China Is Ready For Escalation Of Philippine Standoff

Fu Ying, the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister, said Beijing was fully prepared for an escalation of a drawn-out maritime standoff with the Philippines, as a tense row over a disputed shoal continues.

“The Chinese side has… made all preparations to respond to any escalation of the situation by the Philippine side,” she told a Philippine diplomat in Beijing Monday, according to a statement posted on the foreign ministry website Tuesday.

The two countries have been locked in a territorial row over the disputed Scarborough Shoal — or Huangyan Island in Chinese — in the South China Sea for one month, with both sides sending ships to the area in a tense standoff.

It is one of the most high-profile flare-ups in recent years between the two countries over their competing territorial claims to parts of the South China Sea, which is believed to sit atop vast oil and gas deposits.

The row erupted on April 8 when Chinese vessels blocked a Philippine warship from arresting crews of Chinese fishing boats off the shoal, which both countries claim as their own.

Currently, four Chinese surveillance ships and 10 fishing boats have anchored off the disputed shoal, facing off with two Philippine coast guard ships and a fisheries bureau vessel.

On Monday, Fu called Alex Chua, charge the affaires at the Philippine embassy in China, to make a “serious representation” over the situation, according to the statement.

“It is obvious that the Philippine side has not realized that it is making serious mistakes and instead is stepping up efforts to escalate tensions,” she told him.

Lea Salonga helps raise P9.3M in Hawaii for cyclone victims

Lea Salonga has lifted up the image of Filipinos through her artistic achievements. She did it one more time for leading Filipino volunteers in Hawaii in raising millions of pesos for victims of recent cyclones in the Philippines.

Philippine officials in Hawaii thanked world-renowned Salonga and Filipino volunteers there for raising more than P9.299 million for victims of recent tropical cyclones Ondoy (Ketsana) and Pepeng (Parma).

Hawaii Councilman Romeo Cachola, Vice Speaker Michael Magaoay and Senator Robert Bunda gave Certificates of Appreciation to Salonga for enhancing the prestige and image of Filipinos through her artistic achievements and for her humanitarian contribution to the typhoon relief drive, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

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New Guinness record for RP: Most killings in 2004

The Philippines has made it to this year’s “Guinness Book of World Records” for having the most number of recorded murders based on United Nations data in 2004, an election year.

Sen. Richard Gordon revealed yesterday the country’s inclusion in the widely published records list and expressed concern that it might further tarnish the country’s image.

Elections in the country are usually characterized by political violence, although there had been relatively few poll-related killings in 2004, at least based on official estimates.

“We should shudder at this world record because it shows that the best legacy our generation will leave behind is our reputation for succeeding at killing people rather than making our country safe,” Gordon said in a statement.

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R&D as stimulus

Part 1

These days, the economic policies of the late American economist John Maynard Keynes seem to be in vogue again. Keynesian economics, which advocates the role of government in strongly stimulating the market, is back in favor after the proponents of laissez faire (free market) economics (e.g. The Austrian School, etc.) have fallen into disfavor. Former advocates of the free market’s ability to police itself like former US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan are now ducking for cover.

So now that Keynesian economics is back, I would like to talk about how the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) plans to effect a stimulus of our local (almost nonexistent) technology sector, through a boost in our R&D spending. Senator Edgardo Angara of COMSTE has often stated in his talks and articles these days that we should view this dark cloud of the worldwide recession as a chance to grow our local technology industries, creating jobs in the process.

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