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On Philippine sovereignty, US & China

Friday, April 20, 2012

On Philippine sovereignty, US & China



The standoff with China over the Scarborough shoal and the competing claims over the Spratly Islands have been all over the news recently. The Aquino government has been blowing hot and cold in its dealings with China. Its only consistent position is allowing the US to increase its military presence in the country and justifying a more frequent conduct of US-RP Balikatan joint military exercises.

It is ironical that while the Aquino government is asserting the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity over these oil-rich areas, it is surrendering the same to the US.

In the interest of presenting a different and progressive perspective, Bulatlat is publishing in full the reply of Prof. Jose Maria Sison of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle on the questions being raised by Renato Reyes of Bayan regarding this contentious issue.

Reply to Questions from Renato Reyes, BAYAN Secretary General

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
April 20, 2012


Renato Reyes (RR): I hope that you can answer briefly the following questions re China, Philippines and the assertion of national sovereignty. We have an all-leaders meeting this Saturday and we are trying to get views on how to deal with the issue of China’s incursions on Philippine territory, the Aquino regime’s response and US intervention.

Jose Maria Sison (JMS): First of all, as a matter of principle, the Filipino people must assert their national sovereignty and Philippine territorial integrity over the issue of Spratlys (Kalayaan) and other islands, reefs and shoals which are well within the 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) defined by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). According to the Philippine reactionary government, it submitted on time to the UN the necessary scientific and technical grounds to define the Philippine 200-mile EEZ under UNCLOS.

The UNCLOS is the strongest legal basis for the definition of the territorial sea and EEZ of the Philippine archipelago. Also, archaeological evidence shows that the islands, reefs and shoals at issue have been used by inhabitants of what is now the Philippines since prehistoric times. But the Philippine reactionary government muddles the issue and undermines its own position by making historical claims that date back only to a few decades agowhen pseudo-admiral Cloma made formal claims to the Kalayaan group of islands.

Chinese historical claims since ancient times amount to an absurdity as this would be like Italy claiming as its sovereign possession all areas previously occupied by the Roman empire. The name China Sea was invented by European cartographers and should not lead anyone to think that the entire sea belongs to China. In the same vein, neither does the entire Indian Ocean belong to India..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/04/20/on-philippine-sovereignty-us-china/

‘Mindanao Action Party’: A political jihad DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 04/20/2012

‘Mindanao Action Party’: A political jihad

DIE HARD III
Herman Tiu Laurel
04/20/2012
The final insult to our Mindanaoan brothers and sisters who have politely raised their appeal the past few months to the national political authorities for action on the Mindanao power crisis came via the cancellation of the April 19, 2012 meet by the Joint Congressional Power Commission (JCPC), the body tasked to oversee the implementation of the power privatization law known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira).

The cancellation, according to its chairman, Sen. Serge Osmeña, was due to the absence of his co-chairman, Rep. Henedina Abad, as well as those of other members who could not confirm their attendance. Given these characters’ track record, the past 10 years of sitting on urgent issues in their respective energy committees, “postponement” is likely a deliberate delay in furtherance of their covert pressure tactics.

While Osmeña takes his easy time, the JCPC is keeping roughly 30 million Mindanaoans waiting in darkness. This is clearly the reason for some Mindanaoans to now take matters into their own hands.
Early Wednesday morning we got an urgent call from veteran political warrior Homobono Adaza. In the midst of handling countless legal cases, from the power plunder and the Corona impeachment to several political-legal-economic issues in tandem with lawyer Alan Paguia, Adaza has decided to spring into action in response to the blatant imperialism of Manila’s elite politicians against the people of Mindanao.

The power summit in Davao where approximately a thousand people from all over Mindanao attended, hoping to have a dialog with BS Aquino III, instead became a forum where they were treated to an imperial dressing down and ordered to “pay up or face blackouts,” and told further to accept the privatization of Mindanao’s “crown jewel,” the Agus-Pulangi hydroelectric system.

Then, as if to rub salt on an open wound, Mindanaoans were made to expect some dialog later in the JCPC, only to be so rudely cancelled until the next whim of the man who calls them “spoiled” brats.

Apparently, the evening before, Adaza was already in consultation with numerous Mindanao citizens and political leaders where a consensus was reached that Mindanao should organize again — as it did during the long Marcos period — a political party of its own to redress the grievous shortchanging it has been getting from Manila’s “elite imperialists.” Adaza certainly has had experience on this as he was one of the major organizers of the victorious Mindanao Alliance in the 1970s that catapulted him, Reuben Canoy, and Nene Pimentel to national prominence.

Adaza’s brief on Mindanao’s current predicament reads like an oft-repeated wish list: First, Mindanao has not had sufficient representation in the seat of national political policy, the Senate; second, the Epira issue needs strong Mindanao representation that will not only “appeal” but take decisive political action to repair the damage that has been done; third, as a counter-measure, Mindanao should win a fair share of the Senate seats, at least four of 12, up for grabs in 2013.

The call of Adaza for the “Mindanao Action Party” (MAP) will ring loud and clear to all Mindanaoans; thus, Luzon and the Visayas must support this for their own sake.

We have seen the fighting spirit of our Mindanao brothers, unspoiled by Manila’s politics and pampering which the regional and provincial politicians in the political center have fallen for. Though we don’t know yet if Adaza himself will be a MAP candidate, we hope that more like him from Mindanao will pick up the mantle of being the people’s champion in the coming senatorial elections to show these corrupted national leaders what it means to fight for the people’s cause.

The fundamental strategy I surmise is to consolidate Mindanao’s votes which would be around 11 million today, enough to put MAP’s candidates into the last four slots of the Senate. In 2010, the 12th, and tail-ender TG Guingona, who now sits as a Lopez backstop next to Osmeña, got 9.6 million votes. Mindanao’s fight now is a national fight, which Mindanao has actually carried on where Luzon and the Visayas found themselves exhausted after 10 years of protesting the Epira. Mindanao is also the final frontier for the foreign and local power oligarchs to subdue, just as it was when the Spaniards and Americans tried to pacify the whole country for their colonial domination but were stopped in Mindanao.

The power oligarchs, through the mouth of Serge Osmeña, are saying they want to raise the power rates in Mindanao to the level of Cagayan de Oro of P7.50 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) at this time, which is $0.18 per kWh and higher than even Hong Kong’s $0.14 per kWh. Even if that rate were lower than Manila’s or the national average of $0.23 per kWh today, the aim of the oligarchs is to eventually even all this out to the Manila and national average. These have all been stated in so many words by Energy Secretary Rene Almendras and Serge Osmeña; and with the lopsided Performance Based Regulation (PBR) scheme, rates will definitely go up every three years.

The Mindanao and national struggle to restore truthful, just, and fair electricity rates in generation, transmission, and distribution, as well as the sector’s ownership structure and laws, epitomize everything that has gone wrong with the country under the present “plutonomy,” an economy controlled by plutocrats who also control the present crop of political players ushered in by Edsa I and II’s Yellow mobs. It’s time for a national political “jihad,” a holy war of the people, against these plutocrats and corrupt politicians.

(Tune in to 1098AM, dwAD, Sulo ng Pilipino/Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m.; watch Destiny Cable GNN’s HTL edition of Talk News TV, Saturdays, 8:15 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11:15 p.m., on “Electricity and fuel price crisis: Solutions” with consumer advocate Dr. Amanda Cruz and Wilson Fortaleza of FDC; visit http://newkatipunero.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/20120420com7.html

Vietnam's new war: Incurable mystery virus kills 19 kids to date

Vietnam's new war: Incurable mystery virus kills 19 kids to date


Hanoi has asked the World Health Organization for help to cure a virulent disease affecting children. Symptoms include blistering on hands, feet and mouths accompanied by high fever and eventual organ failure.

­Nineteen children died from the illness in 2011 alone.

The virus spreads through direct contact with an infected person’s oral discharges or saliva, the fluid from burst blisters or the stool of infected persons.

The Red Cross mission in Vietnam reports the disease has already infected over 28,000 children this year, which is more than 10 times the number of infected children in the same period last year..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/vietnam-disease-children-hfmd-525/

EU gives US go ahead for 'Big Brother' snooping

EU gives US go ahead for 'Big Brother' snooping


A controversial bill that will give the United States access to personal information about airline passengers has been approved by the European Parliament.

The deal, which was held up for two years over privacy concerns, was agreed by MEPs in a vote of 409 to 226 on Thursday. It sets out the legal parameters governing the transfer of passengers’ personal data to the US Department of Homeland Security.

Passenger Name Record (PNR) data is provided by travellers and collected by airline staff during reservation and check-in procedures..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/eu-us-data-deal-491/

Coupe Snoop: Congress wants all cars to be equipped with recording devices

Coupe Snoop: Congress wants all cars to be equipped with recording devices


The federal government is about to become the country’s worst backseat driver. Congress wants to put tracking devices in the car of every American, and that’s not even the scariest provision in a new bill being passed around Washington.

The US Senate has already signed off on a new legislation that, if cleared by the rest of Congress, will see to it that the government gets its eyes and ears inside every automobile in the country. Senate Bill 1813 calls for the installation of mandatory recorders and communication devices in Americans’ cars that could connect the whereabouts and actions of the country’s drivers with whomever the government wants to grant access to. It doesn’t stop there, though — another provision in the proposed bill will give the government the power to revoke passports from Americans behind on their taxes, essentially making it impossible for the indebted to escape the country..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/congress-map-cars-1813-484/

Campaign to support falsely-charged labor leader launched

Campaign to support falsely-charged labor leader launched

 “I know that this is a ploy to cripple the trade union movement in Negros because of our critical position to the Aquino government.” Ronald Ian Evidente, KMU-Negros spokesman
By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com

A labor rights institution is campaigning for support for a labor leader in Bacolod being falsely accused of stealing firearms for the New People’s Army (NPA). The group has already exposed the charges as “patently ridiculous” and “malicious” because the target is a well-known labor rights advocate in the region.
The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights is calling for support for the spokesman of Kilusang Mayo Uno in Negros Ronald Ian Evidente and 29 other political activists who are now facing false charges of robbery of firearms. Evidente is being accused of involvement in an alleged raid of Sagay Aqua Venture Corporation (SAVECOR) by the NPA.

Savecor is in Sagay City and owned by the nephew of Negros Occidental Gov. Alfred Marañon.
Earlier this month on April 4, Evidente informed and sought the CTUHR’s assistance following information that a warrant of arrest was issued against him on charges of robbery.

Evidente only learned of the charges in April 3 when one of the accused, Christian Tuayon- secretary general of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN)-Negros, was arrested in a rally in Bacolod City. Evidente eluded the arrest with the help of workers and fellow activists and was forced into hiding.

Evidente said the charges and subsequent arrest warrant came as a surprise to him and his co-accused as they did not receive a subpoena from Regional Trial Court Judge Renato Muñez. He said there had been no preliminary investigation. Instead, the RTC issued an arrest warrant on January 20, 2012 and set bail at P40,000 ($930) for each of them.

So-called witnesses submit affidavits
Case documents gathered by the human rights group Karapatan-Negros and CTUHR comprise of a page and half of information and affidavits of supposed complainants.


(Photo grabbed from Ronald Ian Evidente’s Facebook account / bulatlat.com)
In a sworn statement of the private complainant Mr. Arn V. Bellonio, he said that he received a phone call on July 16, 2011 at around 10:09 p.m. from Ricardo Almencion, the fishpond technician, telling him that “an undetermined number of armed men” broke into the fishpond and illegally took firearms (M16 rifle, shotgun, 22 caliber revolver, six (6) pieces magazine with ammunitions, two (2) M14 rifles and 12 pieces spare magazines with ammunitions) plus a radio transceiver all of which approximately cost a total of P270,000 ($6,428).

In the meantime, another supposed witness Ruel Bulanon in his sworn statement said that he was on his way to Savecor’s main building after feeding the shrimps at 9:15 p.m. on July 16, 2011 when he heard shouting near the storage room.


Upon checking the area, Bulanon said he “saw an undetermined number of armed men” who were on their way to enter the tower. Bulanon said he tried to stop them but was made to lie face down on the ground together with other workers until the men took the firearms and left. He supposedly immediately ran to Almencion’s house who in turn called Belonio on the phone..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/04/20/campaign-to-support-falsely-charged-labor-leader-launched/

Pro-farmers SC hacienda decision preemptive strike vs Noy-led impeach By Charlie V. Manalo 04/20/2012

Pro-farmers SC hacienda decision preemptive strike vs Noy-led impeach

By Charlie V. Manalo 04/20/2012

The decision of the Supreme Court (SC) on the fate of the Aquino-Cojuangco clan’s Hacienda Luisita would be over before the verdict by the Senate Court on the fate of Chief Justice Renato Corona is issued.

The militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) welcomed the announcement of the SC it will decide on the controversial agrarian dispute involving the more than 6,000-hectare Hacienda Luisita owned by President Aquino’s family.

Aquino’s family wants a P5 billion compensation package for the land that will be parcelled out to the tenant-farmers.

The earlier ruling of the high court pegged the compensation price at 1980s land prices..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120420hea5.html

Gift-giving marks Erap’s 75th birthday in Tondo By Pat C. Santos 04/20/2012

Gift-giving marks Erap’s 75th birthday in Tondo

By Pat C. Santos 04/20/2012

The magic touch is still there.
Former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada, in celebration of his 75th birthday, distributed thousands of goodies who came to greet him at the Sto. Nino parish church in Moriones, Tondo yesterday morning.

Erap had attended the morning Mass which was preceeded by gift-giving at the covered basketball court of the Holy Child Catholic Schools which benefitted thousands who tirelessly awaited his morning arrival, cheering him wildly when he finally arrived.

The stage bears a tarpaulin sign saying “ Erap we love you always” as the crowds greeted the former president and when Estrada thanked them before leaving..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120420hea3.html

Decision on CJ out before June 8 — Chiz By Angie M. Rosales and Benjamin B. Pulta 04/20/2012

‘TRIAL HAD TAKEN ITS TOLL ON SENATE’

Decision on CJ out before June 8 — Chiz

By Angie M. Rosales and Benjamin B. Pulta 04/20/2012

The impeachment trial had taken its toll on the senators acting as judges in the court trying Chief Justice Renato Corona and the Senate now is bent on concluding the trial before Congress goes on sine die adjournment on June 8, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero said yesterday, admitting that a number of colleagues, himself included, are no longer keen on prolonging the proceedings.

“It has taken its toll on the Senate and even on the senators themselves. I think we have allotted enough time to hear the case and continue starting May 7 (when Congress resumes regular sessions), until we adjourn, to hear anew the defense (panel) and the prosecution on their rebuttal and rebuttal of the defense if they will choose to present additional evidence,” he said, appearing at the Senate’s weekly news forum..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120420hea1.html

Senate demands copy of VFA report By Angie M. Rosales 04/20/2012

Senate demands copy of VFA report

By Angie M. Rosales 04/20/2012

Despite the supposed availability of the report on the implementation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), the executive deparment has not furnished the Senate or the Legislative Oversight on VFA (LOVFA) a copy of it.

Sen. Loren Legarda, chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, bared this information, adding that the executive’s continued failure to provide the LOVFA with its report “betrays its agenda to perpetuate the flaws in the agreement.”

Legarda told reporters,“I have asked the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) to submit, for the LOVFA’s review and consideration, the long overdue report on the implementation of VFA (with the United States). This review by the executive branch has been ongoing since 2010.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120420nat4.html

Budol-budol gang victimizes kin of UK OFWs By Michaela P. del Callar 04/20/2012

Budol-budol gang victimizes kin of UK OFWs

By Michaela P. del Callar 04/20/2012

A local telephone scam syndicate is said to be victimizing unsuspecting Filipino families who have relatives in the United Kingdom, an embassy report said yesterday.

“Unidentified individuals or groups are engaging in a new telephone scam meant to fraudulently obtain money from relatives in the Philippines of Filipinos residing and/or working in the UK,” the embassy said.

Fraudsters, it said, would call the oveseas Filipino worker (OFWs)’s parent or other close relatives in the Philippines, informing them that their relative has been arrested or had been involved in a serious accident..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120420nat1.html

3 suspects in killing of Aguirre’s 3 guards fall By Gina Peralta-Elorde 04/20/2012

3 suspects in killing of Aguirre’s 3 guards fall

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 04/20/2012

The Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday announced the arrest of at least three suspects in the killing of three security guards inside the residence of Banco Filipino owner Bobby Aguirre at BF Homes in Las Piñas City last April 7.

Senior Supt. Romulo Sapitula, Las Piñas police chief, said they have in their custody the unnamed three suspects who allegedly participated in the murder of Aguirre’s three security escorts.

The three men were apprehended in separate police operations in Las Piñas City and Parañaque City..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120420met2.html

Lawmaker calls for a stop to budget airlines’ malpractices By Charlie V. Manalo 04/20/2012

Lawmaker calls for a stop to budget airlines’ malpractices

By Charlie V. Manalo 04/20/2012

Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento yesterday raised the need to craft a law that would finally put a stop to the practices of budget airlines of overbooking, denied boarding, flight delays and cancellations “that cause travelers unnecessary inconvenience” as he cited the House committee on transportation’s ongoing initiative to standardize minimum services for budget airlines in a bid to provide fair and equal treatment for passengers.

While the increasing number of cheap airfares is part of the marketing campaigns by various airlines have brought air travel accessible even to the poor, there have also been mounting complaints about the shabby treatment of passengers availing themselves of these budget fare promos.

Sarmiento said he fully supports four resolutions and one privilege speech that were referred to the House committee on transportation underscoring complaints by passengers of “arbitrary and unfair” policies of low-cost carriers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120420met1.html

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