What help can DU30 ask from China?



In keeping with this writer’s time-honored practice of never criticizing his own government when he is outside the country or criticizing the President when he is on a state or official visit somewhere, I shall refrain from saying anything here which should be said only when President Duterte returns from his current visit to China, where we wish him all the success for himself and his party.

But since he said he would ask China to help him in his war on drugs, where the killing of now close to 4,000 drug suspects, has put him in the eye of a raging storm before the international community, I would urge him to ask President Xi Jinping to help him put an end to the speculation that a lot of the drugs processed in the Philippines are coming from China, and that the Philippines is merely a big transshipment point of manufactured drugs flooding the rest of Asia.

I would urge him in particular to try to ascertain the more disturbing report that the proliferation of dangerous drugs in the country is the result of a deliberate effort on the part of certain ideological groups to “destroy the moral fiber of young Filipinos, who are likely to grow up as American lackeys.”

Finally, I would urge him when he comes home to disprove yet another report, far more disturbing than anything I have heard, that the present war of drugs is intended to eradicate the competition to those who are in real control of the illegal drugs trade, rather than the drug menace itself.

Indeed, it would be extremely helpful if he could restate President Marcos’s request to Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou En Lai in 1975, that the Chinese Communist Party stop and desist from sending logistical and materiel aid to the CPP/NPA/NDF, which was trying to bring down the government.

But this would be too much to expect. As DU30 is now in coalition with the CPP/NPA/NDF, it is not realistic to expect him to discourage any cooperation between the Chinese communist party and the CPP/NPA/NDF. But he could probably indicate that his “independent foreign policy” would not allow the involvement of external communist parties in the country’s internal affairs.

That would be good enough.

Diplomacy and public information
How PDU30 could strengthen his capability to confront the challenges brought about by his war on drugs is probably something we could discuss. There are two powerful resources that should be fully exploited —-public information, and diplomacy—- and they have not been exploited fully until now. This is regrettable.

Long before the current diplomatic typhoon hit, I tried to alert some people in the government on the need to fully utilize these resources, but I failed to elicit any response. I thought I had seen a little of the past and could sense what was coming and I tried to raise the alert. As a diplomatic reporter and columnist for six years, the government’s principal spokesman for 10 years, a legislator who ran the floor for five Senate presidents, chaired the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations for a while, and led the Philippine delegation to several international parliamentary conferences in various parts of the world for 15 years, a critic to several presidents for 30 years, I thought I had a sense of what to expect, and I tried to share it.

Not having any access to the new kid on the block, I tried to reach out through this column and some friends within DU30’s circle. I wrote about what I thought the new power-holders should learn from, but it looks like the new power-holders never read what I wrote. Then the typhoon hit. And what I had thought would happen began to unfold. We are now in the middle of it.

An international storm
Unlike super typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, when various foreign governments and international organizations came down to Tacloban to volunteer aid, the President is getting the toughest beating from abroad and someone on the International Criminal Court is already threatening to try him on at least 50 cases of human rights abuses.

He has succeeded in provoking the international community with just his vulgar and offensive speech, and it looks like the solid support of 38 percent of the voters who had voted for him in the May elections has begun to shake.

The propaganda fraudsters have been quick to come up with alleged surveys showing he remains as popular as ever. The earlier claim of 91 percent approval rating has been shaved down to 84 percent. This is still high, given the battering he has received from foreign governments, international organizations, and the world press. But unless your IQ is below room temperature, you can believe it only at your own risk.

A servile press or an honest one?
No president wants or needs a bad press—-especially after only 100 days in office. So DU30 needs all the help he can get. He needs an honest press, not a servile or lickspittle one. Given the way he uses power, there is a tendency for many in the media to spew saucy panegyrics even without any provocation, just to be on his good side. This does not help at all. It distorts the truth and gives the President a false sense of his ground support.

In the early days of martial law, after Marcos normalized the operations of the mass media, there was a tendency on the part of editorial writers to praise Marcos even when there was no reason or need to do so. This greatly disturbed me as press secretary and presidential spokesman that I had to call on the editors to suspend the opinion columns until they were able to avoid inflicting “unnecessary and incompetent praise” upon their readers and the government as well.

I explained that what the government needed was an honest reporting and analysis of government, not a fawning caricature it. The editors agreed, and they suspended the opinion columns until the dean of Filipino columnists at the time, Teodoro F. Valencia, on behalf of the columnists, promised to avoid any kind of lickspittle journalism.

Perhaps DU30 needs something like this to avoid a stampede of panegyrists trying to drown their readers in a Niagara Falls of unnecessary and incompetent praise of the President. Communications Secretary Martin Andanar could show the way by not breaking into tears whenever he reads an unpolished draft of DU30’s speech, and by never calling him the “greatest president” the country ever had.

I have no doubt that DU30 will survive this medicine.

Using the foreign service well
Secondly, DU30 should try to use the foreign service to his utmost advantage. We have a fairly strong career foreign service, with competent and brilliant men and women who are all waiting to be commissioned by the President. They should be properly utilized in the national interest. All they need is recognition and respect for the professional integrity of the service. Many presidents have failed in this. DU30 has to do better than his predecessors.

Under the Constitution, “the President shall nominate, and with the consent of the Commission of Appointments, appoint the heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, or officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution.”

Under the 1991 Foreign Service Act, all officers and employees of the Department of Foreign Affairs who have reached the age of 65 shall be “compulsorily and automatically retired” while non-career chiefs of mission who were 70 years old and above when the law was passed on Sept. 19, 1991 could continue in office until June 30, 1992, unless sooner removed by the appointing authority.

This means that after June 30, 1992, no person who is 70 years old may be legally appointed as ambassador to any post. This has not prevented previous presidents from appointing as ambassadors non-career individuals who were well past 70 though. DU30 could make the same mistake, if he does not watch out. There is no need for him to do so.

The Davide case
By far the most controversial case is that of former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., who assumed the post of Permanent Representative to the United Nations, after retiring from the Supreme Court at 70, in violation of the Foreign Service Act, and without being confirmed by the Commission on Appointments, in violation of the Constitution. This should not happen again.

In 2006, I opposed Davide’s nomination for his being overaged, while Sen. Jinggoy Estrada opposed it for other reasons. Davide was bypassed by the CA twice because of our opposition, but after the second bypass, he flew straight to New York to assume the UN post, without having been confirmed by the constitutional body.

Malacañang justified the unconstitutional breach by saying that since the UN is not a foreign country, Davide’s appointment did not need any CA confirmation. This was absolute nonsense because, to begin with, Davide was not qualified by reason of age, and the Constitution requires all “ambassadorial appointments” to be confirmed by the CA.

Will Teddyboy make it?
The UN post could become the subject of renewed controversy following DU30’s nomination of Teodoro Locsin Jr. as the Philippines’ permanent representative to the world organization. It is not known whether, following the Davide example, Locsin will no longer be made to go through the CA. But whether or not he does, he will have to confront a mounting signature campaign against his proposed posting.

Started by one Joy Quio, an online petition asking the UN to deny Locsin the UN post because of “his blatant justification of anti-Semitic lingo of the President of the Philippines,” has now collected 11,317 signatures—-3,683 short of 15,000.

Locsin’s offense is that after DU30 likened the victims of the local drug killings to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, Locsin tweeted, “You may find this hard to believe but the Nazis were not al wrong, give or take killing millions of the wrong people. Keep an open mind.” He apologized to the Jews after DU30 did. But it looks like his countrymen may be less forgiving than the Jews.

Whatever happens to Locsin, DU30 will have to be more discriminating in his choice of ambassadors. While he has the power to appoint his envoys, he has to make sure that only the truly deserving are made ambassadors. Where career ambassadors are already in place, he should not replace them with non-career before their tour of duty is over. If this happened in a place like Paris or London, the diplomatic community will have a hard time understanding why.

And it should never happen that the President announces the “appointment” of an ambassador before the receiving government has been asked to receive him, and before the CA has confirmed his nomination. This is to show respect to the receiving government, and to avoid any unnecessary embarrassment in case that government rejects the nomination. The normal procedure is for the sending and the receiving governments to announce the ambassador’s appointment at the same time. These are small details, but unless one knows them one may not be prepared for the larger things.



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  1. The appointment of TeddyBoy Locsin did not violate any diplomatic prot0col because he was appointed ambassador to the UN and it is not a country where you have to wait for a reply from the receiving state, furthermore he is 67 years old which is within the maximum age of 70, so what are you fretting about Mr. Tatad.

  2. There are times that I don’t agree with Sir. Kit Tatad ideas and perceptions of our political realities. I know he is very much Senior when his experience is the one we would be discussing about for the Philippines to survive on geopolitics arena. But almost, if not 95%, his ideas and perceptions of geopolitics of the Philippines in its relation to international community of nations are all brilliant. Sir. Kit Tatad’s commentary of DU30 pivot to China but slicing out the United states, the oldest allied of the Philippines in different levels of engagement and needs , is one thing that I am not in favor my dear friends in the WEB family. President DU3O’s right hand showing of his strong grip forward punch does not make any punch at all to score one for the Philippines’ favor: all his punches are too short and untimely to reach the target; he missed all possible points that he could have to win the game. President DU30 is lost; he is not a game player; he does not know how to play. The pivot to China as part of his independent foreign policy, but slicing out the United States in his foreign policy whose function deals with different level of human activities, he would drain Philippines advantage in many levels of engagement of our socio-economic activities. I tell you, China is the only country with highest numbers of students who are sent to United States to study in the different American Academic Institutions to prepare them for China’s participation and economic sustainability in the global market activities. Ergo, Mr. President DU30, why do you have to slice United States in your diplomatic foreign policy, and cling to China’s leaders who are sending thousands of students every year for China’s economic and sustainability in the global market of China’s socio-economic and political affairs too? Is Mr. President DU30 punching in the dark with his pivot to China and slicing out United States? Is that logical to pivot to China? To be independent is an idea and desire of every people and nations, I understand that clearly, but interdependency is the most real one that people and nations are envolved with to accomplish something they can’t do by themselves, but only with the aids of other nations and people to sustain their human activities.

    • The United States owes China $2 trillion, at least.
      Private Chinese investors alone spent $200 billion on real estate in the US.
      Chinese money is what’s keeping the US economy afloat these days.

      Historically, it was Chinese hard assets and labor which help the construction of railways crisscrossing the United States during the first stages of its independence from UK. In acknowledgement to this great assistance, the US oligarchy at that time started calling the Chinese railroad workers as slave laborers.

  3. Former Sen. Tatad is just trying to help the President, and his experience and insights respecting information and foreign policy matters are acknowledged even by his fiercest critics. I’m sure P.Du30 reads Tatad from time to time. The latter will immensely benefit from the former’s ideas.

  4. The only thing I would ask CH for is| give PH back our Seas, and pay in full the damage cost that the Chinese have done to the waters.

    I wouldn’ t ask for CH a help| because PH is much Bigger and more richer than the CHinas :P

    Magtataho nga lang sila dati dito sa Pinas and my lolo Onching said that the Macaos are poor| my great grandma Solita even had some Macaos stay in the silong of the Gallo Ancestral House during the War: they are really poor then :P.. and so are the other Intsik Beho (it was said that the old people call the CHinas such during war days) are that with the tindahan/ sari-sari stores at the kantos.

    My lolo also said that these Chinese only got rich when they got money from Pinas and other Asian Countries :P

  5. Marcos was a Saint compared to Du30, who thinks he knows more than anyone and needs no advisors. The entirety of the Philippines problems wrapped up in one issue — too many drug users. Right.

  6. Why Filipino’s only ask for help? What help does Philippines ever offer to anyone else? Someone needs to inform you that help is a two-way street. Your history of taking without reciprocation is well-known around the world. Du30 appears to be continuing your preposterous tradition.

  7. It’s too early to say that this administration is another failure, as not one of the things the president said is a lie. The things he said he would do is already happening. The practical approaches to our pressing problem are already being addressed.

    Shifting towards China and Russia is the smartest thing to do right now, as the US and NATO are exposed to the flawed regime changes they’ve been doing, using mercenaries and terror groups, just to exploit the resources of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria. Thanks to Russia, China and Iran, the imperialists were stopped in their track towards total hegemony.

    Although some of the problems left by past administration needs time to correct due to the limited budget, legal constraints. But the administration have maximized the authority it has to address them.

    EDSA traffic is easing up. No more long queues in most government offices, at least in the Executive department. The airport is already safe from tanim-bala right on the first day, clean restrooms. In short, the situation is definitely improving in such a short time, using only the remainder of the PNoy national budget.

    How much more when it’s the Duterte national budget that is already rolling on?

    I think we should focus more on how we can educate our countrymen on how they can contribute to our collective growth and not just for the few, i.e. to be more patriotic.

    This country has been plagued by traitors from the very beginning. Surely, we can do better than that. We just need to spot these traitors and expose them all for who they really are. Above all, we need to support the people’s will when they decided to choose Duterte as their leader, just like we supported all past presidents.

    Is it really that hard to do?

    It is undeniable that this new government has inspired a lot of the people to do things they’ve never done before, and are now committed to give their best for the country. We should seize the momentum for nationalism and move the country forward with great fervor.

  8. I am not sure you kept your time-honored practice of never criticizing his own government when he is outside the country or criticizing the President when he is on a state or official visit somewhere. Or are you stating things to mean the opposite? Like: “an online petition asking the UN to deny Locsin the UN post because of “his blatant justification of anti-Semitic lingo of the President of the Philippines,” has now collected 11,317 signatures—-3,683 short of 15,000.” You really mean that even an online petition can only get 11,317? Are you saying that is all of the yellow gang left? Now that you advertised it, let’s see if another 1,000 will sign up. Criticizing includes pointing out errors or things not done correctly. You did not follow your principles in this column.

  9. I wonder if those supporters of Mr. Du30 are still holding up their hands of praising our president after his untold words and intentions during the election campaign to build alliances with China and Russia has now surfaced with president DU30 travel to China. There might be many thoughts of regrets and frustration why they voted DU30 for president, especially now that DU30 has gone on his own ways though undefined and might be undesirable to many Filipinos. Honestly, I don’t know where he is leading the country with his plan to deal with China and Russia on military cooperations issues. President DU30 must not have gone too far. There are so many issues that require clarity surrounding military activities in the South China Sea. He must have thought that he was only representing the country; he is not the owner of the Philippine country.

  10. What help can DU30 ask from China? by Sec. Kit Tatad

    I am with you hoping that Mr DU30’s state visit would request Chinese administration help in ending the shipment of illegal drugs in my Philippines. I also hope that the Chinese government is put on notice to desist in stealing our natural resources. China is known for ages in belief on virtue of respect toward their neighbors. China is also known for creating profitable commerce between neighbors. I believe my Philippines will profit with this state visits. As per your statement from previous article, you hope the reverse of Denby’ prophesy that USA will be a gateway for the Philippines to vast market of China.

    No president wants or needs a bad press—-He needs an honest press, not a servile or lickspittle one.by Sec Kit Tatad

    Yes Mr DU30,, need heavenly miracles as well as earthly assistance. My Philippines has been plague with leeches that drain the life and welfare of the people. Greed and corruption are prominent livelihood. These leeches are too numerous and would be a life time to eradicate. I pray that Mr. DU30 could as much as possible destroy all the leeches that hampering the greatness of my Philippines

    Sec. Tatad, you noted not to criticize the president while he is out on state visit but you expound Mr. DU30 leftist ideology. You are insinuate because Mr.DU30 is involve with CPP/NPA/NDF and thereby will promote his leftist ideas. Mr. DU30 did admit his leftist leaning but he reiterate he is committed to promote and return back to greatness of my Philippines. He himself said his political life is over and would like to return to civil life.

    Let us watch wait and then evaluate. I am seeing alot of promise with this man. Thank you

    • Mr. Aguilar..I call our pres the BRAVE ONE DU30..he is the only one with balls and determination. Other pres were not like him. He is very BRAVE to put in the front line the position and his life all for the motherland. Let us pray for his success…I am with you..

  11. It look like the success of any President rely not only on him but on his circle of advisers. Marcos could have been the best had his circle of advisers came up with unselfish intellectual advise going first for the people. Still Marcos did
    not exit from alliances with western countries.