Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Japan “Countering China”: Philippines gains

DieHard III Blog of Herman Tiu Laurel
October 31, 2017

                It’s reminiscent of the two Sino-Japanese war in the 20th Century, from 1937 to 1945 that expanded and became the Second World War and saw the devastation of the Philippines by Japan and the U.S. in the process, BUT today’s rivalry and “war” between China and Japan brings hope and development as benign China started a bidding “war” to assist its millennial fraternal Asian brother the Philippines with a $ 25-Billion assistance and investment package – which now Japan is hard put to match with a “counter” offer of $ 9-Billion aid package to President Duterte of the Philippines.

Thanks to President Duterte and China.

                This is thanks to President Duterte’s courageous re-assertion of the Philippine Constitution’s mandate for an “Independent Foreign Policy” instituted from the inception of his presidency in 2016 - the “boon” from the exercise of sovereign will to treat all other countries on the planet with equal respect relative to the Philippines’ national welfare and aspirations, downgrading neo-colonial military alliances and forging cooperative and collaborative relations with all nations.

                Thanks also to China for being the beacon in the 21st Century arising from the gloom of two previous 100 years-cycles of history, the Century of Imperialism and the Century of War, leading humanity into a new era of the Multi-Polar World based on the new “major power relations” and anchored China’s progress through its “Socialism with Chinese characteristics” that ensures its dynamism of a major economic engine of the global economy towards Mankind’s “shared destiny” of Peace and Prosperity.

China dares to dream and offer “Shared Destiny”

                My seemingly over-exuberant description of China’s 21st Century beneficent offer to the World may seem “utopian” to some of my readers (especially to the skeptical West and their Little Brown Brothers in my own country), but China has proven its capacity and authentic will to achieve the utopian dream in its modern history of 68 years since the 1949 Communist Party of China (CPC) Revolution – lifting 700 million out of poverty and becoming the largest economy in the World (by PPP) and sharing its economic “bonanza” with Africa and Asia without a taint of imperialism.

                China with its 5,000 years of history and the wealth of wisdom its brings now shares this with Mankind in the “New Era” consistent in global civilizational philosophy and structure, i.e. to repeat “the shared destiny” and the “Multi-Polar World” evidenced by its collaborative construction with other rising nations’ BRICS, the SCO, and new multilateral financial institutions such as the AIIB (Asian Infrastructure and InvesmentBank) and the NDB (New Development Bank), as well as the global economic/telecommunications linkage of all continents through the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative).

                Yes, Utopia is possible… and China has dared to dream and work to build that dream into a reality.

Shinzo Abe and Constitutional Revision.

                Japan’s overtures to the Philippines is a small “counter-moves” by Japan to China’s massive global and bilateral initiatives with the Philippines, but it is most welcome in this new era of “Shared Destiny” of Mankind. Japan too has learned its lesson from history that peaceful and cooperative efforts are infinitely more productive for all, but Japan’s Premier Shinzo Abe must also keep in mind that his initiatives to revise the Japanese Constitution to reflect the militarism of a distant past is counter-productive. Filipinos must not fail to remind Premier Shinzo Abe of this.

Below is the report from Japanese Press’s report on Abe’s “countering China”:

Countering China, Abe agrees $9bn aid package with Duterte
Dealing with North Korea a common issue for Japan, Philippines
October 30, 2017 9:04 pm JST  (Updated October 30, 2017 10:32 pm JST)
MASAYUKI YUDA, Nikkei staff writer

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, welcomes Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte before a meeting at the prime minister's official residence on Oct. 30.

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe pledged Monday to deliver nearly $9 billion in aid to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to rebuild battle-damaged areas of Mindanao island and improve infrastructure throughout the country.

Abe and Duterte signed a joint statement agreeing to a public- and private-sector contribution worth a total of 1 trillion yen ($8.8 billion) for the rapidly growing Southeast Asian country of over 7,000 islands.

At the signing ceremony following the bilateral summit meeting, Abe said, "As he moves forward in his efforts to fight terrorism, and also for stability in Mindanao, we would like to provide our full support to President Duterte's approach." Duterte replied: "The Philippines and Japan are building a golden age of our strategic partnership."

The offer of aid over the next five years had basically been agreed by the two leaders in January, when Abe visited the Philippines. He gave further details of the package Monday, to which the Philippine leader agreed.

Another area of interest to both leaders is security in the South China Sea, over much of which China claims control. Duterte will chair the upcoming meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit and the East Asia Summit in the Philippines in the first half of November.

The two leaders agreed that North Korea's provocations must be dealt with. Abe named the nuclear and missile programs, as well as a prompt resolution of North Korea's abduction of Japanese citizens, as common issues that Japan and the Philippines will work together to address.

Regarding Pyongyang's continuing missile launches and nuclear tests, Duterte, who chairs the ASEAN meeting this year, said, "We condemn these tests." He also urged North Korea to come back to the negotiating table to peacefully resolve the situation.

The fourth meeting between Abe and Duterte was aimed at deepening the strategic partnership between the two countries, and ended fruitfully for the Philippines.

Mindanao, especially the city of Marawi, has been hard-hit by fighting between government forces and Islamic fighters linked to the Islamic State militant group. The area has been under martial law since May, and Duterte recently declared victory over the militants.

Japan's aid is intended to help the swift rebuilding of Marawi as soon as martial law is lifted, and to restore lasting stability in the area.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

U.S. “Subic Pivot” prompts Scarborough build-up

          The SCMP (South China Morning Post) report on the decision of China to start reclamation at the Scarborough Shoal or what China calls Huangyan Island is a logical consequence of the U.S. “Subic Pivot” or the return of the U.S. military base to that Olongapo town authorized under the controversial EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) signed between Obama and BS Aquino in April of 2014. Since then, U.S. submarines, missile cruisers, as well as Japanese naval ships have docked at the Subic base facilities.

          The Scarborough is just 270 km from the Subic military facility and a perfect site for monitoring and, if necessary, confronting any hostile acts that may emanate from the U.S. military forces stationed there. China’s action follows a defensive pattern since the “Asia Pivot” was announced by the U.S. officially in 2011 but had already been mulled in the corridors of power in Washington since 2009. U.S. prompted provocations behind its client states - the Philippines and Japan followed in 2012 with the BRP Gregorio del Pilar arresting Chinese fishermen and Japan’s nationalization of the Diaoyu Islands.

          The signing of the EDCA in April 2014 was met by China’s start of island reclamations in August of that year to include the Mischief, Fiery Cross and Subi reefs. Construction of airfields, lighthouse and other facilities have been completed in some of the islands while in others such facilities are being set up. Civilian use of the facilities has been highlighted by Chinese government but it is clear that in case of any necessity these can be easily converted to defense uses – which seems to be the message to the forces behind the “Asian Pivot”.

          In May of this year, 2016, reports of brushes between Filipino fishermen and Chinese security patrols in rubber dinghies appeared in Philippine media. Chinese authorities accused some Filipinos, Zambales fishermen of throwing “fire bombs” at them while their security patrols were conducting “governance” – a word China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs used to describe their action. Despite the hostility the Chinese security patrols maintained disciplined use of non-lethal tactics, unlike what the Philippine Coast Guard have done in the past using machine guns on unarmed fishermen.

          The Zambales fishermen unable to fish in the Scarborough area are understandably frustrated and exasperated, enough to commit such acts of defiance. About this situation I received a text from a farmer-fisherman national leader, Sonny Domingo who is also from Zambales and was approached by the fishermen for assistance. Domingo proposed some livelihood projects to the local authorities who unfortunately stopped him from pursuing the projects, leading Domingo to say that the fishermen’s problem is not the Chinese but the Philippine government authorities.

          Sonny Domingo is the chairman of KAMMPI, a farmer-fisherman national federation accredited by the Department of Agriculture. The lack of positive response from Aquino government authorities to his effort to create livelihood for the displaced fishermen made me wonder if the government is deliberately aggravating the situation to push the fishermen into further frustration and other acts of hostility. Actually, I believe government can easily ease the situation in the Scarborough just by beginning even low level talks initially – but maybe that’s too much to expect with Big Brother U.S. watching over the DFA’s shoulders.

          Sonny Domingo texted me this message, “Can you help me meet Sen. Trillanes? We need his help for our Zambales Fisherfolks re Scarborough. TY.” I suppose this message was prompted by the memory of Sen. Trillanes successfully back-channelling with the Chinese government during the Scarborough Standoff in 2012, when the senator succeeded in mitigating the negative effects of DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario’s deliberate tension-building against China. Trillanes succeeded in the lifting of a Chinese embargo on Philippines exports of mangoes to China, among other things.

          One of the strategic reason for China’s build-up at the Scarborough Shoal is said to be the strategic value of a base there against possible attempts at closing the Luzon Strait to the passage of the PLAN (People’s Liberation Army Navy). A base at the Scarborough Shoal would be ideal to station forces, planes, ships and missiles to counter any such attempt, while monitoring the U.S. base at Subic at the same time. China’s actions are greatly determined by what the U.S. is doing around what China considers its security zone, as one of China’s generals pointed out - China has been invaded from the sea over 400 times.

          The timing of the announcement of the Scarborough Shoal reclamation and building project is reported by some analysts as a response to the impending announcement by the ITLOS (International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea) which is expected to sustain the U.S.-supported position of the Philippine government under BS Aquino. The U.S. has been leading the political and media chorus I projected outcome of the ITLOS case expected to be adverse to China’s position as an “internationally backed” decision that China should abide by (although the U.S. is not even a signatory to the UNCLOS).

          Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has not been sitting back to wait for the U.S. and ITLOS decision and claim of its “international” merit, in the past month alone the RIC (Russia, India and China) announced its consensus against “internationalization” of the SCS issue and its preference for “bilateral negotiations” between countries involved to resolve such issues. This was after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in his Moscow meeting with FM Wang Yi announced the same position earlier. In FM Wang Yi’s meeting with Laos, Cambodia and Brunei, four countries iterated the same position. All these show that it is the U.S. and its minion the Philippines that is isolated.

          In all these it is the Filipino people, represented in the particular situation at the Scarborough Shoal by the Zambales fishermen, that is suffering the ill-conceived and ill-intentioned policy the BS Aquino-Albert del Rosario of “Lawfare” (legal warfare that reeks of insincerity and malicious motives) against China and cutting off bilateral talks that is the only viable and the internationally preferred mode of resolving issues of sovereign interests. Although it would be too embarrassing for the Philippines to step away from the Tribunal case it should resume the suspended bilateral talks with China formally to give the two countries a chance to step away from the U.S. sponsored “Lawfare”, save face for the U.S. and the Philippines, and serve the Filipino people better that way.

          The next administration after the elections should take this path. ###

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Kidapawan Massacre is Ruling Class Failure
April 5, 2016 Blog

                Rina Jimenez David writing in the Inquirer follows the line of the Philippine National Police (PNP), has pointed out the possibility of the NPA organizing the farmers in the protest march that ended in several farmers being shot and killed by the PNP.

                Habito’s evidence for possible NPA support for the protest march are: the professionally prepared placards, placards calling for the removal of the military from NPA areas and lifting of operations against the NPA. These are reasonable observations.

                It is very likely that the NPA indeed have been supporting these farmers and such tactics to create controversy and catharsis through violence and bloodshed absorbed by pitiful poor farmers should not be a surprise anymore – we have seen too much of this in the history of political struggles.

                The use of violence and gory blood displays is a most effective generator of public outrage and sympathy. I remember reading an anti-communist propaganda pamphlet about this entitled “How the Reds create a riot” that end in innocent, sincere participants being bloodied, angry and pushed to join the struggle against the powers that is perceived to commit such oppression.

                Kidapawan, Cotabato, is such a faraway place, so far away from the national eye and media focus that any other protest action not accompanied by such dramatic violence and display of naked oppression can hardly hope to catch national attention. But with visible blood and tears the national media can’t help but headline it.

                If the NPA did indeed have a hand in engineering the bloody scene for media to cast its frenzied feeding for a sensational news story it is still no excuse for the National Government to shoo away the observation of many Filipinos that the incident reflects the massive failure of governance and government’s commitment to service those among its citizens most in need.

                The government failure is not only during this administration of BS Aquino, it traces back to the Cory Aquino years and the Yellow movement’s responsibility for redirecting national and public policy away from State-led national, social, agro-industrial development to private sector-led profit seeking corporate privatization and opening to unfettered globalist predation of the economy.

                Philippine government policy in the era of the Edsa I globalization caused agro-industrial development policy to be swept aside in favor of import dependency from rice, onions and garlic to fish sauce and even fish; irrigation projects that were prioritized during the national development oriented government of the State-centered Marcos government were shelved, agricultural credit programs curtailed, ad nausea. In anytime of El Niño the situation created by the lack of irrigation infrastructure in agricultural areas will decidedly be devastating.

                The government in the particular case also failed to anticipate the tactics and strategies of the insurgency, if indeed they were involved in organizing, agitating and provoking an incident, which is actually very plain to understand and prepare for to ensure no spectacular violence can be exploited. Riot control and management is a very common skill set for police and military riot control commanders and forces already.
                If the NPA indeed were involved in the Kidapawan farmers’ protest and were successful in creating the tragic incident that has been utterly damaging for the government and the nation, one can say that the government of the Yellow movement, that is the Ruling Class behind the government, has been guilty of abetting the crisis and crimes therein. ###               
Our Information Struggle
April 4, 2016


            An apology is in order. I know I promised to keep up with the daily blog schedule, but a project that has been hatching for several months now has turned out to require more time and energy to perfect that I ever expected. But reporting it to you will assuage the frustration, I hope, of those who’ve visited the blog and discovered only the last entry of a week or two ago.

            I have been working on putting together a new TV/Digital show and have just recently signed the production contract with the Global News Network, GNN which is the cable-satellite network of Politics Today program that has been airing for the past eight years. The new show will focus on the Asian Century and the Philippines’ role in the new Multi-Polar milieu of BRICS, with special focus on the Philippines-China dynamics within it.

Countering U.S. inspired disinformation.

            One of the very clear intentions of the TV/Digital information project is to counter and balance off Western and its heavily influenced Philippine mainstream and popular media that is decidedly directed towards sensationalizing and stoking the tensions over the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea issues to justify the enhancement of the U.S. military alliances in the region – with Japan, Australia and using the Philippines – to help in the attempt to perpetuate U.S. hegemony in Asia in this century.

            Below is the picture of our signing of the GNN contract for our show “Journeys… Filipino chronicles through the Asian Century”, which intends to present the World of information from an independent, Asian, non-Amboy and truly Filipino perspective:

            The basic format of our “Journeys…” show will be Asia Today (and in history), Focus: China-Philippines, and the “Oy community” (i.e. Pinoy, Tisoy, Tsinoy, Manoy {Malay-Indo Pinoy}, Inddoy {Indian Pinoy}, ad infinitum) to highlight events in the different ethnic communities that form the greater Pinoy’s cosmopolitan but basically Asian culture.

U.S. Imperialism -Ever Threatening Danger.

            U.S. imperialism has been trying to recover from the two decades of ill-advised neocon designs for the “Project for a New American Century” with the U.S. Treasury draining Clinton-led Yugoslav War followed by the decade of Bush Jr.’s “War on Terror” disguising its imperial designs and continued to be imposed on Obama for another half-a-decade. The Yugoslav War and the bombing of China’s Belgrade Embassy convinced both Russia and China to start seriously building formidable military capabilities to equal and potentially surpass U.S. military might.

            Russia and China have succeeded in many ways to achieve their goals of strengthening their respective military capabilities, but at the same time they’ve also been building the global political alliances to ensure the end of the Uni-Polar World that dominated the last decade of the 20th Century. BRICS became a reality with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa coming together. At the end of the first decades of the 21st Century the U.S. suddenly saw a new reality smack into its face – the Multi-Polar World led by Russia and China rose above the horizon casting its shadow over 60% of the globe.

            From mid-2000s down, looking back from 2016, the U.S. retaliation at the emerging Multi-Polar World apparently started percolating. A few years later think-tank papers on the “Pivot to Asia” appeared and by 2011 this became official Obama policy that ushered in a series of unmistakeably U.S. engineered provocations starting with the Philippine Navy triggered “Scarborough Standoff” when it arrested Chinese fishermen in traditional “commons” and then the Japanese government nationalized the Diaoyu or Senkaku islands triggering Chinese surge of nationalism.

The Information War.

            Since the start of this second decade of the 21st Century an Information War had been initiated by the U.S. to justify and serve as alibi for moving thousands of U.S. Marines to base in Australia, start moving 60% of its military forces to Asia, impose a “re-interpretation” of the Japanese Peace Constitution to allow use of its military to “defend allies” like the Philippines, renew and multiply its military bases in the Philippines, wage the FONOP (Freedom of Navigation Operations) provocations, promote “lawfare” substitute for warfare using the Philippine government as hostage-human shield and patsy.

            The new TV/digital show will be one of the many more media platforms we will be setting up to wage our small but highly effective information guerilla war against the American media leviathan with tentacles, cultural and structural, controlling media content in its hegemony that includes the Philippines. We are successful, of course with the many others such as the Manila Daily Tribune, the Manila Times columnists, and a number of others in Manila Standard, Philippine Star, Malaya, the Bulletin, Business World, etc. There is a smattering in broadcast media exercising independence from the Western or Amboy mindset which we will also reach out to.

Very Soon… regular again.

            Very soon I will be regular again on this blog, and I hope daily. That’s probably after April 17, 2016 when our first “Journeys…” show appears on TV and the Internet. In the meantime I will try to blog-in as often as I can. ###

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Breaking posting: March 24, 2016.

 The report of a Chinese rubber dinghy boat ramming a wooden Filipino fishermen's boat came out four days ago. There were numerous immediate reactions from my compatriot Filipinos with understandable reactions of anger among some and from a few some very extreme reactions like cursing and posting of pictures of a dog defecating on a Chinese flag. The last among these reactions I cited is indeed reprehensible reflecting the crude mentality of those who did it than any legitimate anger.

 But I am very careful not to react immediately to such news and such emotional responses from my compatriots. One that I know personally commented "PutanginanyoTsina" bluntly. He's a former navy personnel and a bit crude, but I was incense since I never heard him speak of the US in such a manner even when that US marine killed the Filipino transvestite. Yet, that should be expected of some of the lower-level minded fellow Filipinos of mine, I said to myself – and postponed my reaction.

 Scrutinizing the news reports about the boat encounter incident I noted several important particulars which emotionally charged reactors wouldn't analyze.

First, the alleged offender in the ramming used "rubber boats" which presumably is the tpe used by the Coast Guards of very country – sturdy, solid but in no way comparable to any steel hull vehicle that could inflict really serious damage. My compatriot Filipinos should note this and give credit where credit is due in that – there was no way any charge of "superior force" being used could be hurled. Despite the rubber boats being used some mainstream Philippine newspapers still used photos of steel hulled huge ships in their reports the images on the incident.

Secondly, the Philippine news reports did narrate the stoning of the rubber boats and portrayed this as the reaction of our compatriot fishermen fending off the rubber boats. The question why the fishermen would be carrying stones (or rocks) was explained by later reports, which could have been only an afterthought to explain a curious situation, that these were weighs for fishing nets used by the fishermen. That may be true as gill nets would need such weights to keep the meshes stretched downward – but they are normally tied to the nets and not of enough numbers for the scene described.

Thirdly, and this came out only much later when the China Daily and other Chinese newspapers reported on the incident, the fishermen used "fire bombs" which I would think are "Molotov cocktails". The Chinese media is always meticulous in its factuality, if there is any information it wants to avoid it will keep quiet but never lie. This is unlike the Philippine mainstream media which, in the case of Philippine Coast Guard use of machine guns against a Taiwanese fishing vessel in 2013 where it lied outright.

The "fire bombs" could be merely the makeshift lamps used by our compatriot fishermen, a beer bottle filled with petrol or kerosene and plugged with a cloth and lighted. That's what activists frequently used, during the early rallies in the 60s and 70s. What is good news is that not even our compatriot fishermen reported any overreaction from the Chinese side, such as using guns. Of course, this time there was no way to report that the Chinese side used "water cannons" on our fishermen because the rubber boats don't carry those.

 The question, however, must be asked by our compatriots watching this development objectively. Is there a possibility that this incident was a contrived event intended for provocation and raise tensions again. This has happened time and again before, from the arrest of Chinese fishermen at the Scarborough in April 2012 using a Nay "grey" ship the BRP Del Pilar to the false accusation by defense secretary Gazmin a year later in October about "concrete lblocks" for Chinese construction which turned out to be anchors for US target practice, etc.

But it was more likely a case of misunderstanding again as even the Chinese news reports stting that the Chinese Coast Guard was carrying out "governance" activities, that a term that must be clarified. In the past our compatriot fishermen would even state candidly and contradicting local sensational but erroneous news reports that they were being prevented form fishing in traditional waters in disputed areas. Is it true they are being prevented now? This must be clarified and subjected to discussion by the authorities from the two government in an amicable manner.

In the final analysis, misunderstanding can and should be avoided – through constant and continuing dialogue and open communications by representatives of the two countries in the spirit of mutual protection. In legal form, this is by way of a Fisheries Agreement. The intransigent position of the BS Aquino-Del Rosario government the past six years in scuttling dialogue with China has prevented this rational solution from being laid down on the table, there is no reason now to delay such talks with Aquino on the way out and Del Rosario already out. ###

Empty Debates, U.S.-BRITS MONEY-LAUNDERING EMPIRE, Western assault on BRICS.

March 22, 2016 Blog… PART 2

Empty Debates, U.S.-BRITS MONEY-LAUNDERING EMPIRE, Western assault on BRICS.

Today is part 2 on the U.S. Money-Laundering Empire. The timing of this article seems impeccable with a new scandal in the $ 100-M Bangladesh national fund hacking heist naming some Chinese hackers and the involvement of major Philippine banks RCBC and the Import-Export Bank.

The news today is the announcement of the Bangladesh government that it is filing a suit against the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of New York… Dhaka accuses the New York Fed of failing to prevent its money from being stolen by Chinese hackers.

Now we know that the fund taken in the ultra-high tech hacking heist was deposited with the New York Fed, although the Fed denies it is responsible the Bangladesh government has no doubt about it:

"Bangladesh's Finance Minister AMA Muhith said…. We've heard that Federal Reserve Bank of New York has completely denied their responsibility. They don't have any right,… Of course, we'll file a case against them. We have kept the money with them. They are responsible,…"

The AlJazeera report we cll this from reported, "…at least 30 transfer requests were made on February 5 using the Bangladesh Bank's SWIFT code, out of which five succeeded in effecting transfers." And quotes Economist Mamun Rashid, who previously headed Citibank NA in Bangladesh,.. "Bangladesh is a client of the Federal Reserve Bank. They must take the responsibility for this incident,…

If in the process of the Bangladesh case filed against the Fed the complicity of U.S. elements are discovered, nobody should be surprised because the U.S.is one of the most corrupt societies and its financial system rotten to the core – and often due to its intertwining mission with the American geopolitical operations against other countries.

At the onset of the Bangladesh national fund hacking heist I recalled one of the greatest money-laundering operations in relatively recent history. It is important to recall for the public record because the generations that came after us the Baby Boomers should know all these in order not to be fooled by Western propaganda touting itself as the guardians of honest banking practices.

That greatest money-laundering operation was organized by the CIA, and anyone can read the comprehensive account of this in the 1991 report by a team of reporters entitled "B.C.C.I. The dirtiest Bank of All" with Cathy Booth, Jay Branegan and Helen Gibson working from Miami, Hong Kong and London respectively.

The several thousand words report starts with quotes from sources of the journalists:

"I could tell you what you want to know, but I must worry about my wife and family - they could be killed."
-- a former top B.C.C.I. officer

"We better not talk about this over the phone. We've found some bugs in offices that haven't been put there by law enforcement."
-- a Manhattan investigator probing B.C.C.I.

 It begins, "Nothing in the history of modern financial scandals rivals the unfolding saga of the Bank of Credit & CommerceInternational (B.C.C.I.), the $20 billion rogue empire that regulators in 62 countries shut down early this month (July 1991) in a stunning global sweep. Never has a single scandal involved so much money, so many nations or so many prominent people….

But B.C.C.I. is more than just a criminal bank…

The more conventional departments of B.C.C.I. handled such services as laundering money for the drug trade and helping dictators loot their national treasuries…. The black network… operates a lucrative arms-trade business and transports drugs and gold…. it often works with Western and Middle Eastern intelligence agencies. The strange and still murky ties between B.C.C.I. and the intelligence agencies of several countries are so pervasive that even the White House has become entangled….

As TIME reported… the National Security Council used B.C.C.I. to funnel money for the Iran-contra deals, and the CIA maintained accounts in B.C.C.I. for covert operations….

The bank also maintained cozy relationships with international terrorists, say investigators who discovered suspected terrorist accounts for Libya, Syria and the Palestine Liberation Organization in B.C.C.I.'s London offices.

The bank's intelligence connections and alleged bribery of public officials around the world point to an explanation for the most persistent mystery in the B.C.C.I. scandal…"

        The following on HSBC speaks for itself:

FEB 11, 2016 @ 05:25 PM 15,869 VIEWS

HSBC Sued For Money Laundering By Families Of Americans Murdered By Mexican Cartels

Dolia Esteves,Constributor

In an unprecedented legal move, families of Americans murdered by Mexican drug cartels filed a lawsuit this week against the London-based HSBC bank for allegedly providing "continuous and systematic material support" to Mexico's Sinaloa, Juárez, and Los Zetas cartels by laundering billions of dollars…

In 2012, HSBC Holdings agreed to pay a record $1.92 billion in fines to U.S. authorities for allowing itself to be used to launder drug money from Mexico. The Department of Justice said at the time that the Sinaloa Cartel and Colombia's Norte del Valle cartel together laundered $881 million through HSBC and a Mexican branch.

In this week's lawsuit, the Plaintiffs accused HSBC of having operated in a "culture of recklessness and corruption" in which employees in their branches in Mexico "routinely accepted deposits of hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, of U.S. dollars from individuals with no identifiable source of income, delivered in multiple boxes specially designed to fit the precise dimensions of the teller windows."

The lawsuit alleges that without being able to integrate their illicit proceeds into the global financial network, the cartels' ability to corrupt and acquire personnel, weapons, planes, communication devices, raw materials for drug production, their operations would be substantially impeded. According to one drug lord, HSBC was "the place to launder money," the complaint says.

The plaintiffs are seeking  judgment against HSBC for the maximum amount allowed under the Anti-Terrorism Act. ###

Saturday, March 19, 2016

When PH Coast Guard used guns, not hoses.

When PH Coast Guard used guns, not hoses.

March 19, 2016 Blog

In light of the misplaced and undisguised glee by which some of my fellow Filipinos greeted a sinking of a Chinese fishing vessel off the waters of Argentina, and the many Facebook comments about Chinese Coast Guard hosing reported Filipino fishing boats, I recall the very embarrassing incident of our Philippine Coast Guard killing a Taiwanese fisherman and causing the country international opprobrium, compelling our nation to apologize and then after much embarrassing hemming and hawing paying compensation.

Most of my compatriots also won’t remember how Malaysia arrested a Filipino fishing boat with a few dozen crew, impounding the vessel at gunpoint, jailing the fishermen for one year that caused one death in jail of a Filipino fisherman. This was about a decade and a half ago. Such an incident shouldn't be forgotten but many of my fellow Filipinos don’t have long memories… just what the Inquirer and ABS-CBN incites in them at the moment.

The item below is from World Socialist Website where I chose to recall the news item and not from Philippine newspapers which persistently show unmitigated bias when reporting on fisheries issues with Philippine neighbors China and Taiwan:

Philippine coast guard kills Taiwanese fisherman in disputed waters
By Joseph Santolan
14 May 2013
Relations between Taiwan and the Philippines soured dramatically over the weekend, in the wake of the Philippine shooting and killing an unarmed Taiwanese fisherman in disputed waters between the two countries. Taipei has demanded that Manila issue an apology, punish those responsible, and compensate the victims by May 15 or the Taiwanese government will place a ban on the entry of any new Filipino workers to the country.

On May 7, the China Daily reported that a flotilla of thirty Chinese fishing vessels was sailing for the disputed South China Sea to conduct a forty-day fishing expedition. The announcement occurred in the final days before the May 13 interim elections in the Philippines; politicians and the Philippine press competed with each other to denounce this as an “invasion” of Philippine waters, and called upon President Aquino’s government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to prevent it.

No group was more strident than Akbayan, a “left” political party formed in the break-up of the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines and now a coalition partner with President Aquino’s Liberal Party. Their congressional representative, Walden Bello, stated: “This is tantamount to an invasion. Now they are sending their fishing vessels. If we don't act strongly to defend and secure our sovereignty, soon they might send their naval warships and troops as well."

He called on the Philippine Coast Guard to “seize any Chinese vessel” and “arrest its crew….”

The discipline Chinese Cost Guard thankfully doesn’t do what this Filipino rabble-rousing politician advised his Coast Guard to do…

Just below is the photo of the body bag holding the victim of our Philippine Coast Guard’s ill-disciplined behavior:


You could also watch the You Tube video of the actual shooting by the Philippine Coast Guard –

Some of my Filipino compatriots, I hope few although I believe it’s the majority, are vehemently denouncing and circulating You Tube videos of PROC Coast Guard vessels hosing down with sea water reported Filipino fishing boats passing close to their ships. But the water hosing, whatever the reason as these can only be clarified by investigation and objective reportage, is certainly more appropriate than firing of machine guns at unarmed fishing vessels whatever the perceived violation if any.

Just recently a Chinese fishing vessel was reportedly sunk off  in the territorial waters of Argentina by the Argentine Coast Guard, and I read many of my Filipino compatriots also rejoiced. The Argentinians rescued the fishermen and there was no casualty. Still, it is not an accepted practice to sink an unarmed civilian ship and investigation will have to be conducted. The only possible justification for shooting an unarmed civilian ship is if there is an attempt to act with hostility such as intending to ram the Coast Guard ship.

I can assure my Filipino compatriots that there are many Philippine fishing boats vulnerable to the charge of fishing in territorial waters in neighboring countries, such as in disputed waters of some less obvious countries with conflicting claims such as Malaysia, and then actual illegal fishing in the waters of Indonesia and all the way to Papua New Guinea. Someday the victimized fishermen’s shoes will be on Philippine feet again. ###