Pork shoved the Chinese to the sidelines

DID anybody ever wonder whether Ben Luy, the whistleblower, was a Chinese running dog? Being obviously a Chinese, he must also have some interests parallel to what is being pursued by China in the West Philippine Sea. So, didn’t it ever occur to anyone that what he did was mostly intended overshadow the controversy surrounding this crucial issue about territory and ownership.

Just look at the newspapers, watch news on television and listen to the radio. The Philippine Development Assistance Fund scam is all over, with Janette Lim Napoles, together with some Philippine senators and congressmen as the villain and Filipino people the victim.

Now, the public is enraged, calling for the abolition of PDAF or pork barrel. And interest in the islands on the West Philippine Sea suddenly got lost in this national outrage. Was that what Ben Luy was after, afterall?

It could be, by any measure. Just look at the possibility of him being paid to spin public interest away from the West Philippine Sea aggression. He could have been paid to do so.

Also, if he has an ax to grind against Napoles, he would have hit two birds with one spiel: the PDAF scam!

Further, this kind of spinning stories to overshadow controversial issues has somehow become the trademark of this administration’s media handlers and spin masters.

Do you remember the Atimonan Massacre? How about the escape of Mancao from the NBI detention cell? The unusual way how former NBI Director Magtanggol B. Gatdula. The institutionalized corruption at the Bureau of Customs, etc. etc.

Clearly, administration spin masters have taken a penchant for using one controversy to overshadow another controversy. Just look at the pattern of spinning. Once the administration reaches a point where an investigation is already being conducted, wham!, another big issue hogs the headline. So, there is no more need to come up with the results of the investigations.

So, who benefits from all these?

I believe, your guess is as good as mine.

The death of a fisherman

Even before a Philippine Coast Guard ship fired at a Taiwanese fishing boat that resulted in the death of a 65-year old fisherman, many Filipinos are already primed to shoot any chinky-eyed person on a foreign boat and sailing near or inside its territorial waters.

For months running before the incident, the Philippines and China have engaged in a bitter word war over each country’s claim on a group of islands in the now West Philippine Sea, which was China Sea and still is to China and others. The word war was, of course, not without fanfare. Just imagine a group of fishing boats having the temerity to sail around the disputed islands, with battleships as escorts, compliments of China, right after the word war re-started. Although limping with it’s ageing patrol boats, the Philippines cannot simply ignore such arrogance. Call it bullying if you want!

This tug of word went on for months, with the Philippines vainly trying the diplomatic channel while China employing the “thug approach” with their gun ships and mighty air force jets making flybys. And what do you think happens?

Those Pilipinos in their museum-class patrol boats and antiquated guns began thinking of their dire sorry state, if ever actual hostilities break out around the disputed islands. And as the word war between China and the Philippines continued without anyone gaining an upperhand, but with China continuously sending non-verbals of their tiger-to-mouse advantage, the Pinoys tasked of defending Filipino sovereignty began to feel something in the pith of their stomachs. And this may not even be a shared feeling, but definitely it was brewing in some of them.

So on that fateful Thursday, the one who pulled the trigger may have had the highest level of emotional hatred for the chinky-eyed people who threatened trespass. And if the head of the joint Philippine Coast Guard/Bureau of Fisheries team approved of the shooting, he obviously shares the same sentiment against the chinky-eyed persons on that boat.

So, in the spirit of Filipino revolutionaries using bolos and antiquated guns against the Americans, hindi sila nagpahuli at inunahan na ang kalaban resulting in the death of an old Taiwanese fisherman.

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.