CHINA’s Foreign Office spokesmen, its controlled and state-owned media and their fifth column army of dependent Filipino businessmen and misguided and even suborned journalists all continue to denigrate the Aquino administration for standing up to Beijing which is bullying us Filipinos and taking away our sea territories.
Not having a military force that can make it expensive for China to engage us in a shooting war—to “teach us a lesson like bad children” deserve (the phrase that the great Deng Xiaopeng used about Vietnam before sinking Vietnamese ships and killing Vietnamese soldiers)—President Aquino has to use the noises of publicity to fight off Chinese aggression.
In our Asean region, Cambodia can be labelled the “running dog of China’s hegemonism.” That is the way communists demonstrators love to call allies of the US. But those fellow Asean countries of ours that are not like Cambodia can afford not to bark about China’s takeover of some of our reefs and islets. They can continue to smile at Beijing and talk about more trade and deeper relations. Why? Because they have armed themselves.
“Chinese warships for the first time transited the East China Sea last July, entered the Pacific and circumnavigated the Japanese archipelago,” writes the Analysts Juan T. Gatbonton. Then Beijing showed off its naval might around the South China Sea.
“In reply,” writes Gatbonton, “the region’s states—except for our poverty-stricken country—are acquiring submarine fleets. Vietnam last month received the first of six Kilo-class subs it ordered from Russia.
“Thailand is training crews with its potential suppliers, Germany and South Korea.
“Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia already have operational fleets. Jakarta plans to have 12 subs by 2020.”
We must defend ourselves, Gatbonton explains, because “China’s South China Sea claim strikes at the ‘maritime heartland’ of Southeast Asia.
Yes, “maritime heartland.” For like us Filipinos, the peoples of Southeast Asia have always thought—and continue to think—of our “heartland” as our waters and seas as much as our mountains and plains. That is why we Filipinos, and our fellow Malayo-Indonesian-Polynesian cousins, use “barangay” to call our basic community and political units. The “barangay” or “balangay” was the communal boat of the Malays and Indonesians, the barks on which the Ten Bornean Datus and their people (our ancestors) sailed to our archipelago to settle here.
Self-destructive policies and behavior
Now, what is it that makes our business and government leaders behave self-destructively?
What is it that makes a national administration proclaim “matuwid na daan” (the righteous straight path) as its foremost policy thrust but act in the corrupt manner of bribing almost veritably the entire House of Representatives and the Senate to oust a Chief Justice? To release billions of pesos in PDAF funds for non-existent projects for non-existent communities of indigents through non-existent NGOs—so that senators can pocket the money?
What is it that makes these business and government leaders allow the cost of electric power in our country to rise so high – to be the ninth or tenth most expensive on Earth—so that foreign direct investments (FDI) shun us? And as a result of this our growth is stunted, our people don’t have jobs and our families are poor, ill-fed, ill-sheltered, ill-educated and suffer poor health?
What is it that lets these same leaders give up the management and control of our country’s National Grid to Chinese citizens representing state-owned Chinese power utilities?
This, as our columnist Marlen Ronquillo has pointed out, is a grave national security risk.
“With the tensions between the Philippines and China at an all-time high, and with China reacting aggressively on many instances, one would expect the Philippine government to keep Chinese officials from occupying strategic positions in some sensitive Philippine agencies, especially in agencies that set policies vital to the national economy and the broader society.
“It is a standard and perfectly legitimate policy. There is no quibble about that. But, sadly, this is not the case in the Philippine bureaucracy. Chinese officials involved in the power sector, would you believe, occupy some of the most strategic, policy-setting post at the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), whose function is to oversee and maintain the electric transmission lines and power substations in the country.”
That is what Ronquillo wrote the other day, summarizing an expert’s emailed description of the problem.
Something must be done to Filipinize the power industry.
NGCP’s failure—an act of subversion?
Senator Sergio Osmeña 3rd, the chair of the Senate’s energy committee, announced a significant finding. That the crisis in November and December that led to Meralco raising its price of power per kWh was caused by the NGCP’s failure to do its job to ensure an adequate supply of electricity by not moving to have the Malaya plant in operation.
What do the Chinese executives and engineers, representing the Mainland China co-owners of our country’s national power grid, care if the Philippines suffers a crisis?
They would be given medals by the same Chinese government bosses who order the naval bullying of the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea.