Friday, December 23, 2016

Martin Andanar: "Cambodians Probably Saw In Duterte A Reincarnation of King Norodom Sihanouk"

Martin Andanar, the indomitable Secretary of the Presidential Communications Office of the Philippines, went to Cambodia early this year with President Rodrigo Duterte and entourage for a state visit. He must have seen some really nice things there because in his most recent article for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, he made the following statement: "The Cambodians probably saw in the Filipino President a reincarnation of their former king Norodom Sihanouk, father of the present king."

I don't think Andanar knows what reincarnation means. Let's Google what reincarnation means. What the indomitable secretary wanted to say was Duterte probably reminded Cambodians of their former King Norodom Sihanouk. Because according to Andanar, Duterte is a "raconteur of major proportions" just like the late King. A raconteur is a person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way. Well, there you go. Telling rape jokes and cursing world leaders and organizations are skillful and amusing. According to Andanar, at least.

In the same column, Andanar belittled former President Aquino's involvement at the ASEAN summit several years ago which was hosted by Cambodia. In said summit, Aquino questioned the host country's refusal to include wording about the South China Sea dispute in the final communique. In other words, Aquino was doing his job in trying to protect the interests of Filipinos in a major gathering of Asian nations. Andanar begs to disagree because he describes the incident as the "lowest point in our bilateral relationship." Not content with that cheap shot, he added that it was a "pitiful episode".

In short, Aquino had the balls to go to Cambodia (one of the biggest allies of China) and try to stir conversation about the controversy in the South China Sea. But Andanar doesn't like that. He prefers Duterte's tactic of bringing along Manny Pacquiao during the trip to Cambodia because the Cambodian King is a fan of the man (as a boxer, of course). Oh man, Aquino must be wallowing in regret right now. He should've brought along Manny Pacquiao when he attended the ASEAN summit in 2012 instead of boldly asserting Philippines's rights over the South China Sea.

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