Tuesday, November 1, 2011

On Krissy's Appointment

Presidential sister Kris Aquino
Now it's official - Kris Aquino is the newest honorary patron of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNCHR) after she accepted and signed her appointment.

The much-hyped appointment started when Presidential Adviser Sec. Ronald Llamas mentioned it during his press conference concerning the issue on the high-powered gun seen in his van that figured in an accident somewhere along Commonwealth Avenue. Of course, when Llamas enthusiastically volunteered the information regarding the appointment many thought that it was a feeble and shameless attempt to cover-up his ass.

There were wild speculations as to how Krissy was able to get the appointment. There were some who said that the presidential sister has been seeking or soliciting the said appointment. I also read that the United Nations agency chooses who to appoint from those who have actually applied or sought the position. But for now it would be safe to assume that we will never know the exact circumstances how Kris Aquino was appointed.

One thing I am sure of though Krissy did not get the appointment because as Llamas said the Aquinos were once refugees during the Marcos dictatorship. To portray the Aquinos and Cojuangcos as refugees is absolute nonsense. By legal definition, "refugees are individuals who
leave their country for social, political, or religious reasons, or who are forced to leave as a result of any type of disaster, including war political upheaval, and famine."

The politically influential and economically powerful Aquino and Cojuangco clans or any of its members do not it into the definition of a refugee. The talkative yet politically skillful Ninoy Aquino was a political prisoner but was never a refugee. He went to the United States not as a result of political persecution as Marcos merely gave in to the request of his family to have him brought there for "more adequate and better medical facility and services."

Refugees tend to be deprived of their properties and livelihood. This was never the case with the Aquinos and the Cojuangcos. During the Martial Law years the mighty Cojuangcos control PLDT - the country's biggest telecommunications company. And this same family was the single biggest landowner in the country save for the government and the Roman Catholic Church. This, despite the fact that the State has a pending case against TADECO, the holding company of the Cojuangco family which owns Hacienda Luisita and the azucarera.

The ironic ruth is that the Cojuangcos were responsible for the economic dislocation of members of the closely-knit Iglesia ni Cristo as they were forcibly evicted from Hacienda Luisita. And there's the infamous massacre that happened right at the heart of the Cojuangco fiefdom.

Hacienda Luisita massacre
During her snatched presidency, the seemingly mild, yet sly, Cory Aquino was held responsible by many human right groups for numerous economic dislocation. Cory's low-intensity conflict policy caused hamletting of various rural communities economically dislocating thousands of peasant families.

Interestingly, among those affected by such hamlettings were families and members of peasant organizations are those being serviced by Center for Agrarian Reform and Transformation (CARET), an NGO affiliated with BISIG which Llamas presides.

As I mentioned above we will never know the real circumstances that led to Krissy's appointment as honorary patron. But if the queen of all media only had a morsel of delicadeza, she should have begged off when she was offered the post nor sought it.

To begin with, I believe she already had her hands full so I doubt it if she can effectively carry out the responsibilities that goes with the post. Unless of course if she's only after the position and not the responsibilities. A devoted single mother, it is public knowledge that she takes care and provide for her kids. Well, of course, we also know that Krissy's older brother sometimes takes time out to babysit her elder kid by engaging him in a Playstation or PSP matches. And on top of this, she has her weekdays morning TV show.

And what the hell does Krissy know about refugees and issues relevant to them? Does she really thinks she has what it takes to live up to the obligations and responsibilities of a UNCHR honorary patron? Does she have fresh ideas and novel approaches to contribute to alleviate the plight of refugees?

Ambassador of Goodwill Angelina Jolie
Can Krissy honestly say that she has the skills and more importantly, the kind of diplomacy needed for the job? Because if I'd be ask, I won't hesitate to say that there's more diplomacy in Angelina Jolie's sexy lips than Krissy's tactless mouth.

Krissy should've not accepted or sought the post as it constitutes conflict of interest. She is a presidential sister and a member of the first family. More often, there are refugees either because of violence perpetrated by the state against a certain social group or its inability to stop violent clashes between social groups. The million dollar question now is will she, as an honorary patron, stand up to her Kuya Noy to protect refugees?

Lastly, Krissy is part of the country's first family. As such, there's this possibility that she might compromise our national interests and relations with other nations. Will she be careful and meticulous enough to handle the Naga refugees without offending India, a country with which we have strong economic ties? Or will China not misconstrue her position on Tibetan refugees as something like the Philippines' official stand?

There will always be times when a person's character will be tested and tempted if he or she is capable of sacrificing personal glory for the greater good. As expected Krissy failed the test . . . once again.

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