What Aquino calls as “new juncture” in Philippine relations with the US seems to revolve chiefly on the Philippine role in maintaining the Pacific as an American Lake.
By MARYA SALAMAT
MANILA – While President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III was in the United States for a state visit, progressive groups in the US and in the Philippines held protest actions to condemn what they call as his “treachery” and “shameless puppetry.”
“In a time when the Philippines should have been asserting its sovereignty and charting an independent foreign policy, Aquino is groveling to the US for economic and military aid in exchange for the transformation of the entire country into a US military outpost in Southeast Asia,” said Renato Reyes, secretary general of Bayan.
At a protest rally in front of the US Embassy in Manila on June 8, Reyes said there is nothing to be proud of in Aquino’s visit to the US and talks with US President Barack Obama, “because it’s not a talk between friends.” He added that a “real friend doesn’t use or take advantage of his friend, like what the US has been doing to its ‘treaty partner,’ the Philippines.”
The protesters burned an image of the United States flag with pictures of Obama and Aquino. Due to demands from protesters and the media covering the rally, the group burned another Obama-Aquino poster before voluntarily marching away from the US embassy after holding a program.
Philippines as US outpost in Asia-Pacific
On his three-day visit in the US, Aquino had a one-on-one talk with US President Barack Obama in the White House, lunch with US State Secretary Hillary Clinton in the State Department and a meeting with US Senator Richard Lugar. The latter authored a resolution calling for increased defense and security cooperation with the Philippines. It was unanimously approved in the US Senate in time for Aquino’s state visit.
One of the emblems of US-Phl special relations burned in front of US Embassy in Manila June 8. (Photo by Marya Salamat / bulatlat.com)
Indeed, the Philippine government under Aquino has agreed to ‘cooperate’ with the US on its “rebalancing” or greater focusing of forces and engagement to Asia-Pacific region, under which by 2020 American military officials say they shall have deployed in the region three-fifths of its fleet. In various top-level talks with American government this year, the Aquino government has agreed to host, even invited, the US’ increased “rotational” troops, along with its “most advanced ship, fifth generation aircraft, and the best missile defense technology,” as Gen. Martin Dempsey, chair of Joint Chiefs of Staff, described their presence..... MORE