November 18, 2011
Let us forget about the Spratlys first, if it is part of the Philippine territory, let it be settled in another arena.
There are around five countries struggling for the legitimating of ownership of the disputed Spratlys territory. The Philippines is one of them. In the thick of the battle for the oil-rich area in South China Sea, confrontations have been made both on the table between high officials and on the seas between vessels and navy forces. At the entire course of this tussle among several Asian countries, the Philippines has had the support of its “long-time ally” – the USA.
And during her visit in the country last Wednesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “assured Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin during talks in Manila on Wednesday that Washington would give its longtime ally a second Coast Guard cutter virtually for free some time next year.”
In the light of Clinton’s pronouncement last Wednesday, we are seeing yet again another deceptive gesture from the USA. Not to be taken as a kindred act of generosity or helpfulness, we see this act as subsumed under the USA’s general intention of helping the Philippines win the Spratly’s battle in order for them to have an easier access to the abundant oil deposits in the disputed territory. With its close ties to the Philippines (which is just “control,” or “dominion” sugarcoated), the USA can freely acquire the oil reserves in Spratlys once the Philippines gets legitimate ownership of the area.
To extend this further, this is still implicated in the larger set-up where the USA maintains its close relation with the Philippines to take advantage of the resources it can get from the country (think of cheap Filipino labor, our vast mineral, water and land resources, additional marked for their surplus products). This act is not out of goodwill or sincere cooperation. This is exploitation at its subtlest, and hence, evilest. We are not giving thumbs up to Clinton’s and the USA’s second warship offer to the Philippines. We are casting suspicion and calling for vigilance and a critical stance. The long, “friendly” history between USA and the Philippines has proven to be one leaning more towards the interest of the former, and usually at our expense. For all we know, this second warship is its latest manifestation.
COLLEGE EDITOR’S GUILD OF THE PHILIPPINES BAGUIO-BENGUET