Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hector is also an onion.

Hector is also an onion.
Reaction to Yen Makabenta’s Manila Times December 13, 2015 column

              In this column of Yen Makabenta an apparent regular letter writer to his column named Hector quite impressed him with a piece entitled “The Philippines is an onion” because the writer says analysing it is like peeling an onion that makes one cry.

              Yen gives his impression of Hector, “Hector, as I disclosed earlier, is a management executive by training and has spent some time in top-level consultancy work I think he is an expatriate working and living in our midst. But he also shows such an intimacy with and keen interest in Philippine business and economic affairs, that it is easy to imagine him a Filipino (with no need to prove that he is natural-born).”

              Indeed, a standard management type with the same stock or even canned solutions to the Philippines’ problems and crises offered by the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) type or the Makati Business Club and the PCCI (Philippine Chamber of Commerce) or the American Chamber of Commerce, and the prescriptions of “civil society”, that is:

              Remove the 60/40 nationalist provision of the Constitution protecting Filipino rights in businesses, the anti-dynasty “cure all” law for political corruption, the Freedom of Information bill, and a nebulous “integrated entrepreneurship” idea that I doubt the economic successes he cited such as Vietnam and Asean ever practiced or even ever conceived.

              The removal of the 60/40 national protection provision is the battle cry of the foreign chambers of commerce and their puppet economists in this country will simply transfer control of predatory business tie-ups between Filipino oligarchs and foreign financial predators to larger transnational predatory companies accelerating the extraction and repatriation of this country’s wealth.

              What Hector does not propose is the real reason why Vietnam and many Asean countries, and the star performer of the 21st Century – China, has been doing a whole quantum level than the Philippines is State-owned, dominated and directed economies and enterprises. That many Filipinos swallow Hector’s prescriptions so harmful to Filipinos understanding of the correct development path is the syn-propanethial-S-oxide, the element in onions that cause the tears in onions.

              The “civil society” clack and its Big Business allies raise the red herring of “anti-dynasty” without explaining that these political dynasties are  precisely the social support structures of Big Business in the country for such even larger dynasties likes the Ayalas, the Aboitizes, the Lopezes et al who also serve the global dynasties under the aegis of the old global private banking families. Hector cannot conceive of “national banking”  or “people’s banking” with which China and Vietnam have financially supported growth and development of their nations with such dizzying success.

              The FOI provisions attack government information opacity but omits to “trade secrets” and “investor confidentiality”  of transnational business enforcing privatization of State assets and funcitons under PPP (Public Private Partnerships) and Build-Operate-and Transfer projects to keep corrupt deals and abusive rate setting mechanism under wraps in such privatization contracts as the North and South expressways with the Metro-Pacific group, water privatization with Ayalas and Pangilinan, the MRT/LRT privatization shenanigans ad nausea.

              Filipino politicians have a for pulling the wool over half-baked Filipino middle class and Intelligentsia brains like this FOI or Bam Aquino’s “Philippine Competition Act”  which, when one reads closely is obviously an anti-State monopoly law and protects disguised private monopolies and oligopolies. When the60/40 Constitutional provision is removed then wholesale monopolization by foreign transnationals. Again, China and Vietnam’s success, as well as many other Asian and Asean states’ success is due to State monopolies in energy, heavy industries among other commanding economic assets..

              It is not surprising that Hector’s view invited a certain chauvinist American named Robert Wagner’s praise saying, “Well done, Yen. Hector is, most probably – like me – an American who has decided to make the Philippines his home, and – like me – is pained to see what has become of the place over the years.

It is obvious that many of your fellow MT columnists are staunch and curmudgeonly Anti-US, the bases for which are rooted in grade school history lessons that were never properly written by folks who were more interested in pushing pointed agendas of their own. Your “daring” (if I may say) to break ranks and invoke the hard-yet-necessary envoy of a “Kano” says quite a lot about your integrity as a Journalist.

Speaking the truth in and/or about this country is, as we all know, very much fraught with real danger. There can be no real solutions, however, without it.”

Hector and this Robert Wagner do not speak the truth, they speak lies which grievously some Filipinos still swallow hook-line and sinker. The basic truth about the roots of the Philippine crisis is the abortion of its industrialization program and sovereign economic development program as soon as the U.S. and its Makati Business Club succeeded in its coup and installed Cory Aquino who posthaste started dismantling the economic foundations set up then – the State corporations in energy and oil, steel and engineering, etc.

Herman Tiu Laurel

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