Monday, September 12, 2016

Thinking through the Philippines' future ties with the US and China

I don’t believe a putang ina-laced outburst by Pres. Duterte will lead to a “complete souring of ties between PHL and USA". That is NOT how the world works. That is not how to severe international relations and long-standing affiliation.

To make reality the so-called “cutting the invisible umbilical cord” with the US will take more than cuss words and crass attitude. However, If he decides to declare war against the US at the same time have a surrogate country take over her role as our partner would make Duterte’s plan more likely and believable. As it is, such thinking is hard to fathom for lack of concrete basis at this time.

Granting that the mutual defense treaty between the two countries doesn’t guarantee anything on our part, we still have all the reason to be confident that the US will never allow China to dominate and control the flow of navigation in the South China Sea. While she takes no position on the territorial disputes, she remains a major player in the region. That alone should give us confidence that we have the US on our side. The Americans don’t need to “risk their assess” to defend anyone’s claim because they will not be standing alone opposite against China, if push comes to shove, practically all countries around the disputed area oppose China’s illegal claim to it.

On the issue of the Phil. “befriending China”. It’s another ‘punch to the moon’ (suntok sa buwan) theory that requires further formulation to be believed. Everybody knows we have a court decision against China on her illegal claims in the South China Sea. Are we going to withdraw our claims just to appease Beijing and convert her into our friend? I don’t think so.

Thinking-out-of-the-box does not mean you should be out of your mind at the same time. There is no place for prima donna behavior in an ever evolving and changing world.

Finally, it is not a question of whether or not Filipinos will be better off letting go of America. The question is, if true, what is the real agenda behind such thinking?

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