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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Of patriots and traitors

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“And since Cagayan governor Mamba believes China is so great, he should consider moving there to benefit from that country’s tremendous economic progress”

Throughout history, there have been many stories of patriotism and treachery.

This is particularly true in times of conflict.

As we know, there are many kinds of treachery and as many reasons why people become traitors to their country, friend, cause or religion.

Stories of patriotism, however, have always remained constant.

It is always about someone sacrificing for one’s country.

One of the earliest stories of betrayals known to every Christian all over the world is that of Judas who betrayed the Lord Jesus to the Romans for 30 pieces of silver.

Benedict Arnold, another familiar traitor, betrayed the cause of the American Revolution to the British.

We also all remember the famous phrase Et Tu Brute which was uttered by the dying Julius Cesar to his friend Brutus in the ides of March in Rome.

Another name that has now become synonymous to treason is Vidkun Quisling, the Norwegian politician who in the Second World War became a Nazi puppet and was executed by his own country after the war.

We also have our share of disloyal citizens.

No particular name comes to mind at the moment but we did have the hated Makapilis during the Japanese occupation.

These were Filipinos who served the Japanese by identifying suspected guerrilla members for execution and collaborated openly with them.

Many of our wartime leaders were in fact rounded up after the war for collaborating with the enemy and incarcerated in Palawan until eventually given full pardons.

Many of them returned to high government positions after the war and a couple of their descendants even became presidents.

In earlier times, there were those Filipinos who betrayed to the Americans the hiding place of General Emilio Aguinaldo in Palanan, Isabela that resulted in his capture on March 23, 1901.

People become traitors for many reasons.

Money is one very common motivation.

Revenge for a perceived wrong done to the individual is another.

Still another is thirst for power.

But the scariest reason is that some traitors actually have that perverted belief they are doing the country good by collaborating with another country.

And those maybe are the ones around us today.

We are now engaged in a rhetorical war with China with regard to the WPS issue.

It is a media war being played out here and in the international media.

Unfortunately, it would seem that China is managing its campaign better.

This is because we do not seem to be united.

There are some of us who by all accounts have openly taken the side of China and no longer bother to hide their positions by pretending to discuss the issues academically as they have been doing in the past.

They are now out rightly parroting verbatim the Chinese position.

One might be tempted to ask if these people are committing treasonous acts or simply believe that our government’s position on the WPS issue is wrong.

From what I understand, these people are being officially invited to China for conferences and are met, briefed and entertained by senior government officials.

Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba, for instance, bragged about his visit and conversation with a Deputy Foreign Minister.

He is now the mouthpiece of that official.

This is something way beyond his pay scale as Provincial Governor.

If he wants to conduct foreign affairs, he should run for national office and if elected, change the country’s Defense and Foreign Policies to his liking.

And since he also believes China is so great, he should consider moving there to benefit from that country’s tremendous economic progress.

As I have often written, people in this country are allowed to express their opinions freely and take positions on political issues but must be careful not to cross the line to collaboration.

They should understand that there is a very thin line that separates allowable actions becoming treason.

This is especially so because our duly elected government has taken a position on the WPS issue.

The way some individuals have been acting, however, have come very dangerously close to what might be considered treasonous in the eyes of many.

They should reassess their positions and be extra careful.

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