Author: Rigoberto Tiglao

‘The Rise of China and the Fall of the ‘Free Trade’ Myth’

BELIEVE it or not, that is the title of an article published not in some leftist magazine but recently in the magazine of the top newspaper of US capitalism, the New York Times.

In our country, the belief in the free-trade ideology—and its larger framework of unrestrained capitalism and foreign investments—is a dogma nearly on par with that of Catholicism. That ideology, called neoliberalism, has been the canon of every economic management team since Marcos, although the strongman himself wasn’t an adherent of it and adopted many statist economic policies.

Fidel Ramos was an especially ardent believer of the ideology, proud of his rallying cry for it: “privatization, deregulation and liberalization.” This has only resulted among other things in the drastic weakening of our manufacturing and cash crop sectors—when our tariff floodgates were opened to the tsunami of Chinese products—and in the loss to profit-hungry capitalists of our public utility and other strategic industries.

President Duterte’s economic-planning secretary Ernesto Pernia is incontrovertibly a free-trader, since he had spent his academic career at the UP School of Economics, the champion of neoliberalist thought in this country.

However, I don’t think President Duterte, with his demonstrated conviction that a state must be an activist one whose primordial role is to serve the people—and not the markets—and his strong sense of nationalism can ever believe in neoliberalism. That is probably the one advantage we have now, that this president comes from a rough-and-tumble frontier city far from the metropolis, where abstractions are eaten alive by reality.

I am devoting two of my columns to reprint this very informative February 8 article from the New York Times magazine, written by Pankaj Mishra, which debunks neoliberalism not in an abstract manner but by showing that Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and more recently, China, developed their economies by rejecting neoliberal ideology—which we have so stupidly embraced.

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ICC project shows Trillanes and Yellows’ depth of depravity and utter lack of patriotism

SEN. Antonio Trillanes 4th and his Yellow financiers have succeeded in their top black-propaganda project: the case they filed at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against President Duterte for his government’s alleged extra-judicial killings in the course of the war against illegal drugs.

It’s total hogwash that they are seeking justice for the victims.

They know that at best the case will still be there years after Duterte is out of power, as in the cases for instance of the Uganda and Colombia complaints which were filed in 2004, but which the ICC is still investigating.

Even if there were EJKs, how can they claim that Duterte is responsible, that there was a state policy for such, and that these were not merely cases, as happens anywhere in the world, even in the most “civilized” countries, of that genre of crimes called police brutality?

Trillanes’ ICC thing is nothing but a propaganda project intended to portray Duterte to the world as a mass murderer, in the hope that the governments of the US and other Western countries will do what they can to help overthrow him.

By filing the case at the ICC, they have portrayed our country as in the league of sub-Saharan countries which that body has investigated for mass killings and rapes undertaken in the course of their civil wars mostly waged by tribes hardly out of the Stone Age.

Depths of depravity
Such is the depth of the depravity, and the utter lack of patriotism of Trillanes and his Yellow financiers.

Duterte himself has disclosed that Trillanes’ co-conspirators include New York-based billionaire Loida Nicolas-Lewis, who was one of the biggest supporters and financiers of former President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

PROJECT AND OUTPUT: Right, Trillanes filing the ICC case last year; left, the black propaganda. Note no mention of investigation of Venezuela, which was in the same ICC press release.

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Cory Constitution gave fake parties House seats

Last of 2 parts

THE 1987 Constitution, dubbed the Cory Constitution as President Corazon Aquino packed it with her handpicked people, has only allowed fake parties to waste taxpayers’ money as it enabled multi-millionaires, the religious sect El Shaddai, Communist Party cadres—five in the current Congress—to get seats in the House of Representatives.

From left: Quezon City political boss Belmonte has his SBP party-list, former health secretary Garin of Dengvaxia fame has her clan’s AAMBIS-OWA, and the Communist Party has its Bayan Muna, with Zarate as its representative. (His photo from a video when he was blocked by the military from attending the New People’s Army’s founding anniversary on March 29, 2017 in Surigao.)

I wrote in my column last Friday that more than half of the representatives udner the party-list system, created by the Constitution purportedly to give voice in the House to marginalized sectors, are multi-millionaires, led by the “Michael Romero, Ph.D.” (as his name appears in Congress) who claimed in his SALN a P7 billion net worth, and Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, property magnate Manuel Villar’s daughter-in-law, who reported a P1.4 billion net worth. (So far no party-list representative has communicated with me or this paper to refute the points I raised in that column.)

A third type of “party-list representatives” are those who represent no marginalized sector but merely a political clan controlling a territory. Such representatives very easily get the required number of votes—a mere 240,000 in the last elections—as they simply piggy-back on the electoral campaigns of their clans for regular seats in Congress or in the local government.

Such local bosses exploiting the party-list system aren’t just in far-away provinces. A good example of a territorial clan exploiting the party-list system is Quezon City 4th District representative Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., the city’s mayor for nine years and former President Aquino’s very loyal House Speaker during his entire term.

Wanting to continue his control of Quezon City politics, Belmonte got members of his immediate and extended family elected to positions in the local government and in Congress. His nephew, Jose Christopher Belmonte, was reelected in the last elections as the representative of the city’s 6th district. His daughter, Josefina (“Joy”), is vice mayor, and two nephews are councilors.

For his clan to get another seat in Congress, Belmonte got his nephew Ricardo (“RJ”) Belmonte to be party-list representative. Representing what?  Continue reading

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The party-list system is utterly absurd, a mockery of democracy

First of 2 parts

IF there’s any provision in our Constitution that indisputably has to be deleted, it is that which called for 20 percent of the House of Representatives seats to be given to so-called “party-list representatives,” supposedly to represent the country’s marginalized sector.

Unlike the usual congressmen who are elected by voters registered in a political district, party-list representatives are elected by any voter anywhere in the country, who elect not the individual but the party-list, which then designates him as its representative.

Cory Aquino in 1987 pushed for such a system, partly to crush the two-party system she hated. But the system has proven to be so utterly absurd, a scandalous mockery of our democracy. And we taxpayers shoulder the party-list representatives’ and their staff’s salaries as well as expenses in the amount of about P2 billion per year.

Instead of powerless sectors—“labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such other sectors” as the Constitution put it—it has only given political clout to multi- millionaires, even two billionaires, so they could defend or expand their business interests. It has also given additional seats in Congress to provincial or regional political clans, for them to increase their political clout.

Most ironically, the party-list system has put cadres of the Communist Party in the House of Representatives giving them additional resources, especially finances—raised from our taxes—to advance their agenda to violently overthrow our democracy.

Mikee and Mike: Left, 1-Pacman representative “billionaire” ‘Mikee’ Romero in a polo competition in Thailand. Right, religious leader ‘Bro.’ Mike Velarde’s campaign poster calling on his faithful to vote for his party-list.

The communist atheists are colleagues in Congress of two bible-quoting religious party-list representatives.

The Constitution’s Article VI, Section 5 (2) categorically excludes the “religious sector” from having a party-list representative. Yet “Brother” MikeVelarde who heads the huge born-again Christian group El Shaddai set up his Buhay party-list (Buhay Hayaan Yumabong) in 2001 and since 2004 has had two to three representatives in Congress. Buhay’s incumbent representatives are the preacher’s son Michael Velarde, Jr. and former Manila mayor Jose “Lito” Atienza.  Continue reading

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Sison reveals real self in his order to NPA: ‘Kill one soldier a day’

COMMUNIST Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison inadvertently revealed his true self, his real personality when from his comfortable home in the Netherlands he declared a few days ago:

“The NPA in 17 regions has…the capacity of knocking out at least one AFP soldier every day per region. That eliminates at least 510 enemy troops or some five companies every month nationwide. That translates to the elimination of some 60 companies or 20 basic battalions every year.”

For Sison, the lives of Filipinos, soldiers sworn to defend the Republic from its enemies, are mere numbers, to be body-counted so he could estimate that killing just one soldier a day would mean wiping out 20 Philippine Army battalions.

In Sison’s 78-year old deranged mind, at that kill-rate and with the Army having 120 battalions, it would just take about five to six years for him to be put in power as head of a one-party state, the “People’s Republic of the Philippines.”

Sison’s calculation, with his one-soldier-a-day-killed assumption, reminded me of Nazi SS and Gestapo generals, dramatized in the film “Conspiracy,” calculating how many bodies its gas chambers could “accommodate” in 24 hours so the 3 million Jews in the countries it occupied could be “processed” in a year.

The myth and the reality: Determined freedom fighter, left; right, living it up in the Netherlands.

Sison is clueless that even if just one soldier were killed every week, that would mean a terrible war in our countrysides. The military won’t just sit on their asses, and would retaliate, and as all wars have proven, this war will result in thousands, even hundreds of innocents being killed. Continue reading

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SC’s Ombudsman decision in 2014 directed vs Aquino’s abuse of power

BEFORE the Yellow Cultists jump up and down shrieking indignation that President Duterte’s move to suspend and remove from his post Deputy Ombudsman Arthur Carandang is proof of his drift to dictatorship and violates the Constitution, they better do some research first.

They’ll discover the embarrassing fact that what made the Supreme Court rule in a split decision in 2014 that the President has no power to suspend or dismiss a Deputy Ombudsman was its anger over then President Aquino’s blatant abuse of power, even made in a petty manner.

Aquino in 2010 suspended and later dismissed Emilio Gonzales 3rd, the deputy ombudsman for the military and police. For what?

Officially for “neglect of duty” for not acting for several months on an appeal of one police officer, Rolando Mendoza, to reverse his dismissal from the service for grave misconduct, including robbery and extortion.

And who was Rolando Mendoza?Continue reading

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Sereno proven not to have filed her SALNs; why the hell isn’t she quitting?

BEYOND the shadow of a doubt, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno didn’t file her statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN) for at least eight years when she was in government service. Not only the Constitution but the Administrative Code of 1987 as well as Republic Act 6713 requires all government employees, including those in state universities, to file such statements annually.

The penalty for failure to file such SALN is punishable by imprisonment not more than five years.Continue reading

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Congress should set up Vaccine Injury Compensation Program —funded by Sanofi and Aquino

THE Senate blue ribbon committee’s investigation of the Dengvaxia debacle should not only unearth information for the courts to convict and throw in jail former President Benigno Aquino 3rd and his accomplices for what is turning out to be the most horrible case of corruption in the country.

The committee should recommend the enactment of a law that would set up a program to assist and compensate not only the victims of this diabolical mass-vaccination program, but of other vaccinations in the past and in the future.

About 20 countries in the world, including Germany (the first to do so, in 1961) and the US (in 1986), have set up what they call the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The program was set up in these countries because of the recognition that while vaccines—such as those against smallpox, measles and tetanus—have indisputably prevented certain diseases and saved the lives of millions, they are not without risks, and in many cases resulted in horrible, adverse effects on people.

The program addresses two different issues.Continue reading

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Massive campaign to cover up Dengvaxia debacle launched

A MASSIVE and extremely well-funded campaign has been launched to portray Sanofi and former President Aquino as totally guiltless for the 2016 mass vaccination program of 830,000 children using the French firm’s Dengvaxia, which has turned out to have put at higher risk many of those injected, and may even have already led to the death of 26 children.

Sanofi itself only two months ago, on November 29, 2017, admitted that its own studies showed “more cases of severe disease following vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection.” Sanofi also pointed out: “If it is given to individuals who haven’t been exposed to dengue, they could get more serious infections when they encounter the virus naturally.”

The World Health Organization a year and eight months before that, in March 2016 already issued a warning that Dengvaxia “may be ineffective or may even increase that risk in those who are seronegative (never had dengue) at the time of first vaccination.”

Yet President Aquino, his health secretary Janette Garin and Sanofi had ignored that warning and launched a mass vaccination program in April 2016, just two months before his term expired.

There has been widespread suspicion that the Aquino camp made money from the P3 billion paid to Sanofi for 1 million dosages of the vaccine. Ironically, at the time, the program was also used as a bribe of sorts to get more people to vote for Aquino’s presidential candidate, Mar Roxas, in the May 2016 elections.

I became even more convinced that such a well-funded campaign has been launched, upon reading a column of Continue reading

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Press crucial to nation-building and must be protected vs foreign meddling

What I found very sad in the controversy over the website Rappler is that there really has been little outrage over its vile deed, which is indisputably as follows:

Its profit-hungry owners, influence-seeking foreigners, and its fame-lusting editor-in-chief were so willing to violate the Constitution’s provision that is intended to shield media from foreigners and ensure its freedom to help develop our people’s consciousness as a nation.

Indeed, it is the press that is crucial to nation-building, and this is the reason the Constitution totally bans any foreign participation in media.

Yet, here are people who have been spreading the fallacy that there should not even be any such restrictions.Continue reading

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