The tale of the Filipino crabs

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit Avila (The Freeman) - November 28, 2019 - 12:00am

Honestly, I really did not want to write anything about our hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games, except that the social media has been very busy putting even the most minute negative detail as its headline, which once and for all, exposes the reality of the Filipino psyche that we have indeed so many Filipino crabs. We love to destroy anything that is good for the nation. I mean, our hosting of the SEA Games is truly an honor for the Philippines, but unfortunately, the Filipino crabs only see the negative side of things and, worse, expose their true colors!

In response to this “crab mentality,” no less than President Rodrigo Duterte wants an investigation of the issues hounding the Philippines' hosting of this year's SEA Games, including claims that the blunders of organizers that are now embarrassing the country stemmed from corruption. Frankly speaking, most of the complaints are very minor as it is about the kind of food the athletes were served and there was an issue on the lack of transportation, which then called upon bus operators to send in buses to support our hosting.

This problem came upon the attention of the President, which is why presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte was “displeased” when he heard about the experiences of foreign athletes who were not fed properly and who had to endure transportation and hotel accommodation woes after their arrival in the Philippines.

Anyway, since all this already has the attention of the President, I would like to believe that any investigation on the SEA Games should be done after the games have been played so as not to embarrass ourselves any further. However, issues like the wrong food served should not take center stage; issues like corruption should be exposed and the perpetrators punished. So in the meantime, let’s enjoy the games.

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Meanwhile, on other pressing matters, no less than Duterte exhorted House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco to honor their gentleman’s agreement on the term-sharing for the speakership. As the President pointed out, “our agreement is sharing, half-half. Now, if anyone of them would not honor it, be it Lord Velasco or Peter Cayetano, that is…that would be his decision.”

Indeed, we recall that it was the President who intervened in the duo’s fight for the speakership before the 18th Congress opened last July. The controversy emerged anew after Cayetano and his allies hinted they would want continuity, meaning the current speaker should stay at his post. What we are seeing here are politicians not honoring their word.

I don’t know when exactly would be the half of the term of House Speaker Cayetano, but if he doesn’t honor this agreement made with the President, it could fracture the allies of Pres. Duterte. At this point, I really hope that the members of House would insist on following this agreement. After all, it was done to solve their political impasse. I just hope that House Speaker Cayetano would change his mind and convince his allies that when the time comes, he really has to step down; otherwise, House might just vote him out of his post, which is going to be too embarrassing for him.

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As I already said, I no longer want to write any more articles about the firing of Vice President Leni Robredo as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) and hope that she could move on from this brouhaha. However, we must respond to what opposition Rep. Edcel Lagman of Albay said the other day that her firing was likened to an extrajudicial killing (EKJ).

Here is what Edcel Lagman said: “The summary dismissal of the Vice President as ICAD co-chair without any valid reasons and due process is akin to an extrajudicial killing. Like EJK victims, Robredo fought and criticized the Duterte administration’s bloody war on drugs.” He claimed that the President fired Robredo to hide from her data on the anti-drugs campaign.

I have no doubt that opposition leaders like Lagman have really lost their wisdom. Sure we understand that as a staunch ally of the Vice President, he would always defend her. But to say that her firing was akin to an EKJ killing is truly out of bounds and totally unreasonable.


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