Diplomatic doublespeak


    THE President of the Philippines is in Russia. While there he will be meeting with his Russian counterpart, THE Vladimir Putin, whom PRRD once named as someone he admired.

    He has met with one-time Russian President and now once again Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev, whose role in Russia seems to be to keep switching places with Putin like congressmen and their wives do here in the Philippines when term limits are up.

    It was that call on Medvedev that sparked some chatter online in Russia as reported by a Czech journalist, with Russian citizens commenting that PRRD – who likes to attend even formal gatherings of heads of state with his necktie loosened as if during a drinking spree with the boys – looked unkempt. But that’s because the Russian citizens don’t realize that for better or for worse PRRD was being the mayor that he is at heart, even if that means appearing disheveled. And for mayors to effectively relate with their constituents they need to look like one of them.

    Also, how can you blame the Russians for reacting this way when even someone like a Lavrentiy Beria always appeared well-dressed?

    There will be numerous other activities, set up with the help of the able Philippine ambassador to the Court of St. Vladimir (this is just my term, mind you), his Excellency Carlos Sorreta, whom we his contemporaries in UP prefer to call by his nickname “King.”

    Yes, the Philippines still has a few royal heads remaining (Reyno and Sorreta, to cite two prominent examples) even with the passing of the two biggest ones, Da King of Comedy and Da King himself.

    What I am most interested in is the conferment of a Doctorate degree, honoris Causa, on PRRD. It is a doctorate in, of all areas, diplomacy.

    I am sure PRRD must have chortled when first informed of this impending honor.

    Diplomacy? For a man who appeared diplomatic in the least?

    Whether you mean by the term the matter of State to State relations, or the matter of civil relations between persons, PRRD is NOT the King of Diplomacy. He doesn’t sugarcoat things; in fact it seems that if he could he would couch whatever message he has to convey in the harshest way possible.

    In State to State relations it’s the same; he cares less for the finer points of protocol and all — hence the “unkempt” appearances, and would even skip events at which his counterparts are all present and accounted for.

    He uses state and official visits to diss countries — remember how while on a visit to China he spoke in unglowing terms of the United States? — and in fact speaks undiplomatically even of other heads of states (or was that just Obama?).

    And his phraseology could at times merit a trip to the bathroom where a stern mother would wash his mouth with soap.

    That’s PRRD for you. The same man to be conferred a Doctorate in Diplomacy.

    Then again, perhaps the Russians are just being their usual diplomatic selves and engaging in doublespeak? Sending a message in reverse?

    Indeed at times that’s precisely what diplomacy is all about!