From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jul 18): US entry feared when Subic is military base
The Department of National Defense (DND) stood by its decision to use Subic Bay as a military base, citing its strategic location in the disputed West Philippine Sea as well as its ideal airport.
While Subic was once one of the biggest US naval facilities in the world, it was never home to the Philippine military. The US naval base was shut after the Philippine Senate terminated the US bases agreement.
Objections have been raised that once Subic Bay becomes a military base, the US Navy will have unimpeded access under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.
But DND spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez said the plan to reuse the port as a military base was mentioned in 2013 as part of the military’s modernization capability upgrade.
“Subic is really one of the most suited for the increased capability of our Philippine Air Force. There is no question about it,” Galvez said, referring to Subic Bay’s former airstrip, which is now an airport.
Officials have said the Philippines plans to station new fighter jets and two frigates at Subic Bay by next year. It will be the first time the former military installation will be used as a military base in 23 years.
The DND said it was surprised the issue was being rehashed, saying there was nothing new about it. It added that it would be more expensive to construct a new military base.
“It’s really an ideal airport. It’s one of those airports where jets can really land,” Galvez said.
He added that Subic’s location was very strategic to the West Philippine Sea, where the Philippines has a territorial dispute with China and several other countries.
“Its location is very strategic,’’ Galvez said. ‘’If we need to be in the West Philippine Sea, Subic Bay’s already there. The port is also a deep water port which can accommodate our new ships.”
Galvez said the West Philippine Sea factor was considered in the decision to reuse the old base.
“Those are obvious factors. These were discussed before but I was surprised because it seems the issue is being rehashed or sensationalized. But this has been discussed since 2013,” Galvez said.
He added that the military was identifying limited and specific areas in Subic Bay to be used as military facilities.
He said a memorandum of agreement was in the works to identify these areas.
Galvez also said it was possible that the to be procured under the military’s modernization program might be rotated at the Subic Bay facility and other military installations.
Also Friday, the new US commander of the Pacific Fleet assured allies that American forces were well-equipped and ready to respond to any contingency in the South China Sea, where long-seething territorial disputes have set off widespread uncertainties.
Adm. Scott Swift, who assumed command of the Pacific Fleet in May, said the US Navy might deploy more than the four littoral combat ships it had committed to the region.
Swift also disclosed that he was “very interested” in expanding annual combat the US Navy holds with each of several allies into a multinational drill, possibly including Japan.
Asked how many the US military was ready to devote to the South China Sea, Swift told journalists in Manila that he understood the concerns of America’s allies.
“The reason that people continue to ask about the long-term commitment and intentions of the Pacific Fleet is reflective really of all the uncertainty that has generated in the theater now,” Swift said. “If we had the entire United States Navy here in the region, I think people would still be asking, ‘Can you bring more?”’
Territorial disputes involving China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei have flared on and off for years, sparking fears that the South China Sea could spark Asia’s next major armed conflict.
Tensions flared again last year when China launched massive island-building in at least seven reefs it controls in the Spratlys.
US ready to move
Addressing those concerns, Swift said he was “very satisfied with the resources that I have available to me as the Pacific Fleet commander,” adding “we are ready and prepared to respond to any contingency that the president may suggest would be necessary.”
The United States, Swift stressed, doesn’t take sides but would press ahead with operations to ensure freedom of navigation in disputed waters and elsewhere.
Swift cited the US military’s massive response to help the Philippines following Supertyphoon “Yolanda’s” (international name: Haiyan) devastation in 2013 as a demonstration of America’s commitment to help a troubled ally.
It remains unclear what China intends to do with the artificial islands but Swift said it was clear those areas remained disputed and added they would not hinder US military operations in the disputed region.
“I don’t feel any change from a military perspective about impacting any operations that the Pacific Fleet engages in,” he said. http://globalnation.inquirer.net/126262/us-entry-feared-when-subic-is-military-base
But nowadays sex is everywhere and access even by minors is no longer restricted. They are taught in schools through sex education. Pornography is almost unlimited and unhindered access in the internet. The truth is that minors are not only more obsessed with the internet than the adults but are also more literate in this field.
But why did a former senator used this term in his request to the Ethics Committee in the Lower House to investigate Representatives Lito Atienza and Jonathan dela Cruz for their premature filing of a case against peace-makers of the government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)? We don’t think this is a sign of frustration. A man in the mold of Rene Saguisag, a veteran lawmaker and brilliant lawyer --- and a human rights defender too --- to be frustrated? Frustration is only for the feeble-minded; it is not fitting or most unlikely for those who know what they are doing and are principled. Notwithstanding this, take note also of his use of highly charged or high impact terminologies such as “prosecutorial terrorism” and “mischief”. Any other way to explain this, say driving home a strong point?
Perchance, the most we could concede on the possibility of frustration is to understand that a normal person by instinct reacts negatively to any remarkable childish and clownish antics of supposedly responsible personalities. Atienza and Dela Cruz are members already of Congress, which has been debating the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) since September 10, 2014. Why do they have to resort to “forum shopping”? They can rally their peers in Congress to vote against the BBL on the plenary and not in the courts. Does this mean they have more faith in the judiciary than the legislature in making correct decisions? Lawmakers are in the business of crafting laws and policies, not in jailing people.
The second possible motive of the two legislators is that they want free news for Buhay and Abakada Partylists at the expense of the BBL since election is only already in the corner. Weird ways sometimes do not only register and click, but they are at times resorted to by highly ambitious people. Adolf Hitler used lies to consolidate his power and the effective strangulation of the German people.
Any chance of this case succeeding in court? There is no way to say, yes or no, with certainty. Any case filed against anyone, much of the sedition and treason nature, should not be taken lightly. The right attitude is to be serious in treating all cases. However, chance of this case losing steam is high. First, members of the court are selected on the basis of not just their competence but also for their integrity; and second, none of the peace-makers resorted to subversive methods to undermine the state and we are not in an active state of war.