Misadventures of the Palace jester
In “Only President Duterte can curse — Roque” (5/5/21), the former UP law professor and now presidential spokesperson Harry Roque lectured everyone that only President Duterte has the right to cuss and curse in public and at whomsoever he pleases. What a burst of genius!
Reacting to Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.’s badmouthing of China whose “militia vessels” continue to lord it over areas within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, Roque chided him for referring to China as an “ugly oaf” and demanding that it should “get the f*ck out” of the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
After countless protests lodged against China to leave the WPS alone, Filipinos understood where Locsin was coming from. Like them, he has simply gotten sick and tired of Chinese arrogance and intransigence. He was in fact speaking for the vast Filipino population, not for President Duterte who is always shaking in his boots whenever China frowns.
Roque certainly knows which side of his bread is buttered, and the heck with public opinion. Defending his boss’ total lack of spine to tell China off himself, Roque dissembled that Mr. Duterte may just be treading more cautiously on a “sensitive field of diplomacy.” Yeah, right. Mr. Duterte has perfected the art of just begging for mercy as the be-all and end-all of his brand of diplomacy vis-à-vis China.
Whose leg is Roque still pulling? The Filipino people are not dumb. They know diplomacy with a bully like China has never worked. This became too obvious when China snubbed the arbitration proceedings at The Hague which were the most diplomatic way of resolving the WPS dispute. Roque constantly brags about his “expertise in international law,” but has he ever learned there are myriad ways to settle conflicts other than warfare? The professor has clearly traded his brains for the perks of being a Palace jester.
ARNULFO M. EDRALIN
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