In his essay published in the Saturday, 29 May 2021 issue of the Daily Tribune, former senator and Defense secretary Juan Ponce Enrile made a revelation worth repeating. Enrile revealed the extent of the incompetence of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino and his cabal of stooges in the way they handled the initial stages of the ongoing territorial dispute between the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea.
During Aquino’s time, the Philippines had vessels firmly in place in the disputed maritime area, particularly at the vicinity of the strategic Scarborough Shoal. That shoal is well within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines created under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Enrile revealed that through the gross negligence of Aquino and his underlings, the Philippines lost possession of the shoal to the Chinese.
Topping the list of Aquino stooges responsible for the fiasco, which a newspaper columnist called “the Yellow regime’s biggest crime against the country,” is the egotistical ex-Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
Aquino gave Trillanes a secret directive to engage in backroom negotiations with the Chinese. That secret mission was so clandestine, Trillanes has no record of what deal he supposedly reached with the other side. Despite his boasts that he convinced China to withdraw its ships from Scarborough Shoal, the latter is now occupied by China.
Trillanes was a bad choice for a diplomat. He is a chronic liar. The Chinese cannot be expected to trust him.
Enrile’s list of Aquino’s careless stooges include Jose Cuisia Jr., who was then the Philippine ambassador to the United States, and Albert del Rosario, who was Aquino’s sickly Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
From records cited by Enrile, Cuisia learned from a “respectable” American official that China agreed to withdraw their vessels from Scarborough Shoal if the Philippines will also withdraw from the area. Without verifying that sensitive piece of information, Cuisia relayed it to Del Rosario.
Again, without ascertaining the authenticity of Cuisia’s tale, Del Rosario conveyed it to his equally irresponsible boss, Noynoy, who simply assumed that what was relayed to him was true.
Acting on impulse, Aquino ordered Philippine ships to leave Scarborough Shoal.
After the Philippine vessels left, Chinese ships seized the shoal, and never left it since then, to the prejudice of the Philippines. It turned out, Enrile said, that there was no such deal in the first place.
Cuisia insists that there was a deal, but he is unable to substantiate his story. All he can say is that the deal was brokered by then US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell.
The tale peddled by Cuisia is too incredible to believe. If there was such a deal brokered by the Americans as Cuisia alleges, then the United States would not have acquiesced in the subsequent double-cross because it is in the interest of America that the West Philippine Sea does not become a Chinese lake.
Del Rosario’s job as Secretary of Foreign Affairs was to verify all information concerning national security conveyed to him from abroad. That’s the reason why his Cabinet post exists in the first place.
Since national security is at stake, it was gross inexcusable negligence on the part of Del Rosario to presume that what Cuisia told him is true, without at least getting an independent, reliable source to confirm it.
Both Cuisia and Del Rosario were inutile officials all along.
This brings the discussion to Aquino. As the lord and master of Trillanes, Cuisia and Del Rosario, Aquino is also to blame for the mess in the West Philippine Sea. His failure to verify the truth of the information he got from his three alter egos shows that he improvidently wagered the national security of the Philippines in a gambling game which he knew the country cannot afford to lose.
Well, Aquino lost that wager and President Rodrigo Roa Duterte inherited the mess.
Today, Trillanes, Del Rosario and their gang of incompetent officials have the gall to accuse President Duterte of incompetence in handling the West Philippine Sea problem.
Credit belongs to : www.tribune.net.ph