian View of the Philippines 1858” (published in 2011 by e-publi GmbH—Verlasgruppe Holtzbrink, Berlin) and “A Brief History of the Austrian Navy” (published in 2012).
In his first book, Donko brings to light the chronicles of the frigate Novara, the first Austrian warship to make a port call in the Philippines. Basically, a scientific mission, Norvara had renowned Austrian scholars and artist Josef Selleny who chronicled the mission by through paintings sketches, drawings and aquarelles. #OpinYon #Austria #Foreign #Arts #Literature
read cont | http://bit.ly/1hyrHpJ
- Swiss Ambassador to the Philippines Ivo Sieber: IN LOVE WITH THE PHILIPPINES (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- LIVE: #ProudOfMyAge ambassador launch (rappler.com)
- Wilhelm Sasnal (Polish painters series) (mapart.me)
- Torrential rains shut down Philippine capital (bigstory.ap.org)
- Nearly 100 Philippine rebels killed or captured (bigstory.ap.org)
- Carrera Sunglasses Are For Men With Passion (trendeyewear.wordpress.com)
- Kansas City Chiefs’ Fans No Longer Losing Sleep Over Manning Brothers (rantsports.com)
- Ferry sinks after collision in Philippine port (bigstory.ap.org)
- Shopping, dining more fun in PH (manilastandardtoday.com)
- Great War: Wilhelm’s Hat (squirrelspot.wordpress.com)
THE Philippines topped the first Hong Kong Open Memory Championships at the True Light Girls College in Hong Kong last September 28-29.
A 20-member Philippine team got a total score of 15,198 in the event, beating representatives from Mongolia, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Indonesia and India.
“The First Hong Kong Open Memory Championships included events, such as names and faces, random numbers, speed numbers, playing cards, spoken numbers, binary numbers, abstract images, historic/future dates, random words and speed cards,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said.
In a news release, the DFA said Mark Anthony Castañeda won the gold with a high score of 5,239.
Erwin Balines won a silver while Johann Randal Abrina won a bronze in the event, it added.
The DFA said the Hong Kong Memory Championships was founded by the Hong Kong Memory Sports Council and is sanctioned by the World Memory Sports Council.
“Memory sport is for everyone. It has become popular among Western countries for some time and is rapidly gaining popularity in Southeast Asia where more people are aspiring to become mental athletes,” the DFA said. #OpinYon #Foreign #Philippines
- Filipino workers not pawns in HK demand for apology – DFA spokesman (globalnation.inquirer.net)
- What Hong Kong needs to become a kick-ass destination? (fromasiawithlife.wordpress.com)
- Hong Kong could switch to yuan and dump US dollar (endtimeheadlines.wordpress.com)
- HK amenable to ‘put behind’ hostage-taking issue (manilastandardtoday.com)
- Mobile Activities in the Hong Kong Metro: Texting, Playing, Videos (mobilesociety.typepad.com)
- PCCW, I-Cable Win Free Television Licenses in Hong Kong – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- De Lima denies HK trip rumor (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Chinabound: Shenzhen (sonjamarlene.com)
- HK journalists evicted from APEC (justanotherhker.wordpress.com)
- DFA protests call to bar Filipino workers from Hong Kong (globalnation.inquirer.net)
by: Erick San Juan
WHEN former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at the East-West center in Hawaii in October 2010, she emphasized three key elements of the US engagement in Asia. The US’s relationship with its allies, their relations with partners across the Asia pacific region and US participation in the region’s multilateral institutions such as the ASEAN, APEC and EAS. (Source: China vs US: Military Conflict in the South China Sea, The World Outline)
Since then, there has been much talk of the mighty Uncle Sam’s return to Asia-Pacific region and even referred to himself (President Barack Obama) as ‘America’s first Pacific President’ without even consulting first his history books of America’s past leaders who deserves the title better.
With so much rhetoric and doublespeak of the real intentions of this pivot to the region, the truth of the matter is, they never left.
“They have maintained a forward military, political and economic presence in Asia as well as Europe since the Second World War. In short, they have pursued a political and economic open door policy underpinned by the ability to project force outside their own western hemisphere.” (Ibid) And in this case, the classic example of what I am trying to emphasize here is the US military presence in the Philippines. #OpinYon #opinion
read cont | http://bit.ly/19gODur
- US and China tussle for trade dominance at APEC (channelnewsasia.com)
- APEC should lead a more open world economy, play a bigger role: President Xi said (rightways.wordpress.com)
- Disputes Cloud Asia-Pacific Summit Focus On Trade (theepochtimes.com)
- China, Russia to join forces in Asia Pacific (thebricspost.com)
- Southeast Asia in global spotlight with APEC, ASEAN & East Asia summits (indrus.in)
- Disputes cloud Asia-Pacific summit focus on trade (sfgate.com)
- John Kerry: U.S. commitment to Asia strong despite Obama’s absence (upi.com)
- Russia’s economics minister: Global economy shifts focus to Asia-Pacific region (rbth.asia)
- Russia sees a peaceful, stable and developed Asia-Pacific region (indrus.in)
- Rise in Investment to Continue in Asia Pacific (virtual-strategy.com)
WITH over 300 years worth of shared history, it is fitting that Spanish Ambassador Jorge Domeq’s first Asian posting be here in the Philippines.
Born November 28, 1960, Domeq entered the Diplomatic Corps in 1985 serving in the Spanish Embassy in the NATO Council and Brazil. In 2004 he was appointed second in command at the Embassy of Spain in Morocco and in 2005 he held the post of deputy director general of the Bureau of Gibraltar. He began his official tour of duty here in the Philippines in March 2011 and—like a duck to water—easily felt at home with the Filipino culture and way of life.
read cont | http://bit.ly/152GG8K
- Swiss Ambassador to the Philippines Ivo Sieber: IN LOVE WITH THE PHILIPPINES (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- Spain and Britain Renew Dispute over Gibraltar (globalriskinsights.com)
- Solis returns reward to Chilean Embassy (rappler.com)
- Spain-Britain ties rocked by flap over Gibraltar (kansascity.com)
- Pinoys and world domination (opinion.inquirer.net)
- The Gibraltar Crisis And Measures, Options And Strategies Open To Spain – Analysis (eurasiareview.com)
- Precious Philippines (shymay1996.wordpress.com)
- EU team investigate Gibraltar row (bbc.co.uk)
- Filipino Culture and Identity (nstp1upse.wordpress.com)
TWO turnover ceremonies were held in Mindanao on September 17 -18, 2013 for projects implemented by a Japanese NGO “ICAN.” Both projects were funded by the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines through the Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects, a grant funding program of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA).
On September 17, the ceremony was held at Bia-o Primary School in General Santos for the project called “Community Development Project with the Children of Indigenous Community in Mindanao” (Phase 2), amounting to US$ 240,693 (approximately PhP9.8 million). The ceremony was attended by Hon. Ronnel Rivera, Mayor of General Santos City and representatives from the Department of Education (DepEd) and the community as well as staff members of the Embassy of Japan and ICAN. #OpinYon #foreign #japan
- FEATURE: Japan-funded school building opens for tribal children in Mindanao (english.kyodonews.jp)
- New NGCP line for GenSan in anticipation of load growth (mindanews.com)
- Australia Provides Emergency Aid for Mindanao (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- Stakeholders to discuss Mindanao tourism in GenSan (mindanews.com)
- Mindanao will still draw tourists despite Zamboanga City crisis (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Protests vs pork barrel set in key cities of Mindanao (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- General Santos Hotels (globalgensan.wordpress.com)
- general santos city (fpuertos.wordpress.com)
- P842-M poured to Mindanao under WB-funded project (mindanews.com)
- UPDATE1: School in Philippines celebrates Japanese gov’t recognition (english.kyodonews.jp)
THE Australian Government today announced it will provide up to Php10 million (A$252,000) in emergency aid for families left homeless by the humanitarian crisis in Basilan and Zamboanga City.
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell said the conflict in Zamboanga and Basilan has created a humanitarian crisis deserving an Australian response.
“We are deeply concerned by the recent violence in Mindanao and the effect this has had on local people,” Ambassador Tweddell said.
More than 120,000 people have been displaced and 10,000 homes destroyed by fighting between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and a splinter group of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Zamboanga City and the province of Basilan in Mindanao.
At the request of the Philippine Government and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Australia’s assistance will provide emergency aid including food, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, blankets, water containers, kitchen and hygiene kits for people left homeless by the conflict.
“Many people have lost their homes and livelihoods and are now staying in evacuation centres with very limited access to food, health, hygiene, water, and other basic services,” Ambassador Tweddell said.
“The Australian Government is making these items available through our partnerships with the Philippine Red Cross, the World Food Programme, and the United Nations Population Fund to assist the Philippine Government to respond quickly and effectively to the ongoing crisis in Zamboanga City and Basilan.”
Fighting between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the MNLF broke out in Zamboanga City on September 9, and by September 13 had spilled over to the nearby island of Basilan.
In partnership with the Philippine Government, Australia’s aid program is working to improve the conditions for peace and security in Mindanao. #OpinYon #Foreign #Australia #Mindanao
- Victory over MNLF in Zambo too costly, says peace advocate (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Army ready to contain, quash MNLF attacks in Zamboanga City – Army general (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- UPDATE: 200 civilians held hostage in Zamboanga City standoff; 6 killed, 24 wounded (mindanews.com)
- Basilan on alert; MNLF sets demands (rappler.com)
- Bloody Philippine Siege Brought to an End (thaiphong.wordpress.com)
- No end in sight for Zamboanga conflict (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- 158 dead in Philippines standoff (edition.cnn.com)
- Mindanao Conflagration (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- More clashes in Philippine south (bbc.co.uk)
- Hostages, The Homeless, and Gunmen at Large: The Zamboanga Crisis Is Far From Over (world.time.com)