The speech of Secretary Locsin at the United Nations in favor of the Global Compact for Migration

Preface by JoeAm

Foreign Affairs Secretary delivered a speech explaining the Philippines’ vote FOR the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration. It was received with sustained applause.

The Secretary covers a lot of ground in his speech, trips the delicate diplomatic dance without being shy, and delivers the view of the Philippine nation about migration. Certainly, with workers and citizens around the globe, the Philippines is uniquely qualified to speak to the point.

Rather than give my own analysis of the speech, I will simply let the text speak for itself. Readers can then speak for themselves in the comment section below, which I will join.

What do you think his diplomatic posture was? Did he represent the Philippines well? Did he represent President Duterte well? Did he represent human rights the way they should be represented? What is your take on all this?


Explanation of Vote



Secretary of Foreign Affairs

On the United Nations General Assembly Resolution Endorsing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration

[Delivered during the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York City on 19 December 2018]

Madame President, my good friend Foreign Minister Peter Szijjärtó.

The Philippines will vote in favor of and strongly supports this resolution endorsing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

Some of our friends in this endeavor have withdrawn under pressure from political constituencies. Others opposed it from the start for the same reason. And that is only right; we should respond to our constituencies for we are all democracies. Still others have reasons with which we agree or with which we do not completely disagree; but where we do disagree we must not leave them unanswered.

We defeated the notion that migration is bad. And we did this with facts and not frightful fantasies of job losses no Westerner would take. When jobs are lost they are not taken by migrants; but by people who stay home, work harder for lesser pay, and beat the better-paid competition abroad. We did it with reason by showing that migrants have been useful additions to the workforces of host countries; they are a good response to unfair foreign competition.

Not fear but facts shaped our perception; reason not passion distinguished discussion at the United Nations if nowhere else. We should be proud to acknowledge that a decent regard for the opinion of mankind, prompted by the better angels of our nature, dictated our decision regarding the Global Compact.

Migration is a shared responsibility of sending, receiving, and transit states. No one state can address it alone; nor should any state presume to lead in saying what can and cannot be done about it. That is the reason why the Global Compact for Migration was undertaken: it needed the inputs of all or of as many as had good intentions toward migrants.

The word “compact” was picked precisely for having no settled meaning in international law, unlike the word “treaty,” which in international practice has been a mere scrap of paper torn time and again by surprising acts of aggression. Right from the title, “Compact” excludes any suggestion of enforceability other than the compulsion of conscience if one has any— and if not then all the less is it compelling.

Rather the word hints at the shared feeling of a common endeavor to address that which we would not want to be visited on ourselves and our families, who are fortunate to have countries we are happy to call our own. There will always be claims that good intentions become obligations; but these claims are as easily ignored as they are easily made. It is part of the free expression we all uphold without qualification.

The Compact merely seeks by clear delineation, and with the mildest suggestion of what might be done out of decency, about the problems encountered by migrants. It does not presume to tell states what to do with people who happen to be in their midst; for that is surely a strictly sovereign decision. We see this in the unsolved Rakhine problem created by one empire at the expense of a subject nation. None of us should presume to dictate to the latter how to solve it. But we might speak politely of what would be the decent thing to do.

The Compact assumes that states, not just in the exercise of sovereignty but out of practical sense, must start and end with effective national controls over their borders. A world without borders, like a world without string to hold things together, would be chaos.

Indeed, a key role of states is to identify who its citizens are and who are not—law abiding; so as to give first priority to the protection of the former against the lawless among them.

For that is the defining role of a state. It is a role that no other state or assortment of states can substitute for it. In particular, there can be no interference with, nor foreign opinion against a state policy to crush crime by any means that will achieve the purpose. Irregular migration is illegal but it is not a crime as that word is decently understood. And it is indeed a slippery slope from proscribing hate speech to disallowing all expressions of disagreeable opinions which are the foundation of democracy and also its poison pill.

Some here decry the current retreat from multilateralism; yet the same withdrew from the GCM for its multilateral character. The GCM is a triumph of multilateralism. It is an assertion of sovereignty acting in concert with other sovereignties for humane objectives; but in no wise does it deny any particle of sovereignty’s full extent and reach. But no question, world government is an unmitigated evil; hegemonic aspirations alone committed the worst crimes against humanity in history throughout the Cold and post-Cold War worlds.  We will have none of that, from any quarter.

In sum, the Compact does not derogate one iota from sovereignty. But it reveals sovereignty’s fundamentally moral nature. A key aspect of sovereignty is the care states must take of people inside them; even if they are on the move—  from countries of origin, through countries of transit, to where finally they end up to be welcomed or booted out. The Compact merely speaks truth to sovereign power and reminds it of its moral aspect.

Sovereignty is as much a duty of care as it is an assertion of unlimited freedom of action. The two here combine in the willing assumption of that duty. And that is the problem. States wish they could pick and choose which migrants to take and reject; and for the most part they are able to. But migrants do not stand on auction blocks, impassively awaiting the cry of the auctioneer: “Sold!”

That is the fond desire but this is the modern world.

It cannot be a neat process to select from a moving tide of humanity— fleeing the injustice of places with bad governments sponsored by hegemons during the Cold War— or the injustice of being born in weak and therefore violent states. This Compact seeks merely to tidy it. Migrants are not slaves in transport but free human beings on the move; with more courage to improve their condition abroad than endurance to persist in the wretched places they must flee or perish.

And while the lust to wander is immemorial, still there is no place like home if you can live in it.

Sometimes the needs of state and migrants overlap; sometimes not; hence the false and ugly narratives of migration  peddled by those who have benefited from migration  but fear too much of it. Western cities would be cesspools without migrants. And there would be— as my friend Fernando of Mexico said— no World Cup as we know it today;  nor Miss Universe, the part-Scottish, part-Filipina Catriona Gray, lava-walking the runway for her one and only people. That is the enigma of arrival: the arrival of needed migrants— some of them but not all.

This is where sovereignty comes up against— not a challenge to its unlimited freedom to act— but to the moral imperative to live up to a standard of reciprocal decency in its actions. For one day a sovereign people may find themselves migrants as well with no country. We repeat: no enforceable obligation can be laid on sovereignty. But certain standards are expected of it; and failure to meet them results only in self-condemnation.

And so at the GCM negotiations the Philippines proposed treating migration, as much a matter of migrants’ expectations, as of a state obligation to uphold a standard of decency in rites of migrant passage and arrival; welcome or rejection.

True the Compact raises expectations; but while we may or may not join in deriding international guidelines, standards and commitments that trench on our absolute sovereignty to choose any means to achieve our purposes;  nonetheless expectations are beyond the remit of sovereignty to contain.

Hope springs eternal as it did for the Pilgrims who crossed an ocean in the expectation of better than the miserable life they had in Europe. They were fortunate to encounter natives on the other side of the world who gave them the benefit of the doubt and provisions to tide them over the cruel winter. But no power can extinguish hope; and it is not a crime to wish for better and do something about it. It may be illegal but it is not criminal.

The Global Compact for Migration took two years of difficult negotiations over complex issues and strong opposition not least from countries of migrant composition. The experience must not have been good. But we persevered in the confidence that decency would prevail. And it is in decency that we anchored the Compact. Thank you.



87 Responses to “The speech of Secretary Locsin at the United Nations in favor of the Global Compact for Migration”
  1. edgar lores says:

    1. I am glad the Philippines voted for the GCM.

    2. I object to two statements:

    2.1. ”In particular, there can be no interference with, nor foreign opinion against a state policy to crush crime by any means that will achieve the purpose.”

    2.2. ”But no question, world government is an unmitigated evil; hegemonic aspirations alone committed the worst crimes against humanity in history throughout the Cold and post-Cold War worlds.”

    3. In reverse order:

    3.1. World government an unmitigated evil? Perhaps he meant “world domination” and not “world government.” If he really meant “world government,” it would be ironic because he is speaking from the platform of a world government venue.

    3.1.1. Why just “Cold post-Cold War worlds?” Why exclude pre-Cold War worlds?

    3.2. State sovereignty is absolute? This is contradicted by “the moral imperative to live up to a standard of reciprocal decency in its actions.”

    3.2.1. State sovereignty is bounded by international law.

    3.2.2. The statement seems to justify Duterte’s drug war.

    3.2.3. The statement contravenes Article 19 of the UDHR.

    4. This is the thing about Locsin. He does not see the logical contradictions in his conceptual thinking. My judgment of him as a dilettante remains.

    • Yes, I agree “world government” needs to be defined better.

      State sovereignty is absolute. That is the key point of the speech for me, and it is clear that Secretary Locsin wants the Duterte Administration to have full right to execute drug suspects without outside meddling. Your 3.2.2 On the other hand, he was speaking to a wide-ranging audience who obviously liked what he said based on the sustained applause he received. He defended international obligations, and he defended sovereignty. In the doing, there will always be need for diplomats who can deploy contradictions in complex settings and come off having thrown a bone to everyone.

  2. say what you want about SFA locsin but the secretary can write.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    As the representative of a nation who deploys workers globally, he is spot-on.

    “We defeated the notion that migration is bad. And we did this with facts and not frightful fantasies of job losses no Westerner would take. When jobs are lost they are not taken by migrants; but by people who stay home, work harder for lesser pay, and beat the better-paid competition abroad. We did it with reason by showing that migrants have been useful additions to the workforces of host countries; they are a good response to unfair foreign competition.”

    What if it is applied here, with the. Influx of illegal Chinese workers and other foreigners who work here illegally?
    Do we accept Chinese workers, Expat Executives, expat doctors,etc.

    • I believe the answer of Secretary Locsin would be “yes, of course”, and I tend to agree. It depends on the job and the availability of skilled, experienced Filipino workers for the job. It appears the govt lacks good computer application skills in the agencies, for example. Like to automate and run Customs or LTO functions, taxes, RE titles, and the like. Chinese, or American, or Israeli, or anyone with skills could help immensely. The hang-up is that “global” salary scales would have to be adopted for such skills.

  4. Gel Li says:

    Locsin chided about TREATIES to be useless and COMPACTS are better. What for? The RP-US MDT? The speech is full of flowery words but EMPTY of anything of substance to the country. Is this how speeches are IN WORLD assemblies? LOCSIN is SHALLOW and HOLLOW.

    • The speech was received with sustained applause. The world’s diplomats evidently found meaning to his message. And one has to ask, who do we expect Secretary Locsin to represent when speaking, the yellows (democracy and human rights advocates) or the Duterte Administration?

  5. NHerrera says:

    Ambassador Locsin was able to put into that speech two items:

    – Serving to declare the unconstrained sovereignty of any country in whatever aspect it deems as serving its interest;

    – Serving the reality of the Philippine migration conundrum worldwide (in the process serving the country’s economy from the remittances of its OFWs, etc)

    However good Locsin’s wordsmithing in the second item with its associated moral tone, it cannot hide the fact — to the discerning reader — that the first item as practiced in the Philippines gives contradiction to the almost repetitive moral high ground that he uses in the second item.

    The net effect: President Duterte should be happy with his UN Ambassador, and so should many Filipinos seeking fortunes or work abroad.

    The sustained applause after the speech I believe is also understandable. The authoritarian countries as well as the democratic countries to a lesser extent (with earlier strong reservations made milder in recent times) cannot feel bad about Item 1. Countries who are similarly placed as the PH with their OFWs should be happy about Item 2. To the rest of the UN Members, the dissertation on Item 2 can be taken as so much motherhood statements they will not quarrel about.


    • Very sharp assessment. I agree a primary intent was to defend the abuses of human rights within the Philippines.

    • Totally agree, NH.


      • Gives credence to the Wall, and the whole fed gov’t shut down over here, NH.

        • Micha says:

          This made me laugh.

          But seriously, shutting down the gov’t for wall funding? Bad optics. Besides, didn’t he promised he’s going to compel Mexico pay for it?

          • You have to read the Art of the Deal, Micha. Ask for something big, promise something big,





            then you’ll get this,

            and call it a big beautiful wall.

            at that point, “promises” technically would’ve been kept.

            then people will ask, “did Mexico pay for that?” , “They will”, Trump will say.

            Then Jared and Ivanka will roll out the Fed prison reform stuff, and off to the next subject.

            All bs, Micha.

            But people for the first time are now seeing that there’s waves and waves of these folks coming to the border (where it was invisible before , out of mind-out of sight), couple that with the literal waves and waves of refugees going to Europe (all headed to English speaking countries). And people start to think.

            It’s like the Titanic (the world), and the English speaking countries are the life-boats.

            with that in mind , read this Locsin chap ‘s speech again and it’s a threat, it’s a threat and promise,

            “We are going there! all of the U.N.! we’re sending all our tired and sick and poor; whilst we here (the rich 3rd world families with our servants) will get rich by privatizing electricity and other public utility , that Micha deems essential to modern living! … and working closely with China; English speaking nations are suckers!” 😉

            yup. that’s the gist of his speech.

            • sonny says:

              A friend summarized the art of the deal almost to the word as you have it, LC. Reflecting on Trump’s paradigm, it turns out to be so similar to the algorithm used in a binary search: first cut in half; is the object in range in the first half or the second; keep one, discard the other, repeat until the object is found. 🙂

              • sonny says:

                ooops, my bad. Important first step: arrange choices from most desirable to least desirable, or some kind of ascending priority, then proceed.

              • edgar lores says:

                It’s been some time, but it’s usually assumed that the choices are pre-sorted (?).

                The sorting algorithm is usually a separate step from the binary search algorithm.

                If it were not, the search for value x can be determined during the sort.

                On the assumption, of course, that a comparison sort is the adopted sort algorithm.

              • Sounds like a fine algorithm , sonny. If you’re looking for something specific; Trump isn’t necessarily doing this, just “feeling” what issues strike the American public’s fancy. He said Build the Wall and it stuck (Ann Coulter didn’t say that, Trump did). So he’s just milking it for ratings.

                More like this, sonny…

              • sonny says:

                @ edgar

                Because of the similarity in form between the art of the deal and the binary search algorithm, I intuited a possible use of one in the other. Will spend a little time to see if this is true. And yes, a sort step must be executed before the binary search step if the LT, EQ, GT are the operators for the decision logic.

              • sonny says:

                @ LC

                Am aware Trump seems to use the art with tongue-in-cheek mode. 🙂

            • chemrock says:

              Exactly Lance, re the waves of immigration part. We are not talking about a couple of families applying the green card. They come in waves. It’s very easy for no -destination countries to talk like Locsin. I’m not a fan of Trump on many issues but I think he is a realist on immigration. These are epoch changing waves of immigration. In 20 years time, Europe will be Islamic countries. I think it’s already irreversible for France and Sweden.

              I touched slight on this problem in my next blog.

            • Micha says:


              The tweeterer-in-chief is in survival mode. He knows he’s in trouble after the Mueller report comes out. His only refuge is his base and the leader of the band Celine Dion, I mean, Ann Coulter, warned him that if he couldn’t get funding for that beautiful wall he might as well call them ex-Trumpists.

              Also, the bosses at Pentagon are not happy with him after the Syria withdrawal. They could crash his Marine 1 over at Martha’s graveyard, err, vineyard.

              Meanwhile up north, the Canadians also wanted to build a wall to keep homeless Americans from crossing the Michigan river.

              • I think the whole Kennedy clan just winced at your para 2.

              • Pentagon’s not happy, sure. But I don’t think it’s like the Bay of Pigs, Micha 😉 .

                As for homeless Americans going to Canada, why go where it’s cold, come to Socal where bleeding hearts will house you and feed you and put up with your crap (literally).

                Trump’s gonna do his full term. I don’t think Mueller found anything (except maybe some shady business dealings) impeachable that’s the key word. Remember Senate is still Republican. and SCOTUS conservative.

                2020 is gonna be fun though. Pocahontas is no contest, but if Kamala Harris runs, hey we have a contender. As Trump would say, She has the look.

                Kamala/Gabbard ticket for 2020 is what I’m hoping. And i think Trump’s nightmare is that. We’ll see, Micha.

              • Elizabeth Warren is so fake, she makes Hillary look legit. She might as well be running with Oprah. Warren/Winfrey 2020. Trump will run circles.

                Now Kamala Harris and Tulsi Gabbard, no none sense prosecutor and military war vet. TRUMP has no chance if they run in 2020.

    • edgar lores says:

      I have a sneaking suspicion the UN members were applauding the Miss Universe remarks.

      • NHerrera says:

        Yes. Missed that, edgar. That nicely designed red gown looking good on Catriona Gray and the lava walk did it! [If even my octogenarian eyes can appreciate, more so the younger eyes of the UN Member reps.] 🙂

  6. chemrock says:

    I have to admit I’m a dimwit here, It’s one of those powerful-sounding speeches but at the end, I really don’t know what it’s all about.

    I also think this is probably a speech that will win the Golden Politically Correctness Award.

    • Since there are still custom, border, immigration controls, seems to me just a lot of bs, chemp. Let’s face it, all those folks (legal or illegal) he’s talking about are mostly going to English speaking countries.

      It’d be ironic truly, if Trump’s wall is funded , indirectly becomes the response to this speech.

    • Well, Secretary Locsin has two contradictory obligations: (1) to impose good will toward Filipino OFWs upon other nations (make it their sovereign best interest), while (2) defending the Duterte Administration’s right to use force against drug abusers. He wants human rights but with an asterisk . . . an escape clause of sovereignty that masters all objection.

      I think he did that well. That does not require liking government policy, just understanding the Secretary’s task.

      • Too bad no American UN ambassador was present, I would’ve enjoyed a Trumpian retort to this ala new Colossus speech,

        American retort would’ve short:

        Keep ’em!!! We want instead your talented, creative, with money to invest, education and skills to make us stronger!

        And go thru our US embassies using proper channels to apply, you will be vetted. DO NOT walk nor swim here, nor over-stay your visa restrictions!

        To the rest of U.N. , this American welfare experiment is officially over! Good job biting the hand that feeds you!

        All you U.N personnel get your kids (dependents) out of American schools (free tuition/board thanks to American tax payers), top notch medical care (thanks to American tax payers); and pension plans (American tax payer paid).

        We’re closing shop, folks!

  7. Micha says:

    Is he the same Locsin who crafted Estrada’s “walang kaibigan kamag-anak o barkada” inaugural speech?

    • I’m not aware of that. Do you have a reference link on this bit of info?

      • Micha says:

        Not much. From Rappler :

        Locsin is the son of the late journalist Teodoro Locsin Sr, who was detained in the 1970s for criticizing the regime of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

        After Marcos was ousted in 1986, Locsin served as speechwriter and legal counsel to President Corazon Aquino, who restored democracy after the Marcos regime.

        He was also speechwriter to presidents Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who belonged to opposing political camps.

        Locsin was known as the speechwriter of Corazon Aquino, who penned her standing ovation speech at the US Congress (1986).

        A political butterfly?

        • Maybe, although I don’t read him as a political player. More an ambitious professional, or Edgar’s re-interpretation of that, focused on the ambitious part, as a “dilettante” (a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge- google).

      • Micha says:

        New Permanent Representative of Philippines Presents Credentials
        (Based on information provided by the Protocol and Liaison Service)

        The new Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations, Teodoro Lopez Locsin, Jr., presented his credentials to UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

        Mr. Locsin previously served as a member of his country’s House of Representatives, from 2001 to 2010. He was a speechwriter for two former presidents, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2002 to 2006) and Joseph Ejercito Estrada (1998), as well as Legal Counsel to former President Corazon J. Aquino (1987-1992. He was Director-General of the Office of Media Affairs from 1986 to 1988.

        The publisher and editor-in-chief of the Today newspaper between 1993 and 2003, as well as publisher of the Globe newspaper from 1988 to 1993, Mr. Locsin was most recently a broadcaster for the ABS-CBN News Channel and the DZRH radio station in Manila. He has been a law professor at San Beda College since 2014.

        Mr. Locsin earned a Master of Laws degree from Harvard University in 1983 and a Bachelor of Laws from Ateneo de Manila University in 1977.

  8. karlgarcia says:

    Locsin once said that we should only allow rich Chinese.
    Maybe after reading how the rich Chinese gamed Canadian immigration, he would take it back.

    • Amoral government, amoral citizens.

      • “Wang faked the presence of his wealthy clients in Canada, when they were actually living in China, so that they could maintain Canadian permanent residency and qualify for citizenship. He was sentenced to seven years’ jail, but was paroled late last year.”

        Filipinos do something similar over here, karl,

        mostly 65+ years old, they work and retire in the Philippines, they come here (son/daughter already here), then collect Social Security benefits, after that they go back to the Philippines whilst still collecting Philippine benefits and now US benefits . talk about double dipping.

        There are all kinds of games played and certain nationalities tend to concentrate on one or two; the rich Chinese here have been known to vacation here (tourist visa) , while pregnant, pop out a kid or two over here and voila! American citizens! it’s like magic.

        This all has to stop. And I hope Trump gets it done.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Will you paste one of you replies to Alyas Lorelie that is on topic?

          • I’ll do both.

            p.s. on the 65+ scam I don’t sweat that too much being that 75 is usually when folks die; but the bigger scam is when the family then keeps Social Security here in the dark and not inform them of their loved ones death , thus keeping on collecting.

            Though I think they’ve devised effective counters for this now, but I’ve heard of mom’s and dad’s cut off thumbs kept in the freezer just to keep receiving benefits and other such grislyschemes.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Many thanks.

            • Francis says:

              There is a third option:

              Be efficient bleeding hearts and fix up “the rest of the world” so substantially less people from “the rest of the world” will stop coming to the West. That, I think, is the most reasonable, humane and responsible course of action.

              If there is anything that grinds my gears quite a bit, it is that the West is seemingly stuck on this emotional false dichotomy—either emotionally wanting to accept literally everyone with no limits (liberals, socialists) or emotionally wanting everyone to leave (conservative). Everyone, it seems, wants to satify the itch of their guts—whether it be by a feel-good and almost Messianic approach that only feels good in the short run but only piss off people in the long run (the “accept everyone” rhetoric of the liberals, socialists) or the “damn all the outsiders” approach taken by Trump et al.

              The most reasonable approach is obviously to a) recognize the value of nuance and the limitations of generalizations, b) never compromise either humane values or pragmatism, i.e. always aim for an approach both humane and pragmatism—and never settle for anything else, and c) recognize that limitations do exist, but do not aim starting from those limitations—rather aim impossibly high at utopia, and bargain down with Lady Fortune from there.

              From a): We can realize that conservative fears of a great flood of foreigners enveloping the whole Western World is (mostly) unfounded. In the long run, many of these nations will adapt simply due to sheer numbers—i.e. Europe is not going to become Eurabia, and over time the minority Muslim populations will adapt to (most of) Europe’s norms, etc. I say (most) because that’s where the nuance comes in. Treating “West” or “Europe” as one coherent entity being affected by “the refugee” or “the migrant” seems mostly counter-productive to me. Finland, Norway are different from United Kingdom, Germany and France which in turn are different from the United States.

              For instance, I will readily admit that the Scandinavian countries have every right to limit immigration—greatly MORE SO compared to any other of the Western nations—for the simple fact that these nations have populations the size of Metro Manila; which is to say, in the range of a few million or ten-something million.

              It is realistic to fear demographic disruption in these instances.

              But France, Germany and the UK are no small nations. I really think it is unrealistic for Islam to become the dominant religion (in an unadapted, un-Europanized form at least) demographically. Adaptation is painful, but in the span of centuries—time will tell.

              And the United States? If Europe Latino/as are a threat to the “essence” of America. Europeans would do anything to have the rates of successful integration that the United States enjoys, or the cultural similarities (religion, for instance) that allow the US to have swell time having a multicultural society compared to Europe at least.

              (Like I have said before: God loves the United States—a very lucky, lucky nation.)

              The cultural similarity is enough that many respectable experts predict that Latinos and Latinas may very well end up like the Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans—fully integrated into American society to the point where it seems odd to question their American-ness.

              There is also the matter of Mexico becoming developed enough to the point where immigrants from that country to America have declined significantly. Again—proof that the conditions in the Third World are eased, people won’t leave as much. You don’t have to make the Third World first class—just a threshold where enough people won’t leave because leaving is a hard decision; I think it is a safe assumption to hold that many people only choose to leave their family, everything they’ve ever known because conditions back home are so terrible that those high costs don’t match the of those conditions.

              You only get masses of people leaving everything they’ve known when something really bad is right behind their backs.

              Points b) and c) are self-explanatory.

              Pragmatism doesn’t have to mean “the most painful and selfless decision to me” (the mistake of many liberals, socialists) or “the most painful decision to others, at gain to my own group” (the mistake of many conservatives) but the “golden mean” that Aristotle always advised we should aim for.

              Both humane and pragmatic, while sustainable in that the benefits last and are fully enjoyed in the long run.

              • Francis says:


                That being said, the limitations of migration (particularly cultural) should be recognized. For instance, the different views on womens’ rights and sexuality which a proportion of Muslims may have. I am for Integration, not Multiculturalism—which is as bad as Assimilation in my book. Assimilation ignores all that immigrants have to offer—good or bad; a hegemonic one-way relationship. Multiculturalism is too “politically correct” to ignore the bad stuff and uncritically accepts everything de facto by refusing to have any sort of conversation; no relationship occurs, as people are left to their devices in their various ethnic hamlets.

                Integration. Respect what is good—dispense with what cannot fit. That should be the basis of a genuine two-way relationship—where both natives and immigrants can both synthesize into a “better” whole, sans some of the flaws of both. A dialectic, of sorts

              • I’m not subtracting that, Francis. USAID , the US State Dept and the US military still do quite a lot of that all over the world.

                But you know this well, what happens to money and supplies given? Much of it disappears, or eventually comes to disrepair. Such is corruption. Much of it actually ends up back here, in the form of real estate purchases and secret bank accounts.

                At some point, 3rd worlders have to lift themselves up. and stop asking for apologies and hand-outs. that is the beginning IMHO. But Joe’s asked me to stop posting for now, so I will obliged.

                But remember Nietzsche’s master morality.

                And this,

                mendicancy noun

                men·​di·​can·​cy | \ˈmen-di-kən(t)-sē \

                Definition of mendicancy

                1 : the condition of being a beggar
                2 : the practice of begging

              • The sense of personal(or national) accountability in the Philippines is indeed extraordinarily weak. A whole lot of people do not find inspiration in accomplishment or being responsible (e.g., picking up trash) and I have no idea what is floating their boat in terms of self-fulfillment.

          • Now if Alyas Lorelei re-calibrated her theory to say, AMERICANS DON’T LIKE MATH AND COMPUTER SCIENCE WORK.

            I’d totally be all aboard that proposition, thus support Trump’s plan to ease work visas for folks in that field. Student visa to work visa to citizenship path, I’m in. But legally done, with vetting.

            But hard labor, man that’s what Americans are known for. How do you think America came to be? Sure the Chinese in the rail roads helped (one side of it), the Southerners had slaves, but up north, all the way to the west, that’s all brawn, a little brain sure, but mostly brawn.

            Hence my rejection of Alyas’s proposition.

        • You seem to have spent most of the day trolling in favor of Trump policies and against democrats. You have also made a large number of comments, and have been cautioned in the past about not dominating the blog. This is a Philippine blog. From an editor’s perspective, I’d rather hear from Filipinos than Americans, and I for sure don’t want it dominated by an American troll who is peddling his wares. Kindly moderate your comments and keep them centered on the goal of understanding (teaching and learning) about the Philippines.

          Thank you.

          • I will abstain now, Joe. But keep in mind the blog was about global migration. We all know the direction where that migration flows. So by default it is about immigration to the US, Canada, Australia and the UK, with France and Germany (and Scandinavian nations) as transit. Not about emigration from English speaking countries outwards.

            Nor did it escape anyone here that Locsin obviously speaks with forked tongue, as do most in the 3rd world who no doubt addressed the UN assembly with similar speeches. They, they , are the cause of these migrations. Because of 3rd world politicians (or “ambitious professionals”) like Locsin, 3rd world nations wallow in distress, giving no other options to their people than to leave.

            Let’s not over romanticize 3rd world emigration, Joe. They immigrate here (legally or otherwise) because of people like Locsin over there, and all over the 3rd world. Emma Lazarus’ speech at the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty memorialized in that plaque is honorable, Locsin’s speech— attempting to strike at the same vein– is not. No matter how you rationalize it.

            I will await chemp’s blog on this. And resurface there. Hopefully by then we’ll know more about the funding of the Wall.

            • Who is romanticizing world emigration? Not me, for sure. I presented Locsin’s speech for its diplomatic intricacies, and what I note is that most people are taking it as a document to oppose based on their own agendas. I am working to implement the advice I gave in my recent vantage point article and looking for anyone who would care to interpret the document through the eyes and position of Locsin rather than their own agendas. He is not just a dilettante (Edgar) or a duplicitous soul (others). He is a guy in a job, with a personality, ambitions, allegiances (conflicting), that lead to conflicting statements or statements offensive to just about everyone. I am informed by my sources within DFA (sources spread around the globe like a spider web, each node a listening post) that he is an earnest diplomat, not a flake like Cayetano (my words, not theirs) or Yasay. Rather than start with our ignorance and agendas and shade everything accordingly, why not start by figuring out what he is trying to do, objectively. And not passing easy judgments.

              Chemrock will indeed put this squarely on the table. Why are we all doing so much to bury knowledge under bias, agenda, and emotion?

              • I just compared Trump to a chimp and posted that cartoon of him praying in the Western wall, Joe. I have no agenda, but I am very much passionate about this immigration issue, having seen what I’ve seen in and outside the US.

                If Locsin is a good guy then that’s cool , but I’m sure if you visit his home in the Philippines you’ll have the fruits of corruption readily viewable with lots of servants to mind. Like I’ve said I have a lot of experience over there too that shapes my views, you too I’m sure.

                I’m just sharing what I think of Locsin and his speech. And if it seems like trolling, it’s been a slow day is all. Plus I have a lot to say on this subject. In conclusion, I don’t work for the Trump campaign , Joe.

                He just seems perfectly primed for this problem. And it is a big problem.

              • I’d rather you shared knowledge rather than what you think. Kindly cite a source as to the fruits of his corruption and servants. Those are harsh, even malicious charges, if cited in the absence of knowledge.

              • Basic deduction , Joe. If I were investigating this dude, or writing a newspaper article on corruption sure I’d need sources. But to make a basic assumption,

                Without knowing this dude, I only knew about him when you did a feature on him, citing and respecting his trollish ways,

                I can tell already that he’ll have a house in Makati, plus other houses too in the country. I can tell you , either his house in Makati (chemp can verify) or his country side homes will have high walls (with broken glass at ends or if he’s artistically inclined then fancy designs but still with pointy ends , rendering all criticism of Trump’s Wall moot ).

                That he’ll have droves of servants is automatic, Joe. It’s the Philippines.

                Now corruption will be harder to prove, especially all the way from California with only my handy lap-top and less than tepid interest.

                But Micha’s given us a good list of accomplishments to start with, knowing full well those in that list he’s worked for have been associated directly or indirectly of corruption charges,

                its assumed that birds of a feather flock together.

                Using sonny’s and edgar’s renditions of binary search algorithm , our very first half is that Locsin is amongst the dirrrty (based on his resume). You can proceed to keep half’ing until you find proofs, but for the purpose of my comment above I’m just saying he falls in the dirrrty half.

                he’s not clean.

                And knowing what I know about the nightlife there, he’ll for sure have 1 to 3 very young side chicks depending on virility and sense of adventure.

                But you’re correct I have no sources here, just operating purely on deduction, like chemp above.

              • The environment we live in is polluted by opinions masking as facts. Both people issuing specious reasoning, rumors, or intentional lies as well as readers who accept it without question or independent investigation are at fault. It is like plastic in our thinking ocean, and to the extent we can diminish this, we will think, behave, and act better. I consider your commentary to be very different than Chempo’s as it casts serious charges against an individual. It is plastic – trash, actually – in what I think should be an effort to get to a better quality of dialogue.

              • Joe,

                If this dude can call people ‘idiot’ or ‘moron, I’m sure he won’t mind too much if I call him dirrrty. Sure it’s probably a lot harder to prosecute ‘dirrrty’ than say ‘idiot’ or ‘moron’. But call a spade a spade.

                As for the quality discussion on your blog, I agree. And I respect your goal. Just wanted to make this quick last point that Locsin Jr. should be considered green light, if he can dish it, I’m sure he can take it.

                Hell, I’m sure he’s giggling right now at my ‘virility and senses of adventure’ comment above, ie. I like this LCpl_X fella. He’s no idiot or moron.

              • Yes, I agree with the point, and believe he contributes to the deterioration in civility, reasoning, and intelligence that is going on worldwide.

            • chemrock says:

              I think Joe is trying to separate the speech from the man.

              As to the man, we can’t criticise what we don’t know. It’s hitting below the belt. But what we do know is that man bound by certain ethical and moral moorings, will act within their internal standards. That was the reason why Mar Roxas quit Arroyo’s cabinet. So we question why a pro-humanist, or I should say an ex-humanist, like Harry Roque, and Locsin, readily took up positions offered by Duterte. Accepting the job means they associate themselves to the ideals of the president, and we jolly well know what those ideals are.

              • Secretary Locsin does not seem to be a human rights advocate in the umbrella sense, as he is indeed a backer of the killings going on in the name of a drug war, and castigates drug users as lesser beings. But he believes in human rights in the applied sense for Filipino OFWs. It is a tough contradiction for a dedicated human rights advocate to live with, I think. So I conclude he is amoral, as are most in the upper reaches of government. His values fluctuate according to need. That probably is a strength for a diplomat who treads between huge and stark opposing interests.

              • chemrock says:

                I can buy that argument. So it boils down to practicality.

  9. popoy says:

    My first echetat for 2019

    Not against or for anybody; just a view from my mind’s window.
    TEOTUS (The Emperor of the United States) wants a Great Wall against
    His perceived modern times invaders. The imperious essence of power
    Is a singular conscience against numerous multiples if a debacle ensues
    To prevail against the emperor’s will.

    Let the Federals and his Party turned their backs on him;
    Let suicidal enemies wrought havoc on the empire; bomb the planes
    Massacres on the malls and the parks. Let the conscience of the world
    Regret not to give TEOTUS his wall and allow collateral damage.

    Don Quixote have had his imagined windmills; Qin Shi Huang built
    With lots of rulers the Great Wall to unify China.
    Majority rule is the heart and mind of democracy
    and it failed many countries
    corrupt majority rule is also the idiopathy that nurtures
    and nourishes autocracy.

  10. edgar lores says:

    1. The problem at the heart of any discrimination – which is the inability to recognize and accept equality – is identification.

    2. We identify ourselves as superior and the Other as less than Us and, therefore, as less than human. Being less than human, they are not entitled to our entitlements. They do not have the right to live as we do.

    3. The Other can be distinguished and diminished as a matter of “race, color, sex, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

    4. The human rights associated with migration are rendered in Articles 13 and 14 of the UDHR:

    4.1. Article 13 states:

    ”(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
    (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”

    4.2. And Article 14 states:

    “(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
    (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”

    4.3. Note the caveat in item 2 of Article 14. There is a recognition of national sovereignty. I would interpret this partly as the sovereign right to exclude illegal and irregular economic migration by land/boat/air people.

    5. My presumption is that the GCM is within the parameters of the UDHR, which is why I expressed approval of the Philippine vote.

    5.1. From Wikipedia: ”There are 23 objectives and commitments listed in the draft agreement. These include collecting and using accurate and anonymized data to develop evidence-based migration policy, ensuring that all migrants have proof of identity, enhancing availability and flexibility for regular migration, encouraging cooperation for tracking missing migrants and saving lives, ensuring migrants can access basic services, and making provisions for both full inclusion of migrants and social cohesion.”

    5.2. The results of the UN vote were:

    o In favor – 152
    o Against – 5 (United States, Hungary, Israel, the Czech Republic, and Poland)
    o Abstained/Didn’t vote – 36 (Includes Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland)

    6. The immigration problem in America precedes Trump. But the “zero-tolerance” policy that separates of children from parents at the US border was inhumane and goes against the spirit of the UDHR. The policy was issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on April 6, 2018. Trump reversed the policy on June 20. At the height of the policy, more than 2,000 children were ripped from their parents. As of November, separating immigrant families at the border was still being done. As of December, as few as eight remain in government custody. Two children have died in custody.

    • Thanks for the elaboration which cites clearly the responsibilities of migrants, as well as their rights. I don’t think a lot of people are aware of this, and I wonder how many migrants hold legitimate identification documents . . . passports, driver’s license, etc. When a large band of marchers went from South and Central America to try to enter the US, would it have been reasonable for the US to give temporary asylum (six months) to all who were carrying official state IDs but reject those who could not be identified? Furthermore, any migrant securing a regular job with self-sustaining wage within that six months would be allowed to remain in the US on a worker’s permit. Something less than a green card. There needs to be a middle ground between an open border and a wall with no doors. It’s a problem, for sure. The US should not be forced to admit anyone who shows up at the border crossing.

      • edgar lores says:


        Barring political persecution, migration should be achieved through legal channels.

        Generally, bad economic conditions should NOT be an excuse for illegal migration. There are exceptions like what is happening in Venezuela. It’s a humanitarian disaster.

        War is generally a humanitarian disaster and produces refugees that may or may not request emigration to a new country. A refugee is an asylum seeker that has met the UN criteria, such as being outside of the native country, has a fear of persecution, and is unwilling to return for fear of persecution. Refugees in camps are generally resettled with the help of the UN and the generosity of recipient countries. It’s a complex issue. One of the criticisms against the GCM is that it does not distinguish between economic migrants and refugees.

    • popoy says:

      Mr. Edgar L

      The UN is a mere CRUCIBLE of contentious
      human eche buchehe where ad hoc and
      palliative remedies become solutions.
      Like circles and cycles the quest continues
      for an ultimate permanent heaven on earth
      for each and every piece of mankind.

      To Jose Protacio Rizal:
      “Morir es descansar.”

      But John Lennon was doubtful
      until his “IMAGINE” showed
      him something.

      Once in many a while the bell
      tolls for us like it did for John Donne.

    • popoy says:

      Mr. Edgar L

      In most or less respect I am inferior than superior but with experience and age I learned to emphatize to be fair to superiors. In capitals are my reaction to your two statements.

      “1. The problem at the heart of any discrimination – which is the inability to recognize and accept equality – is identification.” IT COULD ALSO BE SELF DEFENSE OR SELF PRESERVATION AS FIRST INSTINCT OF MAN.

      “2. We identify ourselves as superior and the Other as less than Us and, therefore, as less than human. Being less than human, they are not entitled to our entitlements. They do not have the right to live as we do.” IN ANTIQUITY AND MODERN TIMES THIS HUMANKIND IS OF DUBIOUS EXISTENCE. IT IS DEFINITE UNCERTAINTY THAT ANY TSoH BLOKE WILL ASSERT THIS AS CORRECT MENTAL PREMISE.


      • edgar lores says:

        As a matter of social form and organization, we construct hierarchies where relationships are characterized as inferior, superior, or equal.

        This is a social convention.

        As a matter of a certain attribute — say, age, sex, role, or intelligence — we also say some people are superior to others.

        This is an assumed if artificial distinction.

        In essence, in terms of our humanness, we are all equal.

        o A president is not superior to a worker.
        o A man is not superior to a woman.
        o A parent is not superior to her child.
        o A genius is not superior to a moron.

        To the universe, the life of the first-named entity is not more valuable than the second-named entity.

        If there is any doubt, append the adjective “bad” to the first-named entity and “good” to the second-named entity.

  11. karlgarcia says:

    Speaking of identification.
    Mexico offered to process the identification papers of the caravan,but they still insisted on heading north.

    True, poverty and hardship should not be an excuse especially in the case where Mexico offered itself as an alternative.

    • That suggests the migrants were complicit in causing the problem. My own reaction was to be offput by a swarm of people who believed it was their right to enter the US. So I think the crowd did damage to the cause of other aspiring immigrants by raising American objection to that presumption of entry being a right.

      • karlgarcia says:

        First correction on my text: heading north.

        With the legit aspirants mixed with those crowds, they will be in a catch all net of Trump’s questionable immigration policy.
        Reminds of the jails n the Philippines were those who committed minor, petty crimes or even those being processed are mixed with the other crimininals.

    • popoy says:

      Hey, HEEYyy LOOK. Pogi Talaga si Justin (tipong Brad Pitt, macho), si Misses puedeng Miss Universe, pero si PMJT gastos dito gastos diyan, pati sa mga refugees at asylum seekers, ayun mga Canucks dami reklamo pero di tulad ng ibang bansa sige pa rin ang tulong sa nangangailangan. (Pasakalya lang po.)

      If I may, I witnessed in a Catholic Church (may be in others too) in Ontario, Canada, the words Ite Missa Est was postponed for may be seven minutes (after the second collection) to listen to one or two refugees say thanks and their stories being given help in Canada.

      In East Timor, I heard from locals tell us the little help of UN volunteers comes and goes a long way to their lives. Don’t get me wrong at that time in Timor Leste, the Big UN Boss was from Brazil, while the Supreme Court and other political offices, also my Boss (married to a Batanguena) of Volunteers and the country’s currency were trade marked USA.

      Volunteerism comes and goes a long way in the UN and is emulated in Canada. God! In Ontario hospitals I had been, rich or poor, young and old volunteers crawl and abound corridor and lobbies giving info, pushing wheel chairs; making hospitals a healthy egalitarian place of smiles and courtesy.

      Volunteerism like BAYANIHAN kind, is no more in the Philippines as when BAYANIHAN men carries on their shoulders a squatter shack from Bangkusay to Smoky Mountain. Nowadays, these emaciated volunteers could be placed under PNP custody. (N.B. to exaggerate is VANTAGE POINTing to volunteerism as microcosmic equalizer like fissioned atoms.) Philippine NGOs and POs remain still birth and a dysfunction as catalyst of governance. Pray tell me how volunteerism IS NOT a New Year firecracker like the whistle bomb in the Philippines.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: