eastwind MINI-EDITORIALS Volume 2
Miracle of the Sun Stuns South Cotabato Witnesses
Is China Manipulating Duterte?
by Bernie V. Lopez, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com
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Matalam, South Cotabato. The Mediatrix Miracle of the Pulsating Sun occurred on December 13, 2017 at the Shrine of Our Lady Mediatrix of All Grace after a concelebrated mass led by Kidapawan Bishop Colin Bagaforo. A first hand witness said the sun became bright and dim intermittently, pulsating with the corona changing to different colors.
WATCH IT ON YOUTUBE. Please note that, in spite of the poor visual quality, the audio reveals the screams of the stunned viewers – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXSnayC6nI8&feature=youtu.be
Fatiima is surprisingly linked to Lipa. The two miracles of the sun, at Fatima and Lipa, occurred EXACTLY 100 years apart, at about the same time in the early afternoon, on the Centennial of the Fatima (Source – fatima-miracle). Also, Anacleta Trivino witnessed the Mediatrix statue in Lipa shed tears when Fatima visionary Lucia was dying. (Source – The Wonders of Lipa, by Dr. Francisco Villanueva, Jr.).
The link between Fatima and Lipa has vast geopolitical implications, related to Saint John Paul II’s Ecclesia in Asia, which cites three phases in global evangelization – the First Millennium (31 AD or Christ’s death to 1000 AD), in the Old World, the Second Millennium (1001 to 2000 AD), in the New World, and the Third Millennium (2001 to 3000 AD), in Asia.
Although the Mediatrix devotion had its origins in Belgium in the 1930s, and used by Catholic bishops in China in 1946, it was in Lipa where the first miracles occurred – the apparitions and the shower of rose petals bearing religious images. Pope Francis embraced the Mediatrix statue during his visit to Tacloban. Pope Francis looks up to the Philippines, the only Christian nation in Asia, to lead the Third Millennium thrust.
CLARIFICATION. In the first investigation, the Vatican declared  the Lipa apparitions as ‘not of supernatural origin’, but, together with the CBCP, declared that THE DEVOTION IS ALLOWED. When the investigation was questioned, a second one was conducted, which is again being questioned. A third investigation is brewing. Satan works hard thru unbelievers and doubters because he knows the Mediatrix is critical to Pope Francis’ Third Millennium thrust. Today, the Mediatrix devotion spreads rapidly in spite of Vatican concerns.
Duterte did not have to jeopardize our territorial rights in Benham Rise and Spratley in exchange for multi-billion trade deals with China. First, those deals  are still mostly on paper, and have to be realized. Second, we can have trade deals with Russia, EU, and Australia.
Duterte turned a blind eye when China ignored the international court at The Hague. The vast implication, although not his intent, was that he was virtually giving up territory for trade, that is why China loves him. He was sending out this bad signal to the whole world.
Right now, Duterte wants a deal with China on joint exploration of oil-gas in disputed territories. But he has less bargaining leverage because of that. In poker, they call ‘sign of weakness’. When your body language shows you have poor cards, other bettors know it and pounce on you.
A deal between the Philippines as ‘landowner’ and China as ‘tenant’ is the best solution towards peace, not the US carriers saber-rattling around our Reed Bank. It is actually now in process. The Philex-CNOOC deal, the game changer, the catalyst, is being worked out. Fingers crossed.
China is in a position of strength, and Duterte is in total subservience, ready to be manipulated, because he showed weakness. Negotiation is one sided. China can do anything it wants in the Benham Rise and Spratleys. If Duterte stood his ground, we perhaps could have had both trade booms and our territories respected all at once. Duterte jeopardized prematurely our territorial rights without a fight.We should envy the Vietnamese, who are not afraid of China. And China knows it, so there is room for negotiations.
When China put up an oil rig 200 nautical miles from the Vietnamese shore, Vietnam sent patrol boats. They had daily skirmishes. Then Vietnam launched an  effective nationwide boycott of Chinese goods. China backed down. The oil rig was withdrawn eventually – too much risk for China to spend millions on an oil rig that Vietnam had the balls to shoot down anytime. All this happened without US intervention.
We do not have any balls to face China, and China knows it. That makes a lot of difference. We have  to show some BELLIGERENCE to get a bargaining leverage. China uses trade as a weapon against us. When we filed the case at The Hague, China withdrew shiploads of banana imports from Mindanao, which was flooded with free bananas. If we send a warship to Benham, China will boycott our goods. In Vietnam, it was the opposite. The Vietnamese boycotted Chinese goods. China can still push us around agriculturally but not as much if Duterte stood his ground.
Duterte crony ex-Mayor Lito Atienza issued a hyperbolic statement claiming 300,000 jobs for Filipinos, and Chinese military assistance. Are these just talk and PR or reality? He is strengthening our subservience by talking that way. The faster we get an actual exploration deal with China, even if it is a bit one-sided one, the faster we avoid a military US-China confrontation. Bread pre-empts bullets. If there is an accidental war, Filipinos are the ultimate losers, not the Americans nor Chinese.
It is not too late for Duterte to acquire belligerence and tell China we want a deal but we want our territories respected. If they encroach, let the world know this is an incursion not an ‘agreement’. If they boycott our goods, there are other takers. China knows it cannot push Vietnam around just like that. China and Vietnam have been at war for centuries. We should adopt the belligerence of Vietnam, but we have to be ready to get some flak.
by Bernie V. Lopez, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com
Freelance columnist/journalist/blogger
Inquirer * Rappler * ex-Bus World * ex-Mla Times * ex-Mla Chronicle
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