Tag Archives: World War II

[Blog]Moral Honesty is the key for a Historical Closure. By Jose Mario De Vega

Moral Honesty is the key for a Historical Closure
By Jose Mario De Vega

I refer to the AFP news report, “Germany urges Japan to deal ‘honestly’ with WWII past”, December 31.

To quote from the said article:

“Germany said Monday it tried to deal “honestly” with its World War II past and urged Japan to do the same after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe‘s visit to a controversial war shrine.”

Mario De Vega

I commend the German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert when he told categorically to the reporters that:

“I do not wish to comment on questions related to Japanese domestic politics…

“But in general all nations must honestly live up to their role in the horrible events of the 20th century. Only on the basis of this honest accounting is it possible to build a future with former foes. This is a conviction Germany takes to heart and which in my opinion applies to all states.”

These are exactly the words stated by Seibert when he was asked “about the surprise Yasukuni shrine visit which enraged China and South Korea.”

I commend the German government and its people for their honesty of acknowledging their historical crimes against humanity and their courage to admit before the world their grave and deadly atrocities committed against the people of the international community.

They did not only apologize for what they did, but they also paid some compensation to the victims, that is besides erecting some monuments and also by yearly remembering the countless dead and victims.

That shows the distinctive character of the German people.

I applaud them for their sincere and earnest efforts to atone for their crimes.

I cannot say the same with regard to the Japanese government and so as its people.

Up to today, they have yet to admit their crimes and it seems that they will never apologize for their wartime barbarism. This is a shame and undeniably a curse to all of them!

Just recently, prior to the Japanese Prime Minister’s surprise visit to the said infamous Shrine, the Tokyo governor has again shocked the people of Southeast Asia on his pronouncement about the Comfort Women.

That bastard freak, instead of being sorry has rather defended the rapes, barbarism, mayhem and mass murder done by the Japanese Imperial Army.

What a shame!

Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s visit has “sparked anger in China and South Korea last week by visiting the Tokyo shrine, which honours Japan’s war dead, including several high-level officials executed for war crimes after World War II, and serves as a reminder of Japan’s wartime aggression.”

Though, I am on the side of Japan with regard to China’s bullyism, aggression and imperialism on the question of their territorial dispute with reach other, nonetheless, on this specific, crucial and undeniably important historical issue, I joined South Korea, China and all the people who were offended by this utterly and unmistakable act of Japan, specifically its Prime Minister.

The world opinion is already with Japan with regard to their dispute with China. In fact, I also believe base on the temperament of the ASEAN that they are also siding with Tokyo, but all of these was destroyed by that idiotic and immoral visit of Abe to that bullshit Shrine of Shame, Crime and Mass Murder.

Hence I cannot understand the mind-set of Abe in doing what he has done?

Why the hell is he honoring those murderers, rapists and barbaric thugs?

For indeed, the said “visit came at a time when Japan’s ties with China have turned particularly sour over a territorial dispute regarding islands in the East China Sea.”

Suggestion to Japan, to Prime Minister Abe and the Japanese people

In my view, the only way wherein the people of Southeast Asia can truly forgive you and your people is by admitting before the whole world your World War II barbarism, mass murder, rapes and inhumanity.

Confess your crimes, follow the act of Germany, apologize and pay compensation to the surviving victims.

Close that Shrine and instead erect a monument highlighting your remorse and guilt with regard to your historical crimes.

I believe that these acts are the only key in order for your government and people to end the curse, for they are precisely the necessary keys for our collective closure. Yes, our collective closure, because despite the fact that you helped us during the super typhoon; still I cannot forget what you did to my people and the people of Southeast Asia during World War II.

Apologize and we will forgive and then, only then, that we can truly and fully forgive!

What is the purpose or the point of an official apology?

It is my firm view and so hold that the ultimate purpose of an official apology is to admit one’s crimes, to bear responsibility to the said wrong act, to atone for the sins and transgressions of our predecessors, to remember the dead, to honor their memory, celebrate their legacy, to vow that this gruesome event will never again recur and to forge a sense of closure, both personal and historical; both to the perpetrators and so as to the victims.

Am I responsible to the crimes and sins of my forefathers?

I heard the question. I beg the indulgence of the reader if I will ask the great Professor Alasdair MacIntyre to offers a powerful answer to that question:

“I inherit from the past of my family, my city, my tribe, my nation, a variety of debts, inheritances, rightful expectations and obligations. These constitute the given of my life, my moral starting-point. This is in part what gives my own life its moral particularity.”

Hence, we may not be legally and personally liable for the crimes and transgressions committed by our forefathers to others; yet we cannot escape the historical liability; we are morally responsible not only to the past, but also to the present.

Our duty is to acknowledge the mistakes and the wrong that has been done and vow that the same would never ever happen again.

In a sense, our ethico-moral duties and historical obligations is to correct the mistakes of the past and remedy the historical errors and blunders.

If we will evade and deny this task, then, history will continue to haunt us; because the vengeance of history is a hundred times more terrible!

To quote the prophetic words of Bobby Sands: “Our vengeance will be the laughter of our children”.

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy lecturer
College of Arts and Letters
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

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[Blog] The Philippines must continue standing up against China with the help of International Law and the ASEAN by Jose Mario De Vega

The Philippines must continue standing up against China with the help of International Law and the ASEAN

Mario De Vega

I refer to Amado Doronila’s analysis “Deal with China? Winner takes all”, PDI, August 5, 2013

As he reported:

“The Philippines’ second warship acquired from the United States, the BRP Ramon Alcaraz, arrived on Sunday at the former US naval base in Subic Bay amid conflict between Manila and Beijing over ownership of territories in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

“The Philippine government hailed the arrival of the Hamilton-class cutter, a World War II vessel that had been decommissioned by the US Coast Guard, as a step toward beefing up the Philippine Navy’s capability to counter what Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario denounced as China’s “massive military buildup in the West Philippine Sea.””

The Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario, speaking at an expert’s conference on maritime security in the Belgian capital last month said that China’s assertion of ownership of all the West Philippine Sea “could restrict freedom of navigation in sea-lanes critical to global trade.

Indeed, the bully’s “overwhelming naval and maritime presence far beyond its mainland shores” will undeniably raise “regional tensions” in the sea.

To date, the Chinese brigand has committed numerous and multiple incursions of its vessels into shoals and islets “well within the Philippines’ 360-kilometer exclusive economic zone.”

As Doronila pointed out:

“Del Rosario castigated China for its “unilateral coercive actions,” saying these seemed an assertion of sovereignty over territories within Beijing’s self-proclaimed “nine-dash-line” map that embraces most of the sea, including waters within the economic exclusion zones of Southeast Asian nations.”

Del Rosario warned that:

“The delineation of the nine-dash-line zone “is extremely close to the coasts of other littoral states…”
Further, he stated that:

“Arbitrary claims to maritime territory could also be arbitrarily invoked to regulate passage of ships through the large maritime areas the nine-dash line encloses…”

Hence, “on its face, this expansive claim could turn an international body of water into a lake of one nation…”

Arbitration bid

Undeniably, “in the Brussels conference, the Philippines was lining up support for its arbitration bid in the United Nations seeking a peaceful settlement of conflicting territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea involving China, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan.”

I vehemently disagree with the writer that “this diplomatic initiative has so far failed to gain ground” by virtue of the fact that despite the Philippines “which has one of the weakest navies in the region” has consistently stood and fought with China since April of last year.

Though, this country is small and militarily weak, we have the guts and the balls to stand up against a bloody bullish giant.

In fact, in the region, it is only the Philippines and Vietnam that is brave and vocal to warn their fellow ASEAN members and the world with region to China’s aggression, bullyism and imperialist/expansionist designs.

Though, the territorial conflict has the dangerous tendency to degenerate towards “the brink of gunboat confrontations among China, the United States, Japan, Vietnam and, to a lesser extent, the Philippines, which has one of weakest navies in the region” the latter has chosen the most reasonable and civil way of asserting its sovereignty claims and that is by invoking international law and voluntarily bringing into arbitration process its issues and claims.

Nonetheless, the Philippines while relying on international law and custom, has also begun to upgrade and modernize its military and navy.

As Doronila reported:

“The second Philippine warship, the Ramon Alcaraz, which arrived on Sunday after a two-month voyage from South Carolina, is to join its sister ship, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, also a decommissioned Hamilton-class cutter acquired by the Philippines from the US Coast Guard in August 2011.

“The two ships will patrol Philippine coastal waters in the face of China’s growing naval power and assertiveness in the West Philippine Sea.”


I commend the Philippines for its desire to develop and upgrade its military and naval defense, but I am also wondering why it is that what they are buying is decommissioned and old ships? What can these obsolete machines do in face of China’s vast and modern navy?

I agree with the critics that these are mere junk. Why the hell a so-called supposed friend will give a rubbish product to its so-called “old and reliable friend”?

Another pertinent question on my mind is that: why always buy at the US? Why not ask and approach Germany, France, and UK (including Russia) for modern weapons and armory? We have good trading and diplomatic relations with these countries, why the option is always Uncle Sam?

Does it mean that up to this day, this so-called independent republic is still, in fact a lapdog of US imperialism?

If the Philippines cannot defend its territory and sovereignty without always calling the “help” of “big brother”, then ought we not to admit a brutal and horrendous truth: That we don’t deserve to be a free and independent republic?!

My view on the whole matter is simple and clear cut: Down with US and Chinese imperialism!

The US imperialists since day one were here, not because they are our friends, but simply to protect their interest on this part of the world.

Only an idiot of the highest order would say that the US military is a friend of the Filipinos and a creature is a super dunce indeed, to say that the American will help us in fighting the bloody Chinese in case of a full-scale war that might erupt on the region!

Let us not forget that those bastard Americans abandoned us during World War II. Practically, it was the Filipinos who fought and struggled against the Japanese Imperial Army.

When those American “brothers” returned, they did not only liberate the country, they also destroyed Manila. Because of that great feat of the Americans, Manila landed on world history “as the second most destroyed city during World War II next to Warsaw”.

The greedy Chinese bastards, realizing that Uncle Sam’s star is already waning and knowing for a fact that the Philippines’ military is weak are here to assert their new found global dominance and to “test the waters” repeatedly to the prejudice of the different ASEAN members.

I wonder whether these Chinese freaks had already forgotten their destruction during World War II. Do I have to remind them about their “Rape of Nanking” of 1937 committed barbarically by the Japanese invaders?

To the Chinese military

Both of our countries had suffered during World War II, both of us stood and fought valiantly resisting the invaders; now my question is: why are you trying to do to us and to the other ASEAN members what those bastard and greedy Japanese did?

Are you now the new Japan?

For the nth time, may I remind you that the Philippines may be small, weak and its leaders may be stupid, but you must clearly make your distinction!

There is an extreme difference between the Philippine government and the Filipino people! We will fight you not because the government ordered us to do so, but because that is the right and the moral thing to do!

The Filipinos are known all over the world as one of the fiercest warriors! Please don’t dare us, because we will surely fight you — to the death!

You may capture all our cities, invade our seas and even occupy the country, but you can never ever conquer our hearts and souls; you can never ever defeat our minds and character, for we have the guts and balls to struggle until the very end! We will resist you in whatever method and means we can — until the end!

If necessary, you have killed us all in order for you to completely own this land! Yet, be put on notice that we will also try to kill all of you, too — in our own small and “humble” way!

Hence, you have been warned!

The Chinese fleets’ incursion and aggression

I agree with the writer that, “since May last year, Chinese fishing fleets, escorted by gunboats, have entered and left Philippine waters virtually at will. The Inquirer has reported that Chinese ships, after disappearing for a few days early last month, have returned to Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal), a rich fishing ground west of Zambales province and within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

“Three Chinese vessels have also converged on Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) in the Philippines’ part of the Spratly archipelago in the middle of the West Philippine Sea.

“The impunity with which Chinese ships penetrate Philippine waters while mocking claims of Philippine sovereignty over disputed territories has led to the establishment of a de facto Chinese rule of law in the region, a sort of Pax Sinica enforced at the point of the guns of the Chinese Navy.”


The Philippines cannot rely to the US, because the US is a false friend and another opportunist imperial empire.

In the same vein that the Philippines cannot talk with China, because to talk with China under their own terms is for us to lose everything; that includes not only our sovereignty, worst our dignity, respect and sense of shame as a nation and as a people!

We must not surrender either to the US or to China. In my view, both of them are the same!

The Philippines’ must continue to stand up and fight China relying on its own with the help of its true friends and that is the ASEAN.

Finally the ASEAN unity

As reported by AFP, “ASEAN vows unity on South China Sea”, August 18th:

“Southeast Asian nations on Wednesday vowed unity in pressing China to accept a binding code of conduct for handling disputes in the South China Sea, the Thai foreign ministry said.

“Competing claims to the sea have for decades stirred tension in the region and the waterway, which is believed to sit atop vast deposits of oil and natural gas, has long been seen as one of Asia’s potential military flashpoints.

“Foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations agreed “to speak in one voice” while seeking an “early conclusion of a code of conduct”, a foreign ministry spokesman told AFP, without giving a timeframe.”

Further, a spokesman at the said event categorically stated that:

“ASEAN will have to speak with one voice and be unified. This does not mean speaking against anyone… ASEAN is united so it’s easy to discuss and talk with it…”

“The code of conduct should have the objective of enhancing confidence between ASEAN and China… and preventing any untoward incidents from taking place in the South China Sea.”

Hence, in my view, these two (the Philippines’ invocation of international law and its ASEAN membership) are the primary weapons of the country in fighting China. Yet, as a realist, I know that they might not be enough; therefore while the Philippines are utilizing these areas of struggle they must at the same time develop and upgrade (in the real sense of the word) their military and navy to boost their naval defense.

The Filipinos must first and foremost rely upon themselves!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy lecturer
College of Arts and Letters
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

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[People] How We Help End Hunger by Fr. Shay Cullen

How We Help End Hunger

by Fr. Shay Cullen

Hiking through the Zambales hills visiting the villages of the Aeta indigenous people is an exhilarating and yet saddening experience. I have been thinking about my recent visits to the villages of the aboriginal people that first settled the Philippine islands and survived for thousands of years as hunters and gatherers in the abundant rain forests. Today, their future is uncertain and fraught with danger.

There, they developed a simple but beautiful culture that was at one with nature. They never over-hunted; their numbers were well-balanced for survival and healthy living. They had a well developed herbal medical practice that helped them survive thousands of years like the natives of the Amazon forests without modern medicine or much contact with the western world.

They protected the natural habitat and the native birds and animals thrived. Their cultural dances imitate the creatures of the forest such as their respect for nature. Today, all that has changed, the forests and animals are long gone and a greatly diminished environment is all that remains.

When the American-Spanish war broke out in 1898 and soon became the American-Filipino war, 90 percent or more of the rainforests were intact. Today, there is hardly three percent left, all have been logged out and mostly shipped abroad. After the World War II, the logging hardly ever stopped still today it continues. In Pangasinan on Western Luzon Island, a fifty kilometer road has been cut there the last remaining rainforest.

Loggers are still at it and either the government agencies are in cahoots or totally inept to stop it. In the village of Hukay, Calatagan Batangas, huge swaths of mangrove have been cut to shreds damaging the land, causing erosion and the ocean to invade the rice fields and causing a huge loss to the agriculture in the area. Food loss is the result, hunger soon follows.

Their survival depends on mixed farming and the bonus of the mango harvest. They too are facing food crises as prices of rice and other essential commodities increase and the prices that they get for their root crops, bananas, wild honey and mangos have been getting lower. Traders exploit them without compassion. It is only the Preda Fair Trade that buys from them at just and fair prices and delivers some social benefits to enhance their lives and help some of their children go to school. Government services and help hardly ever reach them.

They are part of the 4.5 million Filipinos who say they go hungry from time to time and part of the one billion people seriously hungry all the time worldwide. When drought hits, the result of climate change due to industrial pollution, famine can overwhelm them in a few months. That’s when the rains fail and the soil turns to dust blown in the wind. That’s when you see the skeletons of dead cattle and emaciated skeletal babies dying in their mother’s arms.

As I said in a previous column, 300 children die every hour every day worldwide for the lack of food. Malnutrition is with us and the millennium goal to eliminate or greatly reduce this hunger will not be reached by 2015.

The poor people in the developing world are facing a growing food crises that is getting more serious. Most of them do not have fertile land or the means to plant and nurture it. The best lands are owned and protected and unused by rich and wealthy families. It is investment in property for them not land to use for growing food.

Besides, even unused public land is not distributed with the means to help poor families grow their own food, they are turning the land into housing projects for the rich or they are leasing the land to foreign companies for food production to be shipped back to foreign lands.

There will be an additional 2.5 billion people in the world by 2050, how can they survive? If we act now and get involved with the agencies fighting the world hunger through Fair Trade and social justice, we can help halt the destruction of the environment and end chronic hunger. This we cannot ignore, we cannot turn away, we have to stand up for them and help them overcome the food crises. END
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[Blogger] Happy 63! [December 10, 1948] – koihernandez.wordpress.com

Happy 63! [December 10, 1948]
by koihernandez

Human rights are “commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being.”

The idea of human rights, that is the notion that anyone has a set of inviolable rights simply on grounds of being human regardless of legal status, origin or conviction for crimes, emerges as an idea of Humanism in the Early Modern period and becomes a position in the 18th century Age of Enlightenment.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948 at Palais de Chaillot, Paris. The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled.

The Declaration consists of 30 articles which have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions and laws. The International Bill of Human Rights consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols.

In 1966 the General Assembly adopted the two detailed Covenants, which complete the International Bill of Human Rights; and in 1976, after the Covenants had been ratified by a sufficient number of individual nations, the Bill took on the force of international law.

Read full article @ koihernandez.wordpress.com