Home>Editorial>Opinion>Our sense of ‘independence’

Our sense of ‘independence’

FOR the “second time” this year, according to yesterday’s report by the Business Mirror, the US Navy, thru the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, last Sunday (April 4), made another sortie at the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea, under the guise of ‘freedom of navigation (FON).

And instead of being indignant that the Americans, an outsider in the region who is not even a signatory to the ‘UNCLOS’, has allegedly been violating our territorial waters (including our air space) since God knows for how long now, our good friend and seasoned lawyer and lawmaker, Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro, even gloated over this supposed violation of our sovereignty.

Heck, he even wants the US Navy to “crisscross that area more often… including international waters and a large part of the Philippine EEZ.

Cong. Rufus’ stand on the issue is of course, is typical among the ‘Amboys’ in our midst, not very much unlike the stand on the Julian Felipe/Whitsun Reef brouhaha of our own Defense secretary, Delfin Lorenzana and most officials in our national security establishment—they too have a corrupted sense of the meaning of ‘national independence’ or ‘national sovereignty.’

For if we really, fully understand, the meaning of national sovereignty, the way China, Vietnam and other countries understand it, then we should be indignant, regardless of who is doing the violation, the United States included.

And yes, if we really value our independence, then we should have undertaken measures to assert and enforce it independently. In other words, we should enforce our claim and stake our national pride whether we have a military alliance with the United States or not.

For the most dangerous thing that the Amboys are trying to make us believe is that when push comes to shove, the United States would honor its treaty with us, first, on the basis of what the texts of our 1951 mutual defense treaty provide (only when the US Congress approves) and more importantly, if helping us would be to the overall interest of US Imperialism.

Of course, since the Korean War, US Imperialism is sporting for a “hot war” with China.

But if there is dying and killing to be done, it won’t be the US Army or the US Marines. The dying and the killing would have to come first from the ranks of its most loyal stooge this side of the Pacific—the Philippines.

Yes Jose, we are again to become the “cannon fodder” for US aggression, much like the time Japan had to invade us during World War 2 simply because, as a US colony, we are host to the biggest US military bases outside of the US mainland.

And speaking of China, Vietnam and Whitsun Reef, we can all agree that yes, Jose, we have sovereign rights there being part of our so-called “exclusive economic zone” (EEZ).

The trouble here is that, the same area is also being claimed as theirs by both Vietnam and China.

Indeed, as thoroughly discussed by the highly-respected, Bobi Tiglao, in his Manila Times columns, both Vietnam and China asserted their rights there by the practical act of putting up their own structures there; Vietnam, especially, has the most number of actual structures there.

Eh, tayo ba, ano ang ginawa natin, bukod sa “dumakdak” lang, ‘di ba, wala naman?

Indeed, both China and Vietnam even waged war on each other in order to assert their own sovereign claim on Whitsun Reef back in 1988, as Tiglao noted. Eh, tayo, ‘asan ba tayo?

And yes, all those years, did the Americans intervene on our behalf? Nevah. Did we protest about it to Uncle Sam? Nevah.

Thus, if we really take pride in our being an independent and sovereign state, we should remove the blinders that continue to cloud our thinking and decisions.

In other word, to stop this idea that Uncle Sam is the “guarantor” of our national independence.

In the pursuit of our territorial claims, we should rely on our own, period.