Former National Security Adviser and former Congressman Roilo Golez responded to Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay saying that the Philippines will not “allow” bullying from China or any other country or agree to dealing with other countries that only offer a carrot and stick policy.
“Let us start by telling China to get out of our Exclusive Economic Zone and get out of Mischief Reef and Scarborough Shoal and tell China to respect the ruling of the Arbitral Tribunal,” Golez said in his Facebook post.
This is in response to Yasay’s statement about America failing the Philippines. It is also in the same statement where he said: “We will never allow China or any other nation to bully us or deal with Philippine interests under another carrot and stick policy.”
Some of the commenters on Golez’s post agreed with him, citing that China is even currently bullying the Philippines by shooing away the Filipino fishermen who tried to venture to the Scarborough Shoal.
Others pointed out that President Rodrigo Duterte and Yasay seem to be more tamed when it comes to making statements concerning China compared to their remarks about the United States. They even implied that Duterte is “scared” of China.
In the comment section, Golez also said that the Philippines should consider several things before switching alliances.
“Right now we are in the US orbit in the superpower competition between the US and China.
Any thought of switching sides should consider the following:
The US has mutual defense treaties with Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain.
GB is not an Indo Pacific power but it is part of a Five Powers Defense Arrangement military pact with Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. This is an active pact. In our fact, this month the five powers will have 3-week military exercise in the South China Sea designed to send a message to China.
GB can influence Malaysia and Singapore. Singapore already hosts ships of the US Navy which looks at the Malacca Strait as a vital choke point.
Vietnam is drifting towards the US and looks at China as its perennial enemy for centuries. They had a land war in 1979. China grabbed the Paracels from Vietnam in the 70s. The two had a naval skirmish in the Spratlys in 1988 where 3 Vietnamese ships were sunk and around 70 Vietnamese sailors were killed. Just now, Vietnam is hosting two US destroyers in Cam Rahn Bay which the US is looking at as a possible base.
Indonesia looks at China as an intruder in their Natuna Sea. Indonesia sent a delegation to the US requesting for assistance in upgrading their naval base facing the South China Sea.
India is also a player gravitating towards the US. India and China have a long history of bitter conflict. It is working on joint development for oil with Vietnam and has an annual naval exercise (Malabar) with the US and Japan.
We presently belong to the US orbit consisting of America’s treat allies Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Add to that powerful Great Britain, considered the strongest ally of the US. Singapore is part of the US orbit and Malaysia can be influenced by GB. India is part of this and cannot be expected to help China.
With China are North Korea, Cambodia and Laos. Do we really want to break away from the US and join this group?”