Peace and Obama’s Visit?

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By Carlos Legaspi Jr.

Questions that Matter

Thursday, May 1, 2014

THE week-long visit of Obama to Southeast Asia and his two-day stint in the country has stirred the hornet’s nest in this part of the globe. He told Japan that his country is ready to help in case any atrocities shall be done in Japan by other countries. He also gave his country’s assurance to South Korea in case of any major conflict with the North while he was very silent about the brewing conflict between China and the Philippines as to territorial rights. What do these actions and pronouncements bring in to the South East Asian region?

Instead of Obama as a bearer of World Peace, he now brings in his hands the scepter of violence and war. In my opinion, his visit has fired the ember to become a full-blown conflict and misunderstanding in the Region. North Korea is a little agitated and irritated by the statements made by the US President. China is silent but is very watchful of whatever dealings US have with the Philippines, and the Philippines has now a very clear picture that US will not help if a major conflict will take place in the area. The US seems to punish the Philippines for its hard headedness in claiming the Scarborough Shoal.

I fear (or I might be paranoid) but the visit might have prompted North Korea to really have its nuclear test in the Pacific and for China to really set foot in claiming the disputed territories. I fear for the future of the coming generations. I enjoin everyone to continue to pray for peace and to pray for change of hearts. I know Pope St. John Paul II will always look over the Filipinos with favor. I am confident that he will intervene and intercede to God for us.


Today, the country observes Labor Day. It is a day to honor the labor sector of the country. It is understood that labor in this part of the world are the workers and not those employees who fall in the line with the administration. The dignity of the laborers must be at par with the administration.

Labor is a part of the economic system of any country, without it, the country is doomed to suffer economic failure. Labor should be recognized and given due recognition as an important element of the whole economic system. It seems that these concepts are left in the academic textbooks only and not practiced in any economic system.

In the Philippines, the wages of the labor sector is only remembered and discussed during the month of May and are left to wither after the celebration of Labor Day. Two days ago, an economic analyst came out saying that the poverty level of the Philippines had gone down and the poverty index is two percent lower.

This is a positive outlook for economists but for a hand-to-mouth Filipino, this is not significant. Rise in the per capita income or in the GNP, does not mean anything to an ordinary laborer. Of course, for capitalists, it is a very positive indicator. My comical mind tells me that the pronouncement was simply to answer the clamor of the labor sector for increase in wages and benefits. Now, the government and the capitalists will have a great reason to say that the present wage law is correct and that there is no need for a legislated wage increase this year. But I still continue to ask for intercessions and interventions from Pope St. John XXIII who had a good grasp of the dignity of labor and the application of the Vatican II document on the role of the Church in social transformation.

The month of May opened with a big bang. The afternoon rains are showering us with all the graces and blessings. Rains bring in new life. Tadpoles will now be on rain-made ponds on the fields. Fishes are bringing in new life to rivers and so the beautiful cold and refreshing afternoons of May had been with us. I hope that this would continue until the month of June and July.

Lastly, we have to join together and pray for world peace and for US to stop stirring the nest of conflicts. We storm the heavens with our petitions of peace. Say a prayer of peace every day, I assure you this will help. Never mind the pronouncements of Obama and PNoy.

May the peace of the Lord be with us all. Pope St. John XXIII; Pope St. John Paul II; St. Ezekiel Moreno; St. Lorenzo Ruiz; St. Pedro Calungsod; Msgr. John Liu and John Su; and Sir Faraon Lopez, Pray for us.

Advance birthday greetings to my dear wife, Ma. Judy B. Legaspi, who will be celebrating her birthday on May 2. Belated birthday greetings also to my daughter, CJ.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 01, 2014.


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