China is a fiend, not a friend

By Herbert Vego

CHINA is not a friend.  She is a fiend or an enemy that is extremely wicked or cruel.

What could be a worse indication of it than the action of a Chinese Coast Guard vessel beaming a near-blinding “military-grade” green laser light at Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) vessel BRP Malapascua off the Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea on Feb. 6?

The bullying occurred within one month from the state visit of President Ferdinand Marcos to Beijing on January 3 to 5.

On Feb. 14, Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian accepted the invitation of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to Malacañang Palace to explain his country’s latest “bullying”.

Was it meant to express China’s displeasure over the Philippines’ consent to give U.S. military forces access to four new military facilities in Cagayan, Palawan, Zambales and Isabela? These are in addition to the five existing sites with US military access under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), namely Basa Air Base and Fort Magsaysay near Manila; the Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu; Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan, and the Lumbia Air Base in Cagayan de Oro.

As of yesterday, however, Malacañang has made no official statement on the Marcos-Huang one-on-one.

The Chinese Embassy, on the other hand, vaguely said in a press statement that the two “exchanged views on how to implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state, strengthen dialogue and communication, and properly manage maritime differences between China and the Philippines.”

China has constantly denied our claim that the eastern part of the South China Sea (SCS) which we call West Philippine Sea lies within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. She sticks to her imaginary territorial claim using the nine-dash U-shaped line in the South China Sea drawn in 1947.

Sad to say, we had a former president named Rodrigo Duterte who – instead of upholding our territorial rights as enshrined in the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration based in The Hague – opted to ignore the ruling and said in one of his speeches that it would be okay for our country to morph into a mere “province” of China.

In reaction to the provocative “laser attack,” Duterte’s critic-turned-spokesman Harry Roque seemingly defended the China Coast Guard by warning us against engaging in a war with China.

The truth of the matter is that China has been waging war against us without firing a shot.  She has already gained control of territories which were determined by the Arbitral Court to be within our exclusive economic zone. She has cordoned off Scarborough Shoal and Reed Bank to prevent Filipinos from fishing and exploring these grounds.

She has reclaimed Zamora Reef for military build-up, building a three-kilometer runway, hangars, radars, missile shelters and weapons systems.

So, whom can we turn to but the United States and other countries wary of China domination of smaller neighbors?

Under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), which is an agreement with the United States envisioned to advance the implementation of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) of 1951. the Philippines and the US would support each other if either of them were to be attacked by an external party.

There are insinuations that US support is “incidental” because it would redound to its own interest. Be that as it may, let us think of the US, Europe, Australia and Japan, among others, as allies who would be there in times of need.

If we remain as fearful of China as clowns like Roque and company, then we would be doomed to “provincehood” under the control of the Chinese Communist Party.

Then we would be red-tagged.



MORE Power’s fourth-year anniversary celebration saw its personnel donating vegetable seeds to the Iloilo City USWAG Agri-Nursery and the Iloilo City Farmer’s Federation as part of the Urban Farming Project. It was one of several green initiatives the company had committed to support Iloilo City’s food sufficiency.

According to MORE Power President Roel Z. Castro, they are committed to making a positive impact on the city by supporting the local government’s initiatives.

We agree that by donating the seeds, MORE Power will promote healthier and more sustainable living in Iloilo City while also supporting local farmers and their families.

Vegetable farming contributes to formation of healthy landscapes, contributing to stable ecosystems, erosion control and biodiversity.

Each seed grows into a new plant. The more seeds are produced, the more plants there will be, thus propagating and ensuring the survival of the species.



AN opinion survey personally funded by Mayor Jerry P. Treñas – meaning, no public funds wasted — mirrors both favorable and unfavorable public perceptions on the services performed by the city government.

“I just want to improve our services with scientific data,” he wrote on Facebook. “I want to thank our employees.”

Seventeen questions were asked in the survey.  Let us review a few of them.

The No. 1 question: “Are you contented with your life in Iloilo?”

The respondents came up with a net satisfaction of +66.3% (VERY GOOD). The percentage is derived from 76% answering “contented”; 15% “not contented”; 6.3% “very contented”; 1.7% no opinion; and 1% “very discontented”.

No. 2 question: “Are you contented with rehabilitation work done in the public plazas?”

For brevity, let us keep the enumeration of criteria and go directly to the rating. The answer here is + 82.7% (excellent).

No. 3: “Are you contented with the reconstruction or rehabilitation of the public markets?”

Net satisfaction rating = + 80.9% (excellent).

No. 4: “Are you contented with the traffic management?

Net satisfaction rating = – 12.0% (poor).

No. 5: “Are you contented with the routing of passenger jeeps?”

Net satisfaction rating = + 33.9% (GOOD).

More on this in our next column on Monday.