Will America come in aid of its old ally Philippines?

Today, it is my pleasure to introduce a new Guest writer on LiP, his name is Louie Hernandez.  Thank you so much for your contribution, Louie, it is most welcome, and I hope we will see you here on LiP more in the future, you are most welcome to join us!  It’s always nice to have new Filipino contributors to the site!  MindanaoBob

This is the question in the minds of many Filipinos now because of the Philippines ongoing dispute with China over Scarborough Shoal.

The Bone of Contention

The Scarborough shoal is a group of islands and reefs in an atoll located in the South China Sea (known in the Philippines as the West Philippine Sea). Locally, the shoal is considered part of Zambales and is referred to as Bajo de Masinloc in the Philippines. This group of islands is believed to be rich in marine resources and important minerals. Add to it is its strategic location said to be good for military operation. Last April 2012, an aircraft of Philippine navy surveillance plane spotted Chinese vessels illegally fishing in Panatag Shoal. Navy personnel aboard BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (the lone military ship of Phil. navy) was sent to verify and upon inspection discovered illegally collected coral and endangered/protected marine species inside Chinese vessels. Before the Phil. authority could apprehend the illegal poachers, two Chinese maritime surveillance ships blocked the path of BRG Gregorio Del Pilar creating tension and standoff between the two countries.

Sovereignty Issues

Several official Philippine maps published by Spain and United States in 18th and 20th centuries show Scarborough Shoal as Philippine territory. The Philippine navy for long has been occupying and guarding the Panatag Shoal, and no country ever really contested it, but only until now. In 1957 with the help of U.S. Navy force formerly based in Subic used the area as an impact range for defense purposes. An 8.3 meter high flag pole flying a Philippine flag was raised in 1965.  It has in the past apprehended some Chinese illegal fishermen. The disputed area is 840 km distance of the shoal to the nearest coast of China in Hainan province, which is nothing compared to its “extreme proximity” of 220 kilometers to Zambales Philippines that if we’re going to apply the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UCLOS) it’s clear the Philippines is the rightful owner of the Panatag Shoal.

USS Nimitz Fly By
USS Nimitz Fly By

China for its part claim that Chinese people discovered the shoal centuries ago and that there is a long history of Chinese fishing activity in the area. The shoal lies within the nine-dotted line drawn by China on maps marking its claim to around two-thirds of the total area of the South China Sea. In 1935, the Chinese government, at that point the Republic of China, regarded the shoal as part of the Zhongsha Islands. That position has since been maintained by both the Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China. In 1947 the shoal was given the nameMinzhu. In 1983 the People’s Republic of China renamed it Huangyan Island with Minzhu Jiao reserved as a second name.

What is the motivation

Why risk a war over the sovereignty of Scarborough Shoal. If we go by the actions of the Chinese fishermen involved in illegal fishing in the disputed area and their government’s response to the situation, it seems that their primary purpose in the disputed islands is to tap its natural resources to further their already economic superpower status and use the strategic location of the chain islands for military and other purposes suited.

The Philippines for its part I think the prospect of economic gains to get from Panatag Shoal is only secondary to the purpose of protecting inherent right over the land that is clearly belong to the country and to uphold the constitution. Not to be stepped upon by other nation and stand up against bullying.

Military Hardware

Having been dependent in the U.S. military presence in country for the past 100 years against any external threat, the Philippines has no military hardware to talk about to the present. After the U.S. military bases left the country in 1992, the Philippines has the weakest and ill-equipped military in the region.

China has all the modern military hardware. You can find in the net that Beijing has J11B multifunction fighter, new generation 99G main battle tank (MBT), type 97 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), HQ9 long range surface-to-air missile (SAM), and new 155mm self-propelled gun (SPG), similar to the Russian 2S19 SPG. DF21 intermediate-range ballistic missile and DF11 short-range ballistic missile, intercontinental ballistic missile and type 093 nuclear attack submarine. You name it and they have it. In other words, one of the most modern war machines in the world.

Diplomatic & Economic ties between Philippines and China

The two countries are supposed to be friends, but the Chinese government keeps on provoking the Philippines. Last week the Chinese naval frigate ran aground at the Hasa-Hasa shoal, just 60 nautical miles off Palawan (the Phil. govt. never protested over this). In the morning news today there were about 30 Chinese fishing vessel encroached in Philippines Economic Zone (EPZ). At the beginning of the standoff, Sino government made a stricter inspection of Philippine banana export to China, this is the subject of Bobs article “The Philippine Banana Business is sagging”. If this is not bullying, we don’t know what is. But as neighbor and friend country, I think it is the hope of many Filipinos that the present dispute will be settled in a diplomatic way.

The Big Brother America

This the tag always mentioned about the U.S. and its association with the Philippines (and other smaller nation). There’s a long standing friendship between the two countries. In WW2 Filipinos and Americans fought side by side against the Japanese. The U.S. and the Philippines have rich history of friendship. Even after the withdrawal of U.S. military bases in the country, the Mutual Defense Treaty still existed between the two countries and the yearly Balikatan exercises (military exercises) continues up to the present time.

What will happen if situation worsen

Not a doomsayer. But even if the Filipinos don’t want it, there’s a possibility that the country can be entangled in unnecessary war. Given the situation above, it is clear that China is the one bullying the Philippines. There’s a great disparity in terms of stocks of military hardware between Philippines and China. But the Philippines and the Filipinos seem determined to uphold its own constitution and stand up against bullying even though its military is ill equipped. If shooting war erupted can the Philippines rely on its friend and old ally the U.S.A? Remember that the U.S. has ties with China too. It is one of the major trading partners of U.S. Some comments in the yahoo site averred that the U.S. would naturally protect its lucrative business interest in China, but some others feel that the long standing friendship of the U.S. and Philippines, plus the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) would be far more important. It’s a very complicated situation and there’ll be far reaching effect on what will be the U.S. determination.  What’s your position on this, what do you think the U.S. will do if worst comes to worst?

A side note: As of recent news, a top U.S. military official assured the Philippines of U.S. support.

Post Author: MindanaoBob (1354 Posts)

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.

How to Move to the Philippines Manual


  1. Scott Fortune says

    Since deciding to come to the Philippines to live, I have been following the relations of the Philippines and China much closer than I ever had previously. I understand that China is definitely flexing it’s military muscle, and also showing that it has some economic power. While I don’t dispute that they have issues with the struggle over the land, I don’t dispute that the Philippines has rightful ownership of those islands in the area. But, that is because as an American we follow the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UCLOS). I don’t believe that China, a communist country, would do so. I am happy to see that the United States has approved and signed some additional trade agreements with the Philippines, which will prove beneficial for both countries, but I don’t know that it will be enough.

    When it comes down to wether or not the United States will put our naval and other military force into play if th eneed should arise, I believe my answer and say it with a resounding YES! The Philippines has been a great friend of the United States both during and after wartime. I don’t think that we can afford to turn our backs on her when she is most in need. If the leaders of the country that I call home DO NOT come to the aide of the Philippines, it will be a very sad day in our history, and a sad day for what we stand for as a nation.

  2. says

    The US doesn’t even properly guard its own border. Kinda hard to imagine Obama’s admin doing anything meaningful to help out the PI. He already has shown disrespect to other long standing US allies ie Israel in the past that I don’t see him providing anything meaningful to Filipinos to help out with their situation.

  3. Cy says

    I just took the time to look up info on the Philippine Air Force. It’s almost non-existent. Currently, the Philippines doesn’t have any fighter jets of its own or bombers. The most potent aircraft they have is the OV-10 Bronco, a light propeller-driven aircraft of 1960’s origin. Not good.

    Considering the Philippine’s current lack of any real modern military hardware, the USA really has no choice but to defend the nation. Otherwise, the limited military force it does have would be nothing more than a speed bump to nearly any invading forces.

    • Louie Hernandez says

      Hi Cj – You right, Philippines dosn’t have reliable air forece. Even one of those remaining dilapidated OV-Bronco not long time ago got crashed prompting the government to suspend indefinitely its use.

  4. Miss August says

    Closing the US Military bases in the Philippines, was a short-sighted decision by the Philippine Senate. Because of this closure, the Philippines is now in a bind in protecting its territorial waters. Philippine Military can not compete with China and eventually, the US won’t be able to compete with them. It’s only a matter of time before China is the next Superpower.

    • Neal in RI says

      I agree it was short sighted for the RP to close the Bases there. I can understand that the RP wanted to claim their independence from the US but this has left them very vulnerable and ill prepared to defend their own country. China is looking to claim all that they can and eat/consume up everything and every resource in its path.
      Just like the “Langoleers”

    • Louie Hernandez says

      Hi Miss August – I agree with you the Philippine Senate’s rejection for extention of U.S. bases here might have some implications on the present issue today. Philippine Constitution empowers the Senate to decide on the Philippines’ international treaty. If it was through plebicite, the retention could have been the option.

  5. Ron says

    You have to wonder when you read this article why the Philippine government did not do more to retain Subic and Angelas. We have seen over recent years more cooperation between the U.S. and Philippines in combating terrorism. We do have relations with China and Taiwan. If you have noticed over the past couple of decades we have gone eye to eye with China over Taiwan. We have a long history with the Philippines. I guess it would come down to the strategic importance of these islands. Would the loss of thousands of lives, a potential nuclear exchange, upsetting the worlds economies, etc be worth a conflict? Personally I think we would stand on principal but I am not sure if our leadership would feel the same way. Hopefully the Philippine government will file a complaint in the U.N. and take this case to the International Maritime court in the Hague. Let it be negotiated and find a compromise or clear solution. As an American I know we support the Philippines.

    • Louie Hernandez says

      Hi Ron – IMHO and personal opinion the government and Filipinos might have wanted to do more to retain the U.S. bases in the country. I think the Phils. still look up to the U.S. It was and still the closest ally (can you think of any ally country more favored by the P.I). Perhaps what’s holding the Phils. from inviting the U.S. to again open up a permanent military bases here is the fear that accompanying the reopening of bases is the proliferation of nightclubs and Filipina prostitution and uncontrolled establishment of gambling casinos. I think these are the primary reasons behind the rejection of the U.S. bases in 1992. The stratigic location of the islands can be of importance to the U.S. interests. Specially that it is within the sovereighty of the Philippines, an ally country. If it will fall in the hands of China, then you could imagine that they might use it against the U.S. interests in times of conflict.

  6. says

    As someone who has a inside scoop on what the military is doing. Obama has not a lot of say on israels problems besides they have got the usa help for years and they are still living in the 1500’s. But i know there is about to be a huge amount of us military build up in the asian countries in the next 6 months starting with korea
    Things are about to get very different real fast

  7. Rick Fernandez says

    Those damn philippine congressmen who voted to close down the bases under the guise of nationalism had their heads up their arses.
    The US cannot break another treaty like how they broke so many with treaties with the Native Americans. The US must use its clout in the UN to prevent China from running amok grabbing “land” in the West Philippine Sea and most of all, the US 7th Fleet must show its big balls to China!!!

    • Scott D says

      Rick the UN is a joke. I really wish the US would pull out and tell them to get out of New York. They are the most anti-American and anti-freedom organization out there. And sorry to say I do not see the Obama administration standing up to China. The Obama administration wants to cut off the US Navy’s “balls.” Pray America elects a President in November and not keep the mistake that is in there now or you will see “China gone wild.”

      • Tom says

        “I would rather have a country run like hell by Filipinos than a country run like heaven by the Americans, because however bad Filipino government might be, we can always change it.”

        That is still the sentiment from most Nationalistic Filipinos about American Intervention in their country. Only now that the new Bully on the block is showing some of its own Nationalism will they seek the protection of the USA which would have nothing to gain from a military exchange with China

        All of this saber rattling is from the Philippine politicians is just posturing for a chance at a share of the oil wealth in the disputed area nothing more.

        There will be no war, The Philippines will fold to China’s wishes and become a satellite state of China it is already well down the road on this.

        It will be interesting to watch this play out in the next few years

        Tom/ Roxas City

  8. BuckeyeBob says

    We will all have to hold our breath on this one. But I would like to think there are still enough senior people in the US Goverment to remember the close ties between the two countries and cover the PI’s backside:)

    • Steve A says

      Gary, You are dead on. I see a lot of comments mentioning the “history” the US has with the PI. History is History. What was the relationship the US had with Japan 50 years ago and where is it now? Decisions are made based on current global conditions and the fact that the PI kicked out the US bases did nothing but seal the deal on this. If China forcefully moves in, the US will us diplomatic methods but you will never see them use military force.

      • says

        Hi Steve A – Some others value past history of friendship, some others might not. That is quite understandable. As one saying on election goes: “In Politics there’s no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests”. The closure of U.S. bases in the country did not stop the ties between the two countries.

  9. Ricardo Sumilang says

    I see the PRC here continuing to push the envelope as it has been doing for a long time, testing the waters so to speak, but, in this modern, enlightened age, I just could not imagine the two superpowers, the PRC and the U.S., going head to head in a war, conventional or otherwise, over Scarborough Shoal. An all-out war would be counter-productive. An all-out war between the two superpowers would be debilitating economically, politically, and socially to the whole world, not just to the two protagonists. China has a historical claim that predates the Spanish colonization of the islands, during which the Scarborough Shoal was considered a part of Philippine territory, but, the Philippines’ claim of sovereignty for the shoal is based on its occupation of the shoal as prescribed by international law for the acquisition territories. Which nation has a stronger claim over the shoal depends on whom you ask.

    Aside from the obvious economic and strategic importance of the Scarborough Shoal to China, the Chinese are determined to recover their past glory in the South China Sea that had been eclipsed by the arrival and permanent stationing of the U.S. Seventh Fleet in the Korean Peninsula since before the Korean War. With China’s rise as an economic and military superpower, it believes it now has the gumption to thumb its nose on the U.S. Seventh Fleet stationed nearby. Chinese hegemony has been moving southward, slowly but steadily. China has already taken the Paracels, formerly owned by South Vietnam, in a gradual southward expansion. China is no longer just a regional power. It is today a superpower with a world-class navy and has a military arsenal that can rival that of the United States. With that being said, my personal opinion on this dispute is that there will be no shooting war over the shoal, not in our lifetime anyway. The Filipinos know it, the Chinese know it, and the Americans know it. Chances are, the U.S. Congress would not vote on another war thousands of miles away from home and have the youth of America dying on foreign soil when there is no security threat to the nation or its interests overseas, the MDT and VFA notwithstanding. Secondly, the American people, tired of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan will again be divided, with a great majority opposing another American involvement overseas. Finally, the PRC is not Iraq. In a conventional war, the PRC is not going to cut and run like the Iraqis. It will prove to be a daunting adversary, capable of inflicting massive losses on Filipino and American lives, a fact that is not lost on the American public. I believe strongly that this dispute will remain a running dispute with no resolution in sight that would satisfy either side. Just like the PRC – ROC dispute over the status of Taiwan under the governance of ROC, the Scarborough Shoal will continue on indefinitely as a war of words between the Philippines and China, diplomatic protestations directed at one another, brinkmanship, and incidents in the high seas, but that’s all. There will be no war, conventional or otherwise, in the foreseeable future. However, I can see the PRC taking over the Scarborough Shoal slowly but surely on the strength of its perceived military power alone without a shot being fired.

    • Louie Hernandez says

      Hi Ric – I agree with you that China, as in the words of Scott above is plexing its military muscle. Much as I want to believed you that there’ll be no shooting war over the dispute, and the involvement of the U.S. here, we cannot totally discount the posibility of it happening. But I really hope for the good of the countries involved that it will come to amicable solution.

      • Ricardo Sumilang says

        Louie, what, in your opinion, would constitute an “amicable solution” that would settle this dispute? Frankly, I could not think of anything that would satisfy both the Chinese and the Filipinos other than to partition the rocks
        and give half to the Chinese and the other half to the Filipinos. The partitioning of other territories around the world is nothing new. They exist, such, for example, as the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean, which is owned by both the Dutch and the French since the 17th century following a series of see-saw battles between the two countries. The Scarborough shoal, however, is nothing but a group of rocks jutting out of the water and is simply not big enough to be shared, nor the spoils both beneath the rocks and in the surrounding seas can be administered and divided equitably between the two competing interests without a conflict of some sort. For the sake of the Philippines, I hope an “amicable solution” can be found, whatever that may be, but, frankly, I am looking at the Philippines on the losing end of the stick. The Chinese, on the other hand, believe they are right and will continue to push the idea that Scarborough Shoal is theirs through sheer military might.

        As to the question, will America come to the aid of the Philippines in a shooting war with PRC over the shoal? Are you kidding me?

        • says

          Ric, What I meant was perhaps Philippines and China can have joint business cooperation/exploration in some areas in the disputed Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal . That would be beneficial to both countries and perhaps the U.S. too.

          “As to the question, will America come to the aid of the Philippines in a shooting war with PRC over the shoal? Are you kidding me?”

          Hehehe, First of all, it was just the subject of the post because Bob invited anyone who would want to contribute on LiP, I thought of a topic and chose it because it’s been in the news almost everyday. Perhaps next time I would choose a topic that is funny and light, lol. Anyway, with your comments like this and with other expats here doubting American support, I’m beginning to feel you may be right guys . But you see if America will not intervene in the dispute in South China Sea, in the long run even U.S. interests can be compromise here. My personal opinion is if the U.S. would not help the South East Asian Nation in their claims in the disputed islands, then in near future all these lands would be in the hands of Chinese. We know no South East Asian nation can challenge the military might of China. Now if that happen, then perhaps even the U.S. allies in ASEAN nation might begin to also turn to China for economic and other cooperation if the U.S. would turn its back on its ASEAN allies. Could it be possible? Even in the recently held meeting of South East Asian you could see the influence of China when the association failed to issue joint statement which they do in the last 45 years of its existence. According to news report It happened because Cambodia, the host country in this year’s ASEAN meeting, is an ally of China. But this is just a personal opinion. We may never know perhaps the Govt. of Phils and U.S. have formal talks about it and have assurances of U.S. support. I don’t know. We are just relying on the news and our personal opinion so we can never be sure Ric. Lets just wait for other news on the development on this matter.

  10. Loren Pogue says

    I doubt that the USA can be counted on to defend the Philippins, but hope they will, as I would not want to see the Philippins be taken over by China. Tom doesn’t like the USA medeling in Philippine afairs and says, ” that however bad Filipino government might be, we can always change it.” If China takes over the Philippines I am afraid it would be impossible for him and the great people of the PH to change any thing. I agree with Scott that the UN is a joke and should be disbanded.

    • says

      What Tom wrote was a famous quote from a Filipino, those were not his words. That is why he used quo tation marks. The person who said that was Manuel L. Quezon.

  11. Matthew says

    I think the USA will come to the aide of the Philippines if all hell breaks loose. The Philippines ill prepared to handle an attack if China decides to attack.

    It is clear China will not negotiate with the Philippines and at this point it is for show. I believe China is already planning to go all out and destroy the Philippines and is bent on doing so. Just a matter of time before they do. Better be preparing your families for this and look for an exit.

    • Bill Bernard says

      Gentlemen, if we look at China’s history, unless there is a direct threat to Chinese security or economy, they do not go to war. However, they will just continue to conquer the Philippines economically, plain and simple. Dont fall for the propaganda that is really just meant to deflect attention from the real issues in the Philippines. There will be no military conflict, only a financial takeover.

      • RandyL says

        I think you’re right on this count Bill. China has already beat the USA financially and they own our economy as we used to by their biggest threat. Now they will simply continue unencumbered.

      • says

        Hi Bill Bernard – If China would not go to war and instead going to have business dealings in the Philippines, then that would be no problem. There are already many Taipans(Chinese Filipino businessmen) here who owns many conglomerates. The real issues are all the in open, nothing to hide or evade. There are no issues here that can be greater than the threat war, if there’s going to be a threat at all.

    • Louie Hernandez says

      Hi Mathew – I think it is the hope of many Filipinos too. I think it’s the best to settle the problem in a diplomatic way.

  12. says

    Brent, I hope you’re right and I hope some of that help comes to Pinas. But I still see a problem, even if the USA does help.

    As a Pilipino-American, I hate the fact that the Philippines is still relying on outside sources for help in situations such as this. Didn’t we kick the Americans out of the naval bases in the 90s? Who’s sorry now? Even back then, I was completely against Americans leaving the country without proper training, without amunitions, without some sort of defense and that I blame the corrupt government.

    Now we have Pres Aquino who is whole-heartedly fighting and made it his number one objective, to fight the crippling corruption that has been plaguing the country. I believe simultaneously, we also need to raise our military defense for we are still weak.

    There are millions of Fil-Ams and Fil-Euro and whatever Fil you want to add and what I find upsetting is alot forget their birth country, their “home” once they leave its soil. Not me. There’s enough strength coming from the outside to bring in to instill and demand certain things from our govt. Together, we can finally have a voice, or else. But not too many are even concerned about “back home” until it’s time for them to fly back and visit with their balikbayan boxes and their designer purses, still trying to be mayabang. Isn’t it time to stop? There are millions of Pilipinos dying of starvation and that’s what you want to bring home? How about a little help like a job for them?

    The Philippines need to stand on its own and stop relying on the USA for the USA is starting to stumble from within and has been for a while. There’s so much turmoil going on within the USA that I’m afraid, one day, and I hope I’m wrong that the USA may not be able to defend itself. I pray that I’m wrong.

    So, mga kababayan ko, stop relying on anybody. We need to become truly independent and stop hating each other. We are a bunch of intelligent people, why not apply that for the betterment of the country? The people? I see so much disrespect between Pilipinos, it’s sickening! We need to instill discipline within and demand change. We need to reform, rebuild our birth country, our homeland or we may not have a home to go to.

    Sorry for taking up so much of your page, Bob. But I love the Philippines and it hurts to see that hardly has changed since I left as a little girl. I’m getting off my soap box now. :) Maraming salamat po.

  13. Greg K says

    The US has and is making it’s presence known by making port calls all over the country. Last year my wife and I spent some time in Puerta Princessa, and lo and behold I was surprised to see US Navy ships tied up at the pier.

    After checking in at our resort, we were greeted by some of the sailors from one of the ships, and I also had a good chat with the Captain of another ship, who was staying at the same place we were. I can assure you they know why they are there. As a former “squid”, we had a good time talking about the past and present, and all the changes in between.

    What I see is possibly more of a “cold” war in the future between the US and China. In the end it will be better for China to come to an agreement with it’s rivals in Southeast Asia…..only time will tell.

    • Louie Hernandez says

      Hi Greg – U.S. submarines were reported docking/resupplying in the former Subic Naval base. Though it’s not sure, those port calls is somewhat an assurance of the U.S. forces support.

  14. Jordan Smith says

    Why should the Americans defend Philippines? They are not friends and that is clear from a Filipino point of view. You only have to look at the forced removal of the US bases and the reasons behind it not to mention the treatment of Daniel Smith. No sorry the Philippines got what they wanted and they now have to live with the consequences

    • MARK JASON says

      maybe US, Australia, Japan, South Korea should find another vital route for their export shipping lanes and let China abuse the sanctuary of marine habitat in coral triangle.

      • Louie Hernandez says

        Hi Mark Jason – You mean those combined big countries giving way to superpower China? I’m a bit amused.

    • Louie Hernandez says

      Hi Jordan Smith – It is really up to the U.S. if they would depend the P.I. Removing the U.S. military bases in the country doesn’t necerally mean the two countries can no longer be friends anymore. The Mutual Defense Treaty MDT is still in effect. Along with Visiting Forces Agreement VFA. Friendships should have more deeper understanding.

      Daniel Smith was given fair trial here in the Phiippines. If i remembered it correctly, human right activists were in fact protesting the purported preferential treatment the were being given to Daniel Smith, like transpering him to the custody of the U.S. embassy in Roxas Boulevard. Eventually Daniel Smith returned to the U.S., to the dismay of many human rights advocate. Years ago, I read in a magazine same situation in the U.S. bases in Japan, wherein an American soldier were also accused of raping a local female resident. The Japanese people made an even more strong protest over the matter.

  15. John Adams says

    Having served in the US military for many years plus working abroad, on major US funded projects and living in the Philippines for 18 years my feelings are this: the United Government will only do what is in THEIR best interests. If the Chinese follow some of their top general’s advice and tightly control movement in the China Sea then the US will move its entire Pacific fleet to the area. The only concern the US has is total free movement in the waters of the world. If the Chinese threaten the Philippines militarily, they will move the matter (very quickly) to the United Nations.
    One can only look at the situation in Syria and see the USA is becoming more cautious in involving itself in conflicts around the world.

    If there were proven oil and gas resources of a large volume, the USA might “pull” a Iraq and intervene but, at this point, there are only calculated guesses of the exact potential of the resources..

    Lastly, lets touch on the hidden but very real problem: The United States is still smarting from the “kick-out” of American bases in the Philippines. In the eyes of Americans, the Philippines can never be trusted as partners willing to take sacrifices during a conflict. What made it worse was former President Arroyo removing troops from Iraq because of a hostage situation when so many American troops were dying each day. No, I believe in the end America will not commit to the Philippines unless it sees it as a direct strike on the USA.
    Of course, I qualify this as MHO.

    • Louie Hernandez says

      Hi John Adams – That is also the concern of many Filipinos. In case of armed attack by China to the Philippines, does the U.S. cannot immediately retalliate and instead will just report it to U.N. as stated in one the of the articles of Mutual Defense Treaty. If this is going to be, how long the U.N. would act on the matter. With very sofisticated war machines today, perhaps any war could be over before the U.N. can decide and make actions.
      “If there were proven oil and gas resources of a large volume, the USA might “pull” a Iraq and intervene but, at this point, there are only calculated guesses of the exact potential of the resources.”

      Would you mean the U.S. would only intervene if there’ll be sure wealth on the disputed islands? Curious mind just want to know.

      “In the eyes of Americans, the Philippines can never be trusted as partners willing to take sacrifices during a conflict”.

      If this is so, then perhaps some of the American maybe have short memory. They must have forgotten the Filipinos sacrifices in WW2. It was not even its own war, but given the loyalty of the Phils. to the U.S. they fought to death alongside American in this war. Some Filipino surviving war veterans never even get their promised compensation in their lifetime.

      Just my two cents only. Thanks for comment.

      • Paul Thompson says

        It was estimated that 70 thousand Filipinos served on active duty during WW II, at the end of the war more than 600,000 filed claims as veterans. It was the Pinoy that stopped the payments to the real heroes of the Philippines and the Philippine Government did nothing to solve the problem. As for China and the Philippines’ claim to the Spratly Islands, here are the other countries that also claim them, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan (Republic of China), and Vietnam. All except Brunei , they each occupy some of the islands. Let the fun at the U.N. begin

        • Louie Hernandez says

          Paul, When you pass by Philippine Veterans Affairs Office PVAO inside Camp Aguinaldo, you could see throngs of people lining up. You would wonder whether they were there following-up pensions, or for burial claims. April last year an office mate of mine claimed 10 thousand pesos for the burial of his veteran father. Three months later on July of the same year the PVAO office released 10 thousand U.S. dollars granted by U.S. government to each of some still living veteran claimants. Philippines, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei, all have overlapping claims on the Spratleys. Not an easy task for the U.N. indeed.

  16. says

    I have to agree with John Adams as I cannot see the US being involved in a territorial dispute over an area almost unoccupied for centuries which suddenly becomes a vital part of the Philippines. If it had been so vital then why was this group of islands not colonized and developed before now?
    I think to be honest if China wants to claim it they will, but if the Philippines were to broker an agreement it would be at a cost to China’s benifit.

  17. MARK JASON says

    US will serve only its best interest and is not really a reliable ally. They didn’t helped the Philippines reclaim Sabah (North Borneo) from Malaysia and China’s takeover of Mischief Reef in Spratly. They just turned blind eye on the event and just issued warning. They’re giving Pakistan billion of dollars in military aid but the country is known for keeping terrorist and extremist but the giving Philippines only $30M.

    The Naval Base was closed because it was releasing pollutants and environmental hazards. The Navy pumped 3.75 million gallons of untreated sewage each day into local fishing and swimming waters at Subic Bay, according to a 1992 report by what was then known as the General Accounting Office. And it drew up a rough bill for cleaning the hazardous pollution.

    Though they never tested the water or soil, the Air Force and the Navy estimated cleanup at each could cost up to $25 million — the average cost of handling the most polluted sites back in the United States, according to the GAO.

    This was followed by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo which caused additional damages to the Naval Bases. Thus giving the US Navy bigger damage expenses.

    The Philippine government is one of its greatest ally because it has supported the US in almost all campaigns it made. The US would not help Philippines because it has trillion dollars debt to China, suffering economically and would not gain support from its countrymen.

    • MARK JASON says

      The islands where included in the map during the time of Spanish control of Philippines. Scarborough Shoal is named Bajo Masinloc, other islets and Palawan up to Northern Borneo where owned by the Sultan of Sulu long before the Spanish era.

  18. Dave says

    While the good folks commenting here have an interest in what happens in the Philippines. they forget that to the rest of the US populous, the Philippines is of little or no interest. I am quite confident Pres George Bush would have stood in front of a Chinese takeover of the Philippines. The same can not be said for our current President. I think China is smart enough to recognize this new weak attitude, and are testing the waters. Do not be surprised when Mandarin Chinese becomes a replacement for Tagalog in the schools, and chinese troops march down Edsa in a display of “frienship” between a symbolic powerless remnant of the Philippine government and their new “protectors”.

        • Louie Hernandez says

          Hi Bob – I think the Philippines will depend the country with every worth of his life. Let’s not forget that even before the arrival of the U.S. the Philippines fought wars all by herself even at the disadvantage.

          • dans says


            yes filipino fought wars at disadvantage – that was a hundred years ago… but now?? the first thing filipinos will do? would be to get a passport, withdraw money from banks, catch a plane to US, UK or canada or someplace else and wait until the war is over.

            and those who are left behind?? will fight it with stick and stones and once the fight is over, those who left the country will comeback and will go to street yelling “We fought the war” and eventually will become a “hero” and a politician. lols..

        • Louie Hernandez says

          Hi Bob, But of course being an ally the Philippines would naturally seek it’s old ally. It’s written their treaty, right.

        • Louie Hernandez says

          Hi Bob – But of course it is the hope of many Filipinos that this islands dispute will be settled amicably because China is also a friend country. It’s just happen that they claim the lands that is very near to Philippine shore. Let’s just hope for the better resolution of this.

          Thanks Bob

          • Ricardo Sumilang says

            So is Las Malvinas, which is closer to Argentina’s shore than Britain’s shore. The British believed that Falkland Islands (Las Malvinas to the Argentinians) rightfully belonged to them, never mind that the islands are thousands of miles away from from Britain. The adage that “might makes right” as demonstrated by the Brits’ overwhelming military superiority in the Falklands War is apparently not lost on the PRC as they pursue their claim to Scarborough Shoal.

        • Louie Hernandez says

          Hi Bob – If I may add that this is just a personal opinion and those we see on the comment of most pinoys in yahoo forum. That’s why it prompted me out of curiosity what would be the sentiment of some expats here on the matter. Well it’s just an exchanges of opinion. hehehe. I guess, I might be doing just more happy thoughts living in the Philippines on my next post Bob. lol. Thanks.

  19. TD says

    Got to War with China, for a bit of unihabited land. Really. What are you smoking. I can appriciate the sentiment but I think we are asking the wrong question. I think the question should be, “What is the Philippine Government going to do to protect its people from outside forces”. Be it China, the USA, or any other nation. Are they going to stop with all the stealing and start building their country into what it could be. They have done such a poor job on everything internally for so long that most think thats how it should be. The rich at every level exploite and the poor for some reason, that I just cant figure out, don’t seem to mind in the least. Now the corrupt can start seeing their interest being challenged and they are too gready to change a darn thing. China doesnt need to do anything except what they are doing now. It will swallow the Philippines over time and no body will even notice . The sad part is the Filipinos may be better off for it, Rather than having to deal with how their leadership treats them and what they have now. Some time the truth hurts. But what would really hurt would be seeing things continue the way they are. PI use to be one of the more advanced Asian countries but that was so long ago.

    • Louie Hernandez says

      Hi TD – A bit of uninhabited land that happens to be within the sovereignty of the Philippines. I’m sure the present government is doing its best to protect its people. We were just curious to know the LiP’s followers’ sentiment on the matter if our ally and friend the U.S. would come in aid of it’s old ally P.I. if worse comes to worst. In fact there were reports of confirmation from top U.S. military official of its support to the Philippines. It is not in any way connected with what I’m smoking because I don’t smoke at all. I believed the sin of past government cannot be a justification to damn all the leaders of this land. As an ally country the Philippines naturally would seek the U.S. help according to mutual treaty, right. Given that ,I think the government and Filipinos will surely depend itself if need be with or without an external help. Thanks for comment.

    • Louie Hernandez says

      Hi Miss August – Would you be willing allow that to happen in the Philippines?
      hehehe, definitely most Filipinos would not allow that.

      • Miss August says

        Louie, it doesn’t matter if China invade the Philippines or not. China will be (maybe already is) an economic superpower. If you want to compete in their business world/economy, you might want to learn their language.

        As for me, I’m just a housewife, what do I know about politics, business and wars!?! Besides, learning another language is always a plus!

        I wonder what’s the population of Chinese-Filipino in the Philippines. And how many of them consider themselves Chinese first before Filipino. Hmmm, time to do a little research! :-)

        • dans says

          Miss august,

          hahaha how many Chinese-Filipino would consider themselves Chinese?? well, almost most of them, heck even the ones with just a slanted eyes but in no way a Chinese would consider themselves Chinese,

        • says

          Miss August, Actually a year ago my co-worker here accepted free lessons learning Mandarin offered by the Central Bank of the Philippines. He has the same reason as you why he wants to study the language. But unfortunately because of his busy schedule he didn’t finish the course.

          According to a survey Mandarin is the most widely use language in the world (I thought it’s English), so it’s really a plus factor learning the language.

          “I wonder what’s the population of Chinese-Filipino in the Philippines. And how many of them consider themselves Chinese first before Filipino. Hmmm, time to do a little research!”

          I might agree with Dans on this one, lol.

  20. Alan says

    First, the U.S. would never go to war w/ China over this shoal. Period. It’s not in the national interest of either country. We’ll find a way t work things out.
    Second, yes, the PI government was quick to have our bases closed in 1992…but the U.S. also had a few very good reasons to depart (high base rent and Pinatubo destroyed our bases). America still has some forces around the islands and China knows this. They’ll back off as their bark is bigger than their bite.

    • says

      Hi Allan, I’m leaning more to the “Pinatubo destroyed our bases”, than the “high rent of the bases”, as the reason to which the U.S. left its bases here. As I understand it during that time, the U.S. rent of their bases here in Philippines was one of lowest as compared to their other bases in other nation.

  21. dans says

    U.S will not go to war with china, simple fact, Uncle sam owes more than 1 trillion to china – and you wonder why there’s so much china made products in the states??.

    U.S has no interest in the philippines (economically or otherwise), except some americans who wants to marry an “exotic” filipinas. lols and i don’t think that is sufficient enough to send couple of battle ships. hahaha

    so yeah, i should start learning mandarin or fukien language.

  22. Paul Thompson says

    If any two countries went to war, would they pay the debt they owed to the other? By the way it’s trillions that are owed by the US to China, and China wants/needs the money paid to them.
    Also the US has not had any Battleship’s on active duty in over 30 years.
    China wants something, when it’s found out what it really is, a settlement will be reached. There will be no war or invasion of the Philippines by anyone, as negative world opinion would hurt business with China. And the Chinese really don’t want that in their growing Capitalist country.

    • dans says

      hi paul.

      “Also the US has not had any Battleship’s on active duty in over 30 years.”

      Exactly my point! hahaha,

      U.S would not even send a battleship which already belonged to a museum to the philippines.

      • Paul Thompson says

        In Philadelphia the USS Olympia is still tied up there, she was a battle ship that was part of the Great White Fleet and fought in the Spanish American war. We could send her?

  23. Don says

    China has invested a lot in the Philippines and the Aquino administration is working to get more aid/development money as well as investment in industry. So I don’t think the Philippines really wants war, but looking toward ASEAN to push for a settlement. Vietnam on the other hand probably will push back more forcefully.

    • says

      Hi Don – I agree with you the Philippines do not want war against China or any other country for that matter. China is a friend country also. It’s just that they are claiming Scarborough Shoal, which the Philippine government said is rightfully ours. So the government through diplomatic channel is protesting it. The government is putting all effort in a diplomatic way. Yes there are many Chinese investment here. Just recently there was a joint project of Phil and China that is completed and no less than Pres. Aquino attended its inauguration. You are right about Vietnam…

  24. John Miele says


    China is so often characterized by the media and politicians in simplistic, highly politicized terms that t is often very difficult to separate fact from fiction whenever the topic is brought up.

    180 degrees culturally different than the west in virtually every way, the Chinese think differently and the result is often that what you read is filtered through fear, racism, politics, and often deliberate misinformation that is put out by those with their own agendas, whether Chinese or Western.

    One thing that is virtually never mentioned is the fact that there are over 900 million Chinese peasants who have not shared the benefits of China’s economic prosperity. This is a huge problem for the Chinese government, and the peasantry is controlled in many ways, sometimes brutally, but oftentimes by giving those people a share. The government there wants stability, and foreign conflicts breed patriotic feelings in the people. Later this year in China there will be changes in leadership… Any Chinese leader will need to be seen as a strong leader.

    Additionally, through all of the talk about China “owning” the US, and so on, one thing that is also only rarely ever mentioned is the huge amounts of foreign investment in China, much of it coming from the US. Do you think Coca Cola views China as a threat? Absolutely not. They are the largest potential market in the world for their product. The number one selling car in China? Buick…With sales still growing. China is a bright spot in a sea of darkness on GM’s annual report. If you don’t believe me, then look it up (public information). That market in China creates thousands of US jobs. Unfortunately, what you read is often “losing jobs to China”, rather than focusing on the competitive advantages possessed by the West: innovation, quality, and productivity. What is reported is only half of the picture. I have worked in China, and I know the mentality there is one of “cheap”. Though quality has improved drastically over the last ten years, it is still far behind Japan, the US, Europe, or other developed countries.

    Much of the economic growth has come from the simple fact that the Chinese have shown the will to create that growth. An example is the new high-speed rail in China. Built in 5 years. In the US, 30 years still hasn’t gotten anything built. They had the will, and the US didn’t.

    As to defense, China is now feeling its way and wanting the rest of the world to recognize that it is an emerging superpower in its’ own right. I personally don’t believe that there will be any serious shooting war over Scarborough or the Spratleys. Why? Shooting is bad for business. Taiwan, Japan, Korea, the US, Germany, and Singapore have all invested billions in China. If shooting ever starts, that money supply, along with technical expertise, dries up. Additionally, though China is improving its’ military capability, mainly in huge numbers, much of what they field in battle is simply grossly out-classed by western weaponry. Is it a threat? Certainly. However, it is not as much of a threat as some would have the world believe.

    As to the Spratleys and Vietnam, one thing that is important to keep in mind is the fact that China has lost two wars with Vietnam in the last thirty years. As it applies to the Philippines, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

    So would the US help or intervene? I don’t believe so, unless a conflict spread into an all-out regional conflict involving Vietnam, Taiwan, and Malaysia. Bottom line is that it would take a conflict on that scale to seriously impact US interests.

    In any event, China is far too complex to describe in short sound bites, or simplistic statements. The fear I have is that the media can be twisted to show only a small part of the total picture.

    • Louie Hernandez says

      Hi John, You have a very broad knowledge of information of about any aspect of everything, be it business or culture of many nations (including that of Philippines). I learn a lot from you. I agree with you China is a lot different from the Western countries in many ways. Freedom of expression and freedom to information is very much controlled by the government in China. They filter all information coming and going out of their country. One example is the recent typhoon that hit China, wherein the media misled the people on the total number casualty in the disaster. Can you believe that Chinese media even reported that Philippines were the one encroaching into their lands. Censorship on the internet is another issue in China . You said government brutality. Who can forget the Tiananmen Massacre, wherein thousands of lives were obliterated. Not even the late dictator President Marcos in a parallel situation could not in his conscience kill people rallying against his administration in the famous EDSA revolution. But on hindsight, if Tiananmen did not happen, then perhaps they would have not arrived to what China is today –progressive country with booming economy and high living standards for its citizen. But what a prize they have to pay in order to progress.

      In your post here, it would appear that the dilemma of U.S. is how to balance their want for China to abide the accepted international rule of the game, but not disappoint its leadership to the point wherein their huge amout of investment in China would be put in jeopardy? China is the fastest growing economy in the world. And with a population equals to about 12 separate countries, it has the biggest bargaining chips in her hand.

      At present and near future, no nation in the world can be at par with U.S. in terms military capability and stocks of most sofisticated weaponry. As to the disputed islands in spratleys. You are right China might not want to go in a war because it’s bad for business. In one yahoo news China downplays going to war to depend the disputed spratleys in South China Sea. I hope this would signal a peaceful resolution of the dispute because in the first place it has always been the position of the Philippines to settle it in diplomacy. But as in your words media there can twisted facts, perhaps to appear they were the ones being bullied by other countries. The media there may not be expected to report the real state of the situation, so we can never be sure.

  25. Aden says


    I wonder if this all hit the fan.
    What would happen to our family here. Say bombings started flying everywhere and we wanted to return home then what and how would the British Embassy (Im a brit) help us get our wives out. Dont tell me they would make us apply for a visa?

  26. says

    I look at Israel and come to the conclusion that what happens with the Scarborough area over the next 4 years will depend on whether Romney or Obama takes the Presidency in November. If Romney takes it, I believe he’d be far more inclined to honor the pact we have with the Philippines. If Obama gets it, he will do as he’s done with our long-standing ally, the Israelis, and leave them hanging.

    I’m just going on Obama’s standing record, he has failed or flubbed every opportunity to stand by Israel. Why could we count on him to do any better for the Philippines? No reason at all.

    • says

      Hi Henry V – If that is the case, then perhaps the Fil-Am community in the U.S. can take this into consideration before they decide whom to vote.

  27. Ron says

    I have one more thought on this topic. If the islands ownership is in dispute that would basically make any treaty to defend the Philippines somewhat questionable. If they attacked Manila-perhaps. If the Chinese can make a legal claim to the islands then a treaty to defend the Philippines is not in play. Its somewhat like if we had a treaty to help defend England and they again go to war over the Falkland Islands. We did not and would not intervene. I also read some interesting comments from other folks here. The Philippines does have long standing ties to the U.S. but it has not acted much like a friend over the past few decades.

  28. Gary M says

    Louie, welcome aboard and I for one enjoyed your thought provoking post and the many replies. This is a very relevant current topic and deserves some thought and consideration even though it is controversial. I would encourage you to not shy away from these current issues. I too have been keeping a sharp eye out on the ongoing dispute between the Philippines and China. Like others on this board, I’m an ole WESTPAC Sailor who spent many a watch navigating in and around the South China Sea over the last thirty years retiring within the last six years. My opinion is with the Philippines being an archipelagic nation; it MUST have a Navy and Coast Guard capable of patrolling and securing its territorial waters; enforcing its exclusive economic zones to regulate and protect the marine resources contained within; and the ability to defend itself. Because the Philippines have such a weak Navy, any nation can easily encroach into the Philippine EEZ and exploit this weakness with little fear of retribution. From what I can tell, the Philippine government really has few options themselves besides continuing to pursue diplomatic avenues which appear to have fallen on deaf Chinese ears. This weakness enables China to continue to encroach and poach on what should be Philippine regulated EEZ. Oh by the way, the U.S. is not a signatory of the UNCLOS and from my perspective won’t be any time soon, but we do state we abides by it.

    I do believe that because of the recent U.S. shift in strategic emphasis to the Pacific region, bodes well for the Philippines. As our Marines seek new basing options out of Okinawa, it would not surprise me to see “deployed” Marines rotating through the Philippines much like what will soon be occurring near Darwin Australia. The Philippines have asked for more naval training events and this should lead to more ship, submarines and aircraft visits. The former US bases were even offered to be used by these rotation forces which will be interesting to observe if this actually gains traction or not.

    So will the US come to the aid of the Philippines over these disputed territories? In my opinion, only if the strategic sea lanes in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea are threatened to be closed or regulated by China. My understanding is, it is the US position for the Philippine government to work out the territorial disputes peacefully either in conjunction with the other Asian countries with territorial disputes with China or on a one to one basis with the Chinese. The Philippines is ideally positioned geographically to be able to offer a foothold (even on a rotational basis) for US military forces to counter Chinese expansionism and dominance in the region. How the Philippine government plays this card is up to them.

    • Louie Hernandez says

      Thanks for the welcome. I agree with you that the Philippines really need a reliable navy and coastguard. The capability of our navy and coastguard is hampered because of lack of the necessary resources like fast patrol boats and armed sea vessels to go after poachers and other lawless groups that is within our 200 EEZ. I think the navy and coastguard personnel are competent, but they don’t have the tools to effectively guard our wide encompassing territorial waters. I remember during the height of numerous kidnapping orchestrated by Abu Sayyaf in the country in the 90s, our pursuing coastguard cannot caught up with the bandits because they were using slow and dilapidated government issued boats, while the Abus were using fast double engine speed boats. Perhaps the Philippine navy and coastguard can order jet propulsion engine John’s company is selling. Recently in the news, it says the Philippines will receive 14 Patrol boats from Japan.

      The U.S. strategic shift to Asia-Pacific Region is a welcome development. It would benefit the Philippines if there’ll be more naval training exercises much like the Balikatan of Phiiippines and the U.S. Just recently the Philippine Senate approved the Visiting Forces Agreement between Australia and Philippines. Soon Australian military will also be here for its Balikatan exercises with their Filipino counterpart.

      As I understand it is the position of the Philippines too to settle the dispute peacefully with ASEAN nation and China. In the recent meeting of ASEAN, the host country Cambodia, an ally of China, was able to block the joint statement that was to be made by the Association. Philippines and other ASEAN members seek to have the approval of code of conduct they will present to China. If I’m not mistaken this code of conduct is also endorse by the U.S. I think the Philippines would be open for extended U.S. Philippines mutual cooperation.

  29. PalawanBob says

    In my case (I live on Palawan), I will choose to flee in case of invasion by China.
    I will never ever want to live under the boots of a communist country.
    I am already fully prepared to do it.
    Hopefully, this issue will be clear in 2 to 3 years.
    If it drags past mid 2015, I’ll be moving out of Philippines!
    Think what you want but this has nothing to do with oil riches of the region, absolutely nothing!

    • says

      Hi PalawanBob – Although the seeming consensus here is that there’ll be no immediate shooting war and others rule out its possibility, perhaps it won’t hurt to have an exit plan in case the need for it arises. The threat of communism in present times isn’t as fearful as before. The disintegration of Soviet Union greatly diminished communism’s appeal.

  30. Mark says

    Last month the senate armed services committee recommended the a full 2/3 of Americas naval forces be relocated to the Philippines, Australia, and Vietnam. This was the first meeting specifically about the Philippines in many years. A lot of Western money is going into RP and the oil and nat gas in the south China Sea will be protected.

    • says

      Hi Mark – That would be a good development for the P.I. The U.S. strategic shift aims to reposition some of its naval fleet to the Pacific and expand military exercises and port visits.

  31. says

    Do we have America’s support? Yes of course. But are they going to war against China in the event that it happens? I think not.


    1. USA has been having economic problems of its own. A major war against China which is a big country will be hurting them economically.

    2. If it’s against small rebel groups, the U.S. are more than willing to help because this is not costly and is very limited.

    But why did USA shift its navy to south east asian waters?


    1. It’s just want to show to the world that they are still a word power.
    2. It has to be to protect its maritime interest in the region.
    3. Just in case a war broke out against Nokor or China, it has the upperhand by quickly mobilizing its miltary hardware.

    • says

      As far as I know, the U.S. is still a military superpower, and does not need to show the world that it is still a “world power” by shifting the U.S. Navy to southeast asian waters, as you say. The U.S. does need to project military power in the Southeast Asia region, but to my knowledge, the U.S. is still looking to reestablish military bases in Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines as a counterweight to any possible threat of a militarily rising China there, not to mention the U.S. Seventh Fleet that has been operating in the East Asia region since the end of the Korean war. The resumption of American military presence in Southeast Asia as part of the overall Asian strategy not only complements the U.S. Seventh Fleet in the South China Sea, but it also seeks to fill the power vacuum created when the former Soviet Pacific Fleet left Cam Ranh Bay at the end of the Cold War before China fills it.

  32. says

    china is the master of the universe at present because of their simultaneous and contineous growing economy , hoping and praying that the united nation solve this
    problem in diplomatic way. and may the holy spirit of our almighty God be in one
    whatever race we have and whatever religous we has.

  33. John says

    I don’t think USA will help Philippines when it comes to aiding military force. IMHO, the Balikatan is just a Moro-Moro of USA to show Filipinos that they will help us in case this issue will continue to a war. Lets face the reality, US military bases were kicked out in PH for 2 decades now, US mentioned that their ‘most important ally’ in Asia is Japan (their enemy in Ww2) and not PH (their ally even before Ww2), they have a major trade with China compared to PH, even Americans build more business in China than in PH, and economy wise China is more useful than PH for USA. I am not a fan of president Aquino but I think he made the right decision to resolve this issue in a diplomatic way than going eye to eye with China because we don’t have the military force to match china’s and UsA won’t help us. I wish Marcos is still alive because we won’t be in this situation like when he used to be our president.

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