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The Monumental Sellout

Last night, the Senate passed the modified version of the Baselines bill. This version, our sources say, is the one "approved" by the Chinese government. Essentially, the bill conveniently excluded the seas and oceans between the Kalayaan Islands and Scarborough shoals under our regime of islands, which, effectively means that we don't own those prime properties. This is the official abandonment of our claims to these islands which were discovered by a Filipino and occupied by Filipinos.

It's now up to the President to sign the bill and pass it to the UNCLOS or the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea. The UN will take note of this and put it as our answer to numerous queries on our definite position regarding this contentious issue.

If Arroyo signs this into law, this act alone would effectively demolish decades of positioning we took before regional and world bodies in relation to Kalayaan and Scarborough shoals. It laid waste millions of pesos we spent in legal research and trips abroad when we tried to convince the world that these oil-rich islands are ours.

Now, what would then happen to our "part" in the joint exploration agreement? Surely, China and Vietnam would squirm at giving us our share in the proceeds of this joint exploration since we now claim that these islands are not part of official Philippine territory.

So, do we benefit from this baselines bill? No. Who now rejoices at this one? Of course, China.

As I wrote in previous entries, this government is selling prime Philippine property at break-neck speed, possibly because it's only a few months before they write finis to their evil governance. This bill is the biggest real estate sellout in history. After giving our Zambales mines to China and at least 20% of our agricultural lands for the food security requirements of the Chinese, we are now giving away precious oil resources for a measly sum of US$ 8 billion when we could have asked foreign companies to develop these resources and mine those undersea oil.

We say, we're weak and we're not in the position to negotiate or sustain our claims to these islands. That's not reason enough. This is the golden age of diplomacy. And it's far-fetched that China would go to war with us simply because of Kalayaan. We have the Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States. This is a statute which protects us from future foreign invasions.

What this shows is that China is officially now the biggest shadow behind the Philippine government. China now influences policy-making in the Philippines, which is not at all surprising, given that we do have strong ties with the Bamboo Curtain long before the West arrived in our shores. We just reverted back to our pre-Spanish situation where early Filipinos give tributes to the Chinese emperor.

Now, it seems, that we have China in our back while we gnawl and snarl at Uncle Sam. How things have changed. It just shows you that we don't need a Joma Sison to turn this country into a protectorate of China. We just need an Arroyo, teaming up with an Enrile, a Santiago and a Nograles to make this a reality which Joma and the rest of the guys tried for forty years to do.