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Who is the real "persona non grata?"

DIRECT FROM THE MIDDLE EAST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - November 21, 2014 - 12:00am

The City Council of Iloilo City or Sangguniang Panlungsod has passed a resolution declaring Manuel Mejorada as "PERSONA NON GRATA." By virtue of that resolution, the leadership of the city government has manifested its contempt against the former provincial administrator of the province for causing a great embarrassment to the people of that city. Following such a line of reasoning, it is also possible that former Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado of Makati could be declared as "persona non grata" in the premier city in Metro Manila. For while Senate President Franklin Drilon's allies dominate Iloilo, the Binays control Makati.

Although such resolutions have no binding punitive effect, much less can it result to some sort of a "destierro'' nor absolute prohibition of entry to the city, they carry some strong message of being unwelcome and detested by the community. The acts or negligence that may lead to such pronouncement are usually considered acts of betrayal or treachery, disloyalty and even '' treason." Dr Jose Rizal was banished to Dapitan for having been deemed a "persona non grata" by the Spanish friars and the ruling military and civil authorities.  But he was the hero of the oppressed, exploited, and abused native indios.

Actually, this act of declaring a person "persona non grata" is a diplomatic process, by why the host state or government expresses its dismay, disapproval or disenchantment with the acts, decisions or behavior of a foreign diplomat accredited and accepted by the receiving government. When a Filipino diplomat, for instance, who is deployed to another country, commits a serious breach of protocol or has insulted local officials, or commits a serious crime, he can be so declared. His diplomatic visa may be cancelled and his home state will have to recall him to the Philippines.

When an American soldier, for instance, temporarily stationed in the Philippines for an official mission, commits murder or rape, then he can be declared "persona non grata" and the American authorities may have to recall him. The only problem with that diplomatic procedure is that it would bring the accused away from the jurisdiction of our police, prosecution, and judicial authorities. When a European diplomat is caught committing pedophilia in Manila, he may be declared "persona non grata." When a foreign diplomat stationed in Manila interferes with internal politics, he can be declared as such an unwelcome and ungrateful visitor.

Now, in the context of contemporary events, who is really the "persona non grata" -- the whistle blower who divulges his personal knowledge of certain irregularities, or what he perceives to be irregularities, or the alleged perpetrator of such criminal offenses, if found guilty after due process? Which one should be disdained, ostracized and driven away: the witnesses or the accused? The answer is of course dependent on the weight of evidence. Whose side bears the truth and who is just bluffing, playing politics or wrecking vengeance against a former patron, confidant, and friend.

 

 

BINAYS CITY COUNCIL OF ILOILO CITY DR JOSE RIZAL GRATA MANUEL MEJORADA METRO MANILA NON PERSONA SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD VICE MAYOR ERNESTO MERCADO OF MAKATI
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