Teresita Sy-Coson

[Vantage Point] Where does Tessie Sy-Coson’s allegiance lie?

Val A. Villanueva

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

[Vantage Point] Where does Tessie Sy-Coson’s allegiance lie?
Regarding China, the owner of the Philippines' largest malls says 'we cannot be too antagonistic'

A top executive of the conglomerate that owns and operates the biggest number of shopping malls in the Philippines is antsy these days.

Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chair of SM Investments Corporation and heiress of the late founder Henry Sy, is warning the Philippines to steer clear of the US-China conflict, saying that Filipinos stand to lose China as a trading partner.

The country, she said in this Bloomberg piece, should refrain from committing acts that could be interpreted by China as hostile. It is, she said, bad for business. Indeed, it is bad for business – hers. Of the 93 SM malls, 85 are located in the Philippines and eight are in China.

“China is very close to us, we cannot be too antagonistic,” Bloomberg quoted her as saying, as she urged the Marcos administration “not to be hostile towards its neighbor and steer clear of the US-China competition.”

This is where I should draw the line.

China’s hostile and illegal occupation of nearly all of the swath of West Philippine Sea is not about US-China competition. It is about China’s bullying of its Asian neighbors which own respective exclusive economic zones within the contested waters; and which the communist state claims are hers. China has repeatedly voiced out that it would never compromise. I believe that peaceful talks, while very much welcome, would only succeed if we concede.

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Ms. Sy-Coson was quiet when the previous president, Rodrigo Duterte, was giving away islets and shoals to China to please Premier Xi Jinping – islets and shoals that fall within the Philippines’ 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

She used her voice only to support China when the Philippines decided to assert its ownership over the area, prompting Gordon G. Chang, a prominent American lawyer of Chinese descent, to remark that the heiress is, in effect, “telling her country to surrender its islands to China.”

But does Ms. Sy-Coson consider the Philippines her country? She was certainly born and raised here, but her allegiance seems to belong to the People’s Republic of China.

Who is being hostile to whom?

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is being harassed by the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) each time it brings supply to its troops in Ayungin Shoal. The CCG bombards AFP ships with water cannons, primarily to humiliate our much smaller country in our own turf.

China’s arrogance rubs off on the CCG, currently the world’s largest coast guard. The CCG views our armed forces as having puny vessels, in and out of the water, and believes the Philippines cannot do anything about it.  

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Ayungin Shoal, a submerged reef in the Spratlys, is located 121 miles from the coast of Palawan, clearly within the Philippines’ EEZ, as affirmed by the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

The tribunal, based in The Hague, ruled that the nine-dash line used by China to justify its claim of ownership over 90% of the South China Sea, including Ayungin Shoal, has no basis under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),

China rejects the ruling, despite the fact that, like the Philippines, it is signatory to the convention. Even though it is 2,000 miles away, China maintains that its claim of ownership has historical basis, citing that shards of pottery found buried in the sand there are of Chinese origin.

If history were the basis, the Philippines has the greater claim. Studies made by paleoanthropologists, linguists, and geneticists show that the inhabitants of Hawaii, Guam, New Zealand, and all the islands in between and beyond are descendants of seafarers from the Philippines.

It is inconceivable that these Austronesian colonizers, the ancestors of today’s Filipinos, should settle in these far-away islands without reaching the islets and shoals only a hundred miles away from their coastal homes. In all probability, they’ve been using the whole South China as fishing grounds for millennia.

It is understandable that Ms. Sy-Coson should leave the Philippines in the lurch, given the financial interest at stake.

SM founder Henry Sy came to the Philippines penniless. He made his billions, his family claims, by dint of hard work, so any suggestion that he owes something to the country is not wholly accurate. Labor unions have said that he became rich by allegedly exploiting Filipino workers.

Since she is ethnically Chinese, it is not surprising that Mrs. Sy-Coson would cast her lot with China.

But the real traitors are senators Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Christopher “Bong” Go, and Robin Padilla, who are pushing China’s agenda – and the candidacy for president of Sara Duterte, who is an unabashedly and unapologetically pro-China. 

Dela Rosa and Go stand accused of crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court (ICC), along with former President Rodrigo Duterte and current Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte.

In mainstream media – if the Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) could be considered mainstream – incorrigible red-taggers and program hosts Lorraine Badoy and Jeffrey Celiz echo the anti-communism, anti-illegal drugs bugaboo spewed by remnants of the Duterte regime.

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Gaslighting in modern parlance

How could anybody not be against communism and illegal drugs? But these are a fascist’s talking points. Adolf Hitler employed the same tactic to great effect, although he used a more potent word to describe his pet peeve: Bolshevism.

The greatest supporter of totalitarianism are father-and-daughter Rodrigo and Sara Duterte.

During their terms as mayor, father and daughter turned Davao City into a rest-and-recreation spot for New People’s Army operatives. It was in the city where the communist guerrillas indulged their taste for decadent pleasures of the flesh: sex, good food, and alcohol, all paid for by billions in confidential funds.

But hold on. Aren’t father and daughter implacably anti-communist? Haven’t they spent billions of pesos year in and year out fighting insurgency?

In the final year of his presidency, Rodrigo Duterte requested for and obtained a budget of P28.1 billion for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), with Davao City, where Ms. Duterte was then mayor, getting the lion’s share of the fund.

Some quarters are alleging that the amount was used, not to run after communist insurgents, but to line the pockets of politicians, with Ms. Duterte as the biggest beneficiary. She was allocated P16.4 billion, almost three quarters of the NTF-ELCAC budget.

Compared to the previous year, the 2022 NTF-ELCAC budget was higher by P11 billion.

Had there been a surge of communist insurgency that made the fund increase necessary? Then-senator Franklin Drilon provided the answer. It was election season, and Ms. Duterte was running for president.

To her father’s dismay, though, Ms. Duterte settled for the vice presidency.

The NTF-ELCAC budget is separate and distinct from the P4.5 billion confidential fund Congress allocated every year for Mr. Duterte, again to rid the country of communist insurgency.

Communism in the Philippines is a spent force. The movement has deteriorated to become a criminal organization operating in the countryside, raking in millions a year by imposing the so-called revolutionary tax on businessmen and politicians alike.

There were no communists, except those who enjoyed Mr. Duterte’s protection. In other words, the anti-communist crusade, like the war on drugs, was a sham.

Ms. Duterte takes after her father. With just six months left to the year when she took her oath of office in June 2022 as vice president, she still managed to wangle P250 million in confidential fund from the national government. Since there was no appropriation for such a fund, how was she able to pull it off? 

Never mind answering that question. The Filipino people are more interested to know how Ms. Duterte spent the money, which the Commission on Audit said, was gone in 11 days. – Rappler.com


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  1. JD

    Blood will always be thicker than water. Although born and raised in the Philippines, by her statement (which sounded as if it originated from Beijing) it doesn’t take a mind-reader to figure out where Ms. Sy-Coson’s true allegiance lies. Disappointing but hardly surprising.

  2. ET

    Based on this another enlightening article from Mr. Val Villanueva, we can create a list of “alleged” traitors to the Republic, based on their Pro-China stance in the WPS issue: 1) VP Sara Duterte, 2) Former President Digong Duterte, 3) Senators Padilla, Bato, and Go, 4) Teresita Sy-Coson. Clarification: “Alleged” traitors to the Republic under the perspective of the China bullying of the AFP in the West Philippine Sea.

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