‘Special (?) relationship’

0By Rey O. Arcilla
Malaya

duterte-and-trumpIN the beginning, he didn’t want her in his team. But some of his advisers argued that it would be better to have her, perhaps citing the old adage “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”.

And so, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte aka Digong invited Vice President Leni Robredo to join his team as housing czarina. She readily accepted, profusely thanked him and vowed to support his administration.

But being the novice politician that she is, Robredo forgot to abide by the number one rule for being a member of any team – you must be a team player. It simply means you follow the team plays set by the coach. Otherwise, out you go.

And that’s what happened to Robredo. She was fired by Coach Digong for criticizing publicly, among others, his campaign against the drug menace, the restoration of the death penalty and his decision to allow the burial of Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

She should have quit first before denouncing his policies! But she did not. She thought she could have her cake and eat it too?!

Naturally, it came as no surprise to practically everyone when Digong fired Robredo. And that was how it was. No two ways about it. He fired her, period!

As expected, the conscripted media mostly owned by the elites and oligarchs in our midst, the so-called opposition and the Yellowtards insisted she resigned. Pray tell, did she have a choice after she was told to stop attending Cabinet meetings which, no matter how one looks at it, was tantamount to firing her?

Shortly after she was forced to resign, Robredo sought an audience with Digong supposedly to explain her side but was humiliatingly ignored. Serves her right. That’s what she should have done in the first place before mouthing and demonstrating in public her opposition to Digong’s policies.

And now, she is saying she would have wanted to stay in the cabinet. That’s dumb!

At least now, they belong to the “Mutual Support Society”. Digong assured Robredo she will finish her term as vice president. She said she is confident he will also.

I think both statements are gratuitous.

***

For three days running, Digong couldn’t stop gushing over his very brief 7-minute telephone conversation with US President-elect Donald Trump.

Based on his accounts, it would seem he had a lengthier chat with Trump. Nonetheless, it is obvious he was elated by Trump’s purported support for his war on drugs. Rightly so. Who wouldn’t when somebody expresses support for someone like him who desperately wants to make life better for his people and the future generation?

A word of caution though – Trump is not yet president of the US. He has not even finished forming his cabinet. The policies he will eventually adopt as president to promote his country’s national interest have not yet been fully defined.

One must not forget that Trump has never been a politician. He does not really know the inner workings of his government and its multifarious international commitments.

But one thing is definite – he is an accomplished salesman. That’s how he grew his business empire. In other words, he knows how to sweet-talk anyone into “buying” what he is “selling”.

And I think he read Digong right. He knows what would placate the latter’s anger towards his soon-to-be predecessor.

Let us not forget, Trump’s official statement on his phone conversation with Digong merely said “they agreed to work together closely”. That says volumes about the uncertainty of what policy Washington will eventually adopt towards its relations with the Philippines under the Trump presidency.

However, Digong and his foreign policy advisers should take note of the statement made by the new US Ambassador, Kim Sung, who said that the US’ “strong commitment” with the Philippines under outgoing President Barrack Obama will continue when Trump assumes office in January.

“I’ve said many times that the United States and Philippines relationship is one of most enjoyed and most special relationships… and there are many different dimensions of this. We have a rock solid alliance, very strong economic engagement [and] law enforcement cooperation, Kim said.

He said regardless of the party in power, the US recognizes the “special relationship” that has been built over 70 years.

He forgot to mention that the relationship has been “special” only to the US.

Kim’s statement is significant considering the fact that he is an Obama appointee and already he is flagging what the Trump administration’s PH-US policy will be. That means he is confident of what he is saying and that he will not suffer the same fate as our ambassador to the United Kingdom who was unceremoniously replaced by Digong after only a few months at his post.

***

How I wish all those people now questioning Digong’s true state of mental health also questioned Noynoy Aquino’s. Then perhaps, we needn’t have gone through six years of his delusional slogan of “kung walang kurap, walang mahirap”, coupled with his mythical “Daang Matuwid”.

What we had instead were, among others, the loss of Panatag Shoal, the Mamasapano Massacre of the SAF44, the MRT scandal, corruption galore in numerous government agencies, and worse perhaps, the proliferation of illegal drugs that now afflict virtually the whole country.

I guess all that Noynoy can do now is to repent for all his sins of omission and commission aside, of course, from facing all the charges that have been and may be filed against him.

***

Today is the 230th day of the tenth year of Jonas Burgos’ enforced disappearance.

The family and friends of Jonas hope that the Duterte administration will not be part of the continuing cover-up. The Burgos family implores Digong to haul the perpetrators to justice and bring Jonas back home even with the appointment of Gen. Eduardo Ano as AFP chief who was implicated in the abduction of Jonas almost ten years ago.

***

From an internet friend:

Q: Who has the right of way any time?

A: The car with a gun rack and a bumper sticker that reads “Guns don’t kill people, I do.”

***

Email: roacrosshairs@outlook.com
FB: https://www.facebook.com/reynaldo.arcilla.9847


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