NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNew / 29 May) – What can be better to a foreign policy that develops strong ties and strengthens friendly relations with a giant and powerful neighbor? Where foreign investments are promised to rise sky high to provide employment to the poor, hungry and jobless? And foreign assistance in the building of road and bridges, railways and other transport systems will come like manna from heaven?
Never mind that in exchange of all these promises is the deafening silence of the vassal-behaving state on the encroachment of the giant into the latter’s sovereign territory, constructing surreptitiously military bunkers, and safe havens for the giant’s naval warships and air bombers.
Never mind if the initial billion pesos of promised investments came in the form of smuggled illegal drugs (methamphetamine) that has provided business opportunities to local drug lords and death-courting employment as drug pushers to the poor and jobless.
Never mind if, as a consequence, millions of young people’s lives are ruined by addiction.
Never mind if the eradication of the drug menace is one the centerpiece programs of the regime.
Never mind, never mind, as long as the head of the vassal state is assured of his perch in power no matter what.
So what do we get from a never-mind governance? Nothing but promises and contradictions and more promises of an imagined paradise from its build-and-build program. But, nothing has been built so far except those friendly Chinese military structures in the country’s Scarborough Shoals and the “eco-friendly” resort hotel in the midst of the diminishing forest of Boracay island. Of course in the pipeline is the Chinese Galaxy mega $500M Casino Resort Hotel that can accommodate accordingly 5000 guests at any given time which is to rise in a 26-ha island property in 2019. Never mind if the island is ordered closed to undergo massive rehabilitation because it already smells shit, its carrying capacity having been breached long time ago.
With the clear and imminent danger in West Philippine Sea, the worsening economy driven to the drain by the out-of-control rampaging anti-poor TRAIN, and the unsettling political atmosphere, the country is in bad form, to say the least. But the President is not worried nor is afraid because he had solicited and accordingly got the support and assurance of bosom friend Xin Jinping that he remains in place and that China will never invade the Philippines, as if it has not done it yet.
The future is bleak. It has never been bright anyway, said some. But if our primus leader continues to waggle in the dark and is continuously egged by his millions of blind followers to push through the darkness, how far and how long can we see the glint of hope?
Ang sabi-sabi sa kalye, my apologies to the UP baby boomer activists for the liberty:
“Kong walang kikibo, sinong kikibo.
Kong walang kikilos sinong kikilos.
Makibaka, huwag UMASA!’
(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.)