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It has always been a pleasure for me to speak to a large audience; much more  to speak to my fellow youth.  When I received a message of invitation from Karen Shiela Flores to speak at the Kauswagan Youth Camp, being an advocate of peace in the Southern Philippines, I counted myself in for the event.





The Kauswagan's First Youth Camp held last April 13 to 15 was a first in the Lanao del Norte province. It was hosted by the Kauswagan Youth For Change in cooperation with Local Government of Kauswagan led by Mayor Rommel C. Arnado, the Rotary Club of Downsouth Iligan, and Alternative Learning System of Kauswagan District.


Facilitators and volunteers of the event strike their poses.

Upholding its theme, "Today's Learner, Tomorrow's Leader", Kauswagan's 1st Youth Camp aimed "to inculcate the values of patriotism, nationalism, and community service by infusing them with faith in the Creator, belief in the sanctity of life, and dignity of the human person". The KYC "encourages the youth to join in character-building and development activites for civic efficiency". Physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being of youth were also promoted in the said event.

Mr. Josiah Mangangot gives his lecture.


Me, posing with some of the delegates to the 1st Kauswagan Youth Camp

A hundred-plus delegates came from various barangays of the town and settled at the rooms of Kauswagan Elementary School for the duration of the event. I was also surprised to see some of my former students at Saint Michael's College of Iligan and MSU-IIT who are actually from that town. They too, did not fail to participate in the said program.


Me, with some of my former students.
The Kauswagan youth leaders listened and interacted with workshops that infuse them with virtues and positive values. Other speakers include Ricah Capangpangan, Julius Gasco, Ardith Castro, MSU-IIT alumnus Josiah Mangangot, MSU-IIT Political Science instructor, Princess Mae Chua, and me.




My participation was on the last day of the camp where I gave a lecture entitled, "Peace and Development: Where Does The Youth Stand?". I certainly enjoyed sharing to them the connection of a peaceful society vis-a-vis development. I shared to them the steps on how to promote peace in various fora. I showed some multimedia which exemplified the endless media in re-echoing the message of peace especially in the cyberspace.



I am sure that the participants had fun for the whole camp as much as I did. This move of equipping the new generation with positive leadership traits is a practice that should be followed by other LGUs. I salute the people of Kauswagan for this bold initiative.


Although at this moment, one cannot ascertain when we are going to have genuine peace and development in Mindanao, true change has to start from within the minds of each Filipino. It would surely take a new generation of both Christian and Muslim leaders, NGOs, and intellectuals who will be the catalysts for peace in Mindanao. 

Shouts to Diverse Hue of Tupi, South Cotabato for my customized bagtag which
served as tokens to those who answered my questions during the lecture.

For more info about the Kauswagan Youth for Change, check them out at Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003765268570

Check out Tupi, South Cotabato's Diverse Hue Designs and Layouts at their Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/diversehue.


All photos are courtesy of the Kauswagan Youth for Change.

The Philippine government has proposed taking the Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal) issue to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, but the Chinese government has rejected this, insisting on bilateral discussions [1].

Now, taken into consideration the grave possibility that two countries fight past the current standoff, this blog made a comparative analysis of the Philippine Armed Forces’ capability vis-à-vis that of China’s People's Liberation Army (PLA).

My detailed tabular presentation was patterned after that of the GlobalFirePower website. (http://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-comparison-detail.asp):

                                                                        China                                      Philippines

Total Population                                  1,336,718,015 (#1)                  101,833,938 (#12)
Square Land Area                               9,596,961 km                          300,000 km
The Chinese Red Army.
The Philippine Army
Defense Budget                                  $100,000,000,000                 $2,439,510,000

Military Manpower Available             749,610,775                            50,649,196
Fit for Military Service                        618,588,627                            41,570,732
Reaching Military Age Yearly             19,538,534                              2,081,388
Active Military Personnel                    2,285,000                                120,000
Active Military Reserves                     800,000                                   130,000
Basic Military Salary [2]                      6,000 yuan (952.87 USD)      18,000 Pesos (422.94 USD)
Total Land-Based Weapons                  47,575                                     2,379
Towed Artillery                                    25,000                                     309
Infantry Vehicles                                 7,700                                       559



Tanks                                                9,200                                       126
Anti-Tank Guided Weapons             1250                                       400
Navy Ships                                       972                                          120
Anti-Aircraft Weapons                       750                                          200           
Multi-Launch Rocket System             2,600                                       0

 

Total Naval Units                                972                                          120
Merchant Marine Strength                  2,012                                       428
Major Ports and Terminals                 8                                              6
Major Serviceable Airports                 502                                          254
Aircraft Carriers                                  1                                              0
Destroyers [3]                                      55                                            1
Frigates [ibid.]                                      47                                            2
Submarines                                         63                                            0

 
Total Aircraft                                       5,176                                       289
Patrol Coastal Aircraft                        870                                          128
Fighter Planes                                     5,845                                       289

Attack Helicopters                              632                                          159
Mine Warfare Craft                             52                                            0


Amphibious Operations Craft             233                                          10

Foreign Reserves                               $2,876,000,000,000                $62,370,000,000
Purchasing Power                              $10,090,000,000,000              $351,400,000,000
Oil Production (in bbl*)                        4,273,000 bbl                          9,671 bbl
Oil Consumption                                 9,189,000 bbl                          307,200 bbl
Proven Oil Reserves                          20,350,000,000 bbl                 168,000,000 bbl
Total Labor Force                               815,300,000                            38,900,000

Roadway Coverage                            3,860,800 km                          213,151 km
Railway Coverage                              86,000 km                               995 km
Waterway Coverage                           110,000 km                             3,219 km
Coastline Coverage                            14,500 km                               36,289 km

*bbl = Barrel of Oil (1 bbl = 42 US Gallons or 159 litres)

The website GlobalFirePower notes that China has the world's largest army. It is ranked 3rd for overall global firepower while the Philippines ranked 23rd overall.

The Philippines’ sole destroyer named, “BRP Gregorio del Pilar” was a gift from the Americans in boosting our naval control. Unfortunately, it has no Harpoon anti-ship missiles, no surface to air missile capability, no anti-submarine warfare capability, or Phalanx electric Gatling gun.

One should also take note of China’s brawny submarines (composed of 53 conventional and 10 nuclear). According to GlobalFirePower website [4], “both the diesel-powered and nuclear-powered submarines used by China are clearly designed for more than protecting China’s coast”. The Chinese submarines could, in fact, pose a threat to American aircraft carriers.

In October 2006 a Chinese submarine “stalked” a U.S. aircraft carrier and approached within firing range without being detected. In January 2008, a Chinese submarine followed the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk in the Taiwan Strait but was detected and monitored with antisubmarine aircraft. Analysts say that in the future China could be able to approach an aircraft carrier and possibly sink it with a missile.

Although in comparison to the US, China is a relatively small player in the weapons export business, selling about $380 million of weapons a year, compared to $7 billion by the United States. Apparently, the Chinese Navy is relatively weak compared to the United States. It has one aircraft carrier, compared to 24 out of the world’s 36 possessed by the United States, and has 263,064 tons of naval vessels compared to 2.86 million tons possessed by the United States (the world’s total is 4.04 million tons).

Obviously the Philippines Armed Forces has to be modeled after the Prussian-Germanic on Tanks, Russian for its choppers and US on the logistics-air force supply. Concerning reservists (that of Israel’s) and active duty (that of the French or the Yankees).Only through that kind of Philippine Armed Forces would Red China think twice.


To learn more on how we can be involved in the fight for our territories, you can visit http://www.usp4gg.org.
You can also visit their Facebook fan page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/US-Pinoys-For-Good-Governance-USP4GG/192313164151191.



References:

[1] "China deploys gunboat". Philippine Daily Inquirer. April 20, 2012. http://globalnation.inquirer.net/34021/china-deploys-gunboat

[2] http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=293&catid=8


[4] http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=293&catid=8

Picture Credits:
http://mynavystar.blogspot.com/2011/01/israel-deploys-aps-equipped-merkavas-to.html
http://www.etan.org/news/2012/03helicop.htm
The People’s Republic of China and The Philippines are once again locked in a naval standoff after attempts by personnel from the Philippine Navy warship BRP Gregorio del Pilar to arrest Chinese fishermen found to be carrying contraband in the Philippine waters were blocked by Chinese surveillance vessels a couple of days ago.



After having disputes over the Spratlys (click here for the article), today’s object of the spat is the group of islands and reefs in an atoll shape than a shoal, located between the Macclesfield Bank (Zhongsha Islands) and Luzon Island of Philippines in the South China Sea.

Photo courtesy of Facebook

The shoal was named after a tea-trade ship Scarborough which was wrecked on the rock with everyone perishing on board in the late 18th century.

Basically, what we have here is an issue of geopolitical magnitude that involves big boys on the world’s playground seeking to protect their interests and checking each other’s influence.

The Philippines bases its claim on its proximity and the principle of terra nullius, which holds that it was previously unclaimed by a sovereign state, which is also applied by the Philippines in its claims to the Spratly Islands. By virtue of the Presidential Decree No. 1599 [1] issued by President Ferdinand Marcos on June 1978, the Philippines claims an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) up to 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the baselines from which their territorial sea is measured.

The shoal’s nearest landmass is Palauig, Zambales, on Luzon Island in the Philippines, 137 miles (219.90 km) away. While the said shoal is 857.45 kilometers away from China.

 

The Philippines strengthen its claim as the islands were already mentioned in the maps by the Spanish colonizers in 1862, 1808, 1760, and 1744. In the 17th century, it is upon the instruction of Jesuit priest Pedro Murillo Velarde (Pierre Murillo Velarde) for the Spanish cartographers to draw in detail the land and water territories of the country. Sixteen years after, the whole Philippine map was cartographed.

It was locally called as ‘Panacot’ and ‘Bajo de Masanloc’. According to map collector Mariano Cacho, the surrounding islands’ inclusion in the Spanish maps form part of the Philippine territory. He believes that it is a strong historical evidence.
 
The war tensions that are building in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) are nonetheless due to China’s clearly excessive claims of territorial sovereignty over “almost all of the 1.2 million square mile area” of the said Sea. Having the economic strength among others, China has been threatening and using brutal force in its confrontation with Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, and ofcourse, the Philippines.

As a ‘bully’ he uses physical, psychological, and cyber bullying techniques to try to dominate us. To date, he deployed his own ships to block our lone cutter, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar from arresting poachers and illegal fishermen. Recently, he allegedly hacked three websites maintained by President Benigno Aquino III, and a website of the University of the Philippines to assert its country's claim over South China Sea.

But with China not openly stating its deeper reasons for creating such tension, one may question whether China wanted a large-scale war against the Philippines and other countries, or merely a small-time scuffle. I choose the second reason.

I believe that China is deliberately creating a situation where it could be drawn into a regional, limited, and strategic war with the American naval forces. You see, while the Red Army is the world’s largest, its military personnel are still immature and untested in terms of how well they will perform in combat conditions.

China has built many new weapons systems which are designed to sink US aircraft carriers and ships as well as destroy US fighter planes. However, this weaponry has never been tested in combat conditions. China needs to know whether the US has deployed defensive weaponry on its carriers that can defeat China’s new supersonic cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and torpedoes. Red China has to know what kind of strategic planning it can do to prepare for a future war with the USA and the West.

Seeing what might be a ticking bomb for war, the Philippine government is conducting the Balikatan (“shoulder-to-shoulder") military exercise with the United States on the islands of Luzon and Palawa while China was also conducting a joint naval exercise with Russia in the Yellow Sea off its east coast just between the mainland and the Korean Peninsula.

But regardless of China’s intentions, the Philippines have to assert its territorial claim and boost its defenses for the possibilities of a military aggression.

We are currently standing at the cliff of a new global arrangement given that Southeast Asian countries were not united in condemning Chinese territorial bullying. I see a two-pronged approach to solve this crisis. Apparently, The Philippines pales in comparison with the stalwart Chinese Red Army which thus necessitates help from its ally, Uncle Sam (click here for the detailed presentation of the countries’ military strength). The country requires the daunting presence, in my opinion, of the U.S. Naval Force.

 

How about designating a sector of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), or developing a growth center and strategic maritime city in the Philippines where we can provide a competitive cost of maintenance and repair for the U.S. 7th Fleet? Let's have the ‘joes’ near our backyard. The presence of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps personnel (the strongest in the world) is necessary for our territorial integrity since we got very poor modern external defense capabilities.

Strengthening the military force that act as a deterrent against Chinese encroachment has to be backed up with a skillful diplomacy. This brings the second prong on my scheme of solution. Diplomatic negotiation is still the most important approach to settle this issue.

The Philippines through Philipipine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario has currently proposed taking the Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal) issue to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea [2]. But the Chinese government has rejected this, insisting on bilateral discussions [3]. Needless to say, tactfully dealing with China is the key in solving this issue.

I still believe that thousand talks are still better than a single war.




To learn more on how we can be involved in the fight for our territories, you can visit http://www.usp4gg.org.
You can also visit their Facebook fan page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/US-Pinoys-For-Good-Governance-USP4GG/192313164151191.



Chinese Article (translation from Google Translate):


菲律宾与中国:谁的斯卡伯勒礁是否属于吗?

人民群众的共和国中国和菲律宾是再次锁定在一个海军对峙后,试图通过人员从菲律宾海军军舰BRP格雷戈里奥DEL皮拉尔到逮捕中国渔民发现到可携带违禁品的菲律宾水域被封锁的中国监视船一对夫妇前几天。

有纠纷多的斯普拉特利群岛,今天的对象的口角后的一群岛屿和珊瑚礁在一个环礁形状比一个浅滩,位于之间的麦克尔斯菲尔德银行(沙群岛)和吕宋岛菲律宾在中国南海。

浅滩的名字命名的一个茶叶贸易船在岩石上和大家一起灭亡板在18世纪后期士嘉堡被击毁。

基本上,我们在这里是一个地缘政治等问题,涉及到世界的操场上,以保护他们的利益和检查彼此的影响力的大男孩。

菲律宾基地的附近,并认为,这是一个主权国家,菲律宾在南沙群岛的要求也适用于以前无人认领的无主地,原则上要求。凭借1599号总统令[1]发行于1978年6月,菲律宾总统马科斯宣称的专属经济区(EEZ)从测量其领海的基线量起200海里(370公里) 。

浅滩最近的陆地Palauig,三描礼士,在菲律宾吕宋岛,137英里(219.90公里)的路程。虽然说,浅滩是离中国857.45公里,。

菲律宾加强其索赔的岛屿地图中已经提到的西班牙殖民者于1862年,1808年,1760年和1744年。在17世纪,它是在指令的耶稣会神父佩德罗·穆里略Velarde(皮埃尔·穆里略Velarde)为西班牙制图师绘制详细的土地和水的国家的领土。 16年后,整个菲律宾地图cartographed。

据本地被称为'Panacot'和'Bajo的,德Masanloc'。根据地图收藏家马里亚诺·卡丘,周围的岛屿纳入西班牙将菲律宾领土的一部分。他认为,这是一个强烈的历史证据。

战争的紧张局势,正在建设中的中国南海(西菲律宾海),但是由于中国的显然是过分的要求的领土主权“的120万平方英里的面积”说,几乎所有的海洋。有(其中包括)的经济实力,中国一直在威胁和使用残暴的武力的对抗,台湾,马来西亚,菲律宾,文莱,越南,当然。

作为一个“欺负”他使用了生理,心理,技术和网络欺凌试图主宰我们。至目前为止,他部署了他自己的船来阻止我们的唯一的切割机,皮拉尔BRP格雷戈里奥逮捕偷猎者和非法渔民。近日,他涉嫌砍死三个网站维护总统阿基诺三世,菲律宾大学的一个网站的维护其国家的要求,中国南海。

但是,随着中国没有公开表示其深层次的原因,这样的紧张关系,人们也许要问,中国是否要对菲律宾和其他国家的大规模战争,或者仅仅是一个小的混战。我选择的第二个原因。

我相信,中国是故意的情况下,它可以吸引到一个区域,有限的和战略的战争与美国的海军力量。你看,红军是世界上最大的,仍然是不成熟的和未经考验的,以及他们如何在战斗条件下执行其军事人员。

中国已经建立了许多新的武器系统,旨在击沉美国航母和船只以及摧毁美军战斗机。然而,这种武器还从未在作战条件下进行测试。中国需要知道,美国是否已经部署了防卫性武器,其运营商可以打败中国的新型超音速巡航导弹,弹道导弹和鱼雷。中国红知道它可以做什么样的战略规划,以备未来战争中与美国和西方。

看到什么可能是一个定时炸弹战争,菲律宾政府进行军事演习肩并肩(“肩对肩”)与美国的岛屿吕宋岛和Palawa,而中国还与俄罗斯进行联合海军演习在大陆和朝鲜半岛之间的黄海在其东海岸。

但是,无论中国的意图,菲律宾必须维护其领土要求,并提高其防御的军事侵略的可能性。

目前,我们正在站在一个新的全球性安排,东南亚国家没有团结一致,谴责中国的领土欺负的悬崖。我看到了双管齐下的办法来解决这场危机。显然,菲律宾就相形见绌了比较健壮的中国红军,因此必须帮助它的盟友,山姆大叔(点击这里详细介绍了这些国家的军事实力)。该国需要艰巨的存在,在我看来,美国的海军部队。

苏比克湾大都会管理局(SBMA),或指定一个部门发展的增长中心和菲律宾的海上战略地位的城市,在这里,我们可以提供有竞争力的美国第7舰队的维护和维修成本如何?让我们“乔斯”我们的后院附近。美海军和海军陆战队人员(在世界上最强的)的存在是必要的,因为我们有我们的领土完整现代化的外部防御能力非常差。

加强军事力量,作为对中国侵略的威慑要备份一个熟练的外交。这使我的计划的第二方面的解决方案。通过外交谈判仍是解决这一问题的最重要途径。

菲律宾通过Philipipine外交部部长罗萨里奥伟业目前已提出士嘉堡,浅滩(Panatag浅滩)问题国际法庭海洋法[2]。但是,中国政府已经拒绝了,坚持双边讨论[3]。不用说,巧妙地与中国打交道,是解决这个问题的关键。

我仍然相信,一千谈判仍比一个单一的战争。

References:

[1] Presidential Decree No. 1599: Establishing an Exclusive Economic Zone and for Other Purposes". Chan Robles Law Library. 11 June 1978. Available at: http://www.chanrobles.com/presidentialdecrees/presidentialdecreeno1599.html.
[2] "China deploys gunboat". Philippine Daily Inquirer. April 20, 2012. http://globalnation.inquirer.net/34021/china-deploys-gunboat
[3] Jing, Meng. China Daily. 30 November 2009.p.17.

Picture Credits:
Screengrabs from Word of the Lourd and 24 Oras.


ILIGAN CITY – A powerful grenade was hurled in front of El Centro Resto Bar at the corner of Roxas and Quezon Avenues around eight o’clock in the evening on May 5, leaving two people dead and about thirty more injured.


The corner of Roxas and Quezon Avenues, the busiest streets of the city was crowded when a still unidentified suspect tossed the (M5)grenade. The blast took the lives of two people: Jay Jangad (21) from Barangay Hinaplanon and Jhonel Dumalagan, a vendor and an MSU Marawi Commerce Graduate.


In a news report, Army Col. Daniel Lucero says investigators are still trying to identify the attacker who lobbed the grenade. The Iligan City Police Department found the pin of the grenade at the scene, which not injured civilians but also damaged a number of parked cars  and other property within the vicinity.


Colonel Lucero dismissed the speculations that such was an act of terrorism. He said in an interview on May 6 that it still "remained unclear if rebels, extortion gangs, or an isolated case of feuding civilians". An artist sketch of the alleged suspect was released by Police Department and a 300 thousand peso-bounty will be given to people who can help locate the criminal.


Stunned on-lookers gather minutes after the blast.


Among those critically hit was Rey P. So-ong, an NCIP director and a former law student of MSU College of Law - Iligan Extension. He is currently recovering from his injuries.
Although I’ve started blogging a few years back, I have to say that my PoliTikalon Blog has achieved quite a lot for a political blog genre. The blog gets an average of more than a hundred views per day for the 16 months of its internet presence.

It in fact surpassed the 50,000th view yesterday. This blog was the brainchild of my now-defunct personal blog and I am extremely grateful to my readers and blog followers.

I’ve joined several blog competitions and luckily I’ve won two garnering the top prize in both contests. Shoutouts go to the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. for conferring me the 1st Place in the recently-concluded Triennial Blogging Contest. Thanks for the cash prize and plaque.

My thousand thanks also go to the people who featured and reblogged my win on the 5th Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Incorporated’s Triennial Blogging Contest. My shoutouts to a Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Cebu News Daily on featuring me and my winning piece. Same goes true to my fellow Mindanaon’s blog, “Contour Blog”, which also wrote a piece on my win. Thanks also the Province of South Cotabato for featuring me on their site.

An article about my blogging win two years ago posted in the Municipality of Tupi's website.
 
  
 
Thanks, Nanardxz for a well-written article. :)
 

This blog, www.politikalon.blogspot.com was plugged in the ABS-CBN News Channel during my law debating stint in October last year. I thank these people who featured my blog on their respective blogrolls:

 

 
 
 

I also would like to thank the people who campaigned, endorsed, and talked about my articles in Facebook and in some forums:

 
 

To my blogging home, The SOCCSKSARGEN Bloggers and Friends, thank you so much for the humbling messages. To Sirs Avel and Orman Manansala and Nanardxz Navarro, thank you for the support.
 

Thank you, Association of IIT Alumni Foundation, Incorporated President Darwin Manubag and MSU-IIT’s Integrated Performing Arts Group Founder Stephen Patrick Fernandez for endorsing my articles about MSU-IIT. My thanks also go to those people who read and shared my blog to their peers.

Prof. Darwin Manubag shares PoliTikalon Blog to his friends on  Facebook.
Many thanks to IPAG Founder Stephen Patrick Fernandez for sharing my post.
  
Reminded me of the last line of my blog on the End of the World at


Thank you so much for the support, message of greetings, encouragements. The ball-point pen's tip would always roll. Padayon lang!