us phil flagsFrom: Global Research by Joseph Santolan

An article in the Washington Post on January 26 revealed that a delegation from the Philippines was engaged in bilateral talks in Washington to negotiate the expansion of the American military presence in the country. The provocative move is a key step in US imperialism’s strategy to contain China.

The bilateral talks were announced during the visit of US Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman to the Philippines last week, although the subject to be discussed was simply termed ‘maritime security.’ Higher-level talks are scheduled to take place in March between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and their Philippine counterparts. These negotiations are scheduled to culminate in talks between President Barack Obama and Philippine President Benigno Aquino in the White House in May.

daniel-pudles
Illustration by Daniel Pudles

From: The Guardian – by George Monbiot

Working beyond the authority of parliament, the Corporation of London undermines all attempts to curb the excesses of finance

It's the dark heart of Britain, the place where democracy goes to die, immensely powerful, equally unaccountable. But I doubt that one in 10 British people has any idea of what the Corporation of the City of London is and how it works. This could be about to change. Alongside the Church of England, the Corporation is seeking to evict the protesters camped outside St Paul's cathedral. The protesters, in turn, have demanded that it submit to national oversight and control.

goldman sachsFrom: Pravda

Some people have started realizing that there are large financial groups that dominate the world. Forget the political intrigues, conflicts, revolutions and wars. It is not pure chance. Everything has been planned for a long time.

Some call it "conspiracy theories" or New World Order. Anyway, the key to understanding the current political and economic events is a restricted core of families who have accumulated more wealth and power.

We are speaking of 6, 8 or maybe 12 families who truly dominate the world. Know that it is a mystery difficult to unravel.

philippine toiletFrom: Philippine Inquirer News

A P10-billion fund meant to help small farmers, fisherfolk and agriculture entrepreneurs raise their skills and production was used as a cash cow of agriculture officials, politicians and businessmen “favored” by the Arroyo administration for almost a decade, officials said.

The discovery of irregularities in Acef (Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund) has led lawmakers and agriculture officials to suspend the program in January and to review its implementation.

What they saw, according to officials who checked the Acef records, was a long list of companies and beneficiaries who failed to pay back their loans.

feudal

This is a good example of what a feudal aristocracy is. Do you see similarities to our Philippine society?

From: One Life Only– by Nathan Chua – October 13, 2010

It did not take long for our current president to announce his positive outlook for the Philippine economy.  To borrow his words, he said, “We are ready for take off!”  Again?  I think I have heard this said time and again.  The only difference is the way each new president would phrase it. 

There is little doubt that this upbeat prediction is based on investment figures and the stock market index, which at the moment continues on its bull run.  If you would pardon the poor analogy, this bold prognostication is premised on the idea that a strong Wall street would automatically mean a bonanza for Main street. 

I think that every president we’ve had in the past cannot seem to call a spade a spade.  They have all thought that our economy will take care of itself within the matrix of our existing government policies.  It’s what they euphemistically call the trickle down effect.  This notion that people from the bottom rung can somehow be mercifully pulled out of their miseries by the more fortunate among us, is simply a tried and tested failure.  It is downright illogical and a stark testament to our continued ignorance about policy formation as a nation. 

The US President's bank balance has been buoyant since he took office. But he is still some way short of rivalling the very richest world leaders

The Independent – By David Usborne

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Now the nation knows. That doggy in the White House window is worth $1,600 (£1,100). Pretty pricey for a pooch – but then he is part of a household that is worth many millions of dollars, according to the latest financial disclosures filed, as US law requires, by the First Couple, Barack and Michelle Obama.

The forms, posted for all to see on the internet, are a window into the not inconsiderable wealth of America's top family, generated partly by royalties from the president's two memoirs, Dreams of My Father and The Audacity of Hope.

Last year, they earned him between $2m and $10m. His assets are between $2.3m and $7.7m – the forms show ranges of value rather than specific figures.

obama-and-dog

Barack Obama's two memoirs have earned him
up to £10m in royalties

vinson_manilaBy Schatzi Quodala, Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:11:00 05/14/2011

Filed Under: Nuclear power, Waterway & Maritime Transport, Acts of terror, Diplomacy, Foreign affairs & international relations

MANILA, Philippines—The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson faces the risk of sailing into sensitive waters when it steams into Manila Bay on Sunday for a four-day visit.

The Carl Vinson is the same warship that buried Osama bin Laden in the North Arabian Sea after the al-Qaida chief was killed during a raid by US commandos on his Pakistani hideout earlier this month.

Escorted by three other US vessels, the Carl Vinson is scheduled to dock in Manila Bay from May 15 to 18 “for a routine replenishment, maintenance of shipboard systems and crew liberty,” according to an official of the Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces agreement (PCVFA).

tradition_of_dehumanizingby Prof. E. San Juan Jr. –

Global Research – May 2, 2010

Extrajudicial killings, beatings, mental torture, abductions

The United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) occupies center-stage again in the Philippines, the laboratory in 1950-1960s for the Phoenix assassination program in Vietnam inspired by CIA agent Edward Lansdale who is credited for defeating the communist-led Huk uprising. Attention is being given to the CIA systematization of coercive techniques in handling prisoners, including diverse forms of torture, zealously implemented by the police/military officials of the corrupt, unpopular Gloria Arroyo regime.

Since the Abu Ghraib and the Guantanamo prison scandals, the world public has now become sensitized to the moral/political problem of torture, whether used in peace time or in war. In 1997 The Baltimore Sun first exposed the CIA’s training manual applying torture against anti-government subversives in Central America. The manual refers to the 1983 Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual based on the Vietnam-era predecessor called the 1963 “KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation.” Interviews of both victims and security agents in Honduras confirmed that kidnapping, surveillance, infiltration of spies, crowd control, torture and murder in the 1980s were committed by the U.S.-supported Honduran, El Salvadoran and Guatemalan military in the war against communism during President Reagan’s administration.

philippine-flagby James Petras and Robin Eastman
Global Research, April 16, 2010

The run-up to presidential elections is a time of heightened state-sponsored repression as Asia’s foremost ‘death squad democracy’ wages war on its progressive rural medical workers.

The notoriously violent and corrupt elections in the Philippines stand in sharp contrast with those in South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Malaysia, where the ruling elites have secured their hegemony via economic prosperity, rising salaries, increased employment and extensive social services for their citizens. In these countries, the elite can abide by the results of a relatively ‘open’ election, whereas in the Philippines, any challenge to the closed, family-based ruling class is met with relentless terror.

by Center for People Empowerment in Governance

From Global Research / ABS CBN News -- August 16, 2010

• High-level meetings [have occurred] with U.S. state department officials led by Secretary Hillary Clinton, a new military assistance package, an offer of a missiles and war aircraft sale, and port calls by warships from the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM). This week, the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) announced the release of $434 million to fund three projects in the Philippines for five years. The MCC board is chaired also by Clinton.

• The recent visits of high U.S. officials in the Philippines signal a continuing interest in the country in the context of America’s geo-strategic interests in the region and the rest of the world. The underlying framework of these objectives is chiseled in U.S. President Barack Obama’s National Security Strategy (NSS, May 2010) and the U.S. military’s new counter-insurgency (COIN) guide of January 2009. Although both doctrines reiterate the need to maintain the superpower’s access to world resources especially oil and other energy materials, they also stress America’s right to pre-emptive and unilateral strikes against “terrorism,” rogue regimes, and emerging powers, such as China, seeking to challenge the U.S.’ global power....An increased defense alliance with the U.S. leading to a quiet escalation of its military presence will make the Philippines a pawn in the Pentagon’s plan of containment and encirclement of China.

Those who are watching the first 100 days of the new administration can now start focusing their lens on President Benigno S. Aquino III’s coming visit to the United States in September - his first major official foreign trip. The decision to make the U.S. as his maiden foreign destination is not only symbolic but will have far-reaching implications not only on foreign policy but also on the so-called special relationship between a former colony and a superpower. In the long run, it will have broad implications on the Filipino people.

by Erick San Juan

Global Research, August 24, 2010

Mindanao Examiner - 2010-08-23

Like Sen. Santiago, I can sense the urgency to resolve the VFA issue because we might be overtaken by events unfolding on the US-China relations when it comes to the South China Sea territorial disputes.

As one of the claimants on the disputed islands, together with some of our neighbors, we are being led (like a herd of cattle) towards a regional conflict where China is the main enemy.

An increased defense alliance with the U.S. leading to a quiet escalation of its military presence will make the Philippines a pawn in the Pentagon’s plan of containment and encirclement of China.

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