China Did it Again…Passing the Blame to the Philippines and Playing the Downtrodden on the Issue of the West Phil. Sea

China Did it Again…Passing the Blame to the Philippines

and Playing the Downtrodden on the Issue of West Phil. Sea

By Apolinario Villalobos

Here is another disturbing dispatch from Reuter on the latest declaration of China as regards the disputed West Philippine Sea:

“BEIJING/MANILA (Reuters) – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the Philippines’ case against China at an arbitration tribunal over rival claims in the South China Sea had strained relations and that it was up to the Philippines to heal the rift.”( By Sui-Lee Wee and Manuel Mogato)

China is not stopping from presenting an image that oozes with weakness, humility and innocence to illicit sympathy from fence-sitting nations as regards the West Philippine Sea where she has built artificial islands that anytime from now shall be inhabited by thousands of her military personnel, as well as, equipped with military facilities. This is despite her insistence that the reclaimed islands shall be utilized for researches and emergency rescues, although, her covert objective, is first and foremost, expansion of her territory. She is perceived with disdain as a double-talker. Proof to this was when she declared that reclamation in the West Philippine Sea was stopped, but weeks later, the world was gaping at the wonder of the transformation of an atoll into a “high-tech island”, complete with military facilities and runway.

The issue on the West Philippine Sea shall put to test the guts of the United Nation’s International Tribunal charged with the Law of the Sea. Will it go on with the investigations and trials despite the vehement refusal of China to participate as she does not recognize the tribunal’s authority? What will the other co-members of China in the UN Security Council do? Will they join hands and gang-up on her? Will the United Nations order the dismantling of the facilities on the disputed natural and man-made islands, once the tribunal decides in favor of the Philippines?

Practically, the economy of the whole world is in the tight grip of China, as even powerful nations are indebted to her. The Chinese President was recently a guest of Honor in London and accorded very special treatment which their high officials unabashedly admitted to be equated with “economic assistance”. China has also, spearheaded the opening of a bank that competes with the World Bank in offering loans to distressed countries.

The peoples around the globe practically depend on China – from their toothpick, gadgets, food products, equipment, and machineries. Due to the cheap Chinese labor, companies from all over the world, transferred the manufacturing of their goods in China, although, marketing of the products are done in their home countries  In this view, it would seem that once the machines of factories in China will stop, the whole world shall come to a complete stop, too. When the Chinese money declined in value, other moneys in the world followed suit. So, what other manifestations do we need to show that the Chinese, have by their wily manipulation, able to control the world, and that the leaders of the nations that are supposed to be defenders of democracy, are just playing charades to avoid losing face?

Meanwhile, in the “game of the West Philippine Sea”, the pawn is the Philippines…if China will get what she wants, it would be goodbye to the rest of the claims by other SEA nations!

China: from reclusive to cunningly dominant and aggressive

China: from reclusive to cunningly dominant and aggressive

By Apolinario Villalobos

When the Philippines rejected the move for the extension of the U.S. military base in the Philippines, China saw its chance to stealthily proceed with her claim of a vast area of the West Philippine Sea. The Big American Brother, grossly hated by militant Filipinos has been booted out of the Philippine soil, making the country, practically vulnerable in the face of threats from inside and out.

Still losing no hope, the Americans thought of using the yearly joint military exercises between the Philippines and their “visiting” US military forces, a move which, however, did not deter China from pursuing her massive reclamation projects in the disputed West Philippine Sea. In no time, the world has witnessed the “birth” of an island, complete with an airstrip and high-tech military structures, although, what China kept on insisting was that they were for marine research and rescue purposes. She even had the temerity of accusing, instead, the Philippines, as the one building structures on Kalayaan Island, where can be found a “village” of huts and unpaved short airstrip, and as for the “military structure”, it is actually, a hardly- floating, corroded and barnacle-covered ship.

Lately, the Americans discovered the presence of a Chinese naval ship in the waters of Alaska. All that the Americans did was throw a question into the air, as to what such ship was doing in their territory. They never ever thought that China might have been conducting surveys on how to tow into place a floating island that she is very much capable of building, and which no country can dispute, for as long as it is outside their territory. A floating island may just be huge barges with the area of several football fields overlaid with soil and planted to grass and shrubs. The Chinese have been successful in building an island in the disputed West Philippine Sea, and they proved that no nation has been courageous enough to stop them, not even the United Nations.  So, why not build more in other oceans? Such is how China conceives what a modern-day expansionism should be!

Building an island is no different from reclaiming fringing coastal areas that would eventually extend the territory of a country. Many countries are doing this. Coastal reclamation is a discreet extension that a nation can do to expand its territory. Expansion may accommodate an airport or provide more area for an existing wharf or conglomerate of business districts. Practically, many countries are doing this, which would eventually change maritime maps, and the face of the earth.

Manila reclaimed a big portion of the Manila Bay which is now being developed into a “Dream City”.  But before that, and during the time of Marcos, a big portion of the bay has been reclaimed to accommodate the whims of Imelda – the Hotel Sofitel (formerly, Philippine Plaza Hotel), Folk Arts Theater, Philippine International Convention Center, Film Center, Cultural Center of the Philippines and many other structures to support the country’s tourism industry. But China has gone further when she has embarked into a bold maritime colonization, as she squint her eyes to survey the vast bodies of oceans for her taking!

On economy, China has flooded the world with her cheap products churned out by factories that are alive with cheap labor. This phenomenon has practically devastated the local production of third world countries which could not stand against the almost give-away prices of China products. She has also been lenient in granting loans to allied countries which eventually, she now has a fatal economic stranglehold. She even spearheaded the founding of a bank akin to the UN-supported international banks that extend loans to member countries. Include here the standing loans that tied even powerful countries to this once reclusive country behind the Bamboo Curtain.  The wise moves of China virtually made her in control of the whole world!

Today, China is feigning a downhill trend of her economy, which of course, pulled down along, countries that have become dependent on her. This phenomenon includes the Philippines that now suffer from the weakening of her peso.

China is not a fool to reveal “how much” she is really worth. No nation ever knows the volume of her gold bullions and total reserves. What China may be showing the world, and which she can afford to devalue could be just an insignificant portion of her wealth, which may still be comparably even better than any powerful nation. China knows that the longer she maintains the downhill economic trend, the more harm that it can do to the world, and the better for her to tighten her stranglehold.

Meanwhile, China knows that not even the United Nations can force her to dismantle what had been constructed in the Spratleys. If the UN or the United States, for that matter, with her “Manifest Destiny”, had been contemplating on this decision for the sake of the rest of nations that use the disputed maritime highway, they should have demanded for the stoppage of reclamations long time ago, as they were not discreetly carried on, anyway. The goings on were not kept from the world’s scrutiny. The progress has been monitored via the internet, and which even elicited blogs of anticipation and wonderment from different parts of the world. To save face, the United States has been maintaining a stance, as if ready to strike, but for those in the know, it is more like of a shadow boxing, than one that can land a painful punch.

China cunningly employed a little sacrifice in the beginning, when she offered cheap labor to ensnare the world manufacturers into her fold, then she made the world economically dependent on her by being lax on her loans and flooding the world with cheap basic commodities, peddled influence to break the cohesiveness of Southeast Asian nations that now cannot stand as one against her on the crucial issue of the West Philippine Sea which she is considering as launching ground for her other ventures in other parts of the world. And, finally,

manipulated the world economic trend by devaluing her currency.

So what else can China do? Perhaps, show more vintage world maps of islands with Chinese names! China might even show a map of California with Chinese name!

China is Wise

China is Wise

By Apolinario Villalobos

Politics aside, I could say that China has utilized wisdom to the maximum in her effort to dominate the world. The country is the most populated nation on earth, hence, plenty of hands available for all kinds of job, making labor very much cheap. Historically, too, the nation has plenty of wise men, one of whom is Confucius, aside from scientists who invented many contraptions, even wooden nose sold to one of the members of the Magellan expedition to the Philippines in the 1500s.

With cheap labor, her enterprising citizens opened sweat shops for the manufacture of cheap goods, even going to the extent of counterfeiting brands that are originally made in distant Italy. Cellphones, especially, Nokia that is originally a Scandinavian product was not spared, as counterfeit models have been mass-produced, and ironically, with some models even made with better features, one of which is the ability to alter the voice of the caller! The international policy against forgery and fraud is proved no match to China. Product owners finally decided to open factories in China to give credence to the “made in China” mark. And, as the saying goes, the rest is history. So, today China prospers!…the first step for the rest of her endeavor.

China practically, has flooded the world with her produce – from toothpicks and cotton buds to the deadly weapons and jets. What materials that she does not have, she gets from other countries such as the mineral-laden sands and ores from the Philippines, a struggling country because of its corrupt political system. Tons of these sands are mined along the beaches of the coastal areas of the Philippines while residues laden with chemical from inland mines flow to the rivers and streams, decimating the fish population in the process.

In order to expand her boundaries, China went back to her history and cited names of islands on which her fishermen of long ago rested, and which are unfortunately being claimed by other Asians, too. She tested the temper of these claimants by first constructing a seemingly harmless beacon facility on one of the islands. When only whimpers from them have been heard, the facility was improved to become a fully- equipped island- barracks.

She eyed the other islands and still went on with tests for reactions if she does something, such as building of airstrip on one. There was a howl, but just that – a helpless howl from one of the claimant nations. Being helpless, coming from a fledgling member of an equally helpless organization of small countries, she went ahead with her massive reclamation…a success!

There are howls here and there, and complaints lodged somewhere, but China is furiously serious in claiming what she says is hers. Not even big nations can move, for how can they, with their huge debts that practically shackle them to her influence? China has finally, whipped the world with her economic clout!

Indeed, China is wise…starting with the lowly toothpick and cotton buds that the world needs she is now lording over the nations whose farms made way to condos and malls – agricultural nations who face starvation if they defy her!

Now, she is contemplating on building massive floating islands that shall become her moveable territorial boundaries in the West Philippine Sea or rather, South China Sea, the better for her to show tangible proof that indeed, that body of water is hers!

Can the United Nations whose committees are manned by representatives from third world countries indebted to China, be wiser? Can the United States, the nation with self-determined destiny as guardian of other nations be wiser?  Will the defying acts of China that practically humiliate the United Nations, signal the latter’s “demise”?

Ang Mga Ninuno ng mga Tsino ay Mangangalakal, hindi Mananakop…kaya hindi sila dapat idahilan sa issue ng West Philippine Sea

Ang mga Ninuno ng mga Tsino ay Mangangalakal
Hindi Mananakop…kaya hindi sila dapat idahilan
sa issue ng West Philippine Sea
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Unang-una, hindi dahil ang West Philippines na tinatawag ding “South China Sea” ay may “China”, ay nangangahulugang pagmamay-ari na ito ng mga Tsino. Ang pangalang “South China Sea” ay ginamit bilang reference o batayan ng direksyon ng mga manlalayag noong unang panahon. Wala ni isa mang pahina ng history books ang nagsasabi na sinakop ng Tsina ang karagatang ito. Mangangalakal ang mga Tsino noon kaya kung saan-saan sila nakakarating at ginawang animo ay “highway” ang pinagtatalunang karagatan. Nadatnan ng mga Kastila ang mga Tsino noon bilang tahimik na mga negosyante, subalit may pagkatuso nga lang. Sinona o pinatira sila sa iisang lugar sa kabila ng Pasig at tinawag itong “Parian”. Tinawag din silang “Sangley”, na ang ibig sabihin ay “trader”. Ang Parian ay ang maunlad na ngayong Manila Chinatown, ang kauna-unahang Chinatown sa buong mundo.

Patunay sa kawalan nila ng intensyong manakop ang hindi pagtulong ng emperor ng Tsina noon sa mga Tsino sa Manila, nang mag-aklas ang mga ito laban sa pagmamalabis ng mga Kastila na umabot sa madugong labanan. Ayaw kasi ng emperor nila noon na umalis sila ng Tsina at tumira sa ibang lugar, kaya lumalabas na para silang itinakwil. Nagkaroon pa nga ng tinatatawag na “Bamboo Curtain” noon dahil sa inasal ng Tsina na hindi pakikipagrelasyon ng lubusan sa ibang bansa.

Kaya ang sinasabi ng mga lider ng Tsina ngayon na “nakakahiya” sa kanilang ninuno kung hindi nila ipaglalaban ang “karapatan” nila sa West Philippine Sea ay malabo. Ideya na lang yan ng mga pinuno ng Tsina ngayon dahil nangangailangan sila ng mapaglalagyan ng iba pa nilang mamamayan na umaapaw na sa mainland China, at nangangalap din sila ng pagmumulan ng langis na sinasabing matatagpuan sa West Philippine Sea. Bumabagsak na kasi ang Tsina at nadagdagan pa ng problema nila sa Hongkong dahil gustong kumalas mula sa mainland ang mga Honkongites.

Noong panahon ni Gloria Arroyo, nagkaroon ng joint exploration sa West Philippine Sea ang Tsina at Pilipinas, para sana sa joint exploitation ng matatagpuang langis. Subalit nang makumpirma na mayaman nga sa langis ang ilalim ng karagatan, biglang kumalas ang Tsina sa magandang pakikipagtulungan. Tumahimik sila, at nang bumuwelta ay umiba na ang tono ng kanilang sinasabi, at inungkat pa ang “nine dash” na kaek-ekan nila. Dahil sa “nine dash” na yan, pinalabas nilang “sakop” daw nila ang malaking bahagi ng West Philippine Sea, kaya nag-double time sila sa pag-reclaim ng mga bahura upang maging artificial islands ang mga ito. At, dahil pa rin diyan ay nagkaroon na ng “extension” ang kanilang nasasakop na teritoryo. Ngayon, lumalabas tuloy na talagang legal ang pangangamkam nila! Mga tuso nga…hindi na nagbago!

Mula noong naging aktibo ang Tsina sa pag-reclaim ng mga bahura sa West Philippine Sea, nasira rin ang maganda sanang samahan ng mga Pilipinong mangingisda sa mga kapwa nila mangingisdang Tsino, pati na sa mga nagpapatrulyang Chinese Navy. Nagpapalitan pa sila noon ng pagkain. Ang alam kasi ng lahat noon ay “neutral” ang nasabing karagatan dahil may iba pang mga bansang umaako sa mga bahagi nito, tulad ng Brunei, Malaysia at Vietnam, at wala pang maayos na napapagkasunduan hanggang ngayon.

Ayaw ng Tsina na mamagitan ang United Nations dahil alam nitong kung makialam ang ibang bansa, lalo na ang malalaki, ay matatalo sila. Ang gusto ng Tsina ay bilateral talk lamang sa pagitan nito at ng Pilipinas. Kung mangyayari ito, Pilipinas naman ang matatalo dahil siguradong dodominahen ng makapangyarihang Tsina ang usapan.

Ngayon, ang mayabang na Amerika ay walang magawa kundi mamangha at magbanta. Ang mga bansa namang nakiki-angkin din ng bahagi sa nasabing karagatan ay tahimik lamang dahil walang magawa. Ang isang maliit na hakbang kasi na gagawin ng maliliit na bansang nakiki-angkin ay maaaring gawing dahilan ng Tsina upang lumusob sa kanila. Sa katusuhan ng Tsina, maaari nilang sabihin na ito ay “act of aggression” o di kaya ay “trespassing”, at ang matindi ay baka sabihin nilang nilulusob sila! Hindi malayong mangyari ito, dahil sa kasisinungaling nila, pinapalabas pa nga nila na sila ang inaapi ng Pilipinas dahil nagsampa ito ng reklamo sa United Nations!

Kung sakaling magkaroon ng labanan sa karagatang ito, ang kawawa ay mga bansa ng Timog –kanlurang Asya na ilang daang milya lang ang layo sa mga bahura, kung saan ay mayroon nang base-militar ang Tsina. Malabong asahan ang Amerika na wala naman talagang naitulong sa Pilipinas mula pa noong pinalitan nila ang mga Kastila bilang mananakop. Nagtayo nga sila ng mga eskwelahan, mga tulay at kung anu-ano pa, pero ang kapalit naman ay ang walang pakundangang pakialam sa pamamalakad ng ating gobyerno at pangangahas (exploitation) sa ating likas-yaman (natural resources).

Ang malinaw ngayon, naisahan ng mga Tsino ang wise na mga Amerikano. Ang dahilan kung bakit nagkaroon ng base- militar sa Pilipinas noon ang mga Amerikano ay upang mapangalagaan nila ang kanilang mga interes sa rehiyong ito ng Asya, kaya nga hanggang ngayon ay may base-militar pa rin sila sa Okinawa, Japan. Malas lang nila dahil napatalsik sila noong panahon ni Erap Estrada. Ang ginawang paraan na lang upang maparamdam ang kanilang presensiya sa rehiyon ay ang pagkaroon ng taunang joint military exercises na nakapaloob sa isang tratado na kinukuwestiyon naman ng mga makabayang sector. Ngayon, ang pinakamasakit na black-eye nila ay ang kabiguang maunahan ang mga Tsino sa West Philippine Sea. Akala nila kasi ay hanggang pagnenegosyo at pamemeke lang ang alam ng mga Tsino. Dahil sa mga pangyayari, napatunayang hindi pala ganoon kagaling ang Amerika, na nagbigay ng kahulugan sa kasabihang, “matalino man daw ang matsing ay napaglalangan din!”

May Pag-asa pa kayang Makabawi ang Pilipinas sa West Philippine Sea?

I blogged this on September 10, 2014 in anticipation of the plans of China, which unfortunately are happening today, 2015…ang mga Pilipino naiwang nakanganga, at ang gobyerno, nagmukhang tanga!

May Pag-asa Pa Kayang Makabawi
ang Pilipinas sa West Philippine Sea?
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Masakit sabihing parang wala nang pag-asang magkaroon pa ng katuturan ang mga paghihirap ng Pilipinas sa pagsampa ng mga kaso sa international court laban sa Tsina tungkol sa usapin sa West Philippine Sea. Hayagang sinabi ng Tsina na hindi nila rerespetuhin ano man ang kalalabasan ng imbestigasyon. Ibig sabihin, hindi nila pinaniniwalaan ang poder ng korte, maski pa ito ay korte ng United Nations….kaya, para ano pa?

Ang ASEAN naman na inaasahang magbubuklod laban sa Tsina ay halatang wala ring magawa bilang isang organisasyon. Ang Amerika na halos panikluhuran ng administrasyon upang masandalan sa harap ng banta ng Tsina, ay pinaiigting ang joint exercises at ng sinasabing kasunduan sa pagkakaroon ng animo ay pansamantalang “kampo” at mga daungan sa Pilipinas, mga bagay na hinahadlangan naman ng iba’t ibang makabayang grupo. Sa isang banda ay tama ang mga grupong ito dahil parang ang gusto lang ng Amerika sa Pilipinas ay gamitin nila itong harang sa anumang hindi kanais-nais na kilos ng Tsina sa mga susunod na panahon. Kaya, magkabombahan man, Pilipinas ang unang tatamaan!

Subali’t habang nagpapakita ng pakikipagtulungan ang Amerika sa Pilipinas, pinapalakas naman nito ang ugnayan sa mga Tsino. Ibig sabihin, parang pinaglalaruan lang ng Amerika ang Pilipinas. Malaki daw ang utang ng Amerika sa Tsina.

Nagkaroon kamakaylan lamang ng isang exhibit ng old maps na nagpapakita na noon pa mang unang panahon, ay talagang wala namang ginawang pag-aangkin ang Tsina sa kahit na anong bahagi ng mga karagatan sa paligid ng Pilipinas. Ang mga Tsino noon ay “dumadayo” lamang sa mga isla ng Pilipinas upang makipagkalakalan, hanggang sa magkaroon sila ng sariling distrito sa Maynila na tinawag na “parian” noong panahon ng Kastila, na ngayon ay ang maunlad na Chinatown sa Manila. Sa exhibition ng mga lumang mapa, wala ni isa sa mga ito ang maski may kapirasong pagtukoy ng pag-angkin ng anumang bahura ng Pilipinas, lalo na sa pinag-aagawang West Philippine Sea.

Ang bagong henerasyon ng mga lider ng Tsina ang malinaw na may pakana sa pangangamkam ng mga bahura sa bahagi ng kanlurang karagatan ng Pilipinas, kaya pati ang mga karatig- bansa ay nadamay na rin, dahil pati ang dati na nilang kinikilalang mga bahura ay inaangkin na rin ng Tsina.

Sa mga bansa na may kinalaman sa problemang angkinan, bukod tanging Pilipinas ang mukhang kawawa. Ang nag-iisang barkong kinulapulan na ng kalawang at talaba, na ginawang headquarters ng mga bantay-dagat ay nagmumukhang yagit kung ihambing sa mga dambuhalang barko ng Tsina, at maski ng Vietnam. Maaaring kung hindi pa nabahura ay hindi pa ginawang headquarters at malamang naiwang nakatiwangwang ang bahurang inaangkin ng Pilipinas. Malamang pa rin na, natayuan na rin ng headquarter ng Tsina tulad ng ginawa nila sa ibang bahura. Ngayon, may isa pang bahura silang pinatatayuan din mga estruktura, at pasok na pasok din ito sa teritoryo ng Pilipinas. Sa kabila nito, walang magawa ang Pilipinas kundi manood!

Paano pang matatanggal ang mga estruktura ng Tsina sa mga bahurang pinag-aagawan, kung yong iba ay kung ilang dekada nang nakatayo at ang isa pa ay patapos na?

Malaki ang tiwala ng Tsina sa kakayahan nito ngayon pagdating sa mga bagay na may kinalaman sa kaunlaran – pang-ekonomiya man o pandigma. At dahil dito, hindi basta-basta yuyuko ito sa anumang ipag-uutos ng maski isang international Court. Nakikita ng Tsina na humihina ang United Nations bilang organisasyon ng mga bansa. Wala itong nagawa sa mga nangyayaring kaguluhan sa Middle East at Yuropa. Nakikita at nararamdaman ng Tsina ang kahinaan ng Amerika na dinadaan na lang sa verbal bluff ang mga babala. Napahiya si Obama nang may ilang bansa sa Middle East na hindi lubos na nagbigay sa kanya ng supurta upang “mapulbos” ang Islamic State (IS). Kaya ano pa ang magagawa nito sa Southeast Asia na ang ekonomiya nga lang ay nakagapos na sa Tsina? ….kaya kahit toothpick at cotton buds ng mga bansang miyembro ng ASEAN ay galing Tsina!

Malamang sa malamang, kompromiso ang mangyayari sa West Philippine Sea kung saan hahayaan na lang na pangasiwaan ng Tsina ang mga bahurang napatayuan na nito ng mga estruktura, dahil wala naman talagang kakayahang bumangga ang Pilipinas dito. Maaaring naghihintay lamang ang Tsina ng isang provocative na kilos ng Pilipinas upang gumawa ito ng nakakabahalang aksiyon…na sana ay hindi mangyari. Kaya, kung sa tanong na may magagawa pa ang Pilipinas, sa kabila ng mga inihain nitong reklamo sa international court…para sa akin, ang sagot ay isang malungkot na…wala.

The Double Talk of China on the Issue of West Philippine Sea…and America’s late entry into the scene

The Double Talk of China
on the Issue of West Philippine Sea
…and America’s late entry into the scene
by Apolinario Villalobos

Going straight to the point, the problem with China as regards the issue on the West Philippine Sea is the tendency of her leaders to “double talk”. Simply put, they talk with fingers crossed behind them. They say that the Philippines is the one doing massive reclamations in that disputed body of water, when all that such poor third-world country has done is try to keep a barnacle-covered ship afloat as a “station” on one of the reefs within her territory, for her haggard coast guards, as well as, keep alive, the spirit of a handful of her citizens on Kalayaan island. The whole world can see this, in contrast to what the giant Asian country is doing such as destroying the habitats of marine life, as they are topped with soil to become fake islands to accommodate airstrips and heavy bunkers for warfare armaments.

To the United States, they offered the use of the soon-to-be finished facilities which the Chinese say are intended for “rescue” operations and protection of the said area. But to the neighboring small Asian countries, their “territory” is “off limits”. The Chinese leaders say that they are respecting the area as a free international maritime highway, yet, they challenge the boats and planes that sail and fly by. They are also saying that they are not disturbing the peace that had been prevailing over the area, yet, they are naïve to the fact that since they started their unrestrained reclamation activities, such peace became a word of the past.

What made the matter worse is America’s getting into the picture…this late. Had this self-proclaimed “protector” of democracy listened to the clamor of the Philippines very long time ago, while reclamations have not been initiated yet, negotiations could have been possible. But with the project almost finished which the Chinese leaders declare to the world as akin to a simple road project, how can they swallow their pride and give in to the demands of a country which is thousands of miles away, and not even among their rival claimants?

Despite the word war and exchanges of threats between the two “giants”, the world still hope that a compromise can be made among claimant nations, but for sure, China will find ways so that the United States shall be kept out of the picture…a humiliating “request” for the so-called protector of world democracy and freedom, and home to the “sedate” United Nations Headquarters…that has done nothing about the issue.

Kalamyaang Desisyon Para sa Kalayaan Island

Kalamyaang Desisyon Para

Sa Kalayaan Island

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Ipinatigil ni President Pnoy ang pagpapaayos ng airstrip sa Kalayaan Island upang hindi raw maapektuhan ang kasalukuyang usapin sa West Philippine Sea. Isa na naman itong malamyang desisyon sa tingin ng maraming Pilipino. Para bang sinabi niya na itigil na muna ang improvement project para hindi masayang ang gastos kung matalo ang Pilipinas laban sa Tsina, at lisanin na natin ang isla.

Ang Kalayaan Island ay ang unang islang dinebelop ng Pilipinas bilang pinakamalaking bahura sa noon ay tinatawag na South China Sea, pero ngayon ay unofficially, tinatawag na West Philippine Sea. Bago nagkaroon ng mga istruktura ang Tsina sa isang bahura na naging siyudad na nila, may mga Pilipino nang naninirahan sa Kalayaan, hanggang lagyan ng marine outpost upang mapangalagaan ito. Ito ngayon ay may kapirasong airstrip na pansamantala, barangay, at eskwelahan.

Ang pansamantalang airstrip na dati nang nakalatag sa isla ay nararapat lamang na ayusin upang mas lalo pang mapangalagaan ang mga naninirahan doon at dapat ituring na walang kinalaman sa usapin laban sa Tsina tungkol sa West Philippine Sea. Hindi maaaring iasa na lamang sa mga maliliit na barko ng Coast Guard at airdropping ang pagdala ng mga pangangailangan ng mga tao sa isla. Hindi rin dapat limitahan sa paggamit ng helicopter ang pagtugon sa mga emergency na pangangailangan ng mga taga-Pag-asa.

Nakakatawa at nakakalungkot, na habang pinatigil ni Pnoy ang napakasimpleng proyekto para sa mga kababayan natin sa Kalayaan, masaya namang pinagpapatuloy ng Tsina ang paglagay ng mga modernong istruktura sa isa pang isla…ang pangalawa na, dahil kumpleto na yong isa, at siyudad na nga. Ang matindi ay hindi lang diretsahang paglagay ng mga istruktura ang ginagawa ng Tsina sa ikalawang bahura, tinatambakan pa ito upang maging malaking isla, at sa mga naunang nakitang retrato, animo ay may nilalatag na mahabang airstrip!

Ito ay mga nangyayari habang ang usapin ay naaalikabukan at inaagiw sa international court of justice na nakatalaga para sa mga ganitong bagay. Sa kabilang banda, hindi naman pinaniniwalaan ng Tsina ang poder ng kung anumang korte na hahawak sa usapin…yan ang tahasan at kung ilang ulit na sinabi ng Tsina sa lahat ng uri ng media – diyaryo, internet, TV, etc. Kaya, bago natin, mamalayan, abot- kamay na natin ang mga siyudad at bayan ng Tsina sa mga isla ng West Philippine Sea. Baka may balak ang gobyerno na ibenta ang rights natin sa Kalayaan Island sa Tsina upang mapatayuan nila ng mall at mga condo building na may casino…abangan!

May mga ninunong kamag-anak ang mga Aquino sa Tsina, particularly sa Guandong…binisita noon ng nanay niyang si Cory, nang mapatalsik si Marcos, at siya ay umupo bilang Presidente. Nakibahagi sa kasiyahan ang mga Tsino kaya ang tour guide namin sa Tsina noong pumunta ako kasama bilang bahagi ng isang familiarization tour group, ay nagpalit ng pangalan…ginamit niya ang Cory…kamukhang-kamukha din ng dating presidente, payat nga lang, kamag-anak siguro.