ABS-CBN titled their piece, “De Lima justifies China First policy.” Naturally, the explanation is quite the opposite:
De Lima assured the committee there is no intention to conceal the results from the public.
She told lawmakers government merely wants to avoid irritants in the already strained relations with China by giving them the courtesy of having first crack at the report.
“There is an unofficial arrangement with the Chinese and Hong Kong authorities that they be shown a copy of the report. The plan of the president is to show the report through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). It wasn’t clear whether it would be that advanced showing before releasing it to the public. I’d tend to think the intention is, there will be showing of the report but no substantial gap between that and its release to the public. I can understand the explanation, a sort of diplomatic initiative and courtesy so that there wont be future irritants and discomfort,” she said.
De Lima said she herself had reservations that the decision may be seen publicly as an abdication of the sovereignty of the country. But, she said, she had no strong objection to the decision of the president.
“There is no conscious effort of giving preference to Chinese authorities rather than the Filipino public. That was the only consideration: to avoid irritants between the 2 governments. The premise is that Chinese and Hong Kong authorities wouldn’t have any opportunity to impose any change on the report. We’re not going to change anything in that report,” she said.
De Lima told lawmakers releasing a copy of the report to Congress would be a call of the president.
De Lima said the IIRC mandate was the result of a presidential directive. It operated on the strength of Joint Department Circular 1-2010.
De Lima expects the president to decide within today (Sept. 20) when to release the report to the public.
What bugs me the most isn’t that people are calling this a China first policy, but the fact that the report has been submitted to the President a few days ago and it is now Monday lunch time and still no report. I’ve no problem with the government giving an advance preview to the Chinese government.
Our lawmakers are making an issue of a non-issue while missing the bloody point. As always.
What’s the hold up?
If someone needs to get fired, fire them. If someone needs to be charged, then go right ahead. Let them settle it in court. That’s what we fought for in May 2010 right?