History Politics

Noynoy Aquino bypassed then DILG Sec Mar Roxas, ordered the Coast Guard, to stand down and ultimately LOST Scarborough Shoal

So the truth is out? Filipinos should learn about putting issues in their proper context. In his Manila Times piece today Bobi Tiglao announces that we finally have “the truth, from an impeccable source”. In “Aquino abandoned Scarborough”, Tiglao writes how, planning to return to Scarborough Shoal after sheltering from a typhoon, Rear Admiral Edmund C. Tan was given a direct order by then President Noynoy Aquino to stand down…

“Unfortunately, when we were about to go back to Panatag Shoal after the typhoon, President Aquino directed us to stand by and hold our going back there,” Tan disclosed. Aquino’s order was given to him directly through both text message and a cellphone call. (Asked why it wasn’t Mar Roxas, the then transportation secretary whose department had jurisdiction of the PCG, Tan replied: “Yes, sec mar was my immediate superior and he was informed of all my actions. All my text to pnoy and sec del rosario, copy furnished si sec mar.”)

Aquino never ordered the PCG vessels nor the Navy back to the shoal. When was the PCG vessels ordered back to Scarborough, I asked then commandant Tan. “No more orders from me or from the President,” he replied.

Aquino in effect ordered Panatag Shoal surrendered it to the Chinese, without even testing if they would allow Philippine vessels back into the shoal.

Philippine-China relations during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo were good. It was marred by scandal but that’s par for the course given the political environment at that time. What Filipinos should realize is Noynoy’s loyalty has always been to the US given the latter’s history with his father, former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. Ninoy boasted of his close ties with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Hacienda Luisita even served as training ground for US operatives to be sent to Indonesia to help in toppling then President Sukarno. Ninoy couldn’t have brokered the surrender of Huk Supremo Luis Taruc without the imprimatur of Edward Lansdale and Napoleon Valeriano.

It’s not surprising then that Noynoy was belligerent towards China after the Luneta Hostage incident to the point that he refused to speak with Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang. This set the tone for Philippine-China relations during the Aquino administration. China issued a travel ban and also made it impossible for Philippine bananas to enter China. China put the Aquino administration in a quandary with its seizure of Scarborough Shoal to the point that Aquino had to run to his American patrons for help. During the two visits of then US President Barack Obama to the country, it was evident that he looked down on Aquino. There was no sign of respect at all for the Philippine leader. This is because Aquino didn’t have gravitas.

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GMA is a woman but she has gravitas. Noynoy never had this. He has always been petulant and childish as evidenced by his behavior after the 2013 Yolanda typhoon disaster and the 2015 Mamasapano massacre. The Opposition labels President Rodrigo Duterte as a coward but what good is bravado if you can’t back it up? This is not a mano-a-mano school yard fight. It is about the economic and national security of a nation of 100 million. It is easy for retired Supreme Court Justice and 1Sambayan convenor Antonio Carpio and former Senator and convicted mutineer Antonio Trillanes to insult Duterte to no end but Filipinos should also think about the fact that neither of the two have put forward any practical proposal to “enforce” a ruling that they claim is “enforceable.”

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