Foreign Service Insider

A frank and open forum on the Philippine Foreign Service and how it affects the lives of millions of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth

The bitter battle between Ambassador Lauro Baja and former Chief Justice Davide, for the position of Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, is a sad spectacle to behold.

Two old men. Both overaged. Jousting each other for a position that they should cede to the younger generation of Filipinos -- whether career diplomat or political appointee. Without a doubt, both Davide and Baja are brilliant men. They held sterling records, speaking of their eloquence and erudition. But now they are old as the hills.

Their tug-of-war is undignified and does not befit their social and intellectual status. Worse, it exposes, for the whole world to see, how dirty and politicized our government has become.

The uncivil disservice of the Philippines.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

12th ASEAN Summit in Cebu

I think that the DFA deserves to be congratulated on the successful hosting by the Philippine Government of the 12th ASEAN Summit in Cebu. It is, indeed, a proud moment for the professional men and women in the Department who labor behind the scenes, attending to the many aspects of Summit hosting that could mean its success or failure.

As a Filipino, I am proud that we have proven all our detractors wrong. They doomed the Summit to failure even before it began.

They did not factor in the fact that the DFA deserves its place as the premier Department of the Philippine government, and the men and women of the Philippine foreign service are primus inter pares.

Credit should also be given to the people of Cebu who gave it their best. They really laid out the red carpet to the summiteers, showing them the very best of Cebuano hospitality.

The security people must also be commended for a job well done. All that gloom-and-doom talk of possible terror attacks at the Summit was disconcerting. But they managed to secure the meeting venue and, thankfully, nothing came of the alleged terror threats. All went well and we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

This has been a very bright spot in an otherwise stormy political season.