• PH got nothing from new defense pact – Joker Arroyo

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    FORMER senator Joker Arroyo is convinced that the Philippine government got nothing from the United States despite  its efforts to rush the signing of the enhanced defense cooperation agreement (Edca) hours before the arrival in Manila of US President Barack Obama on Monday.

    Arroyo on Tuesday said Obama did not even issue an assurance that America will strongly caution China if Beijing’s  maritime fleet harasses or fires at Filipino fishermen and Navy personnel bringing  supplies to disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

    What the Philippines got, he added, was heaping shibboleths on America’s “longest ally” and the US president’s praises to the culinary skills of the White House Filipino executive chef.

    The agreement, which was signed by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and US Ambassador to Manila Philip Goldberg, will allow more American troops in the Philippines, among other provisions.

    The former senator said the agreement was exclusively Malacanang-directed since no one was consulted about its constitutionality.

    Arroyo advised the Defense department and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to
    look into the 1914 War Plan Orange No. III prepared by the US department that outlines America’s defense in case the Philippines is invaded.

    The plan was carried out by the US when the Japanese invaded the Philippines after the Pearl Harbor attack and it was revealed that there was indeed no strategy at all.

    “There was in fact no strategy for the defense of the Philippines except to treat us as a buffer to delay invader’s southward advance. It saved Australia but not the Philippines,” Arroyo said.

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