POSTSCRIPT / June 21, 2012 / Thursday


Philippine STAR Columnist

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Panatag: Too many cooks and amateurs

SHORT & SWIFT: Like many others, I have given up on Facebook – mainly on privacy and verbosity issues – and settled for Twitter where one delivers his message in not more than 140 characters as in cellphone texting.

The length restriction may be a problem for some, but to those used to saying things with a minimum of words, the requirement for brevity is disciplining.

Those who want to keep up with us daily can do so at See you there. But please give your real name and post your photo.

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SAMPLE TWEETS: Some of our Twitter postings yesterday, most of them reactions/responses to other tweeters:

* In Erap’s time, Chavit said jueteng millions went regularly to d Palace. Jueteng flourishing now. Who gets payola? Who has replaced Chavit?

* Something to watch: Whether or not P-Noy would include RH bill in his coming SONA.

* Magastos talaga yang SONA. They have to manufacture glowing statistics, dress up programs & hire PR operators.

* A crime must be pinned on an individual. It must be proved that GMA cheated in specific precinct/s. Motive is not proof.

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* P-NOY should shop outside SC (a damaged institution anyway) & choose 1 of top 3 law deans as Chief Justice.

* Yes, GMA installed lightweights & transactional justices in the SC. But P-Noy attacked d institution, not just individuals.

* Gibo was right to skip a chance to head SC. Who can resurrect the judiciary after P-Noy destroyed public respect for this co-equal branch?

* A drawback of live coverage of JBC interview of CJ nominees is that some good ones are better read than heard, while glib ones earn pogi points.

* P-Noy wd make 2 SC appointments if he named a senior justice as CJ & then filled d vacancy left by d new CJ. He’d please 2 justices.

* JBC list of SC nominees lengthens. It’s amazing how many lawyers want to be Chief RubberStamp.

* As 1 of 3 senators who acquitted Corona, Miriam is surprised being applauded & mobbed by admirers in public places.

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* I BELIEVE SecDelRosario saying China committed to pull out its vessels from Panatag. His mistake was he didn’t ask them to write it down.

* Physical presence in disputed area is crucial. Don’t abandon the place to a wily claimant. If you do that, tapos ka!

* Sabi na nga, Phl is losing territory out of timidity & stupidity. Check manilamail:

* While we pull out & negotiate, they move in & cement their claim. It seems the bully wins & the timid party loses.

* If China gets Panatag & starts measuring its 200-mile EEZ from there, it might claim Luzon! What are we Filipinos doing?

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* WHY are we afraid to face the issue of PCOS-driven election fraud in 2010? We’ll let the crooks get away?

* Like how come Colombia poll results popped up in PCOSs used in Phl elections of 2010?

* Reusing PCOSs in 2013 polls will erase evidence of massive election fraud in 2010. SC is allowing this high crime!

* If PCOSs are retooled for use in 2013 polls, consenting Comelec commissioners & SC justices must be impeached!

* PCOS-driven Heist: Paano Ninakaw ang Halalan ng 2010. How the 2010 Polls Were Hijacked

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EMBARRASSMENT: So what will President Noynoy Aquino do now? He was the one who ordered the pullout of coast guard and fisheries vessels from Panatag Shoal, abandoning it to the Chinese.

Until yesterday, the foreign office was insisting that there was an agreement with China for common withdrawal from the area. But nobody could show the supposed agreement.

To President Aquino’s embarrassment, Beijing simply sent home some fishing boats but kept its naval vessels in place — and even added another one!

No one in the Philippine government, from the Office of the President to the foreign office to the defense establishment was able to say if/when naval, coast guard or fisheries vessels would be sent back.

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WHO’S LYING?: Foreign office spokesman Raul Hernandez is insisting: “The pullout of ships including fishing vessels from inside the lagoon has been agreed upon (last June 5) by both the Philippines and China.”

But Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei is saying the opposite: “The Chinese side will continue to maintain administration and vigilance over Huangyan Islands waters (Panatag to the Philippines and Scarborough to the rest of the world).”

Hong even took a dig at Manila, saying: “We wonder where the so-called commitment the Philippine side mentioned on ‘China’s withdrawal of vessels’ came from. We hope the Philippine side can restrain their words and behaviors, and do more things conducive to the development of the bilateral relations.”

It appears that any agreement or understanding forged has not been written out and signed. Who neglected this detail?

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AMATEUR COOKS: Before the Philippine side says one more word on the matter the government should designate one and only one spokesman for this imbroglio.

As it is, every one — from the spokesmen of the Palace, the defense establishment and the foreign office – talks when a microphone is thrust to his face.

The chosen spokesman should face the media always with a carefully worded written statement. Without prior clearance, he should not ad lib so as to avoid being tricked by smart newsmen.

This job is not for an amateur, or a tyro who just came upon the scene with the victorious Yellow army. He should be an expert on the subject as well as diplomatic practices.

Every wrong turn of phrase or carelessly chosen word sinks President Aquino and the country deeper into the diplomatic quagmire.

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of June 21, 2012)

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