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Do Filipinos Want America on Their Side or Not?

Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pembertoniven the Filipino penchant for "dramatics," not to mention the circus atmosphere that inevitably encompasses any event of even minor significance, one can hardly blame American government officials for refusing to hand over US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton over to Philippine authorities. The intriguing question in all this however is why some Filipinos are so insistent on having custody over the accused. The Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between both countries clearly states that "The custody of any United States personnel over whom the Philippines is to exercise jurisdiction shall immediately reside with United States military authorities, if they so request, from the commission of the offense until completion of all judicial proceedings." U.S. officials have acted quite appropriately from the very start. However a Filipino culture of mistrust, coupled with the desire to show Americans "who's boss" have more than a few Pinoys demanding Pemberton be turned over to Philippine authorities and placed in a Philippine jail cell.

Unfortunately, Filipinos are about to blow-off their big toe as they shoot themselves in the foot—yet again, should they insist on pursuing that pointless demand. The reason is because despite the Filipino's desire to view this case in isolation, no one else is viewing it that way. It is part of a continuum with China on one end and the U.S. on the other. And if the Philippines continues to insist that the accused be turned over to them, they are in effect telling the U.S. we don't trust you! And America's response would be "if you don't trust us, then why should we put our troops in harms way to defend you against China?"

December 15, 2014 came and went and China did nothing except thumb its nose at the Philippines. Demonstrators in front of the US embassy, Manila,  march against the Visiting Forces Agreement VFA. Photo by Francis R. Malasig/EPThat date was the deadline the United Nations arbitral tribunal gave China to submit its response to the case filed against it by the Philippines. China did not respond because it likely has little respect for the Filipinos—just as Filipinos in past decades had little respect for the Chinese. In the final analysis however, it is what Filipinos will hand down to future generations that should matter to them. Will they bequeath  a carved-up archipelago? Or will we give tomorrow's Filipinos a complete country, including its shoals, reefs, banks, islands, and all the mineral resources that lie underneath them.

If Filipinos choose the latter, than they need as many nations as possible on their side. And with its top-notch military, America is the 500-pound gorilla that every country wishes it had on its side. So it is not too far-fetched to state that how Pinoys handle the Pemberton case today could well determine what any future Philippines might actually look like. Published 12/19/2014
 


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Comments from Our  Readers
(Topic: Do Filipinos Want America on Their Side or Not?)

Name: HMS
City/State/Country: USA
IP Address: 74.77.36.177

Comments

This is another case where the Filipinos are baring their teeth for all the wrong reasons. As long as a fair trial is conducted what difference does it make who has custody of the accused? Amor Propio? Is that more important to the Filipinos than defending its land against the intruding Chinese? And who are these noisy people demonstrating against the USA & the Treaty and burning all sorts of effigies? COMMUNISTS! They seem many because they are so noisy. And they are the ones the media show to the world.


Name: HMSomeone
City/State/Country: USA
IP Address: 74.77.36.177

Comments

The Love-Hate relationship between the PHL & the USA continues. Filipinos, for some reason hold the USA to strict standards than other countries. They are more sensitive of Americans which they would criticize for the flimsiest of reasons. Filipinos, like recalcitrant children do not want to admit their dependence on America. Yet when disaster strikes there's no one more willing to help than the USA. This whole thing was the result of a prostitution transaction gone wrong. If the accused were not an American soldier this case would not even make it to the front page. Is it worth breaking a Treaty on account of a case like this?


Name: roger cadub
City/State/Country: new, jersey
IP Address: 73.193.153.218

Comments

Mga kabayan mas kampihan pa ninyo ang bakla na nanloko sa kano, yong mga bakla na yan ay pangkat ng manloloko tulisan sa mga sailor na mga lasing na. Kaya yan talaga ang mapapala nila. Sayang ang tulong ng mga kano kong ayaw na ninyo.


Philippine NewsLink reserves the right to select and edit comments for publication.

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