Rude, tactless and accurate

After decades of acting like a beaten dog, head down and tail between its legs, the Philippines has slowly but steadily gained its national self-confidence. It must be a shock for the world to see a country it labeled rather self-righteously as the “Sick Man/Basket Case of Asia” and the Filipinos as “Little Brown Americans” pushing back.

Former President Benigno S. Aquino III  raised many heads when he compared China’s moves in the West Philippine Sea to Nazi Germany. He was rude, tactless and accurate. Hitler’s rhetoric on the historical premise of the “Anschluss” policy of annexing “historically German- speaking territory” sounds familiar.

However, President Duterte took the next step this week by asking US Ambassador Sung Kim why the US did not take any action to protect Philippine interests. The ambassador’s response was proper, diplomatic and evasive, saying that he was not here when this all went down and, therefore, could not answer Duterte’s question.

Social Welfare Assistant Secretary Lorraine Marie T. Badoy went on the current forum of choice for many people—her Facebook page—to lash out at critics of the President. One of those critics has been the European Union (EU), to which she said—as loosely translated from Filipino—the EU should “just engage in online child porn. That’s what you are all good at”. That was rude, tactless, but may be accurate, in the sense that people should take care of their own problems before criticizing others.

The response of the EU ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen to Badoy’s remark was, “The issue of child pornography is extremely serious and a grave crime. It should be addressed in a serious and responsible manner”.

We agree with Jessen that is a serious and grave crime. Therefore, we ask that between the EU parliament resolution on Sen. Leila M. de Lima and criticism of  the Philippine government’s “war on drugs,” they do something to stop their citizens from buying online child pornography from the Philippines. It is hard for Philippine law enforcement to counter the vast amount of money Europeans are willing to spend to abuse our children. How bad is the problem? From “Simon Bailey, the [UK] National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for child protection, said with 400 men a month arrested for viewing child porn in the UK, the justice system was unable to cope with the scale of criminal prosecutions”.

From Germany’s Deutsche Welle news service: “Last year Europol reported that criminals were increasingly selling live streams of child sex over legitimate chat sites and apps” identifying 670 suspects and arresting 184 in 26 of 28 EU countries, and in Norway and Switzerland.

If the EU and the others were genuinely concerned about the Philippines—no longer a basket case and now “little brown Filipinos”—they would object to the Chinese facilitating the shipment of chemicals used to make methamphetamine. But the EU could not even bring itself to sign a letter from 11 other countries criticizing China over “credible claims” that lawyers and human-rights activists have been tortured while in detention.

EU fund assistance to the Philippines reaches P3 billion annually, with the bulk of the amount going to the health sector. That P30 per Filipino is laudable, and we appreciate it. Sometimes, though, the truth is rude, tactless and sarcastic, but needs to be said. Should we dare quote the Bible and the words “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone”?




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