Tuesday, March 30, 2010


The Aquino presidency then had government information people describe their chief executive's mission to Europe as a success in an overall report to the nation. How else could they have judged their own junket to join the extravaganza of the bicentennial of the French Revolution in Gay Paree? They simply had to justify the gargantuan expenses of a big entourage by that begging mission.

Well, they struck out in West Germany and possibly hit a homer in France. It was then a waiting game on who among the two countries would help the Philippines. Which of the two was known on flamboyance and elegant promises, but short on delivery? Considering the huge entourage of the Aquino loan-seeking mission to Europe and the large amount of dollars brought out by this group, Europeans might have believed there was truth to a boast made by a former Aquino official that the Philippines is really "a rich country pretending to be poor." Those guys and their wives in the Aquino junket were better off not being too visible when they were cluttering up the ritzy cafes and boites de nuit. After viewing the extravagance of the Pinoy whooping it up in Paris, officials of the Group of Seven (G-7) industrialized nations from which the Aquino mission was seeking financial assistance might have then considered the Philippines as a donor nation.

Not familiar with the refinements of the French tongue, I remember listening to comments on speeches delivered by President Aquino in French at the different functions in Paris. Portions of her speeches were aired on local television.

Filipino experts in the French language and a few local French residents said that Aquino's fractured French was lamentable and should have never been delivered and that she should have just spoken in English. The kindest remark was that it was what is known as "Brooklyn French," that is, it was spoken with a fractured American accent.

I think it was no less than then President Francois Mitterrand who had to ask for an interpreter when Cory delivered her speech in his own native language.

To the French, her speech was simply "petits pois."

Monday, March 29, 2010


SLEEPLESS IN MY SHUTTLE. Muslim legislators are amused by a suggestion for an investigation on the "dangerous liaisons" of certain solons who are apparently unhappy about having only one wife. Under Islamic law, Muslim men are entitled to have as many as four legal wives and maintain several other concubines as they can afford.

As one Muslim solon said: "We are practicing legally and in the open what you Christians are doing in secret and in supposed sin."

To which a virile Christian solon riposted: "My parents brought me up in the wrong faith." This also explains why many Christians have been inquiring about turning to Islam. Most of them will be turned away because they only have salacious reasons for changing their faith.

Just stick with one wife, okay?


The entourage that accompanied the late President Corazon Aquino to West Germany in 1989 received immediate lessons in Teutonic respect for law and human rights even before landing on German soil. The PAL plane carrying the Aquino party was hovering over Bonn at 8 a.m. and had to stay aloft for some 30 minutes because of an early morning anti-noise law. German authorities were afraid that a 21-gun salute for President Aquino would wake up Bonn-Cologne residents. A flyover of German jets to welcome Cory was likewise called off because of a noise pollution law.

In her initial contact with German officials and the German press after the usual welcome amenities, the President was peppered with questions about the reported widespread violation of human rights in the Philippines. She was immediately forced into a defensive stance about her regime. She said reports of such violations were the handiwork of her political opponents and the communists in her country.

Inside her, she must have been cursing the day she released Jose Ma. 'Joma' Sison, Filipino Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) chairman, from incarceration after the EDSA revolt. It was the Sison group, based in Utrecht, Holland, which successfully brainwashed the European press about human rights violations by the Aquino regime, described as worse than those under Marcos.

An eye-opener report to many Manilans was the revelation that among those in the Aquino party was resigned Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Philip Juico. If the report was true, it was asked, what in heaven's name was he doing in the delegation? Was it to deliver a message to certain government agencies still bent on prosecuting Juico for complicity in the aborted Garchitorena land scandal in spite of a presidential clearance already given him?

In her official talks with German leaders, President Cory stressed that one of her accomplishments was the dismantling of business monopolies set up during the Marcos regime.

But of course that was only for the consumption of the Germans. As many Filipinos know, she may have done away with the Marcos cronies, but she was helpless in stopping the return of powerful oligarchs demolished by Marcos and the appearance of new cronies (like the Lopezes and their ABS-CBN network), including several others in her administration.