Monday, February 29, 2016

Herman Tiu Laurel's Facebook exchange with an Amboy

Here's an example of my exchange of fire with an Amboy who are all, mind you, not residents of the Philippines and a number of them confirmed to be "Filipinos" living in the USA, on Facebook:

Sunday, February 28, 2016

HTL Blog Entry 28 February 2016

After two months we are now ready to resume our blog entries. Several factors kept us from refocusing on the blog. It is not that there are fewer tasks. On the contrary, there are more. What has happened is that the road ahead is, the fog lifted. Thanks also to encouragement and request from readers and friends calling for the resumption of the blog. Also thanks to Facebook, learning and spending some weeks immersed in Facebook taught me many lessons and sharpened the mission and convinced me to refocus.

As Confucius says: "The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools" What is our work? The crafting of a better World and Nation based on learning truth from facts – particularly historical facts. All the confusion I the World today is created by the lack of reference to and/or confusion in the understanding of history. The raging issues in this land we call Philippines are: relations of this nation with the Big Powers of the 21st Century, and resolving the historical truth upon which its political discourse is being based.

Let's begin this blog with the recent "Conference on Maritime Security Cooperation in the South and East China Seas" organized by the RIPS and ISD (International Studies Department)-De La Salle University on the 26th of February, 2016. RIPS is Research Institute for Peace and Security, Tokyo. Some news headlines in Western controlled media emanating from this conference depict the discussions thereat as "unified against China".

"Details of the conference: International Studies Department, De La Salle University, 10 February 2016--The Research Institute for Peace and Security (RIPS), Tokyo and the International Studies Department of the College of Liberal Arts, De La Salle University will be hosting an international conference on Maritime Security Cooperation in the South and East China Seas on 26 February 2016 on the fourth floor of the Henry Sy Building, De La Salle University.  The conference will examine a claimant state's activities in the East and South China Seas and how these activities have generated territorial disputes and tensions in the region.

The conference will also discuss how other claimant states can cooperate to discourage this state's expansionist agenda and to convince it to observe and comply with international law.  The organizers have invited distinguished scholars and analysts from seven maritime states in the Asia-Pacific who will discuss how their respective countries are coping with the rising tension in the region generated by the territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas."

The slanted news reports follows the continuous news reports from Obama's Sunnyland meet with Asean portraying a consensus or unity of Asean and/or the "international community" against China on the China Sea issues. Nothing can be farther from the truth, and the events at the RIPS/ISD-De La Salle Unversity conference on Maritime Security. But first this report from our volunteer researcher Zaida Sonsona whom we requested to dig into the RIPS and the personalities in the conference:

"The Conference on Maritime Security Cooperation in the South and East China Seas is co-organized by the International Studies Department, De La Salle University (DLSU) and Research Institute for Peace and Security (RIPS), Tokyo.

Dr. Masashi Nishihara, President of the Research Institute for Peace and Security, Tokyo, a member of the Trilateral Commission (Asia Pacific Group). He wrote several papers on China and its relation to the region's security and that of the US on RIPS policy perspectives annual report.

Research Institute for Peace and Security (RIPS) is an independent research institution established in Tokyo in October 1978. The RIPS conducts research on issues of national and international peace and security, publishes research reports, and proposes policy recommendations.

The 'partnership' of the Philippines and Japan on this symposium is understandable because both has its stake on the disputed areas in the East and South China Sea against China. The participation of other countries through their representatives coming from major think tank groups who did studies on China's maritime advancement and the general maritime security in the region.

And the US is definitely in the picture with its representative Dr. Patrick Cronin,

Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program Center for New American Security. Dr. Cronin is a Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Previously, he was the Director of the Institute for National Strategic Studies at National Defense University and has had a 25-year career inside government and academic research centers, spanning defense affairs, foreign policy, and development assistance.

Dr. Cronin served more than two years at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, where he was the Director of Studies, Editor of the Adelphi Papers, and Executive Director of the Armed Conflict Database. Prior to joining IISS, Dr. Cronin was Director of Research and Senior Vice President at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. In 2001, he was confirmed by the Senate to the third-ranking position at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

While serving as Assistant Administrator for Policy and Program Coordination, Dr. Cronin led agency, interagency, and international policy deliberations, as well as the interagency task force that helped design the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). From 1998 until 2001, Dr. Cronin served as Director of Research at the U.S. Institute of Peace. {we highlight the latter because of its impact on the destabilization of Mindanao}

It would be interesting to note the latest report of CNAS - "Red Alert: The Growing Threat to U.S. Aircraft Carriers" by Kelley Sayler

The counterparts here are also certified pro-US like Roilo Golez who is very vocal about his dislike on China and the recent one was the rally against China on the EDSA Uno anniversary.

And Mr. Vicente Agdamag, Deputy-Director General, National Security CouncilPMA Class of 1977. He is also a US-trained resource strategist.

The other speakers that constituted the said symposium are all from the maritime and security groups that did studies on the regional security.

Basically the forum is all about China's growing 'threat' to maritime security that is generally focus on the US and other Asian countries especially those who are very active in pursuing its claim in the contested area in the SCS."

 We gathered reports from De La Salle sources who attended the conference and we surprised to learn that the in reporting our sources noted with particular emphasis that "China was not represented" which implied dissatisfaction over the unbalanced perspectives that would be heard in the conference. Most significant of all is the report that the Indonesian and Malaysian participants clearly opposed the view that their countries are taking sides in what the representatives viewed as "Great Power" politics.

The Indonesia representative maintained that their country wants to play the role of the "honest broker" in the Asean and in the region to ensure dialogue and communication so the issues can be resolved peacefully. The Malaysian representative clearly stressed that their country has exceedingly good economic relaitons with China and will not jeopardize this by taking sides in the apparent call of the American and Japanese representatives to take side against China.

Our source highlighted the significance of the Indonesian and Malaysia representatives' background as CSIS, Center for Strategic and International Studies with has a reputation for being a research arm of aggressive U.S. intentions, luminaries in their countries. Yet these representatives maintain the independence and freedom of their views and reflect their nations' national interests. ###

Tuesday, February 23, 2016