Library / 17 August 2007
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JPEPA and Petty Name Calling

Dear Editor,

I was greatly disappointed to see the statement Secretary Favila made in Ms. Belinda Olivares-Cunanan’s column of Aug. 16, 2007, entitled “Time to Walk the Talk”. In the column, Secretary Favila, aside from throwing aspersions at the Senate for not being studious, decries the fact that some Senators are voicing opinions of some “leftists who don’t seem to wish the country prosperity” (referring to those opposed to the JPEPA).

My disappointment with Secretary Favila lies not in his position favoring the JPEPA (this is a given) but at how he reduces the discussion of the JPEPA to petty name-calling.

What’s next? Should each side start calling the other pangit, kalbo, bobo, sakang, pandak, pro-GMA,

The debate on the JPEPA is not about whose left, right, center, green, yellow, or even blue. The bone of contention is and has always been is the Philippines getting a good deal, or is it getting screwed?

The Philippine and Japanese governments have millions, if not billions, worth of resources at their disposal to prove their case. For instance, they can buy 2 full page ads on all Manila dailies pontificating the virtues of JPEPA. But, in spite all of this why must Secretary Favila resort to name-calling?

There’s this piece of legal advice given to me, “If you're strong on the law, pound on the law. If you're strong on the facts, pound on the facts. But if you're not strong on either the law or the facts, then pound on the table."

Name-calling only denigrates the nature of the debate and mock the intelligence of the people Secretary Favila is trying to sway. The Filipino people deserve better, wouldn’t you think so Secretary Favila?

Atty. Richard Gutierrez
Basel Action Network, Asia-Pacific
Magkaisa Junk JPEPA Coalition
Unit 320 Eagle Court
26 Matalino St., Barangay Central
Quezon City

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