It is a test all right, not of the intelligence of the Filipino people but a test and a challenge as well to our intelligence community to verify what I said, a yet-to-be validated information provided by a reliable source who had given me some accurate intelligence reports in the past.
When an issue that has serious implications – such as the reported presence of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) members in the Philippines – is raised, credible information is the best way to resolve it. This is without prejudice to Philippine authorities’ ongoing efforts to verify such information.
In an interview, Sen. Lacson answers questions on:
– President Duterte’s reported statement he will let Cabinet members walk out of congressional hearings if they feel disrespected
– President Duterte’s reported joke of making Philippines a province of China
The US Embassy in Manila said the USS Carl Vinson is in the West Philippine Sea area to conduct “routine maritime operations, promote freedom of navigation, and work with partners and allies to enhance regional security and stability.” Philippine officials led by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea visited the supercarrier earlier this month.
President Duterte is wrong about the power and influence of international pressure on China. Studies show that arbitral rulings are normally defied if not ignored by losing claimants of contested territories, albeit temporarily. In the course of time, these countries almost always eventually give up and comply with the ruling due to international pressure. We should not miss the ASEAN summit to avail ourselves with that opportunity, lest we would regret it.
He may be correct, though, that decided disputes cannot be resolved militarily, even assuming that we can match China’s military hardware and troops. The same studies say as much.
We can’t be too dumb not to realize that while China offers us weapons, they continue fortifying their defense facilities in our islands.
There should be an in-depth analysis and thorough discussion among our top national security advisers and other security experts before any decision is arrived at, not to mention any action to be undertaken concerning major foreign policy matters.
The issues involved here have far-reaching implications to our people and our country’s future generations. Not one man, even if he is the president and commander-in-chief, has the monopoly of wisdom and knowledge concerning issues of this magnitude and proportion.