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Uncle Sam or Xi Dada: A question of trust

PerryScope By Perry Diaz One of the most quoted maxims in politics is: “There are no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, only permanent interests.” But regardless of whether you’re dealing with a friend or an enemy, the one that could earn dividends is the mantra: “Don’t burn your bridges because you’ll never know when you would need them.” American presidents since the beginning of the Read More …

Culture of death

Duterte-assault-rifle.1

ON DISTANT SHORE By Val G. Abelgas   I don’t know what’s with this administration, but President Duterte and the men around him seem to believe that to create a better world, those that they deem “criminals and misfits” or not “part of humanity” should be eliminated and sent to hell, if not fed to the sharks on Manila Bay. When warned by the Amnesty International Read More …

Tensions Will Continue in the Pacific Rim

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By Erick San Juan War rhetoric between the U.S. and China is finally starting to cool down. The title of an article by James Holbrooks (TheAntiMedia.org) posted at True Activist (Feb. 7) but is it really cooling down? Holbrooks based the said situation when Secretary of Defense James Mattis suggested the hotly disputed issue of the South China Sea should be handled diplomatically rather than Read More …

Hear the Cries of Victims of Sexual Abuse

Stop-Sexual-Abuse

Reflections By Shay Cullen PREDA Foundation The shocking and almost unbelievable disclosures in recent years throughout the developed world and most recently in Australia at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse leave people shocked and staggering at the revelations. The enquiry is looking into the response or the lack of it by churches of all denominations, sports clubs, institutions of education Read More …

Peace must be patiently pursued

NPA-camp-2

ON DISTANT SHORE By Val G. Abelgas  After five failed attempts under five presidents at ending the communist insurgency in the Philippines, peace seemed to be within grasp under the Duterte administration. In fact, less than two weeks ago, government peace panel chairman Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III was so confident of a final peace agreement with the National Democratic Front when he announced in Read More …

Imminent War in the Offing

US-vs-China.2

By Erick San Juan Is war between the US and China imminent as what Steve Bannon, who is President Donald Trump’s chief political strategist said last March? According to Steve Bannon the United States will go to war with China in “five to 10 years” over the South China Sea dispute. The said comments resurfaced at a time when Washington and Beijing’s relations have soured Read More …

Philippines slams China, realigns with US in surprise move

Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana takes part in an interview at the defence offices in Manila on Feb. 7, 2017. (AFP Photo)

SOURCE: DAILY SABAH WITH WIRES Filippino President Rodrigo Duterte has given the green light to the U.S. military to build barracks and fuel depots in designated local camps where American forces are allowed to temporarily station under a 2014 defense pact, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Tuesday. The move is considered surprising as Duterte threatened last month to abrogate the agreement if the U.S. stores Read More …

Digong’s ‘neutral’ foreign policy

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PerryScope By Perry Diaz President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte made a big splash in the international scene by declaring that he was pursuing an “independent” foreign policy. Then he declared his “separation” from the U.S.; threatened to terminate military treaties with the U.S. and proposed defense alliance with China and Russia. The world leaders did not bat an eye. But when his campaign against drug lords Read More …

An action guided by bigotry and injustice

Anti-Trump-rally.1

ON DISTANT SHORE By Val G. Abelgas   Described by the great President Abraham Lincoln as “a nation conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” the United States of America is now being transformed by one man into a nation guided by bigotry and injustice. In just one week, the image crafted by the country’s fathers and strengthened by Read More …

Is martial law just a matter of time?

President Rodrigo Duterte and his generals.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte won the presidency hands down by 39% plurality and 16.6 million votes. His closest rival, Mar Roxas, got 23.4%, which is only 9.9 million votes. Not only did Duterte win the presidency, he also took control of the House of Representatives when a vast majority of congressmen from other parties – there were only three from Digong’s Read More …

Let the journalists do their job

Trump-pointing-finger-angry

ON DISTANT SHORE By Val G. Abelgas   Filipinos in America are in a unique situation where in a span of six months, they are faced with having to contend with two of the most controversial and contentious national leaders to emerge in recent history, both in the homeland and in their adopted land. Having had to face uncertainty in their homeland with the vague domestic Read More …

Word War No More?

Chinese-flag-and-soldiers

By Erick San Juan Beijing on Friday—the 13th no less—threatened the United States with “large-scale war.” “Prepare for a military clash,” said the Global Times in an editorial. Beijing was hitting back hard against remarks made by Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of State, in his confirmation hearing. “We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops Read More …

Philippines First

Duterte-and-Trump

By Rey O. Arcilla Malaya I BELIEVE it is a bit premature, if not unfair, for some segments of our society to urge President Rodrigo Roa Duterte aka Digong to “stay away” from US President Donald Trump whom they claim is more “alarming” than his predecessor because of his “in-your-face kind of imperialism”. In his inaugural address, Trump said: “From this moment on, it’s going Read More …

Criminals at Nine Years Old?

Criminals-boys

Reflections By Fr. Shay Cullen PREDA Foundation Andres is just one 10-year old child and he has lived on the streets of Metro Manila most of his life like thousands of other street children. They are abandoned, work as scavengers, market boys or girls and are vulnerable to sexual and physical abuse by adults. They are uneducated and without family or social welfare, care and Read More …

Homeless at home

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GLIMPSES By Jose Ma. Montelibano  After a year of controversial issues, from the 2016 campaign to the first six months of the Duterte presidency, it seemed inevitable for me to get drawn into the fray, albeit as dispassionately as I could. The partisans on both sides plus the trolls they employ and manage cannot help themselves but weigh in with their colored agenda. I am Read More …

Trump White House vows to stop China taking South China Sea islands

U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order on U.S. withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership while flanked by Vice President Mike Pence (L) and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (R) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington January 23, 2017.   REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

By David Brunnstrom and Matt Spetalnick | WASHINGTON REUTERS The new U.S. administration of President Donald Trump vowed on Monday that the United States would prevent China from taking over territory in international waters in the South China Sea, something Chinese state media has warned would require Washington to “wage war.” The comments at a briefing from White House spokesman Sean Spicer signaled a sharp Read More …

Doomsday Clock: Humanity might be edging closer to its end

Trump, Putin cited in doomsday warning

By Sarah Karacs, for CNN (CNN)We are creeping closer to the apocalypse, according to a panel of scientists and scholars. The Chicago-based Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has moved the “Doomsday Clock,” a symbolic countdown to the end of the world, to two and a half minutes to midnight. It marks the first time since 1953 — after hydrogen bomb tests in the US and then Read More …

Is a new ‘alliance’ in the offing?

Duterte-and-Abe-shake-hands

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s official visit to the Philippines on January 12-13, 2017, came at a crucial moment in Philippine Rodrigo Duterte’s quest for a place on the table of world politics. Last November, Duterte declared his “separation” from the U.S. in front of his Chinese hosts in Beijing. Then a week later, on his way to Lima, Peru to Read More …

LeniLeaks and the Andanar Obsession

LeniLeaks.

By Rodel E. Rodis Christmas is still more than 11 months away but I have already been inundated with emails, phone calls and Facebook messages from friends begging to be invited to my next Christmas party all thanks to the “LeniLeaks” charge of Pres. Duterte’s Communications Secretary Martin Andanar that the Christmas party at my San Francisco home on December 22, 2016 was the setting Read More …

Manna from Heaven

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By Erick San Juan The following are the words of President Rodrigo Duterte before a gathering of envoys at the New Year Vin D’Honneur at Malacañang. “In a world that recognizes our interconnectedness and respect each others’ sovereign independence, the horizons and frontiers of cooperation are virtually limitless. Friendship, after all, knows no bound.” “We value partners as we seek to strengthen existing friendships even Read More …

Digong’s feats

Duterte-and-Xi-Putin

By Rey O. Arcilla Malaya WHO could blame President Rodrigo Roa Duterte aka Digong for his strident remarks against the outgoing Obama administration in Washington? US State Department spokesperson Mark Toner confirmed last week that criticisms and actions taken by Washington against the Duterte administration on its war against illegal drugs were merely based on unconfirmed allegations! Below is a reprint of excerpts from Toner’s Read More …

Split-level morality

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GLIMPSES By Jose Ma. Montelibano  It is refreshing for Filipino Cardinal Quevedo to publicly admit the split-level Christianity that most of us are participants and witnesses to daily – and having been so all our lives. It does not mean there are no exceptions, but the exceptions do not matter enough to significantly influence any reversal soon. Sad, isn’t it, and sadder still that this Read More …

Speaker wants ‘Bato’ to resign

Alvarez-and-Bato

By Dharel Placido ABS-CBN News MANILA – No less than House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is calling for the resignation of Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa, following the killing of a Korean allegedly at the hands of rogue cops. “Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa should immediately resign as chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to save President Rodrigo Duterte from Read More …

The real reason behind Digong’s threat to declare martial law

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By Guy Camacho What is really the reason behind Digong’s threat to declare martial law? Let’s start with the ridiculous ‘murder most foul’ of Mayor Espinosa in November which the NBI, as well as Senator Lacson, concluded was a ‘slam dunk’ conclusion. “We maintain it was a rubout. There was a criminal intent. Pumunta talaga doon para patayin si Espinosa [They really went there to Read More …

Justice for Abused Children

PREDA-Abused-children

Reflections By Fr. Shay Cullen PREDA Fundation She was a very traumatized and broken 15-year old child, continuously raped and abused by her own father until she was rescued by the Preda social workers and brought to the Preda Home for Girls. Had Gina not had a refuge free from fear and safe from her abuser, her own father, she would have run away from Read More …

China’s colonization of the Philippines

Old map of the Philippines. Illustration at top left shows Chinese traders during the pre-Hispanic era.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Since the early 15th century, before Spain took possession of an archipelago in what is now the Philippines, China had claimed the entire island of Luzon as her territory. However, China’s presence in Luzon was limited to what is now the province of Pangasinan. But now — 592 years later — recent events are raising the specter of Chinese colonization of Read More …

Prepare for the Worst

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands after a signing ceremony in Beijing, China, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016.

By Erick San Juan Predictions for 2017 – Year of the Fire Rooster, don’t bode well for China. Although the Fire Rooster is the sign of dawn and awakening, it is said, “The union of the Fire elements with the Rooster’s Metal during 2017 will create great tensions, this will create an electric atmosphere that will intensify the actions of the leaders of several nations Read More …

Did DU30 visit Guangzhou’s Fuda Cancer Hospital?

Fuda Cancer Hospital

By FRANCISCO TATAD the Manila Times FOR the first few days of the year, the Malacañang press and the public lost all contact with President Rodrigo Duterte. They heard some of his pre-taped TV statements, but missed his unrepeatable presence. A front-page story in the Philippine Star, written by Malacañang reporters Edith Regalado and Christina Mendez on January 5, 2017, noted that he was last Read More …

The poor had been had again

Credit: Photo/Boy Santos

  ON DISTANT SHORE By Val G. Abelgas  Millions of Filipinos are beginning to realize that they have been taken for a ride again by politicians who make promises that they either did not really intend to fulfill or they did not even weigh if doable or not. We are a hopelessly hopeful and trustful people that many of us take these promises as basis Read More …

Cauldron

duterte-russian-warship

By Rey O. Arcilla Malaya NO, the Russians are not coming. They are already here, in a manner of speaking, after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte aka Digong asked them to “come back more often”. The wish for the Russians to come back more often was expressed by Digong when he visited the Russian Navy’s anti-submarine ship Admiral Tibuts last week. Russian ambassador Igor Khovaev said Read More …

What matters more, and less

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

GLIMPSES By Jose Ma. Montelibano Whether we like it or not, life respects rank. Everything is ranked, and we live life according to how things are ranked. There are instances when we have more options, when we actually have the time to do this or that, when rankings are not so demanding. But there are the opposite, too, when the rankings are forced, almost routine, Read More …

Philippines, Cool to US, Explores Military Relationship With Russia

duterte-visit-russian-warship

By Ralph Jennings Voice of America TAIPEI — Russia and the Philippines are considering joint naval exercises, a link that would advance Manila’s move toward a multi-country foreign policy and bulk up its military while giving both sides a chance to stand up to the United States. Moscow sent a destroyer and a naval oil tanker to a port in Manila last week for a Read More …

Beijing will ‘take revenge,’ break ties with US if Trump ditches one-China policy – state media

© Reuters / Global Look Press

Source: RT.COM Should Donald Trump break the “one-China” policy after taking office, the Chinese people will call on the government to “take revenge,” Beijing’s unofficial mouthpiece warned shortly after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen made a stopover in Houston. “Trump is yet to be inaugurated, and there is no need for Beijing to sacrifice bilateral ties for the sake of Taiwan. But in case he tears Read More …

Coup rumors cause jitters in Manila

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PerryScope By Perry Diaz For the past two months Manila was abound with rumors of plots to oust President Rodrigo Duterte. Among the first to hit the rumor mill was an allegation made by Cabinet Secretary Leoncio B. Evasco Jr., who said on September 30, 2016 that there were plans by the “Yellow Group” – in reference to the Liberal Party and supporters of former Read More …

In the worst scenario, Duterte may attempt to hold on to power by declaring martial law

Pres. Duterte and new Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Ano.

By Guy Camacho When VP Robredo stated, “President Duterte to challenge the democratic safeguards in the very Constitution he swore to uphold on June 30, 2016, is appalling,” Duterte’s legal counsel Salvador Panelo said Robredo’s fears caused by Duterte’s comments were “misplaced.” Whose comments are misplaced? It’s yours, Buddy-boy! Do you honestly believe that your legal opinion can replace the expressed will of the people Read More …

A year of hope and uncertainty

"The moment he tries to declare a revolutionary government, that is also going to be the day he will be removed from office." -- Trillanes

ON DISTANT SHORE By Val G. Abelgas   A feeling of uncertainty has deepened in the Philippines as coup rumors and martial law talk ushered in the New Year. Both talks about the possibility of destabilization moves and a coup attempt and speculations about the possible declaration of martial law were started by President Duterte himself and his allies. As early as two months ago, the Read More …

Chess Game

chess-game-currencies

By Erick San Juan Both leaders are polar opposites – a mensch in Moscow on the right side of history compared to a US menace in Washington waging war on humanity. [Mensch means a person of dignity and honor. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mensch ] A paragraph taken from the article of Stephen Lendman referring to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and US outgoing president Barack Obama on the Read More …

‘Special (?) relationship’

duterte-and-trump

0By Rey O. Arcilla Malaya IN the beginning, he didn’t want her in his team. But some of his advisers argued that it would be better to have her, perhaps citing the old adage “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. And so, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte aka Digong invited Vice President Leni Robredo to join his team as housing czarina. She readily accepted, Read More …

The Challenges of 2017

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Reflections Fr. Shay Cullen PREDA Foundation This coming 2017 will be a momentous year for the political and moral landscape of the planet. There is a rising tide of political and moral challenges facing humanity. Pope Francis will continue his historic reforms of the Church and the Curia, bringing back the Gospel values and true evangelization. He will continue challenging the world to work and Read More …

Former hitman for Rodrigo Duterte speaks out against killings (VIDEO)

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By Jennifer Cruz CNN A 57-year-old man who claims he previously worked as a hitman under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte recently spoke out in an interview, revealing some grueling details of his job. Edgar Matobato says he was a member of the “Davao Death Squad” when Duterte was mayor of the city long before his presidency began and he was hired by Duterte to provide Read More …

‘US should have stopped Chinese expansion in SCS’

The United States should be blamed for failing to thwart China’s expansion in the South China Sea, President Rodrigo Duterte said yesterday. PPD/Ace Morandante

By Alexis Romero The Philippine Star  MANILA, Philippines – The United States should be blamed for failing to thwart China’s expansion in the South China Sea, President Duterte said yesterday. The US failure to stop China’s island-building showed there was no serious concern about its militarization or reclamation work. The firebrand leader reiterated he wanted to avoid confrontation with China and saw no need for Read More …

Was Trump the ‘Siberian Candidate’?

trump-siberian-candidate-2

PerryScope By Perry Diaz President-elect Donald J. Trump won the U.S. presidency by virtue of the electoral vote. This is what the U.S. Constitution prescribes upon whom the presidency is given to. However, he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by 2.9 million votes. More than half of the American voters believe that Trump’s come-from-behind victory happened because the Russians hacked the electoral votes Read More …

Spilling the Beans

Duterte and Goldberg

By Erick San Juan Certain issues with the US verbalized in a not so nice way by President Rody Duterte plus his name calling like kids engaged in petty quarrels has created a backfire through the former US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg who is also a victim of PDU30’s not so “flowery words”. Like what I usually say in my daily radio program Read More …

US ex-envoy plotting Duterte fall – source

Philip Goldberg

By DR. DANTE A. ANG The Manila Times LISBON, PORTUGAL: The Philippines may be in for another rough ride in 2017. Not only did former United States Ambassador Philip Goldberg leave the Philippines with a legacy of fractured relations between the two countries, he allegedly left behind a “blueprint to undermine Duterte,” a strategic recommendation ostensibly to the State Department for the ultimate removal of Read More …

Did Duterte compromise the presidency?

President Rodrigo Duterte tells about his migraine and back pain during a press conference.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz When President Rodrigo Duterte revealed last December 12 that he’s suffering from several health problems, it sent a shock wave across the country. To his supporters he was healthier and stronger than a carabao. “He must be joking again,” his ardent supporters would say, knowing that what he says usually cannot be taken seriously. They’re used to his “clowning” – including Read More …

Expose Duterte’s demonic lies, brutality to protect all Filipinos

(Credit: Inquirer File)

By Ted Laguatan When we sincerely seek to do good, when we speak the truth, when we try to prevent evil, when we are kind to people, when we help them, when we seek justice, when we seek a kinder gentler world, there are those who will still hate and harm us, even those whom we are trying to help. Nevertheless, we should continue to Read More …

Prepare for the Worst

Subi Reef militarized

By Erick San Juan China appears to have installed weapons including anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems – on all seven of the artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea. Last Wednesday, December 14, the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), a US think-tank, said that its findings come despite statements by the Chinese leadership that Beijing has no intention of militarizing the islands in Read More …

Pageant Silences Beauty Queen, a Critic of China, at U.S. Contest

Anastasia Lin in Toronto last year. The Chinese authorities later blocked her from attending the Miss World pageant in China. (Ian Willms for The New York Times)

By ANDREW JACOBS The New York Times After the Chinese authorities blocked the Canadian beauty queen Anastasia Lin from attending the 65th annual Miss World pageant in China last year, the event’s British organizers offered her a consolation prize, of sorts: They promised to allow her a chance to compete in the 2016 finals, which are currently underway in suburban Washington. What they did not Read More …

A Christmas Truce for all

Christmas Truce 1914

PerryScope By Perry Diaz In 1914, during the Great War — or World War I as we call it today — the British and French armies were manning the 27-mile Western Front fiercely defending French territory from the advancing German Army. Across the British and French trenches, as near as 200 feet away, the Germans were dug in. What separated the opposing armies was a Read More …

Quo vadis, Leni?

leni-robredo-3

PerryScope By Perry Diaz When Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo entered politics 2013, little did she know that within four years she’d be propelled to the second highest position in the country – the vice presidency. Some people call it “fast track” ascension; some call it luck; and a few call it destiny. But as the country’s vice-president since June 30, 2016 – just a little Read More …

Trump treads in uncharted waters

Nawaz Sharif and Donald Trump

PerryScope By Perry Diaz For President-elect Donald J. Trump, there is nothing wrong in calling Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to introduce himself or establish personal contacts, after all Trump would soon be the next leader of the Free World. A few words exchanged between the two leaders would probably have been within the bounds of diplomatic civility. But Trump, whose unorthodox ways and style Read More …

‘You cannot make a hero out of a villain’

imelda-kisses-coffin-of-marcos-2

PerryScope By Perry Diaz For twenty-one years that he was in power, the late president Ferdinand E. Marcos had it his way regardless of what people said. He ruled with an iron hand and exercised his authority like the Greek gods did. He was Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades all rolled into one. As Zeus, Marcos was omnipotent. His word was the law of the land. Read More …

In Hitler’s footsteps: From Auschwitz to America

trump-and-hitler

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Little did Donald J. Trump realize that by preaching the gospel of hate, it would bring him to the pinnacle of power in America. Or, could it be that he was aware that hate was what dictators use to achieve power and exercise total control over their people? Take Adolf Hitler for one, who arguably was the most despicable of these Read More …

Are Duterte and Trump the new normal?

duterte-and-trump-bff

PerryScope By Perry Diaz The election of Rodrigo R. Duterte and Donald J. Trump — six months apart – as president of the Philippines and United States, respectively, shook the world in a manner that differed from previous presidential elections in both countries. While Duterte was favored to win in large part due to his promise to kill drug pushers and users, Trump was doomed Read More …

Did China trick Digong?

duterte-and-xi-jinping-2

PerryScope By Perry Diaz When President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte was sworn in last June 30, 2016, the first person he introduced to the audience was former President Fidel V. Ramos, whom he credited for helping him launch his presidential candidacy. It did not then come as a surprise when Digong appointed Ramos as his special envoy to China. Immediately, Ramos went to Hong Kong to Read More …

Duterte’s flip-flop diplomacy

duterte-walking-behind-xi-jinping

PerryScope By Perry Diaz When President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte announced his “separation” from the United States during his state visit to China, it shook the world. Not that it would have changed the balance of power in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, but it was because of the abrupt – “strange,” I might say – way of which it was announced. But what is surreally baffling is Read More …

Digong was the ‘Manchurian Candidate’ all along!

Duterte, Xi, and Putin.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz In Philippine elections, presidential candidates are labeled according to their perceived political persuasion or ideological beliefs. However, political persuasion doesn’t really matter in Philippine politics because Filipino politicians change their political affiliations to suit their personal objectives. There are the “Amboys” (American Boys). There are the “balimbings” (political turncoats and opportunists). And there are the “Manchurian Candidates” (secretly aligned with China). Read More …

Beware the Ides of October

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PerryScope By Perry Diaz The generals of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) must be texting each other, saying: “Did you hear what Digong was saying these days? LOL.” Another general would probably respond, “He’s a weakling like Obama. Hahaha… LOLOL.” Another one would probably say, “Well, they both can go to hell so we can take their countries… LMAO.” And President Xi Jinping would probably Read More …

A nation in pain

The "La-Pieta" like photo which symbolized the extra judicial killings in the Philippines (Photo by Raffy Lerma/Philippine Daily Inquirer)

PerryScope By Perry Diaz A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted last September 24-26 showed Duterte receiving a public satisfaction rating of 76%, “dissatisfied” rating of 11%, and “undecided” rating of 13%. According to SWS, Duterte’s +54 “net satisfaction” rating is better than most of his post-EDSA revolution predecessors, except for Fidel V. Ramos who scored +66 in 1992. During that same period last September, Read More …

The Philippines at a dangerous crossroads

Trading Obama for Xi and Putin?

PerryScope By Perry Diaz President Rodrigo Duterte’s ascension to the Philippine presidency happened at a time when the country was anxiously waiting for the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s (PCA) ruling on China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea (SCS). And when the ruling was finally released on July 12 invalidating China’s “nine-dash line” claim and that China had no historical rights to the rocks, Read More …

China sets eyes on Benham Rise

benham-rise-6

PerryScope By Perry Diaz As soon as the United Nations had awarded Benham Rise to the Philippines than China sets her eyes on this undersea landmass in the Philippine Sea. According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), this 13-million-hectare area off the coast of Aurora province is potentially rich in mineral, natural gas deposits, and manganese nodules that are vital in the Read More …

Foreign Policy fiasco

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, in white, walks away with officials following the ASEAN summit plenary meeting at National Convention Center in Vientiane, Laos, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

PerryScope By Perry Diaz It was a very strange week! Was it a full moon… or was it sign of the times? Indeed, a nation’s leader going ballistic is not the usual norm even with the likes of… well, I don’t want to distract you from the issues so let’s move on. The recent brouhaha on the eve of President Rodrigo Duterte’s departure for his Read More …

The Philippines’ three historical mistakes

“I prefer a government run like hell by Filipinos to a government run like heaven by Americans.” -- Manuel L. Quezon

PerryScope By Perry Diaz If not for three major mistakes, the Philippines would be strong today – politically, economically, and militarily. We could have taken the place of South Korea as the 11th biggest economic power or even Japan as the third biggest economic power. While Japan and the Philippines were devastated in World War II and South Korea ruined during the Korean War, Japan Read More …

‘Strategic Diamond’ takes shape in the Pacific

"Strategic Diamond"

PerryScope By Perry Diaz With the signing of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) between the U.S. and India, U.S. President Barack Obama achieved a key part of his “Pivot to Asia” strategy. Indeed, it is a major accomplishment considering that the U.S. had been negotiating such an agreement for the past 12 years. And the beauty of it is while it strengthens the Read More …

The Muntinglupa Connection

The accuser and the accused.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz In what could arguably be the “mother of all scandals,” President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte dropped a bombshell in front of Sen. Leila de Lima’s face. Calling it a “drugs matrix” — known as the “Muntinglupa Connection” — Duterte released a document showing links between De Lima and several others allegedly involved in illegal drug activities at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) Read More …

Scarborough Shoal: New game, same old rule

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua and former President Fidel V. Ramos

PerryScope By Perry Diaz President Rodrigo Duterte sent his special envoy former President Fidel V. Ramos to China to “break the ice” in the country’s freezing relationship with China. Well, Ramos didn’t promise anything but he said he was going on a “fishing expedition” and to play golf. But if there was any semblance of success, Ramos made some “progress,” telling reporters: “It’s not really Read More …

Is war in the South China Sea inevitable?

East and South China Seas

PerryScope By Perry Diaz The conventional wisdom in geopolitical circles is that a war between the United States and China is not going to happen — not now, not tomorrow – simply because their economies are intricately intertwined with one another like the fabled Gordian Knot. Destroying each other would be like committing a suicide pact. And why would they do that? Are they out Read More …

“Bato bato sa langit…”

(CREDIT: KIWI BULACLAC/PPD)

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Five weeks after former Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte was sworn in as President of the Philippines, his promise to rid the country of criminality and illegal drugs is paying off. To date, more than 400 people – drug lords, drug pushers, drug addicts, house thieves, and other kinds of criminals — have been killed and more than 4,000 captured. Read More …

International court of public opinion

South-China-Sea-doesnt-belong-to-China

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Now that the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) has ruled strongly in favor of the Philippines’ maritime disputes against China in the South China Sea (SCS), people are wondering, “What’s going to happen next?” Unless China accepts the arbitral tribunal’s ruling – in parts or in its entirety – nothing is going to happen in terms of enforcement. While the Philippines Read More …

Duterte-Xi standoff: Who will blink first?

Duterte-and-Xi-Jinping-with-flags

PerryScope By Perry Diaz  Right after the Philippine Congress proclaimed Rodrigo Duterte president of the Philippines, Chinese President Xi Jinping didn’t waste any time writing a congratulatory message to him. Elated by Xi’s gesture, Duterte said, “I was honored, receiving a congratulatory message from a great president.” Several days later, Duterte — who was seemingly buoyed by Xi’s expression of goodwill — remarked that he Read More …

High stakes in the South China Sea

Permanent Court of Arbitration

PerryScope By Perry Diaz On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), in a unanimous decision, delivered a “triple whammy” to China. In a press release, it said that the Arbitral Tribunal ruled that “there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea falling with the ‘nine-dash line’.” Secondly, the Tribunal reaffirmed that the rocks and Read More …

Bato: A hard rock to crack

Dela Rosa forms his "Police Avengers" to fight the drug lords. ( Photo credits: pinoynewsalert.blogspot.com)

PerryScope By Perry Diaz It must have been fate that brought President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte and Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald dela Rosa together 30 years ago in the aftermath of the EDSA People Power Revolution that toppled the Marcos dictatorship. Duterte was appointed acting vice-mayor of Davao City by then President Cory Aquino. Dela Rosa, then a fresh graduate of the Philippine Military Read More …

Duterte’s Unorthodoxy: The New Orthodoxy

Duterte and Dela Rosa (CREDIT: KIWI BULACLAC/PPD)

PerryScope By Perry Diaz With no major political organization behind him and no big donors to fund his campaign, President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte was propelled to power by people from all walks of life. He beat four other candidates, three of whom – Jejomar Binay, Mar Roxas, and Grace Poe — were funded by executives of some of the country’s top companies, including San Miguel Read More …

Is America prepared for war?

American-Eagle

PerryScope By Perry Diaz With all the trouble spots around the world where the U.S. is involved one way or another, it makes one wonder: Where will the war take place? Okay, let’s try this: Take your pick? (1) Baltic States (U.S. and NATO vs. Russia), (2) Middle East (U.S. vs. ISIS), (3) Senkaku Islands (U.S. and Japan vs. China), (4) Korean Peninsula (U.S. and Read More …

A technical coup d’état

Leni-Robredo-and-Bongbong-Marcos

PerryScope By Perry Diaz  Just as Rep. Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo was enjoying her razor-thin victory over Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in the vice presidential race, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is under pressure from some quarters to disqualify Leni from taking over the vice presidency because her party — the Liberal Party — failed to submit its Statements of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) Read More …

Digong’s bounty killers

Ronald dela Rosa (left) as a young lieutenant and Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (right).

PerryScope By Perry Diaz In the 1880s, the United States’ western and southwestern territories had become known as the “Wild, Wild West,” where gunslingers ruled and bounty killers abounded. One of the most popular movies that memorialized the bloody history of the “West” was the 1957 movie, “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.” It was so popular that several remakes were made years later, including two Read More …

Quo vadis, Bongbong?

Marcos-family-2014

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Had Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. won the vice presidential contest, it could have been one of the greatest – if not the greatest – political comebacks in the annals of politics. And the 30 years that passed since his father, the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, was ousted and the entire Marcos family booted out of the country, it would Read More …

Duterte’s honeymoon with China begins

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua presents President-elect Rodrigo Duterte copy of the book on Chinese President Xi Jinping.  (Office of the City Mayor Davao City via AP)

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Like all relationships and marriages, both parties will try to work, or live, harmoniously and reconcile their differences, if any. This is called the “honeymoon” period and it could last for a long time or it can be abbreviated depending on how they relate to each other. It may sound simplistic, but they hope that by the time the honeymoon is Read More …

Duterte’s brand of politics

Duterte-Pagbabago

PerryScope By Perry Diaz A week after his landslide presidential victory, Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte’s cabinet is shaping up: a mixture of business leaders, leftists, communists, political allies, and personal friends. On the surface it looks like a broad-spectrum government reaching out to all sectors of the country. That’s good… at least on paper. But at a closer scrutiny, it reveals a master chess player who Read More …

Duterte: Strongman with a soft spot

Duterte-kissing-flag-miting-de-avance

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Some would say that presumptive President-Elect Rodrigo “Rody” or “Digong” Duterte is a leftist, which he admits. Some say he is a communist, which he denies. Others say he is pro-China. And a few say he could be the new “Amboy” – that is, “America’s Boy.” Honestly, nobody knows that much about his brand of politics. Who the hell is Digong Read More …

Tensions heat up in the South China Sea

Strategic Triangle: Scarborough Shoal, Spratlys, and Paracel islands.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz The biggest — and hottest — topic in geopolitical circles today is World War III, or to be more precise… where will World War III start? But if you ask Pope Francis, he’d probably say what he said several months ago: World War III has already begun, at least in a “piecemeal fashion.” “Piecemeal fashion” is a reference to several crises Read More …

Duterte: A phenomenal phenomenon

Duterte-assault-rifle.1

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Underfinanced and overly maligned for his brand of leadership, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte jumped into the presidential derby two months after the official campaign period had started. And with no national political machinery, and who hardly traveled outside his city for two decades as mayor, Duterte was hesitant to enter the race. But it must have been destiny that pushed Read More …

Leni Robredo: “May the best woman win”

PHILIPPINES-POLITICS-ELECTION

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Up until a few weeks ago, vice presidential candidate Congresswoman Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo was behind in the polls. Way ahead of her then were Senators Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. who were at a statistical dead heat. But the latest polls surprised a lot of the power brokers who have shrugged her off as a “spoiler.” Not Read More …

Who is Neil Llamanzares?

Grace-Poe-and-Neil-Llamanzares

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Recently, Teodoro Daniel Misael V. Llamanzares has come to the limelight of Philippine politics. For “Neil” – that’s his moniker — who had held a top secret job in the United States, he’d be expected to avoid publicity, let alone people spying into his background. That would certainly make him uneasy because his former employer, Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC), happens Read More …

Can Digong beat Grace?

Duterte-Pagbabago

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Just a few weeks ago, the man to beat for the presidency was Jejomar “Jojo” Binay. As a sitting vice president, Binay had the advantage of incumbency. He used his position as second-in-command to President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III and as the administration’s “Housing Czar.” It was no wonder then that his popularity ratings were consistently high in all the years Read More …

Who is bankrolling Grace’s campaign?

Grace-Poe-white-shirt

PerryScope By Perry Diaz When Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares declared her candidacy for president of the Philippines, she confessed that she didn’t have the organization or the resources to run a presidential campaign. With no political party to provide the resources, manpower, and a nationwide political network — and without tons of moolah, which she admittedly lacks – Grace’s campaign vehicle would be like a Mercedes Read More …

Can Digong pull off an upset?

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo "Digong" Duterte

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Not only can a presidential candidate with a shoestring budget win but when he also promises to stamp out corruption, he would be the butt of jokes. He’d be called a nuisance candidate or a quixotic wannabe, someone who dreams big and accomplishes nothing. And in today’s big-bucks presidential campaigns, it’s like racing the “Indianapolis 500” with a go-kart against the Read More …

Politicization of the Supreme Court

Grace-Poe-Supreme-Court-bldg.3

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Just when the issue of Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares’ “qualifications” to run for president had been put to rest and allowing her to run for president, the dissenting opinion of Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio revealed that Llamanzares did not get a majority vote because the Supreme Court (SC) ruling on her citizenship was 7-5-3. Yes, seven is not a majority; it Read More …

Why China wants the SCS badly

Oil-rig-982

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Long considered a body of water with no strategic or economic value, the South China Sea had been for millennia a “road” that nations used to trade their goods with other nations. Nobody laid claim to owning it. Except for small bands of pirates, no navies threatened the peaceful coexistence among the littoral communities and their giant neighbor, the Middle Kingdom Read More …

Brouhaha over Grace Poe’s SSN

Grace-Poe-SC-victory

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Just as Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares had secured the Supreme Court’s 9-6 ruling allowing her to run for president of the Philippines, she is facing another obstacle.   This time it has nothing to do with her qualifications to run for president but something more personal: Why does she have two U.S. Social Security numbers, one of which belonged to a long dead Read More …

Can Bongbong survive the ABC?

Bongbong, Miriam, and Imelda (behind).

PerryScope By Perry Diaz With Election Day just two months away, campaigning is heating up particularly in the vice presidential contest. Indeed, never in the history of Philippine politics had there been more campaign propaganda used and resources spent to elect the vice president of the country, which makes one wonder: why the sudden interest in a job that does nothing but run errands for Read More …

Battle for 2022 presidency has begun!

Bongbong Marcos and Chiz Escudero

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Francis “Chiz” Escudero are not related by blood or political affiliation, but their provenance – Bongbong’s biological roots and Chiz’s political roots — comes from the same person: Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. Bongbong is the biological son of the late dictator and the Escudero political clan was deeply associated with the Marcoses during the martial law Read More …

Is it Grace or ABG?

Binay, Duterte, Poe, Roxas, and Santiago

PerryScope By Perry Diaz By the looks of it, the May 9, 2016 presidential election could turn out to be a hellishly contentious battle royale. With five major presidential candidates, the outcome of the elections is predictably unpredictable. Indeed, recent presidential preference surveys showed see-sawing and criss-crossing ratings among four of the five major candidates, to wit: Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Grace Poe, Davao Read More …

Is P-Noy hedging his future on Poe?

Is Grace Poe P-Noy's "secret candidate"?

PerryScope By Perry Diaz With the 2016 campaign season officially starting on February 9, the “rumble” among the five major presidential candidates and their VP sidekicks has begun. And for the next 90 days of intense campaigning – and plotting – the race is pretty tight particularly among the top three contenders: Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Grace Poe, and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Read More …

The politics of balut

Balut-eater.2

PerryScope By Perry Diaz “Balut” is a popular delicacy in many Southeast Asian countries, such as Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and the Philippines. In particular, the Philippines is arguably one country where her people not only love balut, they live it! Call it balut mentality or balut syndrome, eating balut is healthy for the body and mind… and, as many Filipino men would attest, it’s Read More …

Is Pax Americana coming to an end?

US-flag-and-eagle

PerryScope By Perry Diaz For more than a quarter of a century, the United States enjoyed the distinction of being the sole superpower in a unipolar world order after the Soviet Union imploded in a day.  This was when then Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev resigned on December 25, 1991 and dissolved the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). What followed was a period that came Read More …

EDCA: A new strategic partnership

US-Philippines bilateral meeting in Washington DC on January 12, 2016, the day the Philippine Supreme Court ruled the EDCA constitutional.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Twenty-four years after the Philippine Senate rejected the extension of the American bases, the Philippine Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). EDCA is an “executive agreement” between the U.S. and the Philippines that would allow the American military to once again set foot on Philippine soil. It didn’t take long for the Philippines to act; Read More …

Geopolitics and the comfort women

Comfort-Women-protest

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Seventy years after the end of World War II, the shameful act of sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army has finally come to a “negotiated” end between Japan and South Korea in what many believe was driven by the geopolitical realities in the volatile East Asia. The Japan-South Korea détente began when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke before a Read More …

When is a lie a lie?

Grace-Poe-disqualified.2

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Recently, the Philippine presidential campaign has degenerated into name-calling with each candidate accusing the others of skullduggery, thievery, thuggery, and, worst… lying.   But strangely, nobody seems to mind if the candidate were a trickster, a thief or a thug. Perhaps it’s so common that it has become the norm rather than the exception to be one. But to accuse a candidate Read More …

An evening to remember

UPCC-2015.1

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Last December 20, 2015, marked the day the world renown and award-winning University of the Philippines Concert Chorus (UPCC) – or simply, “Korus” – was in Sacramento, California on the first leg of its U.S. Winter Tour. As usual, Korus presented a repertoire of music that made the audience call for an encore. And for those who have seen them perform Read More …

It’s never too late to change

Change-the-world

PerryScope By Perry Diaz In 1914, more than a century ago, the German Army was advancing into French territory along a 27-mile stretch of land known as the “Western Front.” The French and the British armies were fiercely defending French territory in trenches along a 200-foot narrow strip called “No Man’s Land” that separates them from the Germans who were dug in on the other Read More …

Quo vadis, Grace?

Grace-Poe.10

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Last November 17, 2015, Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares had a reason to be jubilant! By a 5-4 vote of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET), the disqualification complaint against her was thrown out. With the vote of five senators, Grace beat three Supreme Court justices in a “contest” that should have delved into the legality of Grace’s citizenship and residency. Instead the five Read More …

Why was Bonifacio murdered?

Katipunan "Supremo" Andres Bonifacio

PerryScope By Perry Diaz On July 7, 1892, Andres Bonifacio, together with Deodato Arellano, Valentin Diaz, Teodoro Plata, Ladislao Diwa, and Jose Dizon, upon learning of Dr. Jose P. Rizal’s deportation, convened secretly and agreed to form a secret society. The founders called the secret society the Kataastaasang Kagalang-Kagalang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan or Katipunan for short. It was also referred to Read More …

Grace’s hollow political win

Sen. Grace Poe holds press conference after SET ruling.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz As expected, Sen. Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares was spared a debilitating loss in the Senate Electoral Tribunal’s (SET) ruling on the disqualification case against her. On a 5-4 vote, the political body granted Sen. Poe a graceful respite from her troubled past that has been hounding her since she took a quick sprint from the safe haven of obscurity to the Read More …

Can the Philippines defend her sovereignty?

The 12 senators -- called "The Magnificent 12" -- who voted to evict the U.S. bases in 1991.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Ever since twelve nationalistic – and left-leaning — members of the Philippine Senate voted to evict the U.S. bases in 1991, our national pride had immeasurably gone up the scale never seen before since the new national flag was raised and independence was declared from Spain on the balcony of Gen. Emilio Aquinaldo’s mansion in Kawit, Cavite, on June 12, 1898. Read More …

It’s time for Grace to call it quits

Quo-vadis-Grace

PerryScope By Perry Diaz It was supposed to be a political “marriage” made in Heaven. But the tandem of Grace Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero – for president and vice-president, respectively — seems like its heading for the rocks. It all began when rumors started going around in the “tsismis” or rumor-mongering crowd — or should we say the Chizmosos and Chizmosas? — after Chiz Read More …

Double whammy hits China

The venue of the arbitration hearing is the Peace Palace in The Hague. (Photo credit: PCA)

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Little did China realize that her attempt to take over the South China Sea (SCS) would be met with resistance from the United States as well as the Permanent Court of Arbitration. And with the speed it took to accomplish the one-two punch against the rising superpower in Asia-Pacific in a matter of two days, it left China with few options, Read More …

Bongbong’s gambit

Bongbong: In his father's footsteps.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Everyone knows that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. That is also true in politics; however, some — if not most – of the times, a straight line is fraught with danger that prevents someone from reaching the destination. And to some people, taking a circuitous – and longer distance – might avoid a lot of distractions, Read More …

What’s causing Obama’s sleepless nights?

Who's bluffing? (Credit: The Economist)

PerryScope By Perry Diaz With the conclusion of a much-ballyhooed summit meeting between the leaders of the two largest economic superpowers in the 21st century, one would expect that peace would reign in the vast Asia-Pacific region. But this is farthest from the truth because the summit didn’t really accomplish anything but allow U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to pretend Read More …

The 2022 presidential derby is on

Vice presidentiables

PerryScope By Perry Diaz No, it’s not a misprint. What we’re talking about here is the presidential race in 2022. But while the winner of the 2016 presidential election is still anybody’s guess, whoever will be elected vice president in 2016 would be the next president in 2022. And here is the reason why? In my article, “Who doesn’t want to be vice president?” (August Read More …

Grace’s questionable birth stirs controversy

Grace-Poe-and-FPJ-Susan-Roces

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Abandoned by her biological mother at birth, Grace Poe was adopted by movie stars Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces. And soon after, speculations began to circulate and baby Grace took center stage in the nasty gossip circuit. Rumor has it that her father was the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, and her mother was the former actress Rosemarie Sonora – Read More …

Papa Francisco and Xi Dada in America

Pope-Francis-and-Obama-arrival

PerryScope By Perry Diaz President Barack Obama must be elated that in a matter of days, he had played host to two of the world’s most powerful leaders. Arriving within days of each other, Pope Francis, the spiritual leader and symbolic head of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, and President Xi Jinping, the supreme leader of China’s 1.3 billion people, crisscrossed the U.S. in Read More …

Is EDCA dead in the water?

Fiery Cross Reef reclamation

PerryScope By Perry Diaz With all the hoopla following the signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the United States on April 28, 2014 in Manila, one would expect American military forces to be deployed to at least eight strategic locations to protect the Philippines from external forces intruding into her territory. But 16 months have passed and not a Read More …

Lawlessness in Davao City

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Once known as the “Murder Capital” of the Philippines, Davao City once again topped the headlines when Mayor Sara Duterte – surrounded by armed police bodyguards — beat a sheriff while hundreds of horrified people watched. Duterte was caught on video camera punching sheriff Abe Andres – an officer of the court – several times while he was serving a court Read More …