July 12, 2009
Independent senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan reminds President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to uphold and safeguard Philippine interests in the growing rivalry between the United States and China.
Reacting to reports about the forthcoming meeting between Arroyo and US President Barack Obama, Pangilinan said, “US interest in the Philippines is linked primarily to their concern about the growing economic and political strength of China. We must be careful not to be used as an unwitting pawn in the struggle between the two giants.”
“Our interests as a nation may not necessarily be consistent with either the United States or China. If need be we should play the US card against China and vice versa in order to uphold our own interests.”
Pangilinan, who is a staunch critic of the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement and has called for its abrogation and review, called upon the President to be vigilant in upholding the national interest. He says, “We should never expect these nations to put our interests over and above their own. Upholding the national interest rests solely on our own efforts.”