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Pro-US, pro-China or just being Filipino?

Last March 22, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin twitted activists, saying: “Our problem is we keep on complaining about the Enhanced Defense Cooperation with the US. Why don’t we complain when the Chinese use water cannons on us? Why? Nasaan ang pagka-Pilipino natin? We demonstrate against those who are helping us, but we don’t demonstrate against those who are bullying us.”

Posted: April 11th, 2014 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Weep for the motherland

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American soldiers are coming to town, in the thousands, in battleships and warplanes. They will camp, not in the forests or jungles of the Sierra Madre or Mindanao, but in the metropolises of Manila and Cebu. Their aircraft carriers will be moored in the blue seas of Palawan, the “last frontier” of our hapless land.

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Pro-Filipino

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Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin was asking for it. He said last week: “Our problem is we keep on complaining about the Enhanced Defense Cooperation with the US. Why don’t we complain when the Chinese use water cannons on us? Why? Nasaan ang pagka-Pilipino natin? (Where is our Filipino spirit)? We demonstrate against those who are helping us but we don’t demonstrate against those who are bullying us?”

Posted: March 26th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

There’s a way to win wars without fighting

On Sept. 28, 2013, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin declared that the military’s mission in Zamboanga City had been accomplished. The mission was to rescue and ensure the safety of the 194 hostages (“Mission accomplished,” 9/28/13). The military mission took almost 20 days to accomplish, left hundreds dead and injured, and devastated the city, driving more than 100,000 Zamboangueños from their homes into various evacuation centers, many of them with their houses burned.

Posted: October 9th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Humanitarian crisis

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin declared “mission accomplished” in Zamboanga City on Friday with the rescue of the remaining hostages of Habier Malik’s band, but the conflict that started on Sept. 9 has resulted in what the United Nations termed a “humanitarian crisis.”

Posted: September 28th, 2013 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Negotiating rights

Government officials have taken great care to describe the so-called negotiations between the Philippines and the United States to increase American military presence in the country in soothing constitutionalist or strategic terms. It is what is not being said, however, that worries us. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, for instance, assured the public that the meetings [...]

Posted: August 14th, 2013 in Editor's Pick,Editorial | Read More »

Soldier’s widow takes offense at Tulfo’s column

As a military wife and a widow, it pained me to read Ramon Tulfo’s column titled “Gazmin’s peace initiative toward NPA” (Metro, 5/2/13). In that column, he said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines is an “organization of cowards.” That was not only an unfair and unjust statement; it was disheartening too.

Posted: May 9th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Revival of US bases is a suicidal notion

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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.

Posted: April 24th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Humbled, exalted

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There were a couple of unrelated news items in the newspapers last weekend that, taken together, make an interesting proposition about life.

Posted: December 3rd, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The Middle Kingdom marks a milestone

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Hand-carried by special courier is the following letter from Secretary of National Defense Voltaire T. Gazmin. I thank the good secretary for his response, and for the benefit of our readers both military and civilian, I am publishing his letter in full.

Posted: July 2nd, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Groping in the dark

It was certainly reassuring that following his recent visit to Washington, DC,  Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin told the public that the United States would honor its 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines, even as it need not necessarily take sides in the Philippine-China dispute over the Scarborough Shoal. However, I was confused—in fact, a [...]

Posted: May 24th, 2012 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

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