Tag: China

The Test of Intelligence Information

It is a test all right, not of the intelligence of the Filipino people but a test and a challenge as well to our intelligence community to verify what I said, a yet-to-be validated information provided by a reliable source who had given me some accurate intelligence reports in the past.

In intelligence parlance, this information may be classified β€˜A6’. Considering the implications, it is one piece of information still worth looking into.

When an issue that has serious implications – such as the reported presence of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) members in the Philippines – is raised, credible information is the best way to resolve it. This is without prejudice to Philippine authorities’ ongoing efforts to verify such information.

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#PINGterview: Lifting of Taiwan Travel Ban, Lt Col Espenido Issue, VFA Abrogation

In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– lifting of travel ban on Taiwan
– issues involving P/Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido
– possible actions after VFA abrogation
– franchise of ABS-CBN

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “#PINGterview: Lifting of Taiwan Travel Ban, Lt Col Espenido Issue, VFA Abrogation”

On the Philippines’ Travel Ban to Taiwan

Image courtesy: The Filipino Times

Just like the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement, the Philippine government’s travel ban to Taiwan is a policy decision implemented by the executive department which may not necessarily be correct, health-wise and politically.

Politically, it seems that the China lobby has become a very powerful force under this administration. Only time will tell if this major shift in the country’s foreign policy will benefit our people in the medium and long term – even as in the immediate term, the travel ban may already have potentially dire consequences for our Filipino workers there.

We elected a President who does not appear to give much importance to counsels and consultations with sectors that could very well help him arrive at well-informed decisions. While I do not question his sincerity in trying to solve the problems besetting our country since the time the millennials of the world were not even born, I still hope he can leave his own legacy worth remembering.

Having said that, I continue to support his leadership but I will not stop calling him out on major decisions which I don’t think serve the best interest of our country and people.

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On a Post-VFA Philippines

The Filipino people are resilient and our soldiers are no different. We will survive, no doubt. We know how to improvise and we can adapt to crises the way we did many times before.

But in the meantime, we remain exposed to terrorist threats, both domestic and foreign, not to mention the continuing security threat in the West Philippine Sea posed by China, and even the need for timely humanitarian response and assistance that the US is capable of deploying during disasters, natural or man-made. Also affected by the VFA’s abrogation is the maintenance and repairs of military hardware, mostly air assets provided by the US under the AFP modernization program.

Exploring other options like inking similar defense treaties with other nations as posited by the AFP Chief of Staff is fine but the reality is, it doesn’t happen overnight. It will take a series of back-and-forth negotiations in pursuit of the concerned parties’ self and national interests before going through lengthy deliberations for ratification by the Senate.

While admittedly, the VFA is not perfect for the Philippines as far as equitability is concerned, the timing and reasons for its abrogation are way off the mark.

The thing is, it is not the smartest move of the President to expose ourselves naked first before looking for other options for cover.

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#PINGterview: Possible National Security Implications of Scrapping VFA | Jan. 27, 2020

In an interview with Senate media, Sen. Lacson answered questions on the possible implications on national security of scrapping the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement.

QUOTES and NOTES:
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Sponsoring the 2020 Budget of the Department of National Defense

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Sen. Lacson sponsored the proposed PhP191,340,253,000Β budget of the Department of National Defense for 2020. The amount is about 4% of the 2020 budget. The key security strategy for 2018 indicated a minimum of 2% of the budget for the DND.

QUOTES and NOTES:
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AFP Modernization, West Philippine Sea Updates, and National Security: Sen. Lacson Chairs the 2020 Budget Hearing for the DND

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[Video Courtesy: Senate PRIB]

At the hearing on the 2020 budget of the Department of National Defense (DND), Sen. Lacson cited the need to revisit the AFP Modernization Program for the country to achieve its goal of a minimum credible defense posture, and asked if the DND should get compensation from telcos that set up facilities inside military camps.

Lacson also pushed for a sustainable long-term program that would provide for the pension requirements of uniformed personnel. He inquired about the status of a new infantry battalion that would fight terrorism and similar threats in the Mindanao area.

The DND is seeking a budget of P258.35 billion for 2020, including P119.118B for personnel services; P69.704B for pension; P40.701B for MOOE; and P28.831B for capital outlay.

QUOTES and NOTES:
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#PingSays: On the ‘Designated Survivor’ Bill; Release of Convicted Chinese Drug Lords | Aug. 29, 2019

In an interview, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
Senate Bill 982, the ‘Designated Survivor’ bill
Chinese shipowner’s apology over Recto Bank incident
4 Chinese drug lords reportedly released

Quotes from the interview…
Continue reading “#PingSays: On the ‘Designated Survivor’ Bill; Release of Convicted Chinese Drug Lords | Aug. 29, 2019”

Interview on DZBB/GNTV: Senate Hearing on Chinese Incursions, Revisiting Anti-Graft Laws | Aug. 20, 2019

In an interview on DZBB/GNTV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– Senate hearing into Chinese ships’ incursions
– revisiting anti-graft laws

Quotes from the interview…
Continue reading “Interview on DZBB/GNTV: Senate Hearing on Chinese Incursions, Revisiting Anti-Graft Laws | Aug. 20, 2019”

From Chinese Embassy Defense Counsel to Spokesman?

Sec. Panelo: “Ambassador Zhao sent me a text. He said, ‘What if we also think that your overseas workers are also spying on us. What can you say about that?'” … PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON OR CHINESE EMBASSY SPOKESMAN?

Has the presidential spokesman switched from Chinese embassy defense counsel to spokesman?

What I was pointing out in my tweet is not on the issue of whether or not there is logic in the Chinese ambassador’s statement.

The thing is, the Chinese embassy has its own spokesman who should speak on their behalf because that’s his job. Why would the country’s presidential spokesperson whose salary and other miscellaneous expenses are being paid out of our taxes take on the embassy spokesman’s job?

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