Sun. Aug 1st, 2021

Part 3: The thin line between inclusion and exclusion in an ever-changing world

When the 93rd Oscar Awards ended yesterday April 26, 2020, the Academy sent a stinging signal not just to its host United States but to the entire world. CNBC wrote, “After years of criticism for a lack of diversity, this year’s slate of nominees contained some notable firsts.

“It was the first time an all-Black producing team was nominated for best picture, the first time two actors of Asian descent received a nod for best actor and the first year that two women were nominated for best director. 

“Chloé Zhao took home the best directing trophy, becoming the second woman to claim the title.”

Her magnum opus, “Nomadland” was named best picture. 

Chloé, was born Zhào Ting March 31, 1982 in Beijing, China.

Despite the fact that Nomadland won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, and numerous other Best Picture awards, it could not have stood a chinaman’s chance in Donald Trump’s white man’s supremacist domain.

But as CNBC succinctly pointed out “When the winners were revealed, it reflected this spirit of inclusion.”

I heard this word “inclusion” first masturbated as Noynoy Aquino’s presidential shibboleth, together with the tag “no one left behind”, but in practice that regime was perhaps the most divisive and bigoted in our history, especially as it related to China in our foreign relations.

Aquino, and his minion, Albert del Rosario as secretary of foreign affairs, demonized China.

At first, I thought it was racism, until Ambassador Rigoberto Tiglao dished out their connections with novo-tycoon Manny Pangilinan and his Indonesian master Antoni Salim’s the frustrated Forum Energy oil exploration at the Recto Reef (Reed Bank), purportedly in cahoots with the Anglo-Dutch oligarchy.

Aquino and Del Rosario were powered by nothing philosophical, just sheer naked greed. Their staging platform was Stratbase, afterwards renamed Albert del Rosario Institute, or by whatever other name, still afront for the Washington DC-based Center for Strategic Studies and its commercial flipside The Bower Group of Asia.

American vested interests came complete with an orchestra, symphony provided by talking heads among others, the late Annapolis graduandus Roilo Golez, pseudo academics Richard Heydarian and Jay Batongbacal, and of course the international law freshman Associate Justice who never became Chief, Antonio Carpio.

Carpio carps and carps

One year before the July 2016 “award” by the dubious Permanent Court of Arbitration unilaterally organized by the Philippines, naysayers asked this septuagenarian who would enforce its ruling given the fact that China would just ignore it? Carpio discussed with Rappler two international cases to show that China would be forced “one way or another”.

The former jurist cited the 1986 case of Nicaragua v. United States of America that was filed before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and the 2013 case Kingdom of Netherlands v. Russian Federation before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).

Note that as early as this point, Carpio was already engaged in intellectual dishonesty. The question was how a ruling by the PCA, a private arbitral body, could be enforceable and he answers it by disinforming the non-legal mind by citing incongruent cases – from official international bodies, first the ICJ, the UN’s highest judicial institution, and second from the ITLOS, the arbitral tribunal of the UN Convention on the Laws of the Seas (UNCLOS) for those who signed and ratified treaty but did not opt out of its compulsory provisions in the settlement of disputes.

In private arbitration, rulings apply only to the parties involved. In official institutions, rulings can become a judicial precedent, or guideline, for subsequent decisions involving similar disputes.

Nevertheless, enough legalisms. Aguendo, let us take up the facts of the first.

Nicaragua v. United States of America is about American military and paramilitary activities against Nicaragua at the height of the country’s civil war in the late 1970s to early 80s, in support of the Contras, a counter-revolutionary group that was set up to overthrow the leftist Sandinista revolt.

The Sandinistas eventually acquired power and demanded from the court an estimated $17 billion in reparations, as reported by Paul Jeffrey of Latinamerica Press. The court ruled in 1986 that the U.S. government had violated international law in its proxy war against Nicaragua, including the mining of its harbors by the Central Intelligence Agency, and ordered damages to be paid, without specifying an amount.

But like China, the US refused to acknowledge that the court had jurisdiction over the case and initially ignored its ruling. Nicaragua went to the UN Security Council to ask the body to enforce the ruling, but the US – which is a permanent member – vetoed it.  Nicaragua then went to the UN General Assembly to sponsor a resolution that the US must comply with international law and the ruling of the International Court of Justice. 

But when President Violeta Chamorro took office in April 1990, the US government started pressuring Nicaragua to drop the suit. On September 12, the new Nicaraguan government obliged by relieving the United States from its obligation to pay any damages from the war.

Thirty years have passed, but the United States has never expressed any regret about the crimes it committed in Nicaragua, not to mention paying any reparations.

In his interview by Rappler, Carpio said “In Nicaragua v. United States of America, compliance was not immediate. But the US was eventually forced to pay.” Dumb liar. I was able to trace that the Carpio statements came not from official records but a probable polluted source, an obscure social media comment by one “Oblaks” in the DefenseForumIndia.com dated July 13, 2016 or one day after the PCA ruling came out.

It gave a link that cannot be reached: http://www.icjcij.org:3000/docket?sum=367&p1=3&p2=3&case=70&p3=5

So, let’s move to the next citation, again arguendo.

After Greenpeace activists attempted to scale the Prirazlomnaya drilling platform on September 18, 2013, as part of a protest against Arctic oil production, Russian authorities seized the Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise in international waters in the Russian Exclusive Economic Zone the next day and arrested the crew, towed the ship to Murmansk, and detained 28 activists and two freelance journalists. The Investigative Committee of Russia opened a criminal investigation, charging the activists initially with piracy and later with hooliganism.

Since the Arctic Sunrise was flying the Dutch flag, the Netherlands filed a case at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea that ruled for the release of the crew and ship pending a final adjudication of the matter. Russia ignored the ITLOS ruling, but eventually released the crew as part of a general amnesty adopted by the State Duma after two months of detention.

The ship Arctic Sunrise itself was released in June 2014.

Frankly, I do not see any connection between the Artic Sunrise, the Nicaragua case and Carpio’s PCA ruling, except that Russia, the US and China all ignored the respective rulings.

But you can read Carpio’s motivation from the slip of his tongue when he commented on the Nicaragua case, “It was costing the US tremendously in terms of reputation. It claims to be the exponent, the Number 1 advocate of the Rule of Law and yet it was glaringly in violation of international law. The world was telling the US, ‘You violated international law.’”

Tough verbiage on law, however, what the Associate Justice who never became Chief, was in pursuit of was not the rule of law, but lawfare and its use as a weapon for information war.  This is why from the time the PCA case was filed in 2013, the American and Aquino-Del Rosario international public relations machine was harping prefixes to the so-called arbitration and later, arbitral ruling as “UN-backed, UN-sanctioned, UN-authorized”.

This despite the fact that Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon had already clarified the very next day the PCA ruling came out in 2016, that “…the UN doesn’t have a position on the legal and procedural merits of the case or on the disputed claims…”  

Today, Carpio admits in writing that the PCA is not a court but a mere registry, whose services are paid for.

I see this as important for lawyers because this is where they rake in attorney’s fees. But not for people like me who are seeking the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

So, pray tell me, Mr. Carpio sir, what do you really want enforced in your kangaroo PCA ruling? Definitely most, if not all, of our readers have no access or time to double check your “expert” opinion and sources.

Is it the fact that the PCA ruled that none of our occupied islands in the Spratlys, that we call the Kalayaan Island Group”, can be considered as islands and therefore not subject to generating sovereign rights as exclusive economic zones. The ruling reduced them to “mere rocks”.

Is it the fact that the PCA did not award the Scarborough Shoals as exclusive to the Philippines but called it the traditional fishing grounds of many nations? Not just China and the Philippines, but other countries even. They merely followed your pied piper tactics because you were still wearing your shiny robes then.

Is it that PCA invalidated China’s claims based on any “historic rights” to waters, seabed, and subsoil within the nine-dash line? What is of a landmark proportion there? Where is the victory seething with braggadocio?

While we were gabbing our one-sided arguments before the private arbitration panel that we chose, organized and paid for in US dollars, China was busy changing the facts on the ground by occupying features in the South China Seas, following the lead that we set in 1974 when we occupied the Kalayaan Island Group.

 The Chinese conducted a land reclamation project which had built at least seven artificial islands in the South China Sea totaling 3,200 acres in size by mid-2015. While China was doing this, both the United States and the Aquino-Del Rosario administration just stood and watched.

Worse, now military sources are even telling us a lot of the reclamation materials even came from Northern Luzon in the Philippines, arranged by politicians close to Malacanang at that time.

China has since fortified these islands both for economic and military purposes, enabling an effective control not just of its occupied features but of the entire disputed areas, ipso facto, the entire South China Seas.

While former Justice Antonio Carpio almost launched a career in cartography selling old maps and authoring coffee table books for Albert del Rosario, I cited in my first book, A Problem for Every Solution, Carl Thayer of the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defense Force Academy as saying “Maps in international law, are only pieces of information. The key to sovereignty is to demonstrate a long-standing occupation and administration over features in the South China Seas.”

I wish to add, effective defense of the area, if and when necessary, for in world politics, might is right.

Those who were in government with Noynoy ought to know by now that that village idiot knew only of inclusion in theory and rhetoric, but always excluded those who do not eat his and his minion’s shit.

The dissonance involving the South China Seas cannot be beyond realpolitik. To illustrate, while some of its members have criticized “aggressive” behavior in the disputed waters, Asean, which relies heavily on China for trade and investment, has never castigated China by name in its official communiques.

Pragmatists like the Germans has regained almost overnight for Volkswagen the top selling car brand by enjoying the affluent Chinese domestic market. But those like Australia that the US had used to bark its nasty slogans, learned quickly how it is to be excluded from China’s shopping list.

The United States can only shame China by inventing scenarios ad infinitum based on falsehoods, because the Chinese policy of inclusion is self-explanatory in its emphasis on economic sharing thick on a win-win praxis rather than hegemonic dividing and ruling through wars, where everybody ends up a loser.

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