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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Mongaya: Police brutality

BRUTAL police tactics to suppress militant elements supporting President Rodrigo Duterte’s stand on dealing with the US?

I don’t expect top administration officials would favor the violent dispersal at the US Embassy like what former president Aquino did in response to the Kidapawan tragedy.

Aquino immediately accepted hook, line and sinker the canard that the police fed him.

On the other hand, PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa immediately relieved that psycho cop-driver and other police officials involved in the violent dispersal. I call that driver a “psycho” because his response to rallyists trying to strike him with rattan canes was to run them down with his police van and kill them. He later pulled the hair of a female rallyist inside a fleeing PUJ. Nagtuo tingale nga duphan.

Violent incidents that tend to sour the relationship between President Duterte and the militant Left are expected if only to torpedo the ongoing peace talks.

I am not saying that the mowing of militant protesters happened last week because it was a CIA operation, as one online friend in the FB group Maghisgot Kita’g Politika, Bay suggested. At the very least, I sensed a fascist and pro-American mindset in the dispersal team’s commanding officer.

***

President Duterte must be wary of a pro-American backlash in response to his China pivot. For a number of Filipinos, fears of losing American apron strings spell disaster. Some quarters are also desperately trying to raise the Red scare.

That’s why he and his people are now clarifying his statement about “separation” from the US. Di man daw “divorce” ang “separation.”

Nevertheless, sober Filipinos know the Chinese leadership today is no longer the red book-waving ideologue during the Cold War years. China has since become home of giant subsidiaries of American and EU corporations cashing in on China’s cheap labor. The US even owes China trillions of dollars in foreign debt.

President Duterte’s trips to Asean countries, then China, along with his “separation” from America speech, signal moves towards regional economic rebalancing for closer integration in Asia.

As the current Asean chair, the Philippines is not anymore considered an American lackey but a sovereign country charting an independent course.

As a result, the Philippines has opened more opportunities for trade and investment to a market of 1.8 billion people across the region.

But despite the rhetoric, I don’t expect the President to sever relations with the West. The message is our desire for stronger integration with our neighbors.

***

Kudos to our current airport officials. The Mactan-Cebu International Airport was recognized as the 14th best airport in Asia in 2016. Last year, SleepingInAirports.net ranked our airport at 18th.

The ranking is a result of a survey that asked travelers about comfort, services, facilities, food options, security, customer service, and cleanliness.

During a recent press conference with officials from AirAsia, Department of Tourism and Taiwan, we gathered that the Mactan-Cebu airport will have 10 new international destinations. AirAsia Philippines announced its Cebu-Taipei flights will start soon followed by Cebu-Singapore flights.

We learned that international airlines are now looking at Cebu for their expansion plans partly because of the congestion in NAIA and the pro-active Mactan-Cebu airport officials. In fact, they were pleased to know that advanced plans for a second runway are already in place.

***

What prompted DENR Secretary Gina Lopez to come to Cebu City and inspect the Inayawan dumpsite? I am asking this after online friends shared in confidence that a Visayas official known to be anti-Tommy Osmeña sent reports on the dumpsite that elaborated issues raised by the local opposition and glossed over the corruption that prompted Osmeña to junk the solid waste management solution of the Rama administration.

(@anol_cebu in Twitter)
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