RP’s VFA and the GWOT (Global War On Terror)
By Erick San Juan
On Saturday, the world will commemorate the September 11, 2001 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York, USA. It was nine years ago and the effects of the so-called global war on terror (GWOT) is still very much in place in the hearts and minds of those who were fooled to believe the myth and the existence of the likes of Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda terrorist group.
Different countries, especially those that benefit from Uncle Sam’s aids and grants, towed the line on the so-called war on terror and incorporate in their legal system, laws that will punish "terrorists" and their cohorts. In our case, as a faithful US ally, the government passed into law the anti-terror act and later on made the former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the coordinator of the US government for Asia. In fact, this nine year old war on terror (now overstretched) has been conveniently used to justify a questionable agreement resulting to a more inconvenient relationship.
I am referring to our country’s alliance with the US and the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) that our government ratified in 1998 and entered into force in 1999, eight years after the closure of U.S. military bases in the Philippines in 1991. And two years after – the 9/11 terror attack.
Under the present administration of President Benigno Aquino III, there is a renewed call for the review/abrogation of the VFA from some of our legislators and several patriotic Filipinos. We are entering a very exciting times in world history and our leaders had to make that important decision for the sake of all Filipinos.
As I write this piece, investigations are being done on the two recent bombings in Mindanao that may be designed to prioritize our country’s commitment against global terrorism. Now that the period of Ramadhan has come to an end, P-Noy will now have to put the discussion on the VFA issue as his top agenda in his forthcoming US visit. Sadly, the perception is that P-Noy still lacks the experience in global perspective and in many aspects of governance that are much needed in this kind of international undertaking. That is the reason why we must require P-Noy to be transparent in his dealings with President Barack Obama. Especially now that we are in a very tight situation in relation to the growing conflict between US and China.
Added to this, P-Noy’s taking full responsibility of the August 23 hostage situation will not stop the Chinese nationals from criticizing him. The continuing show of naval military forces in the disputed islands in the South China Sea between US and China as reported worldwide plus P-Noy’s admission, can put our country in a difficult condition especially now that he has shown his partiality to the US as USS George Washington super aircraft carrier and three other warships docked in Manila for four days.
Let us all hope that this historic US visit of P-Noy (aside from being transparent) will bring positive results especially on the VFA matter that will benefit Uncle Sam and the Filipino nation as a whole. How I wish that it will not drag us to a shooting war (as part of Washington’s military - industrial complex) and raped with consent. . Political pundits are even wary of the Aquino clans political betrayals in the past. I hope that P-Noy can rectify this, preempt a repeat of bad history and will not be pressured to kow tow to the globalist agenda. May God save the Philippines!