Good Morning Philippines
ON SECOND THOUGHT
For October 26, 2011/ Wednesday
“Malacanang clarified that ‘there is nothing wrong with Italy’s travel ban on its citizens to the Philippines after the recent murder of Italian priest Fr. Faustino Tentorio in North Cotabato,’” it was reported in a daily last week. What kind of statement is that, whether in reference to the travel ban or to the murder of a priest or both, saying that there’s nothing wrong with it? Everything is wrong and nothing is right about it. That announcement from the palace is plainly absurd and beyond belief unless it was meant to be surrealistic; but we’re afraid the Palace was serious in their pronouncement. That one should win the trophy for most asinine, not to mention uncalled for, statement coming from the spokespersons in Malacanang, all of whom have become the butt of jokes among Filipinos across the internet.
Governor Vilma Santos Recto explained that the proposal to construct a huge sign on Taal volcano similar to the tacky one on Hollywood, California “is not final yet,” and will undergo a process of consultations with various government agencies, including the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, along with concerned sectors like the fisher-folk and other stake-holders. It seems no one has told her yet about the “aesthetics” concern of the people opposing it which, admittedly, is a question of personal taste. That means they will also have to convince her that it’s ugly and will ruin the natural and pristine beauty that millions of people have appreciated over countless of years. We hope she will agree with the obvious.
President Benigno Aquino III expressed dismay at the performance of the Philippine Army in the wake of a spate of killings of AFP soldiers over a four day period that left 23 soldiers dead. The attacks on the soldiers occurred two days apart in Basilan and Zamboanga, Sibugay. PNoy’s disappointment with the military caused some rumblings among officers that felt their Commander in Chief was giving too much credence to the version, and justification, of the MILF for the attack on the soldiers, and little sympathy to the protectors of the State. Shortly after, Malacanang announced a PHP10B release of funds for the AFP modernization program stressing it had nothing to do with the events in Mindanao. To some, it sounded like buying his way out of a confrontation with a heated military. The majority of the population, based on a survey done by a broadcast station and the comments made in social media platforms in the internet, were miffed by the President’s lack of resolve to avenge the deaths of the soldiers. The following day, the President ordered the military to bomb areas in Mindanao where the perpetrators were believed to have fled. But for the most part, the President held on to his “dovish” stance and expressed his confidence in the on-going peace talks with the MILF. The President has said he is against an all out war as some have suggested. It’s difficult to understand the President in anything he does regarding the decades old strife in Mindanao until it is clear what exactly he agreed to with the MILF during their secret meeting in Tokyo some 3 months ago. When you keep secrets from your people, don’t expect understanding and support to come easy.