Arroyo Spratlys deal impacts on balance of power in Asia

Last Tuesday, as Filipinos were glued to their radio and TV sets following the latest development in the great rip-off, which is the NBN/ZTE deal, detained Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV filed Resolution No. 309 asking the Senate to investigate the agreement signed by Gloria Arroyo with China in September 2004 to explore areas in the South China Sea including parts belonging exclusively to the Philippines.

Trillanes’ resolution directs the Committees on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon), National Defense and Security, and Environment and Natural Resources to undertake the investigation after Malaya came out with a report last week that what Malacañang once dubbed as a “landmark” agreement to jointly explore parts of the disputed islands in the Spratlys is actually a “treacherous sellout of Philippine interest and Philippine sovereignty in exchange fro overpriced loans for anomalous projects which include the ZTE-NBN deal, the North Rail and South Rail projects, the Department of Education’s Cyber-Ed project among others.”

I’m glad that after four years of disinterest, the very important South China Sea exploration agreement is on the administration’s critics’ radar screen. I hope the clamor for transparency in this undertaking that involves the country’s patrimony and sovereignty becomes compelling.

The renewed interest, sparked by a recent article in the Far Eastern Economic Review on “Asean: Manila’s Bungle in the South China Sea” by Brian Wain is timely because the results of the so-called seismic study will soon be out. A Philippine diplomat said while the Arroyo may have gotten around the Constitutional prohibition with “seismic study,” it would not be easy when they now go to exploration stage.

When the agreement was still being worked out in 2004, the term used was “joint oil exploration” and it was to be sold to the public as the Arroyo administration’s answer to “the problem of soaring oil prices.” Merceditas Gutierrez, then acting justice secretary (now Ombudsman) objected, citing the Constitutional prohibition that “the exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State.”

A foreign service officer who was involved in that September 2004 China visit of Arroyo remembers being snapped at by then House Speaker Jose de Venecia when he voiced the DFA’s reservation on the agreement.

Some brilliant minds came up with the idea circumventing the “exploration” prohibition and used the word “seismic study”. Thus, what was signed was an “Agreement By and Between the Philippine National Oil Company and the China National Offshore Oil Company on Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking in the South China Sea” to “gather and process data on stratigraphy, tectonics and structural fabric of the subsurface of the area.”

Later on, Petro Vietnam joined the project after Vietnam, one of the six countries (others are Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan) with claims on parts of the South China Sea, protested over the project.

But there was something highly suspicious with that agreement because the copy of the agreement was never made public. Inquiries as to the location of the seismic study area were never answered. The closest that we got then was De Venecia’s description: “Part Philippine territory, not disputed and part disputed.”

I found that shocking and I asked him: “We allowed China to explore our territorial waters in exchange for a joint exploration of an area which we both claim?” JDV, as usual, went into his spiel about the agreement being a win-win solution for all claimant parties.

The sellout of Philippine territory is confirmed by the Far Eastern Review article which says, “The designated zone, a vast swathe of ocean off Palawan in the southern Philippines, thrusts into the Spratlys and abuts Malampaya, a Philippine producing gas field. About one-sixth of the entire area, closest to the Philippine coastline, is outside the claims by China and Vietnam.”

In the article, South China expert Mark Valencia was quoted saying: “Presumably for higher political purposes, the Philippines agreed to these joint surveys that include parts of its legal continental shelf that China and Vietnam don’t even claim.”

If “political purpose” means having loads and loads of money to buy political support, the people have reason to be outraged about reports of multi-million dollar commissions from projects funded by Chinese loans.

The agreement strengthens China’s hold over the whole South China area, which is a vital international oil route. It has an important impact on the geo-political balance of power. I can imagine the United States being seriously concerned about it.

Related articles:

1. Probe Gloria treason

2. Today Spratlys, tomorrow Palawan by Manolo Quezon

3, Fishermen ask for probe of Spratlys deal

February 29, 2008 12:33 am   Posted in: Foreign Affairs, NBN/ZTE, South China Sea

27 Responses

  1. Ellen - February 28, 2008 11:45 pm

    Click here for Brian Wain’s “Manila’s Bungle in the South China Sea”

  2. J. Cruz - February 29, 2008 1:06 am

    Could you imagine a Probinsyanong Intsik has more “love” for his country over a Pinay who betrays hers?

    Indeed, this evil bitch has absolutely NO SHAME, NO MORAL and NO SOUL LEFT!

    Enough is enough! Let’s destroy this evil empire ASAP before it destroys WE, The People of the Republic of the Philippines!

  3. bitchevil - February 29, 2008 1:17 am

    I first posted this topic in another thread. It’s a good thing that it’s now being posted here in full.

    Arroyo herself said that the reason why she went on to sign the ZTE deal was not to affect the relationship between China and RP. But she failed to consider that by going with the project despite knowing the anomaly, she was selling the country to foreigners. Therefore, why can’t she sell Sprately islands too? Whatever happened to that RP jet that went missing together with our two pilots? Nothing is heard from it anymore…

  4. sandinista - February 29, 2008 1:26 am

    M’Ellen, sino ba ang political advisor ni GMA on international geo-politics at foreign affairs??!!! Paano nakalusot ito?

    Ayoko man maging malisyoso, pero dahil ba sa may kapalit ito na kaluwagan sa pagpapautang ng China sa atin? Na tuwang tuwa naman ang mga fixers ng Malacanang kasi tila mas madaling mag pad ng “commission” sa mga Chinese-funded projects compared to World Bank, US, JBIC, at ADB kasi mas mahigpit na ngayon sa accountability at transparency ang mga Western at Japanese funding agencies?

  5. chi - February 29, 2008 1:34 am

    The pResident has made Pinas just a colony of China. Hayagang nabenta ng impaktang puta ang Pinas. Tama ang tanong mo Sandinista, “Paano nakalusot ito?”.

    Turingan kung sino ang may sala, bukod kay Gloria at nang mabigti natin sabay-sabay sila for treason!

  6. chi - February 29, 2008 1:34 am

    pResident Evil

  7. AdeBrux - February 29, 2008 1:57 am

    Is that the only sellout of Philippine territory that Gloria did?

    Perhaps, if we did further down, we’ll find skeletons of contracts that are advantageous to the Pidal family.

  8. sandinista - February 29, 2008 2:01 am


    Di talaga nag scenario at risk planning ang Malacanang bago pumayag sa ganitong arrangement.. do you think other ASEAN countries will take this sitting down, especially Malaysia and Singapore? I’m sure kaya biglang sumingaw ito from Brian Wain’s article at nataon ngayong may crisis si GMA — Wain is a writer for the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies, which is based in… yup, you guessed it right: Singapore.

    Pero mas lalong kabahan ang Malacanang ngayon kasi may nagbanggit sa akin a few months ago na marami ang nagalit sa deal na ito ni GMA — mga Amerikano.

    Kasi hindi minoderate ang greed, di muna nagnilaynilay kung may masasagasaan bang ibang bansa maliban sa pinagkanulo ang soberenya ng bayan. May tawag ang lola ko dyan: KARMA…

  9. AdeBrux - February 29, 2008 2:01 am

    Oops, “DIG further down”…

  10. Diego K. Guerrero - February 29, 2008 2:13 am

    Welcome to exotic Philippine Islands, the province of China. Gloria Arroyo has sold Philippines’ national sovereignty to People’s Republic of China in exchange of ‘sweet deals’ and kickbacks. China’s foreign loans have directly benefited GMA’s greed and her cronies. China, Philippines signed 14 agreements to explore our mines, farmlands, joint offshore exploration operations and telecommunication projects. China Eximbank won’t give foreign loans to the Philippines without string attached to debt. Ousted house speaker Rep. Jose De Venecia should be also held responsible for the Spratly sell-out. He brokered the anomalous North Rail Project. Gloria and JDV are partners in crime.

    NBN-ZTE Corp. connection with Spratly Is. sell-out.

  11. ptz_public window - February 29, 2008 2:17 am

    to Sandinista,

    sa question mo na: M’Ellen, sino ba ang political advisor ni GMA on international geo-politics at foreign affairs??!!! Paano nakalusot ito?

    answer: isa sa mga political adviser nya ay si norberto gonzales na protege ni Fr. Romeo Intengan… sila ang may hawak ng PDSP.

    remember Venable contract? kung saan nagbayad at nagpapa lobby pa sa US congress si norberto gonzales para mapondohan/masuportahan ng US ang tinutulak na charter change… sila ang may pakana noon. dapat sa mga yan ma firing squad dahil sa pagbebenta sa atin sa mga dayuhan…

  12. sandinista - February 29, 2008 2:40 am

    Ah kaya pala.. no wonder.. thanks ptz_public window. But with Sec. Romulo at the DFA, I was hoping that he persuaded his illegal president to reconsider her decision to go with the deal sa China. Kung sa bagay, kahit anong sound advice ang ibigay mo, kung nasilaw na sa kikitaing commission, walang pakikinggan na advice ang nasa Malacanang…

  13. cocoy - February 29, 2008 2:53 am

    This is what I posted on the other thread;

    # cocoy Says:

    February 27th, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Chinese influence in our government is very alarming, they are becoming friendly with Pidalism governments because they considered the Evil-Bitch as an abandoned prostitute of Bush.

    What is really the issue to be concerned about ZTE deal is a small potato to be concern among Filipinos, the fact that China also now owns or operates businesses in our country and are partly in controlling the region.The possibility of a Chinese take-over through the strategic bribery of corrupt Pidalism government is no mystery that many corrupt government officials are ignoring.There has also been the construction of a major Chinese businesses facility in our country that is not yet accounted on expose, We must need to ask question why the Chinese are interested in our country? Philippines is the hub of Asia’s cargo shipments that are sent throughout the world, Any disruption involving smooth sailing would have a devastating effect on the whole continent. ZTE plotted the Bitch so that they can have unlimited access in our country and use the area to launch a nuclear attack on Asian countries friendly to the United States. This may be a little extreme but again, it is now a distinct possibility. Once the Chinese control our economic, government and the people they could deny air space to U.S. fighter jets and ships passage through the pacific once they attained the proper influence and brainwashed the Filipino people.They now have the Spratley and build a runway.ZTE is only a ploy to preoccupied the mind of Pinoy.Kaya kailangang na nating patalsikin si Gloria bago niya maipagbili ng buo ang Pinas sa Tsina.

  14. Elvira Sahara - February 29, 2008 2:53 am

    What money can do nga naman! Such GREED you can’t find anywhere else in this world…BUT sa mga ILLEGAL occupants lang pala ng Malakanyang!

    What’s these 17 priests from Pampanga praying over for their EVIL kabalen? SHAME ON YOU, priests! Pare-pareho kayong mga mukhang PERA!!!

  15. chi - February 29, 2008 2:56 am


    “What’s these 17 priests from Pampanga praying over for their EVIL kabalen?”

    Again? Hahahah! Baka magkasunog dun sa tindi ng init!

  16. grizzy - February 29, 2008 3:07 am


    I posted in my egroups exposes on the rackets regarding the patrimonies in Japan acquired as war reparations payments, the latest racket being questioned by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs when the Philippine government submitted a name of supposed bidder that could not be clarified. Now, Ermita is being blamed for that fiasco, and the idiot for some reason taking the blame for it–for how much I do not know!

    One recent report is found in
    which clearly pinpoints the Pidal family as the main beneficiary while the crooks are trying to name new entities to blame for this new racket, Siazon and his Japanese wife even when the ambassador claims his advice had never been sought by the criminal regarding disposal of these patrimonies in Japan.

    We’ve approached Japanese lawyers to look into this racket, and see where they can hit this corrupt Arroyo government in Japanese courts. Hopefully, there will be lawyers in the Philippines who will be willing to take action on behalf of the Filipino people, the rightful owners of these patrimonies, together with their Japanese counterparts who wil be willing to take this case in court gratis.

  17. grizzy - February 29, 2008 3:10 am


    As I said earlier, these priests from Pampanga were supposed to exorcise evils from the dorobo, pero nakalimutan pihado iyong magic words, “The power of Christ compels you!” kaya di tumalab. Sila pa ngayon ang nilapatan ng mga impakto sa katawan ni dorobo.

    Kawawang mga nilalang!

  18. Toney Cuevas - February 29, 2008 3:16 am

    My apology for this off-topic, but I thougth I’d share some good news. “REP. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo yesterday appealed to administration critics to spare his father Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, who he said “has been having a spate of high blood pressure probably because of anxiety…said the “anxiety” could be related to allegations by witnesses in the Senate’s ZTE inquiry linking his father to irregularities.” Couldn’t happened to a man that brought mental and physicl pain to many. Pay back is hell!

  19. Diego K. Guerrero - February 29, 2008 3:23 am

    Re: Fujimi property bidding

    It means P3 billion in earnings for Jose Pidal mafia family. Paspasan ang kurakotan habang sila ay na poder.

  20. grizzy - February 29, 2008 3:25 am

    High blood, my ass! Pero pag kumukurakot walang high blood! Lalo na kung mataas ang bid!

    Nice try, Mikey! Isa ka pang dapat ibitin!

    To hell with these dorobos! Panagutin! Huwag nang hintayin ang next SONA! Dakpin na ang mga magnanakaw!

  21. grizzy - February 29, 2008 3:31 am


    You bet! Si tabako kumita din sa BOT ng Roppongi kaya ang ungas takot na matanggal si unano dahil siya ang nakinabang diyan. Pero mas ganid itong mga Pidals dahil iyong apat na patrimonies ang pinupuntirya ng mga ungas. Iyan sana ang gustong pagkakuwartahan for election 2004 and 2007, pero nahalang namin. Napunta tuloy sa NBN/ZTE na collateral iyong mga patrimonya ng Pilipinas in Japan and elsewhere.

    We demand all to join us in this fight against the bidding of these properties in Japan. Iyan ang pakay ng pagpunta ni Teves, et al this weekend sa Japan we are told!!! Harangin iyan.

  22. grizzy - February 29, 2008 3:35 am

    May bagong raket pa ang mga ungas. Money market pa. Pakikialam pa ang fluctuation ng yen against the dollar balita namin. Target iyong mga remittances ng mga pilipino sa Japan. We actually discourage Filipinos in Japan to use Philippine banks operating in Japan illegally. Walang lisensiya to engage in foreign money exchange. They should stop it. Hindi lulusot ang money laundering and blackmarketing activities nila dito. Lahat ng klaseng illegal na trabaho ginagawa with official stamps! Nakakahiya!

  23. Elvira Sahara - February 29, 2008 4:07 am

    Cool ka lang…the Dorobos’ Greedy Fam can’t run away! If the do, more than a half of 89 million Pinoys are ready to run after them! Isa na tayo diyan!
    Mag-good night na ako so I can wake up early tomorrow and join our lighting candles here!

    Bis Morgen!

  24. grizzy - February 29, 2008 4:20 am

    Me, too, Elvie. Umaga na dito. Kailgang matulog na para hindi maantok sa temple pagpunta ko ngayon araw na ito. Oyasumi!

  25. Ellen - February 29, 2008 7:11 am

    From Pete Sevilla:

    I again have fun reading your write up today. It’s a good thing if the US will do a ‘Marcos’ on this evil presidenta by saying: “…GMA, you have been our good dog in the Philippines for a while, now it’s time to put you in the kennel (before you bankrupt your country).”

    Like Marcos, my family and friends don’t mind if we’ll see Gloria transported to Hawaii asap.

    Pete Sevilla
    Orange County, CA

  26. Valdemar - February 29, 2008 10:39 pm

    Its a good thing China is playing footsies with us yet. That should keep Taiwan and Vietnam at bay. Just to have a running battle at the Spratly’s, I cant imagine how we could survive there or at least reach those waters. Even the U.S. sees China is arming to the teeth now. But…
    why not take another look at Sabah, our very own real estate. We could plant more tawatawa there and forget about the oil at the Spratlys. At least we have more chances to a mano-a-la-mano with the squatting neighbor.

  27. Mrivera - March 1, 2008 5:48 pm

    ‘ayup talagang panggulo ‘yan.

    pati ang patrimonyo ng pilipinas ay isinanla na pala sa mga insek este intsik. palibhasa ay walang iniisip kundi ang pagkakamal ng salapi habang nasa poder ay bale wala sa kanya kung maging busabos ng dayuhan ang buong sambayanan basta sila ng kanyang pamilya ay makapagpapasarap gamit ang mga hinuthot mula sa kaban ng bayan!


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