“Karambola!” is a more than decade old unique radio program aired from 8 to 10 am, Monday to Friday, on DWIZ, 880 Khz AM Band. It had a karambola or mixed bag of anchors, namely: Cong. Crispin “Boying” Remulla (Mountainous Southern District of Cavite), Cong. Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin (Makati; President Cory Aquino’s first Public Information Chief), Ed Javier (Paranaque Congressional Candidate), Atty. Dodo Dulay (MMDA and COMELEC Chairman Ben Abalos’ defense attorney), Cong. Jonathan de la Cruz, Cong. “Sonny” Escudero (Sorsogon; Marcos and Ramos; Agriculture Secretary) and Alvin Matthew Palmes Capino.
A week ago, Sunday, June 1, 2014, Alvin Capino was laid to rest at the Loyola Memorial Park along Santos Ave in Sucat, Paranaque. He was 64 years old when he died at his home in B F Homes on Thursday night, May 29. He died of cancer of the kidney. It was “Strike Three” for him. It was his third bout in two years. He was also diabetic and he did not like to drive and go out at night.
That is why, we did not see too much of him in our batch and class reunions. “We” are Ateneo de Manila University’s Batch 198. 198 is the sum total of 62 + 66 + 70, ie. Grade School ’62, High School ’66 and College ’70. Alvin belonged to College ’70 and was an AB Political Science Major.
After College, he worked with Lexington International, with Press Secretary Francisco “Kit” Tatad at the Department of Public Info or Malacanang Press Office, Pilipinas Shell and Mobile Oil Philippines. He wrote for the Observer, The Independent, The Phil Free Press, The Daily Globe and Today. He was an Anchor and Commentator for DZRH, DZRV and DWWW. Over a decade, he rose to Vice Chairman at Tony Zorilla and partners. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the BCDA from 2001 to 2010.
In four days our Batch 198 lost three members – Alvin on Thursday, May 29, Lito Villarama on Saturday, May 31 and Jed Natividad, BS Chemistry ’70, on Sunday, June 1. Thirteen years ago, in October – November 2001, I lost my best friend and classmate from Grade One to Third Year College, Gerardo “Gerry” Jaminola Katigbak Esguerra, to a stroke (during his son’s wedding) after a long bout also with cancer of the kidney.
Last Thursday, our Batch 198 organized and sponsored a forum with former General and FVR’s NSA Secretary Jose Almonte as the Resource Person. His topic ranged from Nation Building to the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) to the Philippine China conflict in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea. He fleshed out his principles and theory on Nation Building by taking us through FVR’s journey of running for the Presidency in 1992, winning, winning over the opposition and running the government for six years.
Then, we jumped to the present and he put us through a crash course on China and our problems with them in the South China Sea/ West Philippine Sea.
The day before, on Wednesday, June 4, at the Fernandina Media Forum at the Club Filipino, our main topic was Women’s Issues including Marital Rape, Child Rape, Profile of a Rapist, Abused Women and Abusive Men. Aside from resource persons Atty. Rowena “Bing” Guanzon and Women Involved in Nation Building Chairperson Emeritus Baby del Mundo, we also had the second rape complainant against actor Vhong Navarro, Miss Bikini Contestant, Roxanne Cabanero, and her lawyer, Atty. Mendoza.
However, our resident fortune teller, Danny Atienza, also dropped by because he had some important and pressing matters to share with us. In general, he predicted impending doom. According to him, the government is bankrupt. The last two years of the Aquino Administration will continue to be a downward spiral. However, the next President will uplift the country in 2016, 2017 and 2018. He hinted that Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” C. Binay is sick and that the next President will be a woman. Late last year, he privately told me that it would be Senator Grace Poe L.
The removal of Gov. E. R. Ejercito was just the beginning and a sample of things to come. Many more would follow. However, E. R. would be able to make a comeback. The filing of plunder cases against the three senators, JPE, Jinggoy and Bong was imminent. Senator Revilla is sure to be convicted and jailed. Senator Enrile will get away. Senator Estrada’s future is an uncertainty.
The disqualification of Mayor Joseph Estrada will proceed and is imminent with a condition, “kung kaya”. Even if Erap is removed, the people will support him. He can even run for President with massive People’s support. DILG Secretary and Liberal Party Presidentiable Mar Araneta Roxas is a sure loser. Noynoy Aquino’s problems with Corruption, Pork, DAP and Malampaya Scandals as well as our conflict with China will continue and grow even bigger.
By the way, this week’s calendar is loaded. Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 10, the Supreme Court will deliberate and vote on the constitutionality of the DAP. My guess is that they will declare it unconstitutional but prospectively.
On Thursday, June 12, an anti Pork, PDAF, DAP, Malampaya, etc … protest rally at the Bonifacio Shrine near the Manila City Hall, will try to repeat the One million March August 26, 2013 Rally at the Luneta.
Where will these take us? To be continued…
Why the Philippines is not really a free country
By Andrea Lim
In a government that mostly serves the interests of capitalists and foreign powers, this is one question we should all take the time to ponder – are we even truly free? Every June 12th, Filipinos are lulled into an even further sense of false ‘nationalism’ and ‘freedom’ when the reality of the matter is that we are still not free as a country.
Our national policies are still influenced by our former American colonizers. Our economic freedom is being sold part and parcel to China by big business taipans, and the oligarchs are keeping us under servitude to the interests of multinationals.
President Noynoy Aquino defined ‘true freedom’ as freedom from hunger, ignorance, poverty and joblessness. However, youth group Anakbayan national chairperson Vencer Crisostomo says that the number of hungry, jobless and poor Filipinos actually increased in Aquino’s first year, and more so in the succeeding ones. The number of school drop-outs also remain in large numbers.
This shows that not only is the government’s so-called declaration of independence a façade, but it also proves that the country’s political and economic policies stay-one sided in favor of foreign powers and their local puppets.
Sovereignty For Sale
Instead of calling for national sovereignty, we have a President who chooses only to bow down to foreign powers even if it is at the expense of the Filipino people.
US influences on our armed forces through policies and programs extends to our economy – the economic crisis being experienced by the Philippines is a result of the government’s neo-liberal policies pushed by the US, such as the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), the Balikatan exercises, and most recently, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
Meanwhile, China has already subdued the Philippines economically. Big capitalists such as Henry Sy, Lucio Tan and other foreign businessmen continue to exploit the Filipinos for cheap labor. What’s worse is that President Aquino himself offers us to them.
Aquino’s government has steered mainstream media into distracting us from relevant issues in our society. Instead of having us focus on the corruption cases involving Budget Secretary Butch Abad and other yellow cronies, we are bombarded with news of Noynoy’s new ‘love interest’ or Kris Aquino’s summer fling with Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista.
Cuban freedom fighter Che Guevarra says that the mere act of proclaiming independence or winning an armed victory in a revolution does not mean the freedom of a country. True freedom is achieved when the “imperialistic economic domination” over people is brought to an end.
Many Filipinos are wondering, why is it that the signing of a very important pact as the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) which is actually the centerpiece of US President Barack Obama’s visit was not signed by the US and PH presidents? Instead was signed by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and US Ambassador Phillip Goldberg hours before the arrival of Pres. Barack Obama. To think, the signing was not even witnessed by the two presidents.
Some pundits believe that the EDCA was not signed by the two heads of state, because US does not want to hurt China in the process. So it is quite obvious that every time the issue of how far Uncle Sam will help the country in times of trouble with China (and/or other aggressor) the safe answer of the big brother – “We are not doing this because of China. We are doing this because we have a longstanding alliance partner [the Philippines]. They are interested in stepping up our military-to-military,” and “we (US) just want a peaceful and safe navigation in the South China Sea”. All rhetoric, but can we fault them in protecting their interests!
We really never learned from the past agreements that we had with the US, always lopsided, favoring the US more and in the end we are shortchanged (again). So the doublespeak of PNoy’s people of not allowing the Filipinos to be shortchanged in the latest pact are all double talk.
Like what the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) and other organizations observed – they have been unimpressed, seeing the EDCA as an open invitation to a molester to offer protection against a touted bully. “The oft repeated rationale,” explained Bayan’s secretary Renato M. Reyes, Jr. is that we need this agreement with the US to protect ourselves from Chinese incursions. So what Aquino is basically saying is, to protect Filipinos from the neighborhood bully, we’re inviting a rapist inside our house to do as he pleases.” (by Binoy Kampmark)
Just like what I have been saying for so long now in my writings and daily radio program – this is rape with consent. Again, no thanks to our leaders.
Furthermore, in this EDCA, the so-called camp sharing operation will make the whole country as Uncle Sam’s military base. So the ‘chubibo’ of not going to build new US military bases here is true because through camp sharing scheme, US will not pay any rent and all the AFP’s camps from north to south of the archipelago will be the US ‘military base’, free of charge, translation – ‘rape with consent’. Need we say more?
And remember, back in August 2009, in her affidavit, Navy officer Nancy Gadian accused the US military of building permanent structures in different military camps in the country. She said US forces have established “permanent” and “continuous” presence in Zamboanga, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi in the south.
She added that the Philippine military has no access to the camps built by the US soldiers in these areas since they are “fenced off by barbed wires and guarded by US Marines.”
Gadian likewise said these structures are indications the US troops had no intention of leaving the country, which is a violation of the Philippine Constitution.
For over a decade now, we are actually being ‘screwed’ with the willingness of past and present administrations in the guise of being part of the coalition of the willing to fight the global war on terror of then President George ‘Dubya” Bush Jr.
And like what former senator Joker Arroyo said “What did the Philippines get out of the Obama visit? Zero.”
Especially on the part of our Filipino war veterans that was tackled by a former ambassador Jose Zaide, a pro- American historian turned patriot in his article (April 28 at the Manila Bulletin) “the more than 250,000 Filipinos who fought for USA in WW2 and shared the same foxholes with US troops were promised equal treatment. But the US Congress 1946 Rescission Act denied Filipino war vets, making a dishonest man of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
The Filipino WW2 vets were only collateral damage (add-on) to the Recission Act, which was passed principally for the purpose of controlling excessive claims of US war supplies providers.
In 2009, US Congress threw small bones granting one-time payments of $15,000 to Filipino vets in the USA and $9,000 to those in PH. More crumbs promised to Filipino vets helped swing trusting Pinoys in USA to vote for re-election of Barack Obama.
Our problem is that the GPH representing the Filipino WW2 vets has one eye cocked at its own shopping list (for hand-me-down armaments and surplus and other USAID).
US Congress, which passed the Recission law, would not reverse itself. (No constituency in support of granting monies to historical allies.)
On hindsight, Filipino WW2 vets should do their own pleading, i.e., sue the US government at the US Supreme Court, which will be no less noble than the French Court de Cessation and the British High Court.”
As a whole, all the excitement and fanfare that the Obama visit has created in the country are all ‘chubibo’ and sadly, the current administration welcomed the EDCA with open legs. Carol P. Araullo of Businessworld said the EDCA is a negotiated surrender of our sovereignty.
“Na-EDCA-han na naman tayo”
Political Science sophomore Billy Chang rose from his seat while putting on his back pack and thanking me for the hour-long tête-à-tête we had shared. The young Chinese national strode out of the burger restaurant to catch his class, happily looking forward to sharing with his teacher and classmates some ideas he had just acquired. I had of course made him promise not to identify me as the source of those ideas, and to describe them as mere opinions from a lawyer. Hereunder is a discussion of those opinions.
I find it a bit unfortunate, though not unexpected, that Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago has assailed the EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) as having been forged in “bad faith” by and between US Pres. Barack Obama and PH Pres. BS Aquino lll. Well, make no mistake about this: The lady who is the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is among the sharpest lawyers in the upper chamber, but she’s still human, given as she is to AGD (attention getting device) antics at moments least expected. With all due respect, I differ from her opinion for the following reasons.
1) The two EDCA signatories, National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and US Ambassador Philip Goldberg, were no ornery “subalterns”, or subordinates who were unclothed with authority as suggested by MDS, but “alter egos” (other selves) who had been authorized by their respective presidents to act on the document in their behalf;
2) A sensitive examination of the two presidents’ demeanor, their words and manner of speaking and body language, particularly Obama’s, demonstrates a level of diplomacy that is associated with good faith; and
3) In the absence of any palpable indicia of bad faith — and there appears to be none in the premises — the universal principle of “presumption of good faith” shall prevail.
EDCA is an agreement that partakes of the nature of a treaty and, as such, should have been brought to the senate for approval, consistent with the upper house’s constitutional role in treaty making. It isn’t too late, and there should be no problem in that regard because a comfortable majority of the senators are P-Noy’s allies. Until then, EDCA remains open to question before the Supreme Court, although I believe the treaty will ultimately hold sway under its scrutiny.
And as for other EDCA-related issues that have loomed as grounds for attacking the agreement as unconstitutional, the high tribunal will hopefully see those anti-EDCA petitions as exercises in futility, given our people’s widespread pro-American culture and an exigent imperative for a counterbalance against saber-rattling China. The Court may well take judicial notice of our people’s ingrained stars-and-stripes second nature, and recognize it as its wellspring of vitality and direction in the discharge of its office. After all, the judiciary is ordained to serve, like the rest of government, the interests of its creator: the sovereign citizens.
With respect to those Maoists and other Communist-leaning militants who made a lot of infernal racket during Obama’s two-day-one-night state visit, my comment on Billy’s worry is: these Reds mouth nationalism and patriotism, but power is all they want. There is no way they can win the hearts and minds of nearly a hundred million compatriots who oppose them. Let us recall that when Martial Law enforcers hunted them down, many fled the country for Uncle Sam’s protection. During Obama’s state visit, they burned effigies of Uncle Sam. In fact, they have never denounced China’s bullying tactics!! AGD syndrome?!
Incidentally, many seriously question the quality of the United States’ commitment to defend the Philippines under the terms of the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, as modified by EDCA. In this respect, I hold the view that because at that time we had not yet officially defined our West Philippine Sea territory, much less declared an adverse claim to it against the whole world, the “vagueness” of Obama’s commitment to lend us military support in case of external aggression is understandable.
However, this vagueness shouldn’t discourage us from believing that the black US President, whose great rhetoric twice brought him to the White House, used the same verbal finesse not to hoodwink us but to pledge — in the most diplomatic manner possible — America’s willingness to shed her blood in defense of her Filipino brothers in times of war.
Let Mr. Barack Obama’s ironclad pledge continue to peal in the air, in which are couched his delicate reassurances — “…Our goal is not to conquer China; our goal is not to contain China…(but) to make sure that international rules and norms are respected, and that includes in the area of maritime disputes. We don’t go around sending ships and threatening folks.”
If “actions speak louder than words”, diplomacy may again prove more forceful than bullets.
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