MANILA, Philippines — As President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. considers strengthening military ties with the US and Japan following the recent laser incident involving a Chinese coast guard, a Makabayan lawmaker called out the agreement, tagging it as “one-sided affairs.”
Assistant Minority Leader and Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas, in a statement, criticized Marcos for “pursuing one-sided affairs with foreign powers” – referring to the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) with the US and the possible Philippine-Japan Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) – and said that “territorial integrity” and “sovereignty” should be given utmost priority in the Philippine foreign policy.
According to Brosas, the mindset that the Philippines needed to depend on foreign powers is as “outdated” as the military equipment that foreign powers offer.
“Kasing luma ng mga binebentang kagamitang pangmilitar ng dayuhan ang kaisipan na kailangang sumandig tayo sa dayuhan para ipagtanggol ang bayan,” Brosas said.
(The idea that we have to rely on foreigners to defend our country is as old as the military equipment they are selling to us.)
“We should totally abandon this mindset and start focusing on independently building our defense posture,” Brosas also added.
(We should abandon this mindset and start focusing on independently building our defense posture.)
The progressive legislator from the Makabayan bloc also emphasized that the mendicant foreign policy rendered the Philippines overly dependent on foreign military forces and susceptible to outside aggression and power-tripping.
The lawmaker also urged Marcos to “strongly call out China” for the laser incident instead and to rescind the designation of additional agreed locations with the US under EDCA and forfeit any military talks with Japan.
To recall, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) accused a Chinese coast guard ship of directing a “military-grade” laser at one of its vessels, putting the Filipino crew in danger, while it was heading towards supporting a rotation and resupply mission of the Philippine Navy in Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea on Feb. 6. Vance Chan, INQUIRER.net Trainee
READ: China harasses Philippine Coast Guard vessel with laser
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PH-Japan VFA OK if it won’t raise tensions over WPS – Marcos
US backs Philippines in laser dispute with China
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