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Good Morning Judge: Philippine Sovereignty

THE recent development where China has reportedly deployed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missiles systems on three Philippine-claimed reefs in the Spratly archipelago is quite disturbing. What is more disturbing is that the Duterte administration has taken for granted this development by not taking any positive step to protest China’s military actions. The President keeps on mouthing that the Philippines cannot afford to go to war against China and has comforted himself with the thought that China and the Philippines have existing friendly relations. Experts on foreign relations however, have expressed the opinion that “our sovereignty is clearly violated, our security is threatened, and leadership is badly needed.” Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Antonio Carpio is among the leading personalities most vocal on the need for the Philippine government to file a diplomatic protest on China’s violation of our sovereignty lest we lose our right over the archipelago by default. It may be recalled that the UN has earlier ruled that by virtue of the archipelagic doctrine, the vast Spratly archipelago has been declared as Philippine territory. The barangay and SK elections are long over but there are persistent reports that “vote buying was rampant with reports of P20 to P1,000 changing hands in many villages across the country.” It will be noted that under the Omnibus Election Code vote buying by candidates is prohibited with violators facing a prison term of one to six years and disqualification from holding public office. This writer however, does not wonder why many if not most of our local officials are keen of seeing to it that their own men/women are elected into office. The local provincial, city/mayoral election is forthcoming and they would want to see to it that their own leaders are elected into office. This is practical politics. TRIVIA: Congratulations to Rev. Fr. Noe Badiola, Parish Priest of Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, for the celebration of the Virgin of Penafrancia May Festival which started by way of Traslacion last May 19 and will wind up this coming May 25 via the usual Fluvial procession along the Bicol River. This time, only female participants are allowed to carry the andas of the “Ina” as well as participate in the fluvial procession. Members of the AdeNU high school batch ‘54 were in Daet, Camarines Norte last week and attended the vigil for their batch mate Frank Timoner who passed away after a lingering illness. Aside from being a close friend of my family, my spouse Minda and I were also his lawyers in the Canoreco cases filed against him as former director of the firm. We won all those cases and I could vividly remember how Frank fell into tears as the verdict was read in open court. Through this column I wish to bid Frank adieu. I am sure he is now in the warm embrace of our Lord. QUOTATION OF THE WEEK: “SOMETIMES IT TAKES A GOOD FALL TO REALLY KNOW WHERE YOU STAND.” WILLIAM HAILY FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE: “DISPOSE OF YOUR TREASURE AS THE MOST HIGH COMMANDS, FOR THAT WILL PROFIT YOU MORE THAN GOLD.” SIRACH 30:11

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