Manila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – Philippine Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, the feisty chair of the senate foreign relations committee, slammed the signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and called Presidents Barack Obama and Noynoy Aquino the modern-day ‘Pontius Pilates.’


EDCA provides for increased U.S. military presence in the Philippines. The 10-year agreement was signed by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg. The senator asked: “Obama was coming to the Philippines anyway, so why was the agreement not signed by him and Aquino? I suspect both presidents wanted to wash their hands over this controversial agreement so that if things take a turn for the worse, neither of them would be held responsible.”

Defensor-Santiago also protested the fact that the Senate wasn’t given the courtesy of being furnished a copy of the draft agreement, as would be proper in a democratic government with three branches.

“Pontius Pilate washed his hands because he wanted no part in crucifying Jesus Christ. Well, I think the Filipino people should crucify Aquino and Obama,” Defensor-Santiago said.

Aquino’s presidential press office, reacting to Defensor-Santiago’s tirade, said, “it’s sour grapes on her part; she’s mad because she was not given a seat next to Obama during the state dinner honoring the American president. She wanted the opportunity to take a ‘selfie’ with Obama.”

The senator countered: “Had I known that they were going to serve lapu-lapu (grouper) at the state dinner, I would have politely declined the invitation. I hate fish!”

And so it looks like the battle moves on to the third branch of government, all the way to the Supreme Court.




Obama inspecting the honor  guard in Manila
Obama inspecting the honor guard in Manila

Manila, Philippines – Author Dan Brown, in his latest novel ‘Inferno’ called Manila the ‘Gates of Hell,’ but visiting U.S. President Barack Obama has much kinder, gentler words for the Philippine capital.

“I would rather call it the ‘Gates of Purgatory,’ since I just have a couple of days  to endure the city’s sweltering heat,” Obama said, soon after he inspected the honor guard during arrival ceremonies at Malacañang, the Philippine presidential palace.  Obama reviewed the troops under 93- degree weather, considered mild by Philippine standards.

Catholics believe that purgatory is the half-way or temporary place their souls go to after they die while they wait for St. Peter to open the gates of Heaven. During this interim period, the souls can atone for their sins with the help of prayers by their living relatives.

It remains to be seen whether Obama will still have the same kind words for Manila after he experiences the enormous traffic gridlock that’s part of everyday life in the metropolis.


statedinnerManila, Philippines – Tenderloin inasal  (grilled beef tenderloin marinated in lemongrass and turmeric) and pili-crusted lapu-lapu (grouper) were on the menu at the state dinner for US President Barack Obama who is visiting the Philippines as part of his Asia tour. Completing the menu were salad of pako (edible fern), pochero-style seafood soup, and dessert of refreshing coconut sorbet.


Asked by The Adobo Chronicles what he thought of the dinner menu, Obama said he was extremely disappointed. He said he was expecting to be served balut, the famous boiled duck egg (embryo) and halo-halo, a more elaborate version of his favorite Hawaiian shaved ice.

Obama said he might sneak out of the Malacañang (Philippine Peesidential Palace) guest house later tonight to get some balut and halo-halo from street vendors stationed nearby.



%d bloggers like this: