Asian Century Journal

An Asian Century Philippines Publication

Mindanao’s development dreams

 

By Herman Tiu Laurel

 

                 As I observe the reverberations from the Supreme Court’s controversial and suspiciously timed decision and announcement on the 2005 Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) case declaring the exploration joint venture unconstitutional, I thought of the dreams of economic development of our nation and of Mindanao, how it would be sabotaged by this twisted decision if not corrected.

                 The Reed Bank or Recto Bank joint oil-gas exploration and exploitation deal between China and the Philippines puts the latter as beneficiary of 60% of the proceeds from the oil and gas resources of the disputed area that is proven by the US Geological Survey to be five times bigger that Saudi Arabia. Imagine all the development dreams the Philippines can attain with that much resources.

                 With such tremendous resources, guaranteed peace in the region due to cooperation with China and assured energy independence, Filipinos can really enjoy the sovereignty it longed for even hundreds of years before the 1896 Revolution which suffered an ill-fated end at the hands of imperialist America. Is the Supreme Court causing the same repetition of history by this abortin of the joint oil-gas deal ?

                 False patriotism is behind the campaign to stop cooperation of the Philippines with China. We should  learn the lesson from none other than the U.S. Imperialist-killer Vietnam which tried to go it alone exploiting the oil resources of its claims but found China an unmoveable rock. Vietnam had bloody skirmishes with China but finally accepted the win-win forumla China offers – coooperaiton and joint exploration and development.

                Vietnam has joint exploration with China in the Beibu Gulf just off Vietnam and China, like so many other nations on the rim of the SCS. Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei all have joint ventures to explore and tap oil and gas resources. PetroVietnam and CNOOC (China State oil company) joint venture also have a joint venture in the SCS which Atty. Harry Roque as spokesperson and legal adviser of former President Duterte already pointed out in 2018.

                A rough estimate of what the Philippines could pump out of the joint venture with China runs close to, if not exceeds, a trillion potential dollars. This is no “small beer” for the country that invested the small San Miguel beer bottle to adapt to the poverty of our beer drinking “masa”, we can have big beer as large as the German beer bottles and lager cups with the lid, or China’s extra large Tsingtao bottles that is equivalent to two regular SanMig bottles here.

                 All these reminded me of President Duterte’s dream and project with China, the Mindanao Circumferential Railway that would run 1,100 kms. around the entire island of Mindanao. That could immediately start on the same day as the Phl-China joint oil-gas deal were to be signed as the joint venture is immensely bankable. Chinese and international banks wouldn’t bat an eye to sign up – but there are the saboteurs moving heaven and earth to stop the joint venture.

                 The Salim group think they own the Republic of the Philippines the way they own the Yellows, Business World, TV 5, the Inquirer, Meralco, Manila Water, what else does the Salim group own? Ahhh,, of course, the souls of Manny Pangilinan, former DFA secretary Albert del Rosario, Justice Antonioi Carpio, Rappler, Maria Resssa, and a host of others from the senate and congress, the financial authorities, the academie ad nausea.

                BTW, it is important that I do not forget to remind everybody who filed the motion to declare that JMSU unconstitutional – its Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casiño and lawyered by Neri Colminares, all dedicated saboteurs of Philippine economic progress and strange bedfellows of the Yellows and the U.S. in this mission to keep the Philippines underdeveloped so they can continue to wreak havoc and destabilize for their own eventual takeover of the country.

                 President Duterte in his time started the crusade to wreck the structures of the CPP-NPA-NDF (the last one is the legal National Democratic Front), which we hope the PBBM administration will have as much political will to pursue. At the same time Duterte really weakened the stranglehold of the US on the Philippines to allow so many economically liberating projects with China to proceed, unfortunately this joint oil-gas deal was successfully sabotaged by Amboy Teddyboy Locsin.

                I remember Pres. Duterte reminded the nation on March 9, 2022 calling for the Philippines to honor its commitment to the oil-gas joint exploration deal, which a month later Locsin “terminates”. Our people must raise their voices to echo President Duterte’s call, “Honor our commitment to the PHL-China oil-gas joint venture.”At the same time, there are many ways to skin a cat, and PBBM can initiate a Special Treaty to smoothen out the terms so the agreement pushes through. That’s why our system has a “strong president”, so we hope PBBM learns to use it now!

 
<strong>Herman “Ka Mentong” Tiu Laurel</strong>
Herman “Ka Mentong” Tiu Laurel

is a broadcast journalist. He is a former columnist of Daily Tribune (INFOWARS and DIE HARD III; Mondays and Wednesday) and OpinYon (Consumers’ Demand!, Critic’s Critic, and People’s Struggle; weekly).
He hosted Talk News TV and Journeys: Chronicles of our Asian Century, both on Global News Network.
He is now the host of the radio and live stream program Global Talk News Radio for Radyo Pilipinas 1 – 738AM, which broadcasts every Sunday 8AM to 10AM.
While in quarantine, he is hosting the live stream program Power Thinks on his personal Facebook page Herman Laurel (fb.com/hermantiulaurel) and the Global Talk News Radio Facebook page (fb.com/globaltalknewsradio)
He was also the former Administrator of the Philippine Refugee Processing Center (PRPC; now called the Bataan Technology Park, Inc.) during the administration of Corazon C. Aquino.

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