The US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty, nearly 75 years old now, is being dusted off in the light of “current and emerging threats” to the two countries – read: China’s increasing belligerence about Taiwan and its own maritime claims over almost the entire South China Sea.
Tags: West Philippine Sea
The protest of Masinloc fishers highlighted the lack of attention given to ordinary people as officials relish their token role in the geopolitical ‘game of thrones’ in the Asia-Pacific. On one hand, they are bullied by oversized Chinese vessels in our own territory; but they are also barred from fishing during Balikatan war games. Dynamite fishing has been outlawed yet US troops used a missile to blow up a warship in Zambales.
By DEE AYROSO
“What more if the one provision of our constitution that protects our sovereignty is entirely repealed? This will normalize interactions between foreign vessels conducting extensive fishing trips in our territorial seas and Filipino fishing communities.”
A Filipino fisherfolk group lauded the recent decision of the Supreme Court that ruled the 2005 Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) as unconstitutional, saying that it provides more reason for the Marcos Jr. administration not to forge a joint gas and oil exploration with China at the expense of the country’s sovereignty.
Does Marcos Jr. think the Davos and Japan trips require more of his time and attention than the myriad domestic problems needing urgent actions that his administration faces in the new year?
“[Marcos] should garner support from the international community in pressuring China to comply with the international ruling and abandon their irrational claim over our waters.”
“The audacity of China to impose a fishing ban on the pretext of marine conservation when it is the one plundering our marine waters through its aggression.”
For the fisherfolk of Zambales, this election is an opportunity to be heard of their hardships as the tension in the West Philippine Sea continues. Should these politicians win, they vow to hold them to account and make sure these are campaign jokes no more.
“Importing fish, especially the kind common in the Philippine waters, is akin to importing agricultural staples that could be grown in Philippine soil.”
Looking at all these, one can surmise the rise of probable national security risk should a militarily powerful country deemed as enemy by the US opt to make a preemptive attack on the US facilities inside Philippine bases (a prospect which President Duterte has said he dreads). And with American soldiers practically being present year-round, the old social ills entailed by their previous presence, such as the prostituting of women near the bases, are likely to worsen.