By Erick San Juan
Veteran strategic analyst George Friedman of Stratford wrote at the Businessmirror (6/29/14) about the US unfinished business in Ukraine and Iraq. He said that some of the international systems unfinished business has revealed itself. He believes that Ukraine’s fate is not yet settled. Neither is Russia’s relationship with the European peninsula. I agree. Friedman explained that geopolitical situation rarely resolve themselves neatly or permanently.
Among the written analysis about Ukraine that I’ve read, it was the Counter Punch’s in depth report written by Diana Johnstone that I realize was the most balanced and accurate reading of what really transpired in Ukraine entitled, “Tightening the US Grip on Western Europe: Washington’s Iron Curtain in Ukraine.” To quote:”NATO leaders are currently acting out a deliberate charade in Europe, designed to reconstruct an Iron Curtain between Russia and the West. Planned in advance, events that they deliberately triggered are being misrepresented as sudden, astonishing, unjustified Russian aggression.
The US and the European Union reportedly undertook an aggressive provocation in Ukraine to force Russia to react defensively. The US was allegedly manipulating political conflict in Ukraine to install a pro-Western government intent on joining NATO. It is a matter of life and death to the Russian navy and allegedly a grave national security threat on Russia’s border.
Johnstone said that it is a trap for Putin, allowing NATO to advance its hostile forces to an ideal attack position. She added that the West was ready for this, prepared to tell that Putin was the ‘New Hitler’, poised to overrun helpless Europe which could only be saved like the ‘Normandy’ by the Americans. But the overwhelming majority of Crimeans are Russian, having been Russian citizens since Khrushchev bestowed the territory on Ukraine in 1954.
The takeover of Ukraine was allegedly planned at Yalta in September 2013 when Ukraine’s richest oligarch, Viktor Pinchuk paid for an elite strategic conference on Ukraine’s future that was held in Yalta, Crimea. This was the same place where Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill met to decide the future of Europe in 1945. Both President Viktor Yanukovych, which was ousted after five months and the recently elected successor Petro Poroshenko were present. Former US energy secretary Bill Richardson was there to talk about the shale gas revolution which the US hopes to use to weaken Russia by substituting fracking for Russia’s natural gas reserves. The prospect of Ukraine’s integration with the West was discussed and the possible break of Ukraine with Russia.
Sergei Glazyev, Putin’s adviser noted that Ukraine was running an enormous foreign accounts deficit, funded with foreign borrowing and the increase in Western imports could only swell the deficit.
Planning to incorporate Ukraine into the sphere of the west would entail serious problems with Russian speaking Ukrainians and to Russia. Instead of working for a compromise, Western leaders allegedly decided to forge ahead and blame Russia for whatever would go wrong. Yanukovych faced an economic collapse, outraged protests ensued which was rapidly exploited by the west.
During the time of Yanukovych, Ukraine was playing a double game, telling the EU that it was interested in signing a trade agreement DCFTA while telling the Russians that it was interested in joining the union. He could not make up his mind and trying to get the best deal out of both sides. He was reportedly not a ‘Moscow’s man’ and his downfall owes a lot to his role in playing the best of both worlds. It was perceived as a dangerous game of pitting big powers against each other.
According to Johnstone, the Russian position is not to split Ukraine because it could be a bridge between East and West. But the arrangement calls for Western readiness to cooperate with Russia which the US vetoed preferring to exploit the crisis.
A blatant provocation, using Ukraine political confusion against Russia has astonishingly succeeded in producing a total change. We are told that the ‘freedom-loving West’ is faced with the threat of Russian expansionism. The US allegedly needs an enemy to save the world and Europe. Washington policy makers seemed to be worried that President Barack Obama’s swing to Asia and neglect of Europe might weaken US control of its NATO allies. The May 25 European Parliament elections revealed a large measure of disaffection with the European Union.
Washington is even able to exploit the anti-communist, anti-Russian and even pro-Nazi nostalgia of Northeastern Europe in order to obstruct the growing economic partnership between the old EU, notably Germany and Russia.
To tighten the grip of US on Europe, the United States is using the artificial crisis to demand that its indebted allies spend more on defense, by purchasing weapons system. The situation in Ukraine is not only a chess game but chess combined with poker combined with Russian roulette, Johnstone concluded.
Pundits believe that the planting of the western values in Ukraine was carried out by NGO’s and non-profit organizations like the NED(National Endowment for democracy) founded in 1983 on the initiative of then US President Ronald Reagan which had been successful in dismantling the USSR. The official website of NED contains information about the organizations close ties with CIA. NED reportedly allocates $2.8 million dollars to implement around 50 projects in Ukraine aimed at the development of democracy and civil society. It also provides support to several youth associations, activists and journalists. This was the reason I wrote about the NGO’s in my previous article so that we will be aware of such lobby groups especially those funded by foreign governments. Most of its trained leaders are expert in propaganda and in destabilizing governments.
Is the Aquino administration turning a blind eye on US environmental violations?
Malacañang has chosen to play favorites, condemning China for its brazen acts against the country’s environment, and yet are absolutely lenient when it comes to US ecological violations.
Is President Aquino not addressing the issue in fear that it will affect RP-US diplomatic relations, especially when much-needed military support has been emphasized after the previous Obama visit?
The Aquino administration’s sincerity in following up the case of the destruction of the Tubbataha reefs over a year ago by both Chinese vessels and US warships found in Philippine waters is put into question due to its lack of interest in pursuing the US while calling for China’s accountability in the incident.
The grounding of the USS Guardian in Tubbataha last 2013 caused the destruction of at least 2,345 square meters of the marine protected area, while Chinese fishing vessels hit the heritage site not long after.
The government is quick to condemn China for the damage it caused, stating that they are here to defy our national sovereignty and poach within Philippine waters.
Environmental groups raised concerns that other marine reserves and areas would not fare so well as the Tubbataha Reef if poaching activities continued.
Meanwhile, the government continues to neglect its obligation to also hold responsible the US whose presence in the Philippines is to guard its country’s interests.
In 2012, a US warship allegedly disposed toxic chemical wastes at Subic Bay, claiming as means of a cover-up that it disposed “waste water” which was already treated aboard the ship.
However, the secret dumping of toxic waste is an affront to Philippine sovereignty, as it showed their utter disregard for the environment and health of the Filipinos.
Importance of Tubbataha
The Tubbataha Reef Marine Park covers about 130,028 hectares, including the North and South Reefs. It is a unique example of an atoll reef with a very high density of marine species, with the North Islet serving as a nesting site for birds and marine turtles.
The site is an excellent example of a pristine coral reef with a 100-meter perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands.
In December 1993, UNESCO declared Tubbataha as a World Heritage Site. With 358 species of mostly hard corals, it is recognized as having one of the most remarkable coral reefs on the planet.
One millimeter of hard corals takes one year to grow, while one meter of hard corals to mature takes approximately 250 years.
According to CNN, Tubbataha is among the top eight dive sites in the world.
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.
( http://musingsbyroy.wordpress.com | 09186449517 | @rqonald8roy | #musingsbyroy)
Ex-Im Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working-capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.
In what could be a landmark deal, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has signed a US$1 billion energy-based memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Philippines’ Department of Energy (DOE).
Specifically, the MOU targets renewable-energy and liquefied natural gas projects in hopes of upgrading and expanding the Philippine energy supply as part of US-Philippines bilateral cooperation.
“The arrangement is a win-win for both our nations and evidences our deep ties and cooperation on numerous economic fronts,” Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg said in a statement released by the US embassy in Manila.
The MOU was signed recently in Washington, DC by Ex-Im Bank board director Patricia Loui and DOE undersecretary Raul B. Aguilos.
Under the MOU, Ex-Im Bank and the DOE will exchange information with an eye to matching development needs in the Philippines with innovative goods and services offered by American exporters.
Since 1993, Ex-Im Bank provided US$1.3 billion in energy-sector finance to the Philippines.
“We aim to outdo ourselves and target another billion with this memorandum of understanding,” Loui said.
“Our expertise can contribute both to the renovation of current energy-production facilities and the construction of new ones,” she added.
In 1994, Ex-Im Bank financed the first project-finance transactions in the Philippines for geothermal energy – the Cebu geothermal, US$170 million; and the Mahanagdong geothermal project, also in Cebu, US$211 million.
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that creates and maintains U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers.
The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working-capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.
In the past fiscal year alone, Ex-Im Bank earned for U.S. taxpayers more than US$1 billion above the cost of operations.
In FY 2013, Ex-Im Bank approved more than US$27 billion in total authorizations to support an estimated $37.4 billion in U.S. export sales and approximately 205,000 American jobs in communities across the country.
This year, the Bank approved a record 3,413 transactions– or 89 percent–for small-businesses.
The Ex-Im DOE deal is in line with the U.S.-Philippines Partnership for Growth (PPG), program.
The highly innovative program, which resulted from US President Obama’s September 2010 policy directive on global development, is a high-level initiative focused on economic growth in countries committed to good governance.
In the Philippines, the PPG aligns with policy reform areas outlined by President Aquino in the Philippine Development Plan.
Under the plan, the US has committed to placing the Philippines on a path to sustained and more inclusive economic growth, and elevating it to the ranks of other high-performing emerging economies.
As envisioned, the US-backed PPG takes a comprehensive approach to development that reaches beyond traditional foreign assistance.
It also aims to address the most significant constraints to growth and to stimulate inclusive economic expansion. A joint analysis identified governance and inability to capture revenue as the top constraints to growth in the Philippines.
The PPG leverages the resources and tools of partners, especially the private sector, to increase the effectiveness of policies and institutions necessary for development.
USAID and Millennium Challenge Corporation provides more than US$800 million funding over five years to support PPG projects.
The U.S.-Philippines five-year Joint Country Action Plan prioritized the creation of a more transparent, predictable, and consistent legal and regulatory regime.
Similarly, it seeks to foster a more open and competitive business environment, strengthen the rule of law and support fiscal stability through better revenue and expenditure management.
The U.S. government has committed to a sustained inter-agency engagement in support of the PPG’s goal and objectives.
Since2011, the Philippine government has made significant progress in implementing policy and institutional reforms.
It has also achieved remarkable improvements in economic growth, competitiveness, tax revenues, and sovereign debt ranking to ensure that the growth generated is inclusive and sustainable.
Nothing much can be expected from US President Barack Obama in his April 28-29 official visit in Manila.While he is likely to reassure the Philippines of Americans’ commitment to defend the Philippines in its raging territorial dispute with China, it will not make a difference, given how the US has been badly treating its Asia-Pacific ally over the past decades.
Since both countries forged their so-called Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) in 1951, the US hardly cared about the poor state of the Philippines’ military capability.
Calls by Manila for increase in American military aid usually fell on deaf ears among policy makers in Washington. Whatever the Americans gave were nothing more than second-hand hardware – either of World War II vintage or their leftovers in the Vietnam war era.
Now that the geo-political situation has vastly changed, it’s time for both strategic allies to redraw their treaty or risk overtaken by new and bold challenges.
From what was once dubbed the “sleeping giant,” China has suddenly awaken, emerging as the biggest threat to the Philippines’ security interests as both have interlocking claims to the oil-rich Spratlys islands.
With superior naval assets patrolling the disputed chain of islands, China has bullied the Philippines, long perceived as militarily weak.
In the face of China’s aggressiveness in asserting its sovereign claims to the Sprawls, also referred to as the west Philippine sea, Manila in not a few times wanted to invoke the MDT which many politicians label as a mere paper tiger.
But thanks to cooler heads, the MDT remains as a last resort mechanism to avoid what’s likely to be a bigger problem – war.
Hopefully, Obama will use his two-day visit to assess the Philippines’ defense needs, especially in light that the two countries will enter into a new security alliance under the banner of the so-called enhanced defense security agreement.
An offshoot of months of hard bargaining, Filipino negotiators were hard put as they had to reckon with the Constitutional ban on the presence of foreign bases on Philippine soil.
In the end, they had to compromise as Manila agreed to allow US forces the use of Philippines-builtmilitary installations.
For both countries, it’s a win-win situation as they usher in a paradigm shift in their strategic ties, given China’s surging aggression in the hotly contested Spratlys.For the US, Manila’s nod to a new pact gives the Americans the leeway needed as they reposition their defense forces from theMiddle East to Asia.
Under Barack’s pivot policy, the Philippines plays a crucial role because of its strategic location in keeping peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
But more than the much-needed military materiel, the Philippines badly requires America’s political succor as its row with China has assumed complex dimensions.Neither has China eased up in its flexing its military muscle in the high seas nor has it showed signs of flexibility in its diplomatic rapport with the Philippines.
As the world’s policeman, the US is in the best position to cool the tensions between Manila and Beijing for the sake of regional peace and stability.
In a statement released by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP),the insurgent group condemns both the US and Chinese governments for “acting like bullies in their effort to fortify their military foothold in the South China Sea to the detriment of the Filipino people’s sovereignty claims over the islands and land formations and territorial waters within the country’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone.”
The CPP denounced both the Chinese and US governments for carrying out maneuvers and counter-maneuvers last March 29, while a Philippine boat delivered supplies to the Philippine outpost ship BRP Sierra Madre, stationed at the Ayungin Shoal since 1999. News reports indicate that the Chinese Coast Guard attempted to prevent the Philippine supply boat from reaching the Ayungin shoal.The group also criticized the US military for reportedly carrying out fly-bys to project and assert its power and control of the area.
The CPP further denounced the Aquino regime for playing to the US hegemonist plan to establish its permanent presence in the South China Sea by invoking US military support, seeking increased US military financing and protection. The group says that the fly-by of US jets over the Ayungin shoals last March 29 was carried out with the permission of the Philippine armed forces, although AFP officials feigned ignorance. Malacañang also pretended to be unaware of the US fly-bys when it declared that the Philippine supply boat just “somehow managed” to reach the outpost ship despite the presence of the Chinese Coast Guard ship.
The CPP claims that it has long supported the demand of the Filipino people to assert Philippine sovereignty over the small islands and land formations in the South China Sea within the country’s 200-mile economic zone. It also asserted that the group has long called for a peaceful resolution of the conflicts through diplomatic negotiations and international arbitration.
“The US imperialists have long been the biggest violators of Philippine sovereignty,” the group insists in their public statement. They said that the United States’ historical record of aggression and colonization of the Philippines is “incomparable to that of China, which has never deployed its military in the Philippines, prior to sailing its coast guard boats in Philippine territorial waters.”
The CPP notes, “The US has further entrenched itself in the Philippines. It has further strengthened its foothold by maintaining a permanent military presence in the Philippines.”
The CPP contends that further strengthening the US’ military foothold in the Philippines does not help the Philippine cause to advance sovereign claims over the South China Sea islands, formations and territorial waters. Heightening US military presence, according to them, counters the Philippines’ efforts to strengthen its sovereignty claims as it puts the Philippines under the dominance of the US military.
The group further adds, “In asserting Philippine claims while invoking US military support, the Aquino regime is actually seeking to become a protectorate of the US government, subjecting the entire country, including the international trade routes in the South China Sea, to US control. To be ‘protected’ by a bigger bully who claims to be a friend to fend off another bully is to forever be under the sway of that bigger bully.”
THE United States (US) government has sent a second destroyer to the Gulf of Thailand to help in the ongoing search efforts for the missing Malaysia Airlines which is believed to have crashed, possibly killing all 239 passengers and crew aboard.
The US Embassy in Manila, in a statement, said that the USS Kidd, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Pinckney.
It said that the USS Kidd, like the USS Pinckney, has two MH-60R Seahawk helicopters which are designed for search and rescue, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, surveillance, communications relay, naval gunfire support and logistics support.Said helicopters can fly a maximum of 180 knots with a ceiling of 13,000ft, have a maximum range of 245 nautical miles and the capability to conduct searches at nights using its forward looking infra-red camera.
In a 3.5 hour sortie, the HM-60R helicopter can search a 400-600 square nautical mile area, depending on the size of object it’s trying to find, the wind and sea condition, and visibility.According to the Embassy, the destroyers were conducting training and maritime security operations in international waters in the South China Sea before they were sent to assist in the search efforts.
It added that the Malaysian government has assigned the USS Kidd to conduct helicopter search in the southwest section of the Gulf of Thailand, while the USS Pinckney is in the northeast portion.
Both are multi-mission ships with a crew of more than 300 sailors each. They are designed to operate independently or with a group.Furthermore, the Embassy said that the US Navy has sent one maritime patrol aircraft, a P-3C Orion from the Grey Knights of Patrol Squadron 46, from Subang Jaya, Malaysia.
The P-3C Orion is searching an area West of Malaysia in the northern straits of Malacca and Andaman Sea.The Orion has the ability to fly for longer periods and can cover about 1,000 to 1,500 square miles an hour.Its sensors allow the crew to clearly detect small debris in the water. But so far, the Embassy said, ships and aircrafts have not sighted any debris associated with aircraft wreckage.
The Malaysian Boeing 777 took off Saturday morning for Beijing, China and was believed to be flying on Vietnamese airspace when it lost contact with radar controllers.The plane had 239 people on board, including two infants. – William Dipasupil