Did the VFA review trigger the US terror threat advisory?
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2010-11-09
Many things don’t fit in the terrorism picture that the US had painted for our country and was subsequently picked up by the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and France. It’s amazing how our media can easily swallow any information that is released by the US and its other partners. How come nobody in our media noticed the state of disconnect of the dots in the US-initiated terror picture?

The Philippines was nowhere in the equation when they discovered bomb ingredients in a Yemeni port which were supposedly headed for Western targets. Al Qaeda was the tagged usual suspect. Filipinos are not the targets of Al Qaeda. The US, UK and all those other nations involved in the occupation of Afghanistan are the Al Qaeda targets.

The Filipino is an insignificant small fry insofar as Al Qaeda is concerned. To a terrorist, a small fry will entail the same high risk but will deliver a low return on investment. An insignificant dot in the Pacific like our country is not an attractive target to groups like Al Qaeda. Terror attacks are usually staged in venues that generate maximum global news impact such as Tel Aviv, New York, London, Madrid, Paris and so forth.

Hey! Those terrorists are not stupid. The US and its allies, with all their spy satellites in orbit and other high tech gadgetry, have not nailed Osama Bin Laden for nearly a decade after 9/11 and that says a lot about how smart the terrorists are.

On top of all these points that challenge the veracity of the US initiated terror advisory, our media hardly gave weight to the point raised by our intelligence community that they’ve not detected any real threat. Foreign terrorists cannot succeed here without the assistance of the local terror groups and Lt. General Benjamin Dolorfino of the Mindanao Command doubts if groups like the Abu Sayyaf can still operate at this time when they’re on the run.

Our media failed to undertake the most basic tasks of journalism which are to detect and then debunk unfounded assertions. Our media tend to doubt the explanations of our own government but are inclined to believe any tall tale that the US offers us. They’re idiotically unmindful of the fact that the US has a big agenda in Mindanao and could be manipulating us with manufactured reports in order to promote their interest.

When the Palace Deputy Spokesperson stated that “We’d like to believe that there is no connection between the travel advisories and the review of the VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement)” — it did not mean that our top officials are discounting that possibility. Three top administration officials had confirmed to your Chair Wrecker their suspicion that the VFA review triggered the US terror threat advisory.

A previous attempt to push for a VFA renegotiation produced a similar “uncomfortable” consequence. When Senator Miriam D. Santiago pushed on September 23, 2009 for Senate Resolution 1356, calling for a VFA renegotiation and its possible termination, it marked a serious attempt to finally address the VFA controversy.

Then, from out of the blue, there was that expose of the California properties which allegedly belonged to sons Dado and Mikey of Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA). After that expose, the VFA renegotiation was never heard of again. Stranger coincidences have happened when superpowers want to condition weak nations like us to tow their line.

An honest to goodness VFA review, as what President Noynoy Aquino ordered, will necessarily tackle these three thorny issues:

1. The sovereignty issue where the Philippine Senate is made to approve the VFA but to the Americans it is a mere executive agreement.

2. The custody of erring US servicemen and other personnel when they commit crimes here.

3. The need to clarify and limit the scope and duration of VFA operations in our country as well as the number of US troops that are allowed to stay and for how long they should be allowed to stay.

This will be most unpalatable for the US — especially at this time when there is the developing conflict between them and China. The US need for the VFA and that aborted MOA-AD (Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain) with the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) had actually become more urgent. Sans a military capability in Mindanao, the US cannot obtain an offensive posture if hostilities break out with China.

Other than the military consideration, the US is keen on partaking in the rich energy resources in the South China Sea. That’s why the US has been trying to invent their role as a mediator in the conflicting claims of several Asian nations to the rich energy resources of the South China Sea. Expect this mediator to seek equal consuming partner status.

Owing to our strategic location and our being a claimant to the energy resources in the South China Sea, we Filipinos are placed right in the middle of this developing conflict between the US and China.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is really the biggest terrorist of them all?

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Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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