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The bane of life

RRoy’siPadThe bane of life
Ronald Roy — July 16, 2015

Disputes are the bane of life, especially if they do not have happy endings. In any event, they are inevitable because we are all created sui generis, or unique and distinct from one another, each with a mind of his or her own. Disputes are also necessary because without them we’ll neither have much to solve and improve on, nor find the need to explore the full range of our human and environmental resources. Without them, we’ll hardly get to realize our reason for being, hence, no progress to labor for. Disputes, let us then welcome; their just resolutions, let us strive for.
If self-respect is worth restoring through the self-destruction of one who has himself defiled it, as in the Japanese culture of hara-kiri, so also is our sovereignty worth going to war and dying for — id est, as a last resort. But a nonviolent settlement may well be in the distant future in the case of our judicial face-off with China, which has been calculated to take years.

Spirit of UNCLOS
Some three years ago, we filed our complaint with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, and it was only three weeks ago, upon the failure of diplomatic protests and street demonstrations, that a 35-member Philippine delegation (repeat: 35-member…what???) headed by DFA Sec. Albert del Rosario appeared at the said court to initiate hearings on our complaint against China’s accelerating illegal incursions into the West Philippine Sea.
Preparatory to the determination of whether the court had jurisdiction over the case, Del Rosario delivered an impassioned statement that China violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) at the expense of the Philippines (and Vietnam, Brunei. Malaysia and Taiwan), “and that the Philippines was now seeking relief from UNCLOS that enables the weak to challenge the powerful on equal footing, confident in the conviction that principles trump power, that law triumphs over force, and that right prevails over might.”
Addressing the tribunal’s president, the DFA secretary argued that the tribunal had jurisdiction over the case because “China’s actions struck right at the core of UNCLOS xxx and that it was not only the Philippines’ claims but also the spirit of UNCLOS itself that rested in (the tribunal president’s) capable hands.” Verily, Del Rosario’s rhetoric inspired belief that the arbitral court would eventually assert its jurisdiction.

Spirit of the papacy
Global attention is now thus focused on our dispute with China, with weak states hoping for the best that International Law can give in their struggle for “equal footing” on the world stage, and powerful nations being forewarned that their imperialist and neocolonialist ways are things of the past.
If the dispute isn’t resolved in our favor and Beijing refuses to honor the judgement — a not unlikely event, according to the late Deng Xiaoping — an armed confrontation between us and China without America’s military support would be unthinkable, unless of course we decide to romanticize our quest for justice with a willingness to “die with our boots on” the way Custer held his last stand.
Pope Francis, back in Rome from his recently concluded tour of poor South American countries, certainly would not advocate war in case peace efforts failed between our impoverished country and fabulously wealthy China. But he continues to wage a fervid crusade for a just share of the earth’s riches for poor countries. Sadly, however, the world’s business and government leaders don’t acquiesce with more that lip service. The Pope has thus become an angry man.
With uncharacteristic verbals, the pontiff has branded the corruption of people as “gangrene”, called the pursuit of money the “dung of the devil”, urged youths in a dying planet to “make a mess” — a funny translation perhaps from an Argentinian idiom that means “fight for your rights” — sought forgiveness for the sins of the Catholic Church against native Americans during the colonial era and, had he known a bit of Philippine history, would have likewise apologized for the abuses of Spanish Friars against native Filipinos over a century ago.
BTW, for slamming global capitalism, Pope Francis has been labeled a communist. Wrong. As an imitator of Jesus Christ, the greatest socialist of all time, the pontiff is a socialist.

Spirit of governance
Assuredly, uplifting the poor and tempering the rich in these our modern times of crass materialism, has become the bane of life for Pope Francis, and apropos of this is Pres. Aquino’s duty to govern under depressing conditions of crippling poverty.
Being appointed to a government position can be one’s “spice of life”. But for P-Noy, who recently had to choose the right general from a list of five equally qualified generals, the exercise would be a bane of his executive life.
However, in appointing a new AFP Chief of Staff, he reportedly found an Asperger’s solution by reciting, his pointed finger hopping from general to general: Pen pen de sara pen kutsilyo de alma sen haw haw de carabao ba tu ten…heheh…

09186449517 ronald8roy@yahoo.com

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