Monday, November 30, 2015

Welcome to WOW...

Communist China had just signed a 10-year basing agreement at Djibouti for the PLA Navy. This naval facility is literally right next to an air base which Uncle Sam is also currently leasing from Djibouti. Essentially, Communist China is preparing the groundwork for challenging US military supremacy in the Indian Ocean, the Horn of Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the entire Middle East itself.

What are the implications of this development on our on-going territorial conflicts with Communist China in the West Philippine Sea? Read on:

1. Communist China's creeping invasion in the West Philippine Sea is not about some ancient historical claim. It is just a localized manifestation of the over-aching ambition of Communist China of replacing Our World Order with her own World Order.

Even if we win our UNCLOS case, therefore, expect Communist China to stay put on her fake islands in the Spratlys... Until we find some other way to kick her out!

2. Geographically, the entire world is the battleground of this World Order War (shall we call it WOW?). Battlefield losses of Our World Order in far-off lands (e.g. Syria) will also have adverse effects on our own West Philippine Sea battlefront.

Therefore, although the West Philippine Sea is the primary focus of our advocacy, we should always be ready to defend Our World Order. Anytime... Anywhere... Anyhow... Yes, even in Cyberspace!

3. This War will not only be fought Militarily. It will also be fought Politically and Financially.

In fact, if we can degrade the ability of Communist China to challenge Our World Order Financially and Politically, there might even be no need to bring out the Guns.

4. Just like the Cold War, we do not know how long WOW will last.

We will just have to continuously advance the interest of Our World Order financially, politically, and militarily...

Until the other side cries: No mas!

Welcome to WOW...


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Kalayaan Journey of 10,000 Filipino Students - No reaction at all from our 2016 Presidentiables?

If the latest news are to be believed, all systems are go for the Kalayaan Journey of 10,000 Filipino students. They will depart for the Kalayaan Island Group on Tuesday, December 1, 2015.

In the annals of Philippine student activism, I can think of only one act which is more ambitious than this. And that is when Filipino student leaders under the leadership of the late VP Doy Laurel, rented their own ship (most of them must have come from well-to-do families) and tried to sail for Indonesia to join Indonesians in their war of independence against the Dutch (back then, the Malaya Irredenta dream was still very strong). As I understand it, Malacanang (and probably their horrified parents) prevented them from boarding their ship at the Manila Harbor at the last minute.

So I am a bit surprised that I have not heard any comment, whether positive or negative, from our leading 2016 Presidential Candidates. Let us make a quick roll call of them (in alphabetical order):

Jejomar Binay - no comment
Rodrigo Duterte - no comment
Grace Poe-Llamanzares - no comment
Manuel Roxas II - no comment
Miriam Defensor-Santiago - no comment

Is this an indication of the Level of Patriotism of our leading Presidential Candidates?

And also an indication of the level of political support our West Philippine Sea advocacy can expect to get from the New Occupant of Malacanang, once PNoy steps down next year?

No wonder Communist China has no respect for us at all...

#WestPhilippineSea #KalayaanTenThousand #NineDashLineFraud #OccupyPanatagShoal

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Leper Colony and the West Philippine Sea, a possible Doomsday scenario...

"Leper Colony" was the name of the fictional B-52 Stratofortress which triggered the end of the world in Stanley Kubrick's black-and-white award-winning film classic, "Dr. Strangelove".

Piloted by the swashbuckling Texan Maj. T.J. "King" Kong, despite the US-assisted efforts by Russian Air Defense to shoot her down, Leper Colony managed to survive and deliver her payload of atom bombs to her Russian target. Thereby, triggering the detonation of Russia's Doomsday Bomb, a bunch of buried thermonuclear devices jacketed with Cobalt-Thorium G, which would blanket the world with lethal radiation for the next 93 years.

The plane became the poster boy of Nuclear Armaggedon and Doomsday during the Cold War.

As reports started to filter-in that the garrisons stationed on China's fake islands in the Spratlys challenged the US B-52 which overflew them, the black-and-white image of the Leper Colony charging headlong to her appointment with Destiny immediately flashed before me.

Was Stanley Kubrick right all along that the end of the world will be triggered by a B-52 Stratofortress?


Saturday, November 21, 2015

We finished the job in Kuala Lumpur!!!

I think we have achieved our ultimate goal in the 27th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur.

Both US Pres. Barack Obama and Philippine Pres. Benigno Aquino, Jr. raised the issue of China's territorial grab in the Spratlys at every opportunity.

And ASEAN came out with a joint statement condemning, in thinly-veiled words, China's fake islands in the Spratlys.

But do not take my word for it.

Please read the complete text of the Joint Statement on the ASEAN-US Strategic Partnership presented below, and form your own judgment.



Joint Statement on the ASEAN-U.S. Strategic Partnership

We, Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United States of America, gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 21 November 2015 for the 3rd ASEAN-U.S. Summit. Today, we elevated our relationship to the ASEAN-U.S. Strategic Partnership to strengthen the role our relationship plays in realising this common vision of a peaceful, prosperous Asia-Pacific region that offers security, opportunity and dignity to all its citizens. 

The ASEAN-United States relationship has expanded dramatically since formal relations began in 1977. The United States acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia in 2009, was the first non-ASEAN country to appoint a resident Ambassador to ASEAN in 2010, and joined the East Asia Summit in 2011.  We institutionalised annual ASEAN-U.S. Summits in 2012. 

We recognise that our relationship is grounded in shared principles, including the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and the ASEAN Charter.  We are committed to a rules-based approach in Asia, respect for international law and the peaceful resolution of disputes. Our partnership is committed to strengthening democracy, enhancing good governance and the rule of law, promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, encouraging the promotion of tolerance and moderation, and protecting the environment. 

ASEAN and the United States dedicate themselves to the ASEAN integration process and to building a strong, stable, politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible, and a people-oriented, people-centred ASEAN Community, as reflected in the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and its Blueprints. In realizing these objectives, we will also work together to strengthen ASEAN connectivity and narrow the development gap, including through development cooperation. 

Further we are dedicated to ASEAN Centrality in the evolving rules-based regional architecture of the Asia-Pacific.  We recognise the important role we have each played, and that we have played together, in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Today we usher in a new era for our relationship as we come together to set a path for our future partnership with shared goals and priorities. We welcome the adoption of the Plan of Action to Implement the ASEAN-United States Strategic Partnership (2016-2020) to further strengthen this partnership, particularly within the five priority areas of cooperation, namely, economic integration, maritime cooperation, transnational challenges including climate change, emerging leaders and women’s opportunities. We will continue to cooperate through important ASEAN-led mechanisms such as the East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum, and ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus. We will also continue to engage through the Track 1.5 Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum.

We reaffirm the importance of maintaining peace and stability, ensuring maritime security and safety, and freedom of navigation including in and over-flight above the South China Sea. We reaffirm the collective commitments contained in the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) to ensure the resolution of disputes by peaceful means in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the relevant regulations, standards and recommended practices of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), without resorting to the threat or use of force and while exercising self-restraint in the conduct of activities.  We support ASEAN-China on-going efforts to fully and effectively implement the DOC in its entirety, and to work toward the expeditious conclusion of an effective Code of Conduct (COC). 
The ASEAN-U.S. strategic partnership will also play an increasingly prominent global role in tackling transnational challenges.  We will build on existing cooperation such as the 2014 ASEAN-U.S. Joint Statement on Climate Change, and will work together to address challenging global issues such as terrorism, violent extremism, climate change, environmental degradation and pollution, energy, infectious diseases, disarmament, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, cybersecurity, trafficking in persons, illicit trafficking of wildlife and timber, and illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing. 
As to economics, American firms have been the largest cumulative investors in Southeast Asia, creating millions of jobs in the United States and in ASEAN Member States, while investment in America from Southeast Asia has increased more than from any other region in the past decade.  The ASEAN Economic Community will create many further opportunities for our citizens as it binds the region more closely together.  Going forward, we will work towards increasing two-way trade and investment, promoting trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation, encouraging sustainable and inclusive economic growth and job creation, and deepening connectivity. We also reaffirm our Leaders’ commitment to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Our people-to-people ties are more robust than ever with millions of our citizens crossing to each other’s shores every year.  We endeavour to continue to strengthen these linkages and cultural ties, especially among young people, as well as to promote opportunities for all our peoples, particularly the most vulnerable.

Today we dedicate ourselves anew to bringing security and opportunity to our peoples and addressing emerging regional and global challenges in the continued promotion of a peaceful, stable, integrated, and prosperous Asia-Pacific community. 

Adopted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on the Twenty-First Day of November of the Year Two Thousand and Fifteen.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Let us finish the job in Kuala Lumpur...

US President Barack Obama did deliver a one-two punch against Xi Jinping at the recently-concluded 2015 APEC Leaders' Meeting in Manila. But the expected coup-de-grace in the form of an APEC Joint Statement condemning China's recent reclamation activities in the Spratlys did not materialize.

After the wolf pack terror attacks in Paris last week, the momentum was just not there.

Nevertheless, the Red Carpet Snub of Xi Jinping was a classic finesse move. I hope Beijing got the message loud and clear.

Since we fired the opening salvos in Manila, let us finish the job, once and for all, at the 27th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur.

This time, ASEAN should come up with a Joint Statement condemning China's entire Nine-Dash Line claim as a Fraud!

I just hope Kuala Lumpur will not buckle under intense Chinese diplomatic pressure...


Taiwan should respect the northern treaty boundaries of the Philippines!!!

I just saw this disturbing news today that, as part of the recently-concluded 2015 APEC Meeting in Manila, the Philippines entered into some kind of fishing agreement with Taiwan vis-a-vis our northern treaty boundaries.

Taiwan should respect our northern treaty boundaries. These boundaries have historically been recognized by the Empire of Japan, Taiwan's previous administrator, and predates the formation of the Taiwanese state.

Taiwan cannot invoke UNCLOS, because she is not a signatory to the said treaty. In fact, she is not even recognized by the UN as a state. She is just considered a rogue province of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

Conceding any territory to Taiwan is legally the same as conceding territory to the PRC under international law.  And should Taiwan and the PRC reunite (and I'm sure they would one day), the territories we conceded to Taiwan would transfer to the PRC.

This so-called "fishing agreement", therefore, is just another thinly-disguised scheme to grab Philippine Territory in the strategic Basi Channel.

And as a living testament to the buffonery that is so widespread in Our Country nowadays, our National Government is playing along with the scheme.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

POTUS at Del Pilar - the opening salvo for an all-out diplomatic offensive against Beijing?

This picture speaks a million words on Washington's commitment to defend our territorial interests in the West Philippine Sea. Thank you President Barack Obama!

While our own National Government appeared to have wobbled under the intense diplomatic pressure exerted by Beijing... Uncle Sam didn't!

In fact, the sheer timing of the BRP Del Pilar visit by POTUS may indicate that, this is just the opening salvo in the all-out  diplomatic offensive that Washington will unleash against Beijing in the course of the 2015 APEC Leaders' Meeting.

This will be a very, very long week for Xi Jinping...


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Obama should call for a Joint APEC Statement condemning China's fake islands in the West Philippine Sea...

Based on recently-published accounts, the US will challenge China's fake West Philippine Sea territorial claims in next week's APEC Leaders' Meeting.

The White House is still vague, however, as to the nature and form of such challenge.

In my humble opinion, the best way to express such challenge is for the US to lead an effort to come up with a Joint APEC Statement condemning China's recent reclamation activities in the Spratlys.

Of course, China (and her sympathizers) will never sign such statement.  Nevertheless, if the number of signatories shall overwhelmingly outnumber the dissenters, it will send a clear message to China that she is well on her way on the road to diplomatic isolation as a result of her fake territorial claims.

And hopefully,  this will serve as a dose of cold reality to her that there will be no happy endings, as far as these fake territorial claims are concerned.

We are fast running out of diplomatic wiggle room on this issue.

This is probably one of the handful of non-lethal actions left...


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Why is Jokowi boycotting the APEC Meeting?

A few days ago, this blog raised an alarm on the rapid military build-up Jakarta is currently undertaking in the Natunas.

Yesterday, the possibility that Jakarta will file her own arbitration case against Beijing is all over the news.

Today, we just got this news that Jokowi (Indonesian President Joko Widodo) has decided not to attend next week's APEC Meeting in Manila.


I think Jakarta is not happy that Beijing's fraudulent Nine-Dash Line claim is not going to be officially included in the APEC Meeting agenda.

Manila foolishly gave-in to Beijing's wishes on the fraudulent Nine-Dash Line claim issue.

Jokowi's no-show performance is, therefore, maybe a snub on both Beijing and Manila.

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Was "Palawan Shallows" another old name of the Spratlys?

In this map dated 1734, the Spratlys are labeled as "Paragua Vada"...

What is the English translation of the term?

I think it is "Paragua Shallows".

Or in modern terms... "Palawan Shallows".

Will someone who is an expert in the Spanish language please confirm or rebut  this...

But regardless of the accuracy of my translation, it clearly shows that the international community once considered the Spratlys as a part of Palawan...

And ergo... also a part of the Philippine Archipelago!!!

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Spratlys has an older Spanish name...

Above is a 1727 English map of the Philippine Islands... Take note that what appears to be the Spratly Islands off the coast of Palawan have already been named.  And it is not "Spratly"...

Richard Spratly would come into the picture more than 100 years later...

I cannot clearly read the old name of the Spratlys but it definitely appears to be Spanish.  In fact, the label "Spanish" appears right next to it.   

I think I am reading "Primero I." but someone with much sharper eyes could probably help me out on this.

Does this constitute prima facie evidence that the Spratlys are historically considered part of Las Islas Filipinas?

Take note that what is now the Philippine Sea is labeled as "Part of the Great South Sea"...

The "ancient and historical" (sarcasm definitely intended) South China Sea is nowhere to be found...

Sunday, November 8, 2015

For the 10,000 Filipino Youth who are going to the Kalayaan Islands...

"I believe and profess that a people never must value anything higher than the Dignity and Freedom of its existence;

That it must defend these with the last drop of its Blood;

That it has no duty more sacred and can obey no law that is higher;

That the shame of cowardly submission can never be wiped out;

That the poison of submission in the bloodstream of a people will be transmitted to its children, and paralyze and undermine the strength of later generations;

That Honor can be lost only once;

That, under most circumstances, a people is unconquerable if it fights a spirited struggle for its Liberty;

That a Bloody and Honorable fight assures the rebirth of the people even if Freedom is lost;

And that such a struggle is the Seed of Life from which a new tree inevitably will blossom."

(Carl von Clausewitz)


Saturday, November 7, 2015

What's up Jakarta?

Jakarta just made an announcement that she will be deploying seven (7) warships in the vicinity of the Natuna Islands.

An official statement was given that this is not due to the rising tensions in the South China Sea.

While no additional details on the breakdown of this force was provided, in all likelihood, it will be backboned by the Indonesian Navy's Exocet-armed frigates and corvettes (one of which is pictured above).

About two (2) months ago, Jakarta also increased the number of troops stationed in the Natuna Islands from 270 to 2,000.  That's a 641% increase.

And still prior to that, Jakarta also announced that a significant number of the AH-64 Apaches they will be acquiring from Uncle Sam will be based in the Natuna Islands.

What's up Jakarta?

What do you know that we don't?

Treaty of Washington of 1900 (complete text)

Treaty Between the Kingdom Spain and the United States of America forCession of Outlying Islands of the Philippines [1900]*
Relinquishment of islands to the United States.
The United States of America and Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain, in the name of Her August Son, Don Alfonso XIII, desiring to remove any ground of misunderstanding growing out of the interpretation of Article III of the Treaty of Peace concluded between them at Paris the tenth day of December, one thousand eight hundred and ninety eight, whereby Spain cedes to the United States the archipelago known as the Philippine Islands and comprehending the islands lying within certain described lines, and having resolved to conclude a Treaty to accomplish that end, have for that purpose appointed as their respective plenipotentiaries:
The President of the United States, John Hay, Secretary of State of the United States;
and Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain, the Duke de Arcos, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Spain to the United States;
who, having met in the city of Washington and having exchanged their full powers, which were found to be in due and proper form, have agreed upon the following sole article:
Spain relinquishes to the United States all title and claim of title, which she may have had at the time of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace of Paris, to any and all islands belonging to the Philippine Archipelago, lying outside the lines described in Article III of that Treaty and particularly to the islands of Cagayan, Sulu and Sibutu and their dependencies, and agrees that all such islands shall be comprehended in the cession of the Archipelago as fully as if they had been expressly included within those lines.
The United States, in consideration of this relinquishment, will pay to Spain the sum of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) within six months after the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty.
The present treaty shall be ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, and by Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain, after approval by the Cortes of the Kingdom, and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington as soon as possible.
In faith whereof we, the respective Plenipotentiaries, have signed this Treaty and have hereunto affixed our seals.
Done in duplicate at the city of Washington, the 7th day of November, in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred.

* The Philippine National Territory: A Collection of Documents, Raphael Perpetuo M. Lotilla, ed. (1995), at 38.
1. Sources: 31 US Stat. 1942; II Malloy 1696.
2. Concluded November 7, 1900; ratification advised by U.S. Senate January 22, 1901; ratified by the U.S. President January 30, 1901; ratifications exchanged March 23, 1901; proclaimed March 23, 1901.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Should the Philippines establish its own Submarine Force?

When Japan invaded the Philippines in WWII, in the Western Pacific, the Philippine submarine fleet was second only to Japan in terms of quantity, and was at par or even superior to Japan in terms of quality.  Unfortunately, faulty peace-time torpedoes blunted the effectivity of this force in resisting the Japanese invasion.

But they did admirably well in other areas.  After all, they successfully rescued Pres. Quezon and Gen. MacArthur from the humiliating fate of Japanese incarceration.

Since being granted independence in 1946, however, the Philippines appears to have forgotten this glorious submarine tradition.  Until now, no submarine force has been established for the Philippine Navy.

This was acceptable in the past when the mighty US Navy was still based at Subic. But not anymore.

We are now facing a creeping invasion by China in our western borders.  The enemy has already breached the gates.

We have already lost Mischief Reef and Scarborough Shoal.

So, now is maybe the right time to do some soul-searching as a people.  On whether or not we need to establish our own attack submarine force.

Just what can attack submarines do that  ordinary warships cannot?

Warships can be easily tracked by 
spy satellites and other aerial surveillance sysytems.  In the modern battlefield, therefore, they will seldom have the element of surprise on their side.

An attack submarine, on the other hand, is very hard to track once it reaches blue waters.  And they can be clandestinely pre-positioned in strategic locations far from their home country.

Thus, an attack submarine is the only weapon platform that can provide a credible long-range retaliatory strike capability to a financially-constrained country (like ours) against an aggressor with satellite surveillance and overwhelming first-strike capabilities (like China).

China, for example, can easily locate with her satellites and neutralize with a surprise first-strike all our warships (and fixed-wing aircraft).  But if we have an attack submarine force, some if not most of our subs, will be able to elude detection.  And live to fight another day.  Which is exactly what happened to the Philippine submarine fleet in WWII.

Thus, even a small country like the Philippines must establish her own attack submarine force.  Just to send a message to would-be invaders.  That we have the capability to retaliate against any form of military adventurism.

At times and places not of their own choosing.

Even in their own territorial waters...

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The new face of the West Philippine Sea...

The West Philippine Sea is ours China!

Talk to Jasmine and she'll convince you why...

Filipino psy-war at its best...

Should the Philippines conduct its own Freedom of Navigation Operations?

In view of the success of the Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) recently completed by the US Navy, certain sectors are now pressuring Malacanang to authorize the conduct of our own FONOPs.

And my response is: With what?

With the two (2) Hamiltons pictured above?

The success of the FONOP performed by the USS Lassen was primarily due to Overwhelming Firepower - something which our country clearly does not have. The USS Lassen, by its lonesome, packs more firepower than the entire Philippine Navy!

I'm sure Beijing is now seething with rage at the humiliation it recently suffered in the hands of the US Navy.  Logically, therefore, she will be looking for some kind of payback to redeem her honor.  Let us not provide her the opportunity by sending our severely outgunned Navymen in harm's way,

Besides, the UNCLOS case we filed is now progressing in our favor.  Any military adventurism on our part will just erode the moral high ground we have carefully nurtured in the course of our on-going disputes with China.

Of course, if we are requested to participate in a FONOP led by the US Navy, that is a totally different ballgame.

The response I would personally recommend to Malacanang would be: Yes!

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Spratlys are ours as per the Treaty of Washington

The Treaty of Washington of 1900 (the Treaty) was signed on November 7, 1900, and came into effect on March 23, 1901, when the Treaty ratifications were exchanged.  The Treaty sought to remove any ground of misunderstanding growing out of the interpretation of Article III of the 1898 Treaty of Paris by clarifying the specifics of territories relinquished to the US by Spain.

In consideration for certain explicit statement of relinquishments documented in the Treaty, the US agreed to pay to Spain the sum of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) within six (6) months after the exchange of Treaty ratifications. (Wikipedia)

News had just recently came out that the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) discovered that, under the explicit terms of the Treaty, the Spratlys are, in fact, part of the territories ceded by Spain to the US under the Treaty of Paris.  The GRP will present this newly-discovered information to UNCLOS as additional evidence to support her claim over the Spratlys (as well as other territories within her 200-mile EEZ).

This is a very major development on the Spratlys disputes.

The Philippines now have a legal basis to claim the entire Spratlys.  And the islands of the Spratlys can now be used as baselines to measure the territorial sea and EEZ boundaries of the Philippines.

More importantly, the US is now legally a former owner of the Spratlys, and the Spratlys are now legally part of the territories donated by the US to the GRP in 1946.

Should any third party (e.g. China) attempt to dispossess the GRP of such donation, the US will now have the legal basis to intervene.

With the full might of the US Military Establishment, if necessary.