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The Snub Turns Into A Slap

February 17, 2009


This is US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s first foreign mission so it’s not surprising that her message for Japan is full of empathy that it almost sounds platitudinal.

It’s her none-too-subtle reference to North Korea that has a direct bearing on regional security..

Her next stop: Indonesia is where the concerns of the Philippines and the other members of ASEAN will be addressed given that she decided to skip the Philippines which has long projected itself as a first among equals.

Her boss, Barack Obama, spent his elementary school days in Jakarta and the Sdreaded Jemaah Islamiya is based in Indoneia with cells being spawned in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines.

Manila’s exclusion is pregnant with meaning .

In the previous dispensation in the White House, The Philippines was routinely referred to as a frontline ally in the war on terror.

Why not, with the reality that Al Qaeda-linked groups are nestled in the southern Philippines where three international Red Cross workers are into their 5th week of captivity at the hands of the Abu Sayyaf?

The US State Department’s Asia Pacific Desk apparently does not feel ready for Secretary Clinton to take up the wrangle over the Philippine Supreme Court’s order for convicted rapist Daniel Smith to be turned over to a Filipino jail.

That’s because his case is still with the Court of Appeals, meaning that the Visiting Forces Agreement proviso for the completion of judicial processes has not yet been met.

Militant Filipino nationalists are now saying the American snub of the Arroyo regime has turned into a slap.


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