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US: RP’s worst ‘best friend’ DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 06/27/2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

US: RP’s worst ‘best friend’

Herman Tiu Laurel
A cacophony of voices ranting and raving about what to do in response to a rival claimant’s presence in certain areas of the South China Sea can be heard these days. If these big and loud words only came from credible voices, I would stand up and take heed. But knowing the empty record of many of these bellows of bellicosity, including that young trapo Joey Salceda, who issued that silly boycott call, or the man often dubbed “De Cash-tro” for his perceived chauvinism and underhanded “journalism,” patriotic and nationalist rhetoric just become jingoist and vacuous.

It’s also hard to take seriously what Malacañang’s spinmasters are doing of late, such as recasting their president as a patriot or renaming as the “West Philippine Sea” what has been marked in the World Atlas for thousands of years as the “South China Sea.” Such pompous acts can hardly qualify as “patriotic” given that Philippine officialdom has completely ignored the nation’s enslavement to the US-IMF in its growing annual debt service of P800 billion, which continues to bedevil our finances, economy, and military defense capabilities.

Unwilling to tackle such real fundamental issues as resolving the debilitating 50-year national debt trap, those bellicose voices have instead turned to grasping at one of the flimsiest straws — RP’s so-called “alliance” with the United States of America.

If our history with that North American country were to be the gauge for it, then the Philippines is absolutely doomed. The US committed its first international betrayal of the budding Philippine nation when it stole our forefathers’ victory against their 400-year colonial master Spain and established its own colonialism after killing a million Filipinos, including a hundred thousand or so in the island of Samar.
Then, in the Second World War, the US sacrificed the Philippines to concentrate on the European theater of war and then staged a dramatic return by destroying it. History, as everyone should know, cites Manila as the second most devastated city in the world in that war (beaten only by Warsaw).

This was what Thomas Huber in his The Battle of Manila said of the military option that could have avoided Manila’s devastation: “Lieutenant General Walter Krueger, commander of the US 6th Army, apparently believed that Manila was not a genuine center of gravity and planned to bypass it. Krueger, whose force landed on the beaches of Lingayen Gulf on Jan. 27 1945, also favored delaying any attack on Manila until he could build up his assets and consolidate his position on the Lingayen coast.”

Instead, the vainglorious American Centurion, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, prepared a victory parade that was frustrated by a Japanese naval commander with 17,000 men defying Yamashita’s order to evacuate Manila; for this or other reasons MacArthur ordered the attack on Manila, pulverizing 80 percent of its structures and killing 100,000 of its civilians. It was a retired Filipino Army general who reminded me of this historical fact, as a pointed reaction to all the media hype on the Philippines ’ reliance on US military support.

Another retired Air Force general stated how everybody is going about it the wrong way, by expecting the US to come to the Philippines’ aid in the event of a clash with China. What he said is that the Philippines must learn to go it alone if it really wants to stand up for its territorial interests. He kept repeating that we must act as “THE Philippines ,” i.e. as one nation preparing for its defense even by its lonesome. And that only means rebuilding our economy, our industrial infrastructure, and our defense capabilities.

When I proposed that the country should first rid itself of over 250 trapos in Congress who eat up all our budgets, everyone agreed. Indeed, how can we prepare ourselves when half the national resources are eaten up by debt service and the rest by corruption?

Alas, little prepared me for the shock — in light of what the retired army general and our history books say of the US’ military record — upon reading Teddy “Boy” Locsin’s opinion piece in BusinessMirror last June 23 entitled, “Bring back the US bases and their nukes, Part I.” But this is precisely the attitude that the retired Air Force general scoffed at — dependence on external support while eschewing the primordial task of building the nation, its identity, its national spirit, its sense of purpose, unity and sacrifice.

Given what we know already of the US military and political establishments’ propensity to sacrifice all others to protect its own, in a nuclear conflict scenario, it will deliberately set up the Philippines as a key ballistic magnet for China’s first strikes against any forward attack facilities of the US. It’s going to be a repeat of the destruction of Manila but on a national scale, with radioactive damage dwarfing the Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Chernobyl, and Fukushima nuclear disasters combined.

We must take a position against involving foreign countries in our national struggles — the way belligerent Vietnam is doing or by way of Thailand’s use of tact and diplomacy (as it did in World War II and the Vietnam War).

If the Philippines can’t go it alone in standing up for its territorial sovereignty, then we’re a hopeless case. No external power will respect us enough to give us serious support except for opportunistic purposes, which will be useless and ultimately harmful to all Filipinos.

In the middle of the last century, some of our countrymen mistakenly thought of latching on to the Japanese imperial forces to eject US colonialism. In fact, Benigno Aquino III’s grandfather led the Kalibapi while his grandmother headed its women’s bureau. How ironic it is that the grandson now thinks he can use the country’s neocolonial ties to the US to rebuff China’s persistent territorial claims. He obviously doesn’t know that he wins nothing but only loses more for the nation in the end.

(Tune in to Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m., and Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; Talk News TV with HTL, Tuesday, 8 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8, on “Crushing Coconut Farmers’ Hopes”; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com for our articles plus TV and radio archives)
(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110627com5.html

When is a joke a joke? EDITORIAL 06/27/2011

When is a joke a joke?

Click to enlarge
Everything does not sound right when the Palace asks the public to get used to the character shifts of Noynoy, particularly when the President is joking and when he’s not.

That was what in effect Noy’s spokesman Abigail Valte told reporters when she asked them to ignore Noy’s statement about the three Cabinet men who he said were bearers of bad news as it was said in jest.

The statement, however, will be hard to dismiss as it was made at the middle of a commotion over Noy’s KKK (kaibigan, kaklase, kabarilan) and amid rumors of a Cabinet revamp.

You know the President, he is fond of making jokes, Valte said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110627com1.html

Creating more enemies FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/27/2011

Creating more enemies

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy and his aides are creating more enemies, instead of friends, which is a pretty stupid thing to do, because in the end, Noynoy and his boys will be needing friends a lot more, especially since his ratings have been going downhill and people are starting to see the truth of his “nobody home” presidency.

The Palace mouthpieces, as well as Noynoy still haven’t gotten out of their campaign attack mode that makes Noynoy look so unpresidential, throughly belligerent and coarse to boot.
Cotabato Mayor Japal Guiani, after Noynoy’s photo-op visit in Mindanao, said Noynoy came and went without even offering any solution to the perennial flooding problem in that area, and that he did not even bring relief goods for the suffering flood victims, and no funds have been released at all.

Edwin Lacierda, acting like a canto boy, immediately called Guiani a liar, saying that Noynoy brought relief goods for the flood victims..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110627com2.html

Guinea’s reconciliation blocked by violent past focus 06/27/2011

Guinea’s reconciliation blocked by violent past


CONAKRY — National reconciliation promised by Guinea’s new President Alpha Conde will be an uphill process in a nation scarred by half a century of political and ethnic killings, observers say.

Conde, long in opposition before being elected six months ago to run the west African country, has vowed to unite Guinea’s patchwork of ethnic groups but sceptics point to major obstacles.

“There is not just economic under-development in Guinea, there is also mental under-development,” said Mamadou Bhoye Barry, leader of the opposition Union for National Progress (UPN).

This manifested in hostile “ethnic divisions,” according to Barry, who said Conde’s promise to push reconcilation after his election last November “is not being carried out on the ground, though the will is there.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110627com3.html

Michael Ray clears Erap, Ping on twin murder cases By Benjamin B. Pulta 06/27/2011


Michael Ray clears Erap, Ping on twin murder cases

By Benjamin B. Pulta 06/27/2011

Michael Ray Aquino, the extradited former police intelligence officer after spending a jail term in the United States, has cleared his former boss, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, and former President Joseph Estrada of involvement in the murders of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and the latter’s driver, Emmanuel Corbito.

In a statement forwarded to newsmen, Aquino himself denied being involved in the killings.

“I was interviewed by the media 10 years ago and I categorically denied any knowledge of, and participation and involvement in, the alleged Dacer-Corbito case. That’s the truth and nothing has changed since then. Then and now, I still maintain my innocence,” Aquino’s statement said.

“Moreover, I want the nation to know I was not ordered by President Joseph Ejercito Estrada or Senator Panfilo M. Lacson to kidnap, harm and/or murder anyone specifically Mr. Salvador Dacer and Mr. Emmanuel Corbito. I cannot add any more details since I don’t know anything more (about the murders),” he added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110627hed1.html

UN fears disease outbreaks amid Mindanao floods 06/27/2011

UN fears disease outbreaks amid Mindanao floods

Nearly half a million children displaced by heavy flooding in southern Philippines could face an outbreak of diarrhea and pneumonia, the United Nations yesterday said.

Vanessa Tobin, country representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), said about 450,000 children were among the tens of thousands affected when floods swamped over two dozen towns in Mindanao the past two weeks.

The floods were caused by the overflowing of the Rio Grande, the country’s second-longest river, after water hyacinths clogged a huge section of the system and prevented it from emptying into the sea.

Authorities had said some low-lying communities remained flooded, and Tobin said this raised concerns over the possibility of children contracting diseases such as diarrhea and pneumonia..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110627hed3.html

Basilan bomb explosion kills two, wounds 11 By Mario J. Mallari 06/27/2011

Basilan bomb explosion kills two, wounds 11

By Mario J. Mallari 06/27/2011

Two persons were killed while 11 others were wounded after an explosion rocked a restaurant in Basilan province last Saturday, the military reported yesterday.

Col. Alexander Macario, commander of the Special Operations Task Force, said that the blast hit Mon’s Kitchenette located along Roxas Street in Isabela City around 5:30 p.m.

According to Macario, he immediately dispatched a company of Special Forces, led by Capt. Erlito Roldan, to cordon off the area an assist in the investigation..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110627nat1.html

Bill seeking to look into importation of pre-mixed sugar filed By Angie M. Rosales 06/27/2011

Bill seeking to look into importation of pre-mixed sugar filed

By Angie M. Rosales 06/27/2011

Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri moved to have an inquiry in the upper chamber over the noticeable increase in the importation of pre-mixed sugar in recent months which, could lead the possible collapse of the sugar industry as well as loss in government revenues.

The senator filed Resolution No. 517 to effect an investigation on the reported technical smuggling of sugar following reports from the National Federation of Sugar Planters Inc., on the increased importation or about one million 50-kilo bags of premixed sugar in 2010.

This practice of importing sugar premix is purportedly to evade the payment of tariff on sugar and is considered as technical smuggling, since under the existing Tariff Code, premix products containing less than 65 percent of sugar is tariff -free while importation of sugar premix which exceeds the allowable percentage carries a tariff of 38 percent.

But laboratory analysis from the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) showed that some of these sugar premix importations contained 99.55% sugar..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110627nat3.html

CA okays payment of $6M to CAP creditors By Benjamin B. Pulta 06/27/2011

CA okays payment of $6M to CAP creditors

By Benjamin B. Pulta 06/27/2011

The Court of Appeals (CA) has cleared the way for debt-ridden pre-need firm, College Assurance Plan Philippines Inc. (CAP), to settle $6 million in outstanding obligations to its creditors despite opposition from plan holders-customers.

In a 26-page decision by Associate Justice Rosmari Carandang, the CA’s Ninth Division set aside the orders issued by the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 149 disapproving the payment of CAP’s obligation to Smart Share Investments Ltd. and Fil-Estate Management Inc. (FEMI).

The two firms like CAP are also controlled by the Sobrepeñas. “After a careful and painstaking examination of the records of the case, this Court finds merit in the petition. The public respondent committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it disapproved the payment of CAP’s obligations to Smart and FEMI from the proceeds of the sale of the MRT III Bonds,” the CA said.

Some of CAP’s 700,000 plan holders opposed the use of the proceeds of the MRT III bonds to pay for CAP’s obligations and claimed the money should only be used to pay them..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110627met2.html

Lawmakers urge DENR to put a stop to massive, indiscriminate sale of ‘tuko’ By Charlie V. Manalo 06/27/2011

Lawmakers urge DENR to put a stop to massive, indiscriminate sale of ‘tuko’

By Charlie V. Manalo 06/27/2011

The gecko-hunting frenzy that is now sweeping many of the country’s rural communities has called the attention of several congressmen who now want the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to look into the massive and indiscriminate trading of geckos, a specie of lizards belonging to the family Gekkonidae, found in warm climates throughout the world and known locally in the Philippines as “tuko.”

Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento warned that this fad might push the extinction of this particular animal which is known to feed on insects such as mosquitoes and flies and cause irreversible effects on the environment.

According to Sarmiento, the Internet and even some of the country’s top buy-and-sell magazines are flooded with classified ads on gecko trading, some of which even claim to be agents of the World Health Organization (WHO)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110627met1.html

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