China’s accountability

"Do those loans and investments come at all costs?"



Whatever reason President Duterte had in calling what happened in Recto Bank, internationally called Reed Bank, a “little maritime incident,” he definitely weakened our call for responsibility and accountability.

In the first place, nobody is even suggesting we should go to war with China because of that ramming incident. It would be silly.

As a result of his statement, President Duterte preempted any investigation by either China or the Philippines. It is obvious that he does not want to endanger the loans and investments we are getting from our giant neighbor.

The statement of US Ambassador Kim Sung that there should be full accountability for the Recto Bank incident clears a lot of things on the issue of responsibility. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea even raises the issue of a felony when a vessel of whatever nationality does not save crew members of a damaged or sinking ship.

The copout of the Chinese vessel was that it was being besieged by eight Filipino vessels. Pure baloney!

What is tragic is that there is no outrage from the people about this incident. Either we Filipinos have been cowed into silence because of a President who kowtows to China, or we are just too stupid that we don’t realize the stakes involved.

* * *

The Manila Overseas Press Club, the first press organization in the Philippines, is marking its 74th year.

Looking into the history of the MOPC, it is a press organization of foreign correspondents who covered the liberation of the Philippines, particularly after the surrender of Japan.

The first officers of the MOPC belonged to the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France Presse and others.

I was accepted at the time because I was business editor of the Philippines Herald and editor/ correspondent of The Age, an Australian publication.

It was in 1972 that I became MOPC president. As such, I was appointed by President Ferdinand Marcos as a member of the three-member Media Advisory Council, then headed by Daily Express journalist Primitivo Mijares, a Marcos crony.

The MAC was supposed to undertake censorship of the foreign media. The other member was Ray Pedroche for radio.

I became suspicious of the fact that Mijares was acting like a one-man MAC, telling us that he was acting on behalf of Marcos. Santa Banana, he started giving permits and licenses for print and broadcast media left and right! But there were reports he was being bribed.

Since I was then an executive of the Kanlaon Broadcasting System operating Channels 4, 2, 9 and 13. I saw then Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile, administrator of Martial Law, telling the President to lift the censorship of foreign media because it was an exercise in futility. They could always go to Hong Kong and write derogatory articles from there.

Eventually, censorship was lifted.

I convinced Enrile that there was need for media to get out of the ambit of martial law and to become self-regulating. Thus, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas was organized and I was its first president.

The MOPC continued to exist until I was replaced by Doroy Valencia, my mentor, and who became a crony of Marcos. Valencia also became KBP president when I resigned from KBS.

Teodoro Benigno also resigned from MOPC and organized the Correspondents Organization in the Philippines. MOPC became a club solely for Filipino journalists.

I am now chairman emeritus of MOPC wit RMN Group’s Eric Canoy as president and BizNews Asia’s Tony Lopez as chairman.

* * *

I would like to set the record straight.

Contrary to reports that the Hyatt 10 resigned, records showed former President Gloria Arroyo fired them. Their resignation was actually fake news.

The Hyatt 10—called such because they met at Hyatt Hotel—wanted to replace Gloria with a president they could manipulate. But then-Vice President Noli de Castro turned them down.

They became part of the Aquino administration. They soon got their wish, but it turned out Benigno Aquino III was the worst president we ever had.

* * *

I am happy that the graft charges against Mrs. Elenita Binay have been dismissed. She was accused of being negligent in awarding a contract through simulated/ rigged bidding. Many of the charges pending before the Sandiganbayan are like Mrs. Binay’s case.

* * *

One reason San Miguel Corporation is so successful is its president and COO, Ramon Ang.

He is that kind of businessman who sees opportunities while others cannot. He has many unsolicited proposals like that $50-billion airport in Bulakan, Bulacan.

Recently, Ang offered to convert the Pandacan depot to a bus terminal.

He is indeed a visionary.

Topics: Emil Jurado , Recto Bank , Reed Bank , China , Chinese vessel , Filipino fishing vessel , US Ambassador Kim Sung , Manila Overseas Press Club
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