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Special envoy to China, my next job

/ 05:16 AM October 06, 2018

In my tête-à-tête with President Digong in Malacanang Thursday, he said I had a big chance of becoming senator because of my standing in the surveys (11th to 17th place in Pulse Asia and 13th place in the Philippine Survey and Research Center).

When I told him that a Senate campaign entails spending at least P300 million, the President said he had “a little amount” for me.

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Plus, he would campaign for me.

Coming from the President, that was very flattering but I told him I didn’t want him to spend for me.

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The President said he wanted me to help him so I broached the idea of becoming a special envoy to China, which he approved.

As special envoy to China, which pays only P1 per year, I could retain my public service program—Isumbong mo kay Tulfo—on dzRP, my bread and butter.

Helping people is my passion.

If I run for senator, I would have to give up my radio program and my columns for the Inquirer and Bandera.

There was a plan to give my radio program a weekly slot at PTV-4 and that will be another source of income.

I doubt, though, if my editors in Inquirer and Bandera will still allow me to write for them after I get appointed since management of the two papers rarely allows government officials to write regular columns for them.

But as special envoy to China, I could bring in Chinese investors on agriculture and fisheries.

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I have been talking with Chinese government officials and businessmen in my visits to China since the President broke the ice with our big neighbor.

I found that China is interested in contract farming—leasing idle agricultural lands and fishponds.

This means millions of jobs for our rural folk and the transfer of agricultural and aquatic technology.

I could facilitate applications and issuance of permits to Chinese investors.

For many years, my staff and I have been bypassing bureaucratic red tape to help repatriate Filipino workers abused by Arabs.

Lastly, I could do back channel efforts for the Philippines in the event of diplomatic tiffs with China.

As host of the long-running radio (and once a TV) show, I have acted as go-between for feuding individuals or groups.

I once talked a gunman into surrendering after he held an entire household hostage in Quezon City and killing two Quezon City policemen inside an apartment sometime in the late 1990s.

I’ve been portrayed as a hothead, but I’m really a peacemaker, which is the job of an emissary.

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TAGS: China, column, duterte, envoy, opinion, Palace
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