Ignoring Duterte tirade, Del Rosario reiterates call for patriotic president

GOTCHA - Jarius Bondoc - The Philippine Star

"For this coming election, our humble view is our people should vote for the candidate who is good for our country – not one who is good for China.” Ex-foreign secretary Albert del Rosario reiterated that point after President Rody Duterte blasted him on television Monday.

Duterte had made three unsubstantiated accusations. Supposedly Del Rosario is not a Filipino, does not look Filipino, so is thus a traitor. Duterte raged at Del Rosario’s earlier report of ranking Beijing officials bragging to have “influenced the 2016 Philippine election” that made him president. Quoted was a “most reliable international entity.” Duterte retorted that his 16 million voters could not have been bought.

Duterte in February 2017 admitted that three of his every five statements are nonsense, and only two correct. “E sa limang salita ko, dalawa lang ‘yong tama niyan, ‘yong tatlo puro kalokohan ‘yan,” he told the Customs bureau’s 115th anniversary. “And so I’m just fond of doing it. Gusto ko lang tumawa, well, at the expense of myself sometimes.” His spokesmen frequently complain of his being misquoted.

Two Duterte remarks about Chinese President and Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping were recalled by Del Rosario. On May 15, 2018, Duterte told soldiers that Xi had vowed to protect him from ouster. And before attending the Boao Forum that year he professed undying love for Xi. Odd that Duterte would depend on the aggressor of the West Philippine Sea for his securty of tenure, Del Rosario noted.

Millions believed Duterte when he hyperbolized during the 2016 presidential debates to jet-ski to the Spratlys, plant the Filipino flag and declare to China that “this is ours.” Since it was in response to poor fisherfolk’s question, Filipinos took it to mean he would assert the right to fish in Philippine waters that China illegally encroaches. But on becoming President two months, later he shelved The Hague’s outlawing of China’s sea incursions. In survey after survey thereafter, Filipinos have been seeking government counteraction, not subservience, to Beijing. Last May 10, 2021 Duterte declared that his “jet-ski promise” was “just a campaign joke” and those who believed him were “stupid”.

It was in that context that Del Rosario, at last week’s fifth anniversary of Manila’s arbitral victory, brought up the need to choose wisely the next president. Fuming, Duterte demanded to know where Del Rosario lives or hangs out, so he can go there and “pour your coffee on your face.” His tirade included belittling the late Senate president Aquilino Pimentel Jr., founder of the party that brought him to power and which he now chairs.

Del Rosario and former Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio had built up The Hague case. They have been asking Duterte to rescind his deal with Xi allowing Chinese to fish in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. Also to retract his defeatist claim that China is in control of the West Philippine Sea, not just nine islets and reefs. Lastly, to muster international support to compel Beijing to abide by The Hague verdict and depart from the WPS.

On television last May 5 Duterte challenged Carpio to a public debate on the WPS issue; he backed out when Carpio accepted. Also on TV in 2003 then-Davao City mayor Duterte dared feisty radio commentator Waldy Carbonell to a gun duel at the plaza, but didn’t show up.

The Hwarangdo blackbelt Del Rosario is from the bloodline of Gregorio del Pilar, martyr-general during the Filipino-American War. Not one to stoop to the level of a spitting match with a street bully, the former top diplomat stuck to his vision of a patriotic president.

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To star in the Tokyo Olympics that begin today are not only the athletics competitors but also the shoes they will be wearing. Controversy will swirl over new sporting footwear with distinctly chunky-looking heels. Biomechanics enables wearers to smash records. Marathoners supposedly can cut their time by one-and-a-half to five minutes. That’s huge in finishes where only seconds can matter.

Critics call it “technological doping”. Then again, if barefoot is allowed in sprints, then why not also new-tech running shoes for long distances? They debuted in 2016.

What exactly are these magic shoes? The Economist asked an expert to deconstruct them: “The shoes are made of a new type of foam that offers an unprecedented mix of resilience and squidginess. This returns around 80 percent of the energy from each strike of a runner’s foot. The carbon-fiber plate may help by stiffening the midsole, and possibly by altering a runner’s gait. By cushioning a runner’s bones, muscles and ligaments from repetitive impacts, the shoes may even help athletes train harder than they otherwise could.”

Mom, buy me a pair of those.

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Catch Sapol radio show, Saturdays, 8 to 10 a.m., dwIZ (882-AM). “Gotcha: An Exposé on the Philippine Government” is available as e-book and paperback. Book orders accepted at Shopee: https://shopee.ph/GOTCHA-(Paperback)-by-Jarius-Bondoc-i.264837039.3870254862

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