Tag: United States

Ping sa US: Salamat Kasama Kami sa Mauuna sa Bakuna

Ipinaabot ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa Estados Unidos ang kanyang maagang pasasalamat matapos na ibilang ang Pilipinas sa mga uunahing bigyan ng bakuna sa ilalim ng COVID vaccine-sharing strategy nito.

Tinukoy ng mambabatas bilang indikasyon ng pagkakaibigan ang pagkakalahok ng Estados Unidos sa Pilipinas sa mga mauunang pagkalooban ng bahagi ng unang 25 milyon na doses ng bakuna.

“Thank you. We won’t forget this gesture of friendship. Unless World Health Organization protocols are too strict on vaccine donations, it would be better if it’s done bilaterally instead of through COVAX. Our people need the vaccines ASAP,” banggit ni Lacson sa kanyang Twitter account.

Related: Lacson Thanks US for Prioritizing PH in Vaccine-Sharing
Continue reading “Ping sa US: Salamat Kasama Kami sa Mauuna sa Bakuna”

Lacson Thanks US for Prioritizing PH in Vaccine-Sharing

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson thanked the United States government on Friday for making the Philippines one of the first beneficiaries of its COVID vaccine-sharing strategy.

Lacson described as a “gesture of friendship” the inclusion of the Philippines in the US’ list of recipients of the first 25 million doses to be shared.

But he also suggested that this be done bilaterally if possible to make sure Filipinos get the vaccines sooner, even as he pushed for greater efforts by our government to enhance people’s trust in the vaccines.

“Thank you. We won’t forget this gesture of friendship. Unless World Health Organization protocols are too strict on vaccine donations, it would be better if it’s done bilaterally instead of through COVAX. Our people need the vaccines ASAP,” Lacson said on his Twitter account.

“Meanwhile, our government needs to continue enhancing our people’s trust in the vaccines, especially those who remain reluctant to get their jabs done. Our people should be convinced of the truth that getting inoculated can save their lives as well as those of their loved ones – and pay no mind to the disinformation and conspiracy theories,” he added.

Related: Ping sa US: Salamat Kasama Kami sa Mauuna sa Bakuna
Continue reading “Lacson Thanks US for Prioritizing PH in Vaccine-Sharing”

On the Continued Presence of Chinese Ships at Julian Felipe Reef

Filipinos should stand foursquare behind DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana for making known his strong position in defending our country’s sovereign rights over the Whitsun Reef (Julian Felipe Reef) – and before that, the Mischief Reef, occupied by the Chinese during the period 1994-1995 and the Scarborough Shoal, which China cordoned off in 2012. All these have legal basis under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the existing arbitral ruling in our favor.

A sad reality is that while the ruling is permanent, it is unenforceable. The situation is made worse when our country’s leaders and foreign policy decision makers resort to acquiesce bordering on implied derogation of our sovereignty.

Even amid this pandemic, such “health crisis opportunism” being applied by China does not speak well of the assumed trust and goodwill between the two Asian allies. That said, our country is losing tens of billions of pesos a year in “stolen” aquatic resources, not to mention the wanton destruction of corals within our Exclusive Economic Zone that threatens our food security.

The fact that we are a militarily weak country that cannot match China’s military power should compel us to resort to establishing stronger alliances not only with other Asia-Pacific neighbors like Australia and Japan and the other ASEAN countries, but our long-standing western allies like the US and Europe.

Only through a clear message that the presence of “balance of power” in the West Philippine Sea can help us in this regard.

*****

Ping: Nasa Konstitusyon ang Kapangyarihan ng Mga Senador sa Kasunduan Tulad ng VFA

Malinaw na nakasaad sa Saligang Batas ang karapatan ng Senado sa pagpasok ng ating pamahalaan sa mga pandaigdigang tratado lalo na kung nakasalalay ang pangmatagalang kapakanan at interes ng bansa, katulad ng Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

Iginiit din ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, chairman ng Senate Committee on National Defense, na mas epektibo kung ang paghahatid ng mensahe ay ipinaabot sa pamamagitan ng madiplomasyang pamamaraan.

“I may not be a lawyer like the President. But last time I read the Constitution, a senator has something to do with international agreements. The President should refresh his memory by reading Article VII, Sec. 21 of the 1987 Constitution. It says: No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate,” banggit ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson: Constitution Gives Senators a Say in International Agreements Like VFA
Continue reading “Ping: Nasa Konstitusyon ang Kapangyarihan ng Mga Senador sa Kasunduan Tulad ng VFA”

Lacson: Constitution Gives Senators a Say in International Agreements Like VFA

No less than the 1987 Constitution gives senators a say in the Philippines’ international agreements like the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement, especially if they affect the country’s long-term national interest and security.

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson stressed this on Tuesday as he maintained a diplomatic and civil approach is more effective in upholding the national interest in the long run.

“I may not be a lawyer like the President. But last time I read the Constitution, a senator has something to do with international agreements. The President should refresh his memory by reading Article VII, Sec. 21 of the 1987 Constitution. It says: No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate,” said Lacson, who chairs the Senate Committee on National Defense.

Related: Ping: Nasa Konstitusyon ang Kapangyarihan ng Mga Senador sa Kasunduan Tulad ng VFA
Continue reading “Lacson: Constitution Gives Senators a Say in International Agreements Like VFA”

Ping: Ipaabot sa Madiplomasyang Paraan ang Mensahe sa US tungkol sa VFA

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Mas epektibo ang sibil, madiplomasya at magalang na paraan ng paghahatid ng mensahe sa isang matagal nang kaalyado gaya ng Estados Unidos, lalo sa usapin tulad ng Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

Binanggit ito ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, chairman ng Senate Committee on National Defense, dahil para sa kanya ay hindi dapat presyuhan ang kahalagahan ng VFA sa Pilipinas.

“The President may have used strong words to send his message across to the US. But certainly, there is a more civil and statesmanlike manner to ask for compensation from a longtime ally using the usual diplomatic channels and still get the same desired results,” banggit ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson: Diplomatic Approach More Effective in Sending Message to US on VFA
Continue reading “Ping: Ipaabot sa Madiplomasyang Paraan ang Mensahe sa US tungkol sa VFA”

Lacson: Diplomatic Approach More Effective in Sending Message to US on VFA

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Why use strong words to send a message to a longtime ally when a civil, diplomatic and statesmanlike approach can be more effective?

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson stressed this Sunday as he pointed out one cannot put a price tag on the value of the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement on the Philippines.

“The President may have used strong words to send his message across to the US. But certainly, there is a more civil and statesmanlike manner to ask for compensation from a longtime ally using the usual diplomatic channels and still get the same desired results,” said Lacson, who chairs the Senate Committee on National Defense.

Related: Ping: Ipaabot sa Madiplomasyang Paraan ang Mensahe sa US tungkol sa VFA
Continue reading “Lacson: Diplomatic Approach More Effective in Sending Message to US on VFA”

On a US Bill Seeking to Suspend Security Assistance to PH

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Members of the US Congress are within their rights to file any legislative measure under any circumstances. As in our case, it will have to go through the mill of first reading and referral, committee hearings and floor debates.

If adopted and approved, the said bill – H.R. 8313 – will not only be our loss but theirs as well, considering that a major part of the security assistance being extended to the Philippines is used to combat terrorism, which knows no borders and timing. And they know that for a fact.

And since the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) is still existing, they may have to resolve that as a legal issue in their deliberations.

*****

On the President’s Change of Heart in Abrogating the VFA

First, just so it is clear where I’m coming from: I am not pro- or anti-American, as in actual fact, they took away my US visa a long time ago. Nor am I pro- or anti-Chinese since I have many friends in and out of Beijing.

That said, the President’s change of heart is a welcome development as far as defense and economic security of the country is concerned. The Philippines needs the Visiting Forces Agreement especially now that Chinese intrusions into our territory, particularly in the West Philippines Sea, have become commonplace.

The last thing that we should lose is the balance of power that the USA, among other allies like Australia and other ASEAN neighbors, can provide to suit our national interest and territorial integrity.

It is a no-brainer that we can’t stand on our own and protect ourselves from harassment coming from those intrusions.

*****

#PINGterview: Improved ‘New’ VFA; ‘Money Laundering’ by Chinese Visitors

In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– ‘New’ PH-US VFA under negotiation
– Spike in cash brought by Chinese into PH

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “#PINGterview: Improved ‘New’ VFA; ‘Money Laundering’ by Chinese Visitors”