Soon after President Duterte appointed Senator Alan Cayetano foreign affairs secretary, the foreign office (DFA) issued this statement:
"We congratulate Senator Cayetano on the President's announcement of his appointment as Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
"We look forward to working with him, and the Department is now preparing to ensure a smooth institutional transition and to continue providing our services to the public. END"
Simple and concise. Why, you can barely detect the gritted teeth.
However, did you know this wasn't the first draft of the DFA's message? Sure! The first draft was written, crumpled and then thrown away. But our insiders found it and fished it out of the wastebasket, where it was crammed together with a copy of the Foreign Service Act, which had a sticker that said "won't be needing this anymore."
We reproduce the original statement in full:
Dear Senator Alan Peter Cayetano,
We are happy to hear of your appointment to be our boss. In fact, mere words fail us in describing how delirious we are that you were the one chosen. At least, President Obosen didn't appoint Mocha Uson.
We could kiss you with relief, but you would probably find our tears of joy unsightly.
Diplomats are supposed to have skills when it comes to dissimulation and prevarication, which are all necessary tools of diplomacy, but frankly we look with awe at your own artistry. We note in particular how, when you conducted one senate hearing involving the armed forces, you bragged to the generals that you were a military expert because you had watched so many war videos. Honestly, that's something we've never thought of saying.
We hope you will tell us which videos you've watched to prepare yourself for the exciting world of international diplomacy.
And we also hope you will use some of your video driven expertise to help solve some of the greatest diplomatic issues bedeviling us, for instance:
- How do you accommodate 120 greedy, grubby Duterte political appointees to 31 existing ambassadorial positions?
- How many Chinese demands should we accede to everyday? Many? Most? All?
- What is the formal greeting we should use with our new best friends from Beijing? A handshake? Bow? Kowtow?
We also look forward to your expert guidance when it comes to dealing with the extrajudicial killings, which of course don't exist, yes? We will probably be up to the mental challenge of making EJKs disappear, but we would like to know how you manage to do this with such flair and panache. Do you use a special face thickening ointment?
Finally, we sincerely hope you won't have any problems with American citizenship which that jellyfish before you had.
Meanwhile, DFA officials denied rumors that Secretary Cayetano has been prowling the corridors of DFA toting a large club and saying, "Yoo hoo, statement writer, where are you? I'm not mad anymore."