Leave us alone


I GOT this email last Wednesday morning: “Morning News USA previously reported that World War III is brewing in the South China Sea. Japan, Australia and the United States will conduct war games in July in the wake of perceived threats over the disputed land. On Saturday, Russia announced it will also hold military drills in the South China Sea in 2016 together with China and Brunei. Russia accused the US of contaminating the Asia Pacific Region of the same `color revolutions’ it brought the Middle East.”

Monday, June 8, if all goes well, there will be certain Senators who voted No! on September 16, 1991 on the bases who will formally launch in the National Press Club PINAS – Pilipinong Nagkakaisa Para sa Soberanya – People’s Unity for National Sovereignty. I plan to be among them.

As I understand it, we will urge China and the US to leave us alone in West Philippine Sea. We don’t want China treating the area like Tibet nor the US going in in Afghanistan and Iraq,US transmogrifying passably working societies. Chaos, where there used to be order. We may have to include Irredentist super-power Russia, given the above.

In the current issue of TIME (June 8) we see: “. . . While the US has made it clear to China that it will intervene in an East China Sea controversy if necessary – where it is treaty bound to come to Japan’s aid – Washington has made no similar pledges to its partner in the South China Sea [which we seem to call West Phil. Sea], like the Philippines. China has not missed the hesitation.” Page 8. The US will go in in its perception of its best interests, treaty or no treaty. It came here in 1898 sans a treaty in a less than grand manner, committed massacres in, among other places, Bud Dajo and in Balangiga, whose bells it would not return.

In the Grand Manner is the bio of affable Ed Angara, whose April 29, 2015 launch I attended in Manila Polo, but could stay only for a few minutes just to greet him, ever so briefly. I needed to rush elsewhere to make boundary, ha, ha?

Ed’s office called last Friday (May 29) to say that my copy I had sought was ready for pick-up, dedicated by Ed to one “whose wit and sharp insight I always admire.” Ehem. Thanks Ed. Charmer, like Ninoy.

Ed could have become a Bedan! “After grade school and there being no high school in Baler, Ed convinced his father to send him to Manila. `My first choice was San Beda because my sister Letty went to Loreto College in Legarda, and she brought me there, right next door to San Beda. I was impressed by San Beda. Then my uncle who was the principal of Roosevelt High in Marikina, which had a branch in San Juan, convinced my grandfather for me to go there instead because I didn’t have to commute, I could just walk to school. All my relatives were there, so I wouldn’t get homesick. So I agreed.” At p. 10. I wouldn’t know whether Ed and Ninoy might have met on campus in Mendiola.

Ed voted to keep the US Bases in 1991 but graciously conceded that we the Malevolent/Magnificent Twelve might have been right after all, I thought. He wrote: “The bases’ departure proved a blessing in disguise.” At 76. (Ed’s rendering of the origin of his super-firm is at variance though with JPE’s account in his Memoir. He was assisted by Nelson Navarro; Edong, by Butch Dalisay.)

I remember the polls then, overwhelmingly pro-bases. I recall the gentle pressure of Prez Cory and the intense lobbying of the Americans, such as Richard Armitage, who might have come on too strong, and John Maisto, sweet and gentle, from the US and the Embassy here. But there were those of us who had felt and known that NO! was an idea whose time had come.

After close to 500 years – a record – no foreign troops on our soil. And we have survived and endured without the bases. Look at them now. No more Pinoys being mistaken for wild animals. No need to seek Kano permission to enter Clark.

On the West Philippine Sea dispute, there are three schools: 1) gung-ho, 2) wait a minute, and 3) walang paki. Digong Duterte may be asked to lead the first, “kill’em all,” but unlike local riffraff, the Chinese and the Russkies may fight back. If Digong had knocked off certain local corrupt high officials, from the Cabinet, Congress and the Judiciary, he just may win walking away. But, co-ruling class is safe from the feared Davao Death Squad.

Locally, he seems to say that he who has less in life should have nothing in law, a distortion of what Thomas Reed Powell of Harvard said (misattributed to Magsaysay). Boy Nograles, Digong says, lives; because he is co-ruling class? What we may need is a healer, like Edong, with whom I have had differences across the decades, but never anything personal. I don’t know if I crossed the line when in jest, I would occasionally call frat men Uncle Jovy Salonga, JPE and Ed as Sigma Rhogues. Blame it on my insanity.

I don’t know how far UNA’s issue on the residence of Grace – opinion is divided; here, you have three people, there will be four opinions – can go but supposed she had earlier agreed to be Jojobama’s invite to be his Veep? Digong may agree to be Jojobama’s Veep and then launch an impeachment drive or use The Final Solution. But, Jojobama is known to fight back and is Ruling Class. Not a Death Squad candidate or target.

I see elbows being thrown and I supposed I will never understand politics despite my having become an Accidental Public Servant serving a Providential President, in 1986-92.

I recall Lon Luvois Fuller writing that much of the world’s injustices are caused by the elbows, not the fists.

Talking of Kamaos, I had dinner Tuesday last in Gloria Maris with one of the LA Pinoy lawyers who sued Manny Pacquiao. We have a common client in a joyless family quarrel. I agree with Ed Lopez, assuming I understood him, that Manny’s failure to make public his supposed injury affected attendance, betting odds and tickets and pay-per-view. An entertainable case, in light of Manny camp’s abusive disingenuous mercenary lack of transparency.

Here, for fear of being kidnapped for ransom, our Supreme Court (SC, also for Secretive Court) Justices do not disclose their Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth. I was in the Palace in 1986 and in the Senate in 1987-92. I saw to it that annually, the President and the Cabinet would publish their SALNs. Ditto in the Senate where I headed the Ethics Committee. The executive and the legislative routinely disclose.

Why does the SC exempt itself? We need to see possible conflicts of interests and movement in fortunes. Unlike candidates, they cannot claim excess political contributions, a reported Jojobama defense, which I made tax-free in 1991 as investments in democracy. R.A. No. 7166, Sec. 13.


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  1. It’s so easy for the senator to be anti-American, but don’t offer any solution to counter China’s aggression.

  2. I understand the final vote (or straw, so to speak) that finally forced the US bases to leave came form PINATUBO.
    Without Pinatubo’s eruption, the US may have found ways to stay or at least to delay their departure (count that in years).
    It might have even found an ally in the next admin then.

  3. Dear Rene,

    US, Australia and Japan are not included in South China Sea disputes but they got themselves involve because of us – Philippines.

    And now, it’s not right to just “turn our backs” to them who tried to help us. Yes, Our country is poor because of corruption, we can’t even defend it from internal conflict against private groups and rebels such as NPA, MILF and ABU Sayyaf. What more when it comes to other countries such as China.

    Philippines is not immune to war either even if we don’t have US bases here, simply because we have direct involvement with South China Sea disputes and SAbah.

    China does not recognize nor respect international tribunal but even if we insist on our claim.

    The only thing to do is to every filipino should pray and ask for forgiveness to the Lord that he may grant us a God-fearing leaders who care for the poor of our country.

  4. Let me guess. Even though it is very obvious form your article You sir are nothing but an anti American propaganda machine like most who write for the Manila Times. To bad your sentiments are not echoed by the vast majority there. Just puppets on a string being pulled my the vast Chinese who have their own agenda with it’s hands in your Govt’ pocket.

    Anchors Away My Boys

  5. If there will be a confrontation between the United States and china there is nothing the Philippines can do especially those 1991 Phil. senators that voted to kick out the U.S. Subic Naval Base. This is bigger than you and the politicians who are occupying Malacanan now and the Phil. congress and senate.