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ROUGH CUTS | Taking it from other people’s perspective

Vic N. Sumalinog

WHATEVER we like it or not any development that evolves in the world, there will always be those who believe that one way or the other this will bring some kind of perdition to people and society as much as it brings good to the greater number. And this is true with the onset of social media that is one product of the evolution of modern technology in communications.

     Yes, through modern technology the people in the world are being brought closer to each other and given the opportunity to interact even if they are thousands of miles apart and even if they are enemies in ideology, or simply harbor similar ideas or views on certain issues affecting society or government.

     In our case we have developed a friendship with one of the followers of our column over a period of time already.  While he is currently residing in Davao City he once had the opportunity to live in the United States and worked with the New York City Police Department (NYPD). Yet, we had not had the opportunity to meet each other personally largely due to the onset of the CoViD 19 pandemic.

     We are referring to our social media friend Marlu Villarosa whose comments and/or reactions to some of the issues we tackled in this space give us another picture of situations as viewed or seen in other people’s perspective.

     One most recent intellectual exercises that we could say we have an almost similar opinion about but is somehow slightly different as to the degree of agreement or disagreement is on the stand taken by some Presidential candidates on the issue of the war in Ukraine and on their individual stand on the Philippines’ territorial conflict with China on the West Philippine Sea. 

     Our view on the Ukraine-Russia War is that the Philippines, like Marlu’s, must add its voice to the growing global condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But Marlu is not at ease with Presidential tandem BBM-Sara’s position of taking the path of less resistance – or simply the safe side.

     On the Philippine-China territorial dispute we believe the country, or our government for that matter – is in the right direction in using the diplomatic approach in finding the appropriate resolution of the problem. That of our social media friend’s however, is that the level of diplomacy currently resorted to is still very much wanting in weight and teeth; that at present the diplomatic efforts used by the Philippines are still unable to generate in concrete terms the support of democratic countries as well as that of the United Nations (UN).

     With permission from our friend we are yielding a significant amount of this space for our friend Marlu’s idea of what to him should be the position of the BBM-Sara Uniteam on the Ukraine-Russia conflagration, as well as on how our government should have comported insofar as its diplomacy with China as means of resolving the West Philippine Sea conflict.

     “In reference to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it’s very sad that the BBM-Sara team as presented during the SMNI Presidential debate is that of choosing the path of less resistance…that of no interference.

     “As leaders, their position for Philippines should be that of protest; of condemnation. I would think that the Philippines with its current dispute with China that they (BBM-Sara) would have taken a harder and stronger position. It appears that they have not learned their lessons here. I am not saying that we go to war because this would be suicidal for the Philippines. A continual strong protest and getting the democratic countries as well as the UN to support our position is the only thing we can do for now.

     “BBM-Sara should not have been short-sighted in their view. They should not forget that China is watching this war (Russia-Ukraine). If democratic countries are not aligning themselves together and doing more to “save” Ukraine, then it could embolden China to invade Taiwan and possibly other ASEAN countries. They have already done this with the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea, silently occupying this area. It took only last year for the Philippines to come up with a much louder protest after successive events not favorable to the country.

     “By the way, it would not surprise me if Russian President Putin plans to invade non-NATO Moldova and Transnitria once he “occupies” Ukraine. People must not forget that the Ukraine-Russia war is a fight between democracy and communism.”

     Getting more specific on the Philippine-China dispute our friend Marlu Villarosa adds: 

     “I’m frustrated that BBM-Sara’s position is for us to negotiate with China alone. We have passed that stage under the outgoing Duterte administration. The present administration’s scheme has shown that it cannot be done alone. We need our allies and the UN to help us so we can hold a strong position? So why use the same tactic when we already have a foregone conclusion?  

     “BBM-Sara should seriously consider fostering alliances with our neighbors as well as other countries and consider a multi-lateral strategy in dealing with China. Perhaps through this strategy China will finally see the Philippines as a David and we will finally be taken seriously.”

     For comments and/or reactions to issues we take up in this column we can be reached through our e-mail address victorino.sumalinog@yahoo.com; Mobile 09392980435; Landline 2372169.


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