A policy independent of Philippine sovereignty and integrity
A principled and independent foreign policy swears friendship to all and enmity to none, a policy that gives primacy to our national interests independent of the conflict between Big Powers, a policy that above all, refocuses our effort on the most urgent issue: To alleviate poverty through accelerated economic growth, on which all other sources of national strength depend.
By Prof. Roland G. Simbulan
Senior Fellow, CenPEG
Posted on Jan. 6, 2014
In a recent speech before the Ateneo School of Government last Dec. 3, 2013, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. del Rosario spoke on the topic, "An Independent and Principled Philippine Foreign Policy". Unfortunately, the good Secretary does not give justice to his topic.
The contents and substance of his speech do not in any way reflect "an independent and principled Philippine foreign policy". In the speech, he actually outlined a policy independent of Philippine sovereignty and integrity.
Is he trying to be the opposite of Claro M. Recto by inviting the return of foreign military bases and troops on Philippine soil, bases which will compromise our own security and diplomacy as these are used as launching pads for interventionist operations of the U.S. against other countries especially our neighbors? What "independent foreign policy" is he talking about when he brags about being completely dependent and submitting a country's national defense and foreign policy to a foreign power, and now including our country's disaster management program!
Similarly, is he trying to be the opposite Lorenzo M. Taňada by inviting back more foreign military forces who will--even when they commit crimes against our people and its natural habitat -- disrespect and ignore our laws through extra-territorial arrangements in their bases and facilities? There is no respect to "rule of law" by U.S. forces who have trampled on Philippine sovereignty including its protected natural reefs.
Is he trying to be the opposite of Jose W. Diokno by keeping quiet on the long history and record of abuse by U.S. military forces against Filipinos and the special privileges, and immunity that they enjoy under the Visiting Forces Agreement? Where is the principle here, to use the words of the unofficial American spokesperson, for "protecting national interest and uplifting the lives of Filipinos"?
Indeed, Mr. Albert del Rosario's actions and pronouncements these past three years under the Aquino III administration, have been shameless in the sense that he has acted and spoken like an unofficial ambassador of the United States to the Philippines. And in welcoming the U.S. Asian pivot to build up its forces in the Asia Pacific and the Increased Rotational Presence (IRP) to significantly beef up U.S. military facilities and troops on Philippine soil, he has behaved like
the spokesperson of the Pentagon and the U.S. State Department. Atbest, his actions have predictably been foreign to Philippine national sovereignty, integrity and self-respect.
He says what should be the obvious that, "Foreign policy should be independent". Of course, unless this is new to him as Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs. He says, in his rhetoric, "Independence....means being able to know and stand up for one's self, despite the odds, in order to protect, pursue, and promote one's national interests." By his recent actions and shameless pronouncements these past three years, Del Rosario has indeed violated his own words.
Now, where should we stand in the context of our territorial and maritime disputes with our neighbors and big power quarrels? A truly principled and independent Philippine foreign policy must, in accordance to our 1987 Constitution, defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity from all big powers seeking hegemony and control over any part of our territory. We have the option on embarking on an independent posture that is consistently patriotic. This means not
allowing ourselves to be employed or used as a pawn in the big power struggle between the United States and China for resources in the region. This means asserting and resisting actual violations of Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity committed by Chinese and U.S. military forces. This includes punishing those who commit environmental destruction of the Philippine waters and our seabed resources, pursuing crimes committed by U.S. soldiers in our
A principled and independent foreign policy swears friendship to all and enmity to none, a policy that gives primacy to our national interests independent of the conflict between Big Powers, a policy that above all, refocuses our effort on the most urgent issue: To alleviate poverty through accelerated economic growth, on which all other sources of national strength depend. Posted by CenPEG.org