Display of impertinence

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Thursday, February 6, 2014


APOLOGIZE to Hong Kong? That’s crazy.

It was unfortunate that we had a deranged police officer whose warped mind told him that it was justified to hold hostage a busload of Hong Kong Chinese tourists in order to draw attention to his personal gripes against the Sandiganbayan. It was doubly unfortunate that the task to rescue the hostages fell on Filipino Keystone Cops who predictably botched the job, as a result of which some of the hostages died.

But we do not have a monopoly of behavioral misfits. Every country has its generous share of deviants. China, to which the arrogant Hong Kong politicians trace their roots, has terrorists and common criminals who periodically commit mayhem on unsuspecting tourists. In two of such tragic incidents, Filipinos were among the
victims.

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The Chinese government did not apologize to us for the violent deaths that our compatriots suffered in the hands of Chinese criminals in the Chinese homeland. I doubt if they even granted recompense to the families of the victims.

We did not demand an apology because we knew that one deranged Chinese does not constitute the Chinese nation. The loss of Filipino lives in Tiananmen Square was unfortunate but we never said it was proof of the Chinese government’s failure to ensure the safety of tourists who visit their cities.

But there they are, grandstanding Hong Kong politicians, who are obviously puppets in a string pulled by the mainland Chinese, asking us to say sorry for what Rolando Mendoza did on Aug. 23, 2010. We are ashamed of what Rolando and the KK did but must the nation go on bended knees to ask for forgiveness for the act of a single man? Erap Estrada tried to do that but only because he is Erap Estrada.

All right-thinking Filipinos should resist this shameful display of impertinence by the Hong Kong government. I am happy that our own President has steadfastly refused to apologize to the Chinese. An apology would have been convenient especially when you consider the number of OFWs in Hong Kong but it would have been, and still remains, cowardly.

So the arrogant Hong Kong Chinese are now demanding that Filipino officials secure a visa before they can enter the island. They are also threatening to require all Filipino visitors to arrive with a visa. So what? Who cares?

The fact is that, the big number of OFWs in the island aside, Hong Kong needs us more than we need them.

Filipinos still unfortunately consider Hong Kong a tourist destination despite its limited natural beauty. In contrast, how many Hong Kong Chinese travel to Cebu every month? The Hong Kong Chinese traveler can boycott the Philippines but that won’t cause a dent on the tourist industry.

The OFWs are a different matter. There are just too many of them whose families back in our country depend on their remittances in order to live comfortably. We can’t tell them to come home.

But our government is not entirely without recourse. They can deliver a pretty strong signal that we’re not taking their provocation lying down by prohibiting the deployment of new OFWs to Hong Kong. Let the current OFWs work there until they grow old and retire. But let’s stop sending replacements and new hires.

Keep the Filipino maids away from Hong Kong and see if worms do not grow out of their uncollected garbage and unwashed clothes. Deprive their housewives of Filipino babysitters and in a few weeks they will all look as haggard as the victims after Yolanda.

Two can play the game.

(frank.otherside@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 06, 2014.

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