Are we so desperate for China’s investment, which accounts for only a small fraction of the Overseas Development Assistance, as compared to Japan and South Korea, that it even endangers our national security?”
Following the continued bullying and harassment by China’s Coast Guard supported by militia vessels of the People’s Liberation Army that usually swarm the Ayungin Shoal at Kalayaan Islands northwest of Palawan – the latest of which was the firing of water cannons at a Philippine navy vessel in an effort to stop it from merely resupplying a contingent of marine soldiers on board that vintage World War II navy vessel called the BRP Sierra Madre – there are now calls for the Marcos Administration to ban Chinese investments in the country.
Senate President Migz Zubiri in fact called for the review of Chinese investments in retaliation to the Ayungin Shoal standoff between the Philippines and China over a “promise” or a “vow” to tow away the rusty BRP Sierra Madre which was intentionally grounded in the shoal to emphasize the area, lying some 350 nautical miles inside the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone, is within the Philippine territorial sovereignty.
But China is also claiming the area is Nansha Islands and part of Chinese territory, Santa Banana!
I believe that following the standoff between the Philippines and China over Ayungin Shoal there is a need for the Marcos Administration to take a hard second look at all Chinese investment, especially state-owned investments for national security reasons.
Zubiri said that China is “frying us in our own fat” with the entry of Chinese investments like the state-owned US-blacklisted China Communications Construction Co. (CCCC) that constructed those small islands in the West Philippine Sea, with airfields and ports, which China made into military bases.
The CCCC is likewise involved in fraudulent contracts with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
I also recall that China has joint ventures with Davao-based tycoon Dennis Uy in his DITO network, the third telephone network building towers at strategic areas and even inside military camps. Santa Banana, this is a sure sign of the silent invasion of the Philippines by China.
That state-owned CCCC is reportedly aiming to build that strategic bridge across Manila Bay to connect Cavite and Bataan.
And yet, my gulay, here comes the Finance Secretary objecting to a review of China’s investments in the Philippines because we need the money.
Santa Banana, are we so desperate for China’s investment, which accounts for only a small fraction of the Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), as compared to Japan and South Korea, that it even endangers our national security?
Indeed, we are being fried in our own fat, my gulay!
Last August 21, the nation marked the 40th anniversary of the assassination of my good friend, the late Senator Ninoy Aquino, an assassination that prompted the end of Martial Law in 1986.
Aquino came back to the Philippines after an exile in Boston, where he lived for some years with his family.
Although the assassination of Ninoy was never traced to anybody, there were some who say the late General Fabian Ver, Marcos Sr.’s Chief of Staff, was behind it.
Aquino was a good friend. I recall when I was still living in Philamlife Homes in Quezon City that I used to drop by the Times St. house of the Aquinos.
Ninoy was a very good source of news, always glib and erudite, and a weaver of tales.
Recall his expose at the Senate where he said a survivor of the infamous Jabidah Massacre told him that some 300 Muslim volunteers were being trained by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Corregidor for a covert mission to take over Sabah. Ninoy claimed they had to be massacred upon the orders of then President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. because somehow the planned invasion of Sabah by a covert group of Muslims called Jabidah leaked out.
Thus, when Ninoy exposed that alleged Jabidah mission, the big news erupted that Marcos was bent on taking over Sabah from Malaysia.
The mission was allegedly being led by one Eddie Marcelino who assumed the name of Abdul Katuf.
(Editor’s Note: In 1967, President Marcos, who took his presidential oath in December 1965, was reported to have secretly authorized Major Eduardo “Abdul Latif” Martelino, a Muslim convert, to take charge of the operations of a secret commando unit code-named “Jabidah” and embark on an operation called “Project Merdeka” (merdeka means “freedom” in Malay) to destabilize and take over Sabah.)
Now Presidential Legal Adviser Juan Ponce Enrile, then the National Defense secretary of Marcos Sr. told me the Aquino expose was pure fiction and a figment of his imagination. It never happened.
Santa Banana, according to JPE, if it happened, the entire Moroland would have been up in arms.
Well,that’s the late Ninoy Aquino, the main face of the opposition, Santa Banana!
Speaking of Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal), after a series of incidents involving resupply missions for the platoon of marine soldiers on board that rusty and grounded BRP Sierra Madre wherein Chinese Coast Guard vessels blocked and even tried to stop the resupply boats, at times resorting to drastic measures, the latest of which was the water cannon aimed on a resupply vessel, the Armed Forces of the Philippines had warned China not to resort to such measures, Santa Banana!
In fact, a resupply mission is now being “planned” (as of this writing, this was just a plan) because only one Philippine vessel managed to reach the grounded BRP Sierra Madre.
This mission would no doubt be interpreted by China as a challenge.
My gulay, I don’t dare speculate nor predict what will happen next.
How will Chinese Coast Guard and all the militia ships react, my gulay!
Indeed, the Ayungin Shoal standoff has become a flashpoint in this part of the world.
I’m no geopolitical expert, but Ayungin Shoal could be the trigger point to something we have never dreamt of.
There appears to be no place for reformists in our kind of government, and I am not speaking of any administration past and present.
Take for instance, Cesar Chiong, a former PAL pilot who became Ninoy Aquino International airport general manager.
He thought he could reform an entrenched corrupt group at NAIA engaged in so many acts of corruption, like human trafficking, in connivance with some immigration personnel at the international airport, including illegal recruitment and smuggling in connivance with some Customs people at NAIA, and the so-called “escort service” of VIPs and known smugglers.
But Chiong got suspended when he tried to reassign and rotate NAIA personnel.
An inside source informed me Chiong had good intentions to reform a corrupt government agency.
He was mistaken.
Because of an anonymous complaint filed at the office of the Ombudsman, Chiong got suspended.
After several months, the Ombudsman Samuell Martires dismissed him.
Santa Banana, Chiong was not even given a chance to explain himself.
I do not know Chiong personally and I have never met him, but what I am saying is there’s obviously no room in government for reformists because in most government agencies, corruption is so entrenched that any attempt to reform them is doomed to fail.
The case of Chiong reminds me so much of what happened to my nephew, lawyer Rudolf Philip Jurado, who was appointed chief of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel during the Duterte administration.
Jurado soon found out some OGCC lawyers were wallowing in money, sporting luxury cars and getting a lot of allowances from the Government-owned and Controlled Corporations that they were assigned to.
In fact, the COA had red-flagged the OGCC lawyers for violating the rules and regulations of the COA ,that government lawyers should not receive more than one-half of their salaries in allowances and bonuses.
Jurado even found out that when some government lawyers represented OGCC in cases, they even charged attorney’s fees and travel expenses.
Jurado tried to stop this kind of corruption at the OGCC, but later on found out it was impossible because corruption was entrenched in that agency and that many of those lawyers had political patrons to protect them.
They even tried to make Jurado part of their circle of corruption to no avail.
Soon Jurado became the target of this entrenched corrupt OGCC that he was accused of so many acts he did not commit, like favoring some people with cases and contracts with the OGCC.
I didn’t know former President Duetrte himself was pressured by some politicians to dismiss Jurado.
When Jurado complained he did not do anything, somebody told him there’s no room for reformists in government.
Jurado was told by a friend that if you want to stay long enough in government, you just have to close your eyes and turn a deaf ear to acts of corruption.
That’s how corruption is a never-ending problem of government. “If you can’t beat them, join them,” – that seems to be a slogan in the government.