That the visit of Pres.Duterte to Israel is historic, no one can dispute for at least one reason: it is the first by a sitting Philippine President to the Jewish state.
“We mark that this is the first visit by a President of the Philippines in the history to the state of Israel,” stated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In his welcome address with Pres. Duterte to his right, Prime Minister Netanyahu also announced the signing of three important agreements on trade, science “and no less important, on caregiving.”
The visit, and the agreements signed between the two countries as a result, is yet another accomplishment of Pres. Duterte just barely two years after he assumed office. In his response, Pres. Duterte profusely thanked his hosts “for so many assistance given us.”
“In terms of the Marawi siege, we got help from your country, and thank you for that, and thank you for hosting almost 28,000 Filipinos,” Pres. Duterte said, as Prime Minister Netanyahu nodded repeatedly.
And yet, there is something in this trip that makes it different from Pres. Duterte’s other trips.
It is a special bond between the two countries that is difficult to describe. A deeply religious people, Filipinos hold Israel almost in reverence and it makes us wonder why all these years there was no such visit made by a Filipino head of state. Of course, not everybody would rejoice over this, not least those who think that everybody and everything associated with Pres. Duterte is either wrong, perverse or downright evil.
Again, what did you expect from them?
The best thing to do is not to give them even a moment of your precious time. We who are breathing at this moment are blessed to be witnesses of unfolding history. Let us not allow those who refuse to acknowledge this blessing for reasons all known to us to deprive us of it.
As the eminent Charles Dickens pointed out: “Reflect upon your present blessings - of which every man has many - not only your past misfortunes - of which all men have some.” (Chito A. Fuentes)