Ex-President Fidel Ramos, during whose term the onerous water concession contracts with Ayala’s Manila Water and Pangilinan’s Maynilad were forged, said “Our word must be our bond”.
“Our word” or “his word”? He was the president. He had the final say on whether the contracts should go through or not.
“His word” turned out to be onerous and detrimental to the welfare of the Filipino people, as reflected in the two water concessionaires’ willingness to waive the penalty of P10.8 billion imposed by the arbitration panel in Singapore on the government, as well as to renegotiate the agreements.
What was President Rodrigo Roa Duterte aka Digong supposed to do?
He had no choice but to perform his bounden duty as head of state to rectify the outrageous situation by whatever means at his disposal for the good of the Filipino people he has sworn to serve.
In is, therefore, only fitting and proper for Ramos to be held accountable for approving the onerous concession agreements, effective 1997 to 2022, with Manila Water and Maynilad.
Ex-President Gloria Arroyo should likewise be held accountable for extending in 2009 the agreements from 2022 to 2037.
SENATOR DE LA ROSA
Instead of quibbling about the cancellation of his US visa, perhaps Senator Ronald de la Rosa could table a resolution in the Senate calling on the Duterte administration to take steps forthwith towards fulfilling its campaign promise to get rid of foreign troops and military bases in the country by way of abrogating the constitutionally infirm Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the US, as well as calling for a renegotiation of the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty that may or may not lead to its abrogation.
Digong has made it clear that he does not want a military alliance, be it with the US, China or Russia.
Another resolution that De la Rosa could initiate would be to urge the administration, in fulfillment of another promise, to forge a reciprocal visa arrangement with the US.
The US charges Filipinos the obscene amount of $160 or about P8,300 for a tourist visa while we do not charge American nationals any fee.
A Filipino applicant whose visa application is denied does not get his money back.
Needless to say, such reciprocal arrangements should also be pursued with all other countries.
De la Rosa could partner with Senator Bong Go and other senators who have the balls to buck Washington in co-sponsoring the two resolutions.
Incidentally, now that a modified Visa Upon Arrival (VUA) will continue to be given to Chinese nationals, we should ask China to extend the same privilege to our travelers, that is, if no such arrangement yet exists.
THE MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE VERDICT
Has justice been served with the conviction of the perpetrators of the Maguindanao Massacre?
Yes and No!
After ten years, the guilty parties have finally been rendered their just punishment. (Sayang nga lang at wala ng death penalty. Thanks to Gloria Arroyo.)
But ten years is a very long time! And as the truism goes, “Justice delayed is justice denied”.
Think of the years of emotional suffering and heartache of the victims’ kin.
In this regard, people are hoping that in the case of the Mamasapano Massacre, conviction of the guilty ones will not take as long.
Again, think of what the relatives of the SAF44 have been and are going through right now.
DESPICABLE AND UNPATRIOTIC QUOTE
“The United States has the right to back a resolution calling on the Philippine Government to drop charges against Senator Leila de Lima, and demand her immediate release from prison.” – Philippine Vice President (under protest) Leonor Robredo
“Every year, the United States provides large amounts of aid to the Philippines, and I have supported that. I assume President Duterte’s spokesman who defended the wrongful imprisonment of Senator de Lima does not consider our aid to be “interfering” in their sovereignty.” – US Senator Patrick Leahy
(Mr. Leahy, next time do not support any aid intended for the Philippines [just shove it instead] if you feel that it entitles you to interfere in our domestic affairs.)