June 16, 2011
Following through on his statements on the PH-China row in the disputed Spratly Islands and the United States’ statement on the issue, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Wednesday cautioned Malacañang against being too complacent regarding the country’s “strong ties” with the United States.
“We should have no illusions about what the United States has to say about our strong ties,” Pangilinan said. “In the final analysis, they are moved primarily by their interests and certainly not ours—and the same goes for China.”
The lawmaker was reacting to a speech delivered earlier on Wednesday by US Ambassador to the Philippines, Harry Thomas, who said that the United States is “with the Philippines.” Thomas was also quoted as assuring the Filipino people that the Philippines “and the United States are strategic treaty allies. We are partners. We will continue to consult and work with each other on issues, including the South China Sea and the Spratly Islands.”
Pangilinan reminded: “In the end, we will have to look out for ourselves. We would be fools to rely on other nations to protect our interests in the disputed territory.”