• How BBL, South China (West PH) Sea, US and Aquino are intertwined


    Part 3 of this three-part series. Part 1 came out on Sunday Nov. 1, Part 2 yesterday Saturday Nov. 7.

    ON the American scorecard, therefore, President Aquino rates a resounding excellent.

    And this is the Philippines’ great worry now. Its president continues to mind less about the country’s welfare than about urgent US concerns. His stated position on the intrusion by US warship into Chinese-claimed waters is a virtual declaration of war against a nation seized with heightened belligerence.

    “The actions of the U.S. warship have threatened China’s sovereignty and security interests, jeopardized the safety of personnel and facilities on the reefs, and damaged regional peace and stability,” declared the Chinese Foreign Ministry on its website, as quoted by Associated Press. “The Chinese side expresses its strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition.”

    Already in World War II Filipinos fought America’s war and suffered great cost. Are we to do it one more time?

    It is really no longer a question of whether or not Filipinos, in the South China Sea conflict, will fight America’s war once again. We will. We already are into it. This is endemic in the country’s military tie-up with the United States.

    Despite the dismantling of the US air and naval bases in 1991, the Philippines has continued to be tied to America’s apron string militarily. The RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), a non-ending pact, has continued to be in force, serving as framework for all subsequent military arrangements between the United States and the Philippines, like the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), made during the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos, and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), signed in conjunction with the visit to the country by US President Barack Obama in April 2014.

    According to the MDT, when America goes to war, the Philippines fights that war. So it was in the Vietnam War, so it was in US campaign against Iraq.

    Now into the escalation of the South China Sea conflict, the BBL becomes of utmost necessity for the United States. The occupation and military build-up by China on the Spratlys preempt US need for forward bases in their confrontation while itself gaining forward positions from which targets may be reachable by its current capabilities in the event hostilities break out.

    According to the Spratly scenario in the Rand study, China’s missiles can only hit targets in Japan. By moving forward to the Spratlys, China places itself in the same strategic position as that of the Philippines relative to US military emplacements in Southeast Asia and elsewhere in the region. If in place, the BBL would enable US to rebuild lost bases in the Philippines thereby evening things up with China in its own war adventures.

    But as things turned out, the BBL has veered much from what it had been originally meant to be. Had the first draft of the FAB signed by Leonen with MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal been followed, the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) would have been established already and the BBL no longer a concern of the Philippine Senate but of the Muslim Mindanao sub-state. Granting that the BBL may still be approved within the little time left of the Aquino administration, it’s no longer likely that it will still serve the original intention for which it had been conceived as far back as the Kristie Kinney tour of duty in the Philippines in 2008.

    Under scrutiny by the Senate Committee on Local Government chaired by Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., the BBL underwent thorough watering down, with its aspects of “a state within state” completely obliterated. It’s title itself, Bangsamoro Basic Law, has been changed to Bangsamoro Autonomous Region Law (BARL).

    But then, the escalation of the South China Sea conflict perforce changes the rules of the game. Doesn’t China’s annexation of the Spratlys constitute invasion? What does the Philippine constitution say about it?

    “ARTICLE VII, SECTION 18. The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law.”

    The seething scenario in the South China Sea does give Aquino a golden chance of performing one more supreme subservience to the United States by passing the original BBL – his own way, after all.

    Food for our thought.


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    1. Justaskingseriously on

      BBL has been in our public consciousness for some time now. Aquino needed Iqbal to share a Nobel Peace Prize? Malaysia’s reverse version of Marcos Senior’s secret weapon? United Kingdom’s proxy project? And now a new twist giving rise to a twine?

      I guess anyone can make a twine. But everything on earth might as well be intertwined. It all depends on one’s viewpoint. For those accustomed to the underground, a tunnel vision could define their world. Once above ground, it may take a long time for normal vision to come back. Even with “normal” vision, there is no getting rid of blind spots. There is the “white man’s burden” that white America and Great Britain must continue to carry. There are the resentful yellow Chinese who must resist the white man’s intrusions. The filipino “yellows” are a different breed; they are actually brown like all lumads should be. These “yellows” are allergic to the lumads, because they are reminded of their aborigines. Look how hard they are trying to evict the lumads not only from their lands but even from their temporary camp grounds in Manila. And don’t forget how hard they have been trying to get Nognog who happens to be a true lumad, very stubborn.

      So there is my twine. By the way, Guam is not that far away: no need to establish bases in Muslim Mindanao. Obama may have resided in Indonesia in his youth and he may be too careful to offend “muslims”, but I doubt his clout with Iqbal and his ilk.

    2. First, your food for thought: I want to dare Boy Sayad to go ahead and try it. Let him invite the wrath of the gods so he can finally meet the fate that he has been asking for all this time. Secondly, why did your former boss in the underground resistance during Martial Law, the Philippine Communist Supremo but now Netherlands citizen Joma Sison support the American position on the South China Sea (SCS) problem? Can you now see the real master this guy was really serving all along? Third, except for the fact that some Americans regarded as bloodthirsty neocon war hawks see the continuous perception of America as #1 superpower as a national interest, there is really no real American interest that is being threatened by China’s occupation of those islands. Its not like China just occupied some island in the oil producing Gulf of Mexico. So all this fire breathing by America and their boy, Boy Sayad, is just PR posturing by America to preserve its image as #1 superpower as any sign of weakness on America’s part could make Japan, South Korea and the others in Asia entertain the thought of running into the arms of China. Since this situation in SCS is not happening in isolation, lets step back a little to see the bigger picture and divide what we see into two parts, military and financial. The military situation first: America was just slapped with the realization by Russia in the Middle East and Ukraine that all of America’s assumptions about her military superiority are wrong. The USS Donald Cook incident in the Black Sea just after Russia annexed Crimea showed that Russia possesses an out of this world electronic jammer that can render the pride of the American military, the Aegis missile system, useless. Google USS Donald Cook for an explanation. Russia’s surprising demonstration of her cruise missiles in Syria showed that Russia can hit all of America’s military bases in the Middle East if America dares to challenge Russia’s air campaign against the American-led West’s mercenaries disguised as terrorists fighting Assad in Syria. This is why America is just sitting on her hands while Russia is giving what Putin calls “America’s new form of warfare” a severe spanking in the Middle East.. Who knows what cards the Chinese military is holding in SCS? What took the entire Japanese naval fleet to accomplish when they attacked Pearl Harbor in WW 2 will only take a single cruise missile to accomplish today. With SCS literally in China’s backyard (as Ukraine is to Russia) while being 10,000 miles away from America clearly puts the equation in favor of China in today’s kind modern warfare. With 11 aircraft carriers, America has been busy preparing for yesterday’s wars( making capital targets she cannot afford to lose, rendering them useless except against small enemies like Iraq and Afghanistan) while China and Russia have been preparing for the future. In the financial half of the picture, China is the biggest creditor of the world’s #1 superpower whose debts are now mathematically impossible to pay. With a gold hoard rumored to be the world’s biggest, China, in the midst of today’s worldwide financial crisis, can trigger by herself a financial collapse confident that her gold will leave her as the last man standing. If the American dollar becomes worth less than toilet paper, can you still call America a superpower? Im not saying the Americans will never go to war, but they will not go to war over those rocks in the Spratlys. This situation in the SCS merely highlights the insanity that rules how we weigh our national interest. We are willing to fight America’s fight over these small, uninhabitable rocks in the Spratlys but we cannot say a word against Malaysia over Sabah? As usual, Inu-uto lang tayo ng Kano dito sa SCS, at yung mga “cultural transvestites” na Pinoy ( who are mostly yellows, by the way) who always put America first haping-happy naman na magpa-uto. As for this infernal BBL, if Boy Sayad insists on pushing through with it by any foul means, it could mean the beginning of the end for our nation-state or the catalyst that will finally unite us. Either way, this moron will hang, thats for sure.