Asian Century By Herman Tiu Laurel
The news from Nikkei Asia headlined one of the latest developments from ASEAN diplomacy, “Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar deepen Russia ties to blunt economic woes.”
Of the three, Indonesia is considered the heavyweight amongst the 10-members of ASEAN and Thailand a light-heavyweight, and Myanmar is a lightweight punching above its weight level. They are all reaching out to Russia for energy, fertilizer and wheat supplies. Why is the Philippines not doing it too?
The Philippines is worse off than Indonesia or Thailand; the former has its own energy sources but still seeks to buy cheaper discounted Russian oil and gas despite being the top ASEAN country in GDP and the latter, Thailand, ranks second.
Myanmar ranks 7th, while the Philippines ranks 5th behind Malaysia and Singapore which does not need oil and gas aid today.
Cambodia, Laos, Brunei are bantamweights but the last one has its own energy sources, Laos is a hydroelectric energy exporter to Cambodia.
The Philippines is the most energy impoverished country in the region yet it has been antagonizing the major global sources of low-cost oil and gas today, Russia.
The Philippines just recently reneged on its contract with Russia for 16 Mi-17 helicopters listening only from our ‘Amboy’ ambassador to Washington, “Babes” Romualdez that the U.S. would sanction the Philippines over the deal.
The Philippines should have pursed the deal until the US formally protested.
Now the Philippines is saddled with a P 2-billion advance it had already paid Russia for the helicopter and faces the ignominy of trying to get it back after reneging on the deal based on the simple say-so of our Amboy ambassador to Washington.
The Philippines is acting like it has absolutely no bargaining power over the Americans, like a helpless vassal. What is the Mutual Defense Treaty for it not to leverage against American abusiveness?
We could have had by now some supply of Reed Bank oil and gas from our 60/40 joint venture with China that President Rodrigo R. Duterte sweet-talked China into giving the Philippines.
But another Amboy, former DFA secretary Teodoro ‘Teddy Boy’ Locsin, scuttled the deal using constitutional legalities that was merely a legalistic and selective interpretation to block the deal for the Salim group’s PXP Energy run by the Manny Pangilinan-Albert del Rosario gang for its aggressive shareholder profiteering and U.S. strategic geopolitical warmongering.
The country is being blocked by Amboys from every opportunity to obtain cheap energy sources while the nation’s economy is taking a serious beating from the sky-high energy prices and very destructive power shortages that has been visiting our industries and homes and repeated several times each year for 22-years now after the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) was signed into law by Gloria Arroyo in 2001– who promised an end to power shortages.
Clean coal energy supplies 55 percent of China power needs today but it is one of the countries that have been successful in reducing its once-massive pollution problem and it has also now tamed carbon-emissions – because clean coal energy is viable and clean, even Germany intends to bring it back (supposedly temporary, but watch as it becomes permanent again).
Here in the Philippines the quixotic and Luddite anti-coal lobby is still ruling the roost. The anti-coal NGOs here are funded by the West.
You see, all the Amboys circling the policy milieu of the country constricting the room for maneuver of the Philippines for diversifying the sources of energy and power for the country as well as the diversity of energy raw material sources.
This is a carry-over from the three-decades of Yellow rule of the country, from Cory Aquino to Noynoy Aquino when the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was shut down and the power sector was privatized, exploited for profits but never reinvested for expansion.
Most Filipinos think the Yellows are now out after the Duterte administration assumed the powers of government and now, with the victory of PBBM the last nail on the coffin of the Yellows had been hammered in.
How wrong they are, the Yellows who were and are creations of the foreign interlopers – the Americans – are strongly in control of the government and private finance sectors, Big Business and leftist/NGO/academe sectors of society.
Our economic, financial and diplomatic policies are a continuation of the Yellow regime’s agenda– privatization, liberalization, deregulation.
They want EPIRA amended not repealed, they want to privatize Pagcor, PCSO, even the Bus Lane on EDSA.
They don’t want closer relations with Russia which is the hope for immediate cheap oil and gas, and they are blocking the PHL-China 60/40 oil and gas deal.
Can’t the rest of the people see that this is a plot to keep the Philippines poor and helpless?
That’s why the conscientious sectors of PBBM’s movement should review Ferdinand E. Marcos, Sr.’s “Revolution from the Center.”