By Erick San Juan
‚ÄúIn a world that recognizes our interconnectedness and respect each others‚Äô sovereign independence, the horizons and frontiers of cooperation are virtually limitless. Friendship, after all, knows no bound.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúWe value partners as we seek to strengthen existing friendships even as we pursue new ones.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúWe believe that friends help each other and utilize constructive engagement to achieve common goals. In truth, we all share the same aspiration of greater peace, progress, and prosperity.‚ÄĚ
I‚Äôm sure that with these statements of our president, a lot of people will agree and not only the Filipinos but most especially the world leaders because interdependence among nations is beyond political-economy but mutual respect in each others sovereignty as individual nation-states.
With this outlook from President Duterte, in relation to the community of nations, he is on the right track and this shows when Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in the country recently and pledged ‚ÄúOfficial Development Assistance and private sector investments which, together, will be in the order of one trillion yen ($8.7 billion) over the next five years.”
The partnership for development among Asian neighbors is a healthy way of resolving issues and with PM Abe and their grant assistance to combat terrorism and piracy by a grant of $5.2 million for Philippine coast guard speedboats and anti-terrorism equipment.
It is just like a very timely ‘manna’ from heaven. Especially now that the Duterte administration is fighting several fronts, both domestic and international, with the plunging peso, needed foreign loans to sustain the government operation. War on drugs which invite the fear of the unknown why many believe is the reason why Pres. Digong has been talking about Martial law which several surveys say will not be accepted by the people and by congress. Rumor mill is talking about a revolutionary government but where is PRRD’s forces will come from?
Japan already contributes heavily to the largely impoverished Philippines through the Manila-based Asian Development Bank, which has lent the Philippines an average $745 million per year since 2006 for poverty reduction.
With the Duterte administration, the country is hoping that the funds will go to the intended projects sans corruption.
Like the Philippines, Japan also has territorial issues with China in the East China Sea but Abe, however, said “the issue of the South China Sea is linked directly to regional peace and stability and is a concern to the entire international community.”
His two-day visit to Manila aims to further solidify relations with the Philippines at a time when Duterte is cozying up to China and Russia while taking a hostile stance toward Tokyo’s main ally, the United States. Japan is among the top trading partners of the Philippines and one of its largest aid providers. Thanks God for the blessings coming from Japan.
With Japan Prime Minister’s support to Duterte‚Äôs leadership, many hopes that this will avert a programmed bloody civil war or Xi Jinping’s China ‘dream’ to annex Taiwan and the Philippines in the process.
The mere fact that a survey of 1,200 adult respondents nationwide between December 6 to 11 (had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent) found 76 percent of adult Filipinos trust the U.S. while 70 percent expressed trust for Japan. Sixty-one percent said they lacked trust in China and 58 percent distrust Russia.
Even we don‚Äôt rely much on surveys and always take it with a grain of salt so to speak, in this crucial time Pres. Duterte only needs to unite the nation and have peace and prosperity as his living legacy. We have to support his righteous advocacy. No need for a China or communist inspired revolutionary government which is a prescription for MAD – a mutually assured destruction.
Let us keep on
BEING GOOD and
God bless the Philippines!
(Note: Sources from various news network online.)