GOTCHA By Jarius Bondoc (The Philippine Star) Updated September 24, 2012 12:00 AM
Spies are posted in part to extract information from, or disinform and thus confuse, the enemy. Ghostwriters are employed to craft in coherent terms the principal’s thoughts. Backchannels, in diplomacy and mediation, are dispatched as secondary routes to exchange information.
All are covert operators. A spy must keep secret or be ineffective. A ghostwriter must remain a ghost, never taking credit for accolades to the principal. A backchannel must stay in the back, never presuming to be the formal diplomatic authority. Only someone with an immense ego will talk about his confidential role, and deprive the principal the option of denying him. And it is wrong to expose a clandestine operator, be he a mere ghostwriter or a superspy.
So Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile is being slammed for outing Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV as the President’s backchannel to China. Critics say he should have kept himself to answering Trillanes’ allegations about being ex-President Gloria Arroyo’s stooge in gerrymandering Camarines Sur. Instead, he disclosed out of spite last week the notes of ambassador Sonia Brady about Trillanes’ trips to China. In doing so, his detractors say, Enrile declassified without authority a document marked red or Secret. Worse, he could have weakened the Philippine position. It showed China that the highest Philippine officials are fighting each other instead of having one voice.
Trillanes is being twitted too. Even before his special work for the President was exposed, Trillanes allegedly had been telling people about it. Just that, Senate beat reporters giggle, nobody believed him. Why should they, when Trillanes has no known grounding in diplomacy? He used to be a Navy lieutenant and so knew about recurrent maritime territorial friction with the giant neighbor. But precisely due to low rank, he was never in position to draft military, much more diplomatic policy, even if once assigned to the Naval Strategic Planning Office.
Only when Enrile blew Trillanes’ cover during their heated exchange did the public find out. President Noynoy Aquino did assign Trillanes in May as backchannel at the height of tension with China over the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal. The month before, 36 Chinese poaching craft and government vessels had trespassed Philippine waters. Provoking war, they occupied the shoal throughout the summer, preventing Filipinos from fishing there as they’ve been doing for centuries. The Chinese ambassador kept promising a withdrawal that never happened (to this day). As Aquino detailed, it was at this point that Trillanes volunteered to backchannel. The Chinese had requested for the senator, and Malacañang felt it had nothing to lose by trying him out to ease tensions.
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Yesterday's Philippine PCSO Draw Results
For September 23, 2012 Sunday
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Winning numbers in exact order
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Winning numbers in exact order
Php: 4,500 per 10 peso play
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Current Jackpot: Php 16,000,000.00
Winning numbers in any order
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* = Hot Numbers
** = Very Hot Numbers