Monday, July 07, 2008

For Shame

With my imported degree, people are constantly asking me if I have any plans of joining the Philippine diplomatic corps. Pasensya na ha. I have absolutely no wish to engage in the fiction that diplomacy works for the "national interest." If you mean living the high life at the expense of tax payers' money, then that constitutes self-service, not public service. And then you hear of news like this:

NEW YORK -- AMBASSADOR Lauro Liboon Baja Jr., who headed the Philippine Mission to the United Nations from 2003 to 2007, is one of four defendants in a civil complaint alleging trafficking, forced labor, peonage and racketeering.

...The complaint was filed by 39-year-old Marichu Suarez Baoanan through lawyers Aaron Mendelsohn of Troutman Sanders and Ivy O. Suriyopas of the Asian merican Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Ambassador Baja, 71, was also president of the UN Security Council in June 2004.

Baoanan...said she stayed at the five-story Philippine consular residence at 15 East 66th Street, New York—a townhouse where she was made to work 16 hours daily, seven days a week, in the Baja household.

Baoanan said she was paid only a total of $100 for three months of work, and another $100 for taking care of Facundo’s son who, she said, was allowed to hit her.
Wow. If the allegations are true, how many articles of the UN Declaration of Human Rights was violated by this big-time diplomat? You can also read more about Ambassador Baja's sterling diplomatic record here.

Oh my Ambassador. How far you have strayed. If the allegations are true - all that you have achieved and all you have done - will have become meaningless.

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