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‘Heaven help us’

05:02 AM February 26, 2018

The way once intelligent men (or so we thought) have turned into a bunch of nincompoops overnight is quite distressing. What is it about being appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to high positions in government that makes them suddenly abandon their senses and embrace utter mediocrity?

The Feb. 20 editorial (“Too much, too early, too soon”) gave two examples:

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1) Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on China’s veritable hijacking of Benham Rise, an “undisputed Philippine-owned ocean area,” by exploring it like it was its own backyard and giving Chinese names to its submarine features: What’s in a name? When the Americans named it Benham Rise, did we protest? So, why protest now? What’s the big deal?

From now on, we might as well stop saying West Philippine Sea and simply refer to all nearby ocean areas west of us as South China Sea to avoid offending China!

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Anyway, willy-nilly, we are on our way to becoming a mere province of that communist country — all courtesy of the Duterte administration!

2) Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on the same brouhaha: “Siopao, mami, hototay … all were named by the Chinese, but this did not mean China owned these”!

Isa ka pa! Where did this guy get the gall to continually insult our intelligence?!

A third hare-brained idea came out of the mouth of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol who earlier pushed for sending Filipino farmers to plant rice in Papua New Guinea! His plan is for them “to plant rice and to ship the excess harvest to the Philippines” (“Planting rice in Papua draws flak,” Inquirer, 2/21/18).

A hopeless case. Is it an admission that all our decades-long land reform programs are nothing but fanciful and farcical concepts that can never work within our own country?

And … counting?! Heaven help us!

JEREMIAS H. TOBIAS,
jeremhech@gmail.com

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TAGS: Alan Peter Cayetano, Emmanuel Piñon, Harry Roque, Inquirer letters, Jeremy H. Tobias, Maritime Dispute, Rodrigo Duterte, South China Sea, West Philippine Sea
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