"The CPP/NPA/NDF: A national disgrace"
The other week, I wrote about how the DILG-led drive to relax the Constitutional restrictions on foreign direct investment is picking up steam, thanks to Congress and the Palace. Nonetheless, misgivings persist, especially among the very young and the very old:
Can the foreigners be trusted to behave? What if they break our laws? What if they pillage our natural resources? Or viciously exploit our people, perhaps by dragging our children off to some dark part of the world to be eaten alive or thrown to the crocodiles?
I’d like to think that the DILG team succeeded over time in allaying those fears. Among the answers I’ve given during our enjoyable roadshow over the years throughout the country:
Foreign investors are, if anything, even more vulnerable than their local counterparts. This is because, unlike Filipinos, if they want to pay themselves dividends, they have to get permission first to convert pesos into their home currency AND THEN to take it out of the country.
Foreign investors (especially Westerners) are likely to come from countries with even stricter laws about everything from corruption to child labor to respecting the environment. We end up benefiting from their more enlightened legal climate.
Our local businessmen in fact joined the foreign chambers of commerce in 2016 to petition newly elected President Duterte and the 17th Congress to lift foreign investment restrictions. If some of the business groups are lately showing cold feet, I suspect it’s really because they’re concerned about hidden political agendas behind “cha-cha”.
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The hysteria with which some people greet the notion of foreign investment can be blamed on only one source: the abiding “anti-imperialist” agenda of the CPP-NPA-NDF. Its attraction lies in its aura of invincibility: It claims that nothing less than the immutable “laws of history” guarantee the downfall of capitalist imperialism.
This view is ultimately rooted in a primitive two-factor production function promoted by the economist Karl Marx. It is inevitable, he claimed, that the rate of return on the “organic composition of capital” will slow down; that exploitation of labor will consequently have to intensify in order to maintain those rates of return; and thus, capitalism will ultimately fail to sustain that exploitation beyond the bounds set by what is technically or physically possible.
However, technology and entrepreneurship (e.g. the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”) have been indefinitely extending the capitalist system, with no end in sight. As well, the irrepressibility of the human spirit has reclaimed individual freedoms in one domino after another: China, Russia, Eastern Europe, various “national liberation movements”. Only a few such movements survive, among them unfortunately the CPP-NPA-NDF, which is a national disgrace indeed.
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For those who care about these things, here’s another reason to go with the Sinopharm vaccine from China: It’s one of only a handful of some 40 anti-COVID vaccines in various development stages around the world that have NOT relied on cell lines from aborted cell fetuses, whether for testing or for development/production.
[The other well-known Chinese brand Sinovac, the very first vaccine to arrive in the Philippines, did use cell lines from aborted tissue for testing, but not for development/production.]
In general, the ethical considerations for Catholics might be summarized as follows:
First, were those long-ago babies aborted in order to produce those vaccines? Not likely. The parents would have had their own personal reasons to do so, although we can’t rule out any intention on the part of the abortionist to make the tissue available for medical experimentation.
Second, how remote was the abortion from the enjoyment of its results by the beneficiaries? If the latter refers to the folks who’ll be vaccinated, the distance is clearly remote, in both space and time.
Third, to what purpose is the aborted tissue being put? In the case of the vaccines, the purpose is clearly moral and beneficial: the saving of human lives.
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The last consideration is what primarily animates the Church’s positive view on the issue, at least for now. According to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome: “When ethically irreproachable COVID-19 vaccines are not available.… it is morally acceptable to receive COVID-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.”
Taking off from this guidance, the US Conference of Catholic bishops last week declared: “If one can choose among equally safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the vaccine with the least connection to abortion-derived cell lines should be chosen.”
More generally, the bishops added: “While we should continue to insist that pharmaceutical companies stop using abortion-derived cell lines, given the world-wide suffering that this pandemic is causing, we affirm again that being vaccinated can be an act of charity that serves the common good.”
If you want to know how all the vaccines stack up on this issue, just go to: