Tue. May 11th, 2021
According to Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, the four-lane Binondo-Intramuros Bridge is about 60% finished and would be complete by September this year, despite the current pandemic situation.

Part 2: A case of early alzheimers or asinine devotion? Not quite.

This writer is not yet through with Antonio Carpio’s cantankerous behavior towards Antonio Parlade, whom he accuses of being a traitor.

In his Crosscurrents column at the Philippines Daily Inquirer last April 8, 2021, the former Associate Justice who never became Chief, accused Parlade of giving “Aid and comfort to the enemy”.

The former magistrate quoted an opinion of the lieutenant general in a separate column, “The Aquino administration took a legal strategy and brought the matter to the Permanent Court of Arbitration xxx.” Because the Permanent Court of Arbitration is not a court, General Parlade called the Arbitral Award a mere “piece of paper” that embodied a “kangaroo ruling.”

But isn’t this the same thing Carpio also said in Crosscurrents? Let us quote him verbatim – “As every international lawyer worth his attaché case knows, the PCA is not a court but a registry that provides, for a fee, a physical venue for hearings, as well as administrative and secretarial services, to those wishing to hold their arbitrations in any of the various offices of the PCA worldwide.”

So, is Carpio even worth his attache’ case?’ If the PCA is mere registry as he said, what is the PCA award he been bruiting about for the past five years?

Now he even hides behind President Duterte’s speech before the UN General Assembly last September 22, 2020, saying: “The Award is now part of international law xxx. We firmly reject attempts to undermine it.”

Allow me to shift to second person interpellation here:

Both Duterte and you are lawyers, may I ask you which part of the PCA award or ruling has now become law that would apply to any State other than the Philippines, the sole participant in the arbitral proceedings of the Permanent Court of Arbitration?

Will Sal Panelo and Harry Roque who are both lawyers of high value to the president please help me a non-lawyer here?  

And if the PCA ruling were of any gravitas, who or what would enforce such ruling?

This has to be asked because the PCA has nothing to do with the United Nations. As you yourself said, it is a registry which for a fee delivers services.

That sounds kangaroo, doesn’t it?

Why? Because as the expert of more than 60 years on and professor of international law Ambassador Rosario Manalo, and I have provided the video for her testimony, said: ““That was not even an arbitration panel, it was a Philippine panel handpicking the people who will deliberate the very issue that we want and paying for them for their time. Now if they were paid, whom do you think they would give a favorable decision?

“The fact that that decision was given, (only) brought to the attention of the world, that we have a basis to do some claiming. It is just a position made by the Philippines, but it does not bind China or anybody else for that matter.”

So, all your intrigues about Parlade overstepping his bounds are just plain trash.

You cannot be regarded in the same level as the general who has shown his objectivity despite the sensitivity of his position in the military.  He may not be a lawyer, but truth is on his side, while you wallow in a lake of prevarications, Mr. Associate Justice who never became Chief.

In fact, if there is any Filipino now who knows a most about treason, it should be you Mr. Carpio.

Isn’t it true that you were moonlighting as a resource person for the Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute, aka Philippine version of Washington DC’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, even while you were still a member of the Supreme Court of the Philippines?

A talking head for Albert del Rosario’s business and power ambitions?

My God, married to a Vietnamese whose country leads in most violations of the Philippine interests in the South China Seas, I have not heard you question the actuations of your wife’s country, even once.

Calling a pick a spade?

My, my, my, now what is this new legal theory you have forwarded for the public to masticate? “Aid and comfort to the enemy?” obviously alluding to China.

Since when has China become the enemy? If you think your paint is too thick on blood red, Mr. Associate Justice who never became Chief, but really it is too far a gray area.

China has donated 3 major bridges to this country, two in Manila and one in Davao City. It has extended soft loans mainly for infrastructure for two more bridges, one over the Pasig-Marikina Rivers, and the other over the Manggahan Floodway to ease Metro Manila traffic congestion.

China is in the midst of making the expansion of the Manila International Airport a reality, and so with the Philippine-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology-Technical Cooperation Program Phase III; and the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project.

Three railroad projects are also in the pipeline totaling 754 kilometers, broken down into: the $940 million 71-kilometer railway freight system connecting Subic and Clark Air Bases, the 581-kilometer, standard-gauge short and long-haul Philippine National Railway from Manila to Legazpi, Matnog, and Batangas City, and finally the first phase of the 102-km Mindanao Railway Project – the Tagum-Davao-Digos segment.

The Davao Expressway is also underway on its first phase of a two-way, four-lane urban 29.21-kilometer expressway, which aims to link city’s main areas with a centralized movement of passengers and cargo to the sea port and airport, with Chinese support.

The Chinese government also has generously agreed to a 60-40 sharing in the oil and gas exploration at Recto Reef (Reed Bank), in favor of the Philippines, far better than the 10% pittance the Americans and the British gave us at Malampaya Gas Field Project off Palawan. On top of that, China whom possesses the most advance technology at extracting methane hydrate, has offered to mine for us at Benham Rise.

China stands to be the Philippines’ top export market with almost 27 percent of our total exports, helping significantly our countryside economy.

In terms of foreign direct investments, here is the 2019 Philippine Statistics Authority figures showing the Chinese inputsover a billion US dollars or 23% compared to the 3% near-paralysis by Americans.

While South Korea is still our largest tourist origin, second is China sending 1,499,524 Chinese tourists in the first 10 months of 2019, increasing 41 percent from the same period in 2018. While ranking third, the great majority of arrivals from the US are returning Filipino-Americans or balikbayans.

Most importantly, China donated armaments to our military at the crucial point when your favorite country, the United States, withheld deliveries of firearms during the terrorist siege of Marawi City.

Consistently, it has delivered its donation of 1 million Sinovac doses to the Philippines and has filled 1.5 million more of orders as of this writing with up to 3 million every month coming until December. Sinopharm, also from China, is also ready to deliver 10-million doses just awaiting government’s purchase order.

China has also become a friend indeed, when we were in most need.

Contrast this to the United States that has yet to deliver 1 dose of vaccine, as it hoards supplies for its own consumption. Worse, this country has delayed deliveries of vaccine ingredients for other countries, like India, who is also engaged in vaccine production. 

So what gold standard is Carpio using to arrive at judging China as “enemy” of the Philippines while ignoring the US that is obviously dismissive of its promises and obligations in the midst of a worldwide pandemic?

Given these and by my widest stretch of my imagination, I simply cannot agree with the former magistrate’s impaired reasoning that “General Parlade has clearly given ‘aid or comfort’ to Communist China” simply because he believes China “has occupied and continues to seize Philippine territory and maritime zones in the West Philippine Sea.”

As I have expounded in the first part of this series, we have no Philippine territory in the Spratlys which we can consider ourselves “sovereign” and definitely we have no exclusivity to sovereign rights to any maritime zones there. What we have are strong claims in the area but which are disputed by five other claimants from the perspective of either sovereignty or sovereign rights.

Our claim to a “West Philippine Sea” is at best unilateral, fueled only by an executive order by former president Noynoy Aquino.

Finally, what do you call a state of mind that sees militia when faced with mere fishermen?

Psychosis?

I am driven to suspect in the 71-year-old former magistrate’s difficulty in reconciling perceptions with reality in the South China Seas could be symptoms of paranoia, for his age may just be early signs of alzheimers but not psychosis.

These symptoms are:

  1. Delusions, which means believing things that aren’t true or real.
  2. Hallucinations, which means seeing or hearing things that aren’t there.
  3. Disorganized thoughts or speech, meaning saying or thinking things that seem illogical or bizarre to others.

But that may be too simplistic and might render the former juror not culpable for his actions. Besides nobody goes to jail for old age or mental illness.

The genesis of the theory “Aid and comfort to the enemy” is Section 3 Clause 1 of the American Constitution that reads, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

When we became a colony of the United States, this was introduced to Philippine jurisprudence through Sections 1 and 3 of Act No. 292 of the Philippine Commission are as follows: “SECTION 1. Every person, resident in the Philippine Islands, owing allegiance to the United States, or the Government of the Philippine Islands, who levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the Philippine Islands or elsewhere, is guilty of treason…”

Methinks a better handle could not also just be asinine devotion to a colonial power.

My final verdict is that the Associate Justice who never became Chief has a good grasp of American law, and is merely lawyering for the American embassy, whom he has been successful in keeping the fact that when it comes to international law, he is yet a freshman.

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