Know how the BJE serves US geo-political interests
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2008-08-12
The Information Gap accounts for much of the exploitation Filipinos suffer from — the sorry state of being utterly clueless when it comes to the conspiracies and mechanisms that perpetuate the Wealth Gap.

Those who are most bewildered by the sudden emergence of the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) that was almost inked by the GRP-MILF panel last week could never figure out as to how that came about. So many conjectures have been heard in commentaries, editorials and coffee shop forums. Still, many do not have an inkling of the real forces at play in the BJE.

Because many of them hardly saw US operatives maneuvering behind the scenes, they concluded that the US could not be really taking an active stance in this development. This conforms to the idiotic thinking that what one does not see cannot be.

Yet to those who have factored the US interest in the equation, they find it the most clarifying element that reveals the whole picture of the puzzle. By inputting the US interest in the equation, they are now able to appreciate how the BJE evolved.

Thus, it is imperative that we detail the US interest in the BJE so that Filipinos will understand how they are soon about to lose a very rich and strategic part of defined Philippine territory under the present Constitution.

China and oil

If one sees the invasion of Iraq and the effort to start a war with Iran as US maneuvers to control the remaining big reserves of oil with the corollary objective of checking China (which is a projected foe in US geo-political planning), then it is easy to see why the US will want to also have a strategic presence in the BJE.

Of the approximately 1,317.4 billion barrels (bb) of the world’s oil reserves (source: Oil & Gas Journal, December 18, 2006 ), the US has a mere 21.8 bb, China has 16 bb, Saudi Arabia 282.3 bb. Iran has oil reserves of 136.3 bb while Iraq has 115 bb. Iran and Iraq combined have bigger oil reserves than Saudi Arabia .

Based on its current annual production, the same source projects these vital oil reserves to be exhausted, as follows:

1. US — 11 years

2. China — 14 years

3. Iran — 83 years

4. Iraq — 168 years

So, do you still want to believe that the US invaded Iraq because of Saddam Hussein and is now poised to attack Iran over its nuclear development program?

By no coincidence, the BJE, especially that Southern tip of Palawan that was suddenly included, happen to be located in the very area that will provide control of the shipping lanes in the South China Sea where Middle East oil passes on its route to China . Not factoring at all the oil in the area, it becomes a military strategic priority to be able to choke China from its Middle East oil sources.

However, the area is more than just strategic in case armed conflict erupts with China . Per the Global Security website, the Spratly and Paracel Island alone are estimated to have 105 bb of oil. The whole South China Sea is estimated to have 213 bb of oil with a projected capacity to produce 1.9 million barrels a day (compared to Iraq ’s production of 1.88 million barrels a day).

And this does not even factor the rich mineral resources of the BJE which China also needs very badly to fuel its economy.

The US initiative

A paper that Filipinos must read is the US State Department Philippine Facilitation Project (2003 — 2007) which is available at the United States Institute of Peace ( website.

This Philippine Facilitation Project was initiated in February 2003 after US President George W. Bush received the January 2003 letter of MILF Chief Hashim Salamat. I even suspect that Salamat’s letter was written upon the suggestion of the US itself in order to attain a formal entry point — an invitation to intervene — in the GRP-MILF negotiations.

The stated goals of the Philippine Facilitation Project are: For the US State Department to facilitate GRP-MILF peace negotiations “in coordination with the government of Malaysia ” and “To determine whether any agreement reached was viable enough for the US government to commit its support during the implementation phase.”

Appointed senior advisers were four former US Ambassadors to the Philippines (Richard Murphy, Stephen Bosworth, Frank Wisner and Richard Solomon) who all worked under Chester Crocker and Gen. Anthony Zimmi.

Included in the agenda are:

1. Economic rehabilitation of conflict areas (read: tap all the rich resources in the BJE)

2. Security (read: secure US strategic military presence)

3. Resolution of ANCESTRAL DOMAIN ISSUES (now you know where that term came from)

US participation was premised on the “Global War on Terror” — the very same cover for the invasion of Iraq .

US Ambassador Kristie Kenney denies these US initiatives that led to the BJE. How can the head of State Secretary Condi Rice’s team in the Philippines not be aware of a State Department Philippine Project of such strategic importance to US interests?

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