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EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary)
FROM THE TRIBUNE

EDITORIAL: ROOT IS MISUNDERSTANDING
[In gist, the PCA in its ruling stated that rights have been violated but good faith existed and the rift was the result of a misunderstanding. Such a conclusion only pointed to the need of a dialog.]


JULY 14 -UN: BOTH OF YOU NEED DIALOGUE In the part “The Tribunal’s Considerations” that forms the bases of the conclusion in the 501-page award of the United Nations (UN)-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on the South China Sea conflict, it was clear that the tribunal was pointing to the need of a dialog between the Philippines and China to resolve what was implied as a misunderstanding. The PCA ruled as invalid the nine-dash claim of China that covered more than 80 percent of the South China Sea and that China “had violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone.” The dispositive portion of the arbitration case, however, suggested what China has been demanding are talks among claimants without the interference of outside parties. It was stated in the PCA ruling that “the root of the disputes presented by the Philippines in this arbitration lies not in any intention on the part of China or the Philippines to infringe on the legal rights of the other, but rather — as has been apparent throughout the proceedings — in fundamentally different understandings of their respective rights under the Convention (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLoS) in the waters of the South China Sea.” “In such circumstances, the purpose of dispute resolution proceedings is to clarify the parties’ respective rights and obligations and thereby facilitate their future relations in accordance with the general obligations of good faith that both governments unequivocally recognize,” the ruling stated. The PCA ruling was particularly cautious in not handing out any directive on the protagonists in the conflict. “Going forward, it is a fundamental principle of international law that ‘bad faith is not presumed’ and Article 11 of Annex VII provides that the ‘award ... shall be complied with by the parties to the dispute,’” the ruling added. It said “it goes without saying that both Parties are obliged to resolve their disputes peacefully and to comply with the Convention and this Award in good faith.” READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - Selective justice as religion
[Since Carpio-Morales saw the immunity from suit that cloaked both Noynoy and Binay now lifted, what’s stopping her now from also running after Noynoy? The sole answer is obvious, selective justice then, now and forever, as long as Morales stays put as Ombudsman.]


JULY 15 -Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has mastered the craft of selective justice, even straddling two administrations, which would be a good reason for the new government to assess her status as a holdover. While no action has been taken on the cases filed related to the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) in which an estimated P145 billion from the budget was juggled into a slush fund of Noynoy and the Liberal Party, Carpio-Morales filed graft charges against former Vice President Jojo Binay on the day after the PDP-Laban of President Duterte announced a coalition agreement with the LP. The assumption is that there was some degree of horse trading to seal the marriage of convenience and of course on top of the demands of the LP was to allow Noynoy to get his going away trophy target which is Binay’s head. Consider the usual line of Noynoy’s speech on Daang Matuwid about his administration having led to the prosecution of a President, his predecessor Gloria Arroyo; three senators, former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr.; a former Chief Justice being impeached and a former Ombudsman being forced to resign. The missing piece in the Noynoy showcase was the former Vice President who even before the elections, Carpio-Morales, the LP enforcer, has vowed to prosecute after he steps down from office. The charges filed against Binay was for graft, falsification of public documents and violation of the Government Procurement Reform Act related to the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Building II. Carpio-Morales’ determination to take down Binay was apparent in her actions immediately after the elections in which Binay lost his quest for the presidency. Morales has badgered prosecutors in her office to ready the cases against Binay to allow the filing of cases against the former Vice President immediately after the end of his term last June 30. Carpio-Morales prodded the Office of the Ombudsman’s field investigators who were told to finish their task of going over the documents against Binay and his co-accused in the complaint for the charges to be immediately filed before the Sandiganbayan. Carpio-Morales earlier exerted pressure on the Commission on Audit (CoA) to release a report that would implicate Binay to the Makati City Hall Building II alleged overprice. READ MORE...


ALSO:
by Archbishop Oscar V.Cruz - Anti-gambling appeal
[Gambling provides work for people. Hence without it, people would have no work at all. One answer to all the above allegations: Really? It is a consolation to take notice of the fact that the new administration has something contra gambling. No. It has neither censured much less stopped gambling in the land. But it already said something about doing away with “online gambling” which only a wizard could count how many, would know where they are, who are their operators. It is now incumbent upon the people to know and to speak whether such a presidential option simply fell on deaf ears or in fact being acted upon. Such counter-gambling move is good for a start.]


JULY 17 -Gambling is synonymous to covetousness. Gambling equals avarice. Gambling is synonymous to greed.
Gambling promotes the mentality of chance. Gambling implants the spirit of dependence on luck, the reading of signs, the interpretation of dreams. Gambling cultivates indolence. Gambling divests the gamblers of good name.
Gambling creates addicts. Gambling causes poverty. Gambling generates crimes. Gambling is contra sweat and industry. Gambling impoverishes individuals, destroys families and at times even causes social disharmony.More: Gambling is an ethical liability, a moral cancer. Gambling exploits the gamblers. Gambling enriches the gambling operators. Gambling corrupts not few local and national public officials. Gambling foments crimes. Gambling destroys decency, sound value system, laudable cultural traits. Gambling usually comes with guns and goons for the sake of gold. Gambling is a masquerade for the promotion of social action, the granting of social benefits, the pursuit of social development as justifications. READ MORE...

ALSO: No moral authority
\One wonders whether the United States has any moral authority, along with other international allies, to pressure China into following the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration or any other international court, since the US, along with some other countries, has not bowed to the ruling decided on by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a case filed by Nicaragua against the United States.]


JULY 17 -One wonders whether the United States has any moral authority, along with other international allies, to pressure China into following the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration or any other international court, since the US, along with some other countries, has not bowed to the ruling decided on by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a case filed by Nicaragua against the United States. Wikipedia says of this case: The US lost this case in the ICJ that awarded reparations to Nicaragua. The ICJ held that the US had violated international law by supporting the Contras in their rebellion against the Nicaraguan government and by mining Nicaragua’s harbors. Like China, the US refused to participate in the proceedings after the Court rejected its argument that the ICJ lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. The US later blocked enforcement of the judgment by the United Nations Security Council and thereby prevented Nicaragua from obtaining any actual compensation. Incidentally, China can do the same, if it comes to that, since China has veto powers in the UN Security Council. The Nicaraguan government finally withdrew the complaint from the court in September 1992 (under the later, post-FSLN, government of Violeta Chamorro), following a repeal of the law requiring the country to seek compensation. The Court found in its verdict that the United States was “in breach of its obligations under customary international law not to use force against another State,” “not to intervene in its affairs,” “not to violate its sovereignty,” “not to interrupt peaceful maritime commerce,” and “in breach of its obligations under Article XIX of the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between the Parties signed at Managua on January 21, 1956.” And it is not only the US that refused to bow to international court rulings. Even the United Kingdom refused to adhere to a PCA ruling. Britain acted illegally in the way it has exercised territorial control over the Chagos Islands, a UN tribunal has ruled, raising questions over the UK’s claim to sovereignty and offering hope of return to hundreds of evicted islanders. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Root is misunderstanding


UN: BOTH OF YOU NEED DIALOGUE

MANILA, JULY 18, 2016 (TRIBUNE) Written by Tribune Editorial Thursday, 14 July 2016 00:00 - In the part “The Tribunal’s Considerations” that forms the bases of the conclusion in the 501-page award of the United Nations (UN)-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on the South China Sea conflict, it was clear that the tribunal was pointing to the need of a dialog between the Philippines and China to resolve what was implied as a misunderstanding.

The PCA ruled as invalid the nine-dash claim of China that covered more than 80 percent of the South China Sea and that China “had violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone.”

The dispositive portion of the arbitration case, however, suggested what China has been demanding are talks among claimants without the interference of outside parties.

It was stated in the PCA ruling that “the root of the disputes presented by the Philippines in this arbitration lies not in any intention on the part of China or the Philippines to infringe on the legal rights of the other, but rather — as has been apparent throughout the proceedings — in fundamentally different understandings of their respective rights under the Convention (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLoS) in the waters of the South China Sea.”

“In such circumstances, the purpose of dispute resolution proceedings is to clarify the parties’ respective rights and obligations and thereby facilitate their future relations in accordance with the general obligations of good faith that both governments unequivocally recognize,” the ruling stated.

The PCA ruling was particularly cautious in not handing out any directive on the protagonists in the conflict.

“Going forward, it is a fundamental principle of international law that ‘bad faith is not presumed’ and Article 11 of Annex VII provides that the ‘award ... shall be complied with by the parties to the dispute,’” the ruling added.

It said “it goes without saying that both Parties are obliged to resolve their disputes peacefully and to comply with the Convention and this Award in good faith.”

READ MORE...

The US government statement issued through State Department spokesman Assistant Secretary John Kirby injected a different tone in the aftermath of the decision saying it will lead to “ultimately resolving ... underlying disputes free from coercion or the use or threat of force.”

None of that, however, was contained in the ruling as the PCA only stated in its conclusion “the Tribunal considers it beyond dispute that both parties are obliged to comply with the convention, including its provisions regarding the resolution of disputes, and to respect the rights and freedoms of other States under the convention. Neither party contests this, and the Tribunal is therefore not persuaded that it is necessary or appropriate for it to make any further declaration.”

China has refused to participate in the PCA proceedings saying that it does not recognize from the start third party arbitration on territorial disputes.

The PCA, however, took note of China’s position in a paper submitted to the Tribunal and its pronouncements through its several mouthpieces.

It said “in the course of proceedings, Chinese officials have made a number of statements on the importance of good faith and the duties incumbent on States pursuant to the Convention.”

The PCA cited the position paper China submitted which “emphasized that, pursuant to Article 300 of the convention, State parties shall ‘exercise the rights, jurisdiction and freedoms recognized in this convention in a manner which would not constitute an abuse of right.’”

It further noted that on May 19, 2016, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi “spoke of China acting in accordance with law and safeguarding the sanctity of the UNCLoS.”

In gist, the PCA in its ruling stated that rights have been violated but good faith existed and the rift was the result of a misunderstanding.

Such a conclusion only pointed to the need of a dialog.


Selective justice as religion Written by Tribune Editorial Friday, 15 July 2016 00:00


Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has mastered the craft of selective justice, even straddling two administrations, which would be a good reason for the new government to assess her status as a holdover.

While no action has been taken on the cases filed related to the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) in which an estimated P145 billion from the budget was juggled into a slush fund of Noynoy and the Liberal Party, Carpio-Morales filed graft charges against former Vice President Jojo Binay on the day after the PDP-Laban of President Duterte announced a coalition agreement with the LP.

The assumption is that there was some degree of horse trading to seal the marriage of convenience and of course on top of the demands of the LP was to allow Noynoy to get his going away trophy target which is Binay’s head.

Consider the usual line of Noynoy’s speech on Daang Matuwid about his administration having led to the prosecution of a President, his predecessor Gloria Arroyo; three senators, former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr.; a former Chief Justice being impeached and a former Ombudsman being forced to resign.

The missing piece in the Noynoy showcase was the former Vice President who even before the elections, Carpio-Morales, the LP enforcer, has vowed to prosecute after he steps down from office.

The charges filed against Binay was for graft, falsification of public documents and violation of the Government Procurement Reform Act related to the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Building II.

Carpio-Morales’ determination to take down Binay was apparent in her actions immediately after the elections in which Binay lost his quest for the presidency.

Morales has badgered prosecutors in her office to ready the cases against Binay to allow the filing of cases against the former Vice President immediately after the end of his term last June 30.

Carpio-Morales prodded the Office of the Ombudsman’s field investigators who were told to finish their task of going over the documents against Binay and his co-accused in the complaint for the charges to be immediately filed before the Sandiganbayan.

Carpio-Morales earlier exerted pressure on the Commission on Audit (CoA) to release a report that would implicate Binay to the Makati City Hall Building II alleged overprice.

READ MORE...

The Ombudsman’s office was also the suspected source of a leaked report on the CoA investigation of the Makati City Hall Building II.

Binay’s political party United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) had said a public relations man identified with Carpio-Morales provided copies of the CoA report to select reporters.

The investigations regarding the DAP, meanwhile, was downgraded from the plunder complaints filed while excluding Noynoy.

The “investigation” which up to now remains without a result only involved former Budget Secretary Butch Abad and Undersecretary Mario Relampagos and their culpability would be limited to administrative charges.

Carpio-Morales predictably parroted the Palace view that the DAP funds were sourced from pooled savings as “a plan to boost disbursements” and “to jumpstart the implementation” of the government’s expenditure program.

Carpio-Morales also held the view that the DAP projects were identified based on their “multiplier impact on the economy and infrastructure benefit, beneficial effect on the poor and translation into disbursements.”

The most that Abad and Relampagos would face as a penalty would be for “technical malversation.”

Carpio-Morales said Noynoy has not been investigated since the President is immune from suit and that the charges that can be filed against him are “not grounds for impeachment.”

On that alone, Carpio-Morales has a divergent view on Noynoy and Binay.

Since Carpio-Morales saw the immunity from suit that cloaked both Noynoy and Binay now lifted, what’s stopping her now from also running after Noynoy?

The sole answer is obvious, selective justice then, now and forever, as long as Morales stays put as Ombudsman.


Anti-gambling appeal Written by Archbishop Oscar V.Cruz Sunday, 17 July 2016 00:00



Gambling is synonymous to covetousness.
Gambling equals avarice.
Gambling is synonymous to greed.
Gambling promotes the mentality of chance.
Gambling implants the spirit of dependence on luck, the reading of signs, the interpretation of dreams.
Gambling cultivates indolence.
Gambling divests the gamblers of good name.
Gambling creates addicts.
Gambling causes poverty.
Gambling generates crimes.
Gambling is contra sweat and industry.
Gambling impoverishes individuals, destroys families and at times even causes social disharmony.
More: Gambling is an ethical liability, a moral cancer.
Gambling exploits the gamblers.
Gambling enriches the gambling operators.
Gambling corrupts not few local and national public officials. Gambling foments crimes.
Gambling destroys decency, sound value system, laudable cultural traits.
Gambling usually comes with guns and goons for the sake of gold. Gambling is a masquerade for the promotion of social action, the granting of social benefits, the pursuit of social development as justifications.

READ MORE....

Gambling makes the end justify the means.

More: Gambling is anything but a “gaming” and an “amusement” — all pretenses to the contrary notwithstanding.

Gambling attracts gangsters, sinister characters, dubious figures. Gambling definitely and continuously invite money launderers especially from foreign shores.

Gambling is a haven for money lenders repaid with multiplied and multiplying interest rates.

Gambling is dangerous and not simply difficult to counteract. Gambling is a downright vice — be this surreptitiously run and officially approved, grandiosely established and lavishly promoted.

More: Gambling is as old as humanity. Hence, countering it is both futile and silly.

Gambling is in the blood of Filipinos. Hence, getting rid of it in the Philippines is practically killing its citizenry.

Gambling is but a form of entertainment. Hence, without it, people would simply wallow in lamentation and self-pity.
Gambling is merely a recreation. Hence, in its absence, there would be but idleness and dejection.

Gambling provides work for people. Hence without it, people would have no work at all. One answer to all the above allegations: Really?

It is a consolation to take notice of the fact that the new administration has something contra gambling.

No. It has neither censured much less stopped gambling in the land. But it already said something about doing away with “online gambling” which only a wizard could count how many, would know where they are, who are their operators.

It is now incumbent upon the people to know and to speak whether such a presidential option simply fell on deaf ears or in fact being acted upon. Such counter-gambling move is good for a start.

But then what about the no less than some 33 illegal forms of gambling in the country — from Alpor to Video Karera, from loteng to sakla, from bookies to hataw, from masiao to pares-pares, etc., etc., etc.?

Just as in the so-called legal gambling,” even in such illegal gambling modalities, the gambling lords — be this the government itself or private individuals — are ultimately the winners, the beneficiaries, the victors.

So sad yet so true!
(Reprinted with permission from Archbishop Emeritus Oscar V. Cruz, from www.ovc,blogspot.com )


No moral authority Written by Ninez Cacho-Olivares Sunday, 17 July 2016 00:00



One wonders whether the United States has any moral authority, along with other international allies, to pressure China into following the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration or any other international court, since the US, along with some other countries, has not bowed to the ruling decided on by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a case filed by Nicaragua against the United States.

Wikipedia says of this case: The US lost this case in the ICJ that awarded reparations to Nicaragua. The ICJ held that the US had violated international law by supporting the Contras in their rebellion against the Nicaraguan government and by mining Nicaragua’s harbors.

Like China, the US refused to participate in the proceedings after the Court rejected its argument that the ICJ lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.

The US later blocked enforcement of the judgment by the United Nations Security Council and thereby prevented Nicaragua from obtaining any actual compensation.

Incidentally, China can do the same, if it comes to that, since China has veto powers in the UN Security Council.

The Nicaraguan government finally withdrew the complaint from the court in September 1992 (under the later, post-FSLN, government of Violeta Chamorro), following a repeal of the law requiring the country to seek compensation.

The Court found in its verdict that the United States was “in breach of its obligations under customary international law not to use force against another State,” “not to intervene in its affairs,” “not to violate its sovereignty,” “not to interrupt peaceful maritime commerce,” and “in breach of its obligations under Article XIX of the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between the Parties signed at Managua on January 21, 1956.”

And it is not only the US that refused to bow to international court rulings. Even the United Kingdom refused to adhere to a PCA ruling.

Britain acted illegally in the way it has exercised territorial control over the Chagos Islands, a UN tribunal has ruled, raising questions over the UK’s claim to sovereignty and offering hope of return to hundreds of evicted islanders.

READ MORE...

In a withering judgment, the decision stated that the UK is accused of creating a marine protected area (MPA) to suit its electoral timetable, snubbing the rights of its former colony Mauritius and cosying up to the United States, which has a key military base — allegedly used for the rendition of terrorist suspects — on the largest island, Diego Garcia.

The five-judge panel found that the creation of the MPA, announced by the former Foreign Secretary David Miliband, in the final months of the last Labor government, breached its obligations to consult nearby Mauritius and illegally deprived it of fishing rights.

There were more cases of other major countries’ refusal to abide by the rules of international court.

Why do they — as well as the Philippines think that international pressure on China to bow to the PCA ruling make China, another superpower, suddenly abide by it and even more, lose international prestige when the same refusal of other major international countries to abide by the rule-based courts occur when the rulings go against them?

This is not to say that China did right or wrong right in its refusal to abide by the PCA ruling on the South China Sea.

It is more to say that these foreign countries, known as super powers that call on China to abide by the PCA ruling cannot hope to pressure China when they, on record, also refused to recognize the decisions of international courts, whether the PCA or the ICJ, that go against them.

In much the same way, Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay and Solicitor-General Jose Calida should be a bit more prudent in their words and so-called plan of action with regard to China and the PCA ruling.

 Yasay called for international support. China also was clear in not making the South China Sea an issue during the ASEM summit, yet Yasay insisted in bringing this up, and for what?

The news was no longer centered on the disputed seas and the PCA decision, as the focus of attention was already on the Bastille Day truck mowing of people and killing some 84 with over 50 victims in critical condition, with many more injured.

And this then was followed by a Turkey military attempted coup d’etat against the Erdogan government.

The point is, the only way to go in this China-Philippine sea dispute is through negotiations, through bilateral talks, and not multilateral talks.

And before the talks, there is no use for the Philippines to talk tough while using the shield of the PCA ruling and so-called international support. It won’t matter to China in talks anyway.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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