By Roilo Golez
I hope the President is just joking when he mentions a possible alliance with China and he talks of terminating the alliance with the US.
In the first place, an alliance with China is very unpopular among Filipinos. Only people like Herman Tiu Laurel favor an alliance with China. I ran a simple survey on Facebook and out of 752, 16 are for (China-Russia), 3 are neutral and 733 are for (US, EU and Japan) or 97.47 percent for US-EU-Japan, in spite of the bashing that US and EU have been receiving lately.
I dare say it will be at least 80 percent in favor of the US if we do a nationwide survey. The government should run a survey. or look at the latest SWS survey to see how Filipinos favor the US over China.
Why? The answer is simple. It is cultural, social and ideological.
There are 3.4 million Filipino-Americans in the US. Almost every Filipino has a close relative in the US. At least a second cousin. Many have siblings there.
And most of the Filipinos in the US have a good life there. America has been good to them. And that is why many Filipinos dream the American Dream. That’s the reason many are applying to immigrate to America.
You cannot say the same for China. Brown Filipinos have few relatives there. We have OFWs there who live there as a necessity but I doubt whether they want to become permanent residents there.
An alliance means a military alliance. A military alliance is for the contingency of a shooting war. That’s why allies conduct joint military exercises.
If we become allies of China, that means the Philippines would be with China in case of a shooting war.
To side with China against the US is unthinkable for Filipinos.
First, all the ships of the US Navy have several Filipino-Americans on board. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of them in the US Navy Carrier Battle Groups, the front liners of the US Navy in peace and war.
How can we side with China and wish our Filipino brothers and sisters harm in a conflict with China, or worse to receive fire from the Philippine military allied with China? That is unthinkable.
US Marines and Filipino Marines consider themselves brothers in arms, after years of training together and learning from each other during Balikatan Exercise. Ask the Filipino Marines how they feel about US marines. It is unthinkable to ask them to harm each other.
For example the Commander of the Joint Region Marianas is a Tagalog-speaking Fil-Am, a lady Rear Admiral Bette Bolivar, a graduate of the US Naval Academy. She is the commander of Joint Region Marianas and also serves as commander of US Naval Forces Marianas and as US Defense Representative to Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Republic of Palau, and Federated States of Micronesia.
A lot of US naval forces will come from her bases should there be a war in the Western Pacific. And her area can be a target of Chinese missiles. As an ally of China, we Filipinos would cheer as missiles rain on Guam, killing a lot of Filipinos there, perhaps including Admiral Bolivar. That is unthinkable.
The Commanding Officer of US aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln is a Filipino-American, Captain Ronald Ravelo. His brother in law, married to his Fil-Am sister, is the commanding officer of the famous aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson. Both carriers could get deployed in the Pacific in case of war here. If we are the ally of China, we would all be praying for a Chinese victory and the destruction of US aircraft carriers commanded by a Fil-Am with hundreds of Filipino crew members. That would be unthinkable for us Filipinos.
But if the Philippines remains allies of America, in case of a conflict in the Pacific, Filipino sailors, marines and soldiers would fight side by side with thousands of Filipino Americans assigned in US military units in the Pacific. That is not only thinkable. It goes with our bloodline, culture and democratic ideology.
So I hope the President was not serious about a Philippine military alliance with China.