Jarius Bondoc’s column of September 23, 2020 displays the folly of the veteran columnist of the Philippine Star in pursuing his anti-China black propaganda campaign – making himself sound and look so ridiculous and silly.
The title to his piece that day is “China state units creeping into Phl armed forces bases”. “Creeping”? Really? To creep is to “move slowly and carefully in order to avoid being heard or noticed”.
Bondoc cites several projects as examples.
First Bondoc cites the Sangley Airport project, then the China Telecom (which are actually DITO, a Filipino company, cell sites), and the Marawi City reconstruction site where homes and public buildings are being built to replace what ISI-linked Islamic terrorists caused to be razed to the ground.
All three projects Bondoc says are “creeping” into Philippine Armed Forces bases, which is a totally creepy statement to make from an otherwise seasoned socio-political critic like Jarius Bondoc and for an established newspaper like the Star to allow.
The three projects are all under open and even loudly publicized projects under the auspices of the Republic of the Philippines various branches of government, and thanks to rambunctious anti-China propagandists like Bondoc are completely under the klieg lights of media.
How then can these projects be “creeping”? I’d like Bondoc to answer that for the public understanding of his particular perception of these projects. Any way one looks at these projects “creeping” can not be a description for how they are entering into the Philippine scene.
We will provide here some basic information on the “creeping” projects cited by Bondoc here to show how effective the “creeping” of the Chinese and Filipino companies doing these projects are in keeping their surreptitious activities secret and hidden from the public.
Sangley Airport was a venture started by tycoon Henry Sy envisioned to handle 50 million passengers annually in place of the air base previously. This was part of the so-called “Philippines Global Gateway” project proposed to the Philippine government in February 2016.
Early in 2020 Lucio Tan’s MascroAsia Corporation and its Chinese partner, China Communications Construction Co, bagged the P 500-billion expansion of the Sangley Airport into an international airport, with the expressed approval and support of Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla.
Regarding the Chinese construction companies that the US is demanding ASEAN countries to follow the US and ban, none of those countries’ names Bondoc dropped banned. Just to cite one is this report from Straits Times “Malaysia will not follow US sanctions against 24 Chinese companies”. https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/malaysia-will-not-follow-us-sanctions-against-24-chinese-companies-says-ambassador
No ASEAN country has gone along with the US ban, in fact cooperation between ASEAN and China is intensifying in all fields, from signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to Belt and Road Initiative projects. President Duterte has rejected US demands to blacklist Chinese companies from the Philippines’ Build, Build, Build program. See this article http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-09/12/c_139363479.htm
Bondoc then identifies the DITO telecoms project, the third telco that President Duterte approved with the demand from it to outperform Globe and Smart.
No less than defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana informed the public through media last September 8 that “I signed the contract recently” for the DITO cell sites to set up repeater towers in Philippine military bases.
As other have reported, Globe and Smart also have cell sites already in these military bases and claim of some deliberately misleading news report falsely claim that Globe and Smart a “wholly owned by Filipinos”. Globe is a joint venture of the Ayala group (a group demonstrably aligned with Western Big Business) with Singtel of Singapore and Smart is for all intents and purposes controlled by the Indonesian Salim group.
What is sauce for Singaporean and Malaysian foreign majority ownerships, is not sauce for Chinese minority ownership?
How can the Chinese be “creeping” in when the entire government and, in particular the Defense Secretary of the Philippines is directly involved in the study, planning and implementation of agreements to facilitate this telecoms project to include the installation of telecom equipment in Philippine military bases which the military itself will be using free of charge.
Bondoc is casting such serious aspersions against the capabilities and loyalties of our AFP, the defense secretary and even President Duterte that Bondoc is opening himself to the charges of libel or even treason – but then, pro-Americanism has never been a treasonous act in the Philippines has it? Is Bondoc actually accusing the AFP, Lorenzana and the President of treason then?
As for the Marawi Rehabilitation and reconstruction project now on its fourth year of development, it was originally under the auspices of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and transferred finally to the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD). All construction projects approved by the government.
Donations for the Marawi rehabilitation and reconstruction have come from many nations, including China, India, Canada, Germany, India, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the U.S. China is among the biggest contributors. Bondoc, however, just says the Marawi project has “security implications” but no details.
Bondoc not only alleges but actually already accuse China of using the projects for its intelligence operations, and he believes he can do this without having to show any proof – in the same manner the US and Trump is accusing China of security breach through Huawei equipment yet after two years of being asked by China to show proof has never brought up any evidence.
Is US intelligence technology and talent so incompetent that it cannot produce the evidence for the charges it has been making, likewise Bondoc for making allegations running roughshod over the acts of higher authorities from Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana all the way up to President Duterte himself?