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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

LUDICROUS


By REY O. ARCILLA  
MALAYA
(Noynoy, a victim of the Mamasapano Massacre? Ludicrous!)
SAF-Aquino-necrological-services.2His Liberal Party allies have appealed for an end to the vilification of President Noynoy Aquino over the Mamasapano Massacre, claiming that he was a victim himself.
I have not heard a more ludicrous reason to exculpate Noynoy over the tragic incident.
Of course, he was a victim of it but only in the sense that he proved himself to be a lousy father of the nation (probably because he has no personal experience of being a father?) and a very poor leader of men. Too, because of it, he now no longer enjoys the trust and confidence of the vast majority of his bosses.
Noynoy said his critics are merely out to erode his endorsement power. Now, now, I think that’s stretching it a bit. Maybe his endorsement could still matter to a certain extent, but only if he endorses someone acceptable to the people. We now have a thinking electorate, in case he doesn’t know that yet.
I believe it is time for Noynoy to start seriously thinking of a good legacy for the Filipino people. And what legacy could be better than helping install a worthy successor?
In this regard, he should forget about Mar Roxas. He cannot even run a government department properly. Look at the mess he left and the alleged corruption of his handpicked successor in the DOTC, as well as the lousy job he is doing as DILG secretary. President pa?! And not to forget, what I hear almost everyone saying – with Korina Sanchez Roxas on his side?! Many seem to believe, rightly or wrongly, that she would be a heavy baggage in case he runs for the presidency.
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Noynoy has vowed to use the remaining months of his tenure to institute long-term reforms to strengthen institutions so as to enable his successor to
keep corrupt officials from taking advantage of them.
Look who’s talking. Is he even aware that there is big-time corruption going on in his administration? Or the sickening ineptitude of some of his appointees? Need I mention them? He should know.
Okay, I will cite one.
China has been reclaiming land in areas in the West Philippine Sea that belong to us by virtue of international law and building military facilities and installations on them. Has his Super Amboy aka Giant Smiley of a foreign secretary Albert del Rosario made any sensible, if not workable, recommendation to him to meet the challenge and to protect the national interest? Nothing. Nada. Except to file another protest with Beijing and invoke again the petition we filed with the UNCLOS International Tribunal.
Worse, we even stopped our construction activities, except for repair and maintenance work, in our areas ostensibly to be consistent with the said petition.
China has already made it plain that she will not abide by any decision that the Tribunal may arrive at. It is so naïve of Noynoy and Del Rosario to entertain the notion that there is morality in international relations, that China may be influenced by a decision of the Tribunal favorable to us.
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Why did China choose to build military garrisons on our islets in the WPS?
First, because we gave her the impression that we are an egregious lot when it comes to defending what we believe is ours. Remember how we left the Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal) without so much as a whimper and never went back, notwithstanding the assurance given by our men in uniform that they were ready to make the supreme sacrifice to retake what is ours?
Second, China knows we have an unreliable ally in the US when it comes to defending what is ours in the WPS. The US is “neutral”, remember?
Third, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Arrangement (EDCA) that we foolishly entered into with the US. China merely wants to ensure that the US and her allies will not be able to dominate the entire WPS/South China Sea to her disadvantage.
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What to do now? Let’s start with EDCA…
I reiterate what I wrote last week:
“Months ago, I suggested that instead of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) which would grant the US “agreed locations” in the Philippine mainland for the increased “rotational presence” of American troops and “pre-positioned” armaments that may conceivably include nuclear weapons in the country, they should just locate them in our areas in the WPS where they can do reclamation work like the Chinese are doing.
“Such US presence in the WPS will certainly make the Chinese think what they may have in mind twice over. That will also rid us of the built-in disadvantages embodied in the EDCA.
Next, let’s talk with China. However, it looks like we will have to wait for a while before we can do this. China wanted to talk with us from the very start. The problem was they did not want to talk with Del Rosario whom they know is an American lackey. To overcome this, Noynoy commissioned Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to do a back channeling job with Beijing. However, Del Rosario allegedly sabotaged his work by giving Senator Juan Ponce Enrile a copy of the so-called Brady Papers (named after our then ambassador to China Sonia Brady) that reportedly contain the briefing given by Trillanes to Brady regarding the progress of his assignment from Noynoy.
Enrile used the Brady Papers to accuse Trillanes of committing a treasonous act during a Senate session. Trillanes though had the good sense of simply walking out of the Senate session hall instead of engaging Enrile in a debate. To my mind, it was Enrile who committed a treasonous act when he revealed in public the contents of secret state papers.
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So, with Del Rosario there, there is nothing much we can do. China will not want to talk with us. If memory serves, she even said she will wait for the next administration and then talk with us. Other claimants are doing just that, talking with China. Japan too, over the Senkaku islands which China also claims.
Right is might, according to Del Rosario. He is right. However, seeing as there is no morality in international relations, the powerful will always try to get what it wants, unless the weak stands up for its right and is ready to die for it. Then, it becomes a very different ball game.
For, in reality and in the final analysis, while right is might, might is mightier than right in international relations.
There… any question?
It is hoped, therefore, that the next administration will put together a foreign policy team that could come up with a more pragmatic and realistic approach to the problem.
Above all, it must be a foreign policy approach that is not dictated by any foreign power as mandated by the Constitution and only by what we alone perceive as in the national interest.
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Phooey to the Makati Business Club (MBC) which is comprised of unabashed pro-American businessmen, most of whom built their immense fortunes from doing business with US and European companies. It is also no secret that the MBC is dominated by the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce. (I could be wrong, but I don’t think MBC has in its ranks any of the so-called Tsinoy Taipans. Wouldn’t that tell you something if true?)
The MBC accused some people of using the Mamasapano Massacre for political purposes and that Congress shouldn’t fall prey to that. Huh?!
“We respectfully urge Congress to not allow revisions (to the Bangsamoro Basic Law) that would contravene these values,” it said.
To begin with, have any of these businessmen really studied the draft BBL? Didn’t they find anything unconstitutional in it? The Integrated Bar of the Philippines, among many others, did.
All that the members of both houses of Congress have said is exactly that – to delete provisions in the BBL that are constitutionally infirm. Wouldn’t that be what the MBC members want too?
Last question – are the MBC members aware that the US is behind the BBL, as she was in the aborted MOA-AD (Bangsamoro Juridical Entity) declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court during the Arroyo regime?
Gentlemen, gentlemen, please consider the national interest, as opposed to self-interest, for a change!
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Noynoy has vowed to dismantle the “bata-bata” system in the Philippine National Police.
“Our challenge to the next chief of our national police force: Craft the plans that will lead to greater unity in the ranks of the police. Let us change the culture of factionalism within the PNP,” he said.
Great! No more Alan Purisima then?
How about naming PNP OIC Leonardo Espina acting chief until he retires and then appoint the upright and principled head of the PNP Board of Inquiry on the Mamasapano Massacre, Director Benjamin Magalong as the PNP Chief? Magalong, I understand, has over two years more in the service and Noynoy reportedly wants the next PNP chief to be there beyond the May 2016 elections.
Lest I am misunderstood, I do not know nor have I ever met Magalong. I just admire him for standing pat on the BOI report even after Noynoy summoned him for a tete-a-tete in Malacanang.
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Reminders (for Noynoy):
1) Filing of charges against officials of the National Food Authority (NFA) during Arroyo’s illegitimate regime. Noynoy himself said on several occasions that there is documentary evidence to prove the venalities in the past in that agency. That was more than four and a half years ago.
2) Investigation of reported anomalies in the GSIS during the watch of Winston Garcia and order his successor, Robert “Pretty Boy” Vergara, to file the proper charges, if warranted, against the former.
Noynoy should also order Vergara to report to him on COA’s findings that:
(a) He received the obscenely excessive compensation of P16.36 million in 2012 making him the highest paid government servant then. He was also the highest paid in 2013 with P12.09 million. I wouldn’t be surprised if he again tops the list in 2014; and
(b) That over a year ago, at least P4.13 billion in contributions and loan payments made by 12 government offices, maybe more by now, to the GSIS had not been credited to the offices as of Dec. 31, 2011.
COA also said that the amount of unrecorded remittances could go much higher because only 36 agencies have at that time responded out of the 186 that were sent confirmation requests by government auditors. Of the 36, 27 confirmed “discrepancies” in their premium and loan payments ledgers when compared with those of the GSIS.
There are three questions being raised when remittances, or parts thereof, of government agencies are not recorded by the GSIS on time: a) Where are these huge sums “parked” in the meantime?; b) Do they earn interest?; and c) To where (whom?) does the interest, if any, go?
Pray tell, Mr. Vergara, what is the present status of these funds, including those that may have been remitted since and not yet recorded by the GSIS? How long do you think you can “dedma” these questions?
I believe it is time for COA to follow up on what Vergara has done on the above findings so that affected GSIS members would know the status of their contributions!
In this connection, I would like to address this question to new COA Chief
Michael Aguinaldo: “Is Vergara one of the sacred cows in Noynoy’s coterie whom you may be afraid to investigate?”
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Today is the 335th day of the eighth year of Jonas Burgos’ disappearance.
I dread to think of how many more years it will take before Jonas’ disappearance is finally resolved. Or, for that matter, the items in the Reminders above. It is beginning to look like it will not be during Noynoy’s daang matuwid watch.
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From an internet friend:
A young executive was leaving the office late one evening when he found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.
“Listen,” said the CEO, “this is a very sensitive and important document here, and my secretary has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work?”
“Certainly,” said the young executive. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.
“Excellent, excellent!” said the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine. “I just need one copy.”

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