June 23, 2018, 10:32 am
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Political ambassadors

RECENTLY, President Duterte appointed seven new ambassadors.
Two of the new appointees are non-career officers – Cesar Lee Hiong Wee to Indonesia and Abdulmuid Muin to Timor Leste. A third one, Linglingay Lacanlale, is a long retired career officer who is turning 70 in a few months. The three brought the number of political ambassadors appointed by Digong to 18! 
They are: Adnan Alonto – Saudi Arabia; Eduardo Kapunan – Myanmar; Ombra Jainal – Czech Republic; Linglingay Lacanlale – Argentina; Antonio Lagdameo – United Kingdom; Jose Laurel – Japan; Philippe Lhuillier – Spain; Teodoro Locsin, Jr. – Permanent Mission to the UN, New York; Abdulmuid Muin – Timor Leste; Chito Sta. Romana – China; Jose Romualdez – United States; Antonio Teehankee – Permanent Mission to the WTO, Geneva; Bienvenido Tejano – Papua New Guinea; Alan Timbayan – Qatar; Demetrio Tuason – Mexico; Shirley Ho-Vicario – Nigeria; Cesar Lee Hiong Wee – Indonesia; and Joseph del Mar Yap – Singapore.
If memory serves, only ex-President Gloria Arroyo has appointed more political ambassadors to the detriment not only of the service but also of career officers whose upward mobility had been severely limited. Many of them have retired without serving as an ambassador to a foreign country. But, of course, Arroyo was in power for almost ten years.
Digong has not been President for two years and already he has appointed 18 political ambassadors! Heaven knows how many more he will appoint before his term ends. 
In an earlier piece, I pleaded with him to please not “destroy” the Foreign Service. But it looks like he is well on his way to doing so. 

LACANLALE

Of the seven recently appointed political ambassadors, Lacanlale incurs the ire and 
disdain of the members of the career corps the most, although I must say the latter are not entirely blameless. They could have banded together and registered their objection to her appointment. I’d rather not speculate on why they didn’t, but they shouldn’t be surprised if Digong continues to appoint more political ambassadors from now on.
Below is an article written by retired career Ambassador Herminigildo C. Cruz.
“The confirmation of Linglingay Lacanlale as ambassador to Argentina in the recent session of the Commission on Appointments indicates that the DFA is still under management by the Yellows. (Former) Sec. Perfecto Yasay and (incumbent) Alan P. Cayetano relieved three other undersecretaries. For reasons known only to them, they retained Lacanlale. Had they taken a harder look, they would (have) found out that yellow management in the DFA equates with corrupt management.
Lacanlale will be 70 years old on July 17, 2018, thus under the provision of RA 7157, the Foreign Service Act of 1991, she will be able to serve only five months. It is, therefore, a foregone conclusion that come July she will have her tenure extended in violation of the law. In her position as undersecretary for administration, she occupied the highest position as guardian of the merit system of the DFA. From guardian she has become a predator of the merit system. 
Lacanlale followed a familiar path during the Yellow and earlier administrations in the DFA. Senior career officers acquire positions as guardians of the merit system and then in such key positions, undermine the merit system for their own benefit. For this reason, these officials have been rightly termed “bantay salakay managers.” Lacanlale has joined their ranks. Two (other) career ambassadors became senior officials. Upon reaching the age of 65, they had their terms extended, one official three times and the other six times, notwithstanding the provision in the Foreign Service Act that career officers are “xxx automatically and compulsorily retired upon reaching age 65.” When both career officers finally retired, they got presidential medals, most likely on their own recommendations.
Thus, we have two distinctions as a nation: we are the only country in the world (that) accredits lawbreakers as ambassadors and, in addition, confers medals on them after they had broken the law.
This writer had filed the opposition under oath to the nomination of Lacanlale before the Commission on Appointments. However, (contrary to Senate rules) Sen. Lacson did not call this writer when Lacanlale’s nomination came up. 
If Sen. Lacson is reading this article, he should note how much disservice he did to our people and his colleagues in the CA who confirmed the nomination without being able to fully appreciate the intent of Congress when it enacted into law RA7157.”

UN HUMAN
RIGHTS CHIEF

Who the hell does UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein think he is? He is but a mere UN functionary whose pay is paid partly by the Philippine Government through its contribution to the UN budget.
How dare he say that our President, the head of state of a UN founding member, should see a “shrink” and needs “psychiatric evaluation”?
The bastard who fancies himself as a prince of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is actually so remotely connected to the Jordanian royal family headed by King Abdullah II. 
I do believe our government should lodge a very strong protest with the UN Secretary General against him.
In addition to Foreign Secretary Alan Cayetano’s statement, our permanent representatives in Geneva and New York should also be instructed to issue statements in very strong language protesting Zeid’s uncalled for remarks. This is no time for diplomatese. It’s plain to see the shithead doesn’t know what that is.
Pardon my French but, p…… i… n’ya!

RULE OF LAW
ON DRUG WAR
 
A friend asked me, “Why do we get a lecture from every visiting foreign functionary and even treat them like royalty”?
It was a question that I have dealt with before in this space. The question applies more to functionaries from Western countries, particularly the US.
The obvious, kindest actually, answer is that we are nice to visitors, particularly white people and hold them in awe even. I guess that’s because of having been colonized by them for centuries. Like it or not, our people still suffer from colonial mentality (“mental colony,” as described by a comic once.)
The latest incident that triggered my friend’s question was Undersecretary of the US Department of Homeland Security David Glawe being received by Secretary of Justice Vitaliano Aguirre. He should have been received only by his counterpart in the Department of Justice.
No, Glawe didn’t just pay a courtesy call on Aquirre. He lectured the latter on the rule of law that he said should be the “benchmark” in our war on drugs. 
“When we partner with other countries, we also partner in [the implementation of the] rule of law and the humane treatment of people, and that’s the benchmark of the US law enforcement…I understand the challenges [posed by] criminal organizations and narcotics trafficking. It’s very difficult. But the rule of law always has to be in place when enforcing the law,” he said.
That was a direct assault on Digong’s anti-illicit drug campaign which he asserts has always been based on the rule of law. I wonder how Aquirre felt and reacted to that. 
***
REMINDERS 
This segment is intended to remind the Duterte administration of some of its yet unfulfilled promises and matters that need attention and/or follow-up action. More importantly, the people are entitled to know what’s being done about them.
1)    Digong’s promise to rid the country of foreign troops. This, of course, necessitates re-visiting the lopsided VFA and the EDCA with the US. 
2)    Reciprocal visa arrangements with the US and other countries.
3)    The retrieval of the Balangiga bells.
4)    The return of the Canadian waste. 
***
Today is the 307th day of the eleventh year of the enforced disappearance of Jonas Burgos, son of the late press icon and founder of this newspaper, Joe Burgos.
After the acquittal of Major Harry Baliaga, Jr., the only person formally charged with Jonas’ kidnapping, I guess what happens next is now up to Divine Providence.
***
From an internet friend:
“How was your golf game, dear?” asked Jack’s wife.
“Well I was hitting pretty well, but my eyesight’s gotten so bad I couldn’t see where the ball went.”
“Well you’re 75 years old now, Jack, why don’t you take my brother Scott along?” suggested his wife.
“But he’s 85 and doesn’t even play golf anymore,” protested Jack.
“But he’s got perfect eyesight. He could watch your ball,” his wife pointed out.
The next day Jack teed off with Scott looking on. Jack swung, and the ball disappeared down the middle of the fairway. 
“Did you see it?” asked Jack.
“Yup,” Scott answered.
“Well, where is it?” yelled Jack, peering off into the distance.
“I forgot.”
***
13 March 2018
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