Unexpected of a guest

ON A RECENT guesting at a regular meeting of the biggest organization of Chinese businessmen in the country, President Simeon Benigno C. Aquino went beyond being an honorable guest, delivering a rather unwelcome remark to the audience and to all Chinese businessmen at large.

“Pay your taxes!,” the President told the Chinese businessmen. And to those already paying their taxes, he said, “Pay correct taxes!”

Although he spoke in Chinese, the message was clear. He may not have realized that he is insulting his hosts. Being a guest of honor, he is expected to put some good words to these businessmen, who are running nearly 80 percent of businesses in the country, from small enterprises to the biggest conglomerates.

He even went on to name names and how much they owe the government. That, of course, elicited nervous laughter from the audience, expecting that Kim Henares may not be far behind.

Well, you see, it’s not only the ordinary Pinoy who was a complaint, even an ax to grind against many Chinese in the Philippines. From those who are shortchanged in their deals with Chinese businessmen, who all now call themselves Tsinoys for certain advantages of affinity, to those who get lower than law-mandated salaries as workers in Tsinoy factories and other enterprises, a lot of tales of woe can be heard, even documented. Well, not all, but a lot of them do, as the saying goes: Ibang kausap ang Tsekwa!

For PNoy to break the sacred and unwritten agreement between a guest speaker and his host, it shows how deep runs the animosity between Filipinos and Chinese in the Philippines. Although this hostility almost always does not show in public, it is like a plague that continues to eat at the very fiber of our socio-economic life.

Personally, I don’t hate the Chinese. I do not have any beef against them. Also, sometimes they are good, but most of the time, their being good is also good for them, if you know what I mean.

Check the article out at http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2013/03/23/922988/noy-tsinoys-pay-your-taxes and make your own conclusions. The event was held recently at the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. building in Binondo.

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