Code of ‘right’ conduct and good ‘manners’

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ROLLY G. REYES

SUPREME Court allows Torre de Manila construction. After the decision, we are celebrating “Photo Bomber Day.” Jose Rizal will not be attending.
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SC orders Robredo to pay P8M for counter-protest vs Marcos. Credit cards are not allowed and they require straight payment. No points will be gained as she is not a SC Advantage Card holder.
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Duterte said he wants all Abu Sayyaf killed. As far as I know, I haven’t heard Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch complaining. Not even CHR or CBCP. Selective perception?
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With China saying that she’s ready with the draft framework for the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, the 10 Asean members think this is a good sign. Signs are good especially if it is pointed in the right direction and not the wrong one.

A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the social norms and rules and responsibilities of, or proper practices for, an individual, party or organization. Related concepts include ethics, honor, moral codes and religious laws.

The trouble starts when the one formulating the guidelines favors the party who thinks that “ might is right.”

Navigational agreement is the easier part. The behavioral part is tough. Building additional infrastructure that leans more on building military bases and defense installations, plus using force to intimidate fishing vessels may not be a good topic to explore at this time.

Commerce or trade is still the most viable antidote to aggression and territorial disputes. Trading eases tension and builds more bridges than walls.

China told Asean member-countries, let us not talk about self-restraint, let’s talk about cooperation. I agree. This is a good way to start a discussion. Or else everyone will be wearing straitjackets. The question is: how will they link their arms during photo-ops?

Asean’s role is also put to a test in negotiating this framework with China, which insists on dealing with Asean countries individually rather than collectively.

If businessmen and consumers are to be asked, buying wholesale will be a lot cheaper.

Some foreign experts are now saying that this conflicts with the rights of Asean members Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines on some areas of the South China Sea under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) of which China is a signatory.

The UNCLOS provides that the marine areas up to 200 nautical miles from a nation’s (or sovereign country’s) shoreline is the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of that country to explore, exploit and develop for its own benefit.

That gives Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines the right to economically develop—not the sovereign ownership right—what is internationally and legally recognized as international waters, up to 200 nautical miles from their respective shorelines.

Significantly, this sudden shift in Beijing’s foreign policy comes at a time when it has attained world economic standing and its naval, nuclear and communications expenditures are increasing, particularly its submarine fleet and drone technology.

I vividly remember that during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, she chose to deal with China more on the economic cooperation rather than border engagements. Records show that China did not build any structures on the disputed islands during those years. Chinese fishermen were caught and released and the same gentle reciprocal attitude with Filipino fishermen were given. No threats or strong words came from China. Some Chinese fishermen even chose to stay here for good. Even former US President George W. Bush saw nothing wrong with joint research projects with China.

It was during the time of Arroyo’s successor that bad blood was spilled in these hotly contested waters. It started with the irresponsible handling of the Luneta hostage killing, the sending of a battleship full of soldiers armed with automatic rifles to board a Chinese fishing vessel, among others.
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Some political experts are suggesting some points to consider:

. The Code of Conduct should be based on international law, and must be signed and respected by all member-signatories.

. The Asean members must be united in their positions, whether on navigational rights or any future build-up of facilities in contested islands.

. Freedom of navigation and passage should be open to all—commercial or military or civilian—of shipping of all nations within the recognized international waters of the South China Sea.

. That all signatories, including China, respect the provisions of the UNCLOS as legally binding.

. The group should agree with the Australian suggestion that China sign a non-aggression treaty with all the Asean members.

. All the Asean 10 should strengthen their financial and trade alliances with all—the European Union, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the US, Canada, Central and Latin Americas, the Middle East, Central Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific island states. Do depend on China only for economic and technological aid.

. Asean should expand its export markets. In case of any dispute or disagreement, all parties shall submit to the United Nations international courts of arbitration and settlement.

(I reserve my comments on these and would rather wait for the outcome of the Asean summit meetings that we are hosting.)
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“It must be stressed that the ICC does not replace the national courts of a particular country,” Solicitor General Jose Calida said. “The principle of complementarity underpins the creation of the ICC. The ICC may only exercise jurisdiction where national legal systems fail to do so.”

Calida said there are adequate laws and remedies available in the Philippines to address the issue of alleged extra-judicial killings, citing the Supreme Court’s move to issue a protection order for the alleged victims of anti-drug operations in Payatas, Quezon City in August last year.

Lascañas and Matobato and lawyer Jude Sabio differ with your opinion, Sir. They just want to go there for another kind of shopping. “Forum shopping,” that is.
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Some unsolicited advice for PNP Supt. Maria Cristina Nobleza: If you want to take a selfie, never include a driver-photo bomber.
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Two damaged complainants and one damaged legal counsel. Reminds me of Great Taste’s coffee sachet “3-in-1.”
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News: Ivanka Trump boo’ed in Germany. Her bigger role in Trump’s administration would imply that she’s a young block off the old chip.
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Condemnation of daily killings and decriminalization of drug usage… my weak brain molecules gone haywire connecting the dots but failed miserably. Gut feel tells me there is one hidden cause. Laylayan Queen strikes again.
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Another lugaw comment: VP Leni said she filed her candidacy mainly to prevent the return of the Marcoses if BBM gets elected. It was a direct admission that BBM was really popular. Everybody’s question now is where did she get the “magic wand” to reverse the trend?”
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Like a boxing match, the weigh-in starts as North Korea conducts artillery drill as US submarine makes South Korea port call. Everybody is wishing no one will ring the bell even after Michael Buffer will announce “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble.”

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Very few Beatle fans know the existence of this album. “Yesterday and Today” is an album by the Beatles, their ninth released on Capitol Records and 11th overall American release. It was originally issued only in the United States and Canada. In the 1970s it was issued in Japan. A later UK release (on compact disc) followed in 2014.

The album is remembered primarily for the controversy surrounding its original cover image, the “butcher cover” featuring the band dressed in white smocks and covered with decapitated baby dolls and pieces of meat. The album’s title is based on the song “Yesterday”.

Good work, good deeds and good faith to all.

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1 Comment

  1. Greetings brod,

    Repetitive behavior can be habit forming and “addictive” – also deceiving. Such is the ongoing (monolithic or is it monotonous) force-led response to illegal drugs.

    Shooting them down has become a common and callous reaction. Brute force is “easy” specially with a gun and a (tarnished) badge. The stated results are artificial and a make believe – simply yielding more body bags. In Digong lingo…binobola lang nating ang sarili natin.

    Will this sight ever end?

    It is prudent then to rationally explore and research other options. Decriminalization is one. Ayaw lang natin mag-isip ng maayos. Cheers.