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EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
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(EXCLUSIVE) BY RAISSA ROBLES: DEAR MAYOR DUTERTE, PLS DISCLOSE WHAT YOU TOLD CHINESE OFFICIALS


UPDATED JUNE 16, 2016 -On Saturday evening, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte practically accused President Benigno Aquino III and Senator Antonio Trillanes of selling out to China. He vowed to investigate the role played by both officials in the loss of Scarborough Shoal to China.What Duterte hasn’t told his supporters, though – including his new-found senatorial candidate Rafael Alunan – is that in early October 2015, Duterte was visited by the newly appointed Chinese Consul General Song Ronghua plus four other Chinese officials from the Chinese consulate in Cebu. The visit came before the start of the filing for candidacy for the presidency and other national elective positions.At that time of the visit, Duterte was still vacillating over running for president.I’ve already written extensively about Aquino and Trillanes on the South China Sea issue. This is the first time I’m delving deeper into Duterte’s stance on the issue. For my story on this, see – Philippines ‘rejects China deal on disputed shoal’ – Chinese side reportedly offered to withdraw from Scarborough Shoal if Manila did not file document on dispute as China denies making any such offer. Senate Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce Enrile later revealed that the go-between for this offer was Trillanes. Two sources also separately told me the same thing.As a long-time observer of Philippine-Chinese relations, I found the high-level visit last October by Chinese envoys to a mayor down south highly unusual.READ MORE...

ALSO By Teddy Locsin, Jr: Chimpanzees
[FROM Lincoln, Duterte drew this inspiring expression: “You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong; you cannot help the poor by discouraging the rich; you cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer; you cannot further brotherhood by inciting class hatred among men.”
When he said that one imagined TELCO executives and reckless mining magnates, to borrow the words of Joker Arroyo, “jumping like chimpanzees.”]


JULY 14 -TEDDY LCOSIN, JR
FROM Lincoln, Duterte drew this inspiring expression: “You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong; you cannot help the poor by discouraging the rich; you cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer; you cannot further brotherhood by inciting class hatred among men.”  When he said that one imagined TELCO executives and reckless mining magnates, to borrow the words of Joker Arroyo, “jumping like chimpanzees.” But did Lincoln really say that you can not strengthen the weak by weakening the strong, when the weak are weakened by the strong? If so, why did he wage a civil war to help the blacks against their white masters? Did Lincoln really say that you cannot help the poor by discouraging the rich who got rich by making people poor; and keeping them that way by over-charging for dropped calls and turtle slow internet which people have no choice but to pay or be cut off from human intercourse. The operative word here is “intercourse.” Read Yanis Varoufakis latest book, "And the Weak Suffer What They Must?" where he demonstrates that the strength of the strong is drawn from their oppression of the weak, and the wealth of the rich comes from their exploitation of the poor. There is no other way for the strong to become and stay strong, and the rich to get rich and richer—which is why it is in the interest of both to screw the weak and poor only up to that point beyond which they cease to contribute strength and wealth to the strong and rich. You should not kill the emaciated if golden goose. READ MORE...

ALSO  By Harvey Keh -: My initial thoughts on the Duterte administration


JULY 10 -Harvey S. Keh In the last elections, I openly supported the candidacies of Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo but now that the elections are over, it is now time for our country to move forward from the divisiveness and towards supporting the new administration led by President Rodrigo Duterte. Does that mean that we will always support him in all his decisions? Of course not. We live in a democratic society, thus, we are given the liberty to also express our own opinions and thoughts on particular issues but at the same time, we also cannot just oppose the present administration just for the sake of opposing since this will be counterproductive for our country. For those who did not support Duterte in the last elections or are having second thoughts of supporting his administration, I think the best way to deal with him is through critical collaboration. Vice President Leni Robredo said it best when she said that she will praise and support Duterte when he does something good for our country but she will not keep quiet when she feels that the administration is doing something wrong. Happy with the leftists One of the things that I liked that Duterte did was his appointment of leftists in his Cabinet namely Agrarian Reform Sec. Rafael Mariano and Social Welfare Sec. Judy Taguiwalo. It would be good to see how they are able to solve the problems that they have been pointing out in their numerous rallies for the past decades. Since the time of President Corazon Aquino, I do not remember any President that was supported or even praised by these left-leaning groups. For them, it seemed like all Presidents were anti-poor and promoted injustice in our country. I am happy that they are now given the chance to implement change and actually make things happen on the ground. I’ve heard good stories about Taguiwalo, hopefully, she can further improve on the successful 4Ps program of our government. READ MORE...

ALSO By Ellen Tordesillas - Duterte gives Yasay a graceful exit


JULY 21 -President Duterte is astute. He can appear to be assuring you of his trust and confidence while actually cutting your neck. That was what his July 19 video statement released by Malacañang on the status of Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. showed. In the video, a very formal Duterte in barong tagalog with the emblem of the President of the Republic of the Philippine behind and in front of him, said: "I would like to arrest a few rumors going around that Secretary Yasay of the Department of Foreign Affairs is on his way out. I would like to assure the Secretary that he is in good company and there is no truth to the rumor that there is a plan for his ouster, far from it actually. "I would like the Philippines to know that I personally pleaded with Secretary Yasay to join the government because he is competent and honest, and he knows his business. He has a professorial job on the western side of the United States. “He knows whereof he speaks. So hindi totoo yan. “Although there’s a caveat. Actually, Secretary Yasay accepted the position on the condition that he will only serve for a few months, not even a year because he has his contractual obligations to teach, professorial chair, well most of universities in the western side... maybe California, Hawaii and somewhere else. “So, let me douse cold water on the rumor and arrest the circulating... It’s not good. "Yasay speaks for me. Everything that he says in public, both national and international, comes from my guidance. And he has my backing and full support. And I said, I place my entire trust in him to take care as being the spokesman for our foreign affairs. And that's why he is there. "Sana po matapos na iyang haka-haka. Maraming Salamat.” READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

OPINION: Dear Mayor Duterte, pls disclose what you told Chinese officials Raissa Robles
Posted at May 08 2016 03:36 PM | Updated as of Jun 16 2016 12:42 PM

MANILA, JULY 25, 2016 (ABS-CBN) (EXCLUSIVE) On Saturday evening, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte practically accused President Benigno Aquino III and Senator Antonio Trillanes of selling out to China. He vowed to investigate the role played by both officials in the loss of Scarborough Shoal to China.
What Duterte hasn’t told his supporters, though – including his new-found senatorial candidate Rafael Alunan – is that in early October 2015, Duterte was visited by the newly appointed Chinese Consul General Song Ronghua plus four other Chinese officials from the Chinese consulate in Cebu.


2015 PHOTO -Mayor Rodrigo Duterte meets with Chinese Consul General Song Ronghua (left) and his party during their courtesy call at Manila Polo Hotel last year. Photo from Bing Gonzales, mindanaotimes.net

The visit came before the start of the filing for candidacy for the presidency and other national elective positions.
At that time of the visit, Duterte was still vacillating over running for president.
I’ve already written extensively about Aquino and Trillanes on the South China Sea issue. This is the first time I’m delving deeper into Duterte’s stance on the issue. For my story on this, see – Philippines ‘rejects China deal on disputed shoal’ – Chinese side reportedly offered to withdraw from Scarborough Shoal if Manila did not file document on dispute as China denies making any such offer.

Senate Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce Enrile later revealed that the go-between for this offer was Trillanes. Two sources also separately told me the same thing.
As a long-time observer of Philippine-Chinese relations, I found the high-level visit last October by Chinese envoys to a mayor down south highly unusual.

READ MORE...

First, because ever since the standoff over Scarborough Shoal in 2012, China has implemented an almost total snub of Philippine officials, except during such occasions as China National Day (October 1) or the celebration of the Lunar New Year.
You can count the number of top-level Filipino officials whom Chinese envoys still see outside of those two occasions. Among them is Vice President Jejomar Binay and his family.

When ConGen Song visited Duterte in Davao in early October, the Chinese official had newly arrived in the Philippines. Weeks later on October 21, ConGen Song would be wounded in a bizarre shooting of two of his staff at the consulate in Cebu during the celebration of a birthday party. (A retired Chinese consular official and his wife were tagged as the suspected perpetrators and hastily flown back to Beijing.)
What the photo of Song and Duterte suggests is that Mayor Duterte has an open pipeline to Chinese officials.

In contrast, Duterte has shunned talking to US Embassy officials. He has publicly disclosed that the US Embassy had also invited him to talk about his plans over the South China Sea dispute, but he hasn’t accepted the invitation.
Duterte bared: “The American embassy would like to talk to me. I want to make this public because I feel lukewarm toward the United States.”
Duterte indicated that he has not yet found the time in his schedule to meet with US envoys.
Coupled with his meeting with Chinese officials, Duterte also disclosed last March that “a Chinese” had partly funded his political ads. His exact words to reporters were:
“May nagbayad niyan na Chinese sa initial ads ko.” He added, “Ayaw naman sabihin [kung sino siya].”
Which leads me to ask this question – is Duterte getting funding from a foreign Chinese corporation or the Chinese government? What I find really puzzling is that the tough-talking Mayor of Davao City, who has repeatedly warned that “blood would flow” if he ever gets elected President because he would be tough on criminals, seems all but ready to lie down and give up sovereignty over the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) claimed by the Philippines in the South China Sea.
I base this on the series of statements that Duterte has publicly stated on the issue.

I am assuming that as a candidate running for the highest office, he means what he says. Duterte has publicly said the following:
On February 29, 2016, he asked China to build a railway in exchange for silence and inaction on the part of the Philippines:
“Build us a railway just like the one you built in Africa and let’s set aside disagreements for a while. Build us a rail for Mindanao, build us a railway from Manila to Bicol, I will be happy, let us not fight. Build us a railway because no nation on earth ever progressed without a railway.”
He also offered himself up to the Chinese as a sacrifice:
“If worse comes to worst, I will not waste the lives of Filipino soldiers, I will go to the boundary line, myself; maybe have someone take me there, and I will go there on my own with a jet ski, bringing along with me a flag and a pole and once I disembark, I will plant the flag on the runway and tell the Chinese authorities, ‘Kill me.’ Huwag na ang sundalo (Don’t kill the soldiers).
"I’ll tell (the Chinese authorities) ’kill me,’ because I also want to be a hero.”

READ: Duterte wants to be a hero in dispute vs China
On March 7, 2016, he said he did not believe in the Aquino government’s move to bring the conflict before an international arbitral tribunal because anyway, China will not abide by the ruling:
“I have a similar position as China’s. I don’t believe in solving the conflict through an international tribunal. China has said it will not abide by whatever that tribunal’s decision will be. That’s the same case with me, especially if the ruling will be against the Philippines.”
Later, his own campaign team backtracked on his behalf but he hasn’t.
Duterte has also offered not to talk about ownership of the islands in exchange for joint exploration and economic perks:
“Let’s not talk about ownership and I will not make noise about it. If you want, let’s do a joint exploration. Just give me my part [of the agreement] whatever it is, [it may be] a train system from Manila to Mindanao. For six years, I will shut up.”

READ: Duterte willing to back down on sea dispute with China
On April 15, 2016, Duterte said he would start bilateral talks with China, or talk with China directly, on the issue. He said,
“We will not insist on the ownership for the simple reason that we cannot enforce our desire to own….There’s no conflict. You have joint exploration without giving up sovereignty. It’s like you told your neighbor, ‘let’s not talk about who owns that but let’s split the profits.’ There are legal formulas around the world recognized by the US, accepting that.”
To put it bluntly, as a Filipino, I am shocked.
All these approaches – joint exploration, trains and aid for amicable relations with China, and bilateral negotiations with China – all these had been tried before and failed with disastrous results for the Philippines.
After President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo agreed to a joint seismic exploration of a portion of the South China Sea where China did not even have any claims, China put one over the Philippines. It started claiming even this portion.

President Arroyo also accepted a concessional loan from China to fund North Rail. When the South China Sea conflict erupted during the administration of President Benigno Aquino, Jr., China made the entire concessional loan due and demandable. This nearly affected the Philippine economy, President Aquino told me in an interview last year.
Before the arbitration, President Aquino also tried to explore joint exploration and bilaterals. But the negotiations bogged down over China’s insistence that any contract should be signed under its own laws, and not under Philippine law.
Duterte said on April 15: “We will not insist on the ownership for the simple reason that we cannot enforce our desire to own.”
This reminds me of what the late foreign Secretary Raul Manglapus told female overseas contract workers at the height of the Iraq-Kuwait war when they faced sexual assault – that they might as well lie back and enjoy the rape since anyway it can’t be prevented.
It’s intriguing that Duterte seems to be very confident that China will negotiate with him fair and square if he is the President. I really wonder what gives him that air of confidence over this very thorny issue.


OPINION: Chimpanzees Teddy Locsin, Jr. Posted at Jul 14 2016 12:08 AM | Updated as of Jul 14 2016 09:56 PM

 
TEDITORIAL

FROM Lincoln, Duterte drew this inspiring expression: “You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong; you cannot help the poor by discouraging the rich; you cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer; you cannot further brotherhood by inciting class hatred among men.”

When he said that one imagined TELCO executives and reckless mining magnates, to borrow the words of Joker Arroyo, “jumping like chimpanzees.”

But did Lincoln really say that you can not strengthen the weak by weakening the strong, when the weak are weakened by the strong? If so, why did he wage a civil war to help the blacks against their white masters?

Did Lincoln really say that you cannot help the poor by discouraging the rich who got rich by making people poor; and keeping them that way by over-charging for dropped calls and turtle slow internet which people have no choice but to pay or be cut off from human intercourse. The operative word here is “intercourse.”

Read Yanis Varoufakis latest book, "And the Weak Suffer What They Must?" where he demonstrates that the strength of the strong is drawn from their oppression of the weak, and the wealth of the rich comes from their exploitation of the poor.

There is no other way for the strong to become and stay strong, and the rich to get rich and richer—which is why it is in the interest of both to screw the weak and poor only up to that point beyond which they cease to contribute strength and wealth to the strong and rich. You should not kill the emaciated if golden goose.

READ MORE...

And yet Duterte says that in this and in another quotation are contained all his economic, financial and political policies.

The solution to the riddle, the reconciliation of the seeming contradiction is the first and preeminent quotation.

This one from Franklin Delano Roosevelt—or was it Teddy Roosevelt his cousin the Trust Buster:

“The test of government is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide for those who have little.” Especially when those who have much, got it from those who have little; so that, in order to provide, for those who have little you must take a little back from those who have taken too much from those who have too little.

It is worse when we are talking about mining, where those who have much take it from our patrimony—to wit, what will not grow back and cannot be replaced: non-renewable natural resources.

So stop jumping like chimpanzees over Duterte’s words. Instead hold still, you are about to get a haircut all over, starting with your armpits.


TEDDY LCOSIN, JR


OPINION: My initial thoughts on the Duterte administration Harvey S. Keh Posted at Jul 09 2016 02:55 PM Share Facebook Twitter GPlus LinkedIn Pinterest


Harvey S. Keh

In the last elections, I openly supported the candidacies of Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo but now that the elections are over, it is now time for our country to move forward from the divisiveness and towards supporting the new administration led by President Rodrigo Duterte. Does that mean that we will always support him in all his decisions? Of course not.

We live in a democratic society, thus, we are given the liberty to also express our own opinions and thoughts on particular issues but at the same time, we also cannot just oppose the present administration just for the sake of opposing since this will be counterproductive for our country.

For those who did not support Duterte in the last elections or are having second thoughts of supporting his administration, I think the best way to deal with him is through critical collaboration.

Vice President Leni Robredo said it best when she said that she will praise and support Duterte when he does something good for our country but she will not keep quiet when she feels that the administration is doing something wrong.

Happy with the leftists One of the things that I liked that Duterte did was his appointment of leftists in his Cabinet namely Agrarian Reform Sec. Rafael Mariano and Social Welfare Sec. Judy Taguiwalo.

It would be good to see how they are able to solve the problems that they have been pointing out in their numerous rallies for the past decades. Since the time of President Corazon Aquino, I do not remember any President that was supported or even praised by these left-leaning groups. For them, it seemed like all Presidents were anti-poor and promoted injustice in our country.

I am happy that they are now given the chance to implement change and actually make things happen on the ground. I’ve heard good stories about Taguiwalo, hopefully, she can further improve on the successful 4Ps program of our government.

READ MORE...

Whether or not they will be successful remains to be seen but what is good is that they will also get to experience how hard it is to actually institutionalize the changes that they have been literally shouting and clamoring for.

Not so happy with Villar


VILLAR

Ever since the 2010 elections, I’ve not been a huge fan of the Villar family.

Who can forget the C5 road scam where public funds were diverted to allegedly benefit the real estate company of the Villar family.

Now, Duterte apparently forgot about this and appointed former Las Pinas Rep. Mark Villar to head the Deparment of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The DPWH works with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in determining the new areas that our government aims to develop thus, this may give an undue advantage to the real estate company of the Villar family. How?

It’s really simple, since they would know where the roads will be constructed in the next decade, they can now buy the land surrounding those areas. For example, the value of a particular piece of land is only P1,000 per square meter now since it is still inaccessible to the public but its value will shoot up to P10,000 per square meter when roads are built around it.

This gives the real estate developer a 1000% return on his or her investment at the expense of the public.

I don’t have any issues with the competency of Mark Villar but he could’ve shown more delicadeza and followed the lead of Peter Laurel who was initially appointed as Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary by Duterte but begged off citing conflict of interest due to their family’s ownership of the Lyceum of the Philippines which incidentally is also Duterte’s alma mater.


Duterte gives Yasay a graceful exit Ellen T. Tordesillas Posted at Jul 21 2016 10:07 PM


Ellen T. Tordesillas

 

President Duterte is astute.

He can appear to be assuring you of his trust and confidence while actually cutting your neck.

That was what his July 19 video statement released by Malacañang on the status of Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. showed.

In the video, a very formal Duterte in barong tagalog with the emblem of the President of the Republic of the Philippine behind and in front of him, said:

"I would like to arrest a few rumors going around that Secretary Yasay of the Department of Foreign Affairs is on his way out. I would like to assure the Secretary that he is in good company and there is no truth to the rumor that there is a plan for his ouster, far from it actually.

"I would like the Philippines to know that I personally pleaded with Secretary Yasay to join the government because he is competent and honest, and he knows his business. He has a professorial job on the western side of the United States.
“He knows whereof he speaks. So hindi totoo yan.

“Although there’s a caveat. Actually, Secretary Yasay accepted the position on the condition that he will only serve for a few months, not even a year because he has his contractual obligations to teach, professorial chair, well most of universities in the western side... maybe California, Hawaii and somewhere else.

“So, let me douse cold water on the rumor and arrest the circulating... It’s not good.

"Yasay speaks for me. Everything that he says in public, both national and international, comes from my guidance. And he has my backing and full support. And I said, I place my entire trust in him to take care as being the spokesman for our foreign affairs. And that's why he is there.

"Sana po matapos na iyang haka-haka. Maraming Salamat.”

READ MORE...

So, Yasay stays put as Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) secretary for now.


YASAY

But he will be out soon. “For a few months, not even a year,” Duterte said.

That’s exit. Duterte just made it graceful.

That’s sooner than what Yasay expected, who was presumed to be holding the DFA position until the one-year ban on defeated vice- presidential candidate Alan Peter Cayetano expires.

Cayetano becoming foreign secretary is not being mentioned now. Besides, it’s doubtful if Cayetano is interested to be the country’s chief diplomat.



DFA would not serve Cayetano’s higher political ambitions unlike the Department of Interior and Local Government which gives one direct contacts with local government that would be useful in future electoral exercises.

Controversy hounded Yasay from the moment his name was mentioned as the next foreign secretary. There were no lack in materials against him. There’s the Banco Filipino case and his controversial stint as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Being passed around through email are records of Yasay’ sunpaid tax debts and mortgages in the United States going back to the 1990s. He has also been delinquent in the payment of his New York bar dues.

Definitely, Yasay is not the worst foreign secretary. DFA has had its share of incompetent secretaries.

But Yasay’s major flaw is, he talks to media too much. That’s a catastrophe if you are ignorant about the subject you are talking about.

And he has very bad timing.

Before the July 12 release of the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the case filed by the Philippines against China on the disputed waters in the South China Sea, Yasay talked about engaging in bilateral talks and joint exploration with China.

He revealed that he rebuffed the pressure of the ambassadors of countries pushing the issue of freedom of navigation in South China Sea (United States and Japan) for him to issue a strong statement against China when the Arbitral Court’s decision comes out.

He was seen as pro-China so much so that he was crucified when he didn’t look joyful while reading the DFA statement on the Arbitral Court’s decision that overwhelmingly favored the Philippines.

Then perhaps to negate his pro-China image, he spilled to media his conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of Asia-Europe Meeting in Mongolia. He said that he rejected Wang’s proposal that bilateral talks between the Philippines and China would not be based on the Arbitral tribunal’s ruling.

One can’t have a secretary of foreign affairs that conducts dealing with other countries through media. Other diplomats would be scared discussing sensitive matters with him.

Duterte talks of Yasay having commitments for a teaching jobs in the United States - “California, Hawaii and somewhere else.”

School term in the U.S. begins in September. That means Yasay will only be up to September?

The next question: who will be the next foreign secretary?


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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