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A sense of urgency

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The latest incursion into Philippine territory by Chinese warships and fishing vessels has been at Ayungin Shoal in the Spratlys, one of hundreds of islands, reefs and atolls in the archipelago. The Philippines occupies nine of these islets with a dozen Navy personnel stationed on each of them. Recently Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin was quoted as saying “that we will fight for our territory, up to the last soldier.” Somehow his remarks remind me of a scene from the Academy Award-winning movie

“Patton” on the life of the swashbuckling American World War II general who led the Third Army in its drive into Germany. One of the lines in the movie has Patton telling one of his young soldiers, on the eve of the Normandy invasion, “Son, I don’t want you to die for your country. I want you to make sure that the other fellow dies for his country.”

The reality of the current situation is that China does not have to fire a single shot to attain its objectives. All it has to do to show displeasure over our actions is to close its markets to Philippine exports with all kinds of nontariff barriers or prohibit Chinese tourists from visiting the Philippines. This would send our diplomats scampering to placate Beijing.

In a recent publication “Lee Kuan Yew, the Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World”—a compilation of interviews and selections by Graham Addison and Robert Blackwill with Ali Wynn, published by the Belfour Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government—the former prime minister of Singapore had this to say: “China’s emphasis is on expanding their influence through the economy. In the geopolitical sense they are more concerned now with using diplomacy in their foreign policy, not force.”

China is patient and wise. It knows what the whole world knows—the Armed Forces of the Philippines is in no shape to confront any of its neighbors. That knowledge is the reason why the Philippines is bullied by every Tom, Dick and Harry in the neighborhood. China also knows that Filipinos have very short memories and attention spans.

Let me take you back in recent history.

In 1995, we discovered that China had built a number of octagonal huts on what was dubbed “Mischief Reef” in the Spratlys. (By the way, Ayungin Shoal is closer to Palawan than Mischief Reef.) China claimed that the octagonal huts were shelters for their fishermen in the area.

After a lot of huffing and puffing, and exchanges of diplomatic notes between the Philippines and China, a Code of Conduct was agreed upon in August 1995, calling for the settlement of disputes in a “peaceful and friendly manner, through consultations on the basis of equality and mutual respect.” Both sides also agreed to promote cooperation in various fields such as protection of marine environment, safety of navigation, prevention of piracy, search and rescue operations, prevention of maritime pollution and other areas of mutual concern.

In November 1996, after the conclusion of the Apec summit in Subic, Chinese President Jiang Zemin made a state visit to the Philippines, the first ever by a Chinese head of state. During the visit, President Fidel V. Ramos reiterated the country’s claim to Mischief Reef.

One of the highlights of the state visit was a musical program wherein both presidents joined voices in crooning popular melodies like “Love Me Tender” and “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” President Jiang also belted out solo versions of “Only When We Were Young,” “Suwanee River” and “Aloha, Oe.”

From what we now know, it is very likely that while the two presidents were having a wonderful time singing their hearts out with love songs and old time favorites, the Chinese continued to build up and improve “the fishermen’s huts” which they started a number of years earlier.

In November 1998, aerial photographs taken by Air Force surveillance aircraft showed that since the Ramos-Jiang songfest aboard the “Ang Pangulo,” the Chinese had constructed a 300-meter pier, new barracks, and what  appeared to be some kind of command center for communications and control. The new incursions were described as a creeping invasion by Chinese forces in violation of the agreed Code of Conduct. A senior official of the Department of Foreign

Affairs made an interesting observation on the matter. He expressed the view that the moment China occupied Mischief Reef and put up structures, it meant we had lost Mischief Reef. In international politics, occupation is identical to sovereignty.

Since then, have our defense forces checked on Mischief Reef? Have there been any new construction in the supposed “Fisherman’s Village”? Or have we decided to close our eyes completely to what has happened on Mischief Reef? Today the creeping invasion by China continues. There are so many similar islets and shoals in the Spratlys that we cannot possibly keep an eye on all of them, all the time.

This means that we must redouble our efforts on the AFP Modernization Program. The pace of procurement of new equipment is too slow and should be accelerated.

A case in point. One year ago,  Secretary Gazmin was guest of honor during Air Force Day. This was celebrated at Fernando Air Base, Lipa City, featuring a flyby of trainer planes, transport aircraft and helicopters. This was an improvement over previous celebrations when there were no flybys. I recall the secretary saying that within the year, we hope to get a squadron of fighter jets.

We are now about to mark another Air Force Day, this time at Clark Air Base with President Aquino as guest of honor. The latest word from Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo is that we are still in the negotiating stage for those jets. At the rate we are moving, President Aquino might not get to see them by the time he leaves office.

Some people may ask why we need jets in the Armed Forces of the Philippines. One answer is the need to upgrade our defense capabilities as new technology is incorporated into our weapon systems.

In 1965, when Singapore became independent it had to build an army from scratch. There was the danger of Malaysia taking over by staging a coup since Malaysian forces were still stationed in Singapore.

Defense Minister Go Keng Swee was tasked to carry out the program as quickly as possible. He reported to the Defense Council: “It is foolish to allow ourselves to be hypnotized by the disparity in the population ratios between Singapore and her neighbors. What counts is the fighting strength of the armed forces, not the size of populations.”

Today the Singapore Armed Forces is the most technologically advanced military force in Southeast Asia. No one threatens sanctions, no one bullies this island state of 5.2 million people.


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Short URL: http://opinion.inquirer.net/?p=53385

  • leo paras

    URGENT

    ANA: “Bakit ‘di na lang tanggalin ang lahat ng pork barrel sa 2-Congress at idagdag ito sa pondo ng AFP modernization program?”

    LISA: “Ay oo nga. Para magiging ‘singbilis din ang Pilipinas ng Singapore sa ginawa nila noong upgrading ng kanilang defence capabilities. Kita mo walang nangbu-bully sa kanila mula sa mga kalapit bansa nila, ‘di ‘gaya sa Pinas na labis na iniismol ng China.”

    CION: “Handang makipag-bakbakan sa Tsina at Taiwan ang AFP kung meron kompletong gamit pang-gera. Ang problema eh hindi papayag ang mga marunong, mautak, matalino at makapangyarihang mga legislator na matatanggalan sila ng PDAF para gamiting pondo para sa AFP modernization program. AYAW, NEVER, NUNGKA!!!”

    • mdc™ mnl.sf.ca.us

      The people should push for a bill called, independent pork barrel audit bill. All guilty of “misusing” any of the funds, will be guillotine in front of Malacanang before the public and for the whole world to see as examples of bad human behavior.

  • Josh Uriarte

    we shouldn’t have been in this situation if we didn’t removed the US military bases… slowly the balance of power in asia-pacific region became unstable from then on… now, incursions or even occupation of foreign vessels has become a new normal.. china has become militarily and economically powerful in the region and add the erratic behaviour of north korea, the region has become more volatile… no thanks to our politicians who voted against the US bases before… they didn’t think about long-term effect when they made the vote..

    • batangpaslit

      Not exactly, Josh.
      Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia did not have military bases in their territory operated by U.S.A. Yet, they were able to develop credible defense capability.
      The problem lies in our hands.

      • Josh Uriarte

        countries you mentioned are not corrupt or there maybe corruption there but not as blatant as ours… do you want to spend more in military now rather than spend it in education which is needy situation… and why not invest it our infrastructure so it could create more jobs.. even the countries you mentioned wouldn’t dare touch china… i guess they would do it diplomatically… lastly, i was also talking asia-pacific region as a whole… the last time i heard, US military bases in Japan and South Korea still exist… do you even bother why do they still have these US bases?

      • batangpaslit

        Josh, I never stated that we should take an offensive stance against a geographical neighbor who is hostile to us. I merely responded that it does not require the presence of U.S. bases to be immune from being bullied by bullies.
        That is false security.
        If you read my previous postings on other subjects, I am for the employment of diplomacy and honing the negotiating skills of the Filipinos in resolving conflicts.
        I fully concur that we spend more in economic development and the education of Filipinos to rise from the morass of poverty.
        Yes, systemic corruption is a prolonged issue. It is a curse to the Filipino people.
        U.S.A. maintains the 8th Army in South Korea. Is South Korea spared by North Korean war threats of U.S. presence?
        I represented the Philippine Government when Seoul conducted their 1st Defence Exhibit in 1981. I brought with me brochures of military jeeps manufactured by Delta Motors. Then, I was an active member of the Special Joint Committee of the Armed Forces and Defense Ministry, the Self-Reliance Defense Posture Program. Our mandate then is to transform the old homeland self-sufficient in the production of arms and ammo and other weapon systems manufactured in-country. The surplus would be exported to generate foreign revenues.
        U.S.A. the seat of economic and military power was unable to defend herself from the assault of passenger planes piloted by amateur Moslem avengers that converted it into missiles and toppled down the Twin Towers in New York.
        My point, is: war is not the solution. But, sitting over the negotiating table help resolve the problem.
        We have the U.S. bases at the height of communist rebellion, and the secessionist Moslem Movement. Did the naval bases in Subic and the Air Force Base in Clark deterred the communists insurrection and the war activities of the radical Moslems?

      • Josh Uriarte

        you’re comparing apples from oranges.. communist and muslim rebellion in our country is a domestic problem.. US couldn’t and will not intervene in these situation as it is against to our and their constitution.. the attack on 9-11 was a surprise attack coming from the terrorist which is still being waged right now and i think will be forever… don’t you think that the reason why north korea couldn’t what they want is because of US presence in that peninsula… don’t you think china & taiwan will have second thoughts if there is still US military presence in Subic and Clark?

      • batangpaslit

        there is neither “apples” or “oranges” in conflict, be it regional, global, or internal.
        who do you think are the supporters of the NPA insurrection?
        North Korea versus South Korea….the former is prevailed by China not to assault South Korea at the behest of U.S.A., when the latter sought the intervention of China to exert their influence over North Korea.
        yes, U.S.A. do not intervene with local conflict overtly. even though they are caught red handed, U.S.A. would deny it till their face turned blue.
        why do you think terrorists against U.S.A. sprouted like mushrooms?
        pakialamero ang Amerika sa mga internal affairs ng ibang bansa.

      • Josh Uriarte

        well that answers my question then… “americans are pakialamero”

      • mdc™ mnl.sf.ca.us

        The only time the americans let their hands get caught up in the cookie jar is when it hits their national interests. No other situation unless provoked the US will initiate war or conflict. And everyone should know their definition of National Interests could be very broad, it could be the future of oil, natural gas pipelines, fishing lanes and trades.
        ..peace!

      • Josh Uriarte

        right now, they are at war with China, the so called “cyber war” and trade war… so what do you think?

      • mdc™ mnl.sf.ca.us

        They are not really at war with china about cyberwar, they are on the protection and shield mode. They poke to see if the egg is rotten. The trade deficit between the two countries have been a problem between them for as long as i can remember.
        … cheers!

      • Josh Uriarte

        yes, the two countries are really fighting cyber war and it’s becoming serious to their national security… trade war is also a serious problem to US security as they owe much of their debt to China … so, don’t tell me these are not serious matters and couldn’t spark tension between the two countries…

      • mdc™ mnl.sf.ca.us

        Josh – For what its worth, I believe fishing rights will be a lot more serious to the chinese than cyberwar or trades with the US.

        The americans will continue to drag its feet about cyber criminals and billions of trade imbalance, but its just that. The US will not spit out the first bullet on this issue alone. The one that will really spark or stick and hit the fence will be the international shipping rights lanes along west philippines sea, the china sea they call it. Put that in your history books and use that as reference in the future. That is why if a tension gets serious between the chinese and the filipinos, the usa will be our best friends during this god forbidden time. Its not because the americans are one good loving christians to the philippines, but because their interests are the international shipping lanes where trillions of trades lie, in addition to a vast natural resources of gas, ore, black diamonds and oil under the ocean floor which makes this ocean the ground zero of the ocean battles.

      • cogito728sum

        With due respect to your opinion, America is not a “pakialamero.” It is compelled to intervene in world affairs to preserve the liberty of people and nothing else. America was never a colonizer in the sense as the word applies to the early European explorers who sailed the seas in search of colonies to support their governments. Even of territories it acquired to expand its geographical dimension, such as the acquisition of the Louisiana Territory and Alaska from their former colonial owners, America had to pay a price. It was dragged in the last global war because it did not have a choice if it wanted to live in freedom not to mention that it can’t simply close its eyes while its mother country was being “raped.” It cannot exist a free country amidst tyranny and despotism.
        It is very easy and convenient to criticize America’s interventions in world affairs; in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Korea, etc. but in doing so we are forgetting what kind of a world would we have today without America in the struggle against Hitler and Stalin, and what kind of conditions the people of these countries would have had without America. Yes, America have made blunders in its foreign policies such as the abandoning of the Shah and Chiang Kai-Shek but these are the inevitable consequences of maintaining a policy that has lost the support of the people for whom such policy is intended. However, by and large, this troubled world is much better off with America than without. And America is economically troubled now precisely because of its altruistic approach to the rest of the world. With all the military and financial support America has extended to countries teetering on total political and economic breakdown, is it surprising to see America in its present economic predicament? But despite that America is not abandoning and will never abandon its commitment to democracy and freedom. If it did so, America would cease to be America. Merci!

    • mdc™ mnl.sf.ca.us

      We do not need the americans like we used to. Beef up our arms, our arm forces, our coast guards with the best fighting machine they can have, even if takes our social security savings. To secure our future, our gov’t should fund the military taking half the country’s budget. Only then, we can take control of our waters and shores, lands and people and continue to grow in prosperity. Forget about the parasites and crooks for now, they will be dealt with later once we get our national identity. But, our military gets priority. Even the president and its cabinets can not tumble a good military man and its brigade.

      • RobDH

        You are right. You don’t need the Americans. And we do not want you to be dependent on any country. We will not however, just stand by and allow China to take over your country. Like it or not…we are still your friend. If we have to, we have the capability of neutralizing every Chinese war ship and aircraft in a matter of a few hours. So, when the Philippine government (excuse me, when the people) have had enough of the bullshit from China, and ask their friend (USA) for help, we will.

      • cogito728sum

        I don’t doubt that at all. Merci!

      • Julian de Sota

        …with all due respect, i doubt the US will suppor the Philippines AND take action against China. With the US utang (debts) to China running into Billions of Dollars am not sure if the US will be different from a WWII American President who proudly said said, “the US will pay the Philippines up to the last Carabao” after WWII.

        The Philippines is US good friend, very good in fact that we the Philippiines is not expected to complain to a friend….

        Justa thought.

      • Josh Uriarte

        is this how you would spend filipino’s money…wow… don’t be so naive dude…i’m not against modernizing our military, but we have more priorities other than our military establishment… and why would you even say that “even the president and its cabinets can not tumble a good military man and its brigade”.. are you saying that military is more superior to civilian authority?… why would you go this far? as far as i know, diplomacy would still be the best solution… in war, there are no winners, only deaths and sufferings… you don’t want to go there for sure…

      • mdc™ mnl.sf.ca.us

        I never disagree with you or anyone to use diplomacy. All I was saying was we need to arm ourselves specially the military like everybody else in the pacific ring of fire. We are the less fortunate of all despite our growth and power during the ’60s/’70s where we were 2x the revenue of taiwan and 10x of malaysia.
        .. Salud !

      • Josh Uriarte

        yes, i agree that we should equip our military with modern technology or equipment, but not to the extent of overspending in the military and yet other more priority like education, infrastructure, health, social services are left behind… we should establish our economy first by electing the right people to run our government…

      • mdc™ mnl.sf.ca.us

        Would you rather be exposed to very possible attacks by the one-china policy or protected so we can grow and develop our education sys, infrastructures, social services and more? As with other countries and personal belief, its your security first before anything else. Otherwise, anyone can take everything away from you with no mercy and be a slave forever.

        For the past years of my life, moving from the pacific to the west and east and back, my personal policy never changed, it is always security first before anything else. Moving to a new country or territory for that matter, you need to have the right roof over your head, food on the table and vehicle to move around. All the rests follow next.
        ..gracie!

      • Josh Uriarte

        you can have security if you are already self-sufficient… all i’m saying, where are you getting that money to modernize the military as we have other priorities too…if you are a head of the family and you have limited resources.. what would you do? ..do i buy a gun, or should i buy food first so my family could eat… do i buy a gun or pay my daughter’s tuition fee so could go to college..

      • juan_luisjr

        the military had the money purposely for modernization without diverting the budgets intended for basic services. From 1993-2011, P 55 billion was remitted from the proceeds of the bases conversion. But it is sadly gone ! only a few drops spent for military hardware most of which went to buying 2nd hand equipments. Also, In the previous admin , P 5 billion would be set aside / year for military hardware purchase.

      • mdc™ mnl.sf.ca.us

        Josh, you touched two distinct priorities with similar personalities. My example above of personal security covers mainly of self and family’s safety and security. However, comparing a country with a family is another. They are very unique in their own rights. In running a government, its always the nation as top priority and others exist as sacrifices. However, it can only be achieved if we have a well positioned military in an ever increasing violent neighbors who were once friends, we provided a roof over their heads and gave free food on their table. For sure, there are other priorities like what you said and I certainly will not disagree with you about it, but consistent aggressions in our shores and land, would you not think ahead what should get prioritized. As President if I ever be one day, it will always be my first, all the others follow in successions. It maybe different for you, but rest assured, my heart is for our country’s peace and order and people’s welfare in general.

  • orientgnome

    Contrary, we are in this situation because we still think and act like babies, always crying for mama’s attention. Who is afraid of China anyway?

    We are blinded by proximity. We react to triggers but not the real cause. We can’t see the cause because we ourselves are not sure what we are fighting for. We just shoot when the vessel comes near (if we think we have superior strength but if not we run to mama for help or wishing the US military bases were still around).

    Before we know our enemy, do we know exactly what we want to achieve? Do we have any plan (short or long-term) regarding our patrimony, our survival regardless of who or what are our real or perceived threats.

    Here are some interesting facts:

    a. China’s geni-coefficient rating is among the highest, close to some poor countries in Africa. There is a wide gap between the rich and the poor in China;

    b: The Telegraph, May 27, 2013: Gap between China’s rich and poor ‘threatening economy’

    c. China’s spending for internal defense is higher than their budget for external defense (please see ECRAN REPORT, 2012);

    d. Report: Rich Chinese investing abroad to protect wealth, some expect children to emigrate May 7, 2013 Joe McDonald, The Associated Press

    Under this condition, if you were Sun Tzu, will you recommend to Chinese leaders to go on aggression with their neighbors?

    First, China has very weak economic and social foundation to wage war. Second, the attitude of their new elite displays lack of nationalism compared to capitalists in Japan, Korea and Vietnam. (What about the Philippines? We are killing local producers in favor of China).

    The problem is within us. Years of dependence on big mama have left us a mindset of mendicants. We can’t think and act on our own.

    We also have groups who brag to be nationalist but I haven’t heard a word from them regarding the intrusion or China. They are just good at chanting against US Imperialism, an obsolete issue popular during the ‘cold war’ era. Sometimes I want to believer they are in China’s payroll, to create our own internal trouble. It is because China is afraid if we become economically and politically strong.

    At present we are just reacting, scratch it when you feel the sting but we don’t have plan and programs to eradicate mosquitoes. Media just sensationalize issues but offers no lasting solution.

    Can’t we not put our acts together by crafting our own destiny and true Filipino identity? I suggest we create a ‘think group’ to craft our national destiny and establish real Filipino patrimony rather than leave the issue for the president to resolve. Our president is good only for 6 years but our patrimony is as long as Filipino generation exists.

    Note: With the improvement in Philippine’s political and economic climates, we are in an advantage position to challenge China, if we know how to play our cards well.

  • juan_luisjr

    based on the Gen Farolan’s article, our problems in modernization are a) corruption- in yesterday’s sunday of Phil star. columnist Babes Romualdez said proceeds from sale of bases was about P 55 billion b) Negligence of basic duties such as patrolling and surveillance and c) The DND people talk and talk ( nato – no action talk only). We say we will buy this or that and we keep changing plans and hardly anything happens. No one can help us unless we really help ourselves.

    • kolambogan

      Upholding and defending Philippine’s sovereingty against new hostile foreign invaders and bullies will not be solved with modern weapons, without Nationalism instilled in the hearts of it’s people and soldiers who will handle all such modernities. Citizens who love their country like Philippine heroes of long ago down to the defenders of Bataan and Corregidor and all the true Filipino guerrillas (excluding the wily converted collaborators) that sustained resistance against foreign domination during the last world war loved their country and defend it they did with whatever they had. They shared everything with their fellow freedom loving countrymen and sacrificed even their own lives so that others may be free, which could not be said of most Filipinos of today, who seemed to have lost love of their country, and more concerned only of themselves and their corrupt politician idols running the Philippine government since Marcos and his likes who have plundered Philippine riches and resources that transformed a strong Philippine country and society to a mendicant weak one. Filipinos must realize that save for a very few, majority of their present government functionaries and officials will only lead them to perdition and slavery to poverty for life, hence susceptible for new foreign occupation, submission and destruction.

      • juan_luisjr

        agree!

  • orientgnome

    Precisely because we do not have strategic plan at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/josecorazon.bautista Jose Corazon Bautista

    During the 70s, it is said that the Philippines has the most improved armed forces in Asia. Problem is, since that time, the Philippines has failed to sustain such momentum obviously because our leaders never have defense as their priority. Take for example manpower preparedness which is a lesson learned in world war 2. In addressing such gap, ROTC & CAT were implemented. Absent the interest in such endeavor, both programs are now abolished, if not optional in school. The priority of interest? Its corruption.

    • mdc™ mnl.sf.ca.us

      Its not the reason, it was the Marcos’ time. They loot the treasury and the UNESCO, and the rich bayou and the lands of the famous. Bongbong still has some of them with his P500 million in his returns. The Imeldas and Imees in their Swatziland acounts untouched. So, that was the time the Philippines was 2x the revenue of Taiwan and 10x of Malaysia. Then everything went down the drain.

    • Julian de Sota

      thanks to the interest of the US in Asia Pacific region…US dump their military surplus in the country…

  • Fulpol

    North Korea is an impoverished nation according to reports.. but its military might posed danger to the world..

    Pilipinos don’t have any real issue to base their plans and strategies. Malaysia is a threat to Singapore.. US is a threat to North Korea… so Singapore and North Korea really took those threats seriously.. so they built their military defenses and offenses..

    after World War 2, what was the issue of Philippines regarding defense?? none.. during Marcos, he posed a real issue, that is reclaiming Sabah from Malaysia.. nothing happened, not even a single soldier was sent to Sabah.. after him, no more issues that was bothering Philippines regarding defense posed by outside threats especially so, that US has bases in PH and US and Ph has Mutual Defense Treaty..

    marcos they say, already foreseen the emergence of China as future threat.. so he helped in creating the ASEAN.. but Malaysia and Philippines have issues regarding Sabah.. Malaysia and Singapore have issues.. Indonesia and Malaysia have issues too.. Cambodia with Vietnam.. Vietnam with Philippines..

    now, it’s the issue of territorial disputes among ASEAN.. ASEAN will not offer any tangible help regarding defense to its members..

    what was the option left to the Philippines?? reliance on US military help.. but is US really a reliable ally? so the best option is to build your own defense..

    building PH own defense.. is that a late response?? was too late the effort??

    yes, it was already late… no money to buy advance weapons..no money to build their own weapons..

    but there is still a hope.. if you can’t purchase military hardware for the lack of funds.. I suggested in my earliest comments… that it is better to lease.. lease the modern military equipment from US or other countries manufacturing weapons.. while leasing, learn how to build one.. China is doing that.. they buy weapons, copy and improve it.. the Chinese also stole military designs in prototype stage..

  • Julian de Sota

    Marcos used his threat to the US so that US will allow him to loot the country and implement his conjugal dictatorship.

    And for the longest time, we falsely believe that the US will also develop the country (wrong–the US will never develop the Philippine economically that it will compete with US economy), and develop our defenses (wrong, the US will develop our military defense only to the extent that it will serve its (US) interest in the region).
    But it is now a relaity that a country that can not impose its power in its territory will lose. UN and other multi-lateral country can only do so much. the rest, will depend on the Philippines.

    • Crazy_horse101010

      a country 1 50th the size of america is going to compete with america. according to all news sources soon america will be producing more oil than arabia and will be exporting oil. they are going to produce more natural gas than russia. they are going to sell more food to the world. anyway i dont think america is worried about the completion and they gave the philippines enough money for a lot better army. where did that money go. buying houses in america i see an example of where america taxpayers went in a house near me owned by a colonel. it is huge on the ocean and has a giant fish farm something no colonel in america could afford. its worth over 10 million pisos.

      • Julian de Sota

        …an example is.. USAID assistance in the country (about $100M eveyr year, 50% of that probably will go to the overhead cost of US based NGOs) is very clear on the criteria of activities that it can fund. becuase it is explicit in their project review that USAID funds should not fund any commodity that will compete with the US product in the market… and this is not just in the Philippines, it is the same in otuer countries.. have you ever wonder why USAID is not spending in agriculture developement int he country?

        of course that are also good conditionalities–like USAID money should not fund NGOs with perceived tie up with terrorist; it will not fund activities that encoruaged illegal drug trade or drug use; or promote fmaily planning (yes funds should not be used to promote family planning; or funds should not be used for activities that use child labor…
        again justa thought…

  • eirons1043

    Sir Farolan may I please ask what happened or what use are the trillions spent for the Phil. Military Academy and thousands of its generals since 1946 if our AFP is always a weakling up to this writing?

  • Alexandre Amproz

    Outside a leading corruption and oppression, in fact stealing the country, ransacking the already poor, helping for land grabbing and mining, killing natives and farmers, tortures, enforce disappearances, playing macho’s at parades, blackmailing the congress at the early Arroyo time to have more Generals,

    Please tell me what did they have done ?

    Fighting a civil wars created by greedy abusers, the 40 families owning the country with their stollen assets isn’t acceptable as an excuse for a bunch of criminals existence, killing Filipino’s on purpose to protect the Country is not only amazing, but disgusting and vomiting.

    Have to say, long time ago, in Cotabato remotest place I met a young Captain.
    Tall, elegant, a frank and clean look, smiling politely, a perfect gentleman, I was impressed by his class.
    Philippines is full of gifted and charming peoples,
    why the world dirtiest can be found are automatically promoted as leaders,
    the good and clever are killed ?
    This what every fascist system use to do to keep control over a Country.
    Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Saddam Hussein, Marcos and all colonial leader have done it on a wide scale

    Its remember me Jose Rizal fate during Spanish time, educated and gifted where considered as a Colonial danger, still today, same political style.

    Thanks of that rubbish attitude, today AFP is naked and barefoot to front China,
    detrimental to at least 90 millions Filipino’s.

    In any other country, the sweetest punishment would have been a life time jail,
    assets sequestered, all of them, even the family dummies !

    In the Philippines, even caught red hands, it’s an arrogant Corona style “prove it ! ”

    The best of all is the Manila Mayor back to business with his stollen billions.

    Who will respect the Philippines ?



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