Nationalist Alliance Launched
Against Chinese Intrusions and US Intervention

 

■  Video clips

National Press Club, Manila

 

June 8, 2015

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L-R: Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, former Sen. Letician Shahani, former Sen. Rene Saguisag, former Sen. Victor Ziga
and PLM Law Dean Ernest Maceda (representing his father, former Sen. Ernesto Maceda)

 
Among those who attended the launch of the alliance are: writer/director Bibeth Orteza, singer/composer Heber Bartolome, Gabriela's Liza Maza, Bayan's Renato Reyes and Carol Araullo,  Pamalakaya's Romy Antazo, SCMP's Einstein Recedes, NUSP's Sarah Elago, KMP Chair Rafael Mariano, Teddy Casiño, Renato Constantino Jr., and many others.
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Photos by Arkibong Bayan and P1NAS as indicated by the filenames
           
     
     
     

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PRESS STATEMENT
June 8, 2015

June 12 back to back rallies at China, US embassies

FILIPINOS URGED TO ACT VS. CHINESE INTRUSIONS, US INTERVENTION

A new coalition that includes former senators, cause-oriented groups and celebrities is urging ordinary citizens to take up the cudgels versus Chinese intrusions in the West Philippine Sea as well as increased US military intervention in the country, calling the actions by both superpowers "serious violations of Philippine sovereignty."

In a meeting at the National Press Club this morning, the Pilipinong Nagkakaisa para sa Soberanya (P1NAS) initiated by former Senator Rene Saguisag, party list representative Neri Colmenares and writer/actress Bibeth Orteza called on the public to join rallies in front of the Chinese embassy on June 12, Independence Day, "to show the Chinese government that we are united against their occupation and reclamation activities in Panatag Shoal and the Kalayaan Islands (Spratlys)."

The group likewise called on the public to rally at the US Embassy "to show our objection to US plans to use the Philippine-China dispute as a pretext to bring back their military bases and facilities in the country."

Present at the gathering were several former senators who voted to abrogate the RP-US Military Bases Agreement in 1991.

"Even as we vehemently oppose China's actions in the West Philippine Sea, we are wary that this will be used by the Americans to reverse the legacy and gains of the historic 1991 vote against the US bases. If we don't want Chinese bases in the Spratlys, we certainly don't want the return of US bases in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao," the group said.

They urged the Philippine government to adopt an independent foreign policy "that neither gives in to Chinese bullying nor bows to America's impositions at the expense of our sovereignty." The key to this, they said, is in "uniting our people in the vigorous defense of sovereignty.

"The two big powers should not underestimate the power of our people," they said.

Aside from street actions, P1NAS is contemplating campaigns targeting Chinese and American economic interests in the country as expressions of protest.

 

     
           
     
     
     


ILPS STATEMENT ON THE MARITIME DISPUTE
BETWEEN THE PHILIPPINES AND CHIN
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By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International League of Peoples' Struggle
June 10, 2015

In viewing the maritime dispute between the Philippines and China, the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS) takes a position in the light of and within the framework of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) is expected to make a decision concerning the rights of the Philippines under the UNCLOS.

The Philippines is entitled to the interconnectivity of its islands, the territorial sea of 12 nautical miles from its eastern, northern, western and southern shorelines, the further 200 nautical miles of exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and the still further 150 nautical miles of extended continental shelf (ECS) from the outer limits of the EEZ.

China has its own territorial sea, EEZ and ECS and these are hundreds of miles away from what lawfully belongs to the Philippines. The invention of such a name as “South China Sea” by Western cartographers and mariners cannot be the lawful basis of China's drawing its nine-dash line and claiming “indisputable sovereignty” over 90 per cent of the said sea as much as India cannot claim ownership over the Indian Ocean.

It is an act of piracy and aggression for China to rob the Philippines of 100 per cent of its extended continental shelf and 80 per cent of its exclusive economic zone. It has in fact enforced control over Bajo de Masinloc (or Panatag Shoal) and made reclamations on seven reefs in the Kalayaan group of islands (Spratlys) in what is precisely the West Philippine Sea. It has forcibly acted against Filipino fishermen, damaged the marine environment, grabbed the marine and other resources and installed military facilities in the area.

China has become a full-fledged imperialist power by its acts of aggression on the basis of its monopoly capitalist character that resulted from the Dengist anti-socialist counterrevolution soon after the death of Mao. It is foolish for anyone to misrepresent such aggressive acts as lawful acts to assert the “indisputable sovereignty” of China or even as political counters to US efforts to continue and aggravate US imperialist hegemony over the Asia-Pacific region through its so-called pivot to East Asia.

The imperialist policies of both the US and China are hostile and inimical to Philippine national sovereignty and territorial integrity. There are indeed inter-imperialist contradictions between the US and China. But they also cooperate in order to maintain amicable relations at the expense of the Philippines and the Filipino people.

In connection with the maritime dispute between China and the Philippines, the US has expressed neutrality and interest only in its freedom of navigation. It has overlooked China's violations of the UNCLOS and has in fact shown partiality to its larger interests in relations with China than in those with the Philippines. The US pivot to East Asia is mainly intended to aggrandize US interests and to favor the pro-US big bourgeoisie in China.
 

The US has taken advantage of the maritime dispute between the Philippines and China and has further entrenched itself in the Philippines in many ways, especially militarily by reestablishing military bases under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and selling military junk to the Philippines directly or through Japan and Israel. It is clear that the US and China are conniving by a significant measure to dominate and divide the Philippines, very much like the time when China was divided into spheres of influence and Anglo-American and Japanese imperialists at certain times competed and collaborated in dividing and dominating China.

In the Philippines, regimes subservient to the US and other imperialist powers have pretended to stand for Philippine national sovereignty and territorial integrity against China. But they have in fact allowed the Chinese state and private enterprises to plunder the natural and human resources and to exploit a wide range of business opportunities at the expense of the Filipino people and Filipino entrepreneurs who uphold political and economic sovereignty and desire national industrialization.

On a global scale, the ILPS has been observant of the growing contradictions between the US-NATO combine and the Russia-China tandem. These contradictions have an inter-imperialist character. At certain times, we like to see the Russia-China tandem opposing the US-NATO combine because the latter is more covetous and more aggressive, besides having a longer history of modern imperialist hegemony and aggressions. But we cannot allow China to do its own aggression against the Philippines and the Filipino people just as we cannot allow the perpetuated aggression of the US against them.

The people and their revolutionary forces must rise up against the imperialist powers and their local reactionary agents. They must advance in their struggle for national liberation, democracy and socialism. They must end their intolerable suffering of the escalating oppression and exploitation, the ever worsening crisis, depression and wars.

They must take advantage of the opportunities generated by inter-imperialist contradictions. The oppressed and exploited peoples can achieve national and social liberation by relying on their own strength and capabilities and by fighting against any imperialist power and local reactionary force that oppress and exploit them.

Liberation cannot be achieved by being subservient to one or another imperialist power. The broad masses of the Filipino people, including the revolutionary party of the proletariat and people's army, can demand the nationalization of the enterprises of any imperialist power hostile to the Filipino people. They can also immediately strive to disable and dismantle the enterprises of any hostile imperialist power even if they cannot as yet wage naval, air and missile warfare.

The anti-imperialist and democratic forces in the Philippines should unite to build national strength and develop relations with friendly countries that are truly helpful and are not hostile to the Filipino people's aspirations for full national sovereignty, people's democracy, industrial development, social justice, scientific and cultural progress and peace.###

 

     

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Pilipinong Nagkakaisa para sa Soberanya

IPAGTANGGOL ANG SOBERANYA NG BANSA!
Manipesto ng Pilipinong Nagkakaisa para sa Soberanya (P1NAS)
Hunyo 12, 2015

Mahal natin ang Pilipinas. Ito ang ating tahanan at pinakaiingatang yaman.

Mahal natin ang bawat butil ng kanyang makinang na dalampasigan, ang bawat patak ng kanyang asul na karagatan. Kayamanan natin ang kanyang masaganang lupain, ang bawat bato sa kanyang magagarang kabundukan, ang libu-libong isla sa kanyang kapuluan.

Ang Pilipinas - Luson, Bisayas, Mindanao, Sabah at mga Isla ng Kalayaan - ay para sa Pilipino. Hindi tayo papayag na angkinin o sakupin Ito ng iba.

Mahal natin ang Pilipinas. Tulad ng ating mga ninuno, nilalabanan natin ang pananakop at pandarambong ng mga dayuhan sa ating bayan. Tinututulan natin ang kanilang pagpiga sa dugo at, pawis ng ating mga kababayan. Itinatakwil natin ang mga kasunduan, batas at patakaran na nagpapahirap sa karamihan para lamang sa kapakinabangan ng dayuhan at iilan. Ang lahat ng ito, sa anumang anyo at paraan, ay hindi dapat magpatuloy.

Nababahala at tumututol tayo sa pwersahang pag-angkin at reklamasyon ng Tsina sa ating mga isla at karagatan, lalo na iyong 80% ng karagatan sa Kanluran na dapat sana ay para sa kapakinabangan ng Pilipinas. Labag Ito sa itinatakda ng mga intemasyunal na kasunduan at batas gaya ng UNCLOS. Gayundin ay nangangamba at di tayo pumapayag sa pagdagsa at pagbabase ng mga sundalo at armas ng Amerika sa ating bayan. Batid nating interes nila at hindi ng Pilipinas ang pangunahiig dahilan ng kanilang pakikialam.

Ayaw nating maging sangkalan ang Pilipinas sa paligsahan ng dalawang higante. Hangad nati'y pantay at mabuting ugnayan sa lahat. Hangad nati'y mapayapa at makatarungang solusyon, hindi gera at sabwatan sa pagitan ng mga naghahariharian. Hangad nating manaig ang ating pambansang interes upang tayo'y makatayo sa ating sariling paa, at hindi maging palagiang palaasa.

Walang ibang magtatanggol sa soberanya ng Pilipinas kundi mga Pilipino. Kapag tayo'y magsama-sama, anuman ang pagsubok, tayo'y magtatagumpay.

Sa mga banyagang nanghihimasok at nambubusabos sa atin, sa mga nagsasamantala sa ating kahinaan, Tsino man o Amerikano, ito ang ating babala: kayo'y mabibigo. Babangon at lalaban tayo para sa isang malaya, demokratiko at masaganang Pilipinas!

Sa ating mga kababayan, magkaisa at kumilos! Ipagtanggol natin ang Inang Bayan! itaguyod ang dangal at soberanya ng bansa!

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!



 

     
     
           
     
     
     

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Streetwise

By Carol Pagaduan-Araullo

The only real deterrent to China’s aggression

In recent months, China’s flurry of reclamation work and building of military installations on several of the islets and reefs in the disputed portions of the West Philippine Sea (WPS)/South China Sea (SCS) have set alarm bells ringing about China’s aggressive design to claim almost the entirety of the area as part of its national territory.  The Philippines, being one of the parties to the disputes over maritime rights and territorial claims in the WPS/SCS, is rightfully aggrieved. 

The WPS/SCS encompasses traditional fishing grounds not only for Filipino fisherfolk but those from several other ASEAN countries.  (China has been denying their access to these fishing grounds.)  The bountiful marine resources and rich marine biodiversity of the WPS/SCS is nature’s endowment to our peoples; it should be wisely conserved while being sustainably exploited.  (Chinese fishing vessels are well known to be engaged in destructive overexploitation of the marine environment.) There is substantial, commercially-valuable petrochemical and gas deposits in the underlying seabed that would be a much-needed boost to the economic development of any of the claimant nations. (China is suspected of wanting to hog these resources.)

The WPS/SCS is a geopolitically strategic and sensitive area.  It contains vital sea lanes for much of the global trade in the region.  Historically, it has been a stepping stone for western imperialist inroads into China.  Currently, it is a critical part of the Asia Pacific where US military might is being shifted to contain a resurgent China and maintain the US’ unchallenged dominance in the region.

The Filipino people must see through the geopolitical power play between the declining but still militarily superior US and its rival China, the new economic powerhouse, albeit with a far distant offensive military capability.  The Filipino people must not allow the country to be used as a pawn in big-power competition, collusion and confrontation.  Unfortunately, there is the widespread yet dangerous thinking, reinforced by a lingering colonial hangover, that the best, if not only, way to defend our sovereignty against any foreign country’s encroachments is to call on Uncle Sam for help.  

The conventional wisdom is that the Philippines, being a poor, backward country has no capacity to defend itself against China’s bullying and anticipated worse depredations to come; neither now nor in the foreseeable future.  Besides, it is argued, hasn’t the Philippines always been under the US security umbrella through long-standing military agreements?  

What is undeniable is the fact that the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and other such lop-sided pacts have not resulted in the promised modernization of the AFP, ergo our external defense capability is one of the weakest among claimants.   The year-round Balikatan joint military exercises that are supposed to be improving “interoperability” between the state-of-the-art war machinery of the US and the decrepit, outdated equipment of the Philippines merely reinforce the Philippine military’s state of awe, dependence and subordination to the US armed forces.  

With the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), the Philippines’ role as provider of forward stations aka “agreed locations” for the basing of the US military troops and materiel is sealed.  Once more the justification is EDCA will cover the gaping holes in our external defense, acting as a deterrent against China based on the groundless presumption that the US will go to war against China in our behalf.  

Philippine authorities and other wishful thinkers mindlessly cling to the illusory notion of Big Brother immediately coming to our defense despite the fact that the US has repeatedly stated that it will not intervene in the territorial disputes in the WPS/CHS.  They also ignore the reality that the US has far bigger, more important stakes in its relations with China -- trillion of dollars in trade and trillion more in loans -- than it has with its former colony.

This was made clear by no less than US President Obama when he declared during his visit in April 2014, at the height of the tensions over the WPS/SCS, that US-PH military agreements, such as the MDT, do not bind it automatically to take military action to defend the Philippines in the event of a Chinese attack.  Moreover, the presence of US troops, war materiel and facilities on Philippine territory, especially on the basis of a military alliance, could only serve as a magnet for attack from the enemies of the US, as in WW II when Japan attacked the Philippines which was then a US colony.

So if the Philippines cannot rely on the US against China’s aggressive posture and actuations in the WPS/SCS where can it turn to?  Many foreign policy experts have pointed to the need for ASEAN countries to unite and pressure China to agree to a binding Code of Conduct in settling WPS/SCS disputes.  Other opinion makers call for strengthening ties with India and Japan as a counterpoint to both China and the US.  However this ignores the fact that Japan remains more than ever the US fugleman in Asia while the US has, in recent years, forged closer economic and diplomatic ties with India.

Others call for quiet diplomacy at government-to-government and people-to-people levels with China geared towards minimizing frictions and increasing understanding and cooperation.  While beneficial, it would be naïve to think that such diplomacy will, by itself, temper China’s aggressiveness. The logic of China’s burgeoning capitalist economy fans its expansionist ambitions despite declarations of its intention to a “peaceful rise” as a global power. 

Still others say the thing is to be able to beat the two contending powers at their own game by playing off one against the other utilizing a battery of experts in various fields to craft and implement such strategy and tactics.

All these approaches however overlook and grossly underestimate the power of a united people rising in mass protest and pushing the government to do what is necessary to uphold national interests including imposing economic sanctions on Chinese enterprises in the country such as in construction, real estate, agribusiness, import-export, power generation and transmission, mining, banking, etc.

The Vietnamese people angrily took to the streets to denounce China’s grab of its claimed territory and exclusive economic zone in the WPS/SCS. In the past the Vietnamese navy has dared to confront the far stronger Chinese navy.  Such courageous and defiant acts have stymied China’s intrusions to a significant extent.  China has been given notice that Vietnam is no pushover.



The Filipino people need not feel helpless in the wake of stepped-up Chinese aggression in the WPS/SCS.  Building a revitalized patriotic movement that draws its strength from its own people, neither taking sides nor relying on one power to defend itself from the other, is the key to the assertion and defense of our national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The time to build such a movement is now. #

Published in Business World
8 June 2015

 

     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     
     

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Citizen diplomacy needed amid superpowers clash

By Inday Espina-Varona, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at 06/08/2015 1:31 PM | Updated as of 06/08/2015 11:58 PM

Filipino women should confront China, says Shahani

Former Senators Leticia Ramos-Shahani and Rene Saguisag chat with Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares at the launch of P1NAS (Pilipinong Nagkakaisa para sa Soberanya), which aims to rally Filipinos to stand up against China, the United States and other powers out to make Philippine waters and Southeast Asian sea lanes an arena for their supremacy games. Photo by Inday Espina-Varona, ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA - Formal diplomacy and tiptoeing around protocols are not going to help the Philippines thwart a bristling giant encroaching on its waters and islands, according to former senator and veteran diplomat Leticia Ramos-Shahani.

Shahani, who is ailing, delivered a fiery speech at the launch of P1NAS, a new alliance to defend Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity, and strengthen efforts to forge an independent foreign policy.

“We need a mass movement,” she said. “Citizen diplomacy is needed to thwart the power play in the West Philippine Sea.”

Shahani dismissed what she described as timid government moves in the face of China’s encroachment. She challenged Filipino women activists to ride bancas and face the might of the Chinese Navy, which has been known to harass Filipino vessels in disputed waters.

Aside from Shahani, former senators Rene Saguisag and Victor Ziga, Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, artists Heber Bartolome and Bibeth Corteza attended the launch with leaders of militant groups and academic organizations.

The alliance is spearheading the June 12 Independence Day twin “Tindig P1NAS/Hands Off” protests at the Embassy of China in Makati, followed by a caravan to the United States Embassy on Roxas Blvd, Manila. The group said the protests will be nationwide.

“In the last few years, we have seen how China has committed blatant acts of aggression by imposing its baseless and arrogant claim of owning 90 percent of the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea,” said a statement of the alliance.

It accused the US of being “partisan to China, because it has far larger interests in its relations with China than with those in the Philippines.”

“But it is also using China as a bogey to justify increased military presence in the Philippines even as it uses the Philippines as a leverage against China.”

INTERNATIONAL CASE

Saguisag expressed hope of a Philippine victory in United Nations (UN) arbitration efforts. The Philippines has asked a UN-backed tribunal to void the Asian superpower's 9-dash line claim over South China Sea.

Shahni, however, cautioned against leaving multilateral agencies and foreign allies to resolve the issue.

“China has the power to say, ‘No’,” Shahani pointed out.

“Among international organizations, power is the language among nations,” said the former senator. “Power speaks. China is a permanent member of the US Security Council.” The Asian superpower has veto rights over any UN resolution.

Shahani also cautioned against over-dependence on the United States or any allied power.

Even mutual defense treaties won’t guarantee direct military aid, she said. The islands in the West Philippine Sea, she noted, won’t be automatically defended, precisely because they are disputed.

“Let us wake up Filipinos,” Shahani said. “Let us rely on ourselves.”

INDEPENDENT FOREIGN POLICY

Saguisag stressed that “an independent foreign policy” is a constitutional mandate.

He said the recent US pivot to Asia, China’s expansionism, Russia’s plans to hold military exercises in 2016 and even Japan’s review of its pacifist constitution should concern Filipinos.

Both former senators and Colmenares said China needs to be sent a strong message from Filipino citizens.

At the same time, they stressed that friendship is not the chief motivation of the US or Japan.

“We will support a peaceful resolution to the problem,” Colmenares said. “But let us have no illusions about these offers of aid.”

He said the US will not back the Philippines in the maritime dispute. What it is after is freedom of navigation for its commercial and military fleets, the party-list representative stressed.

From:
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/focus/06/08/15/citizen-diplomacy-needed-amid-superpowers-clash

 

     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     
           

.Home  OPINION  Interview on China and the US with Prof. Jose Maria Sison

Interview on China and the US
with Prof. Jose Maria Sison

by Jan Victor Ayson

I have some complex questions on the issue of Chinese expansion and the US pivot to East Asia.

1. People are wondering about the stand of the mass movement and the revolutionary movement, as well, as yours on the issue of Chinese aggression in the Kalayaan group of islands and Bajo de Masinloc in the West Philippine Sea. Kindly state your personal analysis on this issue and your personal stand.

JMS: I resolutely and vigorously oppose the aggressive acts of China, especially the occupation of the Bajo de Masinloc and the ongoing reclamations being made in the Kalayaan group of islands. I have published my position in several articles and interviews.

I agree with the revolutionary underground forces and the open legal forces of the national democratic movement that have expressed their position against China’s acts of aggression which seek to grab 100 per cent of the ECS and 80 per cent of the EEZ of the Philippines.

There is a new broad alliance called PINAS which oppose the US and China for violating Philippine national sovereignty and territorial integrity. PINAS will be launched on June 8 and will spearhead the mass actions against the US and China for committing the such violations.

2. The Aquino regime and its military and political underlings have repeatedly begged for US military assistance in the Filipino nation’s territorial claims. Is it possible that US intervention would sustain this nation’s territorial claims?

JMS: The US has expressed a neutral position on the maritime dispute between the Philippines and China and speaks only for freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. But it has expressed support for Japan’s invalid claim on Daoyu islands on the basis of previous imperialist aggressions of Japan.

It has its spy satellites always in operation. It has known about China’s reclamations in the West Philippine Sea since the beginning. But it has not made any timely opposition.

It is mainly and essentially interested in making its own violations of Philippine national sovereignty and territorial integrity in collaboration with its Filipino puppets. It allows China’s acts of aggression and yet cites them to further entrench itself in the Phlippines and reestablish US military bases under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

3. China’s emerging economic power is the presumed target of the US “pivot” (another English word for rebalance) from the Middle East to East Asia. Kindly state your observations on the rebalance of American military forces on East Asia as a political scientist and an international situation observer

JMS: The US pivot to East Asia or rebalance towards deploying 60 per cent of its naval assets and 50 per cent of itsground and air assets is meant to influence China’s economic, social, political, military and cultural policies and affairs in the direction of favoring a pro-US big bourgeoisie within China and restraining the trend of Sino-Russian collaboration. At the same time,the US is unwittingly pushing China to strengthen its relations with Russia. US is using Japan as a pawn to pressure China.

4.What can the Filipino people do inspite of the Filipino nation’s economic undevelopment/maldevelopment, absence of military modernization for the defense of Philippine waters (lack of planes, ships and missiles), the shameless treason of the Philippine government’s highest officials, and the Chinese expansion, the US pivot to East Asia, and current international events?

JMS: The Filipino people can become more resolute and militant in carrying out the people’s revolution and realize full national sovereignty, the nationalization of the economy, the development of the economy through national industrialization and land reform, boycott against the hostile powers and disable or dismantle their enterprises on Philippine territory.

From Manila Today:
http://www.manilatoday.net/interview-on-china-and-the-us-with-prof-jose-maria-sison/

 

 

There are many people already proposing that mass organizations and the people’s army can take offensive actions against the enterprises of hostile powers. They say that they can disable or even dismantle such enterprises, like mines, plantations,logging, power plants, warehouses, real estate businesses, towers, commercial and financial enterprises, and so on.

Many people say that they only need to have a patriotic will, a lighter or match box and cans of petrol to disable or even destroy any unwanted enterprise. They are outraged by China’s reclamations and by the basic condonation of these by the US. They oppose the US and China trying to divide and dominate the Philippines for their respective imperialist benefit.

Because of the ever worsening crisis of the world capitalist system, the contradictions among the imperialist powers will continue to intensify and will result in opportunities for revolutionary advances. The global crisis, depression and the imperialist wars of aggression inflict terrible suffering on the people. Thus, the people are bound to rise up and take their destiny into their own hands. The movements for national liberation, democracy and socialism will resurge to a new and higher level. ###

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Groups prep for Independence Day rally

By Dennis Carcamo (philstar.com) | Updated June 8, 2015 - 3:43pm

 

Various groups are now readying to mount a massive protest rally in front of the Chinese embassy on Independence Day. 
 

MANILA, Philippines - A newly formed group, composed of former senators, members of cause-oriented groups and celebrities, has called on the public to take up cudgels and move against Chinese intrusions in the West Philippine Sea.  

The Pilipinong Nagkakaisa para sa Soberanya (P1NAS) initiated by former Sen. Rene Saguisag, party-list representative Neri Colmenares and writer-actress Bibeth Orteza, urged the public to join rallies in front of the Chinese embassy on June 12, Independence Day.

The group said the move is "to show the Chinese government that we are united against their occupation and reclamation activities in Panatag Shoal and the Kalayaan Islands (Spratlys),"

During a meeting of members of the group, former senators Leticia Ramos Shahani who called for an independent foreign policy in dealing with China, and  Vic Ziga attended the gathering. 

The group also called on the public to rally at the US Embassy "to show our objection to US plans to use the Philippine-China dispute as a pretext to bring back their military bases and facilities in the country."

"Even as we vehemently oppose China's actions in the West Philippine Sea, we are wary that this will be used by the Americans to reverse the legacy and gains of the historic 1991 vote against the US bases. If we don't want Chinese bases in the Spratlys, we certainly don't want the return of US bases in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao," the group said.

 "The two big powers should not underestimate the power of our people," the group added.

Aside from street actions, P1NAS is contemplating campaigns targeting Chinese and American economic interests in the country as expressions of protest.

From: Philippine Star
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2015/06/08/1463624/groups-prep-independence-day-rally
 

           
     
 
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Old warriors lead people’s charge

June 8, 2015 11:10 pm

by JOEL M. SY EGCO AND JAIME R. PILAPIL

http://www.manilatimes.net/old-warriors-lead-peoples-charge/190256/         

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TAKING A STAND Former senator Rene Saguisag (center) addresses reporters at the launch of the Pilipinong Nagkakaisa para sa Soberanya on Monday at the National Press Club as other alliance leaders listen. Also in photo are (from left) Rep. Neri Colmenares, former senators Leticia Ramos-Shahani and Victor San Andres Ziga and Dean Ernesto Maceda, who represented his father and namesake, who is also a former senator and ambassador to Washington. PHOTO BY MELYN ACOSTA


OLD soldiers never die, they just fade away but they will return to heed the clarion call for them to fight again.

Retired senators Rene Saguisag, Leticia Ramos-Shahani and Victor Ziga on Monday epitomized the statement partly taken from the speech delivered by General Douglas Macarthur four months before Washington signed a mutual defense treaty with Manila in 1951 as they joined the leaders of a people’s alliance that vowed to defend Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity.


Though they belonged to rival camps when the Senate voted on the RP-US Bases Agreement, the three senators found themselves united in a cause to push Manila to forge an independent foreign policy.


Saguisag, a Manila Times columnist, and Ziga were among the so-called “Magnificent 12” or the senators who voted against the extension of the RP-US Bases Agreement in 1991 while Ramos-Shahani was on the side that supported the first Aquino government’s position to extend the infamous agreement.


Ramos-Shahani, a former UN deputy secretary-general, said diplomacy alone will not help the Philippines stop China’s expansionist moves.


“We need a mass movement … citizen diplomacy is needed to thwart the power play in the West Philippine Sea [South China Sea],” she said at Monday’s launch of the Pilipinong Nagkakaisa para sa Soberanya (Pinas), a people’s initiative spearheaded by Saguisag, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares , writer/actress Bibeth Orteza and activist-singer/songwriter Heber Bartolome.

Ramos-Shahani said the people, especially the women, should set out to the disputed areas and bravely face China’s warships

“Let us wake up Filipinos… let us rely on ourselves,” she added.


Saguisag said the government should pursue an independent foreign policy as mandated by the 1987 Constitution.


Pinas is organizing a massive demonstration against China at the Chinese Embassy in Makati City and the US Embassy in Manila on June 12, Independence Day.

The group also plans protest actions nationwide.


“In the last few years, we have seen how China has committed blatant acts of aggression by imposing its baseless and arrogant claim of owning 90 percent of the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea,” Pinas said in a statement.

The alliance called on the public to join the demonstration in front of the Chinese Embassy “to show the Chinese government that we are united against their occupation and reclamation activities in Panatag Shoal and the Kalayaan Islands [Spratlys].”


The group also called on the public to rally at the US Embassy “to show our objection to US plans to use the Philippine-China dispute as a pretext to bring back their military bases and facilities in the country.”


“Even as we vehemently oppose China’s actions in the West Philippine Sea, we are wary that this will be used by the Americans to reverse the legacy and gains of the historic 1991 vote against the US bases. If we don’t want Chinese bases in the Spratlys, we certainly don’t want the return of US bases in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao,” the group said in a statement.


“The two big powers should not underestimate the power of our people,” it added.
 

 

     
     
     
           
     
     
     
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Posted on June 08, 2015 08:20:00 PM

 

Nationalist alliance formed versus China, US intervention


http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Nation&title=nationalist-alliance-formed-versus-china-us-intervention&id=109336

THREE former senators -- two of whom voted against the continued stay of American military bases in 1991 -- have joined a newly-launched nationalist movement against Chinese expanionism in the disputed South China Sea, as well as increased intervention by the United States.

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Present during the launch of the Pilipinong Nagkakaisa para sa Soberanya (P1NAS) on Monday are former Senators Rene A.V. Saguisag, Victor S.A. Ziga, and Leticia Ramos-Shahani. Former Senator Ernesto M. Maceda, meanwhile, was represented by his son, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila College of Law Dean Ernesto P. Maceda, Jr.

The alliance, initiated by Mr. Saguisag with Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri J. Colmenares and artist Bibeth Orteza, is set to hold an Independence Day protest at the Chinese Consular Office in Makati City and then the United States Embassy.

A June 26 forum at the PLM will have Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio as a speaker.

Messrs. Saguisag, Ziga and Maceda were among the 12 senators who voted to abrogate the Military Bases Agreement and reject a new bases treaty with the United States on Sept. 16, 1991.

In a statement, P1NAS said that “even as we vehemently oppose China’s actions in the West Philippine Sea (the country’s maritime claim in the South China Sea), we are wary that this will be used by the Americans to reverse the legacy and gains of the historic 1991 vote against the US bases.”

“If we don’t want Chinese bases in the Spratlys, we certainly don’t want the return of US bases in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao,” the group added.

Aside from street actions and educational activities, the alliance is also mulling “campaigns targeting [mainland] Chinese and American economic interests in the country as expressions of protest.”

Mr. Colmenares clarified at the sidelines of the meeting that the alliance would still have to talk it over, but said that with respecting international laws, foreign companies should also respect local laws.

During the briefing, Mr. Colmenares said that the maritime dispute with China should be addressed through peaceful resolution, through the arbitration case before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, as well as multilateral negotiations.

Mr. Saguisag said even if China does not recognize the results of the arbitration case, pursuing the tack would earn the Philippines the right to stand on higher moral ground.

Mr. Colmenares said that there’s no difference between Chinese aggression and US intervention as far as infringement on the country’s territory and sovereignty is concerned, while Mr. Saguisag said the possibility of Japanese military aid could escalate the tension brewing between the powerful countries.

Meanwhile, Ms. Ramos-Shahani, who said she has since reflected on her decision to vote yes in 1991, called for the country to have an independent foreign policy and citizen-engaged diplomacy. -- 
Vince Alvic Alexis F. Nonato

 

     

Rep. Neri Colmenares:
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Sen. Rene Saguisag:
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Sen. Leticia Shahani:
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Sen. Victor Ziga:
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PLM Law Dean Ernesto Maceda Jr:
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BAYAN Sec Gen Renato Reyes:
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Why this businessman spent nearly P12-M to bolster the Philippines' UN case vs China

By ELLEN T. TORDESILLAS,VERA Files June 8, 2015 11:54pm
From:
http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/500714/news/specialreports/why-this-businessman-spent-nearly-p12-m-to-bolster-the-philippines-un-case-vs-china 

 
The map debunks the so-called nine-dash-line China has been using as proof of its claim over the South China Sea. It also locates Scarborough shoal, then known as “Panacot,” also called “Panatag” by Filipinos, off the shores of Luzon, then known as Nueva Castilla. Scarborough shoal has been a source of conflict between the Philippines and China.
 
The Jesuit priest Pedro Murillo Velarde had the map published in Manila in 1734. It surfaced in 2012 among the possessions of a British lord, who put it up for auction at Sotheby’s in London, where Filipino businessman Mel Velarde bid and got it for £170,500 ($266,869.46 or P12,014,463.09).
 
The first certified true copy of the map has been reserved for Malacañang. Velarde will personally present it to President Aquino on June 12, the anniversary of Philippine independence.
 
How Velarde, president and chief executive officer of Information Technology-based Now Corporation, acquired the map that had lain among the treasures of one of England’s most prominent families for more than 200 years is like something out of the movies. In fact, the wizard Harry Potter even makes a cameo appearance in the story.
 
Velarde has yet to find out if he is related to the Jesuit priest, although a possible connection was one of the motives for his pursuit of the artifact. 
 
Velarde said Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio, a long time friend, suggested to him sometime in October last year to bid for the Murillo Velarde map. Velarde said Carpio’s convincing line was: “You know, man, you're a Velarde."
 
Carpio, who has been conducting lectures debunking China’s claim of almost the entire South China Sea, calls the Murillo Velarde map the “Mother of all Philippine maps.”
 
Local public and private museums declined to take part in the Sotheby’s bid. The National Museum was interested but didn’t have the money, so the plan was for Velarde to buy the map and sell it later to the National Museum.
 
The Murillo Velarde map measures 1,120 by 1,200 mm. The Sotheby’s catalog carried a description of the map by Filipino historian and biographer Carlos Quirino: “Murillo Velarde’s map of the Philippines is a landmark in the depiction of the islands, and the first scientific map of the Philippines. It is flanked by two pasted-on side-panels with twelve engravings, eight depicting native costumed figures, a map of Guajam (Guam) and three city or harbour maps, notably Manila.”
 
The map was among 80 heirlooms that the current Duke of Northumberland, Ralph George Algernon Percy, decided to auction off after a devastating flood hit Northumberland County in April 2012.  
 
Newspaper reports said heavy rains had “caused a culvert on the Duke of Northumberland's land to collapse. Many residents were evacuated and some homes demolished after the foundations were damaged.” 
 
Although the Duke’s estate did not own all the affected homes, he provided urgent help for his neighbors. The flood left him with a £12 million bill for repairs, hence the need to auction off his family’s collection. 
 
As a bit of trivia, the Duke owns the vast Alnwick Castle, which has been featured as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the first two Harry Potter films. 
 
Sotheby held the first auction on July 9, 2014 and the second on Nov. 4, 2014, both in London.
It was in the November auction that the Murillo Velarde map, called Carta Hydrographia y chorogphica de las Ylas Filipinas, Manila 1734, was included under Lot 183.
 
The Murillo Velarde map names two Filipinos as responsible for the map--Francisco Suarez who drew it and Nicolas de la Cruz Bagay who engraved it. 
 
Historian Ambeth Ocampo wrote in his column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, “The Murillo Velarde map of 1734 is quite rare, with less than 50 known copies to exist in the entire universe.”
 
Velarde registered to participate in the auction through an agent.  He had participated in auctions in person before but his acquisition of the map last November was his first bid by phone.
 
The Sotheby’s auction took place at 9 p.m, Manila time while Velarde was in a Resorts World steakhouse for his mother’s 78th birthday dinner.
 
Velarde described the bidding, which lasted only for three to four minutes, as “furious.”
 
He was on the phone before Sotheby’s put Lot 183 on the auction block, and noted that in other lots, it was over after two to three bids. 
 
Bidding for the map started at £30,000. He started to bid through his agent, thinking that he could go as high as £80,000. 
 
Velarde said he could hear “30,000 pounds,…  40,000 pounds… 50,000 pounds. Fifty-five, sixty.”  He said, “It seemed like so many were bidding.”
 
When the bidding reached £80,000, Velarde said he paused for a few seconds to decide whether or not to stop. The exchange rate was P68 to £1. He knew that the National Museum could allot only P5 million to buy rare items. 
 
Then images of the Chinese occupying the contested islands in the Spratlys came to mind, he said, and he decided to proceed.
 
“Pansariling away na, nagiging personal na sa akin (lt became a personal crusade)," he said. He eventually paid more than double the amount he thought he was willing to part with: £170,500. 
 
When you buy a car, Velarde said, you have something to compare it with. Not in the case of an old map.  But Velarde also thought of the possible implications later, knowing that there is a pending case before the U.N. International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea against China. “You need some evidence,” he said.
 
Velarde said he is thankful the auction was not held in Shanghai or Macau, where the map could have attracted Chinese bidders and the price would have been much higher.
 
Now that Velarde owns the map, the National Museum has informed him it has no funds to buy the map this year, and that there was some uncertainty about funds next year. Velarde decided to donate the map instead. 
 
Why is he doing it?
 
“In a true-to-life movie, there's a part for everybody. There’s a bully in the neighborhood. He already took over our land. We have soldiers in the Spratlys. Naka-standby lang sila (They’re just on standby there),” Velarde said.
 
“Then, this map is owned by a Duke in a Harry Potter castle. It’s like you wanting to play your part in the movie,” he added.
 
Velarde said he hopes to meet with the Duke of Northumberland someday.  His children want to come along, not really for the Duke, who comes from a 700-year-old English aristocracy and is the fourth largest landowner in the United Kingdom. They are excited to see the room where Harry Potter had his first flying lessons. —JST, GMA News


 






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Heber Bartolome:
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Bibeth Orteza:
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SCMP Spokesperson Einstien Recedes:
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PAMALAKAY SEC GEN Romy Antazo:
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NUSP President Sarah Elago:
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Journalist Inday Varona:
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Mae Paner:
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Comment #1 of Sen. Leticia Shahani:
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Comment #2 of Sen. Leticia Shahani:
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Bayan Ko community singing





VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”
 
           
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