Tag: United States

Interview on DZBB: After VFA, What’s Next? | Feb. 16, 2020

In an interview on DZBB, Sen. Lacson cites the possibilities after the Visiting Forces Agreement, including possible intervening events that could ‘undo’ its abrogation. 

QUOTES and NOTES:
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Interview on DWIZ: Lifting of Taiwan Travel Ban, Lt Col Espenido Issue, VFA Abrogation | Feb. 15, 2020

In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– lifting of travel ban on Taiwan
– issues involving P/Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido
– possible actions after VFA abrogation
– franchise of ABS-CBN

QUOTES and NOTES:
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On a Post-VFA Philippines

The Filipino people are resilient and our soldiers are no different. We will survive, no doubt. We know how to improvise and we can adapt to crises the way we did many times before.

But in the meantime, we remain exposed to terrorist threats, both domestic and foreign, not to mention the continuing security threat in the West Philippine Sea posed by China, and even the need for timely humanitarian response and assistance that the US is capable of deploying during disasters, natural or man-made. Also affected by the VFA’s abrogation is the maintenance and repairs of military hardware, mostly air assets provided by the US under the AFP modernization program.

Exploring other options like inking similar defense treaties with other nations as posited by the AFP Chief of Staff is fine but the reality is, it doesn’t happen overnight. It will take a series of back-and-forth negotiations in pursuit of the concerned parties’ self and national interests before going through lengthy deliberations for ratification by the Senate.

While admittedly, the VFA is not perfect for the Philippines as far as equitability is concerned, the timing and reasons for its abrogation are way off the mark.

The thing is, it is not the smartest move of the President to expose ourselves naked first before looking for other options for cover.

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PingBills | Senate Resolution 312, Sense of the Senate for the President to Reconsider His Plan to Unilaterally Withdraw from the VFA

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

“Be it resolved as it is hereby resolved, to express as it hereby expresses the sense of the Senate to earnestly request the President to reconsider his planned abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement in the meantime that the Senate is conducting a review and impact assessment with the end in view of ensuring the continued safety and security of the Philippines and the Asia Pacific and maintain the existing balance of power within the region.” (co-author with Senate President Sotto and Sen. Drilon)

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On the Indefinite US Travel Ban on Cabinet Members

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An indefinite travel ban to the United States imposed on all members of the Cabinet could have adverse consequences on our country’s economy and security, not to mention the many employed Filipino immigrants there, especially if the US retaliates to the recent tirades of President Duterte.

The Philippines is exporting at least $10 billion worth of goods annually to the US, and accounts for 52 percent of the total US military support and assistance to the entire Asia-Pacific region.

Considering all these, I hope some of the Cabinet members will have the courage and sensibility to speak to the President to reconsider.

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#PINGterview: Possible National Security Implications of Scrapping VFA | Jan. 27, 2020

In an interview with Senate media, Sen. Lacson answered questions on the possible implications on national security of scrapping the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement.

QUOTES and NOTES:
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On the Reported US Visa Ban on Philippine Officials in ‘Unjust Detention’ of Sen. de Lima

us-visa

Allowing and denying the entry of foreigners into the territory of the United States, or any country for that matter, is a matter of right of that host country. They don’t even have to justify it.

What is unacceptable is the passage of a resolution by the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations that calls for the dismissal of charges against any respondent in a criminal case, in this case, Sen. de Lima and Maria Ressa. It is an affront to the integrity of our courts and the country’s judicial system. Even the President or any executive official, or any member of our Congress, cannot issue a formal resolution that will encroach on the power of a co-equal branch of government.

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On the President’s Stance on the West Philippine Sea Issue

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Image: Google Maps

It is a good development that the President has subsequently corrected himself by saying that he cannot prevent incursions of foreign fishing vessels within the Exclusive Economic Zone because even if he wants to, we don’t have the capability nor the capacity to do it, not to mention that the arbitral ruling is unenforceable in the first place; and that the Philippines merely exercises sovereign right, not sovereignty over the areas within the EEZ. I agree with the President in this regard. Having said that, to allow is not the same as not being able to prevent.

Further, calling on the United States – with whom we have a Mutual Defense Treaty – and other western allies to help check China in the WPS is proper given the prevailing circumstances, contrary to some narrow-minded critics that such move is a sure formula for war.

On the other hand, maintaining the balance of power in the WPS will prevent rather that ignite war. Why? No two superpowers would go to war in this day and age of nuclear technology for the simple reason of its ‘zero-sum’ outcome.

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#PingSays: On China’s Maritime Hit-and-Run: ‘We were tested…’ | June 18, 2019

Could the sinking of a Philippine fishing boat by a Chinese vessel in the West Philippine Sea last June 9 have been a ‘test’? Did the Philippines pass or fail?

Quotes from the interview…
Continue reading “#PingSays: On China’s Maritime Hit-and-Run: ‘We were tested…’ | June 18, 2019”

Sotto, Lacson, Honasan Rumesbak vs Pakialamerong US Solons

Image courtesy: Geopolitica.ru

Isinulong ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, kasama si Senate President Vicente Sotto III at Sen. Gregorio Honasan II, ang resolusyong naglalayong sermunan ang mga mambabatas ng Estados Unidos na nakikialam sa sistema ng hudikatura ng Pilipinas sa pamamagitan ng dalawang resolusyon.

Sa Senate Resolution 1037 na magkasamang iniakda at isinumite ng tatlong mambabatas, malinaw na isinaad ng mga ito na hindi puwedeng makialam ang mga dayuhan sa panloob ng usapin ng Pilipinas.

Nilinaw din ni Lacson na walang ibang hangarin ang kanilang pagsasampa sa Senate Resolution 1037, at kung may mga personalidad umanong nasali sa aksyon nilang ito laban sa pakikialam ng mga banyagang mambabatas, ito ay nagkataon lamang.

“Sen. (Leila) de Lima and Ms. (Maria) Ressa are but incidental to the intent of this resolution. They are entitled to fair justice and judgment by the courts handling their cases. But what we need to point out is that supremacism has no place in a civilized world regardless of race, color and status in wealth and power,” paliwanag ni Lacson.

Related: SP Sotto, 2 Colleagues File Resolution Rebuking US Solons for Interfering in PH Judicial Process
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