Deadly Manila Floods–George Shultz Is Still Killing Filipinos
This article appears in the November 6, 2009 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
PDF version of this articleDeadly Manila Floods: George Shultz Is Still Killing Filipinos
Deadly Manila Floods–George Shultz Is Still Killing Filipinos
by Michael Billington
“ Some are saying [the flooding of Manila] is an act of God. It’s not. It’s neglect on the part of the government. We’ve told government all along this would happen, because of the flooding the same month in 1970. Because the recommendation was not heeded, what occurred was virtually a massacre. ”
— Urban planner and architect Felino Palafox, who helped design flood control measures under President Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s
Oct. 31—The February 1986 military coup against Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, as EIR reported at the time, and has subsequently documented in great detail, was carried out under the sponsorship and direction of U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, with help from his deputy Paul Wolfowitz, Henry Kissinger, and AIG CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, among others. Shultz, in fact, brags in his autobiography of his successful imperial conquest, behind the back of his boss, President Ronald Reagan. His purpose: to set a horrible example for the developing nations, that the United States was no longer a nation-builder, but was joining the British Empire in a policy of keeping the world in forced backwardness, as a source of cheap raw materials and cheap labor for the new imperialism, to be called “globalization.”
The first acts of the puppet President placed in power by Shultz’s coup, Cory Aquino, included:
Scrapping the fully completed, but never activated, Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, produced by Westinghouse, the first nuclear power station in the developing world, and a powerful symbol of progress and decolonization. Aquino was even forced to agree that the Philippines would pay the entire cost of the unused plant;
Scrapping the Marcos industrialization programs;
Scrapping the “Green Revolution” launched by Marcos, which had made the Philippines self-sufficient in rice for the first time in its history, while helping to lift millions of farmers out of poverty. EIR has now learned, thanks in part to public revelations by Felino Palafox, an urban planner who helped to design the flood-control projects and policies in the 1970s for President Marcos, that these plans, if fully implemented, would have largely prevented the devastation visited on the people of the Philippines by Typhoon Ondoy, which struck Manila on Sept. 26, 2009—devastation which is continuing today in the form of disease and mass dislocation of the wretched poor of Manila.
Why were the flood-control plans not completed? Like the Bataan Nuclear Plant and the Green Revolution, these projects would have pulled the Philippines out of its status as a semi-colonial, dependent nation, and improved the welfare of its people. It is for precisely this reason that Shultz and his British imperialminded cohorts brought down the Marcos regime.
The Marcos Water-Management Program
Following devastating floods in 1970 caused by a series of typhoons, Marcos established new institutions to prevent a recurrence. Two primary policies were established: Prevent urban sprawl (both housing and squatters) in areas prone to flooding and incapable of sustaining adequate sewage systems; and build a system of sluice gates and spillways to quickly divert threatening floodwaters from the city.
The water-management program included four major projects for diverting floodwaters from the Marikina River, which flows from the Sierra Madre Mountains into Manila, joining the Pasig River, and draining into Manila Bay. Floodwaters from the Marikina were to be diverted into Laguna de Bay, a large lake adjacent to Manila, with a spillway to the ocean. The first three parts were completed in 1983, 1984, and 1986, the year of the coup against Marcos. The fourth and final part—the spillway from Laguna de Bay to Manila Bay, in case the lake overflowed in a massive flood—was one of the many projects with the name “Marcos” attached to it, that were scrapped by President Aquino, on behalf of her sponsors in London and Washington. When the super-flood caused by Ondoy hit in September, Laguna de Bay overflowed, entirely because the final necessary project, the spillway to the ocean, was never constructed (Figure 1).
A study by Palafox in 1977 warned that allowing squatters or housing construction in the areas prone to flooding would prove disastrous in a major flood. The Metro Manila Commission, chaired by First Lady Imelda Marcos (who had also been elected governor of Metro Manila), began implementing the Palafox plans, until Shultz’s assets took over in 1986.
Manila Today: Devastation
The picture of Manila today, even before the floods, is a disgrace and a blotch on the honor of the United States. Fully 20% of the Manila population, or over half a million families, are squatters, living along railroad tracks, sewage canals, and creeks throughout the city. An estimated 400,000 squatters lived on the banks of Laguna de Bay. Not only were their dwellings wiped out, but the wreckage of the dwellings themselves clogged the inadequate drainage channels from the lake.
The flood inundated 80% of Metro Manila and several other provinces. Hundreds were killed in the flood itself, and hundreds more from leptospirosis, a killer disease spread by rat urine in floodwater. The city has virtually no means to pump the water out, and today, six weeks after the flood, large portions of the city are still flooded, with estimates that the situation will last through January!
A second typhoon hit the far northern provinces of the Philippines just days after Ondoy, causing killer mudslides and more flooding. Between the two floods, an estimated 4 million people lost their homes. Among the nearly 1,000 dead was a longstanding member of the Philippines LaRouche Society, Glenn Narez, a healthy and dedicated young man who was killed by leptospirosis after being forced to wade through floodwaters for two weeks. Approximately 13% of the nation’s rice crop was destroyed by the storms and floods. Not only is the Philippines no longer self-sufficient in rice, it is now the world’s largest rice importer. The global rice panic last year saw desperate Filipinos in emergency rice lines for several weeks. While the panic has subsided for now, the Social Weather Station reports that hunger, which affected about 15% of the population during the 2004-08 period, as of June 2009, had spiked to 20.3%. With the ongoing collapse of the world financial system and world trade, a new global food crisis is inevitable, just as the Philippines is forced to go to the world markets for hundreds of thousands of tons of grain.
The blood on the hands of George Shultz is getting thicker and thicker as time goes by. It is time to reverse this man-made disaster, and return the Philippines, and the United States, to the principles which President Franklin D. Roosevelt promoted for both our nations (see John Morris, “The FDR Tradition in the Philippines,” http://www.schillerinstitute.org/educ/hist/araneta.html), and which Lyndon LaRouche is promoting today.