Ambrosio R. Villorente
Can The Philippines Win A Shooting War
The headline states: “Philippine president vows to rebuild (Philippine) Air Force by 2016”. He vowed “to acquire fighter jets, air defense radar and other equipment within three years to bolster the country’s weak air force, amid a territorial dispute with China”.
What Philippine Air Force to rebuild? It is much better to say “develop” for there is nothing to rebuild.
President Benigno Aquino III assured, there will be lead-in fighters, long-range patrol aircraft, close-air-support aircraft, as well as transport planes, attack-and multi-use helicopters, air defense radar and flight simulators”.
Aquino assured “these will be in place” before he steps down from office in 2016. He announced in a speech during his visit in Clark Air Base, Pampanga, broadcast live on radio and television. Aquino, however, did not give any detail of the aircraft and equipment to be acquired.
In January this year, Malacañang also announced the government will buy 12 South Korea FA-50 fighter jets to be used for training, interdiction and disaster response.
Why announce to the world the Philippines’ armament program? Is the Philippines going to war? The Filipinos renounce war as stated in the Philippines Constitution of 1987.
The Philippines is a friendly country. It is true it has a territorial dispute with the People’s Republic of China. But can the Philippines fight and defeat China in a shooting war?
The only option for the Philippines to succeed in her territorial claim is by diplomacy. If ever the Philippines is arming herself, it must be done in utmost secrecy. The national defense initial focus was the Philippine Navy to guard her territorial waters.
So far, it has acquired one Hamilton – class cutters. This is a refurbished vessel decommissioned by the US Coast Guard. This is now the Philippine Navy’s Flagship.
Another vessel of the same class is arriving soon this year according to Malacañang announcement.
This military modernization project will only alert China and other claimant countries of Philippine Seas. The Filipinos’ resolve to defend their territories.
It cannot defend a shooting war. Yes, if other countries assist us to win a shooting war. Even Taiwan does not respect the Philippines anymore. The Taiwanese fishermen were caught fishing in Balantang channel, a Philippine territory.
Because they refused to stop their illegal activities, the Filipinos fired a gun on their fishing boat and one of the Taiwanese fishers was hit to death.
As a result, the Taiwanese officials demanded apologies and compensation payment to the relatives of the dead fisher.
The Taiwanese gave deadline to President Aquino to respond. When Aquino sent his apology, the Taiwanese refused to acknowledge for having “lack of sincerity”. Moreover, some Filipinos working in Taiwan were mauled.
Why did the Taiwanese do that to us? They just lack respect to the Filipinos.
The Philippines has that “one China policy”, hence has no diplomatic relation with Taiwan. The Philippine government deals with China as a sovereign country and not Taiwan.
Filipinos can restore respect of other nationalities to them if they minimize if not stop totally going abroad to be employed as household helps.
The Philippines may allow travel abroad of Filipino tourists for pleasure and Filipino professionals to seek employment in line with their respective profession. /MP