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Good Relations My A**

March 29, 2008

I found this in an article dated March 28, 2008. It was written by Veronica Uy and posted at the Inquirer.net. (Emphasis is mine.)

MANILA, Philippines — Despite the political intrigues spawned by the botched $329-million national broadband network contract and the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU), the Philippines‘ relationship with China has remained strong, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo said.

What a laugh. Of course Sec. Romulo would say that. What else can he say? That the Philippines is under great albeit subtle pressure right now: conform and deliver or we get our money back?

The Arroyo administration is walking a tightrope. On the one hand, it needs foreign capital infusion very, very badly if it is to proceed with its projects and pay off its commitments. And if the rumors of kickbacks are true, it has already put itself in too deep to be able to dig itself out easily; how can you return money you’ve already spent – not on the country but on your family? 😆 On the other hand, the shit has just hit the fan, and it’s causing one heck of a stink that threatens the administration’s very survival.

Our beloved administration probably had this to contend with ever since the whole controversy has started: do we tell China that the deal is off so we can appease our people, or do we tell our people to back down (i.e. f*** off) and just try to paper over the cracks in our “service-oriented, the people are our priority, the common good is our goal” front?

From the way the wind is blowing (and from the message the above article is sending), I’d say the administration has chosen the latter option. Our beloved government officials must have thought: “Well, Filipinos have short-term memories anyway (i.e. we forgive and forget way too easily). They’ll forget about this soon enough.”

Poor us. They’re probably right, too; more’s the pity.

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