By Raïssa Robles
July is usually a month when Congress reporters hardly have anything to write about because our honorable legislators are on recess (read – vacationing abroad).
Some lawmakers use this lull to try to grab media attention. As an example, look at Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.
His spin doctors are no doubt telling him that this year, he should project himself on the national stage, with an eye on next year’s presidential election.
Nearly every week, Marcos has been popping up and mouthing off on one topic after the other. The problem is, he seems to think that mere mouthing is enough, that it’s OK getting news attention even if he’s spouting nonsense.
Take his recent statements on the South China Sea conflict with China on the very eve that the Philippine government was poised to argue its case against China’s occupation of some islands claimed by the Philippines before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
The Chinese ambassador had suddenly said Beijing was open to holding bilateral talks, now and “forever”.
The government of President Benigno Aquino III rejected the talks. Because according to Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma, the Philippines would rather stick to a multilateral approach.
“The Philippine position is clear: the principle of ASEAN centrality should be recognized in accordance with the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).”
Disregarding this, Marcos piped up and said:
“China opened the door and we shut it. The Chinese said let’s talk and we snubbed them. It’s like the Philippine government itself is encouraging China to take and maintain an unbending stance on the issue,”
“We should not be snobbish. I can’t see any reason at all why we are not talking to China. On the contrary, there are more than enough obvious reasons why we should talk to superpower China.”
At face value, Senator Bongbong Marcos’ statement appears correct and reasonable.
But then, Marcos admonished the government to think of the “national interest” and in a press release, he lectured the executive department on the three ways to resolve the dispute:
“Marcos pointed out that there are three ways to resolve the dispute: by war, adjudication, or multilateral/bilateral agreements.
“We do not want war. Arbitration is not one that is going to be recognized by the Chinese. So it has to be negotiations,” Marcos said.”
You can read his entire press release here.
When I was a reporter covering the Senate and whenever I realized that a senator was pulling my leg or telling me a half-truth, I would ask the senator in question to explain what he meant by his statement and on top of that, I would get a contrary opinion to the senator’s opinion.
In this case, Senator Marcos is being less than honest when he lumped the “multilateral/bilateral” together.
I assume Marcos says this misleading statement in the full knowledge that China will only talk bilaterally with the Philippines provided Manila meets certain conditions:
● First, Manila has to recognize China’s “indisputable sovereignty” over Philippine territory in the West Philippine Sea;
● Second, Manila must drop the multilateral approach, which includes persuading the ASEAN to push for a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea and getting as many nations as possible on its side on the issue;
● Third, the Philippines must drop the arbitration case before the ITLOS.
Yet rather than call Marcos out on his misleading statement, reporters seem to be doing nothing more than just reprinting his press releases. How I wish my fellow reporters would be more aggressive in asking senators and other power-players to explain in detail what they really mean. In short, to grill them and ask them to flesh out their general, unsubstantiated statements.
In Marcos’ case, they could ask him: Should he ever become president, would he swallow Beijing’s conditionalities and acknowledge China’s “indisputable sovereignty” before negotiating bilaterally? Would he agree to drop the Code of Conduct and the multilateral approach involving as many nations in the world?
A few people I’ve met who know the Marcoses have always considered Sen. Bongbong to be a bit dim, and definitely less whip smart than his sister Imee. Is he too lazy to do research? Too cheap to pay for a decent researcher? But what about all that money his father and mother looted, according to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court? (Yes, there is a Swiss Federal Supreme Court ruling on this matter. You can read all about it by clicking here. )
Yes, Ferdinand Marcos Ruined the Philippines
a suggestion to the presidential candidate running against binay: focus on jobs, the creation of jobs, the environment that favors job creation. jobs, jobs, jobs. kung magnanakaw ang nasa itaas, ano ang ipekto nito sa pagpapalago ng ekonomiya at pagpaparami ng trabaho. language of jobs will be understood in urban centers as well as in the peripheries. sino sa mga kandidato ngayon ang nagcontribute na sa pagpaparami ng trabaho? sino sa mga kandidato ngayon ang nagpasimula sa mga call centers?
Roxas-Poe it is!
Belmonte’s last minute sabotage was a dud and he was berated by PNoy. Belmonte knows that when Aquino made up his mind nobody can change it so the issued correction from Red Nose Reindeer!
Poe issued her first statement that she is going to help Roxas and Aquino on the Tuwid na Daan to prepare the public to soften her change of mind of transferring her comfort from Chiz to Mar.
Media blitz will be issued from now to SONA to promote and strengthen the tandem.
Escudero got most of his demands but back to his old self by contacting Binay and Erap. Tapped conversations are not that alarming yet but enough to continue watch Escudero’s moves if he is doing his part of the bargain.
Binay accepted the fact that he will confront a more formidable tandem and now tries to show bravado but his camp now is so worried by the jumoing of his allies from hos sinking ship.
Erap is contemplating to run but emissaries were wMar to solicit a deal.
looks like you are wrong on this one…
PLAYING TRIVIA WITH GRACE POE
While we are anxiously waiting for Grace’s decision to run for President, or Vice-President, independent or under the banner of LP or NP, let us play a little bit of trivia:
GRACE REPORTEDLY CONDUCTED BUSINESS IN THE U.S. DURING HER STAY AT THE U.S.
a. With whom did she conduct the business with?
b. What was her position in the business?
c. How many employees did the business have?
d. What was the reported sales volume of that business?
Hmm, a teaser….
antay ko siya pagkatapos mag-retreat.
baka may aaminin…
Ménage à trois
Partial report from an unreliable source present at the palace dinner:
PNoy asked Grace as V of Roxas. Grace looked at Escudero for some cues and Escudero answered for Poe. PNoy reminded Escudero politely that Grace could answer that herself.
Grace asked about the Citizenship and Residency Issues and PNoy promised it is a done deal.
Grace reluctantly agreed but wanted Escudero to be the co-campaigm manager to protect her interest. PNoy looked at Roxas and Roxas nodded. Escudero also asked to be the Senate President for his remaining term in the Senate. Roxas agreed with the same smirk which is usually worn by Chiz. Chiz reminded of his previous demands that he needs to have his boys a cabinet position, Commission on Appointments, and Commission on Appropriations, and additional positions at BOC. Roxas replied of course, but with a smirk…
But then Chiz asked for another demand that made PNoy really irritated and Roxas almost spoke french, while Poe was worried and telegraphed her reluctance at Chiz…
So it was going well but seems there were some bumps…
Oops… don’t believe this particular misinformation for this is another one of those stories…
Ancient Mariner says
Escudero’s final request. “Could you please ask the waiter to put the left over food in a doggy bag for me please.”
chiz can have all the durian candy destined for desert. I hear they came from davao.
oh add to that the smuggled rice.
and the milk tea for a refreshing dive…:)
My 007 in the Palace overheard that “el trapo” (not el chapo) chiz asked PNoy for the BIR post for one of his boys from Bicol
A lot of horse trading at the homestretch.
“Grace asked about the Citizenship and Residency issues and PNoy promised it’s a done deal.”
Not quite. Lawyer Raymund Fortun’s open letter to grace posted on 6/8/15 on Kicker Daily News states, in part:
“You DID state UNDER OATH that your residency in the Philippines as of May 13, 2013 was 6 years, 6 months. I as a lawyer will hold you to that oath. You KNEW or OUGHT TO HAVE KNOWN the implications of that declarations.”
“That you are now trying to wiggle your way out of that declaration under oath somehow tarnishes you in my eyes because THE LEAST that I expect from you is HONESTY. Are you singing a different tune now because you are becoming a traditional politician who we detest?”
Selected lyrics from the song “You gave me a mountain”
“But this time Lord, you gave me a mountain
A mountain you know I may never climb
It isn’t just a hill any longer
You gave me a mountain this time”
Gademit who the hell is chizmozo to make such demands? The only suitable answer whenever he ask for something is ‘uhuh ,,, hmmm,,, mmp or some sounds coming out from behind.
Vhin AB says
If the source is right I’d say that Chiz surely knows how to negotiate. We all know that Grace is Escudero’s ‘alas’ and in excellent position to make big demands. So move over Drilon. Chiz will be the next senate president then VP in 2022. Finally as president in 2028. Is it wrong to be ambitious?
Last demand, Heart will be the Speaker if the House. Hahahaha
Sumasarap ang bawat pahina ng kuwento.
Vhin AB says
*Speaker OF the House.
“Master of the house?” Isn’t worth a spit. A longtime shit. Cunning little brain. A cruel trick of nature.”
trick or tick?
after last night meeting, what if the tandem of roxas-poe will be the anointed the one so chiz will campaign for bi-poe? pag nanalo itong bi-poe, magiging senate speaker sya. any time within the term of bi-poe makulong si binay magiging pres. si poe at vp si chiz. chis and the gang will manipulate poe. coup and other destabilization taking place. sampahan ng kaso si grace dahil sa citizenship/ lack of residency at matalo maging pres. si chiz. i am already experiencing this nightmare. kawawang bansa ko sa koko ng mga LAGIM. SAKIM pala
Calendar September 2015 –
Dire, dire, dire…
Mel, you got me hooked on this, so I did a Google search on this topic to see if it has relevance.
Here is what I have found with the Shmita years in relation to the Philippine political scene.
THE NUMBERS BEHIND CHINA’S RECENT STOCK EXCHANGE CRISIS
In a recent Philippine Daily Inquirer editorial and in the same paper’s column of the economist Cielito Habito, the matter of China’s stock exchange crisis was discussed.
Essentially the comment was that the effect on the Philippines is minimal unless China goes into economic depression which is probably deemed unlikely at this time.
Being a numbers man (while not at all a stock analyst-expert), I looked at the numbers and the associated chart:
– Within a one year period ending today, the Shanghai Composite stock index rose from 2046 to a whopping 5178, a 153% rise.
– From a high of 5178 in a month’s time the Index went to a low of about 3500 about a week ago; this is a plunge of 32% from its high. But a better measure of the plunge, is the plunge relative to the year ago level of 2046; that is (5178-3500)/(5178-2046) or a plunge of 54%, that is, relative to the rise from 2046 to 5178. THAT IS A BIG OUCH.
– In today’s (yesterday in the Americas and Europe) stock movement: All the Americas Indices were up; Europe was mixed — probably due both to the Greek and Chinese situation; and ALL Asia-Pacific Indices were UP, except the Shanghai Index down 3.03%, Hong Kong Index down 0.26%, Russia Index down 0,71%, and Thailand Index down 0.11%
– Sorry, guys, I just want to see the numbers behind Inquirer’s editorial and Habito’s comments and want to share. I will not do this again. Promise.