Abella, De Guzman: Don’t let PH be ‘pawn in a proxy war’ | Inquirer News
DE GUZMAN INSISTS ON INDEPENDENT FOREIGN POLICY

Don’t let PH be ‘a pawn in a proxy war’ – Abella, De Guzman

/ 12:40 AM April 03, 2022
American and Filipino soldiers in Balikatan 2022. STORY: Don’t let PH be ‘a pawn in a proxy war’ – Abella, De Guzman

This year’s Balikatan (shoulder-to-shoulder) war games, the biggest joint military training between Filipino and American troops, returns to Crow Valley gunnery range at the Col. Ernesto Ravina Air Bas) in Capas, Tarlac, for the combined arms live-fire exercises on Thursday, March 31, 2022.  (Photo by RICHARD A. REYES / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — “We should see to it that we don’t involve ourselves in a proxy war, that we don’t become a pawn in a proxy war,” former presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, who is running for president, said in Filipino during Saturday’s Pandesal Forum.

That was Abella’s reaction when asked about the ongoing Balikatan, the yearly military exercises participated in by the United States and the Philippines.

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Another presidential bet, labor leader Leody de Guzman also warned against that situation, repeating his stance of siding with “neither Washington nor Beijing.”

The Philippines, he insisted, must instead pursue an independent foreign policy.

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“We cannot push China away as long as the US is there,” De Guzman said in Filipino.

Previously, he said he was “uncomfortable” with the Balikatan, a military exercise between longtime allies that he called “provocative.”

The Communist Party of the Philippines earlier urged voters to push their presidential bets to halt Balikatan exercises.

Joined by 5,100 American and 3,800 Philippine troops, the Balikatan started on Monday, March 28, and will last until April 8.

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CPP urges voters to push presidential bets to halt Balikatan exercises

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TAGS: #VotePH2022, Balikatan 2022, Ernesto Abella, Leody de Guzman., PH foreign policy
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