SPECKS OF LIFE: Opposition wary of 2019 polls

SPECKS OF LIFE: Fred C. Lumba

Even as the Mid-East crisis worsens, Filipinos worry more of domestic political wrangling. Ah, nation-building is not an easy task, is it?

 You can look at the accomplishments of all past presidents who are still alive – Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino and ask them.

Even those who have passed away, we can probably scan what they have achieved during their incumbency. The verdict would be: Not enough.

Today, the political opposition and its minions who oppose the policies of the Duterte administration are merely finding faults with the government.

Take the West Philippine Sea issue.

Those intensely oppose to the diplomatic tact of Pres. Duterte are badgering him to be more actively pronounced against the Chinese aggressive claims to the islands in the area.

They so believe the filing of diplomatic protests is not enough. They are pushing the President to speak openly – even harshly – and with a militant stance against China’s covert hegemony as if to provoke the other party to wage unwanted war against a small country like the Philippines.

The opposition and their blind allies who are staunchly anti-Duterte forget that these islands being claimed and occupied by China have been a nagging issue since 1995 during FVR’s term. This, when Duterte was yet – as they label him – a small-time mayor down south.

Historically, this perspective is intentionally being hidden away from the public eye because the opposition is dying to grab back power and authority from the man who was most unlikely to become President and subsequently embarrassed them in a democratic election.

This issue has become redundant to the point that the opposition fears it may be rendered inutile and its candidates for the 2019 mid-term elections wiped out.

AJ Antonio Carpio has been harping on the inability (or lack of) of the government to pursue the judgment pronounced in favor of the Philippines by the UN Arbitral Court. Why Carpio is so keen in pushing the Duterte government to nag China is somehow not beyond my simple ken (maybe he is looking towards 2022).

But, allow me to point out that China has categorically stated that she will not give up these islands whatever the consequences, even it meant going to war.

 Which means that for the Philippines to claim sovereignty over the disputed islands, is Carpio subtly suggesting that the government use military force to get back these territories?

   Let him who wants to go to war fire the first shot then.

Why? Does it not show very obviously that even the US would not jeopardize going to war against China just to protect us under the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty (even when the US State Sec. said so)?

While it is true that military drills and the presence of some US navy ships continue to send some subtle message, both China and the US would not risk going to war because there is a better way of civilly resolving these headaches. Both countries know that nobody wins in a bloody military war.

Diplomacy is the art of effective negotiation.  

Diplomacy, if I may, is the better part of valor.

British-born writer Aldous Huxley who was refused American citizenship when he applied said: “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.”

 I reckon the opposition is wary that Duterte’s continued high approval and trust ratings among the Filipinos are the foundations they need to destroy.

 OFWs the world over are collectively supporting the policies of Pres. Duterte, including, at some point, the total ban of OFWs to Kuwait and other countries that are maltreating our countrymen.

This reality supports our contention that diplomacy is the correct avenue in dealing with the WPS issues, including the prospective joint exploration of the areas that will benefit both countries.

This is not surrender, as the opposition screams, but a wiser tactical approach.

But then, 2019 is an election year. ### (Email your feedback to fredlumba@yahoo.com.) GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!