My friends and countrymen, as we observe National Heroes’ Day on August 31, 2020, it is most appropriate to contemplate our country’s sovereignty, which includes maritime rights. Throughout his term, President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly expressed the false notion that China is “in possession” of the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and that the Philippines is powerless to assert its sovereign rights therein, short of waging war with China, the latest declaration having been made in his last State of the Nation Address on July 27. Consequently, every time he does so, his critics persistently rebut him, particularly the astute Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio, who was instrumental in the favorable 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on the WPS.
In my “Open Letter to President Duterte” and “Why Filipinos Should Give a
Damn about Panatag Shoal,” I have presented some of Carpio’s advice on how the
Philippines can, indeed, enforce its arbitral award without waging war with
China, some of which I have likewise enumerated below. Some of them are Carpio’s direct response to
Duterte upon publicly asking him what action to undertake, as in the following
“Xi Jinping [said] there will be trouble,” stated Duterte, “so answer me,
Justice, give me the formula and I’ll do it.”
“My response is yes, Mr. President, there is a formula,” replied Carpio, “and
not only one but many ways of enforcing the arbitral award without going to war
with China, using only the rule of law.”
Without further ado, I present those
options which Carpio stated should be implemented “together to fortify the award
part by part, brick by brick, until the award is fully enforced.”
The Philippines can join a convention with Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei regarding the South China Sea. The convention can declare that no geologic feature in the Spratly Islands generates an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and that there are only territorial seas from the geologic features that are above water at high tide, as ruled by the PCA. According to Carpio, China will be “isolated” as the only country claiming EEZs from the Spratly Islands. Countries that assert freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea are also expected to follow such a convention, he added.
The Philippines can invite Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei to conduct joint FONOPs in respective EEZs facing the West Philippine Sea. “This will be a common assertion by 5 coastal states that each of them have their own respective EEZs in South China Sea thereby enforcing the arbitral award that China’s 9-dash line has no legal effect and cannot serve as basis to claim the waters of the South China Sea,” Carpio said. By conducting joint FONOPs, it will also affirm the EEZ of the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea. Carpio said that while the Philippines should welcome and join these operations, it has instead distanced the country from them, saying the Philippines “does not take sides” in disputes between China and other countries in the area, a seemingly treacherous gesture vis-à-vis the oldest and most loyal ally, the U.S.
The Philippines can welcome and encourage the freedom of navigation and overflight operations (FONOPs) of the U.S., U.K., France, Australia, Japan, India and Canada in the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea. The naval and aerial operations of these naval powers, which are in conformity with UNCLOS and customary international law, have increased in frequency since the 2016 PCA award, and are what Carpio describes as the “most robust enforcement” of the arbitral award, bridging the gap between the rule of law and the rule of justice.
The Philippines can persuade the U.S. to declare Panatag Shoal as part of Philippine territory, which would protect it under the 1951 Philippine-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). Such action would add clarity for legal ramifications, since the shoal was known to be under Philippine jurisdiction as early as the American colonial period and even under Spanish rule. The Japanese did precisely that with their Senkaku islands, which the U.S. declared as part of Japan’s territory for purposes of the U.S.-Japan Mutual Defense Treaty.
The Philippines could send the Philippine Navy to patrol Panatag Shoal. “As the South China Sea is part of the Pacific,” stated U.S. State Sec. Mike Pompeo, “any armed attack on any Philippine forces, aircraft, or public vessels in the South China Sea will trigger mutual defense treaty obligations under Article 4 of our Mutual Defense Treaty.” Of course, that would prompt the U.S. Navy to intervene.
The Philippines can resume joint naval patrols with the U.S. in the West Philippine Sea in order to project military might, which could deter China from continuing its island-building activity on Panatag Shoal.
The Philippine Coast Guard can send its ten 44-meter multi-role response vessels that were donated by Japan to patrol the West Philippine Sea. These vessels, Carpio said, are ideal for patrolling and catching poachers in the Philippines’ EEZ in the West Philippine Sea. Doing so will also assert the country’s sovereign rights in the maritime area.
Congress can enact legislation to make permanent the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). Indeed, the MDT would be rendered obsolete without either of them as elucidated by Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro Locsin:
The Mutual Defense Treaty without the VFA and EDCA may be compared to a deflated balloon. For all practical purposes, it becomes an extra large rubber for an Asian. Far more elastic than he can ever need for its purpose and far more suitable as a shower cap than a prophylactic against foreign aggression.
Aside from the two treaties giving teeth to the MDT, making them permanent would revitalize and fortify America’s alliance with the Philippines while deterring China and other potential aggressors, as well as quelling terrorist threats.
The Philippines can emulate
America’s foreign policy of imposing visa restrictions on all persons and
business entities which Pompeo characterizes as “responsible for, or complicit
in, either the large-scale reclamation, construction, or militarization of
disputed outposts in the South China Sea, or [the People’s Republic of China’s]
use of coercion against Southeast Asian claimants to inhibit their access to
Philippines can terminate contracts with Chinese firms which are, in any way,
involved in reclamation and militarization activities in the WPS. In fact, Locsin has already publicly said he
would make such a recommendation to the appropriate agencies.
Philippines can file an extended continental shelf claim in the West Philippine
Sea beyond the 200-nautical mile EEZ off the coast of Luzon, where China is the
only opposite coastal state. The Philippines can file this unilaterally with
the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. China cannot invoke
historic rights under its nine-dash line claim which has already been ruled
without legal effect by the PCA. China’s own extended continental shelf does
not overlap with the extended continental shelf of the Philippines in this
The Philippines can “bring China’s
threat of war to another United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
(UNCLOS) arbitral tribunal, to secure an order directing China to comply with
the ruling of the UNCLOS arbitral tribunal that declared the Reed Bank part of
Philippine EEZ.” He added that the “Philippines can also ask for damages
for every day of delay that the Philippines is prevented by China from
exploiting Philippine EEZ.”
Philippines can facilitate efforts of active citizens to enforce the arbitral
Carpio referred to the case filed by former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and
former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales against Chinese President Xi Jinping
before the International Criminal Court. The complaint accused Xi of crimes
against humanity over environmental damage in the South China Sea.
According to Senator Richard Gordon,
the National Security Council can regularly convene and collaborate with a
think tank paneled by foreign policy and defense experts. Such regular meetings could keep the
Philippines prepared for various contingencies.
naman natin na there is always contention in that area,” stated Gordon, “kaya
dapat nakahanda tayo kung ano ang mangyayari diyan.”
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) can and should immediately issue a
clarification that China is in fact not in possession, and legally can never be
in possession, of the WPS. According to Carpio,
the international law doctrine of unilateral declarations can bind the
Philippines to Duterte’s statement about China’s alleged possession of the WPS,
whereby China can claim the Philippines has forfeited its sovereign rights. Hence, clarification from the DFA is
Senate and the House of Representatives can pass resolutions declaring that
China is not in possession of the WPS.
professional, civic, social, political, student, and alumni organizations, and
all Filipino citizens, can and should overwhelm Malacañang with statements and
text messages: China is not, and will never be, in possession of the WPS.
In conclusion, my friends and
countrymen, lest the Philippines becomes “a province of China,” we can and must
assert our sovereign rights in the WPS, regardless of Duterte’s rhetoric. In the authoritative words of Carpio, “The
Filipino people should not be intimidated by national leaders who peddle a
false option that either we go to war with China or submit to China. This false
option should be discredited once and for all. . . We cannot adopt a defeatist
attitude and just sit idly by and let China seize what international law has
declared to be our own Exclusive Economic Zone. . . This is the moment for all
Filipinos to unite in defense of Philippine sovereign rights in the WPS.”
My friends and countrymen, within 200 nautical miles of the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of the Philippines (RP) is a small cluster of rocks, encompassed by a body of water, known as Panatag Shoal to Filipinos and Scarborough Shoal internationally. It was the subject of dispute between RP and China. In 2013, President Benigno Aquino III filed a case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) for which it ruled in RP’s favor in 2016. Predictably, imperial China does not acknowledge the ruling and insists on claiming 90% of the international waters via its own “nine-dash line” metric, which the PCA has invalidated pursuant to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The PCA also declared Panganiban (Mischief) Reef, Recto (Reed) Bank, and Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal as “part of the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the Philippines, and are not overlapped by any possible entitlement of China.”
Perhaps you all are pondering why we Filipinos should care about some cluster of rocks surrounded by water. If President Rodrigo Duterte defends it, will that put food on our tables, educate our kids, or improve the quality of our lives? If not, then why should any of us be concerned, especially since it risks provoking a war with China—a state of affairs which appears to be nothing short of a suicide mission? Indeed, these are all legitimate and ubiquitously relevant questions worthy of addressing.
First and foremost is the legal issue of sovereignty and constitutional mandate of the President. Since the PCA upheld RP’s sovereignty over Panatag Shoal, it is the government’s duty to defend it. Pursuant to Art. XII, Sect. 2 of the 1987 Constitution, “The State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone. . .”
Dereliction of this duty could be construed as betrayal of public trust, which is an impeachable offense according to Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio and Sen. Richard Gordon. Aside from that, forfeiting our sovereign territory will only serve as a dangerous precedent for other potential encroachments by China. What if China claims it recently unearthed a map indicating their sovereignty over Philippine Rise (formerly Benham Rise) or even the entire province of Palawan? Not only is ceding Panatag Shoal a slippery slope towards imperial tyranny, it calls into question RP’s adherence to the Constitution and the rule of law—international law—in this case.
Second, Panatag Shoal is abundant in fish and natural resources, including minerals and gas. Such resources can be utilized by consumers and businesses, while driving energy costs down, creating more jobs, raising living standards, and generating more tax revenue. Indeed, it would stimulate the economy and contribute to a prosperous future for our country’s youth. If, on the other hand, China is given free reign, there is a risk of irresponsible food shortages. As former assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Wallace Gregson pointed out, “China stands harshly criticized in the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration judgment for ‘permanent and irreparable harm to the coral reef ecosystem.’”
Third, should China seize Panatag Shoal, freedom of navigation and overflight would be compromised. Indeed, one third of world shipping (valued at over $5 trillion) passes through this route annually. Hence, China has militarized seven reefs with runways, surface navy ship and submarine posts, hangars, radars, and surface-to-air missiles. “The fear,” states Asia-Pacific security expert William Choong, “is that China will start dredging, followed by militarization, thus creating a strategic triangle connecting Woody Island, the Spratlys chain and Scarborough Shoal that would dominate most of the South China Sea.” In order to prevent this, RP can and must assert its sovereignty.
Fourth, should RP decide to publicly acknowledge and enforce the PCA’s ruling, it would project fearless and determined leadership. Not only would ASEAN consider RP an economic partner, it would be respected for defending its sovereignty, vis-a-vis an imperialistic juggernaut. Indeed, it would be a successful model for Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan to emulate, since those ASEAN members also have maritime disputes with China. Incidentally, RP happens to be one of ASEAN’s founders and is the first country to defend its sovereign territory against China via the PCA (and won), which puts it in a historically unique position. Unfortunately, Duterte squandered a perfectly good opportunity to invoke the favorable PCA ruling at the ASEAN summit in which he himself presided as its chairman.
Perhaps you may understand and concur with my factually based points. However, skeptics may reiterate Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping’s war threat and Duterte’s rationale that RP cannot win a war against China, due to its inadequate military capability. In that case, I must defer to the authority of Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio, some of whose practical advice I conveyed in my letter to Duterte on May 2017:
The Philippines should “bring China’s threat of war to another UNCLOS arbitral tribunal, to secure an order directing China to comply with the ruling of the UNCLOS arbitral tribunal that declared the Reed Bank part of Philippine EEZ.” He added that the “Philippines can also ask for damages for every day of delay that the Philippines is prevented by China from exploiting Philippine EEZ.”
The Philippines should persuade the U.S. to declare Panatag Shoal as part of Philippine territory, which would protect it under the 1951 Philippine-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty. Such action would add clarity for legal ramifications, since the shoal was known to be under Philippine jurisdiction as early as the American colonial period and even under Spanish rule.
This map was composed in 1734 showing Panatag Shoal within Philippine jurisdiction under Spanish rule. It is highlighted as “Panacot.”
The Philippines should send the Philippine Navy to patrol Panatag Shoal. Should China stage an attack on any Philippine navy vessels, the Philippines can invoke the Mutual Defense Treaty, since it covers armed attacks on such vessels, pursuant to Article IV. Of course, that would prompt the U.S. Navy to intervene.
The Philippines should resume joint naval patrols with the U.S. in the West Philippine Sea in order to project military might, which could deter China from continuing its island-building activity on Panatag Shoal.
In spite of such recourse against China’s war threat, some contend that China would renege on its commitment to financing a $180 billion infrastructure program in RP (including two railways, a hydroelectric dam, and an irrigation system). It must be noted that its impact is not confined to transportation exclusively. Indeed, it adversely affects commerce, the rate of employment, and the price and quality of goods and services.
However, this is a maritime dispute which need not alter trade or financial relations. “I would take the approach of Vietnam as the model,” stated Carpio, “because Vietnam is very strong in resisting China’s encroachment but they continue to have very strong trade relations with China.” Former national security advisor Roilo Golez even raises a 2014 incident in which Vietnam asserted its maritime sovereignty against China, leading to battle. Ultimately, “after two months of that kind of encounter, watched by the entire world, China backed out. That is something that we can study, how they do it.
Even if China’s financial commitment is fully dependent on RP’s forfeiture of Panatag Shoal, China does not possess a monopoly on capital. Alternative financing could be secured from Japan, South Korea, Australia, Sweden, EU, UK, or the U.S. Otherwise, some of the funding can come from tax reform or liquidation of confiscated assets of prosecuted drug lords. In the U.S., Sen. Ted Cruz proposes the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act which would allocate seized assets of drug dealers (like “El Chapo”) towards funding President Donald Trump’s border “wall.”
Furthermore, the significance of Panatag Shoal should not be underestimated, nor should our country’s capability of defending it against China, in spite of President Xi Jinping’s war threat. In fact, defending the shoal would display our country’s resolve to effectively enforce its constitutional mandate and would serve as a model for other ASEAN maritime claimants to follow. Additionally, the shoal’s bounty can provide food and jobs for citizens and be a reserve for our country’s energy needs—now and for our youth’s future.
Finally, should the aforementioned reasons be insufficient, ponder this. Last month marked the 119th anniversary of our independence from Spain on June 12, 1898. Today is our 61st anniversary of independence from the U.S. on July 4, 1946 and this year, the 75th anniversary of the Bataan Death March in 1942. Indeed, they are all appropriate occasions in which to contemplate the sacrifices of our soldiers. After all, did they not shed their own blood for the entire Philippines, including Panatag Shoal? Ergo, is it not incumbent on us to cherish and protect what they fought for, so that their deaths shall not have been be in vain? Surely, my friends and countrymen, for this reason alone, I submit we Filipinos should give a damn about Panatag Shoal and implore, nay, demand that the President defend it!
The Bataan Death March was a 65-mile trek into which over 76,000 Filipinos and Americans were coerced by Japanese captors during World War II in 1942. Many died of starvation, sickness, and bayoneting by the Japanese. Their death in serving and defending the Philippines gives them the highest honor.
From Freedom Wall:
From Asian Alliance Against RED CHINA :
Lawrence MarkPinoys do care about Panatag…. Unless youre a dutertard… 😂
Al Giorgio SyWhy just now? because US mongrels aka liberal party said so? if they really did care about the place, they would have set infrastructure there way before china did. pinoys need to suck up their pride and whining when they get outmaneuvered because of their incompetency.
I am writing you with the utmost respect and as a concerned citizen of the Philippines. Like you, Mr. President, I only seek to serve the interests of our countrymen as well as protect the sovereignty of our country pursuant to the Constitution. Therefore, I appeal that you keep an open mind and take no offense to my grievances and unsolicited recommendations.
Mr. President, many Marawi City residents have had their lives drastically disrupted and have been displaced as they have evacuated their homes, due to your declaration of martial law in Mindanao. Meanwhile, some foreign investors are losing confidence in the economy and the stability of the Philippine government as a result. This may deter other potential investors and cost our country many current and potential jobs. In fact, Philippine Airlines has already offered refunds to travelers fearful of flying to Mindanao.
For that reason, it is in the best interest of the Philippines to swiftly quell the terrorist threat, restore the rule of law, and draw an end to this period of martial law as soon as possible. That is precisely why I suggest you request Pres. Donald Trump increase American troop presence in Mindanao. Such a move would allow the police and military to continue fighting Islamic terrorists without compromising their focus on other priorities, such as the NPA (who have already announced they would utilize the current crisis to their advantage). Since both the Philippines and the U.S. share a similar problem of having porous borders, thus enabling foreign Islamic terrorists to enter both countries (some of the killed Maute terrorists were from Indonesia and Malaysia), perhaps you can collaborate to find solutions.
Indeed, the U.S. would relentlessly curtail the escalation of Islamic terrorism. In conformity with your desire to be “harsh,” Pres. Trump is willing to use practical, effective methods to counter the insurgents, such as enhanced interrogation techniques. He is also willing to adopt Gen. Pershing’s method of using bullets dipped in pig’s blood, which quickly ended the war between the Americans and Moros during the early 20th century.
In light of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s threat on your desire for the Philippines to extract natural resources from the disputed West Philippine Sea, that “if you force the issue, we will go to war,” I must invoke the authority of Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio. He states that “the threat of China to go to war against the Philippines if the Philippines extracts oil and gas in the Reed Bank, or in any area within Philippine EEZ in the West Philippine Sea, is a gross violation of the United Nations Charter, UNCLOS, and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia to which China and the Philippines are parties.”
That is why, Mr. President, I implore you to discuss this issue with Pres. Trump. After all, the U.S. also has a strategic interest in maritime security and maintaining freedom of navigation along the West Philippine Sea, which is one of the reasons Pres. Trump seeks to scale up the American navy.
Mr. President, it is indisputable that America’s military is the most powerful in the world, and wherein the U.S. refrained from full scale war, it has maintained a fairly stabilizing counter balance against hegemons like Russia and China. In fact, just a few days ago, a U.S. warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef unimpeded by China—a deliberate attempt to demonstrate that “Mischief Reef is not entitled to its own territorial sea regardless of whether an artificial island has been built on top of it.” Indeed, according to Justice Carpio, “the Philippines must strengthen its alliance with the United States, the only country with whom the Philippines has a mutual defense treaty.” Even the astute patriot whom you called “President Gordon” concurs on utilizing the presence of American troops in order to develop a “strong and credible defense capability.”
However, as we await the fortification of that alliance, Justice Carpio advises that the Philippines “bring China’s threat of war to another UNCLOS arbitral tribunal, to secure an order directing China to comply with the ruling of the UNCLOS arbitral tribunal that declared the Reed Bank part of Philippine EEZ.” He added that the “Philippines can also ask for damages for every day of delay that the Philippines is prevented by China from exploiting Philippine EEZ.”
In following Justice Carpio’s lead, I also recommend that you persuade the U.S. to declare Panatag Shoal (universally known as Scarborough Shoal) as part of Philippine territory, which would protect it under the Philippine-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty. Such action would add clarity for legal ramifications, since the shoal was known to be under Philippine jurisdiction as early as the American colonial period. The Japanese did precisely that with their Senkaku islands , which the U.S. declared as part of Japan’s territory for purposes of the U.S.-Japan Mutual Defense Treaty.
Meanwhile, Mr. President, you can send the Philippine Navy to patrol Panatag Shoal. Should China stage an attack on any of our vessels, you can invoke the Mutual Defense Treaty, since it covers armed attacks on such vessels. Of course, that would prompt the U.S. Navy to intervene.
I also recommend, Mr. President, that you express to Pres. Trump your gratitude for America’s contributions to our country’s welfare, including being an old, reliable ally whose troops fought alongside our troops against the Japanese invaders during World War II, providing foreign aid (in the form of funding, disaster relief supplies and manpower, and military assets and training), and U.S. legislation that currently supplements the income of our World War II veterans (in addition to their compensation by our own government).
The Oldest Philippine Alliance
Mr. President, Gen. Douglas MacArthur is one of Pres. Trump’s favorite commanders. That is why I also urge you to give him a tour of the Leyte Landing Memorial Park, which is adorned by the American icon’s statue next to Pres. Sergio Osmena’s. Perhaps such a setting would be appropriate to even hold a press conference wherein you can announce the fortification of Philippine-U.S. relations.
MacArthur Landing Memorial Park
I recommend the announcement be made on June 12, which is shortly upcoming and a historical date. Indeed, it is the day Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo declared our country’s independence from Spain in 1898, for which a war by both Americans and Filipinos was fought. Such a chosen time for the announcement would certainly send a chilling message to imperial China on their limits vis-á-vis a powerful, ironclad ally.
In conclusion, Mr. President, I welcome you forging new alliances with other countries. However, new and dubious allies are no substitute for a single, loyal ally, especially since that ally according to Justice Carpio, is the “only one power on earth that can stop the Chinese and that’s the U.S.” With that said, America is our greatest ally and an invaluable asset in combating Islamic terrorism and keeping China restrained. Moreover, the world will respect us, and our enemies will fear us. Thus, it would serve our country’s best interest to take full advantage of this opportunity.
Mr. President, I appreciate your service to our country and to our countrymen and look forward to the day when peace and order will be restored, federalism will take effect, our economy will grow at record levels, and our country will reach first world status. May you have a successful presidency.
Marcial Bonifacio Nagagalak akong malaman iyan, kaibigan ko. I must admit I was pretty restrained dahil sa directly addressing Duterte. 🙂 Marahil his surrogates may read it and bring it to his attention. LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 1 · May 30 at 1:28am
Marlene Damolo Howe I agree with Pres. Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao in order to bring back law and order for the safety of the residents. The president has been fighting enemies from all fronts, both foreign and domestic. So Martial Law is sometimes necessary. Your suggestions are sensible and doable. But I can also understand where Pres. Duterte is coming from as far as working diplomatically with China and Russia, the two other superpowers adversarial to the United Sates. It doesn’t mean that he abandons the country’s alliance with the U.S., but only to explore diplomatic relationships with the other two since the Philippines is in a precarious situation and having very little resources for defense. The U.S. has a vested interests in the Philippines geographical location to keep navigation passage free in the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea, and China’s interest in the Philippines is for its agressive “expansionism” agenda. China claims that ALL of South China Seas is hers, regardless of the UNCLOS provision of 200 nautical miles EEZ.
So what does a Philippine president has to do? Pres. Duterte is a smart strategist. He has a history of outsmarting his detractors being street smart and pragmatic. After previous American president (Barack Obama) tried to undermine his presidency, Pres. Duterte moved to seek “diplomatic” alliance elsewhere. Hence, the two other superpowers, Russia and China. It puts America on notice! But Pres. Trump is NOT Barack Obama. He is not an ideologue but a PRAGMATIST that only wants to do what’s best for America. And that means, WORKING WITH ALLIES and gain their trust. Under Barack Obama, OUR ALLIES NO LONGER TRUSTED US AND OUR ENEMIES DIDN’T FEAR US. Presidents Trump and Duterte have the same goal for their respective countries, to make it a better place where people are free to live their lives as they see fit and in peace. They had a good rapport when they talked while the opposite is true with Barack Obama.
So I hope that President Duterte will get your message and take your suggestions in consideration. We all want peace and better Philippines. So I hope that the self-serving obstructionists and disruptors will cease in their undermining the Duterte presidency and instead, help the president succeed in his efforts to combat the BAD ELEMENTS befalling our country; corruption, war on drugs and terrorism.
Marcial Bonifacio Magandang punto, kaibigang Marlene! Notwithstanding your points that Duterte is a smart strategist, I concur with everything else. Naisip ko impulsive at short-sighted si Duterte dahil he forged ties with Russia and China before consulting with Trump or Clinton tungkol sa paksang Panatag Shoal and their economic policy. Even before the U.S. presidential election was over in November of 2016, he could have ascertained both candidate’s proposals. If Obama were serving longer, then I might have some sympathy for Duterte’s decision. Gayunman, even then, it seems that Duterte may have been bent on forging new alliances just to spite the U.S. I have pointed out his anti- American inclination sa huling paliwanag ko titled “Digong is no Dick”:
Although Duterte has given mixed signals about his position on America and so-called “independent foreign policy” with other countries, his numerous rants and actions indicate he is, indeed, anti-American. For example, Duterte prompted the Supreme Court to deliberate on the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), in spite of its benefit to RP. He said that 2016 would be the last year the Philippines would participate in joint military patrols and exercises with the U.S., although he recently requested China’s assistance in sea patrolling as a pre-emptive measure against piracy. Duterte has constantly condemned the U.S. for the atrocities of the Bud Dajo Massacre in 1906, prompting former Pres. Fidel Ramos to characterize such anti-colonial thinking as “20th-century thinking” from which we must detach ourselves.Furthermore, Duterte has shifted RP’s arms supply source from the U.S. to Russia and China, in spite of what political scientist Richard Heydarian addresses as “problems with configuration” in which it could take “years for the Philippines’ army to reorient itself with new technology. ”https://www.marcialslaw.com/digong-is-no-dick-dick-gordon…/
Gayunpaman, sana Duterte will heed Carpio’s advice. Gayunman in so doing, he will have to strain ties with China to some extent, but he will regain some credibility for finally defending Panatag Shoal.
Jocel Mendoza I am one with the President. If the people who actually live in Mindanao support the declaration of Martial Law, why complain when we are not the one caught in war? Peace talks didn’t work and the enemies here are terrorists, we cannot talk sense to these people. Those who are against ML fear of power getting abused, but that is why the 1987 Constitution imposes limits to prevent it from happening. Martial Law then is different from Martial Law now.
Turning to Russia and China I think is the President’s way of bringing balance to Asia and neutralizing the tension in the region. We are not in the best position to declare war. Why would we fight China when even the US won’t. The most viable solution in the sea conflict – joint exploration. LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 2 · May 31 at 2:00amRemove
Marcial Bonifacio Kaibigang Jocel, sang-ayon ako sa punto mo ng martial law—that the 1987 Constitution has safeguards which differentiate it from the previous one. Gayunman, Duterte did not make such a distinction. Sa kabilang banda, sabi niya, “Martial law is martial law. So to my countrymen, you have experienced martial law. Ito, it would not be any different from what the President Marcos did. I’d be harsh.” Fortunately, Duterte’s surrogates have attempted to walk such statements back and make the distinctions which you made. Aside from using martial law for quelling Islamic terrorism, he should do so to neutralize the NPA as well, since peace talks with them have also failed.
Tungkol sa paksang bagong alliances, Duterte is not helpless in defending Panatag Shoal. The Mutual Defense Treaty obligates the U.S. to engage in war should RP’s navy vessels get attacked by China. SC Justice Antonio Carpio has even stressed that sa sulat ko. Gayunpaman, Duterte would set a good example for the other ASEAN members with similar disputes dahil RP’s sovereignty is legal sa pamamagitan ng ruling ng Permanent Arbitration Court.
Marcial BonifacioI have tweeted this letter to Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Cayetano, the DOJ,the Philippine Coast Guard, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Sen. Richard Gordon, and even Mocha Uson. Hopefully, Ines, they all will understand the significance of America’s alliance and will try to persuade the President.
USA is our true ally – from World War II to present. There are thousands of Fil-Ams in the US Armed forces- from the lower ranks to the highest ranks. Thousands of Fil-Am families in US. How many Filipinos in PLA? Probably none. Free speech in USA allows Fil-Ams to lobby and represent the Philippines in economic, political and social issues. If only Filipinos think like the Japanese, Japan was nuked twice, was an enemy of both US and CHINA, but the WISE Japanese chose USA. USA will help protect RP than Red CHINA. Red China is making RP their FRONTLINE BATTLEGROUND. We will be like Tibet and N. Korea. Red CHina is bringing the war to the Philippines WHETHER FILIPINOS will fight or not fight. Filipinos might as well fight with a strong ally and closer ally – USA. Filipinos have NO VOICE in RED CHINA!
Marcial BonifacioExcellent points, Thor! What’s ironic is that, as I pointed out in my last commentary, Duterte “has defied all conventional logic by shifting loyalty from an old, reliable ally—sharing similar ideals and aspects of civil liberties, human rights, democracy, and military culture— to a hegemonic, dubious foe—sharing no such ideals or cultural facets.”
My friends and countrymen, ever since Rodrigo Duterte entered the presidential race in 2016, some of his most fervent supporters, including some of my esteemed colleagues, have held him with such high regard tantamount even to their high regard for Sen. Richard Gordon. In fact, many voted for both public servants believing they would be an ideal tandem, one for president and the other for senator. Many of our citizens who voted for Duterte in the 2016 presidential election are the same ones who voted for Gordon in his 2010 presidential race.
Perhaps such electoral behavior is due to the perception that they both are “no-nonsense,” maverick leaders, who “think outside the box.” Hence, it is indubitable that they would govern similarly, if not identically. However, such a conclusion has little basis in fact, considering their views, policies, and overall knowledge differ drastically. Please allow me to illustrate.
On the issue of the drug epidemic, Duterte seems content in executing his plans by literally executing people—drug lords and addicts—just as he did as mayor of Davao City. He has even encouraged civilians to follow his lead, whereby he would give them a medal or cash in return. “If you know of any addict,” stated Duterte, “go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.” Duterte has reiterated to the PNP (Philippine National Police) that he would take the fall for any policeman prosecuted for “doing his duty,” even to the point of incarceration.
Gordon, on the other hand, has a comprehensive approach to the drug problem. For instance, since China has failed to effectively enforce its anti-drug smuggling laws, he suggests they be condemned. “We should shame China,” advises Gordon, “They’re not only taking our land. They’re also bringing in drugs to our country.” He urges the Foreign Affairs Department to “launch a strong protest” against the imperial power.
Additionally, Gordon proposes that schools provide highly trained guidance counselors and facilitate active Parents-Teachers Associations in order to detect and prevent potential drug addicts. He supports the establishment of village watch groups that would coordinate with the police and has been proven to be effective in Olongapo City under his mayorship. Gordon also proposes establishing police courts for handling drug-related crime and extrajudicial killing cases and body cameras for the police to promote transparency.
Upon the event of extrajudicial killings, he proposes the immediate suspension or dismissal of all policemen involved, just as he initiated as mayor. I might add that as an infrastructure project and extra border security, the Philippines can emulate American Pres. Donald Trump’s proposal of erecting a “wall” for which China will pay, but I digress. 🙂
American Foreign Policy
Although Duterte has given mixed signals about his position on America and so-called “independent foreign policy” with other countries, his numerous rants and actions indicate he is, indeed, anti-American. For example, Duterte prompted the Supreme Court to deliberate on the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), in spite of its benefit to RP. He said that 2016 would be the last year the Philippines would participate in joint military patrols and exercises with the U.S., although he recently requested China’s assistance in sea patrolling as a pre-emptive measure against piracy. Duterte has constantly condemned the U.S. for the atrocities of the Bud Dajo Massacre in 1906, prompting former Pres. Fidel Ramos to characterize such anti-colonial thinking as “20th-century thinking” from which we must detach ourselves.
Furthermore, Duterte has shifted RP’s arms supply source from the U.S. to Russia and China, in spite of what political scientist Richard Heydarian addresses as “problems with configuration” in which it could take “years for the Philippines’ army to reorient itself with new technology.”
He did all this in spite of the 70-year alliance in which the Americans fought alongside our countrymen against the Japanese imperialists during World War II, invested billions of dollars in private capital (much of it accounting for a booming BPO industry), defended RP’s right to use arbitration for maritime disputes in the West Philippine Sea, and has provided foreign aid in the form of disaster relief goods and services and military equipment and training against Islamic terrorists.
I have yet to mention the billions of dollars of remittances from American OFWs (which comprise approximately 43% of total remittances). Does this sound like Duterte merely seeks an independent foreign policy, or does this manifest his entrenched animosity towards the U.S.?
Gordon, on the other hand, has consistently supported the U.S. as early as his Olongapo mayorship. He vehemently defended the U.S. Bases Treaty in 1991 as well as EDCA. In an interview during his 2013 senatorial run, when asked if he supported EDCA, he responded, “EDCA, yeah. Our air force is all air and no force.” More recently, Gordon pointed out that “Japan and South Korea have used the US military bases there as their defense umbrella, while they funneled resources to rebuild their ravaged economy to build up their society to first world status” and that RP “must do the same.”
On the issue of Panatag Shoal, a Pulse Asia survey (taken Dec. 6-11, 2016) shows that 84% of its participants want the government to uphold the ruling of the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), favoring RP’s claim and invalidating China’s nine-dash line as contrary to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Perhaps that is why many cheered at Duterte’s proclamation that he would jet ski all the way to the disputed territory on which he would plant the Philippine flag. However, since he has forged an alliance with imperial China, he has refrained from discussing the matter with them. Instead they discussed trade deals, financial aid, and arms supplies.
Though Philippine fishermen are now able to return due to China’s permission—not its acknowledgement of the PCA ruling, which Rep. Tomasito Villarin says will “subject us to international ridicule”—RP appears to be China’s lapdog. How ironic considering Duterte, in condemnation of America, clearly stated, “I am not a tuta (lapdog) of any country!” Even more perplexing is that about 55% of our countrymen have “little trust” in China, according to an SWS poll. Indeed, Duterte has not only contradicted himself and thwarted the will of the people, he has defied all conventional logic by shifting loyalty from an old, reliable ally—sharing similar ideals and aspects of civil liberties, human rights, democracy, and military culture— to a hegemonic, dubious foe—sharing no such ideals or cultural facets.
The U.S. has already hinted that it will make preparations to block China, if it continues militarizing Panatag Shoal. However, Duterte still refuses to collaborate in defending RP’s legal claim. Gordon called such neglect of the PCA’s ruling “dangerous because anytime you have a claim, you must assert it,” and “if China steps on Scarborough Shoals, that is a red line and we’ll have to fight.” He also agrees with Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio that, “if Duterte concedes sovereignty, it is a culpable violation of the Constitution, a ground for impeachment.”
With such a serious charge pending, what could be the rationale for such illogical behavior? Is Duterte simply focused on the economic bounty RP will derive from China in exchange for Panatag Shoal? Perhaps I can appropriately adapt Mark 8:36 as “For what shall it profit a nation to gain the whole spectrum of prosperity (in banana exportation, increased tourism, financial aid for infrastructure, and foreign direct investments) but lose its own sovereignty?”
On the death penalty, Duterte seeks to reimpose it. Gordon opposes it on the grounds that it violates international conventions to which RP has agreed and the risk of mistaken identity. In fact, the Free Legal Assistance Group conducted a research study in 2004, which revealed that “71 percent of death sentences handed down by trial courts were wrongfully imposed.” The same study also showed that “70 percent of the 1,021 inmates on death row earned less than P10,000,” essentially indicating the death penalty to be anti-poor.
On the economy, Duterte styles himself a “socialist” and the “first left president of the Philippines.” As I pointed out in my commentary titled “My Concerns about a Duterte Presidency,” Duterte has been sympathetic to the communists and has offered them Cabinet positions in his administration. While it is uncertain whether or not he himself is a communist—especially since he recently rebranded the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) as a “terrorist group” and declared an “all out war” against them after breaking a ceasefire—he has not replaced his appointees, three of whom are from the National Democratic Front (NDF) and one (Leonicio Evasco Jr) of whom is from the New People’s Army (NPA) and currently supervises 18 Cabinet agencies.
There are various theories from renowned commentators on the matter, and I am open to any and all of them without a firm conviction as of yet. For example, many people think that Duterte has appointed communists to his Cabinet in an effort to make peace after 50 years of enmity. Perhaps, but following that logic, should he not also include members of the Abu Sayyaf, ISIS, and Maute terrorist groups, since they are equal adversaries of the state?
Some think that since the founding chairman of the CPP, Jose Sison, was Duterte’s close friend and political science professor at the Lyceum of the Philippines, they are simpatico in their vision of a communist RP. Others, like political columnist Francisco Tatad, speculate a grand scheme is at play in which Evasco is behind the peace talks of the CPP, NPA, and NDF for the “eventual communization of the Philippine government.”
However, some even believe that the current war on the NPA establishes a predicate for Duterte to declare martial law, since the communist movement can be construed as a rebellion, especially since they recently broke the ceasefire by killing some AFP members. That may explain why he has visited various military camps throughout RP in order to garner support for such a drastic measure.
In spite of Duterte’s dubious intentions and association with communists, Gordon’s economic platform is pro-growth and pro-free trade. His legislation proposals include lowering taxes, increasing savings and investments, and enabling entrepreneurs to be more competitive with big corporations for government contracts. Gordon has frequently condemned government handouts as merely a Band-Aid solution to a deeper problem, which he says will only perpetuate “the attitude of mendicancy among our people” as has been the case “over the last four centuries or so.”
In speech, Duterte is impulsively forthright, vulgar, and excessively foul-mouthed. Indeed, such ostensibly undiplomatic verbiage has had national and international repercussions that have been adverse and the subject of universal media scrutiny. Although a few of his spokesmen have publicly dismissed Duterte’s crude remarks as mere hyperbole or public misperception, “perception can be more damaging than reality” as Gordon pointed out.
On Duterte’s offensive remarks, Gordon insists “we have to protect the country from bad statements, and the President has the duty to be a statesman.” As for his most frequently used expletive, Gordon suggests Duterte “not be heard saying all bad words” lest RP’s new tourism slogan be “Welcome to the PI” or “Wow PI.” Even Donald Trump has displayed more oratorical discipline, since his election as president to the astonishment of many, including myself.
In contrast to Duterte’s unrefined oratory, Gordon’s is forthright but professional, eloquent, and with scholarship—in a word, most presidential. View the following speech in which he presents his perspective on reopening the senatorial probe into the alleged Davao Death Squad with new testimony from Senior Police Officer 3 Arthur Lascañas. Observe his diplomacy in articulating his disagreement with some of his senatorial colleagues. Was he effective in conveying his points without using expletives?
Although Duterte’s public service and patriotic achievements (as prosecutor and 22-year mayor) cannot be denied due credit, they were largely confined to Davao City and its residents. However, as president, I must at least credit him for persuading more than 700,000 drug-related criminals to surrender themselves to the proper authorities. However, it can be disputed that the drug epidemic is simply the symptom or consequence of the more profound problems of psychological instability, poverty, and corruption, and should thus not be considered such an impactful achievement for the country as a whole.
After all, a liberal measure of the number of drug users is calculated to be a mere 4.74%, which is below the global average of 5.2%. Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank rates the poverty level at a whopping 25%. Should not the “war on poverty” be prioritized over the “war on drugs”? Would it not be more laudable, if Duterte contributed more to job creation, expanding the tax base, and creating prosperity—which could decrease drug abuse—not to mention would have preserved the lives of the 7,000 killed suspects in the drug war?
Gordon’s public service is far more diverse and has profoundly impacted the entire country. For example, he was a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention, authored the Automated Elections Law as a senator, and has helped save the countless lives of natural disaster victims as a Red Cross volunteer for nearly 50 years. Hence, while Duterte may have contributed to the safety and prosperity of Davao City, Gordon was instrumental in framing the supreme law of our country, modernizing and automating the electoral process in order to curb voter fraud, and helping create prosperity for the whole Philippines in the tourism industry.
By now, it should be ostensible that Duterte and Gordon would govern very differently because they are very different public servants with different views on different issues, some of which are in direct contradiction. If the name, “Digong,” were partially covered in such a way that only the first two letters, “Di,” could be seen, it may be innocently misconstrued as “Dick.” However, such an error could easily be prevented by simply viewing all the alphabetical letters as a whole, just as we should examine all our public servants in their totality before electing them into office.
In conclusion, friends and countrymen, I submit that Rodrigo Duterte may be the first Mindanaon president of the Philippines, a former prosecutor and 22-year Davao City mayor, whose voice mesmerizes his admirers and strikes fear into the hearts of drug lords. He may even be a maverick with drastic policy proposals and changes, which contradict conventional norms and even tradition. Perhaps Duterte has a genuinely pure heart, good intentions, and is very passionate about our country as well as our countrymen. Indeed, Digong may be a hero to many people, but he is certainly no Dick . . . Dick Gordon, that is.
Marcial Bonifacio The comparison shows the difference between Gordon and Duterte in general and in their approach to China in particular. While the former would stand up to them, the latter has sacrificed our sovereignty to them, Josephus, which is an impeachable offense. Like· Reply · March 8 at 8:58pm
Marcial Bonifacio Talaga, Alwyn? Name one policy in which they agree. I have pointed out several in which they are in direct opposition. Tungkol sa gobyerno ng ating bayan, alam mo ng mga accomplishments ni Gordon. Gayunman, Duterte’s only national impact has been in the drug war. Even then, as I pointed out sa paliwanag ko, that has little effect on poverty, unemployment, or development.
Also, the future of our country seems bleak when the President cannot even protect our sovereignty sa Panatag Shoal. Sa kabilang banda, he has sold it for China’s money. That was one of the key issues I pointed out, wherein Gordon and Duterte disagree. Like· Reply · March 8 at 7:50pm · Edited
Alwyn Balingit I cannot list and paste everything here, but you can scour the Richard Gordon FB Page, all posts that are supportive of Duterte. And yeah, while they have things that they agree on, there are also things they disagree about, for example, yung pag-away noon ni Duterte kay Obama. Like· Reply · March 8 at 8:44pm
Marcial Bonifacio Please post the link sa Gordon’s FB page here, para I can check it. Tungkol kay Obama, that is probably the one thing wherein I disagree with Gordon sa kasamaang-palad. Are you referring to Chicago, Alwyn? Like· Reply · March 8 at 9:52pm
To those who wish to bring the President down, a word of caution, just because you say it, it doesnt mean it’s the truth.
You need evidence. It must be proven. Proof is not spoken, it is shown.
To the President, I say once again, loose lips sink ships. Make your actions speak louder than your words.
Like· Reply · March 8 at 10:15pm Marcial Bonifacio Salamat, kaibigan ko, para sa mga links. While Gordon may appear supportive of Duterte, meron mga ambiguities. Halimbawa, when Gordon says, “If we want our country to succeed, we need our president to succeed,” he is making a general statement that the president and the other branches of government need to work coherently. It is Gordon’s way of trying to unify the people behind Duterte in so far as everything he does is lawful and constitutional. Like· Reply · March 11 at 2:51pm
Marcial Bonifacio Gayunman, sa specific, major policies, I have listed several quotes from Gordon indicating clear opposition to Duterte. Halimbawa, sa China, Duterte coddles them, nguni’t sabi ni Gordon RP should fight them.
Sa Amerika, Duterte constantly reiterates the Bud Dajo Massacre, which happened more than a century ago, before Obama was born. That means anti-Amerika siya. Gordon has only blamed Obama specifically, but he has openly embraced America’s alliance, even since he was Olongapo mayor.Sa Panatag Shoal, Duterte appears disinterested. Gordon wants RP to assert its legal claim ayon sa ruling ng international tribunal. He even goes as far as stating that not asserting RP’s claim could be an impeachable offense.Anong palagay mo, kaibigang Alwyn? Like· Reply · March 11 at 4:07pm · Edited
Emma Morgan I rather to see Gordon as a president, he is true to his job, never get involved with any corruption, killing etc. This is the person should lead the country not someone who’s been involved with massacre. Like· Reply · March 7 at 11:57pm Gilbert Menchu Its much better if Gordon is President.He knows better what our peoples need.They need descent job and money if we want our people lives a better life they need a better job.Other things changed automatically. Like· Reply · March 8 at 6:45pm · Edited
Like· Reply · March 7 at 6:49pm Jeffry Dy Very long analysis and well yeah different styles,different leaderships and oh boy at times pres.is pro China which is something Both us and phl leaders need to talk bout since they support one another although i disagree w the vulgar rant there. Sometimes it has to and he understands the frustrations of everyone around us thristy for a real Change something no ordinary leader has done.So yeah great points and excellent view Like· Reply · March 7 at 7:24pm · Edited
Jeffry Dy Also on the ejk part on digong its all pure exagerration and all bs when did the media ever find any figures on 7,000 plus when in our normal lives everybody does the crime everyday and that’s a fact.
My estimates on the so called ejk is massively lower than that and this whole sherade on him a dictator and all that is plain wooey.If hes ever like that would u think for once social media or all the modern things u need are still exist??Think bout that even hypocrites are ranting it out on digong too I call it smarks for all i care.
I can smell the party of digong resign right bout now hypocrites want him that.
Marcial Bonifacio Salamat, Jeffry. Actually, I did not plan for my commentary to be this long. However, as new developments occurred, I had to update it. Anyway, I do appreciate Duterte’s aggressiveness and political will, but I think he should direct them against China and the NPA. Those are the real threats to RP, since they undermine our sovereignty and ability to govern pursuant to democratic ideals.
Of course 7,000 killings is only an approximation of the total number of victims of the drug war. The conventional estimate of police killings is about half, while the other half is likely due to vigilantes and other drug-related criminals. However, don’t you think that if Gordon were president, that number would be drastically reduced?
Marcial Bonifacio Perhaps, Hill, but there is a political remedy to deal with LP. The violent nature of the NPA and imperialism of China can only be remedied by force, not appeasement as is Duterte’s way. Indeed, If he used the same fervor as he does with the drug lords, China would think twice before infringing on our sovereignty. Recall that even you started an FB group promoting the boycott of Chinese products kanina, hindi ba? Like· Reply · March 8 at 2:27pm · Edited
Marcial Bonifacio I definitely agree that both are forthright, abrasive, and perhaps, no-nonsense in their approach. However, their differences are not confined exclusively to their oratory, but extends to their policies as well. For example, they are in direct opposition on American foreign policy, death penalty, and Panatag Shoal, Melchor. Like· Reply · March 8 at 9:22pm
Sari Aya Malaya Certainly, Digong is no Dick and will never be. Sen. Dick Gordon is Pro-Life, Pro-Peace and Pro-Constitution. Digong is the exact opposite. Kudos to the PR and marketing geniuses who made and repackaged him during the time when Davao was an experimental area of the left. They made him look and sound “cool” especially to the business sector and from then on he made history. But they should had known any better. They may had put Davao on the business map but on one end, created a Frankenstein called Duterte. Frankenstein in contemporary debates on bioethics provided lessons which are seemingly clear: don’t play God, don’t over-reach, don’t unleash uncontrollable forces, don’t treat humans as material, don’t act alone. Such a fitting metaphor for an empowered, unfeeling man who decides on the life and death of his so called “masters”, the ordinary citizenry over allegations of illegal drug use. He put too much attention to the war on drugs and criminality, but where are the big fishes? What about our war on poverty? Our security from external threats? We need real and tangible government policies that will help us in our day to day struggle for survival. Like· Reply · March 15 at 3:02am · Edited
Marcial Bonifacio Frankenstein, indeed? Hahaha! That’s the first time I’ve heard anyone refer to Duterte as such, Sari. However, using your analogy, I don’t think his supporters see him as a monster. On the contrary, they see him as ridding RP of monsters (drug lords and drug addicts), although there are mass casualties as well, which Duterte’s undiplomatic rhetoric masks.
I don’t think he expended much effort or money in his presidential campaign. Instead, I think he acted naturally, which is what caused much of what Gordon called “noise” and gained him so much media coverage. He basically capitalized on the people’s frustration with traditional politicians, spoke his mind unencumbered, and many of our kababayans took solace in him as a “different” type of public servant, much like Donald Trump in America.
I infer that Duterte’s assertiveness on the drug-related criminals, his unrefined oratory, and his perception as a non-traditional politician are what mesmerize his supporters, even to the point that they are so distracted from other issues of significance as you pointed out. Unfortunately, many of the people who voted for Gordon in the 2010 presidential election paradoxically voted for Duterte last year. I view that as our country transitioning from progress to regression.
Sari Aya MalayaHis supporters are bunch of hypocrites. They see the truth, know the truth but still choose to believe the lies his strategies have deeply embedded in their systems. Duterte is a masterful tactician and strategist. His Opening Strategy. Remember how everyone was in suspense until he delivered his coup de grace? His middlegame Strategy. How he uses his weakness as his strength, his cursing and the deliberate showcase of his rough edges. And his Endgame Strategy, the very popular “you can oust me if I abuse power”.
Two things though, first, our nation is teeming with patsies, he capitalizes on their vulnerabilities, thirst for change and ignorance. Second, our nation losts its moral ascendancy. He is destroying the moral fabric of this nation and making us rise against each other. He broadened the gap of division and misunderstanding among Filipinos than bridging it. Worse is, most Filipinos consented on it, in fact, applauded it.
They have not realized that this is all about “brand-is-crisis’ strategy, the political landscape are made to keep shifting, ever changing. The powers of the State apparatus are made to be trained at moving, unstable targets, for the President to be the first to call it a crisis, then he becomes a hero, instantly seen to be part of the solution itself. This strategy is traditionally effective in keeping leaders in power. Crisis branding is supply-driven rhetoric. Now, for instance, it’s focused on illegal drugs then illegal gambling – then his political imagination would be limitless.
They keep on saying they are the majority but the truth is that they are just loud. Noise is essential and is used for the purpose of deflecting attention to an imagined hot button issue while the proponent quietly works upon another.
Crisis branding can be an effective political campaign strategy because it draws power from frightening people, but it has no place in day-to-day governance. What we need today is to maintain respect, implement policies that ooze with common sense, and take a long-term orientation in regional stability and cooperation.
Marcial BonifacioExcellent points, Sari! Another name for what you described is the “politics of fear.” I just watched Duterte speak at the First General Assembly of League of Municipalities. He had a 2-minute speech already prepared, but discarded it and decided to speak for more than an hour about killing drug lords again. He even displayed another list of drug-related criminals.
I noticed a few people in his audience were dozing off. Perhaps they were bored or intoxicated themselves in preparation for Duterte’s usual speech.
When he said he does not think of himself as a president, but as a mayor, I thought that is precisely his problem. He is using his limited, parochial perspective for a post that requires a broader, national perspective. For a city and a mayor, perhaps the drug epidemic was a necessary focal point, but the country as a whole has other, more urgent concerns as poverty, unemployment, and the specter of China’s intrusion on our sovereignty.
Doray Ramon Inayinay Simple lang yan. Ang mga Hindi adik nakakatulog Na ng mahimbjng sa Gabi. Sorry Na lang sa mga kapitalistang di nakakapang gago ng ordinaryong pinoy. Like· Reply · March 14 at 6:33pm Evangeline Mejia sa lahat ng analysis nyo kay duterte at sa problema ng kung ano anong salot na nangyayari sa bansang Pilipinas, mayroon bang pangulo o kung sino man sa taga panguna natin na nagbigay ng kalutasan ? WALA PA, at ngayon na merong pangulo na kahit papaano may ginagawa pra kahit papaano ay malutas o papunta sa kalutasan ay kung ano anong analogy o katawagan ang ibinabansag sa kanya, pati mga supporters nya ay kung ano anong masasamang tawag ang inila-label nyo sa kanila, magaling lang kayong mag-analysis at magsalita ng English pero wala din naman kayong ginagawa pra sa bansa, for all you know itong Sari na ito ay hindi naman Pilipino pero parang alam na alam ang kalagayan ng Pilipinas pero hindi naman, baka naman in your perspective lang Sari ang tingin mo sa lahat…baka ikaw ang hypocrite kasi ang galing mong magbigay ng pagsusuri sa iisang side, hay naku, panay na lang kayo analysis …ano kaya ang maitutulong nyo sa PILIPINAS? Like· Reply · March 14 at 7:40pm · Edited Sari Aya Malaya Mawalang galang na po, Ginang Mejia, pinoy na pinoy po ako. Wala po akong ni isang patak na dugong banyaga. Tubong Batangas at Bulacan po ako. Nakapangibambansa man po ako ng ilang beses, di ko iwinaglit ni minsan ang pagka Pilipino ko. Magaling lang po talaga siguro akong magmasid at kumilatis ng kabalintunaan at kasinungalingan. Gising po ang diwa at mulat ang mga mata ko sa bawat hinaing, paglibak at pagkabigo ng ating mga kababayan. Araw araw po akong nakikipagsiksikan sa MRT, lumalanghap ng maitim na usok ng EDSA at nagpapakasaya sa isang tuhog ng kwek kwek sa paanan ng tulay ng Boni. Isa po akong buhay na saksi sa bawat pagbabagong nagaganap sa bayan natin. Isa po akong payak na manggagawa, na halos kalahati ng kita ko ay kinaltas para sa buwis. Aba, malaking halaga na rin po yun dahil labingwalong taong gulang pa lang ako nang maging kapakipakinabang na akong mamamayan. Lumalaban po ako nang parehas at hindi po ako nanlalamang ng kapwa. Hindi man po ako nabigyan ng pagkakataong maglingkod sa bayan gaya ni Duterte, ang maliliit na ambag kong tulong sa sambayanan ay malayo-layo na rin ang narating. Hangad ko lang pong gisingin ang diwa ng mga kababayan kong tila himbing pa sa uyayi ng mga mapagbalatkayong ugoy ng pagsasamantala. Turuan silang maging mapanuri. Kilalanin ang totoong naglilingkod sa bayan, gawing huwaran si Sen. Gordon at magsilbing pamantayan ng isang magaling na namumuno. Like· Reply · March 14 at 9:55pm
Marcial Bonifacio I appreciate and understand your perspective, Evangeline, kaibigan ko, and I have been observing Duterte for eight months now. If, as you say, Gordon is not perfect, then Duterte falls far below mediocrity.
Please understand that I am only being objective in comparing the two public servants based on their policy positions and even according to Gordon’s own criticism of Duterte. Therefore, my premise that they would both govern very differently and even in opposition to each other, is factually based.
For example, I have pointed out numerously that Duterte’s neglect of defending Panatag Shoal violates the sovereignty clause of the Constitution, and is an impeachable offense. Even Gordon acknowledges that as should my esteemed colleagues of law, Atty Taipan Millan, Jose Camano, Gretchen Mae Ortega, Alexander Yalung, and Lester Nazarene Ople. This is the most important issue for me, since one of the primary functions of government is to protect the sovereignty of its territory.
If the President fails to perform such a fundamental function, then anything else he does is in vain. It is analogous to having all the prosperity in the world, except you are someone’s servant. It appears that is precisely the position that Duterte has put the Philippines in with China.
Gordon, on the other hand, would never let that happen as president. He has even said that RP would have to engage in war over Panatag Shoal in order to assert its rights. Why would any of our kababayans support Duterte’s position over Gordon’s? This is a sincere question, kaibigan ko.
Like· Reply · March 18 at 5:36pm · Edited Marcial Bonifacio Also, I did give Duterte credit for “persuading” more than 700,000 drug-related criminals to surrender. However, I also mentioned that drug abuse is about 4.74%, which is below the global average of 5%, while the poverty rate is about 25%. As a simple man, I can’t help but wonder why Duterte has prioritized drug addiction over job creation. Does that seem logical to you? Do you really think Gordon would do the same as president? This is another sincere question, kaibigang Evangeline. Like·Reply · March 16 at 5:56pm Philip BasilioMarcial Bonifacio Senator Gordon is much deferent I work with him when he is the mayor of olongapo Like· Reply · March 16 at 6:06pm Evangeline Mejia kaibigang marcial,I agree and I must say that Gordon would indeed govern differently if not better, pero kasi hindi siya ang presidente ngayon kya sana tumakbo siya sa susunod at alam ko na ang mga pinoy, including me ,ay susuportahan siya… Like· Reply · March 16 at 7:22pm Evangeline MejiaSari Aya Malaya , ganun din naman ako SAri , pero nga kasi, walang maitutulong sa bansa natin ang mga negatibong batikos, lalo na pag ang mga supporters nya ang pinagsabihan mo ng masakit na salita, it would only create division,katulad mo din sila na umaasa ng pagbabago, sabihin mo man na nagbubulagbulagan which I think not (,hindi ako supporter nya, I didn’t vote for him), pero I think with all the crime and corruption in the country, we become an evil nation, so to speak kaya we deserve such president, we can only give him the chance to do whatever it takes to propel the country in a better state … Like· Reply · March 16 at 7:31pm Sari Aya Malaya I admire your patriotism, Evangeline. We may not see eye to eye with Duterte but we, undeniably, agree to support Sen. Gordon as he endeavors to take the country back to every Filipino, from the system or economy that has been rigged to the advantage of the rich and powerful. We need his strong leadership to unify the country, to take the country to where it’s supposed to be.
Filipino people, per se, are not divided. Diversity in religion, political beliefs and other practices are the freedoms we enjoy under a vibrant democracy. It is our leaders and policy makers who are divided and can’t put their acts together for selfish reasons at the expense of the people they had promised to serve. And Sen. Gordon will change such political landscape and behavior. Like· Reply ·March 16 at 10:25pm Rabulan Corpuz Well said and factual kaibigan. Saludo ako sayo. Dios Mabalos and Mabuhay! Like· Reply · March 14 at 3:50pm
Marcial Bonifacio Salamat po, kaibigang Jocelle! I spent a great deal of time with research and fact-finding for this commentary. I even wrote it in English for my Bisayan friends and colleagues. My goal is to unify the Gordon supporters, some of which oppose Duterte and the others which ironically support Duterte. After all, if we can’t unite just the Gordon supporters, how can we unite the entire country? Like· Reply · March 14 at 6:46pm · Edited
Evangeline Mejia kaibigang marcial, hindi ka nakatira sa Pilipinas at laong hindi sa Olongapo, ibang iba angnlarawan ng Pilipinas pagdating sa ibang bansa kaya mahirap mag analysis …ang tanong, ano ba ang nagagawa ng mga katulad nyo para malutas ang problema sa bansa…
.both Gordon and Duterte are good leaders in their own right, taga gapo ako at alam ko ang pamamalakad ng mga Gordon doon,, maganda rin pero hiondi rin perfecto…si Duterte ngsisiskap lutasin ang mga problema sa bansa…I know, Gordon will be a good president and if he will run, uuwi ako pra bomoto at iboboto ko siya, but for now, l just want to give Duterte the benefit of the doubt…wala naman maitutulong ang mga batikos sa kanya at sa mga supporters nya…di makikinabang ang bansa kung tawagin siyang monster at tawagin din hypocrite ang mga supporters nya…. Like· Reply · March 14 at 7:49pm Marcial Bonifacio I wonder if Alejano and Trillanes got their idea of impeaching Duterte from my commentary. 😀
Marcial Bonifacio Marahil tama ka, kaibigang Evangeline, nguni’t hindi ko alam what is in his heart. I only know that his impeachment complaint has merit. Even Justice Carpio has warned that Duterte may be in violation of the sovereignty clause of the Constitution. Like· Reply · April 16 at 4:39pm
Marcial Bonifacio I’ve decided to insert the following quote into my commentary, Alwyn, directly after Duterte’s single remedy of killing drug-related criminals and Gordon’s numerous remedies.
Marcial Bonifacio My friends, here is another contrast between Duterte and Gordon—the issue of giving away the housing units to the squatters. Gordon has expressed his disapproval thus:
“My God. Kinukuha yung bahay na ginawa ng NHA [National Housing Authority]. Ibibigay mo dun sa mga nanggugulo. Bad signal, Mr. President. Again you are falling on your own sword. Nadadapa ka sa sarili mong espada because pagka-ganyan, that’s a ticket to what you call anarchy.”
Alwyn Balingit Already posted my comment about this on my wall days ago… Granted dapat talagang paalisin ang mga squatters, moving forward, wala na kasing red tape sa pagbigay ng mga bahay para di sila maunahan ng mga squatters; dapat preventive, may bantay.
Expect Digong to always err on the side of letting squatters live there; or at least, transfer them first to another place before removing them there. Yan ang stance nya kasi even sa mga Pre-Election interviews. Like· Reply · April 9 at 4:58pm Jeffry Dy Nice argument Marcial,if what u say is the alternative to what kadamay been bitchin and monin about then it’s all fare and equal no matter what the bias media says if Duterte or his cabinet have any brains on this matter then all is fare what not? Like · Reply · April 9 at 10:52pm Evangeline Mejia kasi naman laging ang mahihirap ang nahuhuli sa kahit ano mang social benefit mula sa gobyerno. maging dyan sa NHA kaya they resort to this, madala kasi yang mga nasa gobyerno ginagamit ang “legal” para apihin ang mahihirap…hay naku, you really have to be living in the Philippines to really know….. Like· Reply · April 10 at 7:12pm Marcial Bonifacio I have no problem with the process being swift, kaibigang Alwyn, nguni’t the rule of law should not be compromised. Once that line is crossed, that slippery slope can and will be used as a justification for any lawless behavior by any president.
It would also encourage more people with illegitimate grievances to emulate the Kadamay in their pantawid mentality. At least, Duterte could have imposed mandatory community service for those squatters in order that their housing will actually be earned instead of stolen from those who risk their lives to keep us safe.Sa totoo lang, such measures have been implemented in the US before Obama and even in some European countries, which have experienced lower unemployment as a result. Like· Reply · April 16 at 5:18pm · Edited Marcial Bonifacio Marahil totoo ito, kaibigang Evangeline, nguni’t abusing the legal system in one way should not justify abusing it in another way. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is still robbery, regardless of the good intentions. Even Gordon was critical of Duterte for this. Surely he knows better than Duterte. Like · Reply · April 16 at 5:56pm Axel Dholly mas matalino si Dick kay digong. ,,,,naging Pres. nga lang si Pdut. Like· Reply · April 9 at 2:00pm