1. Embarrassing.

    All this effort, expense and diplomatic arm-twisting just for the chance to convince the Sino supreme court chief justice to save three convicted drug mules. People who understood that what they were doing was wrong; who were carrying over four kilos of drugs. This is a separate issue from why they were drug mules. This is even separate from the human rights issues with the Chinese government and the death penalty. This is about the fact that they were drug mules, were aware of what they were doing, were caught on foreign soil and were convicted under that country’s laws.

    I wish that we weren’t sending our Vice-President to beg and plead for lawbreakers and drug peddlers. Look, I can understand and even appreciate making diplomatic overtures to save their lives. What government wouldn’t? I do not understand nor can accept sending our Vice-President to beg and plead the Chinese government for leniency. This coming on the heels of Aquino boycotting the Nobel awards to placate the Chinese government. Compromising his and his government human rights position in the process. You cannot say that you uphold human rights, when at the drop of the hat your compromise that position. We are debasing ourselves as a nation.

    What in their history demands this type of expense and effort to save them? What have they provided to society in tangible benefits where we are spending time and effort at the highest levels of government to save them? They are Filipinos. I guess that is enough to ignore their crimes. I would even understand this type of effort on behalf of Ronald Singson; at least he is an elected Representative of the Filipino people.

    Do you know what will be truly embarrassing? If Binay is successful in getting these threes death sentence commuted and returned they’ll likely be hailed as heroes; the government may even provide them and their families with some sort of monetary assistance.

    I made the observation yesterday, and have heard it from many others, that this is an administration of mis-placed priorities. They have become flash and no substance.

    There are thousands of refugees in the South.

    There are thousands of street children inhabiting our urban streets.

    There are hundred (probably thousands) of OFWs being beaten and abused each and every day; many of them in state-sanctioned jobs.

    There are hundreds of thousands of Filipinos illegally trafficked within and out of this country each and every year; thousands of them children who are sex slaves and manual labor living in deplorable conditions. 

    Each and every day.

    These are people whose very lives are death sentences through no fault of their own. But, through the negligence of the powerful in government.

    Yet these three convicted and confessed drug mules plight demands the full diplomatic attention of the Philippine government. Why I even remember the government whining when presented with the plight of illegally trafficked OFWs overseas: “We can’t do anything about that, we can only work with the partner government.”

    This is rapidly becoming the legacy of the Aquino administration: Superficial grandiose gestures, little substance and even less backbone. For every few steps forward we appear to see in one area, as many or more steps back are taken in another. The end result is little momentum forward. No one is demanding instantaneous change. What we are demanding is more than just minor goodwill gestures designed for good publicity. “Oh well. We did our best. We tried.” Cannot be the motto of this government.

    It’s becoming an administration of nominally good intentions and completely misplaced priorities. Inexperience can be forgiven, incompetence cannot.

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