Thinking Pinoy: July 2016

July 31, 2016

Sa Issue ni Albert del Rosario, may mas malala pa ba kay Karen Davila?

Basurang reporter si Karen Davila, pero mas basura pa pala lahat ng iba. Mayroong itinatago ang Philippine Media, na dapat ay ikabahala ng lahat.
NOTE: This is Tagalog translation of the ThinkingPinoy article "On Sec. Albert Del Rosario, is there anybody worse than Karen Davila?". If you want to read the English Version, please click here.
Ang mga pinakamalalaking media outlets sa Pilipinas, na tatawagin kong "Big media", ay nagsasabing isang bayani ang foreign affairs secretary ni Pres. Aquino na si Sec. Albert del Rosario, matapos nitong isulong ang arbitration case tungkol sa South China Sea dispute.

Kulang na lang ay sabihin ng Big Media na ang katagang "Bayani si del Rosario" ay hango sa bibliya, at pinaniniwala nila ang taumbayan ng ganito, sa kabila ng katotohanang hindi ito tugma sa realidad.

Lumilitaw na ang interview ni Karen Davila kay del Rosario [TP: Dear Karen], kahit walang kwenta, ay ang NAG-IISANG attempt ng Big Media na halukayin ang issue ng conflict of interest.

Mayroon bang media blackout sa issue ng conflict of interest ni del Rosario?

On Sec. Albert Del Rosario, is there anybody worse than Karen Davila?

Karen Davila is a trashy reporter, but it turns out the rest are trashier. There’s something Philippine Media deliberately ignores, and it’s a cause for national concern.
NOTE: This is the original English version of the ThinkingPinoy article "On Sec. Albert Del Rosario, is there anybody worse than Karen Davila?". If you want to read the Tatalog Translation, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
Major Philippine media outlets, which ThinkingPinoy will collectively call Big Media, have been hailing the Aquino administration’s Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario as a patriot after he purportedly fought for our nation’s interest in the South China Sea dispute.

For some reason, big media appears to believe, and takes every effort to make the public believe, that “Albert del Rosario is a patriot” is some sort of Bible Truth, a notion that is difficult to reconcile with reality.

Karen Davila’s interview with del Rosario [TP: Dear Karen], despite being extremely problematic, appears to the ONLY attempt by Big Media to investigate the issue.

Is there a media blackout on Del Rosario's conflict of interest?

July 29, 2016

Duterte’s Drug War: Where's the Logic in 400 Deaths?

Philippines, a killing field? Here’s for the 0.2% [Star], before they foam at the mouth.

In barely a month, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs has resulted into staggering and unprecedented 420 alleged narcotics-related killings since June 30 [Inq]. Most, if not all, of these killings are blamed upon Duterte. After all, it was he who started the fight, right?

"Shoot him and I'll give you a medal," Duterte said, according to its the wire service, the [Washington Post] reported.
(FEATURE IMAGE:  The corpse of a person executed "Encintado" Style. The reader will find out in the succeeding sections why ThinkingPinoy chose that image.)

ThinkingPinoy (TP) admits, Duterte’s words don’t help him a lot in his public relations campaign. What caught TP’s eye, however, is the phrase “according to its wire service”. That Washington Post article was based upon a news wire from the Associated Press (AP) Philippines.

In this article, TP will examine the facts surrounding these 420 deaths and put them under the microscope.

July 25, 2016

South China Sea, Philex and the Roman Catholic Church

In a 2012 interview with Karen Davila, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario cited two reasons why the Philippines initiated UNCLOS arbitral proceedings against China. First was because China harasses our fishermen in Scarborough Shoal. Second was because of China’s construction activities on Panatag Shoal [TP: Dear Karen].

What the two of them conveniently failed to mentioned was a key event that happened in March 2011.
On 02 March 2011 and with national government approval, Manny Pangilinan (MVP)’s Forum Energy sent seismic survey ships to Reed Bank in search of hydrocarbons. Chinese Patrol boats aggressively approached Forum Energy’s MV Voyager Veritas [Storey 2011], sending a clear message that the Chinese Government isn’t happy with what MVP is doing.
Reed Bank is part of the disputed South China Sea territory.

July 24, 2016

Dear Karen “Higher Intelligent (sic)” Davila

I am writing this article not for your sake, but for the sake of the Filipino people, because the public has the right to know. And yes, I am speaking to you as a member of the public, a public that will surely be angry and disappointed at you by the end of this article.

Okay sige tara na’t umpisahan na ‘to. Maglalaba pa ako.

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].
But...

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.

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