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Lacson: China, US should have balance of power in Philippine policies

By: - Reporter / @CMarquezINQ
/ 04:40 PM March 02, 2019
Lacson says China, US should have balance of power in Philippines

Sen. Panfilo Lacson. (File photo by RICHARD A. REYES / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — There should be a maintained balance of power between China and United States (US) in the Philippines’ foreign policy, Senator Panfilo Lacson said on Saturday.

“Ang importante ay balance of power. Siyempre mangunguna pa rin ang national interest,” Lacson told local radio station DWIZ when asked about his opinion on foreign policy in the Philippines.

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(What is important is balance of power. Of course, national interest still comes first.)

“‘Pagka hindi balansado ang power na maiimpluwensya sa Pilipinas, may problema tayo. Kung palalakasin natin ang power at dinisregard natin yung isang power kasi let’s face it dalawa ang superpowers [ang] China at US, militarily, economically. Sila talaga yung tumatayong superpower,” the senator said.

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(If there is no balance in the power that influences the Philippines, we are going to have a problem there. If we would strengthen the power and disregard the other, because let’s face it there are two superpowers–China and US–militarily and economically. They are really standing out as the superpowers.)

The senator statement came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s assurance that US is committed that the South China Sea will remain open to all kinds of navigation and that “China does not pose a threat” of closing the disputed sea lanes.

READ: Pompeo: US to make sure China can’t blockade South China Sea

Lacson pointed out that the Philippines may be weak on military and economic powers but it must not focus too much with its friendly relations with China.

“Tayo, napaka-liit natin. Napakahina natin. So kailangan yung foreign policy natin geared towards maintaining balance of power,” he said.

(We are but small. Somewhat weak. So we need a foreign policy that is geared toward mantaining balance of power.)

“So while nakikipagkaibigan tayo sa China wag tayo lumayo sa America at while nakikipagalyansa tayo sa America ‘wag tayo laging sa province of China,” he added.

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(So while we are befriending China, let’s not veer away from America and while we allied with America, let’s not be as the province of China.)

But Lacson noted that America is also protecting their security and economic interest and that the Philippines is not their “primordial concern.”

“Alam din naman natin na yung America kaya sila nagsasalita at nagbibigay ng assurance na ganun pinoprotektahan din nila yung kanilang seguridad, at economic interest and security,” Lacson said.

(We all know that America, on why they are saying and giving assurance, they also wanting to protect their own security and economic interest.)

“Hindi talaga ito yung primordial concern —  yung interest ng Pilipinas. Siyempre, sila pa rin ang national interest —  ang Estados Unidos,” he added.

(This is not the promirdial concern–the interest of the Philippines. Of course, they are the national interest–the US.)

Lacson also noted that Duterte’s friendly relation to China will overpower US’ assurance on protecting the South China Sea.

“Naka-tingin tayo sa West pero yung Presidente ngayon iba. Ang kanyang leaning papuntang China. Yun ang makakaimpluwensya kung ano magiging action natin na no matter how reassuring na binitiwang salita ng Department of Secretary, tayo pa rin naman ang masusunod,” Lacson said.

(We are looking at the West but the President now is looking at a different direction. His leaning is toward China. That will influence what actions we are going to make no matter how reassuring the Department of Secretary is saying, in the end we are still should the followed.)  /jpv

READ: US vows PH defense vs attack in South China Sea

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