COMMENTARY: Rationally, then, what can we do?

MARIKINA CITY (MindaNews / 24 January) — Many times, we put our faith fully in a human being, only to find out later, daghan diay iyang kakulangan.

In the political arena, especially, we get easily frustrated. We support and elect people we thought would be the Messiah to free us from  the ills that blight our country … But only to find out that meron din palang pagkokulang!!!!!

Rationally, then, what can we do?

Well, we can continue backing up the candidate we supported blindly, with our ears and mouths taped so that we do not disrupt our ‘external’ comfort zones. Or, we avail of our rights as citizens of the land by speaking out and denouncing whoever that person might be who is causing our disenchantment.

I do not expect Lola Tinay — at this stage of her life – to act like a teen-age activist! But, she can probably pray that the Almighty would guide the heart and mind and soul of the President para makatoltol sa hustong dalan.

Or she can communicate her thoughts openly to the numerous media outlets in the country to give vent to her frustrations.

On the personal level, I think, she’d be able to overcome her frustrations by teaming up with her “co-teenagers” in whose company she can give vent to her anxieties and probably enjoy hearing similar views from them.

It is not absolutely true that “nobody” is telling the President that he “has crossed the line.”

Some of our media outlets have been doing that. And other concerned NGOs – and a few members of the Opposition – have been complaining against his perceived tendencies to speak off-the-cuff even on matters of national importance.

And, pardon my self reference, the fact is that whenever I am asked about EJKs (extrajudicial killings) and the perception that the administration is bent on befriending China, I respond that EJKs are reprehensible because human life is so valuable, we don’t even have a death penalty.

And if the State, itself, cannot take the life even of a convicted killer, for instance, all the more reason why private individuals or even law enforcers may not, cannot do, so.

In relation to the Administration’s desire to improve our relationship with China, I dare say that it is a good move to befriend our closest giant neighbor.

But, in going to that direction, let us not keep a blind eye to China’s apparently insatiable desire to gobble up parts of our territories, particularly: Scarborough, the Spratlys, and the Benham Rise.

Otherwise, before we know it, we shall have lost those precious parts of our Republic.

We must protect the territorial integrity of our Republic. If we do not do so, we not only lose face internationally but also invaluable properties that are vitally needed to ensure, at the very least, the economic survival of our ever burgeoning population.

Hence, we must continue to use whatever remedies are available under international law: protest, sue and litigate the issues before appropriate international tribunals, even if China, in its arrogance, rejects the jurisdiction of those tribunals. What is of vital importance is that our rights over those territories are being asserted under the ambit of the rule of law.

Who knows that later on, this self-styled center of the world (as the self-proclaimed “Middle Kingdom”), may come to its senses and realize that it can spread its power and influence all over the globe in more palatable ways than the threat of armed might. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr. has been in public service for decades. The 84-year old Mindanawon served as mayor of Cagayan de Oro City, delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention and Assemblyman of the  Batasang Pambansa representing Misamis Oriental, OIC Local Governments Secretary, Senator and Senate President.)