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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Espinoza: Are we ready to align with Russia, China?

JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has stood for President Rodrigo Duterte in his verbal tussle with Sen. Leila de lima. The hot exchange of language is sickening that children should be advised not watch the news on TV or listen to it on radio.

I said this before and I will say it again. Justice Secretary Aguirre II should file now and not later whatever case, based on the evidence, they have against Senator de Lima instead of then trash talking against each other.

The threat of the justice secretary to Senator de Lima that he would show in court her alleged sex video tape with her driver-bodyguard is not only uncalled for but also ungentlemanly. Our female sector would surely hate this.

Perhaps, this is the first time that a Cabinet secretary would threaten and engage in a verbal exchange an elected national official. This year could be considered a happy year for the press. We don’t run out of stories to print or broadcast every day.

Reporters could anticipate the next move of the justice department in the ongoing congressional inquiry on the proliferation of the illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP), a probe that is also looking into the possible complicity of Senator Delima in the illegal drugs trade when she was the justice secretary.

According to Secretary Aguirre that some P300 million in cash seized during the first raid of NBP in 2014 is missing. Even if Secretary Aguirre II did not name anyone as to who kept the money but the insinuation was strong that Delima knew it.

The justice secretary said that he has an inmate and a government agent who will testify on the missing money. What were reported in that raid were only the P1.6 million cash and firearms, said Aguirre.

Based on the words of Justice Secretary Aguirre, he already has enough evidence against Senator de Lima to put her down. So when will he file the case or cases? We’re waiting.

***

“Latin Rubicon--Rubico river of northern Italy forming part of the boundary between Cisalpine Gaul and Italy whose crossing by Julius Caesar in 49 b. c. was regarded by the Senate as an act of war.” (Webster)

“I think I'm about to cross the Rubicon between me and the United States, at least for the six years," President Duterte said on Monday during an event with Malacañang reporters while relating his conversation with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

"I will need your help in everything – trade, commerce – and I will open up," Duterte claimed he told Medvedev.

When asked what he means by "crossing the Rubicon" with the US in terms of concrete foreign policy, Duterte said he finds it problematic that, despite defense treaties, there are no assurances the US will come to the Philippines' aid in times of impending war.

When President Duterte said “I think I'm about to cross the Rubicon between me and the United States” this should not be understood as an act of war against the US as how it was perceived in 49 B.C. when Caesar crossed Rubicon river and the Roman Senate regarded it as an act of war.

President Duterte later on explained that he meant that there would be a "point of no return" in Philippines-US relations. However, he said this does not translate to cutting ties with the Western superpower.

"I said, I'm ready to not really break ties but I will open up alliances with China and Russia," said Duterte. (Rappler) Are we missing something here?

While Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno refused to believe that the conflicting policy statements of President Duterte caused the peso to devalue against the US dollar. But for Rep. Edcel Lagman, it’s the untamed tongue of the President that caused it all.

Some political analysts say that it would be good for our country for President Duterte to have an independent foreign policy but without leaving any of the allies of our country.

I believe this is what President Duterte wants to happen. Keeping the USA as an ally but also opening our doors to trade or commerce with two giant countries like Russia and China. But, are we ready for this?
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