We hope the President was playing his political cards well when he decided to severe diplomatic relations with the US government and scrapped totally the visiting forces agreement with the United States. The decision was made presumably by reason of the cancellation of US visa of Senator Ronaldo “Bato” de la Rosa and the Trump administration’s demand to release from detention Senator Leila Delima. The twin actions of the US government were viewed by the Duterte administration as meddling on purely Philippine government’s affair. The implication of the Presidential decision would readily abort the conduct of all US-Philippine Military Exercises in the Philippines and the US-Philippines defense cooperation. The agreement which is the affirmation of the two countries obligation under the Mutual Defense Treaty of l951 where they commit to defend each other in the event of an armed attack. The implementing agreement of the VFA - the Enhanced Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) signed in 2014 under former President Benigno Aquino III allows the capacity building towards the modernization of the Philippines Armed Forces. As pointed out by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin, the VFA termination must be viewed in terms of its effects and implications on the country’s national security. In relation with this, some political analysts also expressed the view that this will enhance China’s military presence on the Spratlys and the Paracel Islands which has been ruled by the UN as within the Philippine territory
In another setting, Solicitor General Jose Calida filed a Quo Warranto Proceedings with the Supreme Court praying for the cancellation of ABS-CBN’s franchise to operate citing “ground of urgency.” The filing of the case has elicited the objections of the members of both the House and the Senate claiming that it should be Congress which should hear the merits of the franchise application whether it should be granted or not, hence the Solgen’s move was a usurpation of the functions of Congress instead of putting it in the hands of the Supreme Court. Many viewers of the network have expressed concern on the possible shutting down of the network particularly different print and broadcast media organizations viewing the government move as an attack against Press Freedom and abuse of power. This issues are worth watching as it will enhance our understanding of jurisprudence and separation of powers between the legislative and the judiciary.
Thanks to our family friends spouse Totoy and Cora Reorizo for inviting Minda and I to a dinner-fellowship of members of AdeNU high school batch ‘55 at his residence at Jardin Real last night. I expected to meet Jun Aureus but he failed to come. Jun is the son of the late Leon SA. Aureus who founded the Bicol Mail.
QUOTATION OF THE WEEK:
“THE BLOCK OF GRANITE WHICH IS AN OBSTACLE IN THE PATHWAY OF THE WEAK, BECOMES A STEPPING STONE IN THE PATHWAY OF THE STRONG.”
FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE:
“IF YOUR BROTHER SINS AGAINST YOU GO AND TELL HIM HIS FAULT BETWEEN YOU AND HIM ALONE. IF HE LISTENS TO YOU, YOU HAVE WON OVER YOUR BROTHER.”