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By Bernie Lopez
The suggestion of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin that US bases be revived here is like suggesting that the Philippines put itself in the line of fire in the event that a Korean war, possibly nuclear in nature, breaks out. It is like running between two cowboys in a gunfight as soon as they start firing. Such a geopolitically naive proposal will draw Korean nuclear missiles into Philippine soil. This suicidal idea is unacceptable, coming from a Cabinet member and a prestigious former ambassador.
The deadly blasts that hit Boston, the laid-back learning capital of the United States, sent jitters all over the world. The immediate reaction of the intelligence communities was to raise the red alert, on suspicion that this might be the handiwork of international terrorists.
I keep reading news reports that our government will demand payment from the United States government for the damage done by the USS Guardian to the Tubbataha Reef.
Now that the last piece of the US Navy minesweeper that ran aground on Tubbataha Reef has been removed, the real test of Philippine political will begins: how to extract payment from the United States for the extensive damage the USS Guardian has inflicted on the Unesco World Heritage site.
By Walden Bello
Over the last two years, the Obama administration has executed what the president has termed the “Pivot to Asia” strategy, whereby the US’ global military force posture is being reconfigured to focus on the Asia Pacific region as Washington’s central front.
By Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J.
Sabah has once again become front-page material because of the move of the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu to enforce their claim to a portion of the territory. It may be good to understand what the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu are claiming. As I see it, they are not claiming political sovereignty [...]
By Rina Jimenez-David
It’s unusual enough for an ambassador to host a showing of a movie in his home. But American Ambassador Harry Thomas was hosting a private viewing of not just any movie. It was “Lincoln,” a film directed by Steven Spielberg based on the account (told in the book “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by Doris Kearns Goodwin) of the last four months of Lincoln’s life and the struggle to pass the 13th amendment abolishing slavery.
Is the Philippine government not falling into a Byzantine international snare? Is the government not thinking that the United States and China are intentionally fomenting disputes in the Asian region? These queries are being raised because the results are obvious.
By David H. Harwell
I am writing to thank Filipinos for the way you have treated me here, and to pass on a lesson I learned from observing the differences between your culture and mine over the years.
President Aquino’s suspiciously prudent stance on the presence of minesweeper USS Guardian inside Philippine territory pales in comparison to his hysterics over China’s claim to the disputed islands in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea). Mr. Aquino’s position further reveals his administration’s inconsistencies in dealing with the issue of sovereignty. He has no qualms to show off that his government’s loyalty and interests are with the US government—to the detriment of Philippine sovereignty and people’s rights.
As we headed for the US Embassy on Roxas Boulevard, we saw a group of protesters shouting slogans against the Visiting Forces Agreement, and calling for its abolition altogether. The rally was being held in front of the US Embassy. The protesters said they were also protesting the USS Guardian’s destruction of a part of the famous Tubbataha Reef. They said the minesweeper had no business being there, and that the incident showed the United States has been encroaching on Philippine coastal waters.
The promotion of Church People’s Response strongly condemns the destruction of Tubbataha Reef and the infringement of our national sovereignty by Americans. A US Navy minesweeper ran aground on Tubbataha Reef last Jan. 17. It immediately damaged the fragile, marine resource-rich protected national park. It will take decades for the damaged reef to heal.