Con­fus­ing foot­notes on Phil-China-US re­la­tions

Panay News - - OPINION -

was a time when Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte sounded very an­gry be­cause the Filipino fish­er­men’s catch was con­fis­cated by China’s coast­guards at Panatag Shoal (bet­ter known as Scar­bor­ough Shoal) at the West Philip­pine Sea. All they had to show for their mis­for­tune were bot­tles of wine and packs of ci­garettes that the Chi­nese had thrown at them.

How­ever, re­al­iz­ing he might have owned, 40 per­cent for­eign-owned.” stepped on big­ger toes, the Pres­i­dent Let us re­call that pre­vi­ous as­sured the fish­er­folk that he would Pres­i­dent Benigno Simeon Aquino re­mind Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping had re­fused joint ex­plo­ration with about his prom­ise to al­low Filipinos Bei­jing, say­ing the lat­ter only wanted to fish at Panatag Shoal. In ef­fect it to play by its rules. was an ad­mis­sion of sub­servience Viet­nam, on the other hand, has to China even if the Ar­bi­tral Court at openly op­posed China’s “provoca­tive” The Hague had junked China’s claim ac­tions in mar­itime dis­putes and over any part of the West Philip­pine has blamed the United States for Sea. its pas­sive stance. To Viet­nam’s

There was also a time when Pres­i­dent Tran Dai Quang – who Pres­i­dent Duterte warned against died just last Fri­day, Sept. 21 – it is ex­plor­ing oil and ura­nium i n un­think­able for the US to just look the dis­puted wa­ter­way: while China is re­claim­ing land on a

reef in the oil- and gas-rich South “Diyan [In­te­rior Sec­re­tary Gen. China Sea; and while it is build­ing magkadiperen­siya na tayo, diyan mo Ed­uardo] what ap­pears to be an airstrip on it. na makita si

To us Filipinos, it is un­think­able Año, mag­dadala ng itak Alas, the Pres­i­dent was ob­vi­ously that de­spite our tested al­liance with doon, pag­tata­gain ang mga Intsik.” “j ok­ing.” For as sub­se­quently her through the En­hanced De­fense re­vealed by his spokesper­son Harry Co­op­er­a­tion Agree­ment (EDCA), the Roque, “We are fol­low­ing the spe­cific US ap­pears un­mind­ful of our new pro­vi­sion in the Con­sti­tu­tion that re­la­tion­ship with a big com­mu­nist for­eign­ers can par­tic­i­pate on a 60-40 bully. In­deed be­cause of ram­pant ba­sis, mean­ing 60-per­cent Filipino- graft and cor­rup­tion in govern­ment, poverty and law­less­ness, we would not want to be left alone.

No less than Dr. Jose Rizal – be­liev­ing we were not yet ready for in­de­pen­dence in his time – had ac­tu­ally wished that United States would take over our coun­try from al­most four cen­turies of Span­ish col­o­niza­tion. He fore­saw the tran­si­tion of the Philip­pines from be­ing a colony of Spain to that of the United States, hop­ing that the lat­ter would pre­pare us for self-rule.

In 1897, Gen­eral Emilio Aguinaldo is­sued a de­cree es­tab­lish­ing a dic­ta­to­rial govern­ment fol­low­ing the mys­te­ri­ous death of An­dres Boni­fa­cio. His govern­ment, how­ever, was ig­nored by the United States. And so he agreed to go into ex­ile in Hong Kong in ex­change for 400 thou­sand pe­sos – a princely amount at that time.

In­deed, by the time the Amer­i­can naval squadron un­der Com­modore George Dewey bested the Span­ish fleet in Manila Bay in 1898, Amer­i­can busi­ness ex­pan­sion had al­ready taken the is­lands by storm – what with the Amer­i­can Sugar Re­fin­ing Com­pany con­trol­ling 95 per­cent of sugar trade.

To make the long story short, Spain ceded the Philip­pines to the United States on Dec. 10, 1898 through the Treaty of Paris.

Be­tween that year and the US’ grant of Philip­pine In­de­pen­dence in 1946 was a pe­riod of 48 long years, dur­ing which we had fa­mil­iar­ized our­selves with the work­ings of Amer­i­can democ­racy.

Go­ing fast for­ward to­day, the United States has its own prob­lem over China’s “un­fair trade prac­tices.” But that’s an­other story. (

hvego31@ PN)

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