Not so long ago, a famous commentator in Hongkong caused an uproar among Filipinos by calling the Philippines a “nation of servants”!
According to Alex Lo of the South China Morning Post, many locals share his condescending attitude towards Filipinos.
Alex Lo believes that the very condescending attitude of the Hongkong people towards the Filipinos played a factor in the mishandling of the Manila hostage crisis in 2010 by the Donald Tsang Yam-kuen government, leaving seven hostages dead.
Mr. Lo wrote that during the Manila Hostage Crisis, the Hongkong leader tried but failed to talk to then President Aquino on the phone for failing to observe protocol because of his low regard towards the Filipinos, including the President.
Today, Mr. Lo claims, no local government official would ever do that to Duterte.
The perception is slowly changing now says Alex Lo as President Duterte “is making a difference, big and small.” President Duterte, Alex Lo wrote, “has redefined the Philippines’ pivotal role in the rivalry between China and the US in Asia.”
Mr. Lo cited the initiative of the Duterte government to change the existing contracts of Filipino domestic helpers barring them from having to clean the exterior of windows. If you’ve been following the news, several maids plunged to their deaths while doing this dangerous routine.
Mr. Lo also shared another scoop to the readers – the Duterte government is asking Beijing to allow more than 200,000 Filipinos working illegally in mainland China to be given legal status.
Mr. Lo chided the Aquino government, the Hongkong officials and the local employers’ groups for turning a blind eye to the plight of the Filipino maids who plunged to their deaths which he said “are easily preventable” if only they had the compassion like the Duterte government.
Mr. Lo said that the Philippine consulate is fighting an uphill battle in stopping the maids from doing such deadly routine but it is doable.
If the Philippine consulate fails, Mr. Lo said, the Duterte government must enter the picture.
Mr. Lo said that Duterte may be ruthless but he get things done like having Chinese pay for infrastructure developments in the Philippines, including the construction of drug rehab facilities in Nueva Ecija.
China is pulling out all the stops for the visiting Duterte so Mr. Lo tells Hongkong to take the page from China in terms of treating the Filipina maids.
Alex Lo is a senior writer from the South China Morning Post who writes editorials and the daily “My Take” column.
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Source: South China Morning Post