|Admiral Alexander P. Pama (2nd from Left), flag officer-in- command of the Philippine Navy, awarded Lt. Col. Vladimir Mata (Extreme Right) of the Officer Reservist of the Year (Field Grade)|
***He told me and former congressman Ranjit Ramos Shahani (who treated us at the Japanese Restaurant Miki Yaki Bar) that he just received an award from the Philippine Navy (mother branch of the “Few, the Proud, the Marine) as an Officer Reservist of the Year (Field Grade) in an awarding rite where no less than Vice Admiral Alexander P. Pama, flag officer-in- command of the Navy giving it to him.
***Speaking of our fledgling navy ridiculously called a bathtub Navy in the East Asian region, don’t you know that our water force (99% water, one percent force) has benefited militarily on the spat between China and Japan over the disputed islands known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China? A news recently from the New York Times said for the first time since World War II the “great” Nippon will be giving the biggest bulk of its aid to the Philippines. In article written by Martin Fackler he said that “Our strategy is to offer hardware and training to create mini-Japanese coast guards and mini-Japanese Self-Defense Forces around the South China Sea,” said Tetsuo Kotani, a researcher at the Japan Institute of International Affairs in Tokyo. Under the decade-old civilian aid program to build up regional coast guards, Japanese officials say they are in the final stages of what would be their biggest security-related aid package yet — to provide the Philippine Coast Guard with 10 cutters worth about $12 million each (or a staggering P4.8 billion). Ministry officials say they may offer similar ships to Vietnam”.