By Herman Tiu Laurel
There is a U.S. information warfare being waged on the Filipino mind right now as we speak. This has started since the colonization of the country by the U.S. in the 1900s, with the arrival of the Thomasites, but today it is much more complex and massively funded.
The U.S. information war on other countries is always aimed at pushing its constant strategy of tension for eventual war of conquest and profit for its war industries. Today, in the Philippines, this information war has intensified in view of the U.S.’ desire to destabilize Asia’s economic stability and growth.
Retired General Victor Corpus reported in one ACPSSII symposium that today the U.S. seeks to reduce China’s GDP by 35%. The U.S. objective in doing so is to wipe out its debt to Asia (particularly to China and Japan) that amounts to more or less $2-trillion and to cripple China’s economy so that the U.S. can restore its own industries.
U.S. Media, Academic and Government Info-war Instruments.
The Medium is the Message, so the journalistic saying goes. The U.S. controls Philippine mainstream media through its control of the economic levers of power of the Philippine economy. This control emanates from the global finance cabal that controls the Philippine oligarchy, which, in turn, controls Philippine mainstream media.
Names such as Manuel Pangilinan, Ramon Ang, and Felipe Gozon dominate the media. Look into their background and you will see their connection to the global financial mafia and its corporate tentacles. Their interest is to perpetuate the status quo obtained after the 1986 color revolution that ceded control of the Philippine economy to the oligarchs.
The oligarchy, in turn, bought up state and independent media organizations in order to use these to control Philippine politics, with the help of other U.S. and Western tools such as Smartmatic. With all these, they make and break politicians for the top policy positions in the land, from presidents, vice presidents, to senators and congressmen.
CSIS, NED, Omidyar and Other Funding for Academe, Media and NGOs.
The CSIS or Center for Strategic and International Studies is ranked the number one think tank in the United States across all fields and the “Top Defense and National Security Think Tank” in the world. This serves as the conduit to the Albert del Rosario Institute (ADRI) and Stratbase, the fountainhead of U.S. policy enunciations regarding the Philippines, China, and Asia through Filipino academic, media, and political mouthpieces.
The National Endowment for Democracy, which admittedly “…has assumed some former activities of the CIA, political groups, and activists, as well as some governments… has been an instrument of United States foreign policy in helping to foster regime change… (and) receives an annual appropriation from the U.S. budget, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and is subject to congressional oversight…”
Omidyar Network, established by eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar, with links to self-styled U.S. leftwing groups as well as U.S. government-funded media and democracy groups all over the world, has been instrumental in the build-up of color revolutions and, in the most recent case, support for Ukraine’s neo-Nazi gangs. Omidyar, by the way, is a major funder of Rappler and other mainstream media networks.
These are just the major funders. There are many others such as the Ford Foundation, Freedom House, Democracy International, etc. that run lawfare (warfare using the law) ops such as Antonio Carpio, the network of “jukebox scholars”, and the “news and fake news checkers” from PCIJ, Rappler, Vera Files to the so-called media watchdog, CMFR, etc.
PCIJ Report Part of grand US Info-war.
The US Info-war objective is to create the “China Threat” bogeyman, which started as soon as the US decided in 2011 to launch its “Pivot to Asia,” transferring 60% of its military assets to the region in order to confront China. The US then directed ADRI-Stratbase and its proxy president Noynoy Aquino to create the Scarborough standoff and subsequently file an arbitration case, which the UN never recognized.
The so-called award stemming from that stunt has been predictably ballyhooed since 2016 as a “win,” even if not a single inch of territory has been added to the Philippines, which has, in fact, lost a lot of weight to its claims given the downgrading (that binds the Philippines alone) of such features to mere low tide elevations or LTEs not deemed capable of generating their own territorial seas. And even after so much noise, the “China Threat” strategy has failed as today only 7% of Filipinos see a supposed “threat to Philippine territory” as a major concern while a whopping 93% worry about inflation, jobs, corruption, and crime (see the September 2023 PULSE survey).
The article, “Philippines confronts unlikely adversary in SCS row: Filipinos echoing ‘pro-Beijing’ narratives” by Camille Elemia, on October 23, 2023, is a continuation of this strategy of “propaganda branding” of critics of the pro-US, pro-War positioning of the Philippine government and its security apparatuses, including the PCG, AFP, and NSA.
“Pro-Beijing” or “Pro-China” are labels designed to deliberately mislead and make pejorative simplifications of non-biased, non-pro-US perspectives among “citizen journalists and academics” who are unpaid truth seekers presenting non-institutional reportage, analyses, and commentaries, which diverge from those churned out by the PCIJ, Rappler et al. that are exorbitantly paid by the U.S. and its NGOs to push the Hegemon’s propaganda narrative.
This U.S. information war supports its diplomatic, geo-political, and potential kinetic war strategies. In the case of the Philippines, we have seen it building up since 2012 with the media hype over the Scarborough standoff triggered by Noynoy Aquino’s arrest of Chinese fishermen using a Navy ship, which was followed by the long drama over the filing of the arbitration case, interspersed through the years with alerts to “invasions” by China (with examples attached).
Small Group but Vocal.
The PCIJ describes the think tanks it referred to as a “small group,” which is understandable since the ones mentioned, IDSI (Integrated Development Studies Institute) and my ACPSSII (Asian Century Philippines Strategic Studies Institute Inc.), are so unlike the U.S.-funded mainstream media and think tank operations, namely, PCIJ, Rappler, and the major networks. Yet in spite of our size, IDSI and ACPSSII’s real impact is measured by the seemingly oversized reaction of PCIJ and the National Security Council.
I can’t speak for IDSI but ACPSSII has as many as 60,000 subscribed to its social media broadcasts. It used to go up to six figures before the shadow-banning by Facebook and YouTube had taken its toll. Many of us at ACPSSII are as active in pushing what is read and published in its social media broadcasts and web publication, Asian Century Journal, as the hosts and guests of such live stream events are the writers themselves.
Never forget what the Hindu passive resistance leader who liberated India from its British colonizers, Mahatma Gandhi, said about the small group: “A small group of determined and like-minded people can change the course of history.” The ACPSSII and its allied think tanks, research groups, and writers are liberating the Philippines from the clutches of American mind control, colonial mentality, and warmongering. As the great Claro M. Recto wrote:
“Time and time again I have consistently opposed dangerous and provocative entanglements. They distract our attention from our own grave and urgent problems; they dissipate our already limited strength and energy which we need so much to establish our political, social, and economic security; and, what is worse, they expose our people to the fearful consequences of another war, a war which will be fought on Asian soil with only expendable and bewildered Asians for sacrificial victims on the altar of power politics and international intrigue.” – http://philippinehistorysourcematerials.blogspot.nl/…
Today, there is no other entanglement that Recto could be referring to but the U.S.
Alleged Chinese Information Operation.
The articles of PCIJ and the public statements of the National Security Council’s Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya intersect in a choreographed way. They also follow fluidly from the clearly orchestrated Jay Tarriela’s wild accusations of “traitors” countering PCG claims, which was echoed in the articles of the usual American boys’ choir of Ambassador Babes Romualdez and Jarius Bondoc, among others.
The PCIJ and the NSC’s Jonathan Malaya claim “dis-information” by the said thinks, including ACPSSII. So I ask them to cite cases of our broadcasts and articles in Asian Century Journal that will support their assertion. At ACPSSII, our outputs are backed up with citations whenever possible so the evidence is always there. We request PCIJ to cite our “dis-information” case by case so we can review and confirm or deny. Jonathan Malaya had more to say about this so I challenge him to face me on these allegations.
Malaya also complained that media was giving space the “unpatriotic” voices. Pray tell where ACPSSII is getting space in mainstream media; our single cable TV broadcast in a small network that doesn’t even make it to the top ten that ran for fifteen years with about 700 episodes had been cancelled at the height of the controversies over Philippine-China relations, which we suspect was due to pressure from the government.
It is the pro-American, pro-War segments of the mainstream media, the PCG and AFP, the NSC
that are using the gargantuan machineries of their organizations to try to smother the crystal-clear voices and geo-political truths we are voicing and reporting, and which the entire Global South is supporting. This can be measured by the BRICS Plus countries that now represent 47% of the world’s population and 37% of global GDP.
Water Cannon Incident.
The water cannon incident between the CCG and the PCG was deliberately invited by the latter knowing the former’s protocol whenever any challenge to its police action of exercising China’s sovereignty over its claimed territory comes too close to direct ship-to-ship contact. The PCG staged this, as it stages all other scenarios that it intends to sensationalize afterwards, in coordination with US information war operations.
Ex-U.S. Air Force colonel Ray Powell, the assigned project overseer of the Gordian Knot Center for National Security Innovation of Stanford University, a project of the U.S. Office of Naval Research, in one of his regular interviews on ANC called this media operation a “transparency campaign,” revealing his hand in the PCG operation that featured PCG TF-WPS spokesman Comm. Jay Tarriela under the klieg lights.
This ”transparency campaign” I theorize is part of a plan to create a “China supporters” hate crusade that began with the Tarriela “traitors” broadside. It’s now shifting to target “pro-Beijing” think tanks. It is not far-fetched to think that the Americans are plotting an anti-Chinese pogrom a la the Indonesian-Chinese massacre of 1965. This is heightened by Babes Romualdez’s comment in so many words that he expects physical attacks on Filipino-Chinese in the streets to ensue.
Still, Filipino cosmopolitan culture plus the lessons of history work against such “anti-Chinese pogrom” plots. Upon his own initiative, Filipino business leader Sergio Luis-Ortiz appeared before the Pan de Sal Forum to alert the country on the dangers of the Tarriela allegations and reminded the audience of the Indonesian experience. NEDA chief Arsenio Balisacan and Congressman Joey Salceda promptly called out Tarriela for his “traitor” tirades, saying the Philippines needs to live alongside its neighbor China.
When I was surprisingly invited by TV5 for an interview, which I expected to be an entrapment but which I willingly accepted, I exposed the vacuity of the hysteria against China’s Ayungin blockade of construction materials by showing that in 24 years, you could only count on one hand the major confrontations, such as the water cannon incident, with only a “spray,” and not the full force of the cannon, sweeping through one of the PCG ships. TV5 predictably highlighted the water spray segment to hype up public emotions.
Unfortunately, the water cannon incident has now been overtaken by the clearly staged “collision” incident invited by the PCG with a small hired boat that crossed the much larger CCG ship by speeding from the port side, overtaking the CCG ship from a blind angle and deliberately side-swiping the CCG bow anchor guide deliberately to depict on video as a CCG violation. The world is laughing at the PCG claim as even a veteran American ship captain explained on TikTok.
According to Camille Elemia, IDSI says the water cannon portrayal of the West is mind conditioning for a false flag attack. I think so, too, that all these incidents are part of the build-up to a false flag provocation. All the “victimization,” such as Lt. Ramsey Guiterrez’ “natamaan ng tubig” (hit by water) sob story are aimed at tugging at the hearts of the Filipino public; but the enormity of the danger ahead should not be diminished by ridiculous tearjerkers like this.
As the ”joint allied resupply” missions to Ayungin are being floated by AFP chief Brawner, we cannot say with certainty that this wish of his can happen given the double-game the U.S., South Korea, and Japan are playing with China, alternating between confrontational and conciliatory diplomacy; but, if it does come to pass, then it will be clearly an escalatory move and China won’t back down nor will it fire the first shot. Its envelopment strategy with civilian ships will ensure non-use of lethal firepower until the US and its allies fire the first shot, then all hell will break loose on these foreign forces.
The latest on this joint patrol idea is Raymond Powell’s tweet from the Gordian Knot Center that “Perhaps we already have”, i.e. the joint patrol comprising the USS Dewey, BRP Gregorio del Pilar and Ramon Alcaraz having already begun in the so-called WPS. This was just in October 27. If Brawner and Malaya are excited over this, they just have to see what is happening to Ukraine today and what had happened to Afghanistan, South Vietnam, and other proxies.
Monitoring of think tanks.
The NSC is said to be monitoring our group’s think tanks. They don’t have to do much because we are out in the open and are registered with the SEC and all. Our position papers exposing the falsity, if not comedy, of many of these pro-US, pro-War government claims are available on YouTube and the web for anyone to examine.
Take the Tarriela claim that China’s so-called maritime militia destroyed or even harvested the corals in parts of what he calls the WPS. I showed many articles and reports from the past decade, including a 2018 New York Times story entitled, “In the Philippines, Dynamite Fishing Decimates Entire Ocean Food Chains,” showing environmental NGOs blaming the lack of enforcement of maritime laws by Philippine authorities (meaning, the Philippine Coast Guard, of course).
I have personally been monitored by Philippine military intelligence since I was in college and I have seen first-hand the confused intel they constantly produce, such as classifying me a “communist” when I was actually an activist in the group of the late Jesuit “clerico-fascist,” Jose C. Blanco. I was never a communist because I had always suspected its founding leader Jose Ma. Sison of intellectual dishonesty, a trait eventually exposed in his collaboration with the West in exchange for political asylum.
Marcos Jr. – Not Aware of China-Philippine Ayungin Deal.
In the discussion with Camille Elemia of the PCIJ, the issue of the Philippine versus China claims came up, including the Cairo and Potsdam conferences, as well as the San Francisco and Taipei treaties. When we got to the Ayungin question, I reiterated the issue of the Philippine-China deal whereby the latter would allow the delivery of humanitarian goods but not construction materials. This is a very crucial issue for if there was such an agreement, then that is also a tacit recognition of China’s sovereignty over the shoal.
A 2013, May 29 to be exact, Philippine Daily Inquirer report headlined, “China raises concerns over PH’s reported development plan on Ayungin Shoal,” cited a meeting between then Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing and Philippine Defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin, with the latter quoted as saying:
“’They were concerned [with the] Philippines coming up with structures, additional structures in the Ayungin Shoal and I told her that the ship that is moving towards Ayungin is only for provisions of food and water for soldiers who are there…”
Gazmin also told reporters that he assured Ma that “the Philippines would not build structures there.”
There are other evidences of the Philippine commitment not to deliver construction materials and even to tow away the BRP Sierra Madre when weather permits, as the 2022 book of AMTI (Asia Maritime Transparency Institute) chief Greg Poling “On Dangerous Ground” cites: “President Estrada, feigning ignorance, promised to tow the vessel away as soon as it could be safely floated off the reef.”
I had a private discussion with President Estrada on the matter, too, and he boasted of the many concessions he obtained from then President Jiang Zemin.
The American interest in Ayungin and BRP Sierra Madre is evidenced by this September 11, 2023 discussion in the U.S. military blog, “It’s time to build Forward Operating Base Sierra Madre” as well as in the comments of Raymond Powell in an August 17, 2023 report that states: “Mr. Powell said the structural soundness of the ship was ‘the subject of much speculation around Manila. I have heard some estimates as ominous as less than a year before the end is at hand… Certainly a major storm could hasten that process if it is in that range.’”
Marcos Jr. – Not Aware of Agreement on Ayungin.
On August 8, 2023 controversy erupted over President Bongbong Marcos’ reaction when asked about the Ayungin shoal dispute where he responded by saying that it is a gray area. Arch-U.S. mouthpiece, retired Justice Antonio Carpio immediately exploded in a warning to PBBM to be “careful” as he said there is no “gray area” about Ayungin Shoal as the arbitral ruling says it is in the EEZ of the Philippines (without mentioning that territorial claims of Vietnam, China, and others trump EEZ claims).
The weakling that PBBM is, he immediately backpedals his “gray area” statement and says he is not aware of any agreement with China over the Ayungin Shoal. Further worsening his situation, Marcos said that, “If there is an agreement, then I rescind it now.” How can he rescind something that he is not aware of? He is rescinding thin air? That rescission cannot therefore be valid until he goes back and investigates the agreement, and he can start with former Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin’s statement to the Inquirer and other pieces that exist in the trail of information since 1999.
I was requested by some ASEAN embassies to send them copies of the Inquirer report of Gazmin’s statement on the Ayungn Shoal arrangement with China. One of the counsellors opined via Viber, saying, “Now I understand.” Voltaire Gazmin was an alter ego of the President then and his word on matters that impact foreign relations matter. I don’t know how the Philippines can walk back such evidences. Maybe they should also call in Greg Poling to ask about his knowledge of Estrada’s pledge to float and tow the BRP Sierra Madre away.
Carpio – Ought to be a Law against Foreign Lobbyists.
The PCIJ report mentioned that former Justice Antonio Carpio urged Congress to pass a law that will require individuals lobbying for a foreign state to register with the government. This is a classic projection of the guilty trying to frame on others what they are actually doing. We, the independent public intellectuals, will be the happiest to see such a law and we will file the first cases against publicly known US Embassy PR man and lobbyist Babes Romualdez, followed by Antonio Carpio et al. at the ADRI-Stratbase.
The case of the lobbying of the U.S. among politicians and academics in the Philippines and the compliance of the locals acting as agents of America is one with a very long history. The late nationalist-economist Alejandro Lichauco used to lecture me about the U.S. lobby of the American Manufacturer’s Association on President Diosdado Macapagal to rescind his predecessor President Carlos P. Garcia’s import controls and currency-capital controls to allow free trade and the devaluation of the Peso in the 1950s. Filipino lobbyists for America actually play a minor role as much of the Philippine legislature, government, and security forces are already in the colonial master’s pocket.
As for us independent public intellectuals in the fashion of our late and revered nationalist-economist Alejandro Lichauco, we lobby for no one and we lobby with no one. We thrive on our own without million-dollar donations from the NED or Omidyar. We are blessed with donors who send their through our social media accounts and PayPal their small donations, as well as private individuals who send anonymous amounts through GCash, etc.
Camille Elemia of the PCIJ in her article about ACPSSII quoted me saying, “I don’t mind being linked with China.” That answer was followed by further elaboration as I cited BRICS Plus and G77, just two of the many international Global South initiatives hailing China’s contribution to economic development through its Belt and Road Initiative. I also cited the global peace initiative of China that spectacularly achieved conciliation between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran to bring peace to West Asia which is called Middle East by the West.
In the Philippines, I cited China’s contributions to Philippine development in the past years under President Duterte: the Chico River Irrigation project benefitting the harvests of 10,000 rice farmers in the Cordilleras; the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge; the Davao-Samal Bridge; and the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge–all concrete contributions to improving road traffic. Maybe I didn’t have time to cite the Metro Manila Flood Control project, where China’s AIIB is a major contributor, as well as a host of other worthwhile efforts.
Those who should be ashamed are those getting paid by the corrupt American ruling powers who have spread death and destruction to the Third World through the past century, have staged coup after coup in the Philippines the past 40 years, and have stunted the Philippines’ economic development by shutting out China’s aid through co-optation of PBBM with indecent proposals. The same holds for senators elected by Smartmatic who do the bidding thereafter of the Americans.
Covid-19 – Origin.
Finally, the PCIJ interviewer brought up the issue of the Covid-19 origins, harping on reports of the Wuhan market theory but missing the precedent cases in the U.S. in early 2019 of “’Respiratory outbreak’ being investigated at a retirement community after 54 residents fall ill” where two had died before the home was closed. This Fairfax, Virginia community was just around the vicinity of Ft. Detrick, “the center of the U.S. biological weapons program,” where Covid-19 lab samples developed by American virologist Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
George Webb, an American freelance journalist, believes the Covid-19 virus sample infected Maatje Benassi, an American military employee, who had worked at Ft. Detrick, who had all the symptoms yet still joined a World Military Games at Wuhan, China, where eventually an outbreak was discovered by Chinese doctors. We in ACPSSI in 2021 petitioned that Ft. Detrick be investigated, which was also based on the promise of the WHO investigation team that went to China that all other suspected origins would be investigated – something that has not happened to this day.
Another lead to the existence of Covid-19 in the U.S. prior to Wuhan, China, is Belleville, New Jersey Mayor Michael Melham’s testimony that he had Covid-19 in November of 2019 after recalling his symptoms and being confirmed with Covid-19 anti-bodies in an April 2020 blood test. There were also Covid-19 traces in various countries in Europe in late 2019. Notably, the U.S. had been fighting the opening of the Ft. Detrick investigation by focusing on the “Kung Flu” theory of Donald Trump designed to deflect the blame for the one million Covid-19 deaths under his watch.
With this lengthy article I hope I have answered point-by-point the issues raised by NSC Asst. Director Jonathan Malaya and PCIJ reporter Camille Elemia. ###