by Erick San Juan
I was shock to read in a “public relations” newspaper that most of our bilateral agreements with the United States government, benefits us more than them.
In its opinion page, it is said that the United States is the Philippines’ only mutual defense treaty partner and the largest source of foreign military financing. It added that the U.S. government’s foreign military aid to the Philippines helps in modernizing the Philippine Armed Forces. We allegedly received the highest level of funds in East Asia and the Pacific under the International Military and Education Training Program.
Bilateral agreements must be corrected once and for all especially in the issue of the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Mutual Defense Treaty which were perceived by Filipino thinkers and nationalists as one sided propositions.
Let’s not kid ourselves, if that P.R. editorial is true, why are our soldiers complaining? Our nation has been bastardized by some of our leaders who are more Americans than the Americans. It’s sad that our armed forces have been branded here and abroad as an army with rebuilt weaponry, a navy with 2nd world war ships and an air force full of air and no power with widow maker planes.
If the American government is serious and wanted to modernize our defense establishment, they easily could. The big question is why do we need to be mendicants and treated like this? Most Filipinos love the American people but the attitude of some of its leaders are so disgusting that they treat the Filipinos as naïve and ‘slaves’ who are always ready to serve their colonial masters.
We are always told that we’re given annually a substantial assistance in terms of medical aid, community rebuilding and war materials where the truth is that our government spent more for its replacement parts.
Even our war veterans are being duped to believe that their compensation for their wartime services will be coming soon when in fact, most of them will be retiring not from their impoverishment but to their graveyards due to old age.
Filipinos even pay for the U.S. Visa application and most of the time receive a denial. I’m not sour graping, nor even one of my family was denied a visa and we have been to the U.S. several times. But’ if we count the daily revenue of everyday applications, it can maintain an embassy operation while some nation states who were known former enemies of the U.S. are given free visa status.
When are we going to get the respect that we deserve from this people?
Our leaders and policymakers should learn how to negotiate so that “Washington” will know how to level the playing field with the Filipinos. Wake up Pinoy!
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