We need US help against ChinaBy Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
China’s new policy to board and expel foreign ships entering waters it claims for its own but which are still the subject of dispute with other countries, including the Philippines, is tantamount to a declaration of war.
And if ever there is a shooting war in the South China Sea, since renamed by the Philippines as West Philippine Sea, we are no match to China.
China is an elephant; the Philippines is just an ant.
So what do we do about the threat?
This is something many Filipinos, especially the brave ones, will not accept: Seek the help of the United States.
Let’s face it, guys. Only a fellow superpower like the United States can stand up to China.
This means we have to allow the continuation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with all its defects.
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Fighting China alone, in case a war breaks out between the Philippines and that military superpower, would be foolhardy.
We need help. Our country being a US colony in the past, I’m sure the United States will be more than willing to help us.
So let’s not exhibit false pride and say we don’t need the US because we do, if a pygmy like us fights a giant.
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Marine Lt. Gen. Juancho Sabban, commander of the military’s Western Command based in Palawan province that oversees the West Philippine Sea, should not have made a comment that could worsen the already tense situation.
Said Sabban of China’s “board-and-expel” policy: “That cannot be. That’s a violation of the right of international passage. That’s too much. While we are exerting all peaceful means to resolve the territorial dispute, that is what they are doing.”
General Sabban, you are not the Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
Leave foreign policy to your Commander-in-Chief, President Aquino.
Your job is to carry out orders from higher authorities should an untoward incident take place between our country and China.
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One of the President’s many headaches is our disagreement with China over Panatag Shoal and Kalayaan Island.
“What if China suddenly attacks our fleet in Panatag or Kalayaan?” a Malacañang insider quoted the President as telling some of his Cabinet members.
If you think the President can sleep well regarding our problem with China, then you don’t know the guy.
“He’s a deep thinker. He worries a lot about many things, about the country, the economy,” said my Palace source.
So let’s stand four-square behind the President in whatever decision he makes on the China problem.
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Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin has urged retired Army Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, who is now a fugitive, to surrender and face the murder charges filed against him.
Gazmin said that by being a fugitive of the law, “Palparan is destroying the image of the Armed Forces, and not only the Army.”
Palparan has been charged with the disappearance of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeño and Sherly Cadapan in June 2006.
This may not sit well with many citizens, especially those who are human rights advocates, but Palparan is a hero to most soldiers.
To a soldier in the field, Palparan only did what the enemy was also doing to government troops and their sympathizers.
A tit-for-tat policy in dealing with the enemy is an unwritten code in warfare.
The only difference between Palparan and the other generals was that the latter were discreet about it.
More from this Column:
- HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
- The President’s heavy cross
- Thoughts on Holy Week
- Why college grads end up in the PNP
- The resilience of Boholanos