While Filipinos deliberate amongst themselves over how “wise” or “unwise” it is to consider war against Islamic terrorists as even just an option to seriously consider, their friendly neighbour China has reportedly been beavering away in the islands of the West Philippine Sea building structures the size of Henry Sy’s Mall of Asia on these disputed terrirories.
The flaccid position of the Philippine government on this matter is to rely on the arbitration faculties of the United Nations to “compel” China to stand down — a bizarre “strategy” to take considering that it is quite evident that China has and will never ever consider that option.Even more bizarre is the way Filipinos, as they pin their hopes on the UN rescuing them from China’s military might, deride the UN as a toothless body when it comes to upholding human rights within the Philippines’ jurisdiction. Recently, celebrity lawyer Amal Alamuddin Clooney has taken up the cause of former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who has spent the last three years in detention on account of charges filed against her by the government of President Benigno Simeon ‘BS” Aquino III. But no less than the Philippines’ Justice Secretary, Leila De Lima, derided the initiative as a mere “flamboyant gesture”…
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Wednesday remained confident the Philippine government can secure a conviction in former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s plunder case.
De Lima gave the assurance following Clooney’s decision to file a case last Feb. 26 before the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD), a body under the UN Commission on Human Rights, seeking to persuade the Philippine government to release Arroyo from hospital detention.
“We believe that the denial of Rep. Arroyo’s motion for bail was decided on the merits and that she will eventually be convicted or acquitted on the merits,” said De Lima.
Just the same De Lima wasted no time in adopting the usual response script of the Philippine government, which is to wash its hands off any accountability and pin the blame on someone else…
De Lima said it was not the Aquino administration’s fault that Arroyo has been denied bail privileges, pointing out that it was ultimately the call of the Sandiganbayan, which handles the plunder case.
There is now widespread confusion amongst Filipinos as to what the Philippine government under President BS Aquino really stands for beyond its mission to protect Uncle Peping’s Hacienda Luisita from subjection to agrarian reform. President BS Aquino in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) seems to be using the military as no more than a band of goons — dispatching them at a whim on sporadic tactical PR adventures while keeping it muzzled against the Philippines’ most menacing strategic enemies.
Indeed, China has so far been left to progressively annex the Philippines’ West Philippine Sea territories virtually unopposed while on the Mindanao front, the terrorist Moro Islamic Liberation Front leaning on the tacit legitimacy granted it by the Philippines’ “Central Government” (thanks to it being a party to President BS Aquino’s Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) scam) is practically sitting pretty as the AFP fights its “enemies” for it in a renewed “all-out” war against Islamic extremists. Even more astounding is the way the Philippines has turned a blind eye to the Malaysian government’s long-suspected role in abetting and aggravating Islamic terrorism in Mindanao with Manila Times columnist Rigoberto Tiglao even raising the possibility of the proposed Bangsamoro “nation” someday invoking the “self-determination” clause in the BBL to “secede from the Republic, or to ask Malaysia to incorporate it in its federation”.
It seems Filipinos’ selective deference to foreign influence is on exhibit at all levels of their dysfunctional society. The Philippine government has left the critical soundness of its long-term national security prospects in the hands of UN “arbitration” in the case of the China threat and on the Malaysian government in the case of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front terrorist spectre in Mindanao. All this while the fury of its prosecution arm bears down on a relatively minor inconvenience — a celebrity lawyer’s interest in the case of an unjustly-persecuted former president.
Setting priorities and applying the right perspective to the issues seems to be a fatal weakness of the Philippine government and Philippine society as a whole, and its citizens have for decades paid dearly for this chronic tunnel vision.
[Photo courtesy The Guardian.]
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.