THIS will be the disturbing headline before the year is over. Another Philippine real estate under the flag of the People’s Republic of China. One more successfully constructed military outpost, to make the exclamation point. The blue-print for the “creeping invasion”, borrowing the first alarm by then Defense Secretary Orlando Mercado, was in hibernation until the appointed time most auspicious.
Gratis to a Philippine Senate which in 1992 audibly rejected the very treaty to maintain two US Military Facilities in the country. Moved by the stirring to bare their chest for national pride, emotion predisposed in the forefront over long-term considerations, other colleagues inclined to the noise or bent for anti-American rhetoric, said decision failed of vision, and has precisely brought the Republic to this point.
I knew it back then, in the manner one could predict the ribald political promises and legislation of an AFP Modernization Fund inadequate and later failing to provide the national defense required of a country totally stripped of any credible, effective and internationally respectable defense force. The funding, to my mind a “Consuelo de bobo”.
With the same braggadocio, because our great legislators pride was pricked, they exacted bragging rights to be lionized in history, to have kicked-out the Americans! The saying goes, a State is not a State if it cannot protect its borders. A nation is not country, if it cannot defend its people. If one were to chart the year the US Facilities left the Philippines (target practicing on Scarborough Shoal) to the present, one can see the line clearly declining, in our ability to protect national territory.
Whatever “self-pride” we have today is unenforceable. Kudos the Kalayaan Youth who dare against the red flag! The victory we garnered from the recent international case and judgment over WPS, were they just push-ups, since in the end we would be hurried to mutually divide Philippine resources with China? On April 27, 1521, Datu Lapu-Lapu vs a Western conqueror, never perceived diplomacy, negotiation, or warfare in conventional terms. If he did, on the beach of Mactan, he would have simply waived the white flag! (Erik Espina)