CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 9 Sept) – Maybe Manny Pacquiao didn’t get to consider the down side of his China deal thoroughly, but it’s not too late for him to back away from the embrace of the Communist Chinese government.
When he announced his deal with China (last week in San Francisco) he may not have realized what he was getting into aside from just training Chinese boxers.
What he did was to let the Chinese Communists dragoon him into what could be a tangled web of who-knows what motives, intrigues, or objectives are behind the deal.
Keep in mind that Chinese politics, governance, and foreign relations evolved from thousands of years of court intrigues, conspiracies, and internecine rivalries.
The Chinese authorities know how popular Pacman is. They know what his endorsement, or mere presence, can do to soften Filipino resistance to any project they contemplate in any part of the Philippine archipelago.
If Manny thinks he can foil any undesirable Chinese scheme, he’d better think again. Masters in the game of international intrigue and one-upmanship, the Chinese can manipulate anyone like a deck of cards.
Such is China’s economic clout today that they’re already challenging America and the world in most areas of competition.
Many diplomatic, economic, and political issues face China in the Philippines and in other members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) today. What role Manny Pacquiao may play in the Chinese game plan at this time or later, no one can tell, maybe not even Manny himself.
In his arrival interview at San Francisco Airport, Manny sounded confident and cocky. Asked whether he was worried about spreading himself too thinly by undertaking too many projects—being already congressman, family man, playing coach, entertainer, endorser, plus his active boxing schedule—he replied that it was all a matter of “time management.” Wow!
Someone should tell him he’ll be better off helping train Filipinos, especially his brother Bobby who has yet to make a name for himself.
Whatever motivated him to enter into the China deal, it should be clarified to him now that kowtowing to a hostile China is an unworthy enterprise for a congressman and a reserve officer of the Philippine Army.
China’s hostile acts in the West Philippine Sea recklessly placed that country in a position of conflict with our government. If Manny wants to help normalize the situation, he should tell China to stop its trespass of our maritime jurisdiction and stop their fisher-folks from illegally harvesting our marine resources. Then he should tell them to withdraw forces they’ve deployed in Philippine waters and dismantle the infrastructure they’ve erected in strategic islands.
If the Communist Chinese use Pacman to soften Filipino anger and resistance to what they’re doing, the trick may backfire. Filipinos may lose their respect for him, declare him a traitor, and treat him accordingly.
Because of China’s incursion into the West Philippine Sea, a delicate diplomatic situation obtains between the two countries now, tension rising, with potential for armed conflict. This makes Manny’s engagement with the Chinese Communists totally inappropriate.
He can’t hire himself out to the Communist Chinese for whatever purpose. One, he’s a Congressman—sworn to uphold the territorial integrity of the Philippine Republic. Two, he’s a reserve officer of the Philippine Army (a lieutentant colonel)—sworn to fight and defend the nation’s security. Three, he’s a Filipino citizen—sworn to fight in peace or war for the nation.
In other words, Manny Pacquiao is an official of the Philippine Government. As such, it’s his duty to resist incursions or stop trespassers, not help them steal our natural resources or grab our islands and inland waters
If he proceeds with this deal, he should resign his commission and rank in the Army’s reserve corps, or be stripped of it. He should also apologize to the people of Saranggani for betraying their trust and abusing their mandate—then resign forthwith as their representative in Congress, or be stripped of his seat and replaced with a trustworthy representative who will not leave the congressional seat for Saranggani vacant again.
It’s very important for Manny to understand the gravity of being a hireling of this bullying Chinese Dragon. He must understand how China insults our sovereignty by building structures within our territorial waters. And so it is important for him to know how the Maoist New People’s Army daily assaults our communities in the countryside—to affirm its commitment to the Chinese Communists and prove its loyalty to the Chinese Communist Government.
If Manny doesn’t understand why he should not play ball with Communists—in China or in our provinces—he has no business being a congressman of our Republic.
It’s time someone brief him on the case our government has filed with the United Nations against China. Or let him ask House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte to brief him so he will understand how China is a serious threat to our sovereignty with its greed for more territory by grabbing parts of our patrimony—and also China’s arrogance in defying international law—which states that what’s within 200 miles of our shores (our Exclusive Economic Zone) is ours.
Then may our Pambansang Kamao awake to his patriotic duty to stand firm and show to the world that where China is concerned, Filipinos act as one nation and speak with one voice.
Then if this issue is brought to the agenda of our Congress and of the United Nations, we would know how Manny Pacquiao will vote.
Already wealthy many times over, famed beyond anybody’s dreams, universally admired, Manny Pacquiao can afford to be a Statesman and true leader instead of be a treasonous ingrate in the pay of Chinese Communists!
[Manny is former UNESCO regional director for Asia-Pacific; secretary-general, Southeast Asia Publishers Association; director, Development Academy of Philippines; member, Philippine Mission to the UN; vice chair, Local Government Academy; member, Cory Government’s Peace Panel; awardee, PPI-UNICEF outstanding columnist. He is president/national convenor, Gising Barangay Movement Inc. [email protected] ]