Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Filipino’s Fate? SOLD!

Filipino’s Fate? SOLD!
By Erick San Juan

“At a time of change in this dynamic region, and democratic transitions in the Philippines and the United States, we will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder. We will continue to stand up for our safety and freedoms, for those of our friends and allies, and for the values, principles, and rules-based order that has benefited so many for so long,” US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said at the closing ceremony (April 15) for this year’s Balikatan (shoulder-to-shoulder) war games between US and Philippine troops. (Various news sources online)

Nice – sounding statement and I hope that the US will be serious (enough) this time in defending us.

And as for PNoy, this country’s exiting President with a little over two months left in his term, has sold every Pinoy’s fate to his “master” through a policy to contain China.

This is further discussed in the Manila Daily Tribune’s April 16 editorial – “The United States was peeling off the true breadth of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) signed with Noynoy through its Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who revealed a lot of surprises that the opaque administration of Noynoy withheld from Filipinos.

Carter, among others, revealed that for some time now “joint” sea patrols of Philippines and American ships have been conducted in the South China Sea, presumably since January when the Supreme Court (SC) greenlighted EDCA. Carter may have as well said that US ships are all over the contested areas with the limited vessels of the Philippine Navy.

In a joint press briefing with his local counterpart, DND Sec. Voltz Gazmin, Carter also indicated the permanent presence of American forces stationed in local military camps.

Some 200 airmen in a contingent of 300 appear to be part of a quick reaction unit that can suit up American aircraft for battle on notice.

The soldiers will be left behind after the Balikatan exercises, according to Carter.
Carter said the troops and five A-10 ground attack aircraft that participated in the annual war games will remain in the country “temporarily.”

Carter revealed more, saying that the US plans to expand its presence beyond the five bases earlier announced where its forces will operate under EDCA to include Clark Air Base and the main military facility Camp Aguinaldo.

Last month, the US announced it would rotate troops in Antonio Bautista Air Base, Fort Magsaysay, Lumbia Air Base, Basa Air Base and Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base.

Antonio Bautista Air Base is in Palawan Island which is about 100 miles away from some of the Spratly Islands, a collection of rocks and small islands claimed by several countries in the region.

US also fired long range missiles during the Balikatan war games at Crow Valley in Capas, Tarlac which was a thinly-veiled warning against China.

What was alarming was the editorial of Businessmirror dated April 19, 2016 quoting Stars and Stripes, a US defense newspaper article written by Wyatt Olson saying, "On paper, Balikatan might be called an exercise, but the Marine general leading the training prefers to think of it more as a mission rehearsal." What might be the mission that a joint team of Filipino and American military be involved in? 

Businessmirror editorial adviced that "With the US now having a permanent contingent of its troops in the Philippines, the government  needs to inform the people exactly why and how US soldiers will deploy with and help the Philippine military? What are the specific limitations and rules of engagement while assisting our soldiers?"

Noynoy has been in his most opaque in the US military activity in the country after he swung the Supreme Court to approve the EDCA deal.

Filipinos had to hear of their fate sold to the policy to contain China from a visiting American official.”

True enough the observations of some pundits that this ‘amboy’ President will not leave his office without satisfying the whims of his master. Pundits believe that BS suits his initials!

Another amboy is what we need to repeat a lot of bad parts in this country’s history.

“US military bases only increase the possibility of new US military involvements in Asia of the Vietnam type. For their purpose is clear: in September 1945, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff spelled out their historical interventionist role in the Philippines in a TOP SECRET memorandum: “the United States bases in the Philippines should be considered not merely as outposts, but as springboards from which the United States Armed Forces may be projected.” (Source: The Bases of our Insecurity [1983] by Roland Simbulan)

Our country will be forever involve in conflicts in this region because of EDCA, and whether we like it or not we are like a magnet attracting Uncle Sam’s enemies in the process.

Again, its a bitter pill but do we have a choice?


beyond yonder said...

No, we do not have a choice as the ties that binds us with the US cannot be severed anymore as long as Uncle Sam is the Master of Puppets....

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