Published on Tuesday, 03 July 2012 00:00Written by REY O. ARCILLA
By A Web design Company
‘China’s immense wealth and consequent great power and influence have made her the bully that she now appears to be.’
UNDOUBTEDLY, it is her immense wealth and consequent great power and influence on world affairs that have made China the bully that she is turning out to be, an accusation that she used to level in the past against Western imperialists. Her recent successful ventures into outer space and the deepest part of the sea must have also added to her already brimming national pride and confidence.
Nonetheless, I think China overstepped the line when she warned us about the establishment of a public kindergarten school in Kalayaan town on Pagasa Island in the West Philippine Sea. Kalayaan is a municipality of Palawan province. Our people have been living there since the early ‘70s with nary a whimper from anyone, including China.
The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said we should “refrain from taking any measure that will complicate and exacerbate the current situation and affect peace and stability in the South China Sea.”
Putting up a kindergarten school will do that??
Come on, get real, please! Stop making such statements that “complicate and exacerbate the current situation and affect peace and stability in the West Philippine Sea”!
And may I ask – how about the reported deployment of Chinese combat patrol ships to the Spratly Islands in the West Philippine Sea? That will not “complicate, exacerbate and affect peace and stability”? Please…!
A close friend advised me to be “elegant” in criticizing Foreign Secretary Albert “Amboy” del Rosario for his latest blooper, nay, blunder is the more appropriate word this time. Sorry, my friend. Try as I might, I am that not much of a wordsmith to do as you suggest.
Last Monday, June 25, Del Rosario said that China has pulled out all its vessels from Scarborough Shoal.
“Based on coordination with the Philippines and China, as of two days ago, we have received information that all boats have left the lagoon in Bajo de Masinloc,” he said.
Less than 24 hours later, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Navy chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama, belied Del Rosario’s statement that all Chinese boats had left the Shoal. They never did, according to the two.
When asked about Del Rosario’s statement, Gazmin replied: “We don’t want to react to that but what we are giving you is the factual operational report.” Ay, ano ba ‘yan?!
According to Del Rosario his information was “based on coordination with the Philippines and China”. Well, the Philippines belied his claim and China never even commented on it. So, where was he coming from? Is he on to something of which President Noynoy Aquino and Gazmin know nothing about? Or is it the other way around?
And Del Rosario didn’t even bother to issue a clarification, much less apologize, for his blunder. He hied off to Japan Tuesday with nary a word and came back only last Friday. Ironically, he went to the land of cherry blossoms that is known for its officials, both in government and the private sector, to quit or commit hara-kiri for such mistakes. No, Madonna, I am not suggesting anything. In this country, there are no such species, particularly those who are in power and are wallowing in wealth, ill-gotten or otherwise. Whose fault? Ours, Madonna. Many of our people even idolize and put them on a pedestal. Am I right or am I right?
Noynoy said that if the Chinese do not pull out their vessels in Scarborough Shoal, he will send back our ships to the area. When is he going to do that? The Chinese never pulled out and the weather has cleared. So what’s keeping him from doing so? The Philippine Navy said it is ready to go back anytime Noynoy gives the order.
As his defense secretary publicly acknowledged, the absence of our vessels at the Shoal weakened the country’s claim of sovereignty in the area.
Surely, Noynoy must know that too.
A lawyer-friend says a client of his was asking him what the present government policy was with respect to the deployment of OFWs to Iraq. I suggested he call the DFA. He said he did and was told that since Alert Level 3 was still in place in Iraq, the ban on deployment of workers to that country remains.
“But how come workers are reportedly being deployed to the so-called Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Isn’t the KRG part of Iraq?” he asked.
“Strictly speaking, I suppose it is. It is just an autonomous region of the country. Then again, they may have lifted Alert Level 3 for the KRG. Why don’t you check?” I said.
He said he did and was told that while Del Rosario exempted KRG from Alert Level 3, he does not want it to be exempted from the deployment ban which is meant for all of Iraq; that deployment cannot commence for KRG because Iraq is negatively certified under RA10022 as being non-compliant with our labor standards since it has no labor laws; and that deployment bans cannot be applied to only parts of a country.
I then asked my lawyer-friend if he had checked with DOLE and POEA. He said he had and was told that both agencies are aware of the matter; that a team from POEA in fact went to KRG; that a KRG team came to Manila; and that two high-ranking DFA officials who are aware of the situation allegedly received the KRG team.
If what my friend was saying is true and I have no doubt that it is, was Del Rosario aware of these goings-on? If not, he may wish to summon the DFA officials concerned.
In this connection, I am curious why Del Rosario or his favorite future ex-undersecretary for administration, Rafael Seguis, has not recommended the appointment of an ambassador to Iraq. Is it because of the security situation in that country? Can the situation in Iraq be possibly more dangerous than the one in Syria where we have just appointed an ambassador? Hmm….
Del Rosario should initiate an investigation of the reported anomaly in the production of passports. It appears that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and its contractor Oberthur Technologies Philippines have been supplying defective and substandard passports to the DFA and, in the process, shortchanging the public and raking in a huge profit.
While at it, Del Rosario should also initiate an investigation of the alleged anomaly in the lease-purchase of the building that now houses the DFA’s consular office on Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay. The agreement was supposed to have been entered into by his predecessor with the Development Bank of the Philippines. I have raised this matter in previous columns but no action has been taken so far by Del Rosario.
I am beginning to think that Del Rosario is not a believer of Noynoy’s “daang matuwid.” He has also decided not to help the DFA personnel to recover their contributions to the DFA Personnel Association which its past president has not turned over to the new one. Del Rosario allegedly claims that it is a private matter between the personnel and the former president of the Association.
My foot! The subject of the complaint is a DFA staff member. As DFA head, it is his duty to “persuade” this staffer who, incidentally, is under suspension for another offense, to do the right thing or else… He has that power but he wouldn’t use it for reasons known only to him.
Reminders (for Noynoy’s action):
1) Filing of charges against officials of the National Food Administration (NFA) during Arroyo’s illegitimate regime. Noynoy himself said on several occasions that there is documentary evidence to prove the venalities in the past in that agency; 2) investigation of reported anomalies in the GSIS during the watch of Winston Garcia; 3) facilitating the investigation of rampant corruption in the military and police establishments; and 4) expeditious action by the AFP on the case of Jonas Burgos.
Some readers have labeled Noynoy’s inaction on the foregoing items as “noynoying” (sitting on them). I think the more appropriate term is “dini-dedma lang” (ignoring, unconcerned, indifferent).
He should be told by his advisers that his inaction and seeming indifference on these matters will catch up with him sooner or later.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW), for instance, has accused Noynoy of failing on his promise to prosecute those responsible for human rights abuses during his and Gloria Arroyo’s watch. (Based in New York, HRW is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of more than 280 staff members around the globe.)
“The Aquino government has not successfully prosecuted a single case of extrajudicial killing or enforced disappearance, including those committed during his presidency,” HRW said.
The first of these cases that comes to mind is Jonas Burgos’, item No. 4 above.
When will these unfortunate victims and their families see the light of day in their seemingly futile quest for justice? Mr. President. It has already been two years since you made your promise.
Today is the 59th day of the sixth year of Jonas Burgos’ disappearance.
From an internet friend:
- When a woman says “What?”, it’s not because she didn’t hear you. She’s giving you a chance to change what you said.
- The speed with which a woman says “nothing” when asked “what’s wrong?” is inversely proportional to the severity of the shitstorm that’s coming.
- When you really want to slap someone, do it and say “Mosquito!”.