PHNO COLUMN OF THE DAY: CORRUPTION NOT INVINCIBLE AFTER ALL

Napoles begins to crack, and the crack can be major. It goes beyond the smaller details that most commentaries are focused on. Rather, Napoles spilling some or all that she knows about what she did and whom she did it with breaks the myth that crime pays. Certainly, I have no illusions that some will get away. I have no doubts either that many will not, especially when they thought they had already covered their tracks. There is a wall that seemed invincible except by People Power. After all, two versions of People Power did trigger plunder raps against two presidents. Today, though, another former president faces plunder cases. It did not take for people to rush to the streets, it just asked people to support PNoy when he took on a disgraced and impeached Chief Justice. That now removed Chief Justice appeared to many as one who would provide legal cover to a plunder that may yet prove to be worse than the Marcos experience. Decades of corruption not only stole hundreds of billions of people’s money but, in fact, skewed the very standards of accepted morality. Corruption from the very top produced two presidents who found their way to being named among the top ten of the world’s most corrupt leaders. A third, Gloria Arroyo, can find herself in that dirty global list when more whistleblowers come into play.
The corruption of presidents effectively extended the era of colonial masters when the Filipino people and their natural wealth were looted legally. Colonial rule was done by Spain and the United States for primarily one reason – to take what belonged to the natives, whether these be their slave labor, the fruit of that, or the hordes of gold and silver of our land. Japan would have done the same had it been given more time.READ MORE...

ALSO: Senate vs. Palace on EDCA?

The Senate will review the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement despite Malacañang’s insistence that EDCA is a mere executive agreement and, therefore, not subject to concurrence of the chamber. Definitely, this is much more welcome than the “inquiry” into the pork barrel scam by the Senate yellow ribbon committee. This gives the Senate an opportunity to show that it would not follow willy-nilly the wishes of President BS Aquino. Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, chairman of the Senate Committee on National Defense, has filed Senate Resolution 623 seeking to “clarify the contents and coverage of EDCA and to examine the extent of the strategic military relationship between the United States and the Philippines under it.” This resolution was referred last Tuesday to the committee of Trillanes and to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations headed by Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago. The first hearing is set for May 13 at 10 a.m. at the Sen. JP Laurel Room. Hopefully, this will be a true inquiry and not a mere briefing on EDCA by officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of National Defense. Resource persons from the two departments are expected to explain why they consider it a mere extension or implementation of the Mutual Defense Treaty and of the Visiting Forces Agreement and not a treaty. Aside from the legalities, DND and DFA officials should also explain EDCA’s impact on Philippine foreign relations, especially that with China. The Aquino administration had often taken the Senate for granted, with many senators accepting this treatment without any question. The case of EDCA, which was negotiated without getting any inputs from the Senate, could be the tipping point. Senator Miriam said the Senate was “blind-sided” by its negotiators and that it was not even extended the courtesy of getting an official copy. “I feel as if I have been slapped, or ordered to melt into the wallpaper,” she moaned. This should spell a tough time for EDCA defenders at the Senate. Sen. Miriam, whose capacity for venom is stronger than her ailment called “chronic fatigue syndrome,” had declared that she would conduct her inquiry separate from that by Trillanes. A joint hearing would make her committee play second fiddle to that of Trillanes, which was designated the primary committee in Resolution 623. (In a joint hearing, it’s the primary committee that drafts the report.) READ MORE...

ALSO: Juico’s quitting PCSO seen as her liberation

LET’S TWEET!: This Sunday morning we first greet the Philippine National Police for joining Twitter. To @PNPHotline: “Welcome po, Mamang Pulis! Good move joining Twitter, short & swift.” To readers who still have not discovered the exciting world of Twitter, we share some of our latest postings as samples of what is exchanged, at a fast clip and at not more than 140 characters: • Margie Juico quits as PCSO chair, finally liberated from the unChristian task of persecuting an ailing GMArroyo. • Another set of amateurs taking over admin posts with expiration of ban on appointment of poll losers. • Why 2 separate Senate hearings on EDCA (Santiago & Trillanes committees)? Drilon losing control? • Logically Santiago’s legal angle shd take precedence. Pointless for Trillanes to talk defense etc if EDCA is unconstitutional. • With the doctoring of NapolesList we should start calling the DoJ secretary Dr Leila de Lima. • ‘TELL-ALL’ NapolesList, you say? As told by Doctor DeLima, it’s just a ‘TELL-THREE’ meant to pin down Enrile, Estrada and Revilla. • Phl credit rating upgraded. Much like “pre-approved” credit cards peddled in malls. Shylocks luring us to borrow some more? READ MORE...

ALSO: On the verge of an economic boom

The statement from the international credit rating agency, Standard & Poor’s, was that the Philippine credit rating had been increased to BBB. The best way to prove that the Philippines is no longer the “sick man of Asia” would be to compare our S&P credit rating with those of surrounding countries. Here is a comparative list of ratings of Asian countries: Malaysia, A-; Thailand, BBB+; Philippines, BBB; India, BBB-; Indonesia, BBB-; Bangladesh, BB-; Vietnam, BB-; Sri Lanka, B+; Cambodia, B; Pakistan, B-. It might also be a pleasant surprise for many Filipinos to discover which countries the Philippines is now at par, or rated higher, in terms of credit rating. Among the countries which have the same BBB credit rating as the Philippines are Bahrain, Colombia, Italy, and South Africa. Among the countries with a credit rating of BBB- which is one grade lower than the Philippines are Azerbaijan, Brazil, Iceland, Russia, Spain, and Uruguay. Among the countries that are more than one grade below the Philippines are Argentina (CCC+), Egypt (B-), Greece ( B-), Nigeria ( BB-), Portugal (BB), Turkey (BB+), and Hungary (BB). Credit ratings are used by investors to help assess credit risk and to compare different potential investment areas when making investment decisions. Investment banks help facilitate the flow of capital from investors to issuers. They use credit ratings to determine whether they will advise potential investors whether a country is a good or bad investment destination. READ MORE...


READ FULL REPORTS HERE:

Corruption not invincible after all


By Jose Ma. Montelibano

MANILA, MAY 12, 2014 (INQUIRER) By Jose Ma. Montelibano - Napoles begins to crack, and the crack can be major.

It goes beyond the smaller details that most commentaries are focused on. Rather, Napoles spilling some or all that she knows about what she did and whom she did it with breaks the myth that crime pays.

Certainly, I have no illusions that some will get away. I have no doubts either that many will not, especially when they thought they had already covered their tracks. There is a wall that seemed invincible except by People Power. After all, two versions of People Power did trigger plunder raps against two presidents.

Today, though, another former president faces plunder cases. It did not take for people to rush to the streets, it just asked people to support PNoy when he took on a disgraced and impeached Chief Justice. That now removed Chief Justice appeared to many as one who would provide legal cover to a plunder that may yet prove to be worse than the Marcos experience.

Decades of corruption not only stole hundreds of billions of people’s money but, in fact, skewed the very standards of accepted morality. Corruption from the very top produced two presidents who found their way to being named among the top ten of the world’s most corrupt leaders. A third, Gloria Arroyo, can find herself in that dirty global list when more whistleblowers come into play.

The corruption of presidents effectively extended the era of colonial masters when the Filipino people and their natural wealth were looted legally. Colonial rule was done by Spain and the United States for primarily one reason – to take what belonged to the natives, whether these be their slave labor, the fruit of that, or the hordes of gold and silver of our land.

Japan would have done the same had it been given more time.

Independence, then, was what corrupt presidents stalled from growing in the hearts and minds of Filipinos after 1946.

Because societal leaders became as rapacious as the colonial masters they replaced, the majority of Filipinos have felt no difference in their impoverished state. The wealth of the land was denied them, especially as the land that was first grabbed by Spain from our ancestors has not been returned to the rightful owners.

The attitude of submission that emerged from centuries of foreign rule aided by local warlords or collaborators, the Filipino people lived with resignation and acceptance of wrong being right if it is so mandated, or modeled, by those in society who rule them. This attitude of submission has persisted beyond colonial rule.

 Native leaders who took over after 1946 did little to empower the people but did much to extend the two-tiered, contrasting reality of status and opportunity. How else could two presidents become part of the world’s most corrupt elite and another one on her way if the people had not accepted their deprivation even in the face of scandalous wealth of public officials?

Over the same centuries, and especially over the last 45 years since Ferdinand Marcos, corruption defined governance. Even Corazon Aquino, unwilling to use her revolutionary powers to cut deep incisions into a cancerous bureaucracy ably complimented by private sector greed, could not fire a single dirty employee of government without having to go through court. A wall of invincibility fortified the corrupt as long as they had money or position – and they had both.

It cannot be but by destiny that President Noynoy Aquino took on corruption as his primary cause when he ran for the presidency, and mean it beyond the usual campaign politics. It cannot be but destiny that PNoy gave his fundamental reason why he did so.

That was the heart of his inaugural speech, “No Wang-Wang”, a declaration that Filipinos are equal in worth and dignity – and the law. That statement of equality between the ordinary and the high-ranking established that government resources are not the private domain of public officials, that they are mere stewards and must accept accountability for their theft.

The protective wall that shields the powerful from prosecution and conviction combined well with the submissive attitude of the population, especially the majority poor, for corrupt not only to thrive but become a sub-culture of public service.

The aggressive arrest of Gloria Arroyo followed by the impeachment case and conviction of Rene Corona showed the resolve of one man to take on the invincibility of corruption. I believe that with his radical initiatives, PNoy opened the doors of possibility in the hearts and minds of Filipinos who pursued the bold trajectory by going after the PDAF with hammer and tongs – and succeeded!

The moment of equality is upon us if the resolve of a president is matched by a resolve of the people. PNoy and the people may not agree over which issues represent their priority, but they have not disagreed about corruption itself – that they both must persevere in dismantling it.

At the same time, PNoy and the people must be clear about the nature and status of corruption in the Philippines, that they do not deal with what is on the surface but also what rots in the inside, what is now a part of our assimilated history.

What is important is that the trajectory continues, and the beginning of the unraveling of Janet Napoles is a powerful symbol that what was invincible is now beginning to crack.

Thieves and liars, faced with the combined resolve of the destiny of a leader and the people, will have to weaken and wilt in their arrogance, recognize that their doom approaches, and begin to do what they do best – betray one another.

After all, their thieving and plundering ways had been continuing acts of betrayal against the people they swore to serve.

What lifts my optimism is not only that something great has begun, but that the new generations are here to sustain this trajectory towards nobility over corruption.

By a miracle, many of our own children and grandchildren, including those of the corrupt, have not been stained enough to lose their idealism. They will save us yet.

FROM THE MANILA TIMES

Senate vs. Palace on EDCA? May 9, 2014 10:52 pm by EFREN L. DANAO


Efren Danao

The Senate will review the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement despite Malacañang’s insistence that EDCA is a mere executive agreement and, therefore, not subject to concurrence of the chamber.

Definitely, this is much more welcome than the “inquiry” into the pork barrel scam by the Senate yellow ribbon committee. This gives the Senate an opportunity to show that it would not follow willy-nilly the wishes of President BS Aquino.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, chairman of the Senate Committee on National Defense, has filed Senate Resolution 623 seeking to “clarify the contents and coverage of EDCA and to examine the extent of the strategic military relationship between the United States and the Philippines under it.”

This resolution was referred last Tuesday to the committee of Trillanes and to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations headed by Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago. The first hearing is set for May 13 at 10 a.m. at the Sen. JP Laurel Room.

Hopefully, this will be a true inquiry and not a mere briefing on EDCA by officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of National Defense. Resource persons from the two departments are expected to explain why they consider it a mere extension or implementation of the Mutual Defense Treaty and of the Visiting Forces Agreement and not a treaty.

Aside from the legalities, DND and DFA officials should also explain EDCA’s impact on Philippine foreign relations, especially that with China.

The Aquino administration had often taken the Senate for granted, with many senators accepting this treatment without any question.

The case of EDCA, which was negotiated without getting any inputs from the Senate, could be the tipping point. Senator Miriam said the Senate was “blind-sided” by its negotiators and that it was not even extended the courtesy of getting an official copy.

“I feel as if I have been slapped, or ordered to melt into the wallpaper,” she moaned.

This should spell a tough time for EDCA defenders at the Senate. Sen. Miriam, whose capacity for venom is stronger than her ailment called “chronic fatigue syndrome,” had declared that she would conduct her inquiry separate from that by Trillanes.

A joint hearing would make her committee play second fiddle to that of Trillanes, which was designated the primary committee in Resolution 623. (In a joint hearing, it’s the primary committee that drafts the report.)

She, along with a number of lawyers and commentators, has identified three constitutional issues that EDCA must hurdle.

She said that her committee will concentrate on these issues while that of Trillanes could focus on the military aspects.

What happens if she finds out that EDCA is indeed a treaty and therefore subject to concurrence by two-thirds of the Senate membership?

Well, the most she could do is file a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that Malacañang should submit EDCA to the chamber for concurrence.

If the Senate rejects the resolution, it might precipitate the resignation of Senator Miriam from the Committee on Foreign Relations.

If it is adopted, it has no binding effect on Malacañang which can continue to refuse to transmit it to the chamber. This, however, will result in a face-off between the two bodies, a crisis that only the Supreme Court could resolve.

A push for PH tourism

My grandnephew, Lee Montbord, 17, was so impressed by his first visit to the Philippines that he came out with a fast-paced 4-minute video that he titled “Trip to the Philippines: Back to the Roots.”

He visited us last February-March along with his sister Luna, 14, their parents Frenchman Joachim Montbord, and Dutch-Filipino mestiza Imee Danao Barten and their grandma, my sister Myrla.

They visited the Hundred Islands, Banawe, Baler and Caramoan Island, aside from spending quite a time in Barangay Mapangpang, Lupao, Nueva Ecija, where my maternal grandparents were pioneer settlers.

Both Lee and Luna, just like their mom Imee, had expressed pride in their Filipino blood and have vowed to return as soon as possible. The final shots in Lee’s video showed it all—a fluttering Philippine flag. (Lee posted his video in Facebook and You Tube.)

‘Mr. Bean’ alive and well

Rowan “Mr. Bean” Atkinson is reportedly set to change his face. A friend said he read this report after Atkinson had learned that a Filipino lawmaker looks like him. “Obviously, Atkinson felt offended that this Pinoy legislator was being likened to him,” my friend added.

Of course, I didn’t fall for this “report,” not after I had fallen victim to the hoax that Atkinson is already dead. I received emails, including from my daughter Irene and long-time friend Bert de Guzman, that Atkinson is still very much alive, contrary to a post in the Facebook.

FROM PHILSTAR

Juico’s quitting PCSO seen as her liberation POSTSCRIPT By Federico D. Pascual Jr. (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 11, 2014 - 12:00am 8 8 googleplus1 0


Federico D. Pascual Jr.

LET’S TWEET!: This Sunday morning we first greet the Philippine National Police for joining Twitter. To @PNPHotline: “Welcome po, Mamang Pulis! Good move joining Twitter, short & swift.”

To readers who still have not discovered the exciting world of Twitter, we share some of our latest postings as samples of what is exchanged, at a fast clip and at not more than 140 characters:

• Margie Juico quits as PCSO chair, finally liberated from the unChristian task of persecuting an ailing GMArroyo.

• Another set of amateurs taking over admin posts with expiration of ban on appointment of poll losers.

• Why 2 separate Senate hearings on EDCA (Santiago & Trillanes committees)? Drilon losing control?

• Logically Santiago’s legal angle shd take precedence. Pointless for Trillanes to talk defense etc if EDCA is unconstitutional.

Opinion ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

• With the doctoring of NapolesList we should start calling the DoJ secretary Dr Leila de Lima.

• ‘TELL-ALL’ NapolesList, you say? As told by Doctor DeLima, it’s just a ‘TELL-THREE’ meant to pin down Enrile, Estrada and Revilla.

• Phl credit rating upgraded. Much like “pre-approved” credit cards peddled in malls. Shylocks luring us to borrow some more?

* * *

LIBERATION: It was not Margie Juico herself, but us, who described her leaving the PCSO as her “liberation.”

We have long wondered how she could still sleep knowing that the only evidence against former President Arroyo to prop up the plunder charges against her was GMA’s ministerial “OK” in the margin of a memo for the release of PCSO intelligence funds.

A president’s routine approval of release of such funds is dictated by long-established procedure, but it does not follow that the president approves of any fund misuse that may happen down the administrative line.

Meanwhile, it is intriguing that the reported plan to have Cavite Rep. Erineo “Ayong” Malicsi replace Juico was greeted in some social media with such comments as it is almost like giving Dracula access to the blood bank.

With the approach of the election season, it is normal in Philippine politics for all government-controlled cash cows to be herded under reliable party operators.

* * *

‘PAHINGA NA MUNA’: But Margie, 65, was more relaxed than we thought. She simply told the STAR: “They don’t have to drag me out of my office. I don’t want to get in his way. Let him have it. I have reached retirement age. I have served over two decades. Pahinga na muna.”

She was appointments secretary throughout Cory Aquino’s presidency, and served as her assistant until her passing in 2009. She was a PCSO board member under the Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo administrations, but quit out of delicadeza when Cory called for GMA’s resignation in 2005.

“Nothing has changed as far as my loyalty to President Aquino is concerned,” Margie said. She dismissed rumors that she was asked by Malacañang to resign because she lost the plunder evidence against Ms Arroyo.

She also brushed aside speculation linking her resignation to the suspension of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas from the Wack-Wack Golf and Country Club for verbal abuse of club employees. The club board happens to be headed by her husband Philip, who served as agrarian reform secretary under Cory Aquino.

* * *

FRUSTRATION: Margie’s resignation is another example of a performing asset quitting because of frustration with deadly political intrigue that started in the 2010 election season, when then presidential wannabe Mar Roxas stepped aside for Noynoy Aquino to win the presidency.

One wonders if Roxas is now collecting on a political debt in preparation for 2016.

Margie and her entire family, headed by husband Philip, have been known for their total devotion and loyalty to the Aquinos starting with Philip who first met then senator Ninoy Aquino in 1971 and then became a faithful follower during Ninoy’s incarceration, exile and the events after his assassination.

Margie’s service to Cory spanned 23 years. When Cory fell terminally ill, Margie organized the novenas for her healing and survival.

The Juicos were with the Aquinos in good times and bad. Margie, we are told, even promised Cory in her deathbed that she and her family would continue to be of service to the Aquinos in any capacity even after she is gone.

* * *

SUCCESS AS MEASURE: It is no surprise that some of the qualities that Cory was known for, such as detachment from positions of power, humility, simplicity and faith in God, somehow found themselves in Margie.

That may explain why she did not hesitate to resign after some ambitious individuals surrounding P-Noy started to invent stories about her supposed inefficiency, questionable transactions, and alleged ties of family members with gambling personalities.

But Margie can look back to her successful management of PCSO, leaving behind a cash surplus of P16.6 billion — up from the minus-P4-billion she had inherited. Her predecessors had a cash surplus of P3 billion but left behind unpaid obligations of P7 billion, including tax deficiencies.

* * *

‘MAHIRAP GUMAWA NG TAMA’: Margie and her board, including general manager Joy Rojas, made all PCSO transactions more transparent and the entire PCSO more rules-oriented. In short, all good governance processes were observed.

In terms of serving indigent patients, its main mandate, records show that close to 800,000 Filipinos have benefitted from PCSO’s charity medical services in 2012 and 2013.

One fellow, I think it was President Noynoy Aquino himself, once said in Filipino: “Gumawa ka ng tama, ipaglalaban mo pa. Bakit kay hirap gumawa ng tama?”

On the verge of an economic boom BREAKTHROUGH By Elfren S. Cruz (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 11, 2014 - 12:00am 1 13 googleplus1 1 


Elfren S. Cruz

The statement from the international credit rating agency, Standard & Poor’s, was that the Philippine credit rating had been increased to BBB. The best way to prove that the Philippines is no longer the “sick man of Asia” would be to compare our S&P credit rating with those of surrounding countries.

Here is a comparative list of ratings of Asian countries: Malaysia, A-; Thailand, BBB+; Philippines, BBB; India, BBB-; Indonesia, BBB-; Bangladesh, BB-; Vietnam, BB-; Sri Lanka, B+; Cambodia, B; Pakistan, B-.

It might also be a pleasant surprise for many Filipinos to discover which countries the Philippines is now at par, or rated higher, in terms of credit rating. Among the countries which have the same BBB credit rating as the Philippines are Bahrain, Colombia, Italy, and South Africa.

Among the countries with a credit rating of BBB- which is one grade lower than the Philippines are Azerbaijan, Brazil, Iceland, Russia, Spain, and Uruguay.

Among the countries that are more than one grade below the Philippines are Argentina (CCC+), Egypt (B-), Greece ( B-), Nigeria ( BB-), Portugal (BB), Turkey (BB+), and Hungary (BB).

Credit ratings are used by investors to help assess credit risk and to compare different potential investment areas when making investment decisions. Investment banks help facilitate the flow of capital from investors to issuers. They use credit ratings to determine whether they will advise potential investors whether a country is a good or bad investment destination.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said: “This is further proof of President Aquino’s belief that good governance is good economics. We will continue to institutionalize good governance so our country’s economic growth is both sustainable and inclusive.”

But the most important statement, from Standard and Poor’s, was a forecast for the Philippines: “The upgrade on the Philippines reflects a strengthening external profile, moderating inflation, and the government reliance on foreign currency debt. The outlook is stable and the ratings are not likely to change in the next 18 months.”

The agency also said “We expect ongoing reforms on a broad range of structural, administrative, institutional and governance issues to endure beyond the term of the current administration.” This is the most optimistic evaluation of the Philippine economy that I have ever read.

We can only hope that P-Noy will not allow political manuevering related to aspirations in the 2016 presidential elections to derail what could be one of his greatest legacies to the Filipino people – institutionalizing good governance and the beginning of an economic golden age for our country.

China Threatens Vietnam

Local headlines focus on the arrest of a Chinese crew that was caught poaching hundreds of sea turtles which are considered endangered species by environmentalists all over the world. According to the Philippine police, they found 354 sea turtles on the Chinese vessels, 234 of them dead. Sea turtles are globally protected sea reptiles.

But to the international media, this arrest of Chinese poachers was a mere sideshow because the major confrontation was what was happening between China and Vietnam.

The initial report said that two Vietnamese vessels were rammed by a Chinese maritime vessel. But the geopolitical story was more serious and could lead to an escalation of tensions between the two countries.

The whole controversy centers around a Chinese oil rig called the HD-981. But this is no ordinary equipment. This is a 138-meter high platform capable of operating in 3,000 meters of water.

This is China’s first deep water rig and it will make it finally possible for China to pursue its goal of a more aggressive oil exploration and development undertaking close to mainland China.

The Vietnamese claim that there are now more than 50 Chinese vessels deployed in the area to protect the oil rig. Here are excerpts from a Vietnamese position paper:

“Up to now Vietnam has conducted 6 meetings at various levels with the Chinese side, both in Hanoi and Beijing to protest the operation of the HD-981 [oil rig]...

In these meetings and protesting communications, the Vietnamese side made clear that:

(1) the location of HD-981 and its supporting vessels fall well within the 200 nautical miles EEZ of Vietnam, thus their activities cause severe violations of (i) sovereignity, sovereign rights and jurisdication of Vietnam as recognized by the UNCLOS, (ii) DOC-2002 and (iii) relevant agreement between the top leaders of Vietnam and China as well as the agreed fundamental principles guiding settlement of maritime issues between the two countries;

(2) Vietnam demanded China to remove the HD-981 and supporting vessels out of Vietnamese waters;

(3) Vietnam has sufficient legal grounds , historical evidence and actual exercise of jurisdiction over Paracels to claim its ownership;

(4) Vietnam requested China to respect the sovereignty of Vietnam over Paracels, sovereign rights and jurisdiction of Vietnam;

(5)Vietnam reiterated the proposal to settle the issue of Paracels sovereignty and other maritime disputes by negotiations and other peaceful means, including the UN Charter and UNCLOSD.

In response the Chinese side said the activities of HD-981 were normal petroleum activities of China in the southern part of Paracels, under China’s jurisdiction and there is no relation to EEZ/CS of Vietnam. China rejected the proposal of negotiations on Paracels sovereignty. Vietnam in turn rejected this position.

These actions of China negatively affect the political trust and the ongoing Vietnam-China maritime consultations and negotiations and the good relationships between the two people.”

These recent confrontations with Vietnam demonstrate that China intends to be more aggressive in pursuing territorial claims.

Today they are in Philippine waters for sea turtles. Tomorrow it could be also be an oil rig.

Will the EDCA serve as a deterrent? Or will we face the high and mighty China alone?

Come to the WRITE place

At a loss for words? Having difficulty turning those ideas into the written word? Then come to the WRITE place every Saturday starting May 24 and 31 at the Canadian American School at The City Club Alphaland Makati Place on Ayala Avenue cor Malugay St. The Young Writers’ Saturday Hangout hosted by the Where the Write Things Are Center offers individual, hands-on writing sessions specifically designed to cater to your child’s writing needs — whether for fiction, poetry, essays or any other writing style or genre.

No two sessions will be alike as we understand the unique gift for writing waiting to be unleashed within each student. The sessions are scheduled as follows: 10 – 11:30 a.m. (for 7-10 years old); 1 – 2:30 p.m. (for 11- 15 years old).

Lead facilitator is writer and book author Neni Sta. Romana Cruz.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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