Yes, ladies and gentlemen, there are still patriots among us Filipinos. Three of them stood up to be counted last week, when two of them dared file a case against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court (ICC) while a third revealed what can be described as an act of treason by the country’s highest officials.
ICC is the same court that the Philippines officially left a little more than a week ago, making the country only one of two nations which are not members of the UN-sanctioned court.
China is supposedly a member of the body, but only when it serves its purpose. Otherwise, China can ignore any ruling it does not agree with, such as the ruling that the Western Philippine Sea is Philippine territory even if China prefers to call it the South China Sea and claims it as its own.
Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and retired Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales took the brave move within days of the Philippines’ exit from the ICC. This, as Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio revealed that the country had practically surrendered its patrimony by allowing a clause in a loan that would allow China to take hold of its natural resources if it fails to pay for a loan that has been described as onerous.
I can only salute them as three Filipinos who we can all be proud of. Special mention must be made of Carpio, who by all accounts should now be Chief Justice but for his independence from and refusal to play ball with Malacanang.
Carpio revealed this week that the Philippines would be forced to kowtow to China if for any reason the country cannot pay the $62-million loan for the Duterte administration’s Chico River project.
Carpio has warned that China could seize gas in Reed Bank if the Philippines defaults in its loans, which is a strong possibility as the Duterte regime has been borrowing money from its powerful neighbor like mad, leaving future generations of Filipinos to foot the bill.
The worst part? China charges high interest rates for its loans to the Philippines. In the Kaliwa Dam project alone, China is charging roughly three percent interest per annum on the $248-million loan the government is getting, as compared to less than one percent if the country had availed of a loan from Japan.
Incidentally, Duterte is heading for China for his fourth official visit this week. He sure loves that country, doesn’t he, even if it rams usurious loans down the Philippines’ throat.
What this so-called president is doing is worse than what the dictator Ferdinand Marcos did. Marcos was kicked out of the country leaving behind billions in loans that all Filipinos had to pay for. Duterte is committing the same mistake but the amounts involved are much larger.
At least Marcos did not surrender the country’s natural resources to anyone. He just padded his foreign bank accounts, while still attempting to be some kind of chief executive with some degree of success.
Marcos was simply greedy. Duterte is evil personified. Let us never forget that he has cursed to hell all the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church including the Pope and approved the killing of tens of thousands of poor Filipinos, each of whom was legally entitled to the presumption of being innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That crime is also known as mass murder, by the way.
Many times I have wanted to give up on the Philippines as being a hopeless basket case, only to be reminded that there are still many Filipinos who are capable of heroic acts and who deserve our all-out support.
Right after the announcement of Del Rosario and Carpio-Morales, a petition in support of their action was launched. Immediately, close to 10,000 of our kabayans signed up. That was on the first day alone.
I have every intention of including my name to that petition.
By their actions, Carpio, Del Rosario, and Carpio-Morales just told us that we should not lose hope in the Philippines, even if it is currently ruled by a cabal of criminally insane men and women hellbent on selling us out to China.