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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 …

Let’s hope change is for real this time

SONA-2016

ON DISTANT SHORE By Val G. Abelgas When Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the first State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte would be “heart wrenching” and would “make you cry,” I just couldn’t believe it. It’s just not Duterte’s style to turn people emotional. “I don’t want to exaggerate. But the first time I read the speech, it made me cry. That’s how Read More …

Might is Right

ASEAN-Foreign-Ministers-Meeting-2016

By Erick San Juan In the midst of the anticipation and excitement before the much awaited State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the newly elected President Rodrigo Roa Duterte plus the euphoria over the Permanent Court of Arbitration (The Hague) ruling in favor of the Philippines against China, there were several important international meetings/conferences we overlooked. Among these meetings were the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Read More …

Rodrigo Duterte Gets a Taste of China’s Heavy Hand

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has landed at the heart of a regional tug-of-war between Washington and Beijing over the South China Sea. Photo: Associated Press

Untested Philippines tough guy finds himself at the heart of a U.S.-China contest    By Andrew Browne The Wall Street Journal  DAVAO CITY, Philippines— Rodrigo Duterte, the newly elected Philippine president, is used to being treated with the utmost respect. In his previous job, as mayor of this once lawless southern city, his war on drug dealers left a trail of bullet-riddled corpses, targets of Read More …

Duterte gives Yasay a graceful exit

Perfecto-Yasay-and-Zhao-Jianjua

By Ellen Tordesillas Malaya PRESIDENT Duterte is astute. He can appear to be assuring you of his trust and confidence while actually cutting your neck. That was what his July 19 video statement released by Malacañang on the status of Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. showed. In the video, a very formal Duterte in barong tagalog with the emblem of the President of the Republic Read More …

South China Sea Tensions Showcase U.S. Navy Mobility, Presence

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By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor Seapower Magazine ARLINGTON, Va. — The South China Sea has not seen such a level of naval interest since the Vietnam War, or perhaps since the fall of the Soviet Union. The current focus of the tension is the claim of China to most of the sea — inside the so-called Nine-Dash Line — that has heightened challenges to Read More …

China-US military balance not so lop-sided

A Chinese frigate launches an anti-ship missile during military exercises in the South China Sea. Country's strategy is aimed partly at keeping the US at bay. AP

By Lisa Murray Angus Grigg Australian Financial Review If it came to a war over the South China Sea, who would win? Ten years ago, the answer would have been a resounding nod to the United States. While the odds are still well in the super power’s favour today, military experts say the costs would be high and China could inflict some serious damage. Of Read More …

Trump’s foreign policy approach

Donald-Trump-making-face

By Rey O. Arcilla Malaya US Secretary of State John Kerry is supposed to come and call on President Rodrigo Roa Duterte aka Digong today, ostensibly to further strengthen ties between our two countries. But I wonder what message Kerry has for Digong on the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea (WPS/SCS) territorial dispute. It couldn’t possibly be any different from the statements that have already Read More …

High stakes in the South China Sea

Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

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 …

How the Philippines Can Enforce the South China Sea Verdict

At The Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration in July 2015 during hearings for Philippines v. China. Photo: Permanent Court of Arbitration/Associated Press

The South China Sea can never become a Chinese lake as China intended under its nine-dash-line claim. By Antonio T. Carpio The Wall Street Journal The historic ruling of an international tribunal in the Philippines v. China arbitration clarifies with finality the South China Sea maritime zones to which the Philippines and China are entitled under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Read More …

Sea row: Conflict or cooperation?

Philippine-and-Chines-flags-handshake

ON DISTANT SHORE By Val G. Abelgas Last Tuesday, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands overwhelmingly ruled in favor of the Philippines against China in their territorial dispute over portions of the South China Sea. In unequivocal terms, the UN tribunal ruled that the Philippines has sovereign rights over that part it calls the West Philippine Sea. In summary, the court, which settles Read More …

Will Hague Tribunal’s South China Sea Ruling Inflame U.S.-China Tensions?

A U.S. Marine amphibious assault vehicle makes its way to shore after leaving an amphibious transport dock ship during a landing exercise on a beach at San Antonio in the Philippines' Zambales Province on April 21, 2015. The exercise was part of annual Philippine-U.S. joint maneuvers and took place some 137 miles east of the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea.
Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images

By Jackie Northam NPR.ORG On Tuesday, an international tribunal soundly rejected Beijing’s extensive claims in the South China Sea, an area where China has been building islands and increasing its military activity. The case before the international tribunal in the Hague was brought by the Philippines, challenging what’s widely seen as a territorial grab by Beijing. The tribunal essentially agreed. Beijing immediately said the decision Read More …

How the Duke of Northumberland helped solve an international crisis

Murillo map and the Duke of Northumberland

By Mike Kelly Chronicle Live An old family map which was auctioned two years ago was used in an international legal row between China and Philippines  A historic document which once belonged to the Duke of Northumberland has helped deliver a blow to China’s maritime ambition. The 1734 Murillo Map which the Duke sold at auction for £170,500 in November 2014 was submitted by the Read More …

Digong, the statesman

President Rodrigo Roa-Duterte delivers his inaugural speech. He is the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines.

By Rey O. Arcilla Malaya THE self-proclaimed probinsiyano is turning out to be a visionary leader and a true statesman. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte aka Digong decided to go ahead and talk directly with China on the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea (WPS/SCS) issue with only the national interest as the paramount consideration after the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) handed down its ruling supporting Read More …

Change much needed in bureaucracy

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ON DISTANT SHORE By Val G. Abelgas If you have tried getting a permit, birth certificate or any document from the local government or making any kind of transaction with any government agency in the Philippines, you’d understand why President Duterte warned the country’s bureaucrats to be back from lunch at exactly one o’clock. Duterte said government employees are paid to work eight hours a Read More …

If Proposed Laws Are Passed, Nine-year Old Children could be Hanged

Children-in-jail

By Fr. Shay Cullen PREDA Foundation A few weeks ago, the Philippine nation and the world that cares for children’s rights and human dignity learned that the new speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippine Congress has filed two proposed laws that will lower the age of criminal liability for children in conflict with the law to nine years old and reintroduce the 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 …

All people’s lives matter

(Credit: Politico)

ON DISTANT SHORE By Val G. Abelgas More than a century and a half after the a bloody civil war ended slavery in the United States, and almost half a century after the civil rights movement ended decades of segregation and discrimination, the nation is again teetering back to the dark ages of racism following the bloody developments of the past week. The shooting to Read More …

Justice Carpio says PHL should talk to China, establish protocols

(File Photo)

SOURCE: GMA NEWS AFTER ARBITRAL RULING Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on Wednesday said the Philippine government should talk to the Chinese government to allow Filipino fishermen to fish in disputed waters. “We have to talk to China to now allow us to go there because the tribunal said we have a tradition fishing right together with Chinese fishermen. Definitely we have a right Read More …

Obama’s Red Line in the South China Sea: Scarborough Shoal

Scarborough-Shoal-map-and-overview

By Kevin Drum Mother Jones In light of today’s sweeping decision at the Hague denying China’s claim to various islands and reefs in the South China Sea, this is an interesting tidbit from the Financial Times: US President Barack Obama in March delivered a stark admonition to Xi Jinping over the South China Sea, warning the Chinese leader of serious consequences if China reclaimed land Read More …

Pinoys raring to fish again in Panatag

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By Jaime Laude The Philippine Star MANILA, Philippines – Fishermen from Zambales are preparing to return to their traditional fishing ground in Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc, which has been under de facto Chinese control since 2012. In a radio interview, Masinloc Mayor Arsenia Lim yesterday said the fishermen are now organizing an expedition, not only to fish in Panatag Shoal, but also Read More …

We owe Digong

President Rodrigo Roa-Duterte delivers his inaugural speech. He is the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines.

By Rey O. Arcilla Malaya TODAY, the Permanent Court of Arbitration is supposed to hand down its decision that is expected to be in our favor on the case we filed before it concerning the territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Meanwhile, China has just concluded a seven-day live-fire war exercise between Hainan and the disputed Paracels group of islands. The Chinese move was Read More …

RRD’s war against drug lords

PNP-5-generals-iin-trouble

By NESTOR MATA Malaya PRESIDENT Rodrigo Roa Duterte quickly took the first step on his fifth day in office last Tuesday to carry out the first of his “ten commandments” or ten ways to fulfill his promises of systematic changes in our government and society. President Duterte revealed the names of five police generals allegedly involved as protectors of huge illegal drug syndicates in the Read More …

Aquino had list of ‘drug’ mayors

Noynoy.62

By JAIME R. PILAPIL, REPORTER The Manila Times FORMER President Benigno Aquino 3rd knew of the 23 mayors who protected illegal drug syndicates but the government lost the case filed against these officials, Dionisio Santiago, former director general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), said on Monday. Santiago, who also served as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said Aquino 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 …

A different, better Duterte

(The News and Information Bureau, Malacanang Palace via AP)

ON DISTANT SHORE By Val G. Abelgas The Filipino people met a different Rodrigo Duterte on his first day in Malacanang. No curses, no threats, none of those checkered Duterte shirts. Instead, he was described as “presidential, purposeful and persuasive” during his 15-minute inaugural speech following his swearing in as the 16th president of the Republic of the Philippines in Malacanang. And he was wearing Read More …

Change starts with us and in us

President Rodrigo Roa-Duterte delivers his inaugural speech. He is the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines.

By Rey O. Arcilla Malaya WHEN I predicted as early as December 1 last year, in my column titled “Duterte will win”, that Rodrigo Roa Duterte aka Digong will be our next President, it was not because I have a crystal ball. And I certainly am not a clairvoyant. It was simply wishful thinking. He had no party machinery. He was no match against the Read More …

Duterte Sending Mixed Message re Graft and Corruption

Marcos-monument-with-Imelda

By Leandro D. Quintana One of the main reasons that drove the Philippine electorate to support and vote for Rodrigo R. Duterte president in high numbers was the expectation that he would ardently adhere to his vow to go after criminals, drug dealers and corrupt public service employees. And the people had very good reason for believing him. He had done it in Davao City, Read More …

How The Triad Drug Cartel Controlled the Nation

TRIAD

By Erick San Juan Finally, drug operations in the Philippines is now truly being addressed. Thanks to the strong will of President Rodrigo Duterte. But how this nationwide operation came about and now already embedded even to the highest and smallest fiber of our society? The British opium operation in China was exported in Hong Kong and to some parts of Asia including the Philippines. Read More …

The Child Prisoners of Philippine Jails

Children-in-jail

Fr. Shay Cullen, mssc PREDA Foundation The recent conviction of notorious British Douglas Slade in the United Kingdom (UK) for multiple acts of sex abuse against children is a historical and significant development. It is rare that British pedophiles are successfully extradited from the Philippines. He fled to the Philippines to escape justice in Britain several years ago and he allegedly preyed on many young Read More …

Agriculture: Back to the basics

Rice-harvest

ON DISTANT SHORE By Val G. Abelgas UP UNTIL the 70s, Philippine agriculture was the envy of our Asian neighbors. The country was one of the largest producers of rice, coconut, sugar, abaca and corn. The country also boasted of producing the best varieties of rice, including the famous milagrosa. Agriculture students from all over Asia studied in the world-famous International Rice Research Institute in Read More …

SCS Issue: Can be managed but not resolved?

Disputed-South-China-Sea.7

By Erick San Juan A UN tribunal ruling could trigger the next round of brinksmanship in the South China Sea as early as next week. But don’t expect the ruling to end the dispute, especially since the Chinese have already vowed to ignore an adverse ruling. “It’s…not likely to be resolved this year or by one international ruling, no matter how brilliant the arbitrators are,” 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 …

Like drug dealers, Abus should be eliminated

Abu-Sayyaf-and-hostages

ON DISTANT SHORE By Val G. Abelgas While we agree that eliminating the growing drug problem in the country should be a priority for the incoming administration of Rodrigo Duterte, we also hope that the tough-talking President-elect would give the same importance to removing from the face of the earth the other scourge of humanity, the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). The Abu Sayyaf, which had Read More …

New Opportunities

Duterte and Goldberg

By Erick San Juan “Are you with us or are you not with us?” A question raised by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to US Ambassador Philip Goldberg in a recent meeting in Davao City. And Amb. Goldberg answered, “Only if you are attacked.” Is this a valid answer coming from a long-time ally? I believe so, as an observer of events, we have written about this 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 …

China’s mining occupation of the Philippines

Mischief-Reef-Never-Again

Global Networking  By Rodel Rodis  While China’s brazen occupation of the Philippines’ Scarborough Shoal, located just 125 nautical miles from Masinloc, Zambales, has captured all the national and international attention, little has been mentioned about China’s occupation of the Philippine mining industry, an entirely different issue from the Filipino Chinese (“Chinoys”) domination of the Philippine economy. For example, one of China’s vast army of mining Read More …