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China angered its neighbors when it unilaterally declared an Air Defense Identification Zone (Adiz) on Nov. 23. The United States disappointed its regional allies when, after ordering a pair of unarmed B-52 strategic bombers to fly into China’s Adiz three days after the surprise declaration, it called on American airlines last Friday to comply with China’s instructions when flying through the zone. Between Beijing’s increasingly rash decisions and Washington’s inconsistent policies, regional capitals find themselves at a loss.
This has reference to Isabel T. Escoda’s article “Hongkongers have long memories” (Opinion, 11/2/13). In this regard, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada should reconsider and stop his initiative to apologize to Hong Kong authorities for the events that happened in the Luneta in 2010. It should be a closed case by now.
By NELSON D. LAVIÑA
At the height of Chinese arrogance in the West Philippine Sea, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin offered our former military bases to the United States, in case war breaks out in the region. Commentator Bernie Lopez called it an unconstitutional “suicidal notion.” Journalist Manuel Almario recalled the nuclear “apocalyptic scenario” of Claro M. Recto on a race “with a mysterious urge for suicide.”
The way Philippine government officials again tried to intercede for a convicted Filipino drug mule facing death sentence in China, it would not be surprising if other countries see the Philippines as a nation that tolerates drug couriers. If the situation were reversed, it is most unlikely that Chinese government officials would ask the Philippine government to bend its laws for the sake of a convicted Chinese felon. The two countries have different sets of laws and one should respect the other in the manner by which they are being enforced.
The Constitution does not, in fact, impose an absolute ban on foreign military bases in the Philippines. Just the same, we should all reject the idea of American or other troops being based permanently in the country.
As told by victims to Migrante officers in Saudi Arabia, the “sex-for-flight” scheme allegedly being employed by some embassy and labor officials usually operates like this:
The news that distressed Filipino workers in the Middle East were being sexually exploited by Philippine embassy officials in at least three countries hit home last week; it is a wrenching, sordid story that reminds us that evil is real, not some movie genre fantasy—and that it preys on the most powerless, the most vulnerable.
By Conrado de Quiros
Two stories came out last week in ironic counterpoint to each other.
I am writing in reaction to the article titled “Lack of Senate quorum results in ‘walkout’ by envoys” (News, Inquirer, 6/7/13).
By Danilo G. Mendiola
We all have stories from the past that are just waiting to be told. I think of stories of the “boat people” I met at the Vietnamese refugee camp in Palawan, where I worked as a resettlement counselor for the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) in 1986. They were tales of family separation, of incredible afflictions during the escape, of lives of misery in communist Vietnam. But they were also tales of friendship, of courage, of hope, and of love.
There are a few countries to which Filipinos are privileged to go without need of a visa. The only things these countries require are a valid passport and a return ticket. Of course, the tourist has to bring enough cash for his needs, something that he determines for himself as he knows how he wants to spend his vacation—whether to go into a shopping spree or keep his spending to a minimum.
By Amando Doronila
In the second half of President Benigno Aquino III’s administration, the Philippines finds itself caught in a foreign policy dispute with China’s vassal territory, Taiwan, over the death of a Taiwanese fisherman in an encounter on May 9 between a Philippine Coast Guard vessel and a Taiwanese fishing boat caught by the PCG poaching in Philippine waters off Batanes.