NEDA Secretary Ralph Recto could have just said Secretary Margarito Teves was tired after a long day. It would have been perfectly understandable. But instead he explained Secretary Teves's prematurely telling President Arroyo of a US$ 10 B World Bank support fund by saying that the latter was probably confused who the white guy he was talking with in Washington DC. After all, according to Secretary Recto, "They're Caucasians and they look alike."
I think such a comment is racist. You often hear it from wisecrackers who dismiss Asians. There are even some people who seriously suspect that this "they all look alike anyway" mentality also partly explains why the United States chose to drop the atomic bomb in Japan and not in Germany.
I bet Secretary Recto would also feel bad if Caucasians confuse him with, say, Secretary Romulo Neri, his predecessor at NEDA, when he goes abroad. We don't like it when we hear Caucasians say we Asians all look alike. We also should not say it about them. Because, truth of the matter is, Caucasians don't look anywhere alike. One would have thought Secretary Recto knew better.