Reed Bank, KAPA atbp. Nikkei Asian Review

Reed Bank, KAPA atbp. Featured

SCANNING the headlines and social media the past three weeks, one can’t help being dumbfounded at how we have gone overboard on the Reed/Recto Bank incident. From where I sit, I see the Philippine government preventing “making a mountain out of molehill”; and conversely, the opposition frantically elevating to an Everest size one that is already a mountain. Methinks this is an extension of the elections where the opposition Otso Diretso was obliterated. They needed to find another issue against their bete noire, the Deegong. And in the process transform this maritime faux pas to polarize the country, the DDS and fist pumpers on one side against the yellow hordes on the other, leaving the majority of our people perplexed as to where we are all heading. First blood was drawn by the opposition (and some allies) suggesting government should invoke the US-Philippine Military Defense Treaty (MDT) on the sinking of the Gem-Ver. The thesis of the opposition is that this is a gross infringement of Philippine sovereignty and therefore, in indignation, the President must defend our honor.
 
And where was the President in all of this? Practically on the sidelines weighing his options before wading in. This could be the prudent move. I don’t often agree with the “mouthslinger from the south,” quick to the verbal draw replete with curses and p—–ina. But this time, he tamed his inner demons by his momentary silence. But the Yellow forces would not allow him an inch, accusing him of playing to his new Chinese friends against the better interest of his countrymen. But they are wrong. Deegong was following his playbook and a tactic that could give him better hold of his sensitive relations with China. Dealing with a bully does not call for a linear response, as the President knows very well, being adept at the craft of intimidation himself.
 
If memory serves, during the tragic Rizal Park hostage crisis of PNoy in 2010, an ex-policeman hijacked a tourist bus and with the intervention of the Filipino “elite kuno SWAT,” resulted in the massacre of eight Chinese citizens. As this was with full TV coverage for several hours, an international uproar ensued. And what did the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Donald Tsang, do? He was “silent” — except for a formal protest through proper channels. This is diplomacy. Similarly, the Deegong may have understood its nuances, commenting only when things are clearer.
 
And then the Deegong opened his mouth. “This was just a minor incident and China can fish in the Philippine waters…because we are friends.” Then the s–t hits the fan.
 
Mr. President, this is not a question of friendship. This is international diplomacy where leaders do not speak personally for themselves but collectively for the people. This is not a Davaoeño’s informal concept of “ato-ato ra ni, istoryahan na lang nato ni!” (Let’s just talk informally by ourselves.)
 
“Chinese can’t fish in PH territory” (The Manila Times, headline June 27, 2019). “Letting Chinese fish in PH waters hit as illegal” (Philippine Daily Inquirer, headline June 27, 2019). “The Philippine government cannot allow Chinese fishermen to fish in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine (South China) Sea because it will violate the Constitution” (Supreme Court Justice Carpio). “Impeach Duterte, Palace dares critics” (The Manila Times, headline June 28, 2019).
 
I will not add to this cacophony and argue for or against except to put in proper perspective the sorry state of the presidency and the knee-jerk response of the President’s men. All the senior people from the foppish spokesman to the normally sober SecDef to the tactless first diplomat (calling VP Robredo “boba”) to the “Uziseros” Cusi and Piñol contributing to the chaos by saying one thing and reversing themselves — to where the President leans. And where is the NSC Adviser Hermogenes Esperon in all this? His silence is deafening. He should be in the forefront wading in the muck. You can’t allow the President to talk his head off by his lonesome. The Deegong needs a “heat shield” to deflect all sorts of criticism and attacks. This is the job of the President’s alter ego on matters of national security.
 
In short, these senior people don’t serve the President well if they remain “loyal yes men” — unable to give good advice to the Deegong, even if such is contrary to his position and inviting his wrath.
 
Enough already! The President’s marionettes and court jesters should just shut up and revert to the country’s pressing problems that impact more heavily on the Filipinos’ daily lives. I refer to a scam that has been ongoing for years. KAPA, a Ponzi scheme, needs the attention of the Office of the President badly as this is eating into the sinews of his primary base — the poor and downtrodden.
 
This onerous money-making scheme plays into the Filipino’s desperate dream of riches, an infectious disease affecting both the poor masses and the greedy, mixed in the deadly cauldron of religion. The “Kabus Padatu-on” (make the poor rich, or KAPA) is a religious ministry spreading in social media, enticing the faithful to invest a one-time donation in return for receiving a monthly 30 percent of the amount for life. There is no way any investment in any facet of the legitimate economy or business can offer that kind of return. What is galling is that this scheme has been known to government authorities. In fact, “…the SEC said it issued an advisory against KAPA as early as March 2017, a cease and desist order on Feb. 14, 2019, and an order revoking its registration on April 3 this year.” The SEC declared that KAPA was in violation of Republic Act 8799, or the Securities Regulation Code (SRC). But there are whispers that local government candidates in the recent elections tolerated this scheme to raise campaign funds. But our law enforcement agencies did not do anything until the recent exposure in the press. DU30 should start cutting some heads off.
 
Similar schemes have reared their ugly head in the recent years. The Legacy Group of companies’ pre-need plans promised doubling your “investments” after a short period of time. The group included rural banks accepting deposits, with company officials dipping their dirty little fingers into it for bogus loans for personal use. Bangko Sentral (BSP) eventually filed charges of estafa in 2009 against the company for offering unregistered securities. What made the scam attractive to others was the inclusion of their biggest victims as a come-on, a former speaker of the House of Representatives who reportedly lost P18 to 20 million.
 
And these swindles keep appearing intermittently among the most vulnerable sectors of our society — the rural folk. Yet our officials are instead occupied in mulling over the nuances of the Reed/Recto Bank incident, whether DU30’s invitation to China to fish in our EEZ constitute an impeachable offense. But what takes the cake are the Senate President’s profound reflections on “…the difficulty of exclusivity (of EEZ) underwater (as) the Philippine fish could come from China…and (conversely) Chinese fish could come from the Philippines.” Deep thoughts, indeed!

SCANNING the headlines and social media the past three weeks, one can’t help being dumbfounded at how we have gone overboard on the Reed/Recto Bank incident. From where I sit, I see the Philippine government preventing “making a mountain out of molehill”; and conversely, the opposition frantically elevating to an Everest size one that is already a mountain. Methinks this is an extension of the elections where the opposition Otso Diretso was obliterated. They needed to find another issue against their bete noire, the Deegong. And in the process transform this maritime faux pas to polarize the country, the DDS and fist pumpers on one side against the yellow hordes on the other, leaving the majority of our people perplexed as to where we are all heading. First blood was drawn by the opposition (and some allies) suggesting government should invoke the US-Philippine Military Defense Treaty (MDT) on the sinking of the Gem-Ver. The thesis of the opposition is that this is a gross infringement of Philippine sovereignty and therefore, in indignation, the President must defend our honor.

And where was the President in all of this? Practically on the sidelines weighing his options before wading in. This could be the prudent move. I don’t often agree with the “mouthslinger from the south,” quick to the verbal draw replete with curses and p—–ina. But this time, he tamed his inner demons by his momentary silence. But the Yellow forces would not allow him an inch, accusing him of playing to his new Chinese friends against the better interest of his countrymen. But they are wrong. Deegong was following his playbook and a tactic that could give him better hold of his sensitive relations with China. Dealing with a bully does not call for a linear response, as the President knows very well, being adept at the craft of intimidation himself.

If memory serves, during the tragic Rizal Park hostage crisis of PNoy in 2010, an ex-policeman hijacked a tourist bus and with the intervention of the Filipino “elite kuno SWAT,” resulted in the massacre of eight Chinese citizens. As this was with full TV coverage for several hours, an international uproar ensued. And what did the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Donald Tsang, do? He was “silent” — except for a formal protest through proper channels. This is diplomacy. Similarly, the Deegong may have understood its nuances, commenting only when things are clearer.

Advertisements

And then the Deegong opened his mouth. “This was just a minor incident and China can fish in the Philippine waters…because we are friends.” Then the s–t hits the fan.

Mr. President, this is not a question of friendship. This is international diplomacy where leaders do not speak personally for themselves but collectively for the people. This is not a Davaoeño’s informal concept of “ato-ato ra ni, istoryahan na lang nato ni!” (Let’s just talk informally by ourselves.)

“Chinese can’t fish in PH territory” (The Manila Times, headline June 27, 2019). “Letting Chinese fish in PH waters hit as illegal” (Philippine Daily Inquirer, headline June 27, 2019). “The Philippine government cannot allow Chinese fishermen to fish in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine (South China) Sea because it will violate the Constitution” (Supreme Court Justice Carpio). “Impeach Duterte, Palace dares critics” (The Manila Times, headline June 28, 2019).

I will not add to this cacophony and argue for or against except to put in proper perspective the sorry state of the presidency and the knee-jerk response of the President’s men. All the senior people from the foppish spokesman to the normally sober SecDef to the tactless first diplomat (calling VP Robredo “boba”) to the “Uziseros” Cusi and Piñol contributing to the chaos by saying one thing and reversing themselves — to where the President leans. And where is the NSC Adviser Hermogenes Esperon in all this? His silence is deafening. He should be in the forefront wading in the muck. You can’t allow the President to talk his head off by his lonesome. The Deegong needs a “heat shield” to deflect all sorts of criticism and attacks. This is the job of the President’s alter ego on matters of national security.

Advertisements

In short, these senior people don’t serve the President well if they remain “loyal yes men” — unable to give good advice to the Deegong, even if such is contrary to his position and inviting his wrath.

Enough already! The President’s marionettes and court jesters should just shut up and revert to the country’s pressing problems that impact more heavily on the Filipinos’ daily lives. I refer to a scam that has been ongoing for years. KAPA, a Ponzi scheme, needs the attention of the Office of the President badly as this is eating into the sinews of his primary base — the poor and downtrodden.

This onerous money-making scheme plays into the Filipino’s desperate dream of riches, an infectious disease affecting both the poor masses and the greedy, mixed in the deadly cauldron of religion. The “Kabus Padatu-on” (make the poor rich, or KAPA) is a religious ministry spreading in social media, enticing the faithful to invest a one-time donation in return for receiving a monthly 30 percent of the amount for life. There is no way any investment in any facet of the legitimate economy or business can offer that kind of return. What is galling is that this scheme has been known to government authorities. In fact, “…the SEC said it issued an advisory against KAPA as early as March 2017, a cease and desist order on Feb. 14, 2019, and an order revoking its registration on April 3 this year.” The SEC declared that KAPA was in violation of Republic Act 8799, or the Securities Regulation Code (SRC). But there are whispers that local government candidates in the recent elections tolerated this scheme to raise campaign funds. But our law enforcement agencies did not do anything until the recent exposure in the press. DU30 should start cutting some heads off.

Similar schemes have reared their ugly head in the recent years. The Legacy Group of companies’ pre-need plans promised doubling your “investments” after a short period of time. The group included rural banks accepting deposits, with company officials dipping their dirty little fingers into it for bogus loans for personal use. Bangko Sentral (BSP) eventually filed charges of estafa in 2009 against the company for offering unregistered securities. What made the scam attractive to others was the inclusion of their biggest victims as a come-on, a former speaker of the House of Representatives who reportedly lost P18 to 20 million.

And these swindles keep appearing intermittently among the most vulnerable sectors of our society — the rural folk. Yet our officials are instead occupied in mulling over the nuances of the Reed/Recto Bank incident, whether DU30’s invitation to China to fish in our EEZ constitute an impeachable offense. But what takes the cake are the Senate President’s profound reflections on “…the difficulty of exclusivity (of EEZ) underwater (as) the Philippine fish could come from China…and (conversely) Chinese fish could come from the Philippines.” Deep thoughts, indeed!

000
Read 206 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)