Once again, our government is kowtowing to Tokyo by telling Filipinos to keep in mind that the Japanese government is our “strategic ally” (“Laguna statue part of freedom of expression—Panelo,” Inquirer.net, 1/1/19).
Salvador Panelo also warned Filipinos against “unduly politicizing an issue which has already been addressed.”
The world knows the issue has not been addressed properly. Sure, Panelo is just doing his job, which includes bending over backward for this shameless, unscrupulous administration by making absurd pronouncements.
Just like the time earlier this year when a “comfort woman” statue installed by a patriotic group on Roxas Boulevard was swiftly removed by the Manila authorities, this wariness to offend the Japanese government for fear of losing its economic assistance is part of a pattern.
Unlike Germany, which long ago apologized and made restitution for its war crimes, the world knows that Japan has refused to acknowledge its atrocities during World War II.
Its leaders have long failed to make an official apology to the victims. It thinks it’s done enough by doling out some amounts of recompense (not officially but from private organizations).
Incidentally, the euphemistic tag for those victims should never have been used — “comfort” was only derived by Japanese soldiers by prostituting girls and women who experienced great pain and misery.
For Panelo to declare that “Japan, after all, has paid dearly for its past deeds, which includes giving reparations” is as ridiculous as the man and his boss. (Sadly, the Laguna statue included an empty chair beside the seated woman so that people could sit there and take selfies.)
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