PNoy’s problem is poor rating, not Spratlys

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The biggest Philippine official delegation that ever flew at taxpayers’ expense left for The Hague this month to persuade the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea to arbitrate the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) territorial dispute between China and the Philippines. China rejects arbitration, so the delegation ended at the Permanent Court of Arbitration doing a monologue. After two rounds of such monologue, we have yet to hear of what happened. The only thing we have heard so far is that the Filipino Left in Utrecht has expressed support for the Aquino government’s position vis-à-vis China. Given the government’s effort to conclude its peace effort with the National Democratic Front, this was a welcome development, but it had nothing to do with the government’s business at The Hague.

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The arbitration issues are complex, and the Court needs time to thoroughly digest the position of the parties. The paperwork alone is daunting, and we cannot expect an instant ruling from the Court. In an unpublished paper (The South China Sea and the Philippines’ Core Interests), former Ambassador Alberto Encomienda points out that one of the tasks of the Court will be to go over an initial submission of 4,000 pages, supplemented with another 3,000 pages, from the Philippine government. The government therefore will have to invest a lot of time and resources in it.

President B. S. Aquino 3rd is now on the homestretch. He is inclined to imitate his late mother Cory who on her last year as president rushed all those flyovers in Manila without much planning just to leave something concrete after an embarrassingly empty term of six and a half years. Against China’s insistence on a purely bilateral approach, and some people’s proposal of a two-track approach, PNoy believes international arbitration will provide a solution to the South China/West Philippine Sea question. It may no longer be useful to say the approach is wrong. Let us just watch and see what it will bring.

But sending an unbelievably oversized delegation of senior Cabinet members and subordinate officials on a mission where only three or four officials are needed to present the Philippine position invites so much ridicule for PNoy’s lack of proportion or prudence. Packing the delegation with 36 high officials and staff and splashing their photo on the front pages of the conscript press made it look like a pure junket and robbed it of any serious character. How much did the taxpayer spend on it? The conscript press has not asked, and the government is not about to disclose it either. There were simply far too many top dogs who had no reason to be there.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario had to make the government’s opening statement, and had to be there, assisted by Consul General Henry Bensurto and Assistant Secretary Ed de Vega from the Department of Foreign Affairs. Solicitor General Florin Hilbay had to make the legal presentation, assisted by a legal team that includes the American lawyers Paul Reichler and Lawrence Martin of the US law firm Foley Hoag and the American and British law professors who were presumably hired at great expense. But aside from them, there was absolutely no reason for the rest of the delegation to be there.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin could have stayed home to sort out all the infected defense contracts which have been exposed in the press, and now threaten to jeopardize the country’s entire defense modernization program.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima could have chosen to miss her “crash course in international law,” as she herself put it, and instead helped to prepare the charges against those involved in the Mamasapano massacre and in the manipulation and misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), involving PNoy’s otherwise untouchable allies.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa could have stayed home to advise PNoy not to get seduced by his business cronies and foreign advisers who seemed to believe that Grace Poe Llamanzares could overcome her incurable natural-born citizenship and residence defects under the Constitution, simply by hiring some former Chief Justice to make an inane interpretation of the Constitution, or by paying off some sitting Justices, should the case ever come before the High Court, in order to qualify the otherwise constitutionally unqualified aspirant as a presidential candidate in 2016.

Presidential political adviser Ronald Llamas could have gone to Utrecht to talk to communist leaders Jose Ma. Sison and Louie Jalandoni on a separate mission, without having to be part of the unmanageably large delegation, where he had no visible role to play.

Speaker Sonny Belmonte could have either teamed up with Llamas on a separate mission to Utrecht or stayed home to give PNoy a crash course on the citizenship provisions of the Constitution, or to convince him to allow the leaders of the ruling Liberal Party to hold a convention in order to decide who among them should be the party’s presidential candidate in the May 2016 elections.

As for Supreme Court Justices Antonio Carpio and Francis Jardeleza, who are known to be serious students of the South China/West Philippine Sea question, they could have respectfully declined the invitation to join the entourage simply by invoking the “separation of powers.” They could have invoked historical precedents.

A high official of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) recalls that in 1983, after the assassination of former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., then President Ferdinand Marcos promptly asked then Chief Justice Enrique Fernando to head a commission to inquire into the assassination. Marcos apparently envisioned something similar to the Warren commission in the US that investigated the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Fernando quickly agreed, but Justice Claudio Teehankee Jr. and another associate justice reminded the Chief Justice that a Justice of the Supreme Court could only perform the official duties of a Supreme Court Justice, and may have to resign if he were to take on other extraneous duties. Fernando had to beg off because of this.

Even deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte should have stayed home and stuck to her routine duties in Malacañang. She had nothing to do at The Hague, which could not have been done better by Bensurto, De Vega or anyone actively assisting Hilbay. If the traveling press had any access to the proceedings, there would have been no need for a presidential spokesperson to give any story from the court a Malacañang spin.

But why such a mammoth delegation? Was it to provide the Philippine presentors with a built-in audience? This sounds a bit facetious, but not in the context of our recent experience. Not too long ago, PNoy went to the World Economic Summit at Davos, reportedly to be a plenary speaker. When he got there, however, he found out he had no such billing; he ended speaking to an empty small room away from the plenary hall. It was only his own entourage that saved the nation’s honor, by providing him with a ready-made audience.

However, the most astounding explanation for this mammoth delegation is that PNoy wanted to regain his “approval rating.” It was a desperate effort to arrest his popularity decline. His paid propaganda pollsters could no longer arrange any believable change in his low popularity rating. It has been one hell of a downhill drive — from the massive misuse and manipulation of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional, to the Yolanda disaster in Tacloban, which exposed Malacanang’s heartlessness and gross incompetence, to PNoy’s “stand-down order” to the military that led to the massacre of 44 Special Action Force commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, to the irrational effort to railroad the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law creating an exclusive Islamic enclave for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, to the ongoing efforts to cook the next elections in favor of the administration.

The Cecile B. de Mille-type production was not meant for the Chinese nor for the arbitral court at The Hague but for the local audience. It was meant to improve PNoy’s propaganda rating. The ratings game is now PNoy’s only game, and he wants the entire nation to play it with him. He commissions a propaganda fraudster to tell him what he wants to hear, and as soon as he hears it, he believes what he hears, and he expects everyone else to believe it as well.

In the last few days, one propaganda fraudster announced that PNoy’s approval rating had bounced back, and PNoy was the first one to believe it, even though he has done nothing to undo or reverse or do penance for the many crimes and follies that had caused his fall in the people’s popular esteem.

Despite the Supreme Court ruling outlawing lump sums in the General Appropriations Act and directing the Executive to prosecute all those involved in the manipulation and misuse of the multi-billion-peso PDAF and DAP, PNoy has merely reincarnated all the prohibited lump sums in the current GAA, giving himself, according to Greco Belgica, the winning lead petitioner in the PDAF and the DAP cases, something like P1.3 trillion to play around with. Neither has PNoy ordered the filing of charges against anyone involved in the manipulation and misuse of the DAP and PDAF.

Despite his numerous impeachable offenses involving culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes and betrayal of public trust, he has remained unimpeached just because he has personally corrupted and taken effective control of the members of Congress, who alone have the power to impeach and remove the President.

Despite the fact that he was in direct command of Operation Exodus and had given the order that led to the death of the SAF commandos, PNoy was never touched by the Philippine National Police, and the two Houses of Congress in their inquiries. The people’s anger has not abated, so how could PNoy’s approval rating ever bounce back?

Using the mammoth delegation to The Hague to claim that PNoy has decided to fight the Chinese can only deceive the naïve. If PNoy is serious about stopping China’s reclamation activities, for instance, he could have clamped down by now on the illegal extraction and carting away of shiploads of black sand from the coastal provinces of Luzon to the Chinese reclamation projects in the disputed territory. But he has not done this. He has simply decided to play the surveys.

He has even succeeded in making himself believe that because of her allegedly high rating in the propaganda surveys, Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares may be considered a possible presidential candidate even though she is disqualified under the Constitution because she is not a natural-born Filipino citizen and lacks the 10-year residence requirement as such citizen, immediately receding the election

fstatad@gmail.com.

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20 Comments

  1. it is true. Kung ang leader ng bansa ay BOBO, at may sayad, pero magaling magnakaw sa kaban ng bayan, ganun din lahat ng kanyang subordinates. Kaya ang education system ng bansa ay deteriorating. Other people is creating and fabricating false lies stories. bakit kasama kaya sila nuong panahon na iyon ng mga marcoses?? prove it…show some evidences against marcoses…we are not stupid. we are not born yesterday..

  2. Wolfgang Struck on

    Sir,

    May I pick up from your last remarks? Regarding natural born in the Philippines, or what is the opposite unnaturally born in the Philippines, may this be known to the general public: As you may have known during your time as member of his cabinet, then President Ferdinand Marcos was extremely aware and consequently cautious with his security and the security of his family members. They could have been kidnapped and used against him, mafia-style. His official family, therefore, is not blood-related. There was a late issue, a baby daughter with Rosemary who was rumored to live with Marcos. DNA would prove who is the real father, Marcos or the boyfriend “Ricky”. Tricky situation. They came together and decided that Rosemary’s sister Susan would adopt the baby. FPJ agreed. So, they “found” a baby in the basket. Similar to Jose Protacio Mercado, by the way, found in a basket in Calamba in 1861. He became the famous Dr. Jose P. Rizal, although famous for all the wrong reasons and all the wrong stories but that is on a different page.

    FPJ also agreed to run for President one day. When he finally ran in 2004, there was a window of opportunity to tell the truth. FPJ let his brother Konrad run the campaign. Against good advice, among others from the writer of these lines, Konrad decided “no Marcos, no Erap”. Easy for him, as Erap was still held in jail at the time. For Grace, politics written on the wall, it was an even 50-50 between her fathers. In the end, she herself decided that FPJ is more popular and more winnable, so she decided that she is a POE.

    OK, Grace Poe, you are an adopted child. There is nothing wrong being an adopted child, especially not with celebrity parents but, please, the truth is the truth and a lie is a lie. The truth shall set you free or bare your true character. We know that politicians have to lie but they have to lie to the public, not about themselves.

    Let the public know that Grace Poe is a true Marcos and Bongbong is not. Father of Bongbong is Dr. Pacifico Marcos, younger half-brother of Ferdinand Marcos, same mother but different fathers. If she calls Bongbong kuya, then that is cute but it does not qualify any of them for the position of President of the Republic of the Philippines. That is no laughing matter even as the incumbent seems to take to laughing when he speaks reading from the teleprompter.

    In conclusion, all of this may matter or may not matter at all. The Filipino people do not elect their President, never did, the Makati Business club and the CIA Bureau Manila take care of that. The CIA will never allow a Marcos again. And that includes Erap and FPJ. It is also mute and academic to dispute the thesis that FPJ won in 2004 and Erap won in 2010. They know up there that the Filipino masses love elections and that they are jockeying already for 2016. Kahit ano. Kahit sino.

    In the service of the Filipino people,

    Wolfgang Struck

    • Leodegardo Pruna on

      Seems you can be a good director, scriptwriter, and producer of a film entitled “A Disgraceful Grace in a Graceful Island”. God bless the Philippines.

  3. The first one to be blamed for the rise of an inept and immature president was no orher than Mar Roxas. I am sure he knew of BS Aquino III’s incapacity to be a president of a struggling nation as their families were very close anyway. Yet, he gave way to the advice of the scheming oligarchs and let the PNoy’s assumed popularity, as foisted by the yellow media and opinion fraudsters SWS and Pulse Asia, fool the gullible electorate during the 2010 presidential election. Probably, this is the underlying reason on Roxas’ consistently low public unacceptability. He is lacking in political will, a spineless and indecisive politician. He has already missed that opportunity last 2010 and hitching on another trip in 2016 will only be a futile political exercise.

  4. jason bourne on

    It was and is a Junket Tour for his KKK, nothing more, nothing less. He does not give a hoot what people say. He has the PCOS machine to save the day. The tour was more of a Consuelo de Bobo for his most avid inner circle. I won’t be surprised if they eat in the most expensive restaurants and shop at brand name shops all at the expense of the State.
    But I assure you know one will leak any photos of the spending spree because unlike the people under GMA who follow her because of shared principles, these people were in for shared interest of robbing the country blind.

    • no argument with what you said that poe-pet was found in a church in iloilo. the bone of contention is she has not met the required residency for she became a citizen of the usa and has been issued an american passport in 2012 if i remember correctly.

    • Were her biological parents Filipino citizens? That would have to be answered as well. Otherwise, her citizenship will always be in question.

    • jason bourne on

      Nasa batas po iyan. Kung hindi natin susundin ang batas eh walang kwentang meron pang kongreso of gobyerno. Kanya-kanya na lang tayong interpretasyon ng ating mga regulasyon.

      Pag may nakitang kang sanggol sa lansangan at hindi natin ma trace kung sino ang tatay o nanay – automatic na “stateless iyang bata kahit na pinanganak iyan sa pilipinas. Kas kapag hindi natin gawin iyan, eh di maraming mga dayuhan na pupunta sa Pilipinas ang ditto manganak ang babae para makakuha ng Filipino citizenship. iiwan lang nila iyang bata sa kalye at merong dadampot. Hihintayin nilang magiging citizen ang bata tapos sila rin kunyari I-adopt ang bata….. Marami ng gumagawa nito. isang example din ang mga intsek na papasok ng Pilipinas as tourist tapos hindi na aalis. later kukunin nila ang pangalan ng isang patay ng Pilipino usually intsek din. Ayon automatic Pinoy citizen na.

  5. What a hell of a country we have: A shameless, incompetent and conscienceless President tolerating corrupt practices of his cabinet secretaries running bureaucracies full of red tapes, also congress full of TRAPO legislators willing to sell their honors for a million pesos to fill their pockets, a justice system without any hope to improve its traditional slow pace of exacting justice, a police force whose members because of low pay either having to moonlight on a legitimate business or getting involved in an illegal rackets leaving mostly the public unprotected as a result crime prevention is not their priority and many more problems besetting this predominantly christian nation! Let’s change our constitution to rid our country of TRAPO leaders and to have a government system that makes the nation’s wealth and social services distributed and delivered more to its constituents and not to a few oligarchs only.

    • No sir. Our country is blessed with talented people. I don’t think the President will tolerate an individual who is alleged and convicted of corruption. There are many examples of high profile government officials who are already imprisoned. The President, in all honesty and coming from me an OFW, is an honest and intelligent President who cares for his people and country.
      Don’t get me wrong there is no country without corruption. Corruption is everywhere and has existed since the time of Adam and Eve when Cain committed sin for killing his brother Cain and Judas selling Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

    • Larry Ebersole on

      are you angling at communism or the softer word socialism again? what we actually need is a strong man who is not afraid to squeeze balls if needed to get things straight. the pinoy psyche is still in the “ONE MAN RULE” state that is why democracy is not working fully and abused by those who are in power. you can see this as when people are voted to a position, they start thinking that they are the boss so they should be followed and can do what they want.

  6. Amnata Pundit on

    Ang ugat ng problema ni Boy Sayad ay wala ng iba kundi yung maliwanag na sayad niya. This exposes as a bare-faced lie their claim in 2010 that this guy was fit to govern. Many Filipinos are now ruing the day they fell for that lie, just as they are now sorry they fell for the two biggest lies of all time, namely that his mother Cory was a saint, and that his father Ninoy was a hero. The entire foundation that this yellow regime is standing on is a pack of lies, including their allegations against Marcos. The good news is that this idiot is actually a blessing in disguise because many people have started to wake up thanks to his sayad, and the more that people realize the fraud that this yellow regime actually is, the closer we bring it to its end. Abnoy is only a tool, the tool-wielder is the regime, more specifically the Church, the oligarchy and the American-led West. Formidable yes, but not invulnerable. Lets not forget to pound on the yellows too instead of just focusing only on this moron.

    • Justaskingseriously on

      Will you elaborate on your idea that the Church (capitalized?) is the regime and that BS is just a tool? Where in your perverted mindset did you get that fantastic idea? Some people write with their preconceived ideas and make wild statements. Wherever and whenever they get a chance, a jab at the Church apparently gives them so much satisfaction. “…more specifically the Church…” You think that is really specific? You could not be more abstract and non-specific than that. That is why I am asking for elaboration. Allow yourself to see the present-day situation and not perhaps a hazy past. You just might be able to help solve present-day issues and not engage in wishful, wasteful, and hate-filled thinking.

    • Name calling is not good my friend. You have to be more specific on your allegations. You have so much emotions and rhetoric and your losing clarity in your statement.

    • Amnata Pundit on

      The Church, the Oligarchy and the West are like the Holy Trinity, they are three but they are really just one.

    • Justaskingseriously on

      To elaborate is to show that what you assert has foundations in reality. Showing that would necessitate concrete instances to bolster or buttress your contention. What you have just done with your chance to elaborate is blow your chance. You really have nothing to back up your assertion. You need not admit it. It is obvious. You cannot use a matter of faith like theTrinity ( which you don’t believe anyway) to compare with a political realty. By using that comparison, you in effect do not believe your own assertion. Your truly are not a pundit.

  7. PNoy is afraid of losing debate at Hague by sending huge delegates at the expense of tax payers which most delegates posting as sitting pretty with no worthy at all. What if the court decided had no jurisdiction at all ? Phil. effort will be in vein and it will be a big losing face for him.

    • Mr. Onlooker. You are what you are “onlooker”. If your islands are at stake, the amount you spent in sending even 100 delegates is drop in the ocean. It’s no brainer! The fact we presented our case in Hague and now reaping supports from many nations goes to show we have the courage to fight a giant bully like China. Your comment is BS! By the way are you shame to our country and perhaps you are one of China’s spy.