Editorial analysis by Micheal John
Rodrigo Duterte has come under additional criticism from just about every major human rights organization on Earth. The UN Human Rights Commission has been nearly apoplectic over mass murders in the Philippines. So too has the International Criminal Court. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and numerous other Ivy League human rights groups have been hammering the Duterte government for numerous crimes against humanity.
There is no upside. While the members of Duterte’s junta have benefitted in power and wealth, the country has tanked. It is estimated that starvation will be taking a huge toll in the Philippines by the end of 2021. An estimate of COVID-19 excess deaths puts the Philippines around 77,000, a more realistic number that matches the anxiety of the population and the massive numbers of at-home funerals. Most Filipinos suffer COVID-19 at home and that is where they die. The cost of going to a hospital is beyond the vast majority of the population. Hence, deaths in the Philippines from COVID-19 are likely some 60,000 higher than the reported numbers, which according to biostatisticians don’t make a lot of sense anyway because they follow a pattern of contrived recovery and case data and are based on a dismal lack of testing.
Philippines Government record is all about failures.
Losing its fishing rights to the Chinese in its own extended economic zone is just one more failing of the Duterte government of the Philippines which has only myopic thinking and doctrine which put its own short-sighted disingenuous goals ahead of the interests of the Filipino people.
It’s a government that murders people it does not like. That has left dozens of Duterte’s henchmen fearing life imprisonment as an International Criminal Court examination heats up.
Think about it. The Philippines, once a dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and a pit of human rights violations has again plummeted downwards into the ranks of very few nations under the watchful eye of an alarmed United Nations Human Rights Commission and possible prosecutions by the International Criminal Court. What’s worse is that Manila-based social media pollsters say that the country is cheering for Duterte and this outcome. That’s a mismatch from the actual content of social media and any straw polls, maybe a government poll? Where are you going with this, Philippines? How far down? Since when did mass murders become OK?
Duterte says he doesn’t care about fishing rights and only wants the oil and gas. But the population of the Philippines is already suffering ill-health from moderate to extreme pollution caused by unrestrained and unfiltered burning of fossil fuels. By 2030, global standards insist that reliance on fossil fuels must end anyway. The oil and gas has no future value. Duterte is in a 1980s paradigm?
The Chinese mainland is a Goliath but Duterte is no David.
On 23 April 2021, China’s President Xi Jinping personally launched and commissioned a massive amphibious assault ship; a brand new destroyer; and a nuclear-powered strategic ballistic missile submarine.
Watch Video: A nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, a monstrous amphibious assault ship and a destroyer commissioned in one day by China.
China’s new vessels, says the Chinese foreign affairs office, include,
- the Renhai-class Dalian (hull #105), a type 055 large destroyer with an estimated displacement of about 13,000 tons;
- the new Yushen-class Hainan (hull #31), a type 075 enormous carrier-sized amphibious assault ship with an estimated displacement of about 40,000 tons, which has two identical sister ships in current build, one to be commissioned in less than 12 months and a third to be commissioned in or before 2025 according to an abundance of data released by the Chinese government; and
- the Changzheng–18 (hull #421), a Jin-class type 094A nuclear-powered strategic ballistic missile submarine with an estimated displacement of 12,000 tons
The Dalian (hull #105) is the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) third type 055 destroyer to be commissioned.
The first two were the Nanchang (currently assigned to the Liaoning aircraft carrier “protector” group just coming off a mission apparently with massive boiler damage to the Liaoning according to PLAN insiders.) and the Lhasa.
This Renhai class of eight vessels (five under build) has capabilities as carrier escort as well as lead-ship in flotillas and is one of the world’s most advanced large destroyers. The newest five, yet to be commissioned, have undergone full testing and are expected to be in service by 2023.
The three new warships launched last week are assigned to China’s ‘South Sea Fleet’ (SSF), which operates near Taiwan and in all of the China-claimed South China Sea.
The Hainan is able to transport 30 helicopters and has a massive through-deck with seven take-off points that can laucnh six shipborne helicopters simultaneously
Flat top can launch hundreds of troops and operational 6 helicopters at the same time
New class of Amphibious Assault Ship is massive
China launches nearly 60,000 tons of warshipping
Meanwhile, China has launched the core of its first orbiting space station, likely to contain substantial military Earth-observation apparatus as well as science research platforms and labs.
The Strength of China is that it does not lose focus on long-term goals and doctrine. The weakness of the Philippines is that it has a kleptocratic government that is in all aspects, incompetent and the worst violator of human rights in all of Asia including the junta in Myanmar. It is the least attractive Asian ally in a contest with China over human rights.
The Duterte government always has a name for the people it is killing. Today they are “reds” meaning ‘communists’.
Journalists; cooperative farmers; human rights activists; political opponents; authors; scholars and anyone who challenges Duterte suddenly gets popped onto a list of “red-tagged” individuals—just like the list of alleged drug-users—and later murdered by a squad on motorcycles, two to a bike, each with a gun supplied by the Duterte regime.
That Joe Biden goes along with this disgusting shit speaks plenty about Biden’s alleged moral compass.
That Joe Biden goes along with this shit calls out his moral values. Of course America does not want to fight an inevitable war with China from its own shores and would much rather use the Philippines as a platform, but attacking China for its human rights violations in exchange for accepting the Duterte Regime’s human rights violations is not going to fly among most Democrats.
The Myanmar junta of criminals under Senior General Min Aung Hlaing are still amateur murderers compared to Duterte’s regime. Duterte’s junta has far more members under the eye of the International Criminal Court and thirty-three-thousand more murders than Min Aung Hlaing recent record not counting the genocide of the Rohingya. They are all in the same class of human garbage.
But the new junta/cult mantra in the Philippines of killing-communists sits well with the American military with which Duterte shares the pacific archipelago in at least five locations.
Biden is likely being told he needs to look the other way from the massive human rights violations in the Philippines because America needs the Philippines archipelago at any cost as a platform from which to fight a war with China. It does not want to fight a war from its homeland.
Meanwhile the Philippines response to the COVID-19 Pandemic is likely the worst in the world as a completely militaristic approach that mimics its extra judicial killings (EJK-brand) style of anti-drug warfare against the poorest among the Filipinos. Duterte’s pandemic response has been compared to a human rights travesty by Amnesty International.
“Over a year into the pandemic, the Philippine government’s continued failure to ensure an adequate response is a serious human rights issue,” said Emerlynne Gil, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director. “The authorities must provide healthcare without discrimination using their maximum available resources.”
“Specific measures to protect those most affected, including health workers and those most at-risk, must be taken without further delay. Furthermore, the government must stop attacking human rights defenders and activists, a practice that only makes a dire situation worse,” Gil said.
The Philippines government has cut the national health care budget by more than 25% from what it has been and about 290% of what it should be and runs its pandemic response on the backs of its medical workers who are grossly overworked and so badly underpaid its public health plan is a giant government fraud consisting of broken contracts and broken promises according to every single analysis of the system in the past 12 months.
That the Philippines has lost all of the Scarborough Shoal and in fact all of the territories that China has claimed against the Philippines interests, there is little to no doubt.
The only SARS-CoV-2 vaccine the Philippines is able to administer to its population is the Chinese vaccine. Another flop of the Duterte Administration?
Duterte at this point does not want to offend China in a big way and stop the flow of pandemic assistance measures which includes tests and substantial quantities of PPE.
Philippines COVID-19 Statistics 29 Feb 2024
China recently warned the Philippines that it wasn’t going to lay back much longer and tolerate Philippines Navy patrols in its waters and would take stern action against Philippines Coast Guard vessels splashing around in Chinese waters it claims.
“China enjoys sovereignty over Nansha Islands including Zhongye Island and Zhongsha Islands including Huangyan Island and their adjacent waters, and exercises jurisdiction in relevant waters,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin on 26 April, using the names it applies to the reefs the Philippines claims within its extended economic zone.
“We urge the relevant side to respect China’s sovereignty and rights and interests, and stop actions complicating the situation and escalating disputes,” added Wang Wenbin.
Duterte responded saying Friday that, “There cannot be any compromise on the Filipino marine region. Therefore, the patrolling in this marine region by the Philippines navy and coast guard will not stop.”
Duterte’s words seem conflicted from time to time depending on whose advise he has listened to most recently.
Duterte is right about one thing, going to war with China might get “bloody”. But war with China is a hollow threat Duterte has used repeatedly on the credulous Philippines population to justify his acquiescence to Xi Jinping.
China would not want war either because it could mean war between the USA and China. Neither country is ready for that although both claim they are ready and willing. In both cases, their populations would fry their governments on a spit for such bloody recklessness.
Contrary to what Duterte has said, the biggest loss to the Philippines has been food, in other words, the fisheries the Chinese have stolen from Filipinos.
Maybe Duterte has another idea for feeding the population of the Philippines, besides fish?
China Threatening the health and well being of Filipinos is reprehensible and the country must compensate the Philippines substantially.
Oil and gas resources are worthless despite Duterte’s rhetoric to the contrary. As the world heads for the year 2030, reliance on fossil fuels must end. The Philippines has enough sunshine and wind to power the entire archipelago, day and night, all the while its air smells like an exhaust pipe of a 1960s shit-box truck and medical advisors warn travelers against going to the Philippines because of the health risk posed by extreme air pollution.
According to the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT), vacationers are warned to stay away from the Philippines because of the health risks.
“In accordance with the World Health Organization’s guidelines, the air quality in the Philippines is considered moderately unsafe. The most recent data indicates the country’s annual mean concentration of PM2.5 is 18 µg/m3 which exceeds the recommended maximum of 10 µg/m3,” says the IAMAT.
Doctors advise patients with any kind of lung conditions to wear FFP respirators at all times when in the cities and to not do any physical exertion.
Duterte’s Fishing Deal with Xi Jinping. Real or not?
The Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte “made a verbal fishing deal” with Xi Jinping in 2016, claims former Philippines Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio.
The verbal deal between Duterte and Xi Jinping is “lopsided” according to Mr. Carpio, because China’s fishing boats can easily harvest all the fish in the South China Sea, he added, in a 23 July 2019 interview.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. conceded around the same time that there may have been such a verbal agreement with China, but the Philippines would be reneging on that agreement.
“The verbal agreement cannot be enforced on us, it’s verbal,” Locsin told ANC’s Headstart programme. “You need a document to prove an agreement. That’s the way it is.”
Recently, a Duterte spokesperson has repeatedly denied that Duterte had made a fishing deal with Xi Jinping despite the Cabinet Minister’s confirmation that there was only a verbal agreement which Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. felt could be rescinded because it was not in writing.
Watch: Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. concede that there was a verbal fishing deal.
China’s fishing/militia boats have been in the Scarborough Shoal’s Whitsun Reef since 2020 and even long before according to extensive satellite surveillance.
Possession is everything. China has used its might and some wackadoo hysterical stories that allegedly support its fanatical claims of a color-of-right in stealing the South China Sea. Deal with it. It is done.
July 23, 2019
The verbal deal between Duterte and Xi Jinping is “lopsided” because China’s fishing boats can easily harvest all the fish in the South China Sea, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said.
Photo Credit: File Photo, Live Video Capture.
Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto / Feminine-Perspective Magazine
Video interview of Philippines Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio by the Philippines Local TV Network (ABS-CBN) that Duterte Shut Down because of criticisms or ‘Truth-to-Power”.
Photo Credit: Simularity Inc.
A large number of vessels are seen here in this satellite image taken on 14 December 2020 at Whitsun Reef about 175 nm from the Philippines but well inside its exclusive economic zone.
What it looks like, says a Vietnamese fishing boat captain, is that “they are about to build another military base.”