By Bernie Lopez
Both China and the United States recently conducted war games in the Spratlys, showing off how loud they could roar. But the exercises were insignificant psywar tactics that have now been forgotten. Because America has no territorial stake in the Spratlys, the Philippines had to be part of the US naval exercise. After all, we are the landowner. And yet, if we consider size, not ownership, where there are two giants and we are ants, we are mere fence sitters. In truth, the United States is using the Philippines as a pawn for a larger geopolitical plan under President Barack Obama’s “pivot to Asia” policy.
By Bernie Lopez
It’s important for Filipinos to be aware of the probability of war between the United States and China because the Spratlys may be the flashpoint in such a development.
We would like our Asian neighbors to have friendly relations with our country. But in recent years, some have become a threat to us—like the Chinese who have been insisting that our islands in the Spratlys are theirs. It is obvious that no amount of diplomacy can convince them to change their mind on the islands.
Is the Philippine government not falling into a Byzantine international snare? Is the government not thinking that the United States and China are intentionally fomenting disputes in the Asian region? These queries are being raised because the results are obvious.
By Jose Ma. Montelibano
If there is a moment in these last almost 500 years for the country and our people to finally take off, it is now. It is now actually a situation where the dream is so near, but we must not let it slip away. It used to be that we had to fight the [...]
By Conrado de Quiros
It was the worst of times, it was the best of times.
There are many situations where the mind of a businessman can solve problems and break deadlocks where the mind of a politician cannot. Often, the businessman—thinking only in terms of pesos and centavos—can formulate innovative solutions that are beyond the imagination of the politician who is hobbled by having to balance a million and one considerations for a multitude of stakeholders. Indeed, a pragmatic businessman can move things forward in ways a pragmatic politician cannot.
By Cielito F. Habito
One hundred fifty container loads of Philippine bananas are being left to rot in the Chinese ports of Dalian, Shanghai and Xingang, according to reports that came over the weekend. Our own government officials have been quick to play down any link between the holding of the banana shipments and the ongoing tension at the Panatag Shoal. But even if there wasn’t such a link before, who would believe there wouldn’t be one now?
From Lapu-Lapu to Jose Rizal, Philippine history is replete with people who fought against overwhelming odds and won. Of course, we were still colonized by the Spaniards and Americans, occupied by the Japanese and subjugated by a home-grown dictator. But the point is the Filipino spirit is indomitable and, despite the awesome might of our oppressors, we still prevailed in the end.
By Amando Doronila
The maritime standoff between the Philippines and China in the disputed Scarborough Shoal escalated into an economic conflict on Friday following a Chinese clampdown on Philippine banana exports to China and on travel of Chinese tourists to the country.
Manila should not get deep into a tit for tat with Beijing over the Scarborough Shoal dispute despite the two capitals trading barbs against each other.
By Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J.
Both the Philippines and China continue to assert sovereignty over the same area in the South China Sea. We therefore have an “international dispute,” an element necessary before one can go to an international court. We want to settle the dispute through the judicial resolution provision in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos); but China does not. That is the bind we are in.