Cayetano to gov’t: Don’t be pro-US or China, be pro-Filipino
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Alan Peter Cayetano has reminded the government that the country’s involvement in the West Philippine Sea dispute is ultimately about fighting for the rights of Filipinos, not about choosing which country to side with.
In a manifestation during the confirmation hearing of the ad-interim appointments of 50 General and Flag Officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Cayetano noted how the government has always lacked a clear and consistent strategy.
“Kung gusto n’ung isang Presidente sobrang pro-China, gusto n’ung isa sobra-sobrang anti-China, gusto n’ung isa sobra-sobrang pro-US, y’ung isa anti-US,” he said.
(If one president wants to be a solid pro-China, the other wants to be a staunch anti-China, the other wants to be a diehard pro-US, the other is anti-US.)
“The best of course is just being pro-Filipino,” he added.
Cayetano, who served as Foreign Affairs Secretary from 2017 to 2018, expressed concern over the fact that even members of the Senate and the House of Representatives are not aware of any Philippine strategy in dealing with the West Philippine Sea issue vis-a-vis our relationship with the our oldest ally the United States, and one of our closest neighbors, China.
He said the administration and the country’s diplomats and the military leaders must start crafting a “one-hundred-year plan” or even a “one-thousand-year plan” if the country is to match China’s consistently strong and effective planning.
“Very, very clear kung ano ang strategy ng China. Very, very clear din kung ano ang strategy ng US, pero very, very unclear kung ano ang strategy natin,” he said.
The senator expressed concern over the possibility that the Philippines could have the same experience as Cuba and Turkey without a solid strategy. In the early 1960s got entangled in the power struggle between the US and the Soviet Union.
“Look what happened sa Cuba when they got in between the US and the USSR. Look what happened with Turkey n’ung maglalagay din ng missiles d’un ang US,” he cited.
“If every administration iba ang strategy natin, that’s a recipe for failure,” he added.