During his recent panel interview with the Philippine Media, Philippine President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy) took a jibe at Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang. For reasons only he can explain and without provocation, P-Noy categorically stated that a Hong Kong official had sent him an “insulting” letter, which he summarily ignored.
While Malacanang’s obvious intent in scheduling a media interview with the Philippine President was to clear any issues regarding the recent hostage drama involving deceased former Philippine National Police officer Roland Mendoza and the slain eight Chinese tourists, regrettably, some members of the media and many Filipinos alike have been left baffled by some of P-Noy’s statements during the said interview. Just to quote P-Noy:
“I decided not to respond to the official letter from the Hong Kong government, that in my view was insulting. Instead, I conveyed through the People’s Republic of China government that maybe sending that letter to me was not right. I did not like its tone”
Although he did not name the sender, Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang confirmed that he did write P-Noy a letter on the 26th of August 2010, which was three days after the hostage tragedy. Mr Tsang insists that his letter was not at all insulting. To quote from the report:
Tsang’s office said the chief executive had written to Aquino on August 26 “in a respectful and polite manner” thanking him for his government’s assistance but also setting out issues he hoped the “independent, professional and comprehensive investigation” would explain. These included the processes of the hostage operation, details of negotiations, considerations behind police operations, the reasons why Philippine authorities could not make promises on the hostage-takers’ requests, and the causes of deaths and injuries.
He has done it before and he did it again. P-Noy has a penchant for teasing his audience and the rest of the Filipino people. To refresh everyone’s memory, before his State of the Nation Address (SONA), he announced to everyone that the Filipino people would be shocked with the revelation in his speech. Unfortunately, most of his critics were just shocked at the inaccuracies, lack of substance, and lack of direction in his first SONA.
It is evident that P-Noy has an inability to keep things that should be left unsaid to himself and resorts to preemptive strikes in the form of little teasers. This just proves his immaturity and lack of self-control.
His recent teaser was in very, very bad form considering it involved a top official from Hong Kong who is possibly still reeling with anger over the deaths of their citizen in the hands of Filipinos.
In an obvious display of bad taste and lack of diplomatic skills, P-Noy made sure to leave everyone guessing when he refused to say who the “insulting” letter was from; what exactly was the message in the letter; and more importantly, and even more bizzarely, why he chose to tell everyone about the “insulting ” letter after he already chose to ignore it.
Like a child thinking out loud, P-Noy babbled on in front of the media and added, “Maybe I’m wrong to tell you this. But I decided then that while someone wanted to quarrel with us, we wouldn’t fight back in order not to widen the rift.” And this: “Kung pwede, wag ko na lang hong palakihin yung insidente dahil na-avoid na ho natin,” he said.
Apparently, P-Noy wants everyone to calm down while he tells everyone that he had just been insulted. He also wants us to not make a big deal out of being insulted while he licks his wounds. Evidently, P-Noy just wants everyone to know that even if he felt hurt, he was humble enough not to react, and to please not mind him even as he mentions it on national TV just the same. Yoohoo! Mr President, grow up please! Just in case you didn’t know, life’s tough. It’s even tougher when you are the head of state – sometimes you are the windshield, other times you are the bug.
Of course, his minion in the form of Billy Esposo had come out in the President’s defense (in the same report) saying of P-Noy: “Have you noticed that China is not really pressing the issue?” Only Hong Kong was doing so, he said and added that such an insulting letter, “in other situations could even provoke a war”. This chair wrecker even has the balls to mention the word “war” considering our police force can’t even save eight innocent lives. Ground control to Major Tom, please come back down to Earth!
Even Presidential spokesman Ricky Carandang found a silly excuse to rival “the dog ate my homework” excuse as to why P-Noy missed a call from Mr Tsang on the day of the hostage crisis was no big deal: “Let’s clarify. If a Philippine governor suddenly demands to speak with President Obama or Hu Jintao , that would probably not be allowed,” he said. Uh oh. Now, they are resorting to pooh-poohing Mr Tsang’s position in the Chinese government. But wait, I thought P-Noy is a humble man? How come his supporters are using the defense that P-Noy is above Mr Tsang and speaking to him is not the correct protocol? Tsk-tsk.
Since P-Noy chose to reveal that he received an insulting letter from a Hong Kong official but refused to reveal its contents, I have taken the liberty of writing down here what that official might have said to P-Noy:
26th August 2010
The Honorable Benigno Aquino
President of the Philippines
Dear President Aquino,
First of all, this is not an insulting letter. I hope you do not tell your people that a Hong Kong official has insulted you with a letter telling you what to do.
Mr President…um… may I call you P-Noy? I feel like we’ve known each other for so long even though we failed to speak on the phone on some crucial occasions. I do know so much about your country now. Anyway, I was really really disappointed that you did not return my call on that crucial day but your staff explained to me that you were in a “closed” door meeting the whole day. I thought maybe you were discussing strategies about the hostage crisis — or not. By the way, can you tell me the difference between a “closed” and an “open” door meeting?
I respectfully want to express my disappointment again for how your police force had bungled the rescue operation. One of the reasons why I wanted to speak to you urgently on that day was to ask if there was some kind of assistance we could provide because Hong Kong is more than capable of handling such a crisis. During the 11 hour siege, our elite force could have gone to the Philippines and back to Hong Kong in no time at all. And had we spoken on the phone, maybe you would have come to realize the urgency of the crisis to our people. It was obvious that you didn’t know the extent of our sorrow until it was too late.
I hope you don’t take this personally, but I have listed down the things that you need to do for us. Hey, it is only right that we find out how things transpired during the day:
1. I expect an independent, professional and comprehensive investigation of the events with our own team involved in it.
2. Please include the following in the investigation:
– Processes of the hostage operation
– Details of negotiations
– Considerations behind police operations
– The reasons why Philippine authorities could not make promises on the hostage-takers’ requests
– The causes of deaths and injuries.
I know this might be a bit too much to ask of your incompetent government…oops! No offence, but that is why our Hong Kong team needs to be present in the investigation. Let’s face it; Philippine authorities have been known to cover up their mistakes in the past. Even your Ampatuan massacre hasn’t been resolved yet.
This is all for now. I hope you will not take this the wrong way but I just want to remind you that there are currently 120,000 Filipinos working here in Hong Kong and, you know, I can’t imagine what kind of jobs they will enjoy in the Philippines if they didn’t have their jobs here.
Sincerely and respectfully,
Hong Kong Official