Philippines should ask US help on Scarborough standoff

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A view of Chinese surveillance ships in a standoff with a Philippine warship on the Scarborough Shoal after eight Chinese fishing boats were caught poaching in the disputed territory. The photo was presented by Vice Admiral Alexander Pama, flag officer-in-command, during a press briefing Wednesday at the Department of Foreign Affairs. PHILIPPINE NAVY HANDOUT

MANILA, Philippines—A senator on Wednesday said the Philippines should seek the help of the United States and other allies if a tense standoff with China in the Scarborough Shoal escalates, saying the country has no military capability to assert its sovereignty.

“This is a wake up call. Now is the time to test our regional alliances. We should now ask the US what we should do now that China is asking us to leave (the disputed waters),” Senator Gregorio Honasan said in an interview over the phone.

“Can we now invoke the Mutual Defense Treaty or other treaties?” the former  colonel said.

“We should now ask the US: What do you suggest we do? Let’s ask the US, do you want us to give this up already para hindi na rin kayo makadaan?” Honasan asked.

Without the support of the US and other allied countries, Honasan said the Philippines should not engage in a military confrontation with China.

“Dahan-dahan tayo diyan baka iyong kaisa-isa nating barko na Gregorio del Pilar, baka in one swoop maubos,” the senator said in response to Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario’s statement that the Philippines is ready to defend its sovereignty if challenged by China.

“We can’t risk a military confrontation there. We can’t gamble all our or part of our naval assets in one motion. I-exhaust natin itong diplomatic means through our so-called our regional alliances.”

“It’s very difficult to enforce our sovereign will. How do you that against China? Yung US nga nagdadahan-dahan sa China, tayo pa?” Honasan further asked.

The Philippines, he said, has no other option but to seek the help of the US and other allied nations

“Our message is clear but we don’t seem to have a capability to back it up. So all we can do now is buy time, file diplomatic protest, elevate it to the international communities specially our so-called allies,” said the senator.

“Kapag isinubo natin (ang ating military) e di ubos ang military natin against China,” he further said.

Unlike Honasan, however, Senator Panfilo Lacson saw no need for the Philippines to seek the help of the US, saying the issue could still be addressed through diplomatic measures.

“Diplomatically mukhang hindi advisable na tatakbo tayo sa US, at least on an official or formal notice,” said Lacson, chairman of the Senate committee on national defense.

Lacson said China was only “posturing” when it ordered the Philippines to withdraw its warship in the disputed island.

“Siyempre magpo-project sila ng position of strength so maximum kaagad ang demand nila. That’s the art of negotiation. Talagang malakas sila. But to bully us like what they’re doing , e depende na sa atin iyon kung magpapa-bully tayo.

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  • Patricio Licerio

    Corruption will always be responsible for the Philippines inadequacy, if we were able to modernize our military when it was first conceive, I think during the Ramos Administration, then we should have something to defend our territory with.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Julian-May-Mayour/100003476580338 Julian May Mayour

    To the so called Magnificent 12, the senators who oust the US bases! Is there any comment regarding the standoff! I still didn’t hear nor read it. They should have think before that if you remove the US we should have the capability to defend our nation but I think they were already bought by the Chinese.  We cannot rely on US, now that their economy are also dependent on China. We ourselves will be the one to resolve it but not by bullying but a right strategy. Let’s hope this is an opening eye to those politicians that we have to properly equipped our AFP and remove the corruptions and greediness.

    • jgl414567

      That’s what we get for being the most corrupt country in the world it made poor and unable to develop and modernize our armed forces. We, the citizens are also answerable not only our corrupt politicians because we allow them to do it to us especially during elections where we sell our votes!!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XYPFIGTBA5LXMX2UBLCQVG5AQE Martin

         100% correct….we always vote for family names and not the most competent to lead the nation.  Best example is Aquino…a do nothing Senator made it to the Presidency.   Shame on us for voting him in!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/U5XZ7DG3V4IM5BX3ZX5GTPDTU4 cane-juice

    If a military confrontation between China and the Philippines ever happens,
    it is quite clear that China has more to lose.

    Backing down now, may be as well that we give up all claims to the Scarborough Shoal.

  • jgl414567

    Honasan is a coward and even has no military game magaling lang yan mag coup de etat at magdakdak. Walang silbing senador!!

    • Smollenks

       hindi naman pagiging coward ung pinakita niya, it’s the reality. wala talga tayo magagawa, kaya kailangan natin ng kakampi. Pinaglalaban natin ung kasarinlan natin, oo, pero ang side pa din ng mga officials natin ay public welfare. bago tayo lumaban dapat alam nating may laban tayo.kaya mo ba magbuwis ng buhay? siguro oo, pero kaya  mo ba ibigay pati buhay ng kamaganak mo? magulang mo? or anak mo? ok kaba na habang lumalaki ung mga anak mo masasaksihan nila ay gyera? mga patayan? mga nirarape ung mga babae? let’s face it, wala talga tayo laban. kahit na nandyan ang u.s 100 percent sigurado kaba na tutulong sila? remember, nag ka recession ang U.S, and U.S owed China trillions of dollars para makabawi sila. ngaun paangat palang sila. hindi ibig sabihin na umiiwas ka sa gulo eh ibig sbhn duwag kana. Dapat ang gawin natin mag modernized muna tayo ng mga pang gyera natin. Tignan mo nga Japan, my U.S base sila. kasi alam nila na kahit advanced na sila di pa din nila afford sumabak sa gyera ng walang kakampi.

      kung gusto niyo malaman ung estimates military strengths ng mga bansa. punt kayo dito : http://www.globalfirepower.com

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XYPFIGTBA5LXMX2UBLCQVG5AQE Martin

    NO NO NO….we should stand up and discuss this issue with China face-to-face in a diplomatic way. Stand up for our own country. China will respect us all the more for standing up to them.  This will never get to a war…..just negotiate in good faith!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W7KL7PIACPEHNTZ2LYJD7XUBZA bogs

    THAT IS  THE REALITY … HINDI NAMAN MATATAWAG NA KARUWAGAN YONG SINABI NI HONASAN …. TAMA  YONG SOHESTYON NIYA NA KAILANGAN MALAMAN NATIN ANG TOTOONG POSISYON NG …. U.S. ….. SA ISSUE NA YAN NGAYON …. AND THEN PREPARED FOR THE WORST …. HINDI NATIN ALAM ANG SUSUNOD NA MANGYAYARI …. KUNG TALAGANG WALA TAYONG MAASAHAN SA …U.S. …. THEN ANO PA BA ANG GAGAWIN NATIN …. PAG INUNAHAN NA TAYO NG PUTOK … ALANGAN NAMANG HINDI TAYO RERESBAK …. MAS MASARAP ANG MAMATAY NG LUMALABAN …. KAYSA … MAG PAPAPATAY KA NA LANG NA WALANG KAHIT KUNTING LABAN MAN LANG …. wala naman tayong magagawa kapag inunahan na tayo … kundi ang ipag tanggol ang sarili natin …. kung hindi natin kaya sa harapan eh di … daanin natin sa HIT AND RUN …. TAKOT KAYO SA …BILYONG POPULATION NG CHINA …. BAKIT MAKAKARATING BA LAHAT YAN SA LUPA NATIN ….YONG KANILANG …  BABAE, BATA, MATANDA, MAY SAKIT …  … LALABAN BA YAN …. ISIPIN NYO NA LANG …. SAMANTALANG … 92 MILYON LANG TAYO …. PERO SOLIDO TAYO SA SARILI NATING LUPA …..

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W7KL7PIACPEHNTZ2LYJD7XUBZA bogs

    ITO ANG TANDAAN NINYO …. KAPAG NAG UMPISA NA ANG PUTUKAN SA PAGITAN NG CHINA AT PILIPINAS … SA TINGIN BA NINYO EH …. TITINGIN NA LANG ANG IBANG BANSA … SIGURADONG  KIKILOS ANG MGA YAN …LALO NA ANG U.N. …. KUNG HINDI MAN SILA GIGITNA …. SIGURADONG UUPAKAN NILA ANG CHINA … DAHIL MARAMING BANSA ANG GALIT SA CHINA …. MARK MY WORDS …. YAN ANG MANGYAYARI.

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