CHINA has greeted with joy the designation of former President Fidel V. Ramos as Philippine Special Envoy in the bilateral talks that China always wanted—in order to keep a home court advantage instead of fighting it out in the Hague. That is why it refused to take part there. Duterte has made a good choice—but only as a starter.
Someone said that Ramos lost Mischief Reef in his term. I don’t think that makes more than a small dent in his eminent qualification. This guy broke the PLDT monopoly. No succeeding president did anything like it. Heck who even knew we had Mischief Reef to lose? Not me; I doubt if he knew. But he did lose Mischief Reef.
It is said that “it could have been worse.” But what could have been worse than losing Mischief Reef? We might have lost Palawan or Zambales with Dick in it.
But we did not. And because we did not, it is illogical to say of the loss of Mischief Reef that it could have been worse. For a thing to be worse than another the other must have happened as well. How else can we compare? We cannot compare something with nothing. We cannot compare what actually happened with something worse that might have but did not happen. “Might have” just won’t cut it. And now Ramos is going to China to sit across some pretty slim customers who happen to have the second biggest military establishment on the planet and an economy second to none but that of the United States. And Ramos goes as the guy who lost Mischief Reef to them. What does that do for our prospects?
It makes it harder for Ramos to get a good hearing let alone a good deal from China.
Why? Because the Chinese believe the same as us: after pulling out the first olive the rest just spill out of the bottle. The Chinese also believe the same thing about a first kiss: after the lips the genitals follow.