Sunday, November 1, 2015

Q & A: Marcos on the Spratly, Vice Presidency

Q & A: Philippine Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. talks about the Philippines and Chinese claim on the islets and reefs in the West Philippines Sea and his probable run for the vice presidency with political columnist Mortz C. Ortigoza. Excerpts:
Senator Bong Bong Marcos (C) poses for posterity with
Veteran Scribe Ruben Rivera and Columnist Mortz
Ortigoza  (extreme right).

MORTZ: Sir, lately I was watching the Spratly and Scarborough Islets (in the West Philippines Sea) brouhahas there were 16 Pangasinan fishermen who wrote a complaint to the United Nations, then I saw your statement there that you were for the Bilateral Agreement with the Chinese.....
SENATOR BONGBONG MARCOS: No, no, no. I am for the Bilateral Talks with the Chinese..
MORTZ: Ya, Bilateral Talks with the Chinese...
MARCOS: Because, because for the first time in the entire situation the Chinese has agreed to talk in the framework of international law or the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) which is something that they never done before. Tapos noong nakaraan they talked about the 9 Dash Lines. Now they are willing to talk about under UN. That’s new. Hindi rin ni-rerecognized ng ating DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) hindi ata nalalaman kung gaano kalaking pagbabago ito. So we continued to do nothing except making our case in the jurisdiction ng UN.
MORTZ: The perception in the Philippines is the Chinese could not be trusted. One of the examples there is the Panatag Shoal’s hullabaloo where the BRP Pampanga left (in 2012 after it replaced the country’s frigate BRP Gregorio Del Pilar) with the Chinese as agreed. They, the Chinese ships, did not leave the place that’s why Scarborough Shoal or Panatag Shoal now is controlled by the Chinese.

MARCOS: Will that as it may, we should talk with the Chinese or we should be with.. with... just doing nothing will not ignore the situation. We have to do something and I think the Chinese may give even as an opening and so we should take it. It’s an opportunity. Let’s start, I think, there.
In a way to begin this discussion if napaguusapan lang natin kung papaano ang policy ng Chinese at ng Philippines sa fishermen bago nagkagulo ng ganito. Iyong mangingisda ng China at saka ng Pilippines laging magkasama iyan e. They fish together at pagkatapos nilang mag fishing they eat together. Nagkikita kita sila. Walang problem, ngayon nagkaka problema. Ngayon, di ba natin ibalik doon sa dating situation. Uumpisahan natin fishermen para naman ang mga tao natin hindi naman nahihirapan.  So let’s start from this that’s still a small step. Let’s keep going we have to start. I’m not saying, if we met with the Chinese under the UNCLOS na tapos lahat ng problema natin. I’m not saying but we have to do something. This situation cannot be allowed to continue.

MORTZ:  I heard you’re running for the Vice Presidency of the Philippines. But on the Social Weather Stations’ poll in September 2 to 5, I saw you got 7% only there while Senator Chiz Escudero got 20%. In the Senatorial, the polls say you’re in the Top 5.
Is it not risky running for the Vice Presidency than being a shoo-in in the senatorial?
MARCOS: Every campaign is risky. You run for the Barangay Captain is a risk. Yes, it is risky.
So I don’t know it.. it...even...even.. senatorial is risky. Lahat naman walang tiyak di naman tiyak.
MORTZ: So you have the moist eye for the Vice Presidency?
MARCOS: I’m sorry...?
MORTZ: So you have the moist eye for the Vice Presidency?
MARCOS: What is the moist eye?
MORTZ: You have the interest to run for the Vice Presidency.
MARCOS: I have interest to run for the higher office as we have been discussing in the past.

(Ortigoza used to work and teach at the public information office of the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City and political science in Dagupan City and in Manila, respectively, but left the academe after cutting his teeth there for ten years. He then explores the interesting and dynamic world of column writing by interviewing former presidents, House Speaker, senators, and other

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