UP Periscope: In this (MR-2016-1) Issue – and more…

The Chairman and President of the Maritime League, then a Captain, was my former boss at the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, J2 and at the Philippine Embassy in WDC where he was the Defense Attaché. It came as no surprise, therefore, that he made me an offer to chair the Editorial Board of this publication.

“You won’t find a position like this, with the salary that comes with it you will hardly believe.” When Commodore Chuck Agustin said this matter-of-factly, he didn’t exactly sound like Don Vito Corleone, Mario Puzo’s Godfather. But no matter, it was an offer I simply could not refuse.

He was absolutely right. It’s an executive position at an unbelievable annual salary: P1.

Folks, that is not a typo. (As this is written, however, the offer has been sweetened, so to speak; that the salary will be increased next year to P2. Again, not a typo either).

Nonetheless, I did realize that this salary has to be earned. Thus, the reason for this regular feature, starting with this issue and issues of the Review to come; written most willingly, and, freely (translation: no talent fee).

There’s another reason. Our readers would appreciate a preview of what they will find in the pages that follow, like readers of many publications where the TOC, Table of Contents invariably comes with its twin ITI, “In This Issue;” one seemingly cannot exist without the other.

The imagery of a periscope, a forethought I must admit, is another reason, however flimsy or frivolous it may be to others.

And to allow for the option of covering other turf as well as to disabuse our reader’s mind from the notion that this is merely ‘notes on the side’ of our TOC, ‘- and more’ has been added to the title for good measure. And please don’t let the small caps deceive you.

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Arguably, no subject that easily comes to mind has gotten more ink and space in the Review since it was first published 22 years ago than the Spratlys and the conflict about it involving several countries, including the Philippines. When the Philippines won the first round of the arbitral case under UNCLOS, the decision to feature it as our cover story for this issue was virtually a no-brainer. And neither was the decision to ask Roilo Golez – Annapolis graduate, Navy officer, legislator and National Security Adviser, among many of his competency on the subject – to be the author of the lead article, therewith sharing with the Review, a presentation he made during the recently concluded High Level Conference on Maritime Security in East Asia in Tokyo, where he was one of the speakers that included Yasuhiro Nakasone, former Japanese Prime Minister.

The technical paper of Golez focuses on these: 1) US freedom of navigation patrols; 2) Arbitral tribunal case against China; and, 3) Militarization of China’s artificial islands.

On the other hand, author Ramon A. Paterno, a lawyer (UP, LL.B ’70; Harvard, LL.M ’75) writes from WDC where his job before retirement was Senior Counsel of the International Finance Corporation, a private sector affiliate of the World Bank Group. He zeroes in on the 2nd item, the Philippine-Chinese conflict, focusing on the arbitral case under the UNCLOS, United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea.

Maritime League Chairman and President Chuck Agustin is an authority on the subject, having presided in his past military and civilian assignments, particularly as PCG Commandant and NDCP President, over discussions, formal and informal, on the subject, writing a number of articles about it in the Review. It was our original plan to dig into our archives for these and other articles, and use them as sidebars for our cover story. Space limitations, however, constrained us to shelve that plan.

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Maritime League Chairman and President Chuck Agustin is an authority on the subject, having presided in his past military and civilian assignments, particularly as PCG Commandant and NDCP President, over discussions, formal and informal, on the subject, writing a number of articles about it in the Review. It was our original plan to dig into our archives for these and other articles, and use them as sidebars for our cover story. Space limitations, however, constrained us to shelve that plan.

ooooo

Our readers may not notice a subtle change in our TOC, Table Of Contents. We have chosen a TOC by “departments,” in lieu of the “traditional” TOC by sequential pages.

Thus, along with our regulars – Maritime Calendar, the Maritime League and Maritime Forum – and a Special Feature on Captain Sibala’s 15 minutes (plus) of fame, we have our cover story under Maritime Law (although it could be argued, that the twin articles could pass for Maritime Security or Defense); Shift Lanes to Save the Whales under Marine Environment; Come Ride the Floating Bus under Transportation; Catamaran Design under Maritime Architecture; and, APEC/APEX under Defense.

The cover design is the first for the Review by Cleo Erfe, a retired Navy captain whose last job before retirement was Naval Attaché at the Philippine Embassy in WDC. An artist by avocation, and, occasionally by provocation when he’d rather be playing golf or playing with his first grandchild, he was “volunteered” to do the design and to do it freely (again in the Review’s parlance, no talent fee) by someone who has availed pro bono of his artistic talent all the way from their days at PMA – someone who has requested to remain anonymous but has assured us this won’t be last cover design of Cleo Erfe; in fact, that someone has hopes that if and when Cleo settles down in the Philippines after decades of domicile in the US, he would join the Review “freely.”

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MR 16-1. That’s the identification given to this maiden issue, the first for calendar year 2016, following a scheme set in stone from Day One of this publication; institutionalized over the years by none other than the Maritime League Chairman and President himself who has nurtured through the last two decades, the triumvirate, the “maritime triangle:” Maritime League at the top, and, the two at its base: this Maritime Review and the Maritime Breakfast Forum that will be on its 24th year – see the Proceedings of MBFs 105 and 106 in the inside pages.

Coincidentally, this is also the maiden issue of the current Executive Editor: VVM, Vicky Viray Mendoza, Vicky or Vixen, to her family, associates, and close friends. The daughter of a PMA alumnus, Wilfredo D. Viray (USNA ‘56) and PN officer, she assumes her position with an impressive resume. She is a retired veteran of the World Bank Group HQ in Washington DC, having served 11 years in IBRD and 15 years in IFC, and, in her own word, “survived.” Her main expertise is in operations research, analysis and evaluation at various levels (project, corporate, sector, country, and region). She has written several country impact evaluation reports for the Board; served as lead analyst for various sector evaluation studies; and performed corporate and project level evaluations, as well as technical assistance evaluations. But her favorite of them all is the maritime transport sector.

Vicky earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Maryland in 2009; a post graduate diplomate in international finance and global markets from the Georgetown University in 2000; and another master’s degree in public administration from the George Washington University in 1997. For her undergraduate studies, she majored in BSC Business Management, BSC Accounting, and AAS Entrepreneurship (1977-81) at Assumption College San Lorenzo, Makati, Philippines.

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The Maritime League Chairman and President recently approved the addition of three members to the Editorial Board to join the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, yours truly and Rear Admiral Querico V. Evangelista: Commodore Mariano Sontillanosa; Rear Admiral Emilio Marayag; and, Captain Tomas Baino, all retired PN officers. The root of the decision we’re confident wasn’t prompted by “the more the merrier,” rather, by the other cliché, “strength in numbers,” and if so, that decision puts the Review in stronger hands.

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As we move in the months ahead towards MRs 16-2, -3, -4, -5 & -6 (yes we will have, unlike last year, a November- December issue), we are guardedly optimistic that the Review will continually aspire for and achieve its goal of being more relevant to the Philippine maritime community and to its readership as well. Toward this end, we would appreciate hearing from them: the feedback, the give-andtake, if you will, we consider indispensable to a dynamic publication such as the Review, as it is to others.

The Review is but a few key strokes and an email away from your laptop to ours; a Letter to the Editor, that VVM (vvm@maritimeleague.com) would just be delighted to have in her hands.

@waga2016

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