Daily Archives: July 15, 2016



July 15, 2016


( Malaya Business Insight Editorial, July 15, 2016)
A TEST in diplomacy for the new administration.

Such is the effect of the ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) of the United Nations favoring the Philippines in its territorial dispute with China regarding islets and shoals in the South China Sea.

A few weeks ago, candidate Rodrigo Duterte displayed his flair for drama and histrionics when he said in one presidential debate that he will plant the Philippine flag in the disputed area and let the Chinese military shoot him.

This image he intentionally painted in the heat of the campaign earned Duterte a good number of votes, and his followers who believed in everything he says are waiting for signs of similar bragadoccio now that the PCA decision favoring the Philippines has been released. None has come.

It’s all showbiz, as entertainment writers would say.

Had we lost the case, it would not have been much of a problem because China had earlier made known that it will reject whatever decision the arbitral court would issue.

Winning the suit filed with the PCA is now engendering more controversy and problems both in and out of the country.

In the Philippines, Filipinos have been given false hopes that the decision could be implemented, that China would dismantle its permanent structures in Scarborough shoal, etc., or would never again shoo-away local fishermen from fishing in Bajo de Masinloc.

Truth is, the territorial sovereignty issue is beyond the scope of the PCA. The arbitral tribunal has no jurisdiction and no power to decide on any ownership issue, as China correctly pointed out.

Possession and ownership remain outstanding issues despite the favorable ruling of the arbitral court, although people tend to think that this has been resolved. Another court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) may handle these concerns, but inasmuch as the PCA said these are just rocks jutting out from the water and not islands, then there is not much to fight over or talk about.

This reality on the implication of the court ruling has impelled Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay to be cautious and reserved in announcing the nation’s victory in the case.

Eager-beaver netizens are harsh on Yasay, accusing him of downgrading the euphoria they felt with the announcement of the PCA’s favorable ruling. It is time these citizens who are active in social media be chastised for arrogance.

Meantime, we all look forward to President Duterte’s sane and responsible handling of this diplomatic matter with China.

The rule of thumb is for him to always take the path of peaceful dialogue and negotiations, putting belligerent confrontation out of the question.



July 15, 2016
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By Arturo P. Garcia
Los Angeles – Scores of Filipino American community leaders  based in Los Angeles unanimously passed a resolution supporting  the stand of Environment Secretary Gina Lopez stand to  stop the opening of Tampakan copper and gold mining project in South Cotabato and end destructive mining in Mindanao

In the weekly TALAKAYAN SA KAPIHAN SA HFT, moderator Al P. Garcia  said: “Tampakan is on top of hundreds of hectares of agricultural land, the food basket of Mindanao. We are against  a 700-hectare open-pit mine. It will dry up Lake Buluan and destroy the Philippines’ bread basket in Mindanao.”

Dr. Orly Cagampan of the Knights of Rizal-HFT said, ” We are one with DENR Secretary Gina Lopez  who said she would stand against any move to lift South Cotabato’s ban on open pit mining, Tampakan’s preferred extraction method, which she described as “horrible.”

No To Destructive Mining in Mindanao

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Macky Fortu of the Rotary Club also said, “The project, which would also encompass Sultan Kudarat and Davao del Sur, has been opposed by residents because of its massive impact on their water source Lake

Besides the mine tailings and open pit mining entails other extractive mining effects like mercury poisoning and denudation and destruction of forest covers in the area.”

Other leaders who signed and supported the resolution were Sir Jimmy Salazar of the KOR-California, Sir Tony Berango of KOR-California, Sir Dr.Orly Cagampan of KOR-HFT,  Lyka Montemayor of Manila Terrrace, Lorna Dumapias of Filipino Christian Church (FCC), Andrew Celi of KmB, Paul Julian of FACLA. Sid Balatan of the Christian Fellowship Outreach CFO), Sir Vic Tan of KOR-California, Edwin Torres and Art Garcia of Alliance Philippines.