Diplomacy and Prayer Power
By Erick San Juan
Maintaining peace in the most contested area in the world is not an easy task. Being one of the claimants in the disputed area of the South China Sea, our country has always been on the lookout for a possible regional conflict if things will go out of hand.
Sadly, every time there is a crisis in the SCS, our government doesn’t have the right man for the job as our ambassador to China who will take care of the problem diplomatically.
Why is the PNoy administration so lax about this? As if there is no urgency to solve the issue of such a very crucial post. I’m sure the government has a pool of able men and women where he can choose from to assign in the said post, especially coming from the career diplomats of DFA or from the just recently retired expert like Ambassador Erlinda Gavino, who's not so old and can still be of service to the nation in this turbulent times. The President wish to recycle as ambassador to Beijing his favorite Chinoy friend, Domingo Lee.
Diplomacy is the only solution
As an observer of events, it is such a relief to know from our President himself down to his cabinet members, has already declared our intention as a peace-loving nation to solve the Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal) crisis diplomatically. As much as possible, no more word wars and agitations (except the lone voice of provocation by Gov. Joey Salceda who wanted to boycott all products from China).
Beijing wanted a bilateral solution, but our DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario has seek the help of the United Nations as mediator to solve the problem. Obviously, there is no point at all (at this time) if we will insist our claim/right to fish at the Panatag Shoal for this will only add fuel to the already fiery situation. Instead, let us wait for China to reach out to our offer of diplomatic talks that will somehow ease the tension for the moment.
Meanwhile, now is the right time to gather our acts together as a sovereign nation, that is, if the present administration still value our sovereignty. Let us not waste time putting our hopes high to a supposed ally/friend who will help us in times of need.
The Panatag stand-off is a wake-up call to all of us, as a nation. We must stand firm on our own in solving problems like this and not depend so much to Uncle Sam. Our high-ranking government officials had swallowed their pride and looked like fools at the D.C. meeting. Is this not enough insult to our sovereignty?
Some pundits are saying that the ongoing crisis is a clear "moro-moro" between Washington and Beijing. The presence of the USS North Carolina, a nuclear attack submarine, in Subic is perceived as a silent provocation by a supposed ally against China at our expense.
We have to be wary on the real intentions of Uncle Sam or we will enter a war again not of our liking. Let us remember all our past leaders who sold this country for their benefit. I will not get tired reminding the present leadership to unite the people for a common cause – to put this nation back on its track coupled with one clear ideology that will be our anchor in times like this.
Sadly, even our educational institution is slowly removing subjects that tackle the concept of nationalism and patriotism and the values derived from studying history. How can we develop a true Filipino ideology with this kind of educational system?
I hope that our Department of Education will take this observation seriously as the school opens next month.
Lastly, as I always say in my radio program (daily from 5:30-6 pm at DWSS 1494Khz on the AM band), let us all pray harder that the nation’s problems will be solved peacefully, both domestic and international. We were glad to hear that our Church leaders has issued the Oratio Imperata.
An Oratio Imperata is an ordered prayer for a special intention besides the ones prescribed by ritual that the pope or the bishop of a diocese may require to be said during Holy Mass.
According to news reports, Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles pointed out that an Oratio Imperata is a powerful prayer that has helped the country overcome crises and has spared it from numerous disasters in the past. He added that “There should be an Oratio Imperata on the conflict over Scarborough Shoal [because] quarreling won’t solve anything”. (PDI May 15, 2012)
Indeed! May God bless us all.