The Daily Tribune
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Gloria Arroyo is truly selling the country down the river.
The opportunity has presented itself for the country to strengthen its claim
on the disputed Kalayaan Islands, better known as the Spratlys, along with the Scarborough Shoal, through the passage of the archipelagic baseline law, yet Gloria is throwing this chance away as she again bows to Chinese pressure, discarding national interest for China’s and her personal interest.
China has made it clear it does not want the Spratlys and the shoal included as part of the Philippine archipelago, insinuating, in black and white, that China will be so displeased if the Philippines does so, the consequence of which would be a strain in diplomatic relations, at the very least, and a break in diplomatic relations and war, at the worst.
That Gloria bowed to Chinese pressure even when this was clearly detrimental to Philippine interests, was evident in her move to have the House pull out that bill which includes the Spratlys as part of our territory.
She was hardly interested in that bill for some time, which was why it passed second reading. But all too suddenly, she put the pressure on the House not to pass the bill as is, and seeks the exclusion of this group of islands.
Gloria naturally bowed to China’s demand and worked on her House of Representatives to make sure that the group of islands is not included in the country’s archipelagic baseline, as she now wants what China wants, which is to merely categorize the Spratlys as a “regime of islands.”
The country already has, for all intents and purposes, lost Sabah to Malaysia, courtesy of then President Fidel Ramos, who virtually handed Sabah to then Prime Minister Mahatir Mohammed, such that after the deal of sorts was sealed, Mahatir announced to the Malaysians that “Sabah is ours.”
Whatever claim we had on Sabah has been lost.
It was being said then that it was almost impossible for the Philippines to get Sabah, since this has been occupied by Malaysians and is under the control of the Malaysian government.
If this is the argument, then all the more the Philippines has the stronger claim on the disputed Spratlys, since this group of islands is in essence under the Philippine government, even if again, Ramos, as well as Gloria, has allowed both the Chinese and Vietnamese governments to build their permanent structure on the islands, thus staking their claim on these.
Worse, in the case of Gloria, she has even granted China a contract for it to explore the islands for oil and other marine resources, to the point of China even going into this exploration business on undisputed Philippine territory, and has done all this even to the extent of violating the Constitution.
And all for what, more kickbacks that Malacañang occupants can pocket through more and more corruption-stained contracts with China to appease their immoderate greed?
Already, in the Northrail project with China, the deal is very disadvantageous to the Philippine government and naturally, to the Filipino people.
Apart from the fact that the project is obviously much too overpriced, there is still that condition attached to the contract that if the Philippine government fails to pay for its loan when due date comes, or a dispute occurs, this will be resolved by a municipal court in China, which will obviously favor China’s interest when most disputes on international contracts could be settled by a third party.
Worse, in that Northrail contract, it is reported to state that upon demand for payment on the loan and the country fails to pay up, China can seize Philippine assets, which can mean anything China wants to acquire, which can mean even the undisputed islands, and any other property owned by the Philippines.
While she keeps on talking about patriotism, love of country and the Rule of Law, Gloria evidently does not give a whit about the country which she can sell down the river while she sits in Malacañang.
She never really cared about the country or its people. Just two days in official residence after the coup d’ etat, she and her then Justice Secretary Hernando Perez approved the Impsa deal granting the firm the sovereign guarantee it sought, in exchange for a $14-million bribe.
That was just the beginning of the kickbacks and commissions to be pocketed.
That 2001 power grab was all about greed and money and to hell with the country and its people.