BY REY O. ARCILLA
‘I believe it is time the government formed a task force solely for the purpose of plotting our moves and defining our long-term strategy on the WPS issue.)’
IF it is not too late, I suggest that Administrative Order No. 29 officially naming portions of the South China Sea within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) West Philippine Sea (WPS) be revised to include the official renaming of the islands, islets, shoals and atolls within it, e.g., Panatag for Scarborough, etc.
I could be wrong, but I get this feeling that the government has no game plan at all with respect to our territorial dispute with China in the WPS.
Aside from this latest move renaming the WPS and Noynoy saying that he is still hoping to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao during the Asean Summit in Cambodia in November, I don’t think the government has any clear idea of what to do next.
The on-again, off-again plan to send back our vessels to Panatag Shoal is another indication the government does not have a game plan at all. The planned move to unilaterally bring the issue before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) also appears to have been discounted by Noynoy. I find his thinking on the matter rather odd though. He said something like lawyers advised him that when you lodge a case before the ITLOS, you can either win or lose. Duh…?
I wonder how his Amboy of a foreign secretary Albert del Rosario must feel. He is the most ardent advocate of the move and he kept “threatening” to do it. It turns out Noynoy is not sold on it.
As I have pointed out from the very start, it is not likely the ITLOS will entertain such a unilateral move for the simple reason that it requires both parties to a dispute to file a case. I was amenable to having it brought to the ITLOS unilaterally if only to find out how the tribunal will react. Otherwise, I didn’t think at any time that it would prosper.
In the absence of an ambassador in Beijing, it doesn’t look like discussions are taking place either there, here or elsewhere. The looming leadership change in China may also cause the Chinese to relegate the issue to the backburner until after the change has taken root.
During this “lull,” I believe it is time the government formed a committee or task force solely for the purpose of plotting our moves and defining our long-term strategy on the WPS issue. Make no mistake about it – we will be in this for the long haul.
We should also revert to talking with only one voice. Lahat dumadaldal na naman. Ano ba ‘yan?!
As expected, China reacted rather sharply to the name change move, calling it a “reckless decision”.
Was China’s reaction anticipated? I suppose it was. If it wasn’t, then it would further indicate that our government doesn’t really have a blueprint for dealing with the whole problem.
Singapore severely criticized the Philippine media for being “free” following allegedly erroneous reports published in a couple of Manila dailies on the results of the bilateral talks between Noynoy and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Well, at least ours is free, unlike Singapore’s!
In a media briefing in Vladivostok, Del Rosario said: “Singapore has committed to continue its support in terms of a peaceful resolution of the disputes in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS. And they also expressed the need for Asean to strengthen its solidarity and centrality in being able to reinforce the importance of Asean being an entity that would promote peace and stability in the region.”
Pray tell, doesn’t that reflect Singapore’s position on the WPS issue? We would like to know.
Section 8, Article II of the Constitution provides: “The Philippines, consistent with the national interest, adopts and pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory.”
I cite this provision of the Constitution because we have been having of late frequent port calls of US warships and submarines. I think it would be fair to assume that these vessels carry nuclear warheads.
Certainly, that would be violative of the above-cited constitutional provision and a ground for the possible impeachment of Noynoy. Am I right or am I right?
The case of ex-DILG undersecretary Rico Puno puts into focus once again the seeming lack of consistency in Noynoy’s “daang matuwid” slogan.
I am reminded of the bold assertion by future ex-DFA undersecretary Rafael Seguis that “some heads will have to roll” on account of the issuance of a “fake” passport to fugitive former Palawan governor Joel Reyes. Reyes’ capture has been accorded priority by Noynoy.
That was about a month ago. The only thing that seems to have been rolling so far in the DFA is the bankrolling of Del Rosario’s frequent and unnecessary trips abroad.
As pointed out in this space previously, catching the guilty parties in the DFA is a cinch. All that Seguis has to do is to check the system and identify the initials and signatures of those responsible for the issuance of passports. That’s all! It doesn’t take a genius to do that. So, what gives?
As the one directly responsible for consular services in the Department, Seguis could easily do that. I hope he is not protecting those responsible.
What about Del Rosario? What is he doing? Has he never heard of command responsibility? He and Seguis have also not taken action on any of the several alleged anomalies in the Department reported in this space and elsewhere. Why?
Maybe it’s time Noynoy called their attention. They are eroding his “daang matuwid” policy – unless, of course, the DFA is an exception to the rule. Is it? If so, why? Is it because of Del Rosario himself? Or his reputed patrons?
For years now, DFA insiders have been wondering why Seguis had been showing unusual interest in some of our posts in the Middle East, often traveling to that region under one pretext or another, to the point where he has meddled in policy matters and migrant workers’ affairs which are not his turf, being undersecretary for administration. His alleged meddling apparently had been made even more egregious by a persistent report that one of his brothers, Armando, was once president (2001-2007) of the recruitment firm called “88 International Manpower Services, Inc. whose license (No. 308-LB-111303-R), according to a check with POEA, was cancelled in September 2010.
The question now being asked by one and sundry is “wasn’t there a conflict of interest there somewhere for Seguis?”
Section 1, Rule V, Prohibition of Government Personnel, of the Omnibus Rules and Regulations Implementing the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, as amended by Republic Act No.10022, states:
“Section 1. Disqualification. The following personnel shall be prohibited from engaging directly or indirectly in the business of recruitment of migrant workers;
“(a) Any official or employee of the DOLE, POEA, OWWA, DFA, DOJ, DOH, BI, IC, NLRC, TESDA, CFO, NBI, Philippine National Police (PNP), Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and other government agencies involved in the implementation of the Act, regardless of the status of his/her employment; and
“(b) Any of his/her relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity.
“Any government official or employee found to be violating this section shall be charged administratively, according to Civil Service Rules and Regulations without prejudice to criminal prosecution.
“The government agency concerned shall monitor and initiate, upon its initiative or upon the petition of any private individual, action against erring officials and employees, and/or their relatives.”
I am not a lawyer but isn’t it plain to see that under sub-sections (a) and (b) above-cited, Seguis should have been “charged administratively, according to Civil Service Rules and Regulations without prejudice to criminal prosecution”?
Paging Secretary Del Rosario.
Reminders (for Noynoy’s action):
1) Filing of charges against officials of the National Food Administration (NFA) during Arroyo’s illegitimate regime. Noynoy himself said on several occasions that there is documentary evidence to prove the venalities in the past in that agency; 2) Investigation of reported anomalies in the GSIS during the watch of Winston Garcia; 3) Facilitating the investigation of rampant corruption in the military and police establishments; and 4) Expeditious action by the AFP on the case of Jonas Burgos.
Today is the 135th day of the sixth year of Jonas Burgos’ disappearance.
From an internet friend:
Distinction between Guts and Balls
To those of you who are nitpickers about the meaning of words, there is a medical distinction between Guts and Balls. We’ve all heard about people having Guts or Balls, but do you really know the difference between them?
In an effort to keep you informed, here are the definitions:
GUTS is arriving home late, after a night out with the guys, being met by your wife with a broom, and having the Guts to ask, “Are you still cleaning, or are you flying somewhere?”
BALLS is coming home late after a night out with the guys, smelling of perfume and beer, with lipstick on your collar, and slapping your wife on the butt and having the Balls to say, “You’re next, Chubby.”
I hope this clears up any confusion on the definitions.
Medically speaking, there is no difference in the outcome.
Both result in death.