By Erick San Juan
What could have been a simple diplomatic protocol became a controversial visit when former assemblyman Homobono Adaza took the responsibility of filing a case against the diplomats who gave their courtesy call (too soon) to President - apparent Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. US Ambassador Harry Thomas visited Sen. Benigno Aquino III in his residence at Times Street in Quezon City several days before the Congressional canvassing started. Consequently the “visit” served as a sign for other ambassadors to follow, namely: China, Japan and European Union member-states.
Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. also gave his comment regarding this matter:
“Noynoy will be proclaimed but is it proper for foreign diplomats to publicly pay their respects to Noynoy before official proclamation? The Philippines is supposed to be a sovereign nation, not their fiefdom.”
Other personalities like Nicanor Perlas and JC delos Reyes also aired their observations through their Facebook account that such visit was premature and asked – Are we under the US?
Historically, the US has been meddling with our political exercises such as the national elections through covert operations, and sadly these operations were carried out systematically in collaboration with corrupt politicians.
Nationalists reacted that this undiplomatic act by the US (and other diplomats) is tantamount to foreign intervention and blatant intimidation on the sovereign will of the Filipinos as a nation. By publicly announcing their support for President-apparent Noynoy Aquino, they actually preempted the official proclamation by the Philippine Congress and disregard the whole process. Somehow telling us that we should not question the outcome of this elections and the AES as a whole,( even if it is full of irregularities and questionable statistics).
Obviously, underneath this so called courtesy call, the countries represented by these ambassadors had already expressed their “special interest” for their own benefit. Again, we have entered another phase of a “friendly” relation that might put this country in the losing end. These diplomats had already sent signals regarding their interest in the so called “peace process” in Mindanao, particularly the European Union who just entered the process as part of the International Monitoring team. Here we go again, the Americans “helped” in the peace process in Mindanao for a decade now and still the problems of insurgency and the presence of the secessionists are still prevailing. What can the EU do when the world’s only superpower did not solve the Mindanao problem?
Methinks we are in to another “diplomatic” relation that might threatened our sovereignty, translation – balkanization. These foreign meddling just gave the secessionists a status of belligerency.
As for the soon-to-be president,Noynoy, he should have reminded the ambassadors that whatever their intention is, they must follow the procedures in a good diplomatic relation between sovereign nations. The President-apparent must always remember that he will be representing the whole nation and that he should put our best interest first before ourforeign“friends”.
A diplomat friend of mine told me that our leaders should be wary on how to deal with foreign governments. It's a no-no to meet with them unprepared with no policy direction and talking points. These foreign dignitaries went to Aquino's residence not just to congratulate him but to assess his plans and future policies. They want an assurance of policy continuity and renewal (translation- what's in it for them). But what's in it for us? God bless the Philippines!