Chairman’s Page

The Haunting Fake News

As I was thinking of how to start this topic, I came across an article written by Cheyenne MacDonald for the London Daily Mail (based on a study published in the journal Geology) that was forwarded to me about 6 months ago (I have a file on things of interest) on The Five Great Extinction Events: Five times, a vast…

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Learning from Korea

On invitation from the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, former DILG Sec Rafael M Alunan and I took on a very enlightening journey to revisit the Republic of Korea and review anew the various conditions and characteristics that surround the tremendous progress and development of that great country. The visit was arranged by ROK Ambassador to the PH Kim Jae…


Is it time to create a Department for Maritime Affairs?

During the 120th Maritime Forum held at the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific where we were once again awed by the progress and development of that excellent institution founded by AMOSUP Chairman Capt Greg Oca and nurtured by its President, VADM Eduardo Ma R Santos, I asked the Forum to remember former Senator Leticia R Shahani, likewise an…


Time to Reactivate Naval Station Bicobian

An Order was issued proclaiming a Naval Reservation at Bicobian, Isabela by former President Ferdinand Marcos after the Karagatan incident wherein the CPA/NPA/NDF landed some 500 M14 rifles (made in China) on a fishing boat that ran aground at Digoyo Point, Isabela due to rough seas in mid-1972. I later got ordered to move the RPS Iloilo (PS32) from Northern…


The Pentagon’s ‘Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure’

A colleague recently sent me an article written by Matthew Gault about a “hilarious — and infuriating — database of the government’s ethical shortcomings”.  An earlier version of this story was published in November 2014 by the magazine War Is Boring. Just like in the infamous “Laglag Bala” scandal involving personnel of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the Department…


Underscoring Waterfront Infrastructure Development Needs

In 2010, I wrote a 4-part series in 4 issues of this magazine entitled “Extended Waterfront Development Needed”, highlighting my own vision of government inability to develop infrastructure to address transport, commercial and tourism needs in the coastal areas. I started dabbling on these after President Fidel V Ramos approved the 25-year rolling master plan that we at PPA proposed…


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Maritime Wish List for the Duterte Administration

The administration of President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte has started with a bang! (No pun intended) Not one, but quite a few. It has impressed many, and may I say, including myself, who did not know him very well, and whose promises did not affect me when we first met during an AGFO fellowship at Camp Aguinaldo last year, before he…


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Strategy: National Security Scenarios for Post-Election Period

In the 112th Maritime Forum, I responded positively to the proposal of a former Undersecretary of National Defense, Atty. Fernando Campos to discuss Strategy. He suggested discussing “National Security Scenarios for the post-election period.” Campos was also a former Governor of Cavite and a former Congressman of Cavite. He sent me his discussion paper, THE BIRTH OF A NEW PHILIPPINES:…



The Sinking of SS Corregidor

Looking for an idea for this issue’s column, I reviewed my e-mail files and came across what a friend and classmate, Capt. Frank Bessenger USN (Ret) sent me in April 2011. He recalled his last tour of duty working for the late VADM John D. Bulkeley, USN as a member of the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) in Washington,…



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Reinventing Maritime History

Many columnists from time to time mention the observation that we are a ‘fractured nation’ for many reasons. For one, some say that we suffer from colonial mentality, that we forgot our roots and readily accepted what our colonial masters dished out to us. On the other hand, there is an opposite syndrome, and that is to falsely claim historical…



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Koji Sekimizu of Japan is new IMO Secretary General

Mr. Koji Sekimizu of Japan, who is currently Director of IMO’s Maritime Safety Division has been elected as the Secretary- General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), for a 4-year term effective 1 January 2012. Sekimizu edged out five other candidates, including our own Neil Frank Ferrer and the nominees of the Re- public of Korea, Spain, USA and Cyprus….


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The Philippine Navy should plan to procure locally now

In the last issue we talked about the departure of the Philippine Navy contingent that was going to San Diego in connection with the PN’s acquiring the USCG Cutter Hamilton and some concerns expressed by some in the PN forum interested in development of the Navy. The update on this is that the PN contingent would take over officially on…


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Extended Waterfront Development Needed: Part IV

In a third issue I outlined three more issues that have not been addressed from a macro viewpoint: The Manila Bay-Cavite Wetlands, Pollution, solid waste and sewage control, and Solving the solid waste dilemma: the Tokyo Bay and other models. I now wish to address a project that I might con- sider close to my heart, having been the General…