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By Jess G. Dureza

Taiwan incident: Strike 2!

The latest incident with Taiwan is “Strike 2”. The first one was the bungled and mishandled Luneta bus hostage incident which resulted to the death of Taiwanese tourists. This was still fresh in the minds of the angry Taiwanese when the shooting by the Philippine coast guard happened.   The recent killing of the Taiwanese fisherman is STRIKE 2. The mishandling, the 2nd time around, was quite obvious.

It was a mistake for us to BELATEDLY apologize to Taiwan. It’s okay if that was proffered voluntarily by the Philippine side AT THE OUTSET.  But when an apology was given after it was   DEMANDED WITH THREAT   by no less than the Taiwanese president, then, to offer an apology was beneath our integrity and pride as a nation. Worse, the Philippine’s BELATED offer of apologies was OFFICIALLY REJECTED. Even Malacanang’s representative, my former colleague in Congress, MECO chief Amadeo Perez was sent back home unceremoniously.   (We do not have an embassy or diplomatic post in Taiwan due to the ONE-CHINA policy. We recognize only mainland CHINA.  MECO in Taiwan is an economic cooperation office. )

Aggravating the actual killing incident, I think the diplomatic problem started right at the beginning when the Malacanang spokeswoman, Ms. Abigail Valte immediately issued a statement right after the incident saying the Philippines would NOT APOLOGIZE. This was clearly provocative and uncalled for at a time when the full story of   the shooting incident was still unclear.  This triggered a strong statement from the Taiwanese saying ‘APOLOGIZE OR ELSE”.  In an effort to salvage the situation, Malacanang decided to apologize.  As I expected, it was rejected outright.

The agitated Taiwanese public is also over-reacting. Taking it against all Filipino OFWs there is irresponsible and irrational. Of course, the Filipinos are also angry and furious.

The two governments must navigate this with prudence. There’s no need to exacerbate the situation.

****
EARLY BIRD — My next door neighbor in Hagonoy, Davao del Sur who regularly comes to the resort gate near my farm house every early morning for “kape & pan de sal” gave me a surprise two days after elections. He greeted me by saying:  VOTE BINAY FOR PRESIDENT, GRACE POE FOR VICE PRESIDENT!

Wow, early bird!  This is an indication that the 2016 campaigns have started.

SOOO GOOD! — “Sana election araw araw”, he added. I could understand why. 
Never at any other time do plain citizens get full attention. Never at any other time do they get attended to. The poor and the lowly   get pampered with  some free rice, “odong”, sardines  and some cash. Many are employed as campaigners. They get joyrides joining the campaign trail. Then stage entertainment during rallies. And clowning from many candidates themselves.  Free give aways and t-shirts. Handshakes and house visits.  All the works.

Never been soooo... good. The pump priming of the economy with all the money released in circulation is always beneficial.   All of these will be sorely  missed. Until 2016 again.

BACK TO NORMAL  — The fun days are over. Everyone must move on. The campaign materials, posters and garbage have  to be removed. Accounts will have to be paid.  Candidates who were busy in the field are reclaimed back by their families. My elementary grade grandson “Jetjet” told my son, his father Jay who failed to make it in the elections: “Now you can spend more time with us.”  Come to think of it, he’s correct. And happy.

Media programming are back to normal. The new elective officials now have a fresh mandate to serve. Let’s support them. But check on their campaign promises. So when next election time comes, there is accountability. -30-




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-1 #1 Joel 2013-05-21 17:14
Please be advised that the bus hostages were from Hong Kong not Taiwan. Probably you meant Chinese?
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