Makapili or Makabayan Part 2: The lies that brought the US military back to the Philippines

Philippine President Bongbong Marcos has adopted a pro-America foreign policy that was reportedly at the insistence of his cousin, Philippine Ambassador to the US, Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez. This has resulted in Marcos being received warmly in the US after he allowed American access to additional bases under the Enhanced Cooperation Defense Agreement (EDCA), all under the guise of civil and humanitarian assistance.

The US militarization of the Philippines, including expanding military joint exercises in contentious areas has only increased tensions in the disputed territories in the South China Sea, proving once again the “deterrence” that Babe Romualdez, Senators Risa Hontiveros and Juan Miguel Zubiri, and former Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, among others, used to justify more US military presence in the Philippine was a big lie to the public.

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President Marcos initially promised the continuation of an independent foreign policy following his predecessor, former President Rodrigo Duterte but, apparently it seems, that was also just lip service.

How many times did America betray the Filipino people?

If the US is really on the Philippines’ side, why is the US not escorting the Philippine Coast Guard in resupplying the WW2-rusting BRP Sierra Madre, or better yet replace it with a new one? Countless Filipinos died in Marawi, Mamasapano, and other conflict areas even with reported US military presence. Why did the US betray the Philippines’ claim to Sabah? If the said EDCA bases are to support Philippine interests, why are the US military bases surrounding Taiwan, instead of Sabah or the West Philippine Sea or in typhoon-prone areas like the Visayas region?

Any thinking person can see that these EDCA bases make the Philippines the target of America’s enemies, and only serve America’s agenda in containing and provoking China using Taiwan.

Are our politicians aware that over 500,000 people have died in the Ukraine-Russia conflict — a war instigated by the US and NATO — in less than two years? Or that millions have died in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and the national wealth of these countries taken over by US companies, after the US promised to “help” those countries.

Hijacking the President’s Powers

Like the “red scare” of McCarthyism of the US in the 1950s, Jonathan Malaya of the Philippines’ National Security Council (NSC), without any evidence, claims that there are Chinese operatives who are working with media personalities who are working with the Chinese in swaying public opinion in China’s favor. Then he would later say that the NSC is not participating in any witch hunt. Ironically Malaya had no qualms over Duterte’s China policy when he was a former undersecretary at the Department of Interior and Local Government. He also did not mention that Rappler, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), and Vera Files received millions from the CIA-linked National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Jay Tarriela, spokesperson of Philippine Coast Guard, even called Filipinos who don’t blindly support the Marcos government’s policy in the West Philippine Sea as “unpatriotic” and “traitors”. He would later claim his statement was personal belying the fact that he makes the statement donned on his uniform in public platforms, perhaps a skill he learned from the time he was caught cheating in the Philippine Military Academy and even had the gall to sue the august institution.

Ambassador Romualdez, who has repeatedly praised Tarriela, has single-handedly hijacked the Constitutionally-mandated powers of the President to be the sole architect of Philippine Foreign Policy. Recall that Romualdez had the gall to agree with the US for the Philippines to accept 50,000 Afghans with the knowledge of President Marcos, whom Senator Imee had exposed and raised alarm over possible “American spies” who fled their Taliban-led country.

Marcos Pro-America Administration Isolating the Philippines in Region

What is incomprehensible now is the hate and vitriol being pushed against China when it has done nothing against the Philippine mainland and the Filipino people save for the “encounters” in the disputed areas in the South China Sea. China’s change in stance in the South China is a logical reaction to Marcos allowing the US to convert the Philippines into an American military aircraft carrier with missiles pointed at China.

At the recent Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Jakarta, Marcos pushed for the adoption of a resolution for a common stand to be taken by ASEAN member countries on the South China Sea disputes but it wasn’t adopted. There was no common statement against China and once again, the Philippines stood alone, exposed, as the American proxy in the region and within ASEAN.

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