omw.issue.33.1

Photo taken last week when Sen. Bernie Sanders finally ended his primary campaign and endorsed Hillary Clinton for President.


caballero.photo


UNLESS Donald Trump has a different definition of the word “great,” I’d say America had been great, and is great.

The United States is the greatest on earth in many ways, especially in military might, respect for freedom and democracy.

On July 4th, though scripted, we saw on television ordinary American citizens described how great America was in various terms.

One ended with, “America is the greatest country in the world.”

However, we feel it is “sick.”

I think it is running “racial temperature.”

In some places, the temperature could be over 104 degrees.

But, it doesn’t diminish America’s greatness.

This sickness has plagued America for a long time.

But, it needs a cure.

And, we think America needs a chief doctor, who, first of all, believes that America is great, and it could even be greater with correct and effective leadership and “medicines.”

Not the other way around.

Furthermore, this country needs one who will establish goodwill inside the country and around an interdependent world, not walls.

One who will create friends, not enemies.


***


Peace at last

The old adage that anything is possible in politics was proved true again earlier this week when the seemingly endless Democratic presidential primary contest between Sec. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders ended peacefully and happily with compromises, as can be expected, in politics.

“I intend to do everything I can to make certain she (Hillary Clinton) is the next president of the United States,” exclaimed Sen. Sanders on television.

“We are stronger together,” a confident Mrs. Clinton commented back.

Now, they go to the Democratic National Convention hand-in-hand together.

This is what authentic democracy is about.


***


omw.issue.33.2

The Philippines Team of International Law and Territory Experts at The Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration.


Jubilant ex-President Aquino

No, he did not find a GF (girlfriend) yet.

He and I are on the same boat.

He is rejoicing the victory of the Philippines in the arbitration case against China that he initiated during his term.

Ex-President Aquino deserves credit for this.

We wish to share with our readers the full statement of the former Philippine President.

JULY 13, 2016

I reviewed the Press Release and Summary issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the “South China Sea Arbitration”

(The Republic of the Philippines v. The People’s Republic of China).

I am, of course, quite elated particularly since all the points we had raised were affirmed.

We want to thank the Permanent Court of Arbitration for their fair judgment, and we would also like to extend our gratitude for the clarity with which they presented their ruling.

Let us remember that the disputes in the Sea Known by Many Names have gone on for decades — from our perspective, stretching as far back as the 1970s.

These conflicts have come about, primarily because of the differing opinions on each country’s rights and obligations.

To this end, I would ask our countrymen and all people of goodwill to read the Press Release and Summary issued by the Tribunal, to gain a full understanding of the issues involved.

Let me emphasize: All countries that have made a comment on this issue, to our knowledge, have expressed adherence to international law.

Indeed: International law has been made clearer with this monumental decision.

This of course deals with the Philippines and China, clarifying each state’s rights and obligations; but as our lead counsel said, it also has very strong implications as far as other coastal states are concerned, with regard to UNCLOS.

At this point, may I suggest that instead of viewing this decision as a victory of one party over another, the best way to look at this judgment is that it is a victory for all.

I say this because the clarity rendered now establishes better conditions that enable countries to engage each other, bearing in mind their duties and rights within a context that espouses equality and amity.

Might I say: The decision to pursue arbitration was not an easy one to make.

Going into arbitration was called a game-changer.

We foresaw and experienced the pressures in taking this route; yet until the end, we stood our ground.

In this course, we involved all branches of government.

During the consultations, we had the Senate as represented by then-Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, and later on by Sen. Franklin Drilon, as well as the House under the leadership of Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.

Former Presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Joseph Estrada were unequivocal in their support.

We also invited the Judiciary, which at that time, due to prudence on handling cases related to the matter, had to decline.

Allow me to reiterate my gratitude to all our countrymen and partners who have worked hard to defend our shared cause, specifically: then-Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario, former Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr., former Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, former Solicitors-General Francis Jardeleza and Florin Hilbay, Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, former Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and now Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa, Sandiganbayan Justice Sarah Fernandez, former Undersecretary Emmanuel Bautista and Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra, former Assistant Secretary Henry Bensurto Jr. and former Undersecretary Abigail Valte.

We also thank the lawyers and experts who assisted our team, as led by Paul Reichler of the Washington-based law firm Foley Hoag.

Let us bear in mind: Where there is conflict over claims and opinions, cooperation cannot exist.

Now that the rules are even clearer, we can all move forward as a global community.

Without doubt, this long-running dispute is now closer to having a permanent solution.

(Note: Thanks to Ambassador Millie Sta. Maria-Thomeczek for posting the above statement in her Facebook.)


***


Justice Carpio

We wish to emphasize the service that Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio rendered to Filipino-Americans as he visited us in New York and Washington, D.C. after filing the case in The Hague.

For almost two hours, using graphs and maps, he clearly and methodically explained to concerned members of the Filipino community the facts of the case they submitted.

In fact, when I was reading the summary document which came from the Court, it was like a refresher of the lecture of Justice Carpio thee years ago.

The brilliant legal minds of Filipinos in International Law and Territory matters shone again.


***


omw.issue.33.4

Loida Nicolas Lewis (3rd from left) led the Fil-Am rallyists in New York.


We will be remiss of our duty to inform if we will not mention two patriotic Filipinos.

One male and one female.
 
They are Loida Nicolas Lewis and Rogelio Vonz Santos.

The two started the movement that encouraged Filipinos around the world to hold rallies in front of the Chinese embassies in their respective countries in order to raise awareness about the arbitration case and the behavior of China in the West Philippines Sea/South China Sea.

The movement caught fire globally.

Kudos to both for their efforts.

Even countries which we did not expect to side with us are now on our side.

Like Russia, India, Vietnam.

Let’s pray for conversion.

Maybe, one day, even China will undergo a change of heart, followed by a change of behavior.

Kay Habana, what is this change process called in Biblical studies?

Metanoia?

There is a person in Manila, who, Dr. Evelyn T. Magallon and I, think, also needs prayer for conversion.

Conversion so that he will regard every life as a gift.

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omw.issue.33.5

In Manila, Rogelio Vonz Santos led the demonstrators.

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