Buttering up to Uncle Sam

METRO PHILIPPINES
Typography

'Del Rosario should have just asked our ambassador in Washington to present the Philippine Legion of Honor to Clinton.'

OH dear, his slip showed again... In the process, I also nearly choked on my coffee when I came across the story in the morning paper last week.

Foreign Secretary Albert "Amboy" del Rosario went all the way to Washington to confer on outgoing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the Philippine Legion of Honor.

For what?... "For supporting the Philippines' advocacy of a rules-based approach in resolving competing claims over maritime areas through peaceful and diplomatic processes within the framework of international law".

That's it?!

Previous recipients of the decoration were US Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower, Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Senator Daniel Inouye. Can Clinton's approximate even to the slightest degree their "contributions" to our country? No way.

Besides, aren't all the Asean foreign ministers, with the possible exception of Cambodia's, also for the same advocacy? Will they be getting the same decoration as well? And will Del Rosario scurry to their capitals to present it?

To begin with, did Del Rosario have to go all the way to Washington to deliver the decoration like the American errand boy that he seems to be? He could have properly instructed the Philippine ambassador to do the honors.

Better still, the government could have invited Clinton to receive the award personally from President Noynoy Aquino, even after her retirement.

And how much of the people's money did Del Rosario unnecessarily spend to do the errand?

Hay naku! Sipsip!

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And Noynoy wants to keep Del Rosario on as foreign secretary? Bad move. He has been ruffling China's feathers.

Like it or not, our relations with our immediate friend and neighbor will have to take precedence over others. We can't fight her and as has already been shown time and again, we can't depend on the US to protect our interests. We, therefore, need a foreign secretary whom the Chinese can trust and feel comfortable dealing with. And for obvious reasons, Del Rosario is not it.

Your move, Mr. President.

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Below is what Gil Santos, a 62-year veteran Asian news correspondent for international wire services, newspaper publisher/editor-in-chief, radio-TV talk show host/commentator, Lyceum lecturer on journalism and international relations and president of the Philippine Futuristics Studies Center, has to say about the award to Clinton:

"At this point in time U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton does not deserve the Legion of Honor award by the Philippine President. There was nothing extraordinary with Secretary Clinton's statements that rendered her or any American worthy of the Legion of Honor.

"Reaffirming American commitment to strengthen our defense capabilities, confirmation of the objectives of the American-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty, reaffirming strong U.S.-Philippine military alliance or supporting the Philippine position on rules-based settlement of territorial disputes in the South China Sea are all loaded more on the US side than ours. Even the $434 million Millennium Challenge Account is peanuts compared to what the US gives to Pakistan, Taiwan, or South Korea although the Philippines has very strong strategic geographical importance to the US interest in the Asia-Pacific region. Palawan is also a choke point as China's Hainan if we weigh the security factors in the South China Sea.

"The Americans will deserve the Legion of Honor Medal if they make definite and solid assistance for our military materiel and armaments, economic and poverty-alleviating investments at true friendship costs to deter the Chinese from bullying us and the rest of the ASEAN member countries.

"While I agree that diplomacy requires tact and civilized society verbiage, stronger more concrete words of caution to China will not hurt the US national interest either, especially now that the Americans are on the threshold of producing their own cheaper energy from domestic sources.

"The Philippines must be selective in its national awards! We can uphold our national dignity by choosing awardees well!"

Amen.

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Noynoy reiterated he is open to joint oil and gas development of Recto Bank which is also claimed by China, provided the prospective partner, China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) recognizes that Recto Bank is part of Philippine territory.

That's Noynoy. What about his Amboy of a foreign secretary? Curiously, he has remained eerily silent about it. I get the impression that something or someone is preventing him from echoing his boss (?).

Somehow I get this feeling that if Noynoy's announcement had come from the US, Del Rosario would have swiftly echoed it. But from Noynoy?... Nada. Bakit kaya?

And considering that his alleged patron, Manuel Pangilinan, is the one involved in a possible joint venture with China, Del Rosario's attitude is puzzlingly strange.

Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing has already called for both countries to push ahead with a plan to jointly develop Recto Bank which reportedly contains potential reserves of 3.4 trillion cubic feet of gas and 440 million barrels of oil.

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Let's watch if Del Rosario will protest against the incursion of a US warship in our territory without so much as a by-your-leave. The minesweeper USS Guardian ran aground at and destroyed a large portion of Tubbataha Reef, a UNESCO-declared world heritage site. The ship is now reportedly sinking. Reports say the ship had been warned several times not to enter the perimeter of the Reef but completely ignored the warnings.

Why did they go there in the first place? How about the officers and the crew wanted to go diving? To hell with getting permission from the stupid Filipinos.

Let us also see if Del Rosario will demand payment of the fine for the unauthorized incursion and the damages to the Reef.

Incidentally, I think the authorities concerned, in conducting an investigation of the incident, should invite the captain of the ship for questioning. Will they do it? Your guess is as good as mine.

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Senator Edgardo Angara said that what Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile did, i.e., give away savings of the Senate as Christmas bonus to its members is a "time-honored tradition".

Geez... First of all, it is an abhorrent tradition! Second of all, it is something that time shouldn't have "honored".

But what takes the cake is when Angara said he might have done it himself when he was Senate president for several years but couldn't remember. Omigosh! What a copout! Does he think anyone will believe him? That statement of his was in fact received with great disdain!

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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.

Incidentally, whatever happened to the Senate investigation on the alleged anomalies that took place in the agency during the watch of Noynoy's administrator-appointee who resigned in September last year to run for Congress?

2) Investigation of reported anomalies in the GSIS during the watch of Winston Garcia.

Now that there appears to be a falling out between the Aquino administration and the Garcia family of Cebu (its governor is still resisting her suspension from office for six months), it is hoped that an investigation of Winston Garcia, a brother of the suspended governor, would now proceed.

In the meantime, COA reported that at least P4.13 billion in contributions and loan payments made by 12 government offices to the GSIS had not been credited to the offices as of Dec. 31, 2011.

COA also said the amount of unrecorded remittances could go much higher because only 36 agencies have so far responded out of the 186 that were sent confirmation requests by government auditors. Of the 36, 27 confirmed "discrepancies" in their premium and loan payments ledgers when compared with those of the GSIS.

Paging Mr. Robert Vergara.

3) Facilitating the investigation of rampant corruption in the military and police establishments.

4) Expeditious action by the AFP on the case of Jonas Burgos.

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Today is the 261st day of the sixth year of Jonas Burgos' disappearance.

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From an internet friend:

A short love story:

A man and a woman who had never met before but who were both married to other people, found themselves assigned to the same sleeping room on a trans-continental train.

Although initially embarrassed and uneasy over sharing a room, they were both very tired and fell asleep quickly, he in the upper berth and she in the lower.

At 1 a.m., the man leaned down and gently woke the woman saying, "Excuse me, I'm sorry to bother you, but would you be willing to reach into the closet to get me a second blanket? I'm awfully cold."

"I have a better idea," she replied. "Just for tonight, let's pretend that we're married."

"Wow! That's a great idea," he exclaimed.

"Good," she replied. "Get your own freaking blanket."

After a moment of silence, he farted.

THE END

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Email: roacrosshairs@yahoo.com