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Bacolod City, PhilippinesThursday, September 27, 2012
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with Rolly Espina

DFA head holds on

Rolly Espina

Perhaps, President Benigno Aquino may not have realized the trouble he has put himself into when he authorized Senator Anthony Trillanes IV to do backdoor channel talks with the latter’s Chinese counterparts.

The fact that career diplomats of the Philippines had taken up the cudgels for Secretary Albert del Rosario virtually serves as a warning to Aquino to either uphold del Rosario or just fire him.

Of course, del Rosario, the professional and career diplomat that he is, has not taken up the cudgels for himself. Instead, he simply denied having the desire to retire from the service.

Still, that reiteration of their confidence in Del Rosario virtually amounts to telling Aquino not to undertake similar escapades again that could lose the services of a foreign secretary.

At a time when the Philippines is in trouble with China for a thing like what the career diplomats did was virtually a warning to Aquino not to do the same thing. And, perhaps, he called on him to chide Trillanes for the latter’s further inadmissible excursions in the realm of diplomacy where he lacks the expertise.

The most serious mistake was to have admitted Trillanes’ offer to help in backroom negotiation, which his own Chinese allies or contacts had mentioned. In short, Aquino should promptly have called for an immediate investigation into such an official “enemy” itself offering whom one can talk through with them.


Hotter elections in Negros in 2013?

That’s a possibility. And confusing also. Internecine warfare has always been troublesome. Especially when the protagonists are themselves long-time allies. And nobody exactly knows who is calling the shots.

There are Aquino’s leading followers who recently raised an issue with the Liberal Party’s complicated alliance with suspect groups.

“It’s just like we were returning to the past when anybody with his own following would latch on to the party and gets accepted as an ally,” was how one of the signatories pointed out.

Nana Yulo, one of the signatories to the warning note to Aquino, pointed out how anyone could have turned his back on Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. with what had been doing to the province.

In short, she was saying that it was a throwback politics.

She has a point. For example, Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez has yet to come up with a counter-plan to what the governor had already started to flesh out in the province.

The most that was talked about was that former Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco had said Marañon had earlier said he was not running for reelection but then changed his mind later. That was reportedly the reason why the marching orders were given for Alvarez to run against Marañon.

Nothing was said about the cattle industry program. Nor the goat and sheep dispersal projects. Neither the organic agricultural program for the effort to bail out the sugar industry to diversify and engage in other projects such a rice self-sufficiency program.

Some of these projects are what have provided income and additional source of livelihood to local but poor people.

The situation in Bacolod City is more confusing. At least, a lot remains still a mystery.

For example, former Councilor Renecito Novero now seems to head a new group. He did not state what party that is. The way he sounded, Novero actually leads a team that will take on former Rep. Monico Puentevella and Vladimir Gonzales against NPC’s bet vice mayor Thaddy Sayson and former Councilor Greg Gasataya, with Mayor Evelio Leonardia as congressional bet.

Archie Baribar, on the other hand, with his allies Elcid Familiaran and Sonia Verdeflor and others has further complicated the matter.

This breakaway group has the means to further confuse the issue among the city officials.

In short, the situation remains murky until after the signing of the certification of candidacy of the candidates.

Thus, the voters are left befuddled as to who is who and who is running for and against whom.

The only thing more, though, is that the Leonardia group remains intact and cohesive despite the fact that Councilor Al Victor Espino still retained his option to run as independent bet for vice mayor.

Well, the game of chairs will continue until the final end of the filing of the certificates of candidacy of the various aspirants for political position.

Exciting? No, confusing. In the first place, what are they running for and what is their program of government which they wish the people to uphold or endorse?

That is a question that remains unanswered.*

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