At a time when we have to exaggerate the image of Philippine security under the Mutual Defense Treaty with the greatest military power in the history of world, at a time when China is pressing to annex territory a thousand miles away from it but within spitting distance of Zambales, Miriam Santiago and Walden Bello have filed a resolution to end the Visiting Forces Agreement with the US. If it passes, China will know nothing stands between what it wants and what will naturally give away.
The VFA was done to reconcile the constitutional ban on permanent US military bases in the Philippines with the necessity to maintain that presence, even if random and sporadic, as the only guarantee of Philippine sovereignty.
Miriam says those random and sporadic visits have been so recurrent and so frequent as to constitute a virtual permanent presence. Hardly, but that virtuality is precisely what we seek.
We still want to impress on our enemies that while we have no more US land bases promising instant response, we have something almost if not quite as good near instant US response to any attack on Philippine sovereignty. In short, the VFA effected a change of ordnance platform from terrestrial to naval with the same security maintained if a little delayed.
While it might be more tempting to attack the Philippines without instant US response, say in 5 minutes, It will still give pause to the enemy that US response may come half an hour later. But come it will well before the enemy can raise his flag over our land and shout banzai. Comparing what enemies can throw at the Philippines with what the US can throw back at our common enemies not at once but soon after, I think the aim of deterrence without violating the constitutional ban is achieved.
But if you extend that ban on a permanent US presence on land to any US presence in Philippine territory for any length of time, then what you have is an invitation to foreign occupation as in the time of Japan.
I don't know about you, but I would rather get human waste from US navy ships dumped by a Filipino contractor in Subic Bay than have the crap bombed out of us by a foreign invader.
I don't know about you, but I want a better future for my people other than as slave labor for a foreign power. If we must belong to an empire, let it be the empire of liberty of the United States of America.
Good night and good luck.