Former Customs Commissioner Ramon Farolan has a good memory recalling how former President Fidel V. Ramos (FVR) addressed the Chinese “occupation” of Mischief Reef. In his Inquirer piece today “Mischief Reef – where it all started”, Farolan writes…
For what has happened, there is enough blame to be shared by everyone, not just President Duterte. It was during the term of Ramos, that Mischief Reef was lost. The Chinese may have lost the singing competition on board the Pangulo, but they knew exactly what they were doing and the overall objective remained in place. President Joseph Estrada was not around long enough to make a difference. In her 10-year stint at Malacañang, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo did nothing about the “creeping invasion” of China. The ZTE–NBN project that allegedly would have funneled some $140 million to various characters in her circle was very much a part of her presidency. A remarkable photo from those days showed her playing golf at ZTE headquarters in China.
The Chief Presidential Legal Counsel then was Antonio Carpio. Didn’t he bother to advise his principal that possession is 9/10ths of the law? Mischief was forever lost the moment the Chinese built their “fishermen shelters.” It was former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) who saw China’s rise and cultivated a close relationship with them. Too close in fact. GMA was the first to play the US and China against each other. Uncle Sam and FVR brought her to power. Think of how support was given to Bangsamoro autonomy to the point that they could negotiate treaties on their own. The Americans wanted bases in Mindanao which was why USAID poured in “development funds.” We all know what happened during the NBN-ZTE scandal. The biggest political casualty of that fiasco was former House Speaker Joe De Venecia. Sunshine Joe’s hold on Congress was broken. The story of the Scarborough stand-off needs no retelling because it’s still playing out. Former President Noynoy Aquino put the country back in the US orbit and we still lost territory. Tells you a lot about how the US treats its allies. All we got was two old US Coast Guard cutters which became the Gregorio Del Pilar and the Ramon Alcaraz.
Farolan goes on to blame current President Rodrigo Duterte whom he claims should’ve stuck to being the Mayor of Davao. This is why we don’t progress as a country because the elite believe it is only they who are entitled to hold the reins of power. Former President Ferdinand Marcos himself was an outsider. So was former President Ramon Magsaysay, who only joined the ranks of the elite after he became President. His affair with Sen. Pacita Madrigal Warns did help increase his stature but his American runners would have none of his nationalist bent.
In the 2022 election, one of our criteria should be around if we want a sock puppet for a President with the hand of the elite up his ass or do we want one who is independent and will take into account the welfare of the greater majority of Filipinos. This is of paramount importance because our economic recovery depends on the extraction of natural resources within our sovereign territory and economic growth is fueled by power from oil and natural gas. The Lopezes are building an LNG terminal in Batangas in anticipation of the supply from Malampaya running out. Do you think the Lopezes would allow another Duterte or Marcos to become President? The South China Sea dispute is not as simple as Carpio and Del Rosario paint it out to be. Capisce?