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Friday, May 22, 2015

Official Tandems for 2016 Philippine presidential elections: BInay-Duterte, Poe-Francis, Mar-Bong

This came from various sources considered highly reliable.

The Grace Poe-Chiz Escudero is not anymore a shocker. You know that. It would only change if Mar's group led by Erice force the issue and present a Roxas-Poe tandem, which at this point, is welcomed weakly by people.

The rumour is that Poe-Escudero would be supported by the administration in a broad coalition led by Liberal party members, several members of the Kapatiran party, Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), and some members of the Nationalista party.

If this happens, Mar Roxas' group will gravitate towards the Nacionalista party. The Nationalista party, thru Senator Cynthia Villar, has intimated its desire to coalesce with a party. Villar mentioned that three of its senators, namely, Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillianes IV and Bongbong Marcos want to run for a higher position.

Cayetano announced that he will decide by June if he's gonna throw his hat unto the ring, while Trillions IV is all set to run for the second highest post since he believes he has a better chance of winning when he does that. Bongbong, by the way, is being torn by personal friends edging him to try and run for the presidency, yet, as surveys show, he has a very strong chance for the VP post if Poe runs for the presidency.

So, what is shaping up is that, if the main Nationalistas aligned themselves with the Liberals, it would be a Mar Roxas-Cayetano or Mar-Trillianes or Roxas-Marcos or to some, Mar-BongBong.

The Vice president's political party is also taking shape and in the Philippine political environment, these two forces are trying to snatch one group from the other. Visualise them as two whirlpools. UNA is more organised now than before, because of the entry of several Lakas-NUCD heavyweights and former UNO aligned politicians. There are likewise, strong Estrada allies coming into the fore.

What would "shock" the public is the imminent announcement of a Binay-Duterte tandem which is entirely possible and feasible, if you ask me. Aside from the skin color, both offers two unique items in the table: they are all experienced local chief executives and they are all lawyers. The public perceives the two as tough, strong-willed and with a vision for the country. If this happens, this is, by far, the best tandem.

How about Panfilo Lacson, what about him? Will he throw his hat unto the ring?

Lacson will up the ante just so to push his re-election bid to a much higher level of awareness. But, insofar as really and seriously pushing for his presidential bid to its logical conclusion, Ping knows he does not have a chance with Binay and Poe as opponents.

So, 2016 is shaping up to be a titanic fight between "experience" and "youthful idealism." Who will snatch the public's attention more? Who between them would successfully prove that one is better than the other?

Big Business interests threatened by BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law)

The House just voted and passed the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) with most of its provisions submitted by the Palace approved. Immediately, Senators led by Miriam Santiago and Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. registered their dissent, with Santiago alleging that the BBL aims to create a "sub-state" which is entirely violative of the Constitution.

Malacanang has set a deadline--June 10--for the passage of the controversial law. Opponents of the BBL are organising an anti-BBL rally on Sunday. Some of those opposing the passage of the law includes former officials of the Ramos administration.

Giving more powers to the Bangsamoros is a given in any negotiation with them. Who will not demand for an arm and a leg? Decades of imperialist rule by Tagalogs and Visayans justify such an arrangement with them.

The MILF Central Committee has already given their decision--they will not accept a "diluted" BBL. What is the consequence? Will it be all out war?

I think war is a far-fetched idea given that the Bangsamoros follow what the Noble Qu'ran teaches them to do--  that you don't go to war if peace is possible. If the BBL fails to pass, the next step really is for both parties--the MILF which represents the Bangsamoro People and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) to go back to the negotiating table.

The problem with a re-negotiation is that the first one was actually mediated by a third party state--Malaysia. Second, Japan also came into the picture. I don't know what face will we be able to show to these two countries which gave so much of their political capital just to make this a reality.

And the MILF leadership also sacrificed a lot of political capital when they sat in that negotiating table. The risk is greater for them than the government peace panel. Losing their respective reputations means a weaker hold of grassroots groups. A weaker centralized leadership could lead to disunity or worse, creation of smaller, more mobile yet more lethal revolutionary groups. International support could reach these groups, giving them more ammunition and more sophistication in their military operationss.

A failed BBL could result to a more serious security threat against the Philippine Republic. What this issue has achieved is it led to a re-consolidation of Bangsamoro groups. IF a war does ensue, that would be more intense and more serious than past conflicts because it would probably show a stronger more resilient Bangsamoro front. Even the middle forces in Bangsamoro society would surely take part in this war. And that would seriously affect peace and order in the region.

I think it is time for the government to understand what things hinder these Big Business groups from this BBL. There is nothing wrong with talking with these Big Business Groups and the hawks outside government and understand where they are coming from, and why they militate against the BBL.

                                        

Thursday, May 21, 2015

On Mar Roxas and why we haven't elected a Technocrat as President

From 1986, the Filipino electorate has elected a former housewife, a former general, a former actor-mayor and a former college professor as Chief Executives. What we haven't tried to elecThe housewife, Cory Aquino won in an election reportedly against a strongman. Her choice was more of the need of the moment thing instead of a rational and collective decision.

That former general's election came at a time of great destabilisation caused by the militant and armed component of the revolution which brought a former housewife to the palace. There was general agreement that the country needed someone who has the experience not just in war, but in peace.

When peace has been restored, we elected a former mayor-actor, the very first "democratic elections" since 1986. Estrada won due to his large network and his great appeal to the masa. Estrada's administration would have been great had it been stopped in its tracks at mid-stream. Self-moralising segments of the elite and middle forces converged and ganged up on Erap who left the palace, like his former precious idol, with his tail between his legs.    

He was replaced by a more favourable personality, whose bloodline came from the hacienda class. She nearly resigned yet was prevailed upon by several of her allies who were caught in their respective scams as well.

After her, we elected the son of the former housewife. The son will cap the 30 years since this country expunged dictatorship from its memory.

Thirty years and look at the persons we elected into the Office of the President. We elected an inexperienced housewife and the four critical years under her rule were met by deafening shouts for change. Many of us regretted electing her as a counterpose against a strongman.

The six years under Ramos was also met with controversies, as the country reeled from a very debilitating power crisis only to find itself missing several millions of pesos due to graft and corruption.

The Estrada administration was billed as the "most chaotic" yet if you look closely, the administration fared far better than Arroyo's and even of Ramos' despite the 2-year administration.

The secret is simple--during Estrada's time he recruited the best people in government and put them to manage bureaucratic posts. Mar Roxas was one.

It is time for us, ordinary folks, to take a very serious look at the Office of the President. This office is not for jokers, although we may have erred in a major way before, electing who we think fits into it but turned out to be jokers eventually, now is the time to change all that.

In an interview, Mar Roxas said he might be the best there is in a pool of Presidential aspirants, and in a way, I agree (in a belated way anyway).

Roxas is a highly educated man, an Ivy leaguer. He is experienced and I think his heart is in the right place.

The problem is Roxas is more of an analyser rather than a do-er. He ponders about the problem longer than others because his mind is wired to think that way.

In our criterion of who fits into this post, we always say that it must be a guy who thinks in a strategic manner yet has the heart to consider the welfare of the poor.

Roxas could be our perfect president but he simply cannot and will not be precisely because his brain was not wired to accept the job and show the skills necessary for a person to do things we consider presidential.

We must treat 2016 differently as we cannot afford to elect another lemon into office.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Its Official---BINAY-POE no more and possible scenarios

So its official---the possibility of a BINAY-POE tandem is no more. Senator Grace Poe has said that she and the vice president have different styles in managing affairs. Poe believes in transparency while it's not the case with Binay, according to Poe.

I have very reliable information that Poe spent close to three full hours with Pnoy discussing 2016 than what Mar Roxas spent with the president about his plans a year from now. Pinoy and Poe reportedly talked about specifics, one example is commitments and the other, campaign funds.

Here are the possible scenarios:

1. Medium to high probability of a Grace Poe-Chiz Escudero tandem. This is being pushed by several well-meaning members of the President's official family who do not want Binay to replace Pnoy. This sector belongs members of civil society who helped propel Pnoy to the presidency.

If this happens, the Grace Poe-Chiz Escudero tandem will be adopted by several political parties, NGOs and POs under a broad coalition which name is still being finalised as of this moment. This coalition is a merger of traditional and non-traditional political parties and groups and its battlecry seems to toy with the idea of infusing "new blood" into the country's political bloodline.

The thing is, behind this tandem is a big group of Big Businessmen some of which claim Iberian ancestry and others, American and Chinese. There are several PMA classes who likewise support or seemed to be hot with the idea.

Seems that Pnoy will replicate what his mother did---endorse Mar Roxas at the onset and then slowly shift support to the Grace Poe-Chiz Escudero tandem as the election day nears. This is what Cory did to Ramon Mitra whom she initially endorsed only to shift invariably to FVR when the election day nears.

2. Several political personalities seemed to be avoiding Mar like a plague. Mar will probably find an LP member as his running mate if talks on the Poe-Mar or Mar-Poe tandem bogs down. There are speculations of a Roxas-Trillanes IV tandem which is quite acceptable to several members of the Aquino administration.

3. How about Binay? Who'll be his running mate? Manny Pangilinan is out. Cynthia Villar had said her husband is not thinking or considering going back to the presidential mode. Villar however hinted that three Nationalist Party members are considering the possibility of 2016 elections..

Will it be a Binay-Duterte tandem? Sounds feasible and a very nice counterforce against Poe-Chiz.

4. NP will try and get some senatorial slots from the political party which they intend to coalesce with. Will they support a Cayetano-Trillianes tandem which the party knows does not have a Chinaman's chance of winning? I believe the first one who will abandon his presidential plans will be Cayetano, followed closely by Trillianes. However, an Escudero versus Trillianes fight is very interesting to see. Who'll win between them---a drunkard married to a beautiful lady or a narcissistic with a messianic complex? Do we have any other choice? How limited the field is!

This is a very serious problem. We are now experiencing a serious succession problem.

Liza Soberano--my "it" girl

Liza Soberano--a potential international star
Ask me who among our present crop of young artists has the looks, the poise and the possibility of getting a break internationally and one name comes to mind--Liza Soberano.

Soberano is a class act. She's young, beautiful and has the "it" or "x" factor. This girl will go places. If managed properly and trained, Soberano can actually penetrate the international market.

She looks both modern and classic all at the same time. Her face can very well compete with some supermodel faces.

I believe she needs exposure in the international scene, and if casting agencies or agents will just discover this girl, Liza will find it very easy to get gigs and even film offers abroad.

Or, plan her career, by conquering Asia first, then Hollywood. I think Filipinos out there should help her achieve her fullest potential. Don't follow the career patterns of local stars here. Think regional and global. It would be just a waste if Soberano would just train her sights on local gigs.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Grace Poe on the Presidency--Honesty not experience counts. Huh?

Political fireworks had just began when Grace Poe reacted on the statement of Vice president Jejomar Binay about the need to elect an "experienced" man (or woman) to the Chief Executive post. What the country needs, Poe says, is an honest man, not an experienced one.

Bull. Crap.

In government service, honesty or being honest is a trait which is actually selective by practice because of the sensitivities of the post. Are you now saying Ms. Senator, that if elected as President, you'll be honest to a fault? Then, you don't know what you are talking about.

We don't need a nun or a pope to lead us, because politics is not about "good character" or "good grades" in the poor's scorecard. It's about governance. The presidency is about governance.

And even if we talk about honesty, have you been honest to us, the people, about your real citizenship, about what country you owe your allegiance to?

Have you been totally honest in detailing all your expenses as a Senator? Have you been honest that you only get your salary as a senator and not dipped your cono fingers into the honey pot, that is, the people's coffers? Are you sure you did not benefit from the DAP of President Aquino?

How about your husband? Curiously, you omitted the good surname of your husband from your "official name". Why? Are you ashamed of what your husband is doing? What exactly is your husband doing by the way?

Have you been honest to yourself, Ms. Senator? You always deny in public that you are running and now, you are giving yourself several interviews hinting you are now indeed running? Are you now saying that the "Grace Poe" last year is different from the "Grace Poe" now talking and discussing the possibility of running for the presidency just because her ratings have improved?

There are so many things unanswered about your true identity, Ms. Senator Poe-LLAVANZARES. I suggest before you spew out these words, try to think first.

I apologize for criticising you, Ms. Senator. I deemed it my duty as a Citizen of this country not to ever again be swayed by emotions or by a false sense of belief in an individual who professes to love the country while not being totally honest of her intentions to run.

Honestly, we don't need a Poe'r presidency--we want someone who would steer this country to clear waters.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Why Binay will win 2016 polls

The elite, the wealthiest of this country will wake up in May 9 2016 with an expected shocker---a win by Vice president Jejomar Binay over Grace Poe. Poe, who is now letting herself be played with and prostituted by these rich game players, will commit the greatest mistake of her career by dancing with the enemies of the people, the very same class of people who convinced her father to run for the 2004 presidential elections and abandoned him in mid-stream. Why do I believe that Poe will not win against Binay?

First, the survey numbers. Binay has been attacked relentlessly since two years ago, yet his numbers have not nosedived as seriously as the others (Cayetano, Trillanes IV, Roxas, etal). Talk about Grace Poe's, her numbers dimmed somewhat last December and January and there was no significant spike in her ratings inspite of accusations against Binay and her highly public yet populist reportage of the Mamasapano incident. Meaning, Poe's numbers are being manipulated to show a rising number of the voter's population reportedly abandoning Binay and going to Poe. This so-called "trend" is based on the popular belief that both Binay and Poe share the same constituency.

Actually, Binay's mass base is dissimilar to many respects with Poe's. For one, Binay is strong in the -B-C class while Poe is strong in A-B. The D-E classes will go the way of whoever between them does some activities that benefit the masses, or who between them did his homework of campaigning and taking his sweet time with the people. Binay has been going around since 2011. He has a very solid base of 21-25% of the electorate.

Second, there are still about eleven months from the 2016 elections and anything is possible to happen. If Poe declares her candidacy come June or July, she will now be very vulnerable politically. She will definitely be hit left and right by her enemies, which is not few. Until now, the people are not convinced of her preparedness, and definitely his mental toughness. IN this critical time of our history, we need a leader WHO WILL STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT, EVEN IF WHAT IS RIGHT IS UNPOPULAR.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

An Open Letter to Grace Poe

I was one of those who risked their lives for your father eleven years ago. I have a family, mam, but I went out of my house to go to Welcome Rotunda and protest about the fraud committed by Arroyo's men against your father. Tita Midz, and several other people were with me in that truck flatbed when we were hosed down by dirty water infront of Burger King at that historic Quezon avenue. I thought then that cops were out to arrest us, but fortunately, we were released. I went back to Burger King to continue the fight with your father who walked from the Sto. Domingo church all the way where we were.

Afterwards, we were silently surveilled and I was nearly killed had I not received info about the plan to abduct me. I went on self-imposed "exile" in Singapore, and suffered for six more years under Arroyo, the person who I also risked my life during EDSA dos.

Thousands of us, well-meaning people, risked our lives fighting an immoral and evil regime, and frankly mam, I did not see your face there. You were probably living it out in the States. When your dad died, I was already in Singapore but I cried for your father. He was a good man, and his heart for the poor is there and his concern for us, the poor, was genuine. For him, it was also a struggle against a tyrannical and despotic regime.

When you won last 2013, I was one of those who said that this is pretty good, an attestation that what we fought for was true, real and we were right. Those who voted for you was overwhelming and it became like that because every single Filipino thought that they owe it to your father and show you how immense their love is to him.

Those 18 million votes were people who want their voices to be heard crystal clear--that they have voted for your father but their voices were disfranchised by ruthless and selfish Powers who want nothing more than control the vast resources of this country for themselves.

We were fighting for a better society, something which we thought back then was realisable under an FPJ administration. For many of us, "Bagong Umaga" is not just a slogan, but a mantra.

Now, here you are, being asked by several politicians to run for the highest post of the land. Good. It's your right to dream big, but had you had the time to ponder and think why or what are your reasons for even considering running for higher office?

Do you think that these two years which you served at the Senate are more than enough to prepare you for bigger tasks ahead?

In your statements, you are always referring to your father. Do you really understand what he fought for? What is your take about Bagong Umaga? Or you think that Bagong Umaga is as useless as an empty slogan like "Tuwid na Daan"?

A year ago, you said that you are not running. Now, you're singing a new tune. What made you change your mind?

Is it because of riches, or more popularity? Is it the allure of being greeted "Her Excellency"? Or you want to feel like royalty?

Who told you that you're ripe for the post, even the Vice presidency? Are you saying that these two years as senator and about a year as a petty government official qualifies you to be our president for six years?

Is it because people think you're clean, that is the best qualification for the Chief Executive post? What other posts did you even handled or managed in your life?

Some say the presidency is destiny. That's crap.

I've seen close-hand how hard and tough government bureaucratic work is. I've seen my friends now occupying high positions agonise every single day, just signing voluminous documents inside their offices and the day is never complete for them to fulfil all their obligations. Fact is, a day is very short to really do everything that they have sworn to do for us, ordinary citizens.

Do you really think you are destined to become our president?

If you really believe this, then, I have to change my mind and be convinced that really, the presidency is more of a national pastime, similar to a barangay beauty contest where the winner is judged based on the volume of contributions or votes she gets from the throng.

That the presidency is something of a popularity contest which a person wins just by being popular or acting like a saint infront of the public.

Admit it---the reason why you are now posturing as a presidential candidate is the fact that several big businessmen talked with you and convinced you that you are the counterforce against Vice president Jejomar Binay. Some of these businessmen fear a Binay presidency because this former lawyer has his own beliefs, his own principles, and he is entirely prepared for it, being a local chief executive for decades, and these businessmen cannot have their own way with Binay.

These people just see you as their beautiful pawn, Ms Senator Grace Poe, because if they are really genuinely honest of electing a good president, then, they will not even talk with you because they know that you really lack the qualifications of a good president.

Is the presidency really only for kind people? Even Cory Aquino, a mere housewife who became our president was more qualified than you. For years, Aquino got her chaps licked during those years she fought side by side with peoples against the Marcos dictatorial regime. Aquino earned her badges when she took part in those rallies and gave a piece of her mind during those strategy meetings with political heavyweights.

Even Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo got her spurs first as a bureaucrat, then a legislator and as second highest executive before she got herself promoted in an extraconstitutional manner. It took Arroyo years before she became the second female president. Now, it's three years in your case, if you win come 2016.

Ms. Poe, don't blame me for doubting your capabilities. It is but natural for someone like me to doubt. Are you actually telling me that the only and best qualification as President is one's character? Why not elect a nun?

For those people whom you rub elbows with, scions of traditional families and big businessmen, they want you because they don't want an individual with a strong belief in change to don the Chief Executive suit. They don't want a person who will not give them favours. They want someone like you, a very kind and honest person, to get the presidency because they always favour supporting someone whom they can just run rings around or convince of their intentions and without any skill of judging motivations.

What the people need come 2016 is somebody who can deftly steer the country towards a more improved economy and a cleaner bureaucracy. Do you really think you have the wherewithal of fulfilling what the people want and aspire for?

Ms. Senator Poe, you will be doing the country a great disservice if you run and win primarily because you are not yet ready for the heavier tasks that such a position entails.

Can you stand toe-to-toe with China and tell these hawks over at the Chinese Communist Party to fuck off and respect our sovereign rights over those clusters of islands? Do you have the courage to tell those armed Muslim Filipinos who were disfranchised by centuries that they have the chance to grow under a Bangsamoro administration?

How about the United States? Are you prepared to burn the midnight oil studying all those reports and documents about RP-US bilateral relations or you would just leave these to the care of your "legal experts"?

Ms. Senator, we the People, cannot afford to elect another president like Pnoy, whose only claim to that post is he's a supporter of his mother's policies.

For once, be true. Be honest. Be frank. Give us what we deserve come 2016. We deserve someone better, someone experienced, someone who knows how the system works and recognises the dynamics of politics.

Be not a pawn to these forces trying to lure you into jumping unto something as serious as the presidency. Doing so will smear the good legacy your father (if you really believe in what he fought for) left for us.

Sincerely,

Patricio Mangubat



Thursday, May 14, 2015

In our choice of President come 2016...

We must not think of ourselves only. Our choice of President will affect the futures of our other neighbors in Asia. Why?

A President who clings to China will do policies different or contrary to the expectations of other nations, including the United States and Japan. A President who fights China will probably be dragging everyone to a conflict which will be regrettable in the end.

This Spratlys island is a balancing act, something which a populist president will never ever understand.

How about the Bangsamoro Question? The Bangsamoro Basic Law is sure to be passed sometime next week. Implementing such a law requires a toughie of a leader at the same time, someone who knows how to tame those among the propertied classes who feels threatened by the BBL.

It may be popular to talk tough on China but doing so may affect another side of the bilateral relationship with them. It may likewise be unpopular not to engage them but doing so may affect other ties with other Asian countries as well.

We don't need a Populist president come 2016. What we need is a strategic thinker of a President, someone who knows how to detach himself from the throng and sees things at a distance.

This is not the time to consider state matters as a trifle. Our economy and our future are inevitably tied with the regional economy and it is not enough anymore to treat things in isolation. With this ASEAN integration, our hiccup at one side of the region affects the other side of the equation.

We must not be self-absorbed or be selfish to think that our decision come 2016 is ours and ours alone. The traditional borders that separate states from each other are slowly crumbling and state actions cannot be treated as impacting in one place only.

If we elect a popular candidate yet unprepared, we are doing the country, the future generations of Filipinos and even our Asian neighbours a great disservice. 

Let us stop thinking of Malacanan as just an entertainment hub. I know it's hard not to considering that it has acted as such laughable manner since the very start of this Republic.

These times are different. We may regret our actions come next year when we trade state matters over emotions or over populism or over elitist propaganda against a potential perfect candidate.

Or we might be electing someone whose allegiance in the first place is placed elsewhere. Such is the danger and the importance of 2016 that we start taking these elections very seriously.

Or, leave state matters to a Council instead of the present form of government.


Presidential talk and Why We should not treat the 2016 Presidential election as a trifling thing

One idiot congratulating another idiot
I am totally disappointed and in fact, enraged on how this discussion about the next president is turning out. Frankly, most of us are choosing our candidates based on perceived popularity and party affiliation, not on skills or performance or even intelligence.

President Aquino and his allies are choosing who to support based on one faulty assumption--that person should toe the "Tuwid na Daan" line as if it is the state ideology. This tuwid na daan is a propaganda line, nothing more. It says nothing about how do we deal with external and internal threats to our survival as a nation.

Grace Poe's name is cropping up because she is right now the star of the show. Political parties, even the United Nationalist Alliance are jacking up, trying to get her into their stable. Idiots.

No one among them even asked her about her position or stand in issues, her management approach or even the things that she'll be bringing into the table once elected as either president or vice president. Since she's figuring quite well in the ratings department, we might as well elect her inspite of her inexperience or her total ignorance on governance.

Her surname carries weight, but aside from that, what other things will she offer for us? How will she engage China and the United States? What will she do with terrorist groups? How about gut issues? What is her stand on privatization, agrarian reform, women's rights, gay rights, abortion, FOI, and peace and order?

Will she declare martial law when the times call for it? Will she decide to push the button for the execution of a known criminal when the times warrant it? What role will her husband play in government?

Davao City mayor Duterte's name is also showing up in surveys purposely being pushed by Lakas NUCD men. Reason why? The basis is a survey which shows that majority of Filipinos will vote for the person perceived to exercise strong political will. Everyone knows Duterte's name is legendary when it comes to this department, but no one actually thought that Duterte's methods border on the extreme and you can't do that when you're president. The mayor's hordes of supporters will just be disappointed once Duterte succeeds in the election because his tough guy talk will amount to absolutely nothing once he realises how things work in Malacanan.

Can Duterte stand toe-to-toe with the Big Boys here in Luzon and the Visayas? Will he be tough with smugglers? How about China? His supporters expect him to issue incendiary statements against this Global superpower and will he then, do it just to play with them?

Two gentlemen: Mar Roxas and Vice president Jejomar Binay are likewise asking us to consider one of them as our President come 2010. Even the son of a dead strongman Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr is joining the fray, positioning himself as a viable candidate, and so do Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Chiz Escudero and Antonio Trillianes IV.

Think, think, my fellow Filipinos---who among them can stand toe-to-toe with other leaders in the Asian region? Who among them will have the guts to do the necessary things and stand by decisions and laws which are not exactly popular but laws which we sorely need for our survival as a nation?

Just assume that all of them are intelligent, but who among them has the experience, the strong political will and the character of a good president? What we have now are people who think they can do the job but if we analyse them one by one, we'll arrive at a very sore conclusion---as what Christopher de Leon said in that iconic Lino Brocka movie--Tinimbang ka Ngunit Kulang?

FRankly, our presidential elections in 2016 is VERY CRITICAL and VERY important because it will affect the balance of power in Asia six years down the line.

2016 is a very important watershed in Philippine history for three things: first, the next six years will surely bring tremendous economic growth in our country but without an effective and clean bureaucracy, such growth will only benefit a few and not a majority of our people. Second, the Philippines is at the very centre of a potential serious regional conflict that may involve two of the world's superpowers: China and the United States. This early, the Pentagon itself has said that it intends to assist the Philippines in developing a naval base 22 kilometres away from the Spratlys Group of Islands, the potential conflict area. Japan has started its joint naval exercises with the Philippines and other allies in the SouthEast Asian region have intimated their collective desire to assist the Philippines in its potential engagement with China.

This Spratlys issue not just affects the sovereignty of our country but likewise is becoming a potential threat to all other countries in the region.The US has already declared that the area is a very important strategic trade route used by countries around the world. IN building that humongous facility in one of the islands of the Spratlys, China is exploiting the weakness of the Philippines and other claimant countries for its own military advantage.

The potential of a shooting war looms bigger and larger today than say five years ago. Or, even if this does not lead to an armed conflict, such Chinese moves are now being interpreted in a very bad light by several countries. Fact is, many Asian countries are worried that China's moves are wrong and can actually drag the entire region into a very serious naval conflict.

The Philippines is very important in the resolution or because if we elect a populist president come 2016, we might find ourselves in a bigger and deeper mess than two years ago. If we elect someone with extremist tendencies or as soft as a baby in the person of Mar Roxas, things would either turn for us or against us.

If our next President swings towards the East, then, the direction of our economy will be different Same goes if we decide to go to the West.

Lastly, Mindanao is still a big threat to us. For one, international terror groups roam throughout this region in wanton abandon. Will the Bangsamoro Basic Law provide the necessary mechanisms effective in arresting the development or rise of militancy?

I am sure other rival countries would try and is probably in contact with rebel groups or their leaders in Mindanao just to assure themselves that this experiment fails in its face. It is in the interests of other groups to try and fan the flames of conflict in that side of our country so that our government remains unresponsive to other issues of the State.

If we fail to elect a suitable leader come 2016, and we decide to choose like how we did during these past few years, then, we all need to accept one inevitable consequence of our foolishness--our continued underdevelopment as a Nation.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Seventy plus years hence and allies have become enemies and enemies allies

Who would have thought that after seventy six years this thing will happen?



PH, Japan hold historic naval drills in flashpoint waters | ABS-CBN News



Seventy years ago, Filipinos were fighting the Japanese in World War two. Many Filipinos died fighting for God and country, killed by the heavy shelling from Japanese warships which came from the South China sea, the very same sea which is now a site of naval exercises by the two nations.



Ironic, since in World War Two, Filipinos were fighting alongside Chinese nationalists against their common enemy--the Japanese imperialists. Now, the 21st century sees a former aggressor Japan aligning herself with Filipinos.



These two nations have deeper, longer and historic engagements with Filipinos. The very first races that reached these shores prior to Spanish colonisation were of Chinese and Japanese descent. Japanese traders settled in Cagayan and other areas in the Philippines during pre-Spanish times and so do Chinese traders.



When Spanish authorities tried to squeeze the life out of the Chinese settlers in Manila in the 16th century, who revolted and helped Filipino rulers against the Spanish but the Chinese and Japanese.



When Filipinos were waging their revolution against the Spanish, who were on their side but the Japanese? Bonifacio even spoke with a Japanese admiral prior to the outbreak of the 1896 revolution and asked for an audience with the Japanese emperor and for arms.



In World War two, Filipinos fought side by side with the Chinese against the Japanese forces, forcing the Japanese Imperial Army to hike the treacherous mountain ranges of the Sierra and die from bombing raids of American planes and from the machetes of ordinary Filipinos and the bayonets of the Chinese hagglers.



Now, what do we expect from this joint cooperation between Japanese and the Filipinos? It is to the vital interests of Japan to keep the Philippines as an ally due to our strategic importance in the balance of power in the Pacific. Japan remains as a dormant military power, relegated to a peace role as part of its commitment towards peace.



China is flexing its muscles in the Pacific to the consternation of other states including India, the US, Europe and Japan. Japan will be assisting the Philippines in establishing a naval base in Palawan near the Spratlys group of islands. This naval base is to be used not just by Philippine naval ships but open even to Vietnamese and Japanese naval forces.



This continued building of a military base in the Spratlys by the Chinese is a flagrant violation of international law and of environmental protection.China should exercise caution and not tempt the Fates as what it does when it reaches a modicum of economic stability, this country has the tendency of engaging its enemies when it is in a position of advantage. Now, it seems that China will re-consider flexing his muscles before Japan.








Seventy plus years hence and allies have become enemies and enemies allies

Who would have thought that after seventy six years this thing will happen?



PH, Japan hold historic naval drills in flashpoint waters | ABS-CBN News



Seventy years ago, Filipinos were fighting the Japanese in World War two. Many Filipinos died fighting for God and country, killed by the heavy shelling from Japanese warships which came from the South China sea, the very same sea which is now a site of naval exercises by the two nations.



Ironic, since in World War Two, Filipinos were fighting alongside Chinese nationalists against their common enemy--the Japanese imperialists. Now, the 21st century sees a former aggressor Japan aligning herself with Filipinos.



These two nations have deeper, longer and historic engagements with Filipinos. The very first races that reached these shores prior to Spanish colonisation were of Chinese and Japanese descent. Japanese traders settled in Cagayan and other areas in the Philippines during pre-Spanish times and so do Chinese traders.



When Spanish authorities tried to squeeze the life out of the Chinese settlers in Manila in the 16th century, who revolted and helped Filipino rulers against the Spanish but the Chinese and Japanese.



When Filipinos were waging their revolution against the Spanish, who were on their side but the Japanese? Bonifacio even spoke with a Japanese admiral prior to the outbreak of the 1896 revolution and asked for an audience with the Japanese emperor and for arms.



In World War two, Filipinos fought side by side with the Chinese against the Japanese forces, forcing the Japanese Imperial Army to hike the treacherous mountain ranges of the Sierra and die from bombing raids of American planes and from the machetes of ordinary Filipinos and the bayonets of the Chinese hagglers.



Now, what do we expect from this joint cooperation between Japanese and the Filipinos? It is to the vital interests of Japan to keep the Philippines as an ally due to our strategic importance in the balance of power in the Pacific. Japan remains as a dormant military power, relegated to a peace role as part of its commitment towards peace.



China is flexing its muscles in the Pacific to the consternation of other states including India, the US, Europe and Japan. Japan will be assisting the Philippines in establishing a naval base in Palawan near the Spratlys group of islands. This naval base is to be used not just by Philippine naval ships but open even to Vietnamese and Japanese naval forces.



This continued building of a military base in the Spratlys by the Chinese is a flagrant violation of international law and of environmental protection.China should exercise caution and not tempt the Fates as what it does when it reaches a modicum of economic stability, this country has the tendency of engaging its enemies when it is in a position of advantage. Now, it seems that China will re-consider flexing his muscles before Japan.