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June 25, 2018 - Unjust Judges

June 25, 2018 - Unjust Judges Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time Father Edward McIlmail, LC   Matthew 7:1-5 Jesus sa...

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wednesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Wednesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Father Shawn Aaron, LC
Matthew 11: 25-27
At that time Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.
Introductory Prayer: Almighty and ever-living God,I seek new strength from the courage of Christ our shepherd. I believe in you, I hope in you, and I seek to love you with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength.I want to be led one day to join the saints in heaven, where your Son Jesus Christ lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.
PetitionJesus, help me to seek you with a sincere heart.
  1. Hidden from the Wise: Wisdom, knowledge and understanding comprise three of seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. So, in itself, being wise and learned cannot be an issue. Jesus is here speaking of those whose pride and inflated ego make them wise and learned in their own estimation and for their own purposes. The mysteries of God are thus hidden from them precisely because they have focused their hearts and minds on themselves as the supreme good: “The greater a being is, the more it wants to determine its own life. It wants to be less and less dependent and, thus, more and more itself a kind of god, needing no one else at all. This is how the desire arises to become free of all need, what we call pride” (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, God and the World, p. 125). In the end, it is they who have closed the door to God since God will never close the door on us.
  1. Revealed to the Childlike: Later in this same Gospel, Jesus will reaffirm this basic truth in another way: “Unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). Even as adults we must never cease to be childlike, uncomplicated and duly dependent. Children are not naturally complicated and deceitful. Hiding behind masks and developing subterfuges is a tendency learned with time. Little by little we begin to calculate, use excuses, ration out our generosity, and stray from the simplicity and rectitude of the way God has marked out. We must strive to be sincere with our Lord and sincere with ourselves, seeking to please him above all things. Failure in our lives is due to insincerity, that absence of the total nobility and utmost loyalty needed to fulfill honorably what Our Lord asks of us. 
  1. Christ, The Revelation of the Father: Knowledge of the Father is the ultimate good man can possess because it corresponds to the deepest longing in the human heart for happiness. St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that happiness lies in knowing that we possess the good we seek. We call the full knowledge of the good possessed “heaven,” which is our ultimate goal in life. To whom would Jesus not wish to reveal the Father? Has anyone ever lived for whom Jesus did not desire to know the Father and be in heaven? Jesus’ actions – his preaching, his sacrifices and death on the cross – demonstrate that he wants to reveal the Father to everyone. However, he also chooses to need you and me to help him achieve this goal. Do I really desire everyone to know the Father and reach heaven? My actions will answer that question for me.
Conversation with ChristDear Lord, grant me the grace to possess the wisdom and knowledge that come from union with you while maintaining the childlike dispositions that you ask. Help me to depend on you as a loving child. Mother Most Pure, make my heart only for Jesus.
ResolutionToday I will reflectively read Philippians 2:5-11.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

July 17th, 2018 – Harsh or Rash Judgement

Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Father Shawn Aaron, LC [Matthew 11: 20-24]
Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And as for you, Capernaum: Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld. For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”
Introductory PrayerGod our Father, you are my shelter against the burning heat of the day and the storms of life. I know and I believe that I can count on your help when I stumble, that you will catch me when I fall and guide my steps firmly in faith toward the promise of eternal life.
PetitionJesus, help me to seek you with a sincere heart.
  1. Blessings and Responsibility: Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more (cf. Luke 12:48). With every blessing comes a degree of responsibility. The mighty deeds worked in these towns were not seen by everyone in Israel, let alone the world. Therefore, those who do see them have a greater responsibility than those who do not. Jesus reproaches them so as to awaken them from their stupor. Since the miracles have not moved them to a deeper faith, then perhaps the reminder that they will one day be answerable to God might. Do I need a similar fear of punishment to drive me from my sins, or am I more focused on pleasing God in the details of my life?
  1. The Goal is Repentance: The goal of all of Jesus’ signs is to bring about a change of heart. Even in the Old Testament, the signs and wonders worked by Yahweh were intended to elicit a response of faith and trust from Israel. The danger for Israel, as for Jesus’ listeners and for us, is to become accustomed to these signs and to demand more signs, thus losing sight of their purpose – a redirection of our life from self-centeredness to Christ-centeredness. Like Herod, we want to be dazzled by Jesus’ miracles, but we do not want to change our lives. Jesus never works a miracle in order to impress, but only to convert a heart back to God or to bring it into deeper union with God.
  1. Reward or Punishment: We can learn a great deal from this strong phrase: Firstly, that we will be judged for our actions and our omissions; secondly, that judgment from God has varying degrees. Since God sees and knows perfectly, the judgment will be objective; those who knew less will be judged less strictly. In other words, Sodom, Tyre and Sidon will indeed be judged, but according to natural law and not according to Christian faith, which they did not have access to at the time. Finally, but not exhaustively, we can deduce that there will be different gradations in heaven and hell according to how well our actions corresponded to what we knew to be true and good. This knowledge should stimulate us to be more generous with God and more centered on things that are above. Our Lord will handsomely reward our smallest good deed.
Conversation with ChristDear Lord, open my eyes to the constant workings of your grace in my life. Never allow me to become complacent or to undervalue the tremendous gift of faith in my life. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of my daily decisions. Mother Most Pure, make my heart only for Jesus.
ResolutionToday I will read nos. 1783-1785 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.


How can Robredo be the proposed oppos|tion leader when she is still in office as Vice President?


MATERNITY LEAVE NAPIRMAHAN NA NI DUTERTE 'LP reklamo pa rin, paano daw ang paternity'-Thinking Pinoy

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Philippine Opposition’s only REAL goal is to SABOTAGE the Philippine economy

Whether it is the SWS or Pulse survey Filipino observers choose to believe (or not believe), the numbers show that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte remains immune to the din of shrill sophomoric “criticism” he receives from the Philippine Opposition. This is not surprising seeing the amateurish manner with which this Opposition led by the Liberal Party (a.k.a. the Yellowtards) continue to apply an obsolete style of opposing Duterte. To this day they still use the tired 1980s-vintage narrative populated by prayerful “martyrs”, a nebulous “fight” of some sort, and the legacy of an “authoritarian” bogeyman who allegedly impoverished the Philippines over an era spanning two decades that they call the “Martial Law years” as fodder for their lame opposition.
One need look no further than the current brouhaha over the recent win of boxing-champ-turned-senator Manny Pacquiao. To the addled minds of the Yellowtards, Pacquiao’s victory and the rousing applause he has attracted from his enormous Filipino fan base pretty much assures the Champ’s continued success in Philippine politics. This is because the Philippines is a democracy. In a democracy — especially its Philippine flavour — popularity trumps all other criteria for success hands down. Yet, despite the fact that Filipinos had signed up to this reality, the Yellowtards continue to throw monumental tantrums over positions taken by personalities that they do not like. They fail to recognise that, in the Philippines’ democracy, power does not necessarily go to people who the Yellowtards happen to like.
To the confused mind of a Yellowtard, Pacquiao is both a boxer and a Philippine Senator. They cannot seem to reconcile Pacquiao the Boxer who pulls in millions of spectators to his riveting bouts and Pacquiao the Senator who has won the right to speak his mind before a chamber of his peers. Rather than see Pacquiao as a challenge to step up to and compete against, Yellowtard thought leaders opt for the easy path and simply whine.
What the Yellowtards fail to recognise is that democracy is a competitive environment. “Righteousness” (as they presume to define it) is not entitled to success in a democracy. Only popularity wins. Therefore, the game here is to do what it takes to be popular. Pacquiao is one such textbook case of what it takes to win in a democracy.
The foundation of a strategy to win against the Pacquiaos of Philippine politics whilst remaining consistent to one’s principles (if a party sees the latter as important enough) is to make one’s product appeal to popular sentiment. If, for example, the Yellowtards would like to package “human rights”, “gender equality”, prayerfulness, “freedom”, and “decency” (as they define it) into a campaign platform upon which its candidates could win an election, then they need to make that package appeal to the popular sentiment in a way that could translate directly to votes. On top of that, they will also need a party or coalition leader who possesses the skills and statesmanship to successfully sell that package to the Filipino voter.
Unfortunately for the Opposition, the election winning strategy of the Yellowtards stands on only one leg — negative campaigning. Whilst negative campaigning proved to be effective against the late former President Ferdinand Marcos in the 1980s and, later, in the equally illegal ouster of President Joseph “Erap” Estrada at the turn of the century, it is evidently ineffective today. Yet the Yellowtard-led Opposition continue to stubbornly stick to this obsolete approach to regaining power. Worse, they are using the same obsolete Yellow narrative to underpin this approach. Using obsolete methods to win against a rapidly-evolving enemy is a sure path to Loserville. We can see how comfy the Yellowtards are in this town they’ve made their home — in their choice of “leaders” (at the moment, the prayerful “vice president” Leni Robredo), in the slogans they use in their rallies, their continued virtue signalling using Western philosophies alien to most Filipino voters as input, and in their alliance with a woefully-discredited Roman Catholic clergy.
Whilst the Yellowtards pour enormous amounts of energy and resources into negative campaigning, there is hardly any political capital invested in positive campaigning. The Opposition has yet to present a coherentvision for the Philippines that could serve as a powerful alternative to the popular Duterte Way. Although their old narrative once formed the backbone of a positive campaign that served them well over three decades, it no longer proves to be effective and, therefore, needs to be replaced. The Yellowtards have so far shown a disturbing lack of imagination to do just that. They prefer, instead, the lazy option of continuing to flog their long-dead workhorse. This laziness in thinking and bankruptcy of imagination has cost the broader Opposition dearly. The fact is, the solution to address the continued loss of the Opposition in their campaign against Duterte is obvious: they need to ditch the Yellowtards.
Rather than quibble on the details surrounding the methods used by Pulse, SWS, or any other “survey” firm, the Opposition should, instead, shape up for real battle. That battle is just around the corner. And, by the looks of it, it will be a battle they will likely lose.

About benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.


The Philippine Opposition’s only REAL goal is to SABOTAGE the Philippine economy

Evidence of organised efforts to foment instability (or at least the perception of it) seems to have been mounting in recent weeks. First is the spate of labour “activism” that was accorded substantial media mileage by the Philippines’ Big Corporate Media. Second is a demonisation campaign against China and its citizens which inadvertently is causing collateral damage to the Filipino Chinese community who find themselves caught in the crossfire of ill-thought-out “news” reports.
Most recent is a set of expensive-looking banners unfurled on highly-visible sites apparently along the route to be traversed by busloads of Chinese visitors the other day. The banners display the words “Welcome to the Philippines, Province of China” which can be interpreted in many ways specially taking into account the inconsistent meaning of the English words to the Chinese characters included in these banners.
These are, of course, all on top of the general din of the banal destabilisation campaign being carried on by the Opposition led by the Liberal Party (a.k.a. the Yellowtards) who, for lack of any vision for the Philippines, gavitate down the easy path of quibbling on the trivial and superficial. The “issues” the Yellowtards seem to focus their chatter around don’t extend beyond grammatical and spelling gaffes, the use of generic memes and GIFs on social media as crutches to mask their lack of articulation skills, and making sophomoric “analyses” on the back of unsound logical inferences that are then lapped up by followers who lack critical evaluation skills.
The underlying thing that is notable amidst all this is how the Yellowtards are working closely with elements of the Communist Party of the Philippines in opposing the government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Many of the labour protests covered by Media have a common denominator — they are all supported by the usual suspects: communist-infiltrated “activist” organisations that draw their supply of warm bodies and hollowheaded “idealists” from university campuses across the country. This is evident in the familiar red flags being waved amidst rallying crowds and protest marches, the familiar “US-[insert name of current president here] Dictatorship” slogans being chanted, and the same personalities who have made “careers” out of leading these rallies.
Filipinos should recall that communists have only one mission — the violent overthrow of “reactionary” governments and the establishment of a Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Right there is a modus operandi consistent with the events unfolding today. The alliance between the prayerful Yellowtards (supposedly moderate liberals who are a bit confused by their religious conservativsm) and the atheist communists may seem counterintuitive at first on an ideological level. But this is, after all, the Philippines where loyalties to personalities overwhelmingly trump ideological sensibilities hands down. Thus it is not surprising that the unifying personality in all this is none other than the late Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr who was known to have strong links with Filipino communists and, at the same time, is the founding “martyr” of Yellowtardom.
All this explains why the Yellowtard-led (and, by association, communist-led) Opposition cannot seem to be bothered to offer a vision and prospectus alternative to the Duterte path. It is because they already have a singular motive — to grab power the communist way, through yet another “revolution”. In this light, it is easy to see why no priority had so far been given by the Philippine Opposition to crafting a coherent and legitstrategy to acquire power legally (i.e. by winning an election). They do not even bother to put up a credible andcompetent leader and, instead, have opted for the lame-duck “vice president” Leni Robredo to front up for them.
In this effort to achieve their singular goal of acquiring power for the sake of power, the Yellowtards and their commie allies are not above laying waste to the Philippine economy even as millions of Filipinos work hard to keep it chugging along. They are doing this by inciting labour unrest, undermining investors’ confidence by creating an atmosphere of political instability, creating division rather than unity around practical goals, and encouraging the application of primitive religious thinking rather than modern scientific critical thought. To keep Filipinos ignorant, insecure, and confused is what the Yellowtards and their commie allies really want. And they plan to acquire power on the back of all that.

About benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.


Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Father Shawn Aaron, LC [Matthew 10: 34-11:1]
Jesus said to his Apostles: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’ Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple– amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.” When Jesus finished giving these commands to his twelve disciples, he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.
Introductory Prayer: Almighty and ever-living God,I seek new strength from the courage of Christ our shepherd. I believe in you, I hope in you, and I seek to love you with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength. I want to be led one day to join the saints in heaven, where your Son Jesus Christ lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.
PetitionJesus, I want to love as you have loved me.
  1. Not Peace but the Sword: Complacency can be defined as “self-satisfaction accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies”. This is a false peace, even a harmful peace. It is a self-satisfied peace that lulls us to sleep and can result in the loss of those things that are truly most valuable in life: God, faith, family, etc…. Jesus comes to interrupt that false peace by upending the tables of our lives (cf. John 2:15) in an effort to awaken us to the dangers that our false peace has blinded us to. As he drove out the sheep and oxen from the temple, so, too, he will use circumstances, trials and difficulties as his “sword” to drive out from our lives whatever is opposed to God’s goodness and our own dignity.
  1. Nothing Before God: With this phrase we start getting an inkling of the type of sword our Lord is wielding. He is giving us a criterion that starts from heaven downward because he is trying to lift us from the earth upward. What natural relationship is closer than the one between a parent and child, especially a mother and child? Yet even this bond must be subordinate to the love we have for God. Why? Well, no creature, not even our parents, can bring us to the fullness of life and happiness that comes only from God. God wants us to love him, not because he needs our love but because we need him. He is objective reality, and we must always move from the subjective to the objective if we are to possess the truth. Jesus invites us to adapt our standards from the merely natural and passing to the supernatural and everlasting.
  1. Love of God Is Inclusive Not Exclusive: Giving a cup of water to one of the least of our brothers and sisters will not go unrewarded, and therefore, unnoticed. In this way, Jesus shows that he is not calling us to a love of God that excludes others. The standard of placing God first does not exclude love for mother or father, sister or brother. Once we love God as he deserves, we will learn to love others as they truly deserve. In fact, we merit the vision of the God we cannot see by loving the neighbor we do see.
Conversation with ChristLord Jesus, following you demands my all, and at times it seems that I do not have the strength to give what you ask. Help me to stay close to you in prayer and in the sacraments so as to have the grace to live the standard of love and generosity that you ask. Mother Most Pure, make my heart only for Jesus.
ResolutionToday I will make three acts of self-denial and offer them for someone in need of prayers.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

TRILLANES DI MATANGGAP ANG SURVEY NI DUTERTE 'Matatanggap mo kung si Leni ang number 1'-Niño Barzaga

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
[Mark 6:7-13]
Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick– no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” So, they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe in you, and I believe that I must follow your will in all that I do. I hope in you, and I place my hope in what you have planned for me today. Teach me not to place my hope in created things, but only in your will. Lord, I love you, and I desire to love your will with greater fervor. Open my heart to respond to your will with generosity and joy. 
Petition: Lord, help me to transmit your message through my words and actions.
  1. Two by Two: Our Lord didn’t send the apostles out in their mission as isolated individuals, but in pairs. Jesus wanted them to realize that alone they would not be strong enough. Alone they would be vulnerable to attacks. Alone they might succumb to temptation and discouragement. Jesus’ disciples were not alone as they labored to carry out their mission, and neither are we. The mission we have of following Jesus may be difficult at times, but Jesus knows this. He places people in our path to help and support us. We must realize that we need the help of others and that others also need our help. We are not alone!
  1. Take Nothing: Jesus wanted his apostles to realize that he is in charge of the mission. Jesus tells them to leave at home what we would consider basic items necessary for any trip. This was a radical lesson for the apostles, as it is for us. Jesus doesn’t want us to rely on our personal efforts, the advanced technology of the day, or any other methods or elements that we can invent for our security or success. He is the origin of any success in our lives, and he alone gives true security. Jesus tells the apostles to take nothing on their journey, except him.
  1. They Went Off: The apostles then went to preach repentance and cure the sick. They trusted in Jesus and in the mission he had entrusted to them. As they began to work, they saw that their efforts were bearing fruit. The people they encountered were responsive. They could see that they were changing lives. In our own lives we don’t often encounter receptive crowds, open and eager to hear about Christ and prepared to amend their lives and start off on a new path. We often find hostility and opposition. In either situation — success or failure — as we try to build Christ’s Kingdom, we must trust in him and remember that we are called to be faithful, not necessarily successful from a human standpoint.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, you’ve given me a mission to spread your Gospel among my family members, friends and coworkers — everyone I encounter. Help me to be faithful to this mission and to undertake it in the way you wish, not the way it most pleases me.
Resolution: I will fulfill my prayer commitments today with generosity and fidelity.

Gascon has a P3M govt salary; he spreads lies to the world on PH situation

He should be impeached for betraying the nation
COMMISSION on Human Rights chair Jose Luis (“Chito’) Gascon, who was the Liberal Party’s director general, is one of our highest-paid state government officials. We taxpayers give him P3 million a year, which puts him among the one-half of one percent of Filipinos, including those in the private sector, making at least that much.
Yet he shamelessly paints the blackest picture of the country and of President Duterte, spewing brazen lies in international forums to portray the country as one in which “tens of thousands of Filipinos are being murdered by our government,” and that those opposing the president are persecuted.
I nearly fell off my seat when in a speech at the so-called Oslo Freedom Forum in New York (run by the Human Rights Watch based there), he claimed that the Duterte administration — in just another indication that it is an authoritarian regime silencing its critics — had forced Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to resign. (The speech was melodramatically titled “Death and the Democratic Deficit in Duterte’s Drug War,” so cheaply using alliteration in the hope that it sticks in his audience’s mind.)
Morales was still in office when Gascon made his speech on May 29. If he doesn’t believe me he could call her up now to check if she’s still there. She in fact, for some reason, has recently been in a frenzy of activity, ordering charges to be filed against officials of the past regime for corruption — including President Aquino, but on a very minor charge.
I cannot believe Gascon doesn’t know that Morales is stepping down on July 26 because her seven-year term, mandated by the Constitution, ends on that date.

Gascon spreading lies in New York with that now-discredited Pieta-like photo.
Duterte’s communication people should be put on high alert. If the Supreme Court as Presidential Electoral Tribunal rules, as I am convinced they would, that Vice President Leni Robredo cheated her way to the post and should be ousted, Gascon will shriek to the world that Duterte removed her from the nation’s second most powerful post.
Devious tack
Gascon put out that shameless canard about Morales as part of his devious tack to portray Duterte as not just your ordinary authoritarian but a cowardly misogynist picking on “strong independent women who oppose him.”
First in his list — illustrated in a two-story projection behind him — is Aquino’s justice secretary and now senator Leila de Lima, who Gascon claims was “arrested and put in jail,” as if armed men one night just barged into her home and took her to a military camp.
Of course, Gascon omitted the crucial facts: that de Lima has been charged for colluding with drug lords, allowing them to use the national prison as their command center, and receiving hundreds of millions of pesos in bribe money. Not just one but three charges were filed by various entities, including the private-sector Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, in three branches of the Regional Trial Court of Muntinlupa (where the penitentiary is). The court ordered her arrest and detention. Of course, Gascon didn’t mention the fact that the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court, ruled en banc that de Lima’s arrest and detention was legal.
Third in Gascon’s list of women persecuted by Duterte is Lourdes Sereno, who he claimed the “authoritarian removed from office.” Of course Gascon didn’t mention that it was her colleagues in the Supreme Court who decided that Sereno was a fake chief justice, since she failed to meet the minimum requirements for the post—even that for psychological health—and must be removed for them to be loyal to the Constitution.
Last in Gascon’s list of “women persecuted by Gascon” is Maria Ressa, editor of the online news outfit Rappler who Gascon claims was “de-registered and facing tax evasion.” Of course Gascon didn’t mention that it was the firm that set up Rappler, in which Ressa is just one of the minority shareholders, that was “de-registered” by the Securities and Exchange Commission for violating the Constitution by taking in foreign funds.

Gascon presenting his list of women persecuted by Duterte, including Ombudsman Morales who he claimed the President forced to resign.
Correct that: Despite Gascon’s claim that we have an authoritarian regime, Rappler is still operating, having appealed the case to the Court of Appeals. Rappler earned about P150 million in the sale of its shares to American entities. Gascon is saying the Bureau of Internal Revenue shouldn’t investigate that for tax evasion?
But his lies about this “persecuted women” are just for starters. He claimed in his speech that the International Criminal Court has started an investigation “into the tens of thousands of people that have been murdered by our government in its war against drugs.”
Tens of thousands of Filipinos? I have in several columns have indisputably refuted grave exaggerations on casualties in the war vs drugs started by Rappler, and disseminated by other anti-Duterte groups. The figure reported by an auditing group of the Philippine National Police is that 4,000 were killed by police in operations against “drug personalities” because they fought back, since Duterte started his campaign up to June this year.
The PNP report indeed pointed out that there was an additional 2,734 homicides that it is investigating as drug-related, but to conclude that this was perpetrated by the police and not by drug pushers and drug lords themselves is so grossly unfair.
Gascon claimed that the “ICC is investigating the killings” to give credence to his allegation of “tens of thousands of Filipinos murdered.”
But this again is another lie. The ICC’s Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda merely initiated a “preliminary examination” — a routine chore it does whenever it receives a complaint. As explained by former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, who had been very supportive of the Yellow Regime, Bensouda (probably in two years) will have to get the approval of a higher body called the Pre-Trial Chamber to undertake the kind of investigation Gascon is claiming.
What is so despicable about Gascon’s presentation, as it is so cheaply appeals to the emotions of his foreign audience, is that he uses as his background an enormous projection of that once-famous July 2016 photo of one Michael Sharon’s dead body cradled in the arms of his partner in that classic “Pieta” pose. The Philippine Daily Inquirer photo became a viral poster by anti-Duterte groups to portray the president as a merciless killer.
However, after more than a year of police investigation—the length of time it took pointing to the fact that it wasn’t merely a cover-up—it was conclusively proven in October 2017 that Siaron wasn’t killed by police or anti-drug vigilantes but by drug-ring criminals, with the gunman Nesty Santiago identified without the shadow of a doubt. Neither the PDI nor any other anti-Duterte group, not even the Commission on Human Rights, contested that police conclusion. The PDI claimed that it never really alleged that he was killed by the police.
It is impossible for Gascon not to have known about this as he mobilized a lot of his staff to investigate the case. Yet sickeningly, he presents this photo to tug at his Western audience’s hearts so they’d believe that Duterte is a ruthless killer.
Yellow hope
Gascon as a citizen is of course entitled to his own opinions, even if these are intended to damage Duterte’s legitimacy. This is in line with the Yellows and Liberal Party’s hope that at best, the president would be forced out of office (as they tried unsuccessfully to do in the case of President Arroyo) or at worse, be so unpopular that the opposition would win the next presidential elections (as they did in Arroyo’s case),
But he heads a government body, the Commission on Human Rights, designed by the Constitution to be independent from politics so it could be a credible and effective check against the state’s abuses. The CHR has turned out to be another of the many institutions Aquino had damaged, turning it into a demolition crew against Duterte.
Aquino appointed Gascon, as well as its four other members who each get government salaries of P2.5 million, in June 2015, and who therefore will step down only in 2022. Other than Gascon, two of them are die-hard Yellow cadres: Roberto Cadiz, who was a private prosecutor (persecutor?) in the trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, whom Aquino moved heaven and earth to boot out, and Leah Armamento, a former justice undersecretary who was de Lima’s right hand woman.
This country can’t have another four years with Gascon using taxpayers’ money to malign this nation.
If he is convinced that Duterte has committed human rights abuses, he should focus on the work of investigating these and filing charges in court, against at least the actual perpetrators so he would be in effect disarming him from undertaking further alleged crimes.
Gascon can’t use his government post and our money for the Yellow strategy that worked in the case of Marcos, which is to get the US to help topple Duterte by painting him as an authoritarian and a human-rights abuser. He should be ashamed to use taxpayers’ money to advance the Yellows’ agenda.
Gascon should be impeached for betrayal of the public trust and the high crime of spreading lies against the country. There is I presume a special place in hell for such a hypocrite and a liar who very falsely portrays us as a nation of cowards refusing to oppose an abusive dictatorship, with only him and his Yellow Cultists as the brave heroes doing so.
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Response ni Spox Harry kay VP leni sa pagsabing lubog na ang Pilipinas sa pagmahal ng prisyo


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Del Rosario admits he was hoodwinked into giving up Panatag

Fourth of a series on the South China Sea dispute*
HURT by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s remarks that “President Aquino mismanaged the Philippine sea dispute with China,” former Foreign Secretary Alberto del Rosario blabbered too much in order to hit back.

In an article posted at the website of the pompously named “Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute for Strategic and International Studies”** —which the billionaire appears to have bankrolled—del Rosario admitted what he and his boss Aquino had hidden from the nation since 2012: We lost Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, just 124 nautical miles off Zambales, because of their huge blunder.
In his article, del Rosario wrote: “During the impasse at Scarborough Shoal with China, we were approached by the US, an honest broker, for both China and the Philippines to agree to a simultaneous withdrawal of ships from the shoal. We therefore agreed. At the appointed time, we withdrew, whereas China did not – in violation of our agreement.”
Del Rosario’s statement, though, is flawed. Neither the US nor China has admitted that there was such an agreement; only talks for such an agreement. Indeed, if there was such an agreement, would the “honest broker” US not have raised a ruckus that China reneged on an agreement it brokered?
Del Rosario’s statement in his article is in sharp contrast to what he said on June 16, 2012, quoted in nearly all media that day two weeks after our ships left the shoal June 3: “Citing bad weather, President Aquino has ordered home two Philippine ships engaged in a standoff with China over Scarborough Shoal.”

Del Rosario and Pangilinan, chairman and vice chairman of the anti-China, anti-Duterte Stratbase ADR Institute.
Until his piece was posted in his website, del Rosario had not himself claimed that that there was an agreement with China for a simultaneous withdrawal of each country’s vessels from Panatag.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, appointed as back-channel envoy in that crisis, claimed there was no such agreement yet when del Rosario – and not Aquino – ordered the vessels out.
Backchannel talks
Both in an interview with Trillanes with me in 2015, and in his aide memoire “Backchannel Talks” that he gave me, the senator claimed it was del Rosario who was responsible for the boo-boo, with Aquino himself blaming his foreign secretary.
“PNoy called me to inform me that our two BFAR (Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources) vessels already left the shoal but China reneged on the agreement of simultaneous withdrawal of their ships, so two of them [were]still inside the shoal,” Trillanes wrote in his aide memoire.
“I asked him who agreed with what, since I was just hammering out the details of the sequential withdrawal because the mouth of the shoal was too narrow for a simultaneous withdrawal. The President told me that Sec. del Rosario told him about the agreement reached in Washington,” Trillanes wrote.
Trillanes continued: “This time I asked PNoy: ‘If the agreement was simultaneous withdrawal, why did we leave first?’ PNoy responded to this effect: ‘Kaya nga sinabihan ko si Albert kung bakit niya pinalabas yung BFAR na hindi ko nalalaman.’ (That’s why I asked Albert [del Rosario]why he ordered the BFAR vessels to leave without my permission.)”
Based on accounts of very credible sources, what actually transpired was as follows:
Fu Ying, China’s vice minister of Foreign Affairs in charge of Asia (who had been ambassador here from 1998 to 2000) met June 1 in Washington with Kurt Campbell, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, to discuss Aquino and del Rosario’s request for the Americans to intervene—even militarily, my sources claimed—in the Scarborough Shoal crisis. Campbell relayed President Obama’s position that the US cannot intervene in the dispute, and instead suggested a simultaneous withdrawal of vessels from Panatag Shoal (also known as Bajo de Masinloc) to de-escalate the tension.
The Chinese official told Campbell that she would relay the suggestion to her superiors in Beijing. However, for some unexplained reason, the then US Ambassador to Manila Harry Thomas that very day told del Rosario that China had already agreed to a simultaneous withdrawal.
Middle of the night
Del Rosario immediately ordered, in the middle of the night, the BFAR and Coast Guard vessels to pull out, leaving the Chinese in complete control of the shoal. Aquino would only find out about the pull-out when he woke up – a bit late – the following morning. With our vessels leaving what we claim as our territory, we have lost it – forever, as it were.

Neither the US, China nor even President Aquino, nor anybody else at the foreign affairs department—except del Rosario’s protégé, then Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia—has confirmed that there was such an agreement.
It is del Rosario and del Rosario alone, who continues to claim that China agreed with the Philippines on a simultaneous withdrawal, as brokered by the “US, an honest broker.”
Did Campbell really tell their ambassador Thomas, to tell del Rosario that the Chinese agreed to withdraw from the shoal? Or did Thomas misinterpret his superior’s communication?
But diplomats are trained to get exactly what their headquarters ask them to relay to a host country. If unsure, an ambassador would request a written memorandum, especially on such an important episode as a stand-off in disputed seas that could even lead to a shooting war.
Or did the 73-year old del Rosario hear what he wanted to hear, as the stand-off had lasted for seven weeks, and he was crumbling under the tension?
Another interpretation would be that, unwilling to intervene, the US tricked the Aquino government into abandoning the shoal, in order to push the Philippines to file a case against China in an international body as a propaganda tack against the Asian superpower.
Nine-dash line
Indeed, the Aquino government’s suit against China was not just over the Philippines’ territorial disputes with it but over the superpower’s sweeping claim over the South China Sea, particularly its so-called “nine-dash line.” China asserts in its maps that this crudely sketched tongue-shaped line, even if undefined in terms of geographical coordinates, demarcates its territory in the South China Sea.

Del Rosario’s bungling of the Panatag issue is important as it explains his public detestation of China, as this conceals the fact that China didn’t really just grab the shoal from us. He and Aquino let go of it, making the Aquino presidency the first administration to lose Philippine territory it already had control of.
Because of his personal hurt over being hoodwinked—by China or by the US—into losing the Panatag Shoal for the Philippines, del Rosario has been relentless in his and his stable of salaried academics’ advocacy that our government adopt an aggressive anti-China stance.
Unfortunately for us, with the billions of pesos he’s amassed as one of the top executives of the Indonesian tycoon Anthoni Salim— other than Manuel V. Pangilinan, he is the only other Filipino director in the Hong Kong based First Pacific Co. Ltd.—del Rosario can bankroll the anti-Chinese propaganda through the “institute” he named after himself. They would even have a vast media empire to disseminate such propaganda: the Philippine Star and the Channel 5 group which Pangilinan controls.
What a country. A gang of big businessmen and executives are trying to control our most important foreign-policy stance, led by del Rosario who has a personal beef against China. And government doesn’t have its own independent think-tank. This is the kind of thing Congress should be investigating.
If not for President Duterte’s independent intellect and strength of character, the Philippines would have been steered by del Rosario, his big business gang, Fidel Ramos’ ideologue Jose Almonte, and Justice Antonio Carpio toward a disastrous, belligerent course against the inarguable superpower in Asia.
* Others in this series:
“Aquino, Del Rosario and media hid the loss of Panatag to China from the nation,” June 25, 2018

“Aquino, Trillanes blamed Del Rosario for Panatag loss,” June 20, 2018
“Yes, Senate must investigate how Aquino, Trillanes and Del Rosario lost Panatag,” June 18, 2018.
**Del Rosario is chairman of both Stratbase and Stratbase ADRi. ADRi’s co-chairman is Manuel V. Pangilinan, chief executive officer of First Pacific Co. Ltd., PLDT, and other huge firms in the Philippines that Indonesian tycoon Salim controls. Other tycoons in this outfit’s board of trustees are Cory Aquino’s nephew Antonio Cojuangco and Philip Romualdez, the husband of Philippine Daily Inquirer president Alexandra Prieto.
Stratbase reports that it is the Philippine partner of Bower Group, an American research and lobby group based in Washington, D.C. The head of Bower’s Korea operations was a former CIA analyst and deputy intelligence officer in the US National Security Council.
ADRi’s publication Spark is an anti-Duterte brochure, with the institute’s academic pretensions shed off by sweeping statements such as the President “shielding China from global criticism” and the economy under him confronting a “perfect storm.”
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