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ROUGH CUTS | This one is ‘Food for thought’




Vic N. Sumalinog

WE cannot help but be goaded into taking this article for reprinting in our column for today. We believe that we will not be violating any law on proprietary rights on this because it is already posted on social media, specifically Facebook, which means whoever is the original author of this has allowed its use by the public. Thus we decided to reprint this so that others will have the opportunity to find out whether this has relevance to the current state of things in the country. Here’s the post shared to us by a woman classmate in our high school days way back several years ago. Titled “The Story of the Donkey and the Tiger, it says:

     “The donkey told the tiger, ‘The grass is blue.’ The tiger replied, ‘No, the grass is green.’ The discussion became heated up, and the two decided to submit the issue to arbitration and to do so, they agreed to approach the lion, the acknowledged King of the Jungle. Before reaching the clearing in the forest where the lion was sitting on his throne, the donkey started screaming: ‘Your highness is it true that the grass is blue?’ The lion replied: True, the grass is blue.’ The donkey rushed forward and continued: ‘The tiger disagrees with me and contradicts me and annoys me. Please punish him.’ The king then declared: ‘The tiger will be punished with 5 years of silence.’ The donkey jumped for joy and went on his way, content and repeating: ‘The grass is blue…’

     The tiger accepted his punishment, but he asked the lion: ‘Your majesty, why have you punished me, after all, the grass is green.’ The lion replied: ‘In fact the grass is green.’ ‘So why do you punish me?’ The lion replied: ‘That has nothing to do with the question of whether the grass is green or blue. The punishment is because it is not possible for a brave, intelligent creature like you to waste your time arguing with a donkey, and on top of that to come and bother me with that question’.

     The worst waste of time is arguing with the fool and fanatic who do not care about the truth or REALITY, but only the victory of their beliefs and illusions. Never waste time on discussions that make no sense… There are people who, for all the evidence presented to them, do not have the ability to understand, and others who are blinded by ego, hatred and resentment, and the only thing that they want is to be right even if they are not. When ignorance screams, intelligence tends to shut up. Your peace and tranquility are worth more.”

     To our mind this treatise is much worth a very serious discerning in the light of the ongoing debates on whether the present administration is squandering what the opposition is banding around loudly as our country’s victory in the arbitration that we elevated our case against China regarding the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea, a nomenclature our country insisted on the long existing South China Sea.

     Of course there are issues that need to be compared between our arbitration case and that of the proverbial Donkey and the Tiger’s arbitral story. In our arbitral case, we did it unilaterally because China did not agree to the arbitration. In the latter case, the two parties, the donkey and the tiger, agreed mutually to submit their issue for resolution to the King of the Jungle that definitely has all the powers to enforce its ruling.

     As for the Philippines case, it is open knowledge that we brought our case to a body that has no power to execute its ruling. The implementation of the International Arbitral Court’s decision has to be passed on to the awardee country or government to enforce it. That is, if it has the muscle to do it. That is, that the favored country has the military power to force the other party to accept the award of the arbitral body. On the other hand, the ICC, for it to have the needed authority to impose its resolution should have possessed the status of the lion, the King of the Jungle, so that whatever its resolution can be enforced by it.

     Unfortunately, the Arbitral body does not have. It not only needs the brawn of the awardee party but the collegial action of the organization of nations if the members are willing to risk confrontations.

     And yes, in as far as the Philippines’ raising our case to the world’s arbitral body, we may be arguing on the side of truth on the issue. But how much has our officials then considered the REALITY of the global geopolitical situation? When we supposedly won our case, seemingly our officials were extremely agog with the “victory of their beliefs and illusions.” They were immediately blinded by their ego, hatred, and resentment, and that the only thing that they want is to be right even if they are not” when they refuse to ignore the existing reality. And this is the thing that makes the opposition and the critics of the stand of the present government on the Arbitral win that makes them “scream” the loudest especially in this pre-election time.

     But is the apparent contradictory stand of the administration its lack of ability and intelligence to understand what it should have done with our arbitral win?  Or is it being wary of the implications in the long run to our country and people if we force the other party to give in to the decision?

     As they say, “Discretion is the better part of valor.” Also, bravery is not the only factor in winning a war. There are several others, too.






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