Thinking Pinoy

July 21, 2016

Why the hell was President Arroyo acquitted?

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s acquittal is Daang Matuwid’s bitter pill to swallow.

I want to make it clear that in as far as “my personal feelings”, I am neutral to negative about PGMA’s acquittal. Actually, I was totally against it before I started ThinkingPinoy. After years of being constantly bombarded by anti-PGMA propaganda from major news outlets, I was made to believe that PGMA was the poster girl for 2000s-era government corruption.

Now, I will set “my personal feelings” aside and analyze the situation as objectively as I possibly can, and let’s start with a short timeline starting from PGMA’s arrest down to the day she was acquitted by the Supreme Court.

July 19, 2016

Dear Aika Robredo

Aika, I am writing this article not for your sake, but for the sake of your great father Jesse Robredo.

Tara at nang matapos na ito. Maglalaba pa ako.

July 18, 2016

South China Sea 101: How Trillanes, DFA, MVP destroyed PH-CN ties

In ThinkingPinoy’s “PH-China on West Philippine Sea: The issue of trust, or the lack of it”, I explained how the Philippines flip-flopped on its stance towards the South China dispute. One day we tell China we wanna talk, then we piss them off a day later. This happened on at least four different occasions through the second and third quarters of 2011.

Common sense dictates that the Philippines may not be as truthful as we would have hoped. Kapag nakaharap kasi tayo sa China, gusto nating makipagbati. Pero oras na pagtalikod natin, kabaligtaran ang ating ginagawa. Ang gulo-gulo talaga natin noong 2011, ang hirap ispelingin. In diplomatic terms, it appears na kinakabog natin ang North Korea sa level ng unpredictability.

Engaging in talks means openness to compromise. If we had zero intentions to compromise, why did we even bother to talk with China to begin with? We should have already gone to war and have the matter settled already. But we didn’t.

And, despite the failed talks with China, the Aquino administration even had the balls to provoke the Chinese in July 2011 when various Philippine government agencies started addressing the area as the “West Philippine Sea.” [AsiaOne]

July 17, 2016

PH-China on West Philippine Sea: The issue of trust, or the lack of it

In ThinkingPinoy’s previous article, The South China Sea Decision and Perfecto Yasay's Face, TP briefly explained how the Aquino administration unilateral decision to allow hydrocarbon exploration in the South China Sea’s Reed Bank was used as the primary justification for filing the UNCLOS case.

ThinkingPinoy admits, however, that the explanation was too short to provide a complete picture.

In this article, I will list down how we repeatedly broke our word of honor, suggesting that maybe, just maybe, we may also be at fault. And yes, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo may have committed mistakes during her term. However, just because Gloria botched it doesn't mean PNoy has to follow suit.

As a successor to PGMA, however, PNoy had to make the most of whatever situation we are in.

The question, therefore, is whether he did the right things.

Because you, the Filipino People, deserve to know how things got THIS BAD.

July 16, 2016

South China Sea #CHexit decision explained in simple Taglish

Philippine social media conversations heated up as a result of the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s (PCA’s) decision on the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea issue. Participants in this free-for-all online debate can be classified into two: one that favors bilateral talks with China, and another that espouses a hardline stance that includes forming military alliance against China.

Sadly, I think there’s been a lot of confusion regarding what the PCA decision contains vis-à-vis the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), so let ThinkingPinoy briefly explain the exact contents of the decision in SIMPLE TAGLISH, para madaling ma-gets.

July 15, 2016

Dreaming of forming a military alliance against China? Learn from SEATO's experience

Written by Sass Rogando Sasot
Master's Student, International Relations
Leiden University
The Hague, Netherlands

Impermanence bows to no might. Even the leader of the world’s mightiest nation recognised this in his remarks to the United Nations General Assembly last September 2015. “None of us last forever,” Barack Obama soberly said. Deeply aware of the precariousness of their existence, States seek to maximise their security (Waltz). One way States do this is by forming alliances. Alliances are “cooperative security arrangements” States forge against a mutually perceived existential threat (Griffiths and O’Callaghan). Through their collective strengths and actions, States boost their chances of surviving in the sea of impermanence.
FEATURED IMAGE: President Rodrigo Duterte met with Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua in Davao City in May 2016. SUNSTAR DAVAO

July 14, 2016

#CHexit FAQ: Mga Katanungan tungkol sa Philippines vs China Arbitration Case

Narito ang isang maikling Q&A na sinulat ng aking kaibigang si Sass Rogando Sasot tungkol sa desisyon ng ITLOS sa West Philippine Sea.

Si Sass Sasot ay isang diplomacy practitioner na kasalukuyang nag-aaral ng Masters sa International Relations sa Leiden University sa Netherlands [LinkedIn].

The South China Sea Decision and Perfecto Yasay's Face

Let ThinkingPinoy explain the face that launched a thousand tweets.

A few days ago, the arbitration courts finally released its decision regarding the Philippines' claim in the South China Sea, or what we Filipinos stubbornly call the West Philippine Sea. First brought up in 2013, the favorable 2016 decision essentially invalidated China's Nine-dash Line claim [FT].

Filipinos rejoiced at this development and even I, ThinkingPinoy, was part of the revelry.

Sabi ni DFA Sec. Yasay, nanalo daw tayo sa Permanent Court of Arbitration kaya #CHexit na. Guysssss, ano na plano?
Posted by Thinking Pinoy on Tuesday, July 12, 2016
But in the middle of what appeared to be a national jubilation, there was our Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay, sporting a somber face.

Parang natalo sa tong-its. Kaya ang tanong, bakit?

July 12, 2016

PNP Generals and PH Narcopolitics: Jesse Robredo's murder holds key?

Stripped down to the basics, drug trafficking is a business, and the businessmen behind it are doing one hell of a job in this country. That’s something we already know. Just look at how many drug addicts we have right now.
In February 2015, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) reported that 92 percent of Metro Manila barangays are drug-affected [Star], while 20 percent – or one in every five – barangays nationwide are also drug-affected [MT]. In October 2015, PDEA even went as far as saying that 7 NCR cities plus the municipality of Pateros have 100% drugs affectation rate [GMA].
To make matters worse, more and more drug syndicates are entering our borders. That’s also something we already know. Just look at what PDEA said last year.
In July 2015, PDEA chief Arturo Cacdac Jr. admitted that West African, Mexican, North Korean, and Chinese drug syndicates originally used the country solely as a transit point, but things have changed. What used to be just a transit point became part of their market [Star].
To make matter even worse, drug syndicates maintain cordial working relationships with public officials in order to evade arrest or worse, enhance market penetration. That’s also something we already know. Just look at how PDEA chronically neglects to gather data about PH Narcopolitics.
In February 2016, PDEA Public Information Office (PIO) chief Glen Malapad admitted they “have no data to gauge regarding how serious is the threat of Narcopolitics in the country.” For the lack of meaningful data, Malapad said they can only pin down barangay officials [MT].

July 2, 2016

Tatang Doro and President Rodrigo Duterte's “Put**g i*a mo!”

Whenever Duterte curses, he’s just like Tatang Doro, my foul-mouthed grandfather.

Teodoro’s favorite curse word was “P****g i*a mo! (You son of a b*tch!)”. I heard him say it all the time while I was growing up.
“Tatang, pahingi naman ng lima,” he’d say, “P****g i*a mo!”
“Tatang, isama mo naman ako sa bukid,” he’d say, “’P****g i*a mo!”
“Tatang, puwede bang samahan mo ako?,” he’d say, “P****g i*a mo!”
He never was a bastion of eloquence, to say the least.

DISCLAIMER: Lapu-lapu's Facebook Post on Leni and Binay

Napag-alaman po ko po na ginamit ang isang graphic ng ThinkingPinoy sa Lapu-lapu Facebook page.

June 29, 2016

Duterte-Tugade's NCR Cable Cars: Will they work?

In an interview with Karen Davila on ANC’s Headstart, incoming DOTC chief Art Tugade said he’s in talks with a cable car manufacturer about the possibility of installing cable cars to ease Manila Traffic. Tugade said he wants to mimic Bolivia’s approach, but on a more massive scale.

[FEATURED IMAGE: Bolivia's Mi Teleférico]

Tugade said, “Yung cable cars pinag-aaralan definitely... Ito ho, hinihiram ko 'yung Bolivia experience kung saan mayroong mga cable car… Uumpishan mo muna 'yan sa area ng Pasig, then EDSA, ito 'yung mga gondola na may 35-passenger capacity.” [GMA].

(We will definitely study the potential of cable cars, similar to Bolivia’s. We plan to launch 35-seater gondolas initially in Pasig, then EDSA.)

June 25, 2016

ThinkingPinoy should not be in Malacañang

I woke up from general anesthesia at 4:00 PM of 09 May 2016. At last, my trusty surgeon finally excised a severe perineal infection that’s been bugging me for weeks. I should have undergone surgery weeks earlier but I chose to postpone it because I had something more important to do.

June 21, 2016

Idealistic? Hardworking? Patriotic? Malacañang needs you!

If you’ve been following the ThinkingPinoy Facebook Page for quite some time, you might have noticed that I am keen to work for the incoming Duterte administration. After several weeks’s worth of noting, I have finally managed to get an appointment with people from a key presidential communications group (CG).

What’s in it for you?

June 19, 2016

The PH Telco Cartel: Telstra’s story from conception to miscarriage [1/2]

In San Miguel, Globe, Smart & the 700 MHz Band for Dummies [Pt. 1 of 2], ThinkingPinoy explained what the 700 Megahertz (700 MHz) band is. Now that we got that out of the way, it’s time to talk about the story of the 700 MHz spectrum in relation to mobile internet and the Philippine Telecom industry at large.

This post serves as the second part of that article. However, instead of using the title “San Miguel, Globe, Smart & the 700 MHz Band for Dummies [Pt. 2 of 2], I decided to use the title above as it provides is better describes this post’s content.

Warning: This will be the longest article that I, ThinkingPinoy, has ever written, so I would like to apologize in advance if reading this will take a lot of time. I felt that it’s high time for the public to have a deeper working understanding of how messed up the PH telco industry is, so that each of us can provide more meaningful contributions to the PH Telco debate.

Let’s go.

The PH Telco Cartel: Telstra’s story from conception to miscarriage [2/2]

The dagger to heart – the final straw – was finally planted when Globe and Smart, through the NTC, urged the newly-formed Philippine Competition Commission [PCC] to probe SMC’s control over the 700 MHz spectrum, citing this practice as “anti-competitive” [MS].

(This article is the continuation of The PH Telco Cartel: Telstra’s story from conception to miscarriage [1/2])

In response, PCC founding chairman Arsenio Balisacan said one of the sectors the PCC would focus on is the telecommunications industry, which includes a study of the 700 MHz issue and how San Miguel was able to obtain and maintain control of the scarce frequency in spite of calls for a public bidding [MS].

The PCC derives its mandate from Philippine Competition Act, penned by Senator Bam Aquino and signed on 21 July 2015 by his uncle, President Noynoy Aquino [RA 10667].

Now let’s ask the question, why?

June 17, 2016

San Miguel, Globe, Smart & the 700 Mhz Band for Dummies [Pt. 1 of 2]

SMC sold the 700 Mhz band to Globe and Smart... so what's in it for you?

San Miguel Corporation has finally let go of its prized 700 Mhz band by selling it to the telco duopoly of Smart Communications and Globe Telecom. Press releases say it's good for the public, but that is just the partial truth. The tech talk is  a bit difficult to grasp, so ThinkingPinoy is here to the rescue!

June 13, 2016

Duterte, Cayetano, Pimentel: Inside Info on the Senate Presidency (Part 2 of 2)

In Duterte, Cayetano, Pimentel: Inside Info on the Senate Presidency (Part 1 of 2), ThinkingPinoy explained that over the past month, President-elect Duterte has masterfully consolidated and tested the limits of his political power, with Senate as the only thing standing in his way.

The key to the Senate is in the Senate Presidency, currently contested by Senator and PDP-Laban President Koko Pimentel; and Senator and Duterte running mate Alan Peter Cayetano. Now, it’s time to continue where we left off.

Duterte, Cayetano, Pimentel: Inside Info on the Senate Presidency (Part 1 of 2)

Politics is a battle of competing interests and not a struggle between good and evil. Thus, it is incumbent upon the electorate to choose a leader whose interest and advocacies best align with theirs. The sooner we learn, recognize and accept this truth, the better for us. ThinkingPinoy has become well aware of this fact, that’s why he’s been attempting to educate his readers about the ins and outs of today’s “Political Game of Thrones”.

June 11, 2016

Leni’s Possible Defense: Strike down SOCE laws

Yesterday, ThinkingPinoy explained how the Liberal Party’s (LP) non-filing of the its Statement of Campaign Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) will result in the disqualification of all winning LP-nominated candidates starting from Vice-president Leni Robredo down to municipal or city councilors [TP: No VP Leni].

In reply, Robredo insisted that Comelec Rules allow LP to file its SOCE until June 30th. However, TP showed that Robredo was in fact referring 2014 Comelec Resolution 9873 that has already been repealed by 2015 Comelec Resolution 9991, essentially implying that Robredo’s June 30 claim has no legal basis [TP: Obsolete Law].

Attorney Maria Leonor Robredo’s poorly constructed "June 30 deadline" legal argument will not hold water in the court of law. However, she may still have other ways to get out of this LP-initiated legal mess. And that’s what we will be talking about.