A policy of accommodation

posted February 06, 2019 at 01:00 am
by  Emil Jurado
Does this not make us a province of China?




Here's my wish list for senatorial candidates who I think should win in May. Even if three or four of them don’t make it, I would be happy just the same.

I’d go for Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar, Pia Cayetano, Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla, Mar Roxas, Juan Ponce Enrile, Imee Marcos, Francis Tolentino and Koko Pimentel.

Note that while recent poll surveys showed the sudden surge of presidential minion/ alalay Bong Go, he is still not on my list. We need an independent Senate. The Sante is supposed to be an institution that provides checks and balances.

Also not in my list is former PNP Chief Bato dela Rosa, for the simple reason that his only achievement was to carry out President Duterte’s brutal war on drugs. And Lito Lapid. I don’t even know why he is running again – did he not confess once that felt out of place at the Senate, especially during debates and interpellations?

We need senators we can respect and admire.

* * *

After a report from China’s state-run Xinhua that China’s ministry of transportation opened a center to support rescue operations in the contested area of Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef, almost immediately here comes presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo with a statement that there is nothing to worry about. Rather, we should be thankful that the rescue center would help seafarers, including Filipino ones.

I wanted to laugh but could not. If we don’t protest China’s building a rescue center on Kagitingan, then we are in fact saying: “Go ahead – that is yours, anyway.”

This policy of accommodation and acquiescence adopted by the Duterte administration is obviously in anticipation of loans, grants, investments and aid from China. This is also the reason China keeps bullying us. Does this not make us, effectively, a Chinese province?

The good thing however is that we have a voice from the best Supreme Court chief justice we never had – Antonio Carpio. He says we should protest to avoid a misunderstanding that the Philippines approves of China’s actions in the disputed area.

Maritime analysts and experts agree with Carpio’s observation. What bothers me though is that the Department of Foreign Affairs is taking so long in coming out with a statement. Will Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin ever see the need to protest China’s actions?

For how long will President Duterte keep toeing China’s line? Did we not win our case at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague?

How many more reefs and island will China occupy just because our government allows it?

* * *

The House of Representatives is trying to find ways and means for its members to avoid filing their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth, or for the public to have access to it. Now they want prior approval befor the SALN could be shown to the public.

This is in violation of the Public Information Law and the 1987 Constitution itself.

What are they trying to hide? Is it that they don’t want the public to know what they are doing with taxpayers’ money? They should be told that public office is a public trust.

* * *

The rehabilitation of Manila Bay should be done in a holistic manner. The reason it became what it is now is a confluence of events.

First, there are so many establishments around the Bay that are contributing to the pollution. They must be stopped. Secretary Roy Cimatu of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is already doing that by issuing cease and desist orders.

Second, and this is the most difficult of all, relocate all the squatters living around the bay.

Still, this is not enough since the waterways and tributaries that flow into Manila Bay are also full of squatters. Local government units along the Pasig River have been incompetent and negligent.

And then, there is the Bulacan River. Surveys show it is one of the most polluted rivers in the world.

Indeed strong will is needed to rehabilitate both the Pasig and Bulacan Rivers.

The problem is the incompetence of local officials.

Rehabilitating Boracay, compared to this, was easy.

* * *

I have some questions on the decision not to abolish the Presidential Commission on Good Government and the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel.

What has the PCGG achieved in going after the Marcos wealth? How many more sequestered corporations are there? And who are sitting there as fiscal agents ?

On the OGCC, who are the lawyers assigned to them and what allowances are they getting? Sometime ago, the Commission on Audit flagged these excessive allowance. What is being done about then?

Didn’t the President say he would act at the mere whiff of corruption and not hesitate to fire certain officials? Well, Mr. President?


Topics: Election , Senate , China , Manila Bay , Department of Environment and Natural Resources , Roy Cimatu , Rodrigo Duterte , Teddy Locsin
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