Taiwan underscored the de-pendence of the Philippine economy on overseas workers by stopping the processing of OFWs unless the government apologizes for the death of a Taiwanese poacher on Philippine waters and compensates the family of the victim.
I thought the Philippines would tough it out when Deputy Presidential Spokesman Abigail Valte said the Philippines would not apologize because the Taiwanese poachers tried to ram a patrol boat of the Philippine Coast Guard. As it turned, her statement merely infuriated the officials of this Chinese province, and our government immediately beat a hasty retreat.
President Benigno Simeon Aquino 3rd (obviously, he prefers the initials BS because he simply refuses to use his middle name Cojuangco) asked the Philippine representative to Taiwan to apologize but got humiliated. Where oh where was one of the 100 most influential people of the world who was cited by Time Magazine for his “brave stance” in being the “face of the regional confrontation with Beijing over its claim to virtually all of the South China Sea?”
President BS Aquino is confrontational with China but is meek as a lamb before Taiwan. I guess he was frightened by Taiwan’s threat to freeze the deployment of Filipinos there while we have only a few workers in China. After all, the jobless growth under his watch was mainly fuelled by OFWs. During the 2010 presidential campaign, he pooh-poohed the 7.6 percent economic growth under GMA, saying it was not her policies but the OFWs that were responsible for it. He also said that once he became president, Filipinos need no longer go abroad because there would be jobs aplenty right here. Can BS Aquino please say those campaign words again?
As president, BS Aquino should strengthen national pride and honor. He’s not furthering this cause by allowing Taiwan to humiliate the country with those uncalled-for threats and demands. If Taiwan wants to stop OFWs from entering its shore, call the bluff. We may suffer but Taiwan will also suffer, perhaps more so. If Taiwan wants to play rough, then let’s call all of our OFWs in Taiwan home. Then, the president could again be honored by Time Magazine, this time for his brave stance against Taiwan. Trouble is, BS Aquino is brave only against mighty China but not against smaller countries. Remember Malaysia’s recent massacre of Filipinos in Sabah? We did not hear even a pip from him over this incident.
There are reports that some Filipinos are already being maltreated in Taiwan. Is this being tolerated by the Taiwan police? The President should order a quiet investigation into these reports to show that our government could be relied upon to protect OFWs. If Taiwan refuses to accept our apology, ignores our official representative, and abuses our OFWs, then there’s no way we could talk sensibly. The death of a Taiwanese poacher is regrettable but so is Taiwanese reaction. It only serves to worsen the situation.
Loren vs Alan, Migz vs Koko
The camp of Sen. Loren Legarda believes that Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano was behind moves to bring her down from No. 1 in the senatorial election. Well, after going through the results in Senator Alan’s political bailiwicks, I concluded that he had no such evil intentions. Senator Loren was a high No. 4 in Taguig City, just 1,711 votes behind Sen. Chiz Escudero and ahead of Nancy Binay. In Pateros, she also placed fourth. If Alan wanted to pull down Loren, he should have junked her, and the most ideal place to do so are the places where he’s most popular. Obviously, there was no junking and this should clear
Alan of any suspicions of going against Loren.
Speaking of bailiwicks, I noted that former Sen. Migz Zubiri was No. 1 in Northern Mindanao, his home region as well as that of reelectionist Sen. Koko Pimentel. You might say that this was because Zubiri comes from Bukidnon, which is more populous than Misamis Oriental, the home province of Koko. But, hey, would you believe that Migz was also No. 1 in Misamis Oriental? Ah, but you might argue that Misamis Oriental is much bigger than Cagayan de Oro City, Koko’s hometown. Excuse me, but Migz was also No. 1 in Cagayan de Oro City, with Koko placing fourth. I don’t believe any cheating was done to make Migz No. 1 in Koko’s hometown and home province.
The Senate would have been a better place and more representative had both Migz and Koko won. They may not like its other but I’m sure their mutual dislike would not stand in the way of their efforts to make Mindanao, the island they both love, more progressive.