Saturday, August 1, 2015

New officer to lead PCG Auxiliary

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 2): New officer to lead PCG Auxiliary

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Auxiliary has a new national director in the person of Rear Admiral Valentin B. Prieto.

As the seventh PCGA national director, he will lead the only uniformed and civilian organization in the country composed of 6,000 members coming from 12 auxiliary districts.

Prieto replaced Vice Admiral Joseph N. Dy, who resigned due to health problems of his wife, the former Pasay City Rep. Consuelo Dy.

The PCGA is a service-oriented, uniformed, volunteer organization established to assist the Coast Guard in the promotion of safety of life and property at sea, the protection of the marine environment and its resources, the conduct of maritime search and rescue, the maintenance of aids to navigation, recreational safety and such other activities that enhance maritime community relations which include civic action and youth development through the National Service Training Program, and other related activities.

Prieto vowed to make the PCGA more stronger and effective and further uphold its good working relationship with the Philippine Coast Guard to pursue the common goal of promoting the safety of life and property at sea.

“Vice Admiral Dy and I share the same vision for the PCGA, thus our direction will be the same. We will execute the same projects while adding a few more. We will pursue our common goals with the Coast Guard in an atmosphere of friendship, understanding, brotherhood, and mutual respect,” he said.

4 more rebels surrender in Davao del Norte

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 2): 4 more rebels surrender in Davao del Norte

Tired of the incessant fighting, four more members of the New People's Army (NPA) voluntarily surrendered to 10th Infantry Division units in Davao del Norte last Friday.

This was disclosed by 1st Lt. Alexander Cabales, 10th Infantry Division spokesperson, in a statement Sunday.

He said the rebels, who turned themselves to military authorities in Sitio Patil, Barangay Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte, also surrendered their weapons which include an M-16 automatic rifle, two AK-47s, and an improvised explosive device.

Also surrendered were medical items and paraphernalia.

Their surrender was made possible through the initiative of tribal leaders of Langila-Manobo Tribe in Kapalong.

Zambales gov orders Chinese buoys dismantled

From the Philippine Star posted to ABS-CBN (Aug 1): Zambales gov orders Chinese buoys dismantled

The governor of this province has ordered the dismantling of buoys with Chinese markings found near Panatag or Scarborough Shoal.

“For safety reasons, I ordered the removal of these booms from the shore since they might slam into houses and properties during powerful waves and strong winds brought by inclement weather,” Zambales Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane told The STAR.

The governor said big waves could rip the buoys from their chain.

Filipino fishermen found three lengthy containment booms some 92 kilometers away from Cabangan town on July 25. They said they used a crane to tow the buoys to shore.

Ebdane said the containment booms would be given to the nine fishermen who found them.

“We cannot establish who owns these devices unless they claim ownership and present proof, “ he said.

The Chinese markings on the buoys, which are used to mark boundaries or serve as barriers during oil spills, reportedly show the company that manufactured it and a telephone number.

Some fishermen said they have seen similar buoys near the disputed shoal, also known as Bajo de Masinloc.

The shoal is located 124 nautical miles from the nearest point in Zambales.

The discovery of the buoys came as China continues to assert its claim over almost the entire West Philippine Sea.

China has also embarked on massive reclamation activities in the area.

MILF: JICA officials pay courtesy call on MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad

Posted to the MILF Website (Jul 31): JICA officials pay courtesy call on MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad

JICA officials paycourtesy call on MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad

Mr. Naouki Ochiai, Chief Advisor of Japan International Cooperation Agency-Cotabato Project Office (JICA-CPO) and Ms. Tamoko Yasunaga-Nakamura, JICA0-CPO Project Coordinator paid a courtesy call on Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim in his office at Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on July 28.

The visit was made after a successful study trip of selected participants from the Moro Front and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) recently in Tokyo, Japan.

The orientation or familiarization tour was organized by JICA and the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) through the Institutional and Organizational Building Component of the Comprehensive Capacity Development for the Bangsamoro (CCDPB), in collaboration with the National Graduate Research Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) of Japan.

The study trip was aimed at familiarizing the participants with the Philippines’ Local Government Code and the Omnibus Election Code.

The knowledge and lessons that the participants acquired in Japan while on their study tour may help and guide them in the formulation of local government code and election code for the upcoming Bangsamoro new political entity. It will also help them identify elements of group research proposals related to the study mission to the GRIPS of Tokyo.

The meeting of the representatives from JICA with Chairman Al Haj Murad was cordial that tackled mostly on how the future Bangsamoro Government should prepare its human resources to a very challenging road towards development and peaceful co-existence with their fellowmen.

Japan has been providing development assistance in the form of infrastructure and capacity building for the Bangsamoro for the past many years. It is also a member of the International Contact Group of the GPH-MILF Peace process.

MILF: BTC calls for passage of BBL in its original form

Posted to the MILF Website (Jul 30): BTC calls for passage of BBL in its original form

BTC calls for passage of BBL in its original form

The 14-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) issued on Wednesday (July 29) a resolution appealing to the members of the House of Representatives and Senate to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in its original form, that is, House Bill No. 4994 and Senate Bill No. 2408 as sponsored in the lower and upper houses of Congress, respectively.

Standing firmly in its unanimous belief that the original form of the BBL is the “most appropriate version”, the BTC reasoned that the provisions of the same are consistent with the 2012 Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

Said resolution described the original BBL as the one that “underwent the legitimate process of consultation with the people and engagement with the Office of the President.”

The BTC believes that the substitute bill in Congress (House Bill No. 5811) adopted by the Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL “bears substantial modifications and/or replacements of the details” of HB 4994.

An appendix to the resolution lists down 28 substantial issues on HB 5811. The list is considered partial.

Among the amendments that are considered contrary to the FAB and CAB are the changes in nomenclatures that alter the key principles of the asymmetric relationship between the Central government and Bangsamoro government; and the exceptions to the exclusive power of the Bangsamoro over its natural resources.

The Commission, which drafted the BBL, implores the leadership of both houses of Congress to “act according to the terms of the peace agreement.”

Sources say that Congress will resume deliberations on the BBL on August 4.

Please refer to:
Abdullah Cusain
BTC Comm Group

CPP/NDF-Mindanao: Gikondena sa NDFP-Mindanao ang grabeng malisud nga kahimtang sa nasud

NDF-Mindanao propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Jul 25): Gikondena sa NDFP-Mindanao ang grabeng malisud nga kahimtang sa nasud

NDFP National Democratic Front of the Philippines
Press Statement
25 July 2015
Karong Hulyo 27, si Benigno Simeon Aquino III mohatag sa iyang State of the Nation Address kun SONA aron pagsumada ug pagpasigarbo sa nakab-ot sa iyang administrasyon sa miaging 5 ka tuig, ug isalindot ang iyang mga krimen sa katawhang Pilipino. Ang mga nagharing hut-ong ug ilang amo nga imperyalista mamalakpak, apan ang kinabag-ang katawhang Pilipino nga nag-antus sa kalisud, magprotesta.
Sa 5 ka tuig, nag-unang duso sa rehimeng US-Aquino ang pagkumpleto sa “neo-liberalisasyon” nga subay sa dikta sa imperyalistang US. Nagkahulogan kini sa pagtangtang sa babag, apil mga balaud ug palisiya nga nanalipod sa atong patrimonya ug soberenya, alang sa paturagas nga pagkawkaw sa nasudnong rekurso, ug dugang pagpahimulos sa mabagang katawhan sa mga imperyalista ug lokal nga nagharing hut-ong. Nagkahulogan usab kini sa mas bangis nga pagpamitol sa Oplan Bayanihan, aron dugmokon ang armado ug dayag nga pakigbisog sa katawhan alang sa nasudnong kalingkawasan ug demokrasya.
Ipasiatab ni Aquino III ang 6.3% average nga pagtubo sa Gross National Product o GDP sa 5 ka tuig, nga nag-unang nakabase sa tataw nga pagsaka sa sektor sa serbisyo. Apan, tin-aw usab nga mikunhod ang produksyon sa agrikultura ug manupakturya gikan sa 60% nga kabahinan sa GDP niadtong 1980s, sa wala pa ang palisiya sa globalisasyon, ngadto sa 40% sa miaging 5 ka tuig. Resulta, mas mibaha ang mga imported nga igbabaligya sa merkado ug mibagsak ang atong lokal nga produksyon. Busa, nasinati nato karon ang pinakagrabeng krisis sa trabaho sa kasaysayan, kun diin ang walay trabaho ug parsyal nga dunay trabaho mikabat sa 11.8 ka milyon o 27% sa tibuok kusog pamuo sa nasud. Ang kapobrehon nagpabilin sa 25%-26%, kun diin 56 ka milyon o kapin sa katunga sa Pilipino ang nagpuyo ubos sa Php 100.00 nga income sa pamilya matag tuig.
Ang neo-liberal nga palisiya nga gipatuman ni Aquino III, nagsaad sa “inclusive” o tanang bahin nga pagtubo, apan sa tinuoray usa ka bahin o “exclusive” lang sa nagharing hut-ong ug imperyalista ang pagtubo, ug misamot ang kawad-on sa mga naghagong katawhan. Wala mabati sa mabagang katawhan ang pagtubo sa ekonomiya kay ang mga dagkung agalong yutaan, dagkung burgesyang kumprador ug imperyalista ang subrang nadatu samtang ang mga kabus misamot kakabus. Grabeng giguba usab ang kinaiyahan kay ang palisiya sa liberalisasyon mitugot sa mga higanteng minahan, plantasyon ug logging sa paturagas nga pag-opereyt aron lang gyud makakumkom sa subrang ginansya.
Gipatuman ni Aquino III ang “walang wang-wang” batok sa pribilihiyo sa trapik sa mga opisyales aron pagsulbad sa suliran sa trapik sa Metro Manila, apan karon maut gihapon ang trapik sa kaulohan. Ang iyang palisiya sa pribatisasyon sa transportasyon nga gilimin sa korapsyon wala makasulbad sa suliran sa trapik ug transportasyon. Ang kontra-korapsyon nga “daang matuwid” ni Aquino III migamit sa PDAF “pork barel” aron ipabilanggo ang mga lider oposisyon, apan nag-imbento kini sa DAP aron modaku pa ang tinubdan sa korapsyon alang sa tibuok burukrasya, bisan pa man kung nagdesisyon na ang Korte Suprema nga nahasupak kini sa konstitusyon. Gani usa sa igsoong babaye sa presidente ang nalambigit sa anomaliya tali sa usa ka Czech nga negosyo. Ang korapsyon lalom usab nga nakagamot sa AFP-PNP ug ubang linya sa burukrasya sama sa Bureau of Customs, DENR, DPWH, ug uban pa, ug nagsamot kini.
Sa krisis sa West Philppine Sea, nagapakaarong-ignon si Aquino III nga nagabarug batok paglapas sa China sa atong teritoryo. Apan, tin-aw usab nga nagpaggamit kini sa imperyalistang US sa panagbangi sa US tali sa China kalabot sa pangmilitar nga dominasyon sa rehiyon ug sa $5 ka trilyon dolyares nga ruta sa negosyo sa South China Sea. Ang katawhang kinahanglang maghiusa aron depensahan ang atong soberanya batok sa paglapas sa China, ug batokan ang paggamit kanato sa US sa iyang paghari sa rehiyon sa Southeast Asia.
Ang panultihon ni Aqino III nga “kayo ang boss ko” sa tinuoray, mas mipalig-on sa monopolyo sa gahum sa dagkung agalong yutaan, dagkung burgesyang kumprador ug imperyalistang US. Mas migrabe karon ang dinastiya sa mga pamilyang pulitiko gikan sa ang-ang lungsod pataas. Ang giingong elektoral nga sistemang partido way pulos kay nagbalhin-balhin lang og partido ang mga “balimbing” subay sa kung kinsa ang naa sa gahum.
Ang tinuod nga demokrasya nga gipasikad sa demanda sa katawhan alang sa tinuod nga katilingbanong kalingkawasan ginasumpo pinaagi sa kontra-rebolusyonaryong Oplan Bayanihan (OPB) sa tibuok nasud nga nagpokus sa Mindanao, apan gitagoan ang maong kabangis gikan sa mata sa publiko. Ang rehimeng US-Aquino mideploy kapin 60% sa kinatibuk-ang pwersa sa AFP ngadto sa Mindanao ug pinaagi sa kasabutang EDCA tali niini ug sa imperyalistang US, libre na ang mga sundalong kano paggamit sa bisan unsang pasilidad sa AFP sa bisan asang lugar, ug libre kining maniktik ug mosalmot sa tago ug dayag nga mga operasyong militar sama sa nahitabo sa Mamasapano.
Sa Mindanao, ang OPB maoy nag-unang kampanya sa pagpanumpo kun diin dinaghang nagalapas kini sa tawhanong katungod sa ngalan sa interes sa imperyalista ug lokal nga nagharing hut-ong, ug sa iyang pagdamgo nga gub-on ang rebolusyonaryong kalihokan. Hapit na matapos ang iyang termino, apan halayo ang posibilidad nga mapukan niini ang rebolusyon. Ug walay ikabilin kini nga ligasiya sa katawhan, gawas sa kabangis, dugang kapobrehon ug pagguba sa kinaiyahan.
Daghang lugar sa Mindanao ang gimilitarisa pinaagi sa sustinidong kombat nga mga operasyon, pag-okupar sa mga baranggay sa COPD ug CAFGU detatsment, harassment ug pugos nga pagtak-op sa pipila ka mga eskwelahan sa komunidad, pagpatay sa ubay-ubay nga mga masang lider ug gikatahapang rebolusyonaryo, panganyon ug pangbomba, ug ubang porma sa terorismo batok sa katawhan. Ang AFP naglunsad usab og COPD sa ubay-ubay nga eskwelahan ug komunidad sa kasyudaran. Aron masumpo ang nagkakusog nga dayag nga pagsukol sa katawhan, daghan ang gikasohan ug gipapriso nga mga masang lider aron punggotan sa liderato ang mga progresibong organisasyon.
Nag-awhag sa kalinaw ang reheming Aquino, apan ang paningkamot niini partikular sa Bangsamoro, misangpot sa dugang pagkabahin-bahin sa katawhang Moro. Inay negosasyon mas gigusto sa rehimen ang pagsurender sa mga Moro nga nakigbisog alang sa tinuod nga katungod sa kaugalingong paghukom. Sa pikas bahin, napakyas kini sa pagtuman sa pinirmahang kasabutan tali sa NDFP, sama sa The Hague Joint Agreement ug Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG); gani, padayong gipriso niini ang mga NDFP konsultant apan gibasul ang NDFP nga subrang nagademanda ug dili matinud-anon.
Bisan pa sa superyoridad sa armadong kusog sa reaksyonaryong estado, ang katawhan misukol sa tumang kusog ug kamapangahason. Inay palungon, gidagkutan na hinoon sa rehimen pag-usab ang armadong pagsukol sa Bangsamoro, ug pakyas kini sa pagsumpo sa rebolusyon nga gipangulohan sa CPP-NPA-NDF. Ang natarang gerilya sa BHB midaghan gikan sa 42 ngadto sa 47, ug mitubo ang ihap sa mga Pulang manggugubat ug baseng masa, samtang midaku ug mikusog ang Partido.
Sulod sa 5 ka tuig sa rehimeng US-Aquino ang armadong pakigbisog sa Mindanao mas mikusog. Mas mapangahason ug mas sobsob ang mga taktikal nga opensiba sa BHB, nga nakakumpiska sa dul-an usa ka libo nga high-powered rifles ug nakapuo og usa ka batalyon nga kaaway kapin kun kulang matag tuig. Ang agraryong rebolusyon sa kabukiran mibenipisyo sa gatusan ka libong mag-uuma sa tibuok nasud sukwahi sa kontra katawhan ug peke nga repormang agraryo sa rehimeng US-Aquino. Ang dayag nga kalihokang masa mikusog, kun diin libo-libong katawhan ang miprotesta batok sa militarisasyon, pangawkaw ug pagguba sa kinaiyanhong rekurso ug interbensyon sa US.
Halos tulo na lang ka bulan sa pag-file sa mga kandidato sa eleksyon, apan wala pa makapili si Aquino III sa iyang kandidato nga dunay dakung kahigayonan nga modaug ug manalipod aron dili siya mapriso sa iyang mga krimen kung wala na siya sa gahum. Bisan unsa pa man ang resulta sa eleksyon, kinahanglang singlon sa katawhan si Benigno Simeon Aquino III sa iyang mga krimen batok sa katawhan.
(sgd.) Ka Oris

CPP/NDF-Mindanao: NDFP-Mindanao condemns the lies peddled by Aquino III in his last SONA

NDF-Mindanao propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Jul 30): NDFP-Mindanao condemns the lies peddled by Aquino III in his last SONA

NDFP National Democratic Front of the Philippines
Press Statement
30 July 2015

Benigno Aquino III’s sixth and last SONA created the illusion that Filipinos are now much better off than ever before. But in truth, behind the applause and rattle of statistics lie the intensified exploitation and oppression of the masses, perpetuated by the reactionary government’s imposition of neoliberal policies to protect and promote the interests of big landlords and big bourgeois comprador and their US imperialist master.

Aquino III once again exaggerated the crimes of Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo to deflect culpability for his own despicable crimes, such as treason for surrendering national sovereignty and the sell-out of patrimony in the name of imperialist globalization, blocking genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization, the brutality of OPlan Bayanihan (OPB) military campaign, the unconstitutionality of the P150 billion DAP, and the Mamasapano attack.

He is no different from his predecessors in serving the economic and political interests of the ruling classes and their US imperialist master. In fact, in the succession of puppet regimes, Aquino III is the latest upgrade in the implementation of neoliberal policies in the country that mired the people in dire poverty.

In trying to paint a rosy picture of the state of the nation, Aquino III used statistics that hardly spoke of the real plight of the Filipino people. He boasted of having attained in the last five years an average GDP of 6.2%, which is chiefly based on the growth of the service sector, but agriculture and industries steeply declined.

Real economic growth is impossible under Aquino III’s reign because he refuses to implement land reform and establish national industrialization, which should be the main pillars of our national economy, and our country remains a neocolony of US imperialism. As a big landlord himself, he is a staunch protector of the big landlords’ land monopoly, which, through the bogus CARPer, 9 out 10 supposed CARP beneficiaries are deprived of land to own and till. Moreover, giant agribusiness companies, such as DOLE, Del Monte and Sumifru, have further expanded their plantations in Mindanao, grabbing more land from peasants, including the Moro and Lumad peoples, and exploiting agri-workers.

The Aquino III government is not also interested in establishing national industrialization. It has instead encouraged businesses engaged in raw material extraction, such as large-scale mining, semi-processed manufactures, and the provision of skilled but cheap manpower, which are all raking in super profit. Thus, the country is without industries that can provide real jobs, absorb the nation’s entire work force, and contribute to agricultural development.

His 6.8% unemployment data is deceptive because it did not include the underemployed, which, when combined with the unemployed, according to a research institution study, stands at 27% or 11.1 million of the labor force. Despite the devaluation of the peso and the rise in the prices of commodities, Aquino III stands opposed to any proposed across-the board wage increase, and nailed Filipino workers to a minimum wage way below the actual cost of living.

Aquino III bragged that the number of labor strikes decreased, indicating that Filipino workers were deceived and their rights tremendously repressed. The reactionary government’s anti-labor policies aim to completely destroy the only weapon of the workers using the most repressive and deceptive policies and schemes, such as contractualization, the assumption of jurisdiction, “no strike, no union policy”, union busting, extra-judicial killings of labor leaders, and other vile forms of labor suppression.

An underdeveloped agriculture and industry and the intensifying exploitation breed extreme poverty. Despite of Aquino III’s much-vaunted “inclusive growth,” poverty levels remain high, with 67.2% or 7 out of 10 Filipinos living in destitution. More than half of the Philippine populace live on less than P100 a day, which make it extremely hard for millions of Filipino families to eke out a decent life. Many go hungry on a daily basis, while the ruling class and the US imperialist satiate themselves from people’s labor. As of 2014, the Philippines ranked as the 3rd poorest country in Southeast Asia.

One of Aquino III’s major solutions to poverty alleviation is the Php 64.7 billion 4Ps, an artificial, counter-productive, and inflationary method that only encourages overdependence. He claimed that there was “no leakage” in the program during his term, but he only fools himself because in reality, the program is plagued by corruption and patronage in politics, and has been used as an instrument for suppression of people’s resistance.

Under Aquino III, basic social services are aligned with the anti-people design of neoliberal policies. The K-12 basic education program, which emphasizes on vocational and technical training, is primarily designed to train technically-skilled but docile and cheap labor force that will suit the labor requirements of imperialist companies. On the other hand, the government has abdicated its responsibility of providing free health services to the people by privatizing and commercializing health institutions and services, thus, majority of Filipinos are deprived of proper health care in spite of the promise of PhilHealth.

He bragged of having collected more than a trillion pesos in taxes, which indicates his aggressiveness in squeezing out excessive taxes from the majority poor, including such measures as VAT and EVAT, while easing up on the richest families in the country who are also notorious tax evaders.
He also reiterated his reforms in the judiciary by placing his allies in the Supreme Court and the office of the Ombudsman. This reform was a maneuver to ensure that the Judiciary will not run counter with the abuse of power of the Executive branch and imprison some of his leading political enemies.

His stress on AFP and PNP modernization, highlighting the procurement of new vehicles, aircrafts, sea crafts and military hardware and weaponry, means the intensification of the OPB military suppression campaign. However, he intentionally skipped mentioning his administration’s human rights violations, such as extra-judicial killings, which claimed 229 lives from 2010 to 2014, 85 in Mindanao alone, forced evacuations, filing of trumped-up cases, forcible closure of some community schools and many others.

Aquino III’s peace effort is a farce. His so-called peace effort with the Bangsamoro has resulted in the further division of the Moro populace, and the resurgence of armed struggle for genuine self-determination. His refusal to honor the previous signed agreements in the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations, particularly the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees, resulted in the continued suspension of formal talks, in spite of the positive efforts on the part of the NDFP, like the unconditional release of prisoners of war.

In his last SONA, Aquino III, not even in one instance, admitted any accountability for his other crimes, such as the infamous Mamasapano raid, the multi-billion unconstitutional DAP, negligence in delivering justice to the Maguindanao massacre victims, and negligence of the welfare of the victims of typhoons Sendong, Pablo, Agaton, Yolanda, the Bohol quake and other calamities.
The people must not allow itself to be duped by the lies fed by Benigno Aquino III. In his remaining less than one year in MalacaƱang, the people must continue to expose and hold him accountable for his duplicity and puppetry to US imperialism.

Ka Oris

Panay rebel leader Concha Araneta nabbed

From the Sun Star-Manila (Aug 1): Panay rebel leader Concha Araneta nabbed

JOINT police and military operatives have successfully arrested Ma. Concepcion Araneta Bocala, widely known as Concha Araneta, a ranking leader of the communist New People's Army (NPA) in Iloilo City on Saturday.

Colonel Noel Detoyato, chief of the military's public affairs office, said the suspect Bocala was nabbed at her residence in Juntado subdivision in Molo district where she was reportedly living a "lavish lifestyle."

Detoyato said Bocala, chair of the Negros regional party committee and member of the communist party's central committee, was arrested on murder charges.

Detoyato said local residents tipped the whereabouts of Bocala.

"Her arrest will pose another blow to the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines)-NPA after several members of its leadership have been successively brought to the courts to answer for their past crimes," said Detoyayo.

Detoyayo said Armed Forces chief of staff General Hernando Iriberi has congratulated the Army's 301st Brigade for Bocala's arrest.

"The law enforcement operation which led to Bocala's arrest was a result of months of intelligence work in line with the AFPs goal of ending insurgency in the country for every Filipino to enjoy peace, progress and prosperity," said Detoyato.

Seized from Bocala's possession were volumes of rebel documents and other items. She is currently in the custody of police.

Tiamzons react to Aquino’s ‘notorious’ tag

Posted to the pro-CPP online propaganda publication Bulatlat (Jul 31): Tiamzons react to Aquino’s ‘notorious’ tag

“We are ‘notorious’ only in the hearts of those who make the people suffer, but we are loved by the people.”

Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria Tiamzon attend today's hearing at the Manila Trial Court Branch 32. (Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea /

FILE PHOTO: Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria Tiamzon attend today’s hearing at the Manila Trial Court Branch 32. (Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea /

Political detainees Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria reacted to President Aquino’s final State of the Nation Address on July 27, in which the latter described them as “notorious.”

“We are ‘notorious’ only in the hearts of those who make the people suffer, but we are loved by the people.”

In his SONA, Aquino included the Tiamzon couple and other arrested peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and slain New People’s Army leader Leoncio Pitao or “Kumander Parago,” as he enumerated the capture of suspected criminal gangs, the killing of suspected international terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and Basit Usman, and the “The Butcher,” retired Maj.Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr.

Aquino also mentioned NDFP consultant Ruben Saluta, and civilian Emmanuel Bacarra.

Tiamzon said in jest that they have no problem being associated with Kumander Parago. On a serious note, they said they had expected that their arrest would be mentioned in Aquino’s last SONA as an “accomplishment.”

The Tiamzon spouses were arrested by joint military and police forces on March 22, 2014 in Carcar, Cebu. The two are both holders of Documents of Identification and are covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig), one of the agreements signed between the NDFP and the Philippine government (GPH).

NDFP chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni had decried their arrest as a “flagrant violation of Jasig,” which would have “prejudices” to the group’s peace negotiations with the GPH.

Asked on what the real SONA is, Tiamzon said, “majority of Filipinos are living in poor conditions brought about by US dictates.”

Meanwhile, the pre-trial conference before the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32 was suspended on July 30 and moved to Sept. 3. The couple, along with fellow NDFP peace consultants, farmers and activists, are facing murder charges in relation to the purported Leyte mass grave.

The court also issued a warrant of arrest against one of the accused and NDFP peace consultant Rafael Baylosis for failing to attend two consecutive hearings. Baylosis was not feeling well last hearing and, could not make it to the July 30 hearing as he was coming from the province, according to his lawyer Ameh Sato.

Baylosis, along with newly-arrested NDFP consultant Adelberto Silva and former Jagna town mayor Exuperio Llorin, are set to be arraigned on Aug. 27.

1 injured in NPA encounter in Iloilo

From ABS-CBN (Aug 1): 1 injured in NPA encounter in Iloilo

A 26-year old member of the Regional Public Safety Battalion 2nd Company was allegedly shot by members of the New People’s Army (NPA) while taking a bath near the hydro dam in Barangay Agcalaga, Oton, Iloilo.

PO1 Ryan Felera was shot in his mouth and on the left shoulder. He was immediately brought to Calinog District Hospital.

Authorities said suspected NPA members started firing at the government forces at around 3:15 p.m. on Friday.

Mayor Alex Centena believes the encounter may have had something to do with the Jalaur Mega Dam Project.

Under the said project, indigenous peoples living in the area will be transferred to a relocation site but will be provided with benefits from the government.

Authorities think more or less 15 NPA members were involved in the encounter.

The police is further investigating the incident for the possible identification and arrest of the suspects.

China, ASEAN ministers to set up hotline for South China Sea issues

From InterAksyon (Jul 31): China, ASEAN ministers to set up hotline for South China Sea issues

An aerial file photo taken though a glass window of a Philippine military plane shows the alleged on-going land reclamation by China on Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan, Philippines in this May 11, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Ritchie B. Tongo/Pool/Files

China and Southeast Asian nations have agreed to set up a foreign ministers' hotline to tackle emergencies in the disputed South China Sea, a senior official of the ASEAN grouping told Reuters on Friday.

China claims most of the potentially energy-rich sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year, and rejects the rival claims of Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan.

With the region having become Asia's biggest potential military flashpoint, the United States has urged claimants to settle differences through talks, saying its Pacific Fleet aims to protect sea lanes critical to US trade.

But China rejects US involvement in the dispute, and its more assertive approach recently, including land reclamation and construction on disputed reefs, has stirred tension.

The hotline will be announced at next week's meeting of foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, said the senior ASEAN official, who has knowledge of the discussions.

"The hotline is likely to be announced in a joint statement at the end of the meetings," said the official, who declined to be identified because the talks were private.

The foreign ministers' hotline will be the first involving China, although the Philippines and Vietnam have had a naval hotline since last year to monitor the disputed waters.

Southeast Asian leaders hope the emergency hotline will help defuse the tension provoked over naval encounters and China's claims, the official said.

Tuesday's meeting is to be attended by the Chinese foreign ministers and US Secretary of State John Kerry, with other Asian powers, including India and Japan, also taking part.

Ahead of the meeting, regional officials will hold preparatory talks in Malaysia, starting from Saturday.

A Philippine diplomat welcomed the hotline as a way to avoid accidents and miscalculations.

"The Philippines welcomes any confidence-building measure that would promote peace and stability and reduce tension in the region," the diplomat said.

But it was more important to take action to fully implement and strengthen a 2012 pact, the Declaration of Conduct of Parties, the diplomat added, however.

The code of conduct, signed by ASEAN and China in 2002, commits the signatories to exercise "self-restraint" in activities that could escalate disputes.

Ramping up the rhetoric ahead of the talks in Malaysia, China's Defense Ministry accused the United States of "militarizing" the South China Sea with patrols and joint military drills staged there.

Statement of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani, on the conclusion of his official visit to the Philippines, 21 to 31 July 2015

From the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (Jul 31): Statement of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani, on the conclusion of his official visit to the Philippines, 21 to 31 July 2015

At the invitation of the Government of the Philippines I conducted an official visit between 21 and 31 July 2015. At the outset I would like to sincerely thank the Government of the Philippines for its cooperation with my mandate during the preparation and conduct of my visit. The following statement represents only my preliminary findings based on my ten day visit and wide consultations with different stakeholders, both governmental and non-governmental, including internally displaced persons themselves and some indigenous peoples at risk of displacement in different regions of the country. I would like to begin my comments by saying that no country can be fully prepared for the devastating impact of a disaster such as Typhoon Haiyan and the tragic loss of life and property that accompanied it. I offer my sincere condolences to the Government and to the people of the Philippines. My visit allowed me to witness first-hand the extraordinary efforts to rebuild devastated communities as well as the resilience of displaced persons which offers an example to us all.

 The Government has much to be commended for with regard to its responses to Typhoon Haiyan. It has shown leadership and put in place institutional and policy structures and frameworks that have proved to be effective in the immediate crisis response period and as the national and local authorities and displaced persons alike began the difficult process of rebuilding shattered lives either in their former places of origin or in new displacement locations. Through this difficult and challenging time the Philippines has developed much valuable experience to share with the international community and with specific States in all regions that may be affected by similar crises. This experience can benefit us all as we collectively seek to strengthen our ability to prevent and respond to the effects of climate change related disasters that sadly seem to be ever more frequent.

 Government policies, for example the ‘Build-Back-Better’ policy are designed not only to respond to disasters, but to mitigate against the effects of future climate change induced displacement in this region, which is prone to disasters. In Tacloban and Tanauan I was impressed by the efforts of the local government officials and with some of the transitional and permanent housing solutions that have been put in place and that recognize the need for IDPs to have good quality and appropriate shelter and housing that also allows them to maintain their livelihoods or transition to new livelihood options. Those whom I met expressed their general satisfaction with the shelter or housing and services provided to them, including the provision of healthcare services, education for their children and support for the development of livelihood activities. I was however concerned to learn of financial constraints on authorities that have impacted on their ability to move forward towards durable solutions for all those affected and to resolve immediate issues related to adequate provision of basic services. It is essential for national and local governments to sustain and, where necessary, enhance their activities to address both immediate needs and ensure durable solutions for IDPs.

Significant challenges for IDPs remain to be resolved in areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Some people have found themselves having to relocate two or more times since their initial displacement. Many families remain housed in collective “bunkhouses” that do not meet necessary minimum standards for the provision of basic needs and services and create numerous safety and protection challenges, particularly for women and girls who face threats including sexual abuse and early pregnancy, as well as failing to provide conditions of privacy and dignity. IDPs in various areas pointed to a lack of adequate police presence which contributes to the overall feelings of increased insecurity given the nature of their shelter and conditions. Regrettably some families seem to have fallen through the protection safety net and remain living in substandard shelter in areas designated as ‘no-build’ or ‘hazardous’ due to the likelihood of future hazards. I was informed by IDPs and their representatives that, in both temporary and permanent housing, the provision of water, adequate sanitation and electricity remain seriously problematic. A common concern expressed to me was the need to increase the level of consultation and information flow to IDPs to ensure that their voices and concerns are heard and included in future planning and their rights respected.

 While the Government is to be commended in terms of its immediate responses, its attention to ensuring sustainable durable solutions for IDPs remains inadequate to-date. I believe that profiling, a full needs assessment and verification exercise is required during this crucial transition period between early recovery and the attainment of durable solutions. I was concerned to learn that funding shortfalls and political challenges, including inadequate cooperation between national and local governments, are delaying processes towards achieving durable solutions. While infrastructure and public projects such as the building of flood defences in Tacloban are necessary and legitimate, the highest priority must continue to be given to securing durable housing that meet required standards and livelihood solutions for affected communities. Regrettably it appears that funding and attention to IDPs is waning. The national Government, together with its local Government partners must ensure that it follows through on the assistance that it has provided to-date to ensure that it truly meets the needs and rights of all those displaced.

The Draft Bill No. 4744 on Protecting the rights of Internally Displaced Persons has been under discussion for more than a decade and the second attempt to have it passed remains in the hands of the Senate. Previously adopted in 2013, a version of the draft law was subsequently vetoed by the President on the grounds of some elements being unconstitutional or requiring further clarification. As the technicalities concerning this proposed law seem to have been resolved, it is urgent to pass this Bill into law at the earliest opportunity witthout further delay. For the Philippines, which is both prone to disasters and enduring the effects of long-standing conflicts, it is particularly important to enshrine the rights of IDPs in domestic law. Not to do so sends a wrong signal about the commitment of the Government to ensuring the rights of IDPs, whether displaced by natural disaster, conflict or development and withholds essential legal protection from them. If passed the Bill would constitute a landmark national law, based on the UN 1998 Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and best practices. It would provide a valuable domestic legal elaboration of the rights of internally displaced persons and the primary responsibility of the Government to protect them. It would help to remove existing administrative gaps, obstacles and uncertainties and establish criminal responsibility for acts of arbitrary displacement by both State and non-State actors.

My visit was to address not only displacement caused by disasters, but also other forms of displacement around the country. In this context I visited Zamboanga in Mindanao where people remain displaced following the 2013 clash between a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and government security forces which resulted in approximately 120,000 displaced persons. I visited a number of transitional settlements as well as newly constructed permanent housing for the return of some affected communities. I note some important progress by the authorities including a Code of Beneficiaries Policy, creation of some permanent housing and progress towards durable solutions for some displaced communities. Nevertheless I am concerned by some issues including the closure of the Grandstand, where families had taken refuge after the crisis, just priort to my visit without ensuring adequate housing solutions for some families who did not want to move to transitional shelter and wished to return to their original locations. The designation of ‘no-build’ and ‘no-return’ areas on the grounds of disaster risk reduction has further restricted return to some locations.

 The main transitional site of Mampang is problematic on many levels. It lacks adequate provision of water, electricity, adequate access to essential and basic services including health care and education. There are regular reports of security incidents and it is located at a considerable distance from the city and IDPs places of origin making access to livelihoods extremely difficult. For these reasons Mampang must not be considered a long-term solution for the IDPs. Permanent housing must be finalised urgently and it must be equipped with basic utilities and accessible to adequate services, security and comply with national building standards and codes. The Government must ensure that its responses do not differentiate against any displaced community on the basis of their identity or belonging to a minority community and fully respect the right to freedom of movement.

 Initiatives to provide permanent housing must also take into account the wishes of IDP communities in regard to location, materials and access to livelihoods, for example access to the sea for fishing-based communities. I was informed that some indigenous fishing communities had had their homes damaged or destroyed during the military operations. While eventually being able to return to their locations, they have yet to receive support from the Government to rebuild their houses or re-establish their livelihoods in fishing and seaweed farming. Families who returned to the area of Lupa Lupa from the Grandstand are in a particularly perilous situation lacking adequate shelter and basic assistance and their needs should be immediately addressed. Equally the authorities have not recognized many families as legitimate or ‘tagged’ IDPs from conflict areas with serious implications for continuing assistance and support for those families. I urge all relevant authorities to take an inclusive approach and to ensure adequate housing, services and support for all, without discrimination.

 I visited Cotabato City and had hoped to visit various areas in Maguindanao which have long been affected by conflict induced displacement. Regrettably, security issues and Government sensitivities in this region limited my access to the locations that I had wished to visit in Maguindanao. On-going conflict between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and non-State armed groups in the region repeatedly cause both large and smaller-scale displacement. Some described the situation as a “forgotten crisis” and noted the frequency and nature of the displacement and that responses by both national and regional government authorities were routinely inadequate. For many in this region displacement has become the the pattern of life. The UN and other international actors have insufficient resources and little capacity to respond adequately to the situation in the region. A viable, inclusive and comprehensive peace process is essential to removing the causes of displacement and to stabilizing the situation in the region. Adoption of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, intended to establish the Bangsamora political entity in the country and replace the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, may also assist in this regard. In the meantime the humanitarian responses of the Government must be strengthened in order for IDPs to benefit from stronger assistance and protection.

 Indeed it was evident to me that the Government’s response to conflict-induced displacement in locations such as Zamboanga and Cotabato differs significantly to its commendable response to disaster and climate change induced displacement elsewhere as evident in the condition of some of the transitional and permanent shelter options provided to IDPs. I was struck by the disparity between the permanent housing established in Tacloban and that of Zamboanga. It is essential that the Government ensures that the National Housing Authority provides equitable and comparable permanent housing as a component of durable solutions for all IDPs across the country.

I also visited Koronadal and Tampakan in South Cotabato Province in order to consult on an issue of potential displacement due to a proposed open-pit mining project in Tampakan. It is reported that this project would lead to the displacement of over 5000 individuals, the majority of whom are indigenous peoples, from their recognized ancestral lands if it goes ahead. The project has been put on hold by the Governor of South Cotabato and the indigenous communities expressed their fear that the project would eventually proceed despite their objections and desire to remain on their ancestral lands. They expressed frustration that consultation processes, including a process of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) had not been conducted transparently, was not fully inclusive of their chosen tribal leaders nor had it taken adequate account of their broader views and rights to the land and to the maintenance of their indigenous cultures and lifestyles. It is important to emphasize that the legitimate concerns and rights of indigenous peoples must not be side-lined but should be given the upmost priority as indicated in the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA). The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement require a threshold of "compelling and overriding public interest” in order for development-induced displacement to take place. This does not appear to be apparent in this case. I was alarmed that tribal leaders reported that their communities were consistently being manipulated and divided and that they had been harassed and received threats when they expressed their opposition. Indeed some leaders and members of the indigenous communities have been killed over the past years reportedly due to their anti-mining activities.

It was striking to me that indigenous peoples have been particularly vulnerable to conflict-induced displacement in many regions, particularly in Mindanao. For example, I am concerned by the plight of some 700 indigenous peoples currently living in basic Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) church run facilities in the city of Davao having been displaced from their ancestral homes for several months due to long-standing conflict between the government and the New People’s Army (NPA) in their region. I travelled to Davao to consult the national and local authorities and the indigenous peoples themselves on this situation. I heard from the AFP its assertion that it is seeking to protect the communities and provide services to them in conflict regions; however the displaced IPs made it clear that it is their presence and that of the paramilitary groups in their communities that continues to create anxiety amongst the indigenous communities. The community wishes to return to its lands but stressed to me that they will only feel safe to do so if the long-term militarization of their region comes to an end and they can return with guarantees of safety, dignity and protection. They described to me their concerns including their alleged forced recruitment into paramilitary groups, known as Alamara, under the auspices of the AFP and harassment in the context of the on-going conflict between the AFP and the NPA. Schools have reportedly been closed and/or occupied by the AFP or Alamara, hampering the access to education of indigenous children. While tribal leaders informed me that they are not being detained against their will at the UCCP centre in Davao, as is evident by reports of their periodic return to their communities, their current situation is neither acceptable nor sustainable. It is essential to find a rapid and peaceful solution to their situation in full consultation with their legitimate leaders, with their voluntary and secure return to their ancestral lands being a high priority. I urge the Government, in consultation with indigenous peoples themselves, to give greater attention to addressing the causes of displacement whether it be due to the militarization of their areas or due to development projects.

 This situation clearly demonstrates the massive and potentially irreversible impact of the on-going conflicts on displacement of such vulnerable communities who are often caught up in the conflict and suspected of involvement with armed groups. Displacement, whether due to conflict or development, not only destroys the homes and livelihoods of indigenous peoples, but has an incalculable impact on their cultures and ways of life that are part of the rich and diverse heritage of the Philippines that must be protected or otherwise lost, perhaps forever. Indigenous peoples are poorly equipped to survive away from their ancestral lands and are therefore deeply affected by displacement. The needs of these vulnerable people must be assessed, with their full participation, so as to provide essential assistance for them, including durable solutions which are culturally sensitive and appropriate, when displacement has taken place. The displacement of such communities whose very lives and cultures are intimately entwined with their ancestral lands and environments must only be a matter of last resort. It is clear to me that existing legislation and institutions, including the exemplary Indigenous Peoples Rights Act cannot provide adequate protection from displacement unless fully implemented in practice. Specific provisions on the rights of indigenous peoples should be included in the IDP Law currently under consideration.

In conclusion I would like once again to thank the Government of the Philippines for its cooperation with my mandate. My full report and recommendations based on my visit will be presented to the Government and to the Human Rights Council at its 32nd session in June 2016. In the meantime I look forward to continuing my constructive dialogue with the Government and to identifying areas of practical engagement. I would also like to thank the United Nations Office of the Resident Coordinator, OHCHR, UNHCR, UNICEF and OCHA amongst other UN agencies for their work to facilitate my visit in all respects. I am also grateful to the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines and the many civil society organizations that provided information to me and assisted me in the course of my visit. Not least I wish to thank the many internally displaced persons and their leaders and representatives who took the time to travel and meet with me, conveying their stories, challenges and hopes for the future.

UN expert scores govt for plight of refugees from conflict, 'development'

From InterAksyon (Aug 1): UN expert scores govt for plight of refugees from conflict, 'development'

Dr. Beyani at a meeting in Quezon City with human rights defenders and a leader of the lumad refugees in Davao City. (photo courtesy of Karapatan)

The United Nations expert on internally displaced persons scored the government for its failure to protect communities displaced or threatened by armed conflict and “development” such as mining despite laws and institutions meant to address the problem.

In a statement released Friday, at the end of a 10-day official visit to the country “to address not only displacement caused by disasters, but also other forms of displacement around the country,” Dr. Chaloka Beyani noted in particular how militarization and the incursion of large-scale commercial mining have impacted on indigenous people’s communities in Mindanao.

(READ IN FULL: Statement of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani, on the conclusion of his official visit to the Philippines, 21 to 31 July 2015)

"It is clear to me that existing legislation and institutions, including the exemplary Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, cannot provide adequate protection from displacement unless fully implemented in practice," Beyani said.

He also lamented how government’s “response to conflict-induced displacement … differs significantly to its commendable response to disaster and climate change induced displacement elsewhere,” such as in areas devastated by super typhoon Yolanda.

Among the places Beyani visited were Zamboanga City, where a month-long battle between government forces and the Moro National Liberation Front displaced up to 120,000 persons in 2013; Tampakan in South Cotabato where mining threatens to drive out up to 5,000 lumad from their ancestral lands; and Davao City, where authorities violently attempted to evict and forcibly return more than 700 Manobo who have sought refuge in a church compound after fleeing the militarization of their communities.

However, a planned visit to Maguindanao was limited by “security issues and government sensitivities in this region.”

In Zamboanga, he questioned the closure of the city grandstand where thousands of displaced persons had been staying since the crisis “just prior to my visit without ensuring adequate housing solutions” for those who wished to return to their original communities.

He also called the “transitional site” in Mampang “problematic on many levels,” lacking “adequate provision of water, electricity, adequate access to essential and basic services including health care and education,” as well as”making access to livelihoods extremely difficult” because of its distance.

In Tampakan, Beyani noted that the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, which “require a threshold of ‘compelling and overriding public interest’ in order for development-induced displacement to take place,” have not been observed, noting that “tribal leaders reported that their communities were consistently being manipulated and divided and that they had been harassed and received threats when they expressed their opposition.”

“Indeed some leaders and members of the indigenous communities have been killed over the past years reportedly due to their anti-mining activities,” he added.

Beyani said he was “concerned by the plight” of the lumad at the United Church of Christ in the Philippines Haran Mission House in Davao who “made it clear that it is (the military’s) presence and that of the paramilitary groups in their communities that continues to create anxiety amongst the indigenous communities,” contrary to the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ “assertion that it is seeking to protect the communities and provide services to them in conflict regions.”

He also noted the occupation of tribal schools by soldiers and the Alamara militia.

However, while Beyani said lumad leaders debunked claims, like that of North Cotabato Representative Nancy Catamco, that they were being held against their will at the UCCP compound, “their current situation is neither acceptable nor sustainable.”

“It is essential to find a rapid and peaceful solution to their situation in full consultation with their legitimate leaders, with their voluntary and secure return to their ancestral lands being a high priority,” he added. “I urge the government, in consultation with indigenous peoples themselves, to give greater attention to addressing the causes of displacement whether it be due to the militarization of their areas or due to development projects.”

Panay rebel leader Concha Araneta captured

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 1): Panay rebel leader Concha Araneta captured

CPP Panay leader Concha Araneta in an image grabbed from a video posted to

Maria Concepcion “Concha” Araneta-Bocala, 64, said to be secretary general of the Communist Party of the Philippines on Panay island, was arrested in Iloilo City Saturday morning.

A video uploaded to the Philippine Revolution Web Central website describes Araneta as the CPP spokesperson for Panay.

A spot report made available to by military sources, who asked for anonymity saying they were not authorized to discuss the matter, showed Araneta was nabbed in Molo, Iloilo City in an operation that involved agents of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Iloilo also confirmed the arrest and has called a press conference, journalists there said.

Araneta was served a warrant of arrest on murder charges issued by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 2 in Kalibo, Aklan.

Seized from her were .45 caliber and .25 caliber pistols, laptop computers and subversive documents.

PHL can't get military aid from allies in WPS dispute

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 1): PHL can't get military aid from allies in WPS dispute

The Philippines cannot get military assistance from allies, which includes the United States, in its ongoing dispute with China regarding the West Philippine Sea.

This was stressed by Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio during his presentation at the "Perspective on the Issues Involving the West Philippine Sea" which was held at the AFP Commissioned Officer's Club at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

"The Philippines can not hope to deter China given the state of the Philippines’ external defense forces. The Philippines cannot invoke the Phil-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty because the disputed islands in the Spratlys are outside the scope of the treaty," he added.

The Philippines and the U.S. signed in 1951 a Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States.

The Philippines has one of the weakest Armed Forces in the Southeast Asian Region and is relying on American aid to prop up its dilapidated Air Force and Navy.

Recently, the country made some progress in modernizing its forces but despite the improvements, it cannot hope to to deter China from making aggressive moves in the West Philippine Sea.

Carpio said that the only recourse the country can do to break the impasse is the legal one.

"The only effective response available is to bring the dispute to an arbitral tribunal under UNCLOS, to which both the Philippines and China are parties. Even then, UNCLOS governs only maritime disputes, not territorial disputes. Nevertheless, the maritime dispute covers 85.7 (percent) of the South China Sea waters, drastically reducing the area of conflict if the Philippines wins the arbitration," he added.

UNCLOS is short for United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Carpio earlier said if the International Tribunal will not apply the UNCLOS to the ongoing dispute in the South China Sea, then it would mean the end of that particular Convention.

"Why is it important to apply UNCLOS to the South China Sea dispute, because if we don’t apply it then UNCLOS, the Constitution for the ocean and seas of our planet cannot also apply to any maritime dispute in the rest of the oceans and seas of the world, it would be the beginning of the end of UNCLOS," he added.

And should this happen, Carpio said the rule of the "naval cannon will prevail in the oceans and seas."

This will trigger a naval arms race among coastal countries, he added.

"Just imagine if the tribunal says we don’t have jurisdiction the Nine-Dash Line is valid then what will happen, the only way we can protect our ourselves is to acquire warships, warplanes, anti-ship missiles, resources that should go to education, infrastructure, and social services will have to be re-allocated to defense and, no matter how many warships we buy we cannot defeat China, we can only hope to deter China but there is no way we can win in a total war, so its totally useless," Carpio pointed out.

"(And) if the tribunal says there is no jurisdiction, the Nine-Dash Line prevailed, then there is no law of the sea anymore, everybody will have to arm, every nation will have to arm itself but that’s not enough to resolve the dispute, it will just worsen the dispute, and the judges in the tribunal will be out of job because nobody will follow the law of sea anymore," he concluded.