MANILA, Philippines — Have we no shame?
Muntinlupa Representative Rodolfo Biazon on Wednesday cautioned the Aquino administration against pulling out Filipino peacekeeping troops as a result of escalating violence in the Golan Heights, a strategic ceasefire zone between Israel and Syria.
Biazon, chairman of the House committee on national defense, insisted that the Filipino contingent to the United Nations peacekeeping force could not quit simply because of the danger to the troops.
“If that would be the reason, we would be the laughingstock (of the international community),” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in Flipino. “I oppose the withdrawal of troops.”
“Danger should not be made a reason to turn back on our commitment to the UN,” he added, noting that Filipino soldiers were well aware of the risks prior to their deployment.
Biazon, a former Armed Forces chief of staff, was reacting to calls for a pullout after a Filipino peacekeeper was wounded amid clashes between the Syrian rebels and the military.
He said a pullout would not speak well of Filipino soldiers, especially since the UN peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights was once headed by a Filipino in retired Major General Natalio Ecarma III.
“A pullout would affect the honor of our country and our soldiers,” he said.
Biazon said such a move might also affect the Philippine government’s effort to get the UN on board in its territorial sea dispute with China.
“We should believe in the institution of the UN in resolving this conflict,” he said.