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Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Opinion: Philippine Policy in Respect of Communist China is Dysfunctional; UP President will be Interesting Speaker at UPAAA GRC; Reader's Reaction to the Robredos By Manuel L Caballero




The foreign policy of the Philippines in respect of Communist China is dysfunctional. It deviates from the norms of international or even regional relations between  or among nations. In a big way, it can be regarded as bad.

The PH has a Mutual Defense Treaty with the US since 1951. But, Manila is sending its military officers to China for training . (Thank you, Mr. Duterte). While, at the same time, China continues to bully PH Coast Guard vessels and personnel in its own territory in the West Philippine Sea. The same bullying is done against Filipino fishermen in the same maritime area. At the same time, China continues to ignore the Arbitration Court's decision  in The Hague in favor of the PH.

All these are happening because of two reasons: 1) Ex-Pres. Duterte's personal pro- China policy during  his presidency; and 2) Domestic politics.  Being political allies, Pres. Bongbong Marcos cannot just break away from Mr. Duterte's implemented pro China policies  despite his manifested close ties with the US as shown during BBM's official visit to Washington earlier this year.

At the rate the PH is going, it's like a woman who wants to maintain two boyfriends simultaneously. We know it's not only wrong, it is also bad policy.

Now that Rodrigo Duterte is no longer president,  Philippine leaders should accept the fact that they need allied help, especially US and Japan, and even Europe, to retain their nation’s territorial integrity, and its sovereign rights and privileges under public international law.


Like other UP alumni, I am  looking forward to meeting University of the Philippines President Angelo A. JIMENEZ. at the UPAAA  Grand Reunion and Convention on Oct. 19-22, 2023 in New Jersey.

I read a write-up on him in Wikipedia. He is a lawyer with extensive experience in labor relations.  It was Atty. Jimenez who observed  from his first-hand experience in the post-Sadam Iraq, that there will be chaos when institutions of government stop functioning, or are not functioning well.

I would say that observation is akin  to what's happening in the PH today, where Congress and the Supreme Court are  said to be extremely loyal to the head of the Executive branch, thus, their decisions are almost always suspects. To us, that's not true democracy. We hope the UP President will deal on this topic in his speech.

Another good mention about Pres. Jimenez was when he made a difficult decision to allow a group of medical doctors interns from PGH to graduate despite being disqualified due to  supposed "lack of moral standards." Pres. Jimenez reportedly questioned the imposition of moral standards by an institution. Interesting!

We cannot wait to listen to UP Pres. Jimenez when he speaks during the UPAAA Grand Reunion and Convention (GRC) on Oct. 19-22, 2023 at Hyatt Regency New Brunswick Hotel in New Brunswick,  NJ.


As writer of this column, I receive reactions from readers. I'd like to share one I received from Dr. JOY CELO, UPAAA GRC Vice Chair. She reacted to my earlier FB post about the late husband of former VP Leni Robredo, Sec. Jesse Robredo.

Here is Dr. CELO's:

"I love your posts...I especially got teary-eyed with "Remembering Jesse Robredo".  We sometimes forget that she is a widow and a mother, first and foremost, and she is keeping his memory and ideals alive by being in public service.  She could have just as easily gone into private practice as a lawyer.  She is truly a National Treasure!"

Thank you, Dr. CELO.  I'm looking forward to meeting you during the UPAAA GRC in October.


I don't usually do this, but I'd like to greet a bright woman accountant from Bacolod and NY, whose dear mother passed recently. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Kathleen on August 23rd.


Again, CONGRATULATIONS to Former VP Leni Gerona Robredo and Consul General Zaldy Patron  (Calgary, Canada). Both are among the 2023 UP Distinguished Alumni Awardees who received their awards in Diliman last August 19.


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