Demystification of a myth (2)

WHAT former U.S. ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney did meeting with the representatives of the Moro secessionists and the role she played in the now declared unconstitutional Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain for a Moro homeland is outright intervention to what is purely a domestic affair.

Ambassadors are the highest ranking diplomats representing a nation. They are stationed in a foreign capital for a certain length of time so they would have time to know the people they deal with.

Being the official representatives of a particular nation or organization, their actions and pronouncements are construed as the official position of the government or organization he or she represents vis-à-vis the host country or the entire region.

Unfortunately because of our hospitable nature, our leaders seem to forget that these ambassadors are professionals assigned here to be the eyes and ears of their government and businessmen. We tend to take them as personal friends and confide in them our deepest fears or thoughts.

More often than not these foreign ambassadors would take advantage of our trusting nature. Ambassador Kenney, who is cun-ning enough to cultivate a folksy image that endeared her to a lot of Filipinos, is of this mold.

It was learned through purported secret U.S. embassy files released by WikiLeaks, that the American government through Kenney supported the creation of a Bangsamoro homeland that would dismember the Philippines, a supposedly a key ally with a special relationship with Washington.

In early 2008 Kenney met with Moro secessionist leader Murad Ibrahim in Maguindanao to discuss the MOA-AD which was later declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

This only shows that despite the well-liked folksy and friendly image, Kenney’s loyalty is to the U.S. and not to her Filipino friends. She is a professional although she seems to have lost her objectivity.

This loss of objectivity is quite clear in a cable, also made public by WikiLeaks, that Kenney sent to Washington where her disdain of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III is shown to be matched only by her admiration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her corrupt and abusive regime.

In that cable Kenney described Aquino to be “diffident, unassertive man continuing a political tradition handed on by his parents but not carving out his own legacy….Queried for his views on issues like Mindanao, the economy and foreign policy, Senator Aquino did not provide any clear policy proposals, but stressed the importance of clearing up the legacy of corruption and cronyism of the Arroyo administration.”

Interestingly, Kenney did not dwell on the reports of corruption hounding the Arroyo regime but instead lavishly praised the leader of the now discredited regime. Arroyo returned the favor by giving her the Order of Sikatuna (Gold Grand Cross) the highest award for a diplomat.

Despite Kenney’s touching rhetoric about the so-called special relationship between Manila and Washington, she is an agent of foreign interest and nothing would change that. Not our friendship or hospitality.

I do not know what impact this WiKiLeaks revelation would have in our foreign policy but I believe Sociologist Randy David when he wrote: “This may come as a vexing realization to many people, Filipinos in particular, who tend to regard US diplomats as among the friendliest in the world.”


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