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What’s the point in the standoff with China?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What’s the point in the standoff with China?


By BENJIE OLIVEROS
Bulatlat.com
There is so much government and media hype over the country’s disputes with China. First it was about the territorial dispute over the Spratly Islands. Now it is about the standoff at Scarborough shoal. It seems as if somebody is trying to stoke the tensions or create a crisis.

At the center of it all is Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III who swings from declaring that he is all for a diplomatic resolution to the Spratly islands dispute to begging for assurances of support and weapons from the US; from sending a coast guard cutter to the Scarborough shoal purportedly to “defuse the tension” to declaring that his government is not inclined to go to war with China. But now the US-RP joint military exercises are being held near the disputed waters.

What is the point in all this?

Is it about asserting the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity? Perhaps, but why is the Aquino government trying to assert it by surrendering the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity to the US by begging it for support and weapons, and by “inviting” it to station more troops in the country?.... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/04/18/whats-the-point-in-the-standoff-with-china/

Fishy deals in the ‘daang matuwid’ EDITORIAL 04/18/2012

Fishy deals in the ‘daang matuwid’

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
04/18/2012
Fossil fuel is the most expensive fuel in the world today, while privatization in this country has proven not to be beneficial to the Filipinos, as higher prices and the same sloppy and bum service follow after a government sells the country’s assets.

And yet there went Noynoy, announcing to one and all that he plans to sell all government power plants in the country, including hydroelectric plants as this is one way to attract investors.

In the time of Noynoy’s mother, her solution to the eight-hour daily blackouts problem which she and her administrators created in the first place, was to come up with overpriced contracts for fuel barges, which initially solved the problem, but ended with the consumers paying more for the cost of power..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120418com1.html

By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com
MANILA – Amid the impasse in the peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), another consultant of the NDFP was arrested April 3.
Renante Gamara and a companion Santiago Balleta were arrested by armed men in plainclothes in Las Pinas, Metro Manila. The NDFP said the two were not shown any warrant of arrest and were handcuffed and brought to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

“Gamara’s illegal arrest and continued detention is a gross violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig),” the NDFP said in a statement sent through email.

Jasig guarantees the safety and immunity of consultants and staff of both parties. Under the agreement, consultants and staff may use assumed names for their security.

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit of the National Capital Region confiscated Gamara’s belongings including his NDFP Document of Identification No. ND 978236 with assumed name of Siling Perez. Gamara protested his arrest as he is supposed to be protected under Jasig, and showed the arresting forces his JASIG Document of Information card. The arresting forces only took it and said that they will turn it over to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/04/16/ndfp-condemns-arrest-of-another-consultant/

Ron Paul says he'd protect Bradley Manning and other whistleblowers (w/ Video)


Ron Paul says he'd protect Bradley Manning and other whistleblowers

As Bradley Manning awaits his next appearance in court, the pool of presidential candidates have been slow to comment on the prosecution against the US Army private accused of providing government secrets to WikiLeaks. Except for Ron Paul, that is.

President Barack Obama called Manning “guilty” even before he was brought to trial for his alleged role with WikiLeaks, but GOP presidential hopeful Texas Congressman Ron Paul told supporters last week that he thinks it isn’t quite as simple as that.

Addressing supporters in San Antonio, Texas last week, Congressman Paul weighed in on the whistleblower’s role in bringing light to governmental scandal..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/ron-paul-manning-wikileaks-308/

Leaked CIA memo exposes US terror suspect torture as 'war crimes'


Leaked CIA memo exposes US terror suspect torture as 'war crimes'

The US is refraining from defining waterboarding and other questionable interrogation methods it used to apply to terrorist suspects as torture, possibly with a view to using them once again someday.

Years after the Bush administration left office, many feel President Obama is not doing enough to make up for America's past mistakes. This includes torture treatment of terrorist suspects by the US investigators.

Such torture techniques include waterboarding, stress positions and other methods of interrogation welcomed into American secret service after 9/11 paved the way for the War on Terror..... MORE

SourceRt.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/us-torture-techniques-waterboarding-232/

Fomenting anti-Korean, anti-Chinese sentiments meant to justify increased US presence?

Fomenting anti-Korean, anti-Chinese sentiments meant to justify increased US presence?

Why is the Aquino government suddenly being combative against China, over the disputed Spratly Islands, and North Korea over its satellite launch?
See also: US, Aquino govts accused of hypocrisy over nuke issue
Philippine govt compromises own Scarborough claim

By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com
MANILA – Sudden “tension” at the Scarborough shoal, seemingly contradictory government statements over North Korea’s satellite launch (such as the “highly unlikely but probable” danger being raised by Defense Undersecretary Benito Ramos), government officials’ intermittent discussions of the Chinese threat at the Spratlys – these are just some of the security worries occupying the Aquino government as reported by the mainstream media. But do these really constitute threats or, as some critics asked, are these just preparations for justifying the arrival of more than 4,700 US troops this month?

Until the Philippine government started arresting Chinese fisherfolk at Scarborough shoal, Filipino fisherfolk living near and fishing at the rich shoal told a TV interview that they and the Taiwanese and Chinese fisherfolk have all been fishing together in that shoal. There was no enmity and tension, based on their accounts. Some fisherfolk even said that at times, when they have no catch yet, those Chinese or Taiwanese fisherfolk would even share with them their catch. All the Filipino fisherfolk pray is that they will not be barred from fishing in the shoal.

As to the impending North Korean launch of a satellite, geopolitics expert Prof. Roland Simbulan told Bulatlat.com that the government warnings against the potential risks due to the launch, such as falling debris, for example, are “exaggerated.” There is no truth to that, said Simbulan, explaining that the debris from the rockets to be used for the launch would shatter into small pieces as it falls into the earth..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/04/13/fomenting-anti-korean-anti-chinese-sentiments-meant-to-justify-increased-us-presence/

VP, Noy, Erap top endorsers for 2013 Senate race — survey By Gerry Baldo 04/18/2012

VP, Noy, Erap top endorsers for 2013 Senate race — survey

By Gerry Baldo 04/18/2012

Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay has come out as the top endorser of senatorial candidates, followed by President Aquino and former President Joseph Estrada, so says a March survey conducted by Pulse Asia.
It is, however, much too early in the day for a validation of the survey results, as the 2013 polls are still a year away and changes in the political situations will likely occur.

Also seen as a “positive” factor in the vote equation is the respondent’s church and religious group as their members are likely to vote along church lines.

It is, however, only the Iglesia ni Cristo that has a solid vote power that is delivered at the polls by Iglesia members, as the INC votes solidly as a bloc.

The El Shaddai group is also said to have influence over its flock, but the El Shaddai vote is hardly solid..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120418hea1.html

China snubs RP proposal for UN to mediate rift By Michaela P. del Callar 04/18/2012

China snubs RP proposal for UN to mediate rift

By Michaela P. del Callar 04/18/2012

China yesterday ignored a Philippine government proposal to bring a dangerous maritime standoff over a disputed shoal to the United Nations (UN) for resolution and instead ordered a Philippine Coast Guard ship and a research vessel to leave the area, further prolonging the dangerous impasse.

Last Monday, the government proposed to bring the disputes to the UN-affiliated International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) to determine which among the two nations can actually claim ownership to the Scarborough Shoal northwest of the Philippines near the South China Sea.

But on Tuesday, Chinese officials ignored the offer and instead demanded the Philippine side “to withdraw all of their vessels” from the area and “restore peace and stability there.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120418hea5.html

P300,000 bounty up for heads of Reyes brothers By Gina Peralta-Elorde 04/18/2012

P300,000 bounty up for heads of Reyes brothers

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 04/18/2012
A P300,000 bounty has been offered by private-sector supporters of slain broadcaster and environmentalist Dr. Gerardo Ortega to any informant who can provide leads for the arrest of the alleged murder masterminds, former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes and his brother, Coron town Mayor Mario Reyes Jr.

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo disclosed that the funds were pooled from those offered by his friends from the private sector and the fund-raising efforts of the camp of Ortega’s widow, Patria Ortega.

“The camp of Mrs. Ortega has put up P100,000 and my friends from the private sector also were able to raise P200,000. That’s a total of P300,000 as reward money to any informant who could provide us leads for the arrest of the Reyes brothers,” the DILG chief said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120418nat2.html

Luistro defends direct contracting for textbooks By Jason Faustino 04/18/2012

Luistro defends direct contracting for textbooks

By Jason Faustino 04/18/2012

Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro defended his office against accusations that it broke the law when it when it procured textbooks for public schools through a direct contract instead of bidding it out, saying the department cannot only consider the cheapest price but also quality and other factors.

Nationalist People’s Coalition Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile Jr. of Cagayan earlier said various civil society groups have claimed that the DepEd violated the law on government procurements.

Enrile also said the department’s questionable procurement of textbooks amounting to P1.3 billion defeats the Aquino administration’s “straight-path” policy..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120418nat1.html

Two holdup men preying on jeepney passengers slain in Quiapo shootout By Pat C. Santos 04/18/2012

Two holdup men preying on jeepney passengers slain in Quiapo shootout

By Pat C. Santos 04/18/2012
Two unidentified robbers who were victimizing passengers of public utility jeepneys were killed by members of the Manila Police District (MPD)-Station 3 when they broke into a checkpoint and and were chased by policemen early dawn Monday in Quiapo, Manila.

Police described one of the suspects as between 20 and 25 years old and about 5’6” to 5’7” in height, brown complexioned, of medium build and wearing a green and maroon T-shirt and a pair of white striped jersey shorts.

The second suspect was described as between 22 and 27 years old, 5’2” in height, brown complexioned, of medium build and wearing sports black T-shirt and a pair of gray jersey shorts and had a tattoo on the chest. Both the suspects sustained bullet wounds in various parts of their bodies..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120418met2.html

Notorious carjack ring leader meted 30 years 04/18/2012

Notorious carjack ring leader meted 30 years

04/18/2012
Raymond Dominguez, leader of the notorious Dominguez carjacking group, was sentenced to 30 years in jail after he was found guilty of carjacking that happened two years ago.

Malolos Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 84 Judge Wilfredo Nieves meted the punishment to Dominguez to a minimum of 17 years and four months to a maximum of 30 years in jail for the crime he committed.

The judge at the time ordered the immediate transfer of Dominguez from Bulacan detention to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, City..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120418met1.html

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