Asian pivot

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By Benjie R. Pangan

At Close Range

Sunday, February 16, 2014


WHEN the leader of the world's most powerful country comes avisiting this April, what benefits would that visit bring? Well, according to Aquino spin doctors and apologists, there is.

First they say, the ties between the two countries will be strengthened that means more hand-me-downs military hardware and discarded supplies. Remember the now refurbished BRP Ramon Alcaraz? It was of a World War II vintage already but it was still serviceable for our purpose.

Listen now to Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma who unabashedly declared: The United States is one of the two strategic partners of our country, and that's the backdrop for all the visits of the head of state of the United States and the visits of the head of state of the Philippines to the United States because we're talking of strategic partnership.

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What strategic partnership? Would the US be ready to stand beside us in case of conflict with the aggressive Chinese? Will the US take our side in our ongoing feud with China on its territorial claims on West Philippine Sea?

President Barack Hussein Obama's intended April visit to Manila comes amid negotiations on increased US military presence (called rotational presence) in the country which has caused criticisms, objections and valid complaints against abuses by some US servicemen.

Allegedly, the US President pursues implementation of the White House-led Partnership for Growth "which endeavors to improve education, government, justice and financial systems in the Philippines through collaborative engagement between the US and Philippine officials and organizations".

It is noted that the Philippines is one of only four countries engaged with the United States in the pursuit of the program. The others are El Salvador, Ghana and Tanzania.

Expect protests and placard-bearing anti-US followers to welcome President Obama.

* * *

Peso Mabalacat has started the evaluation of applicants to the summer job or officially called Special Program for the Employment of Students or SPES. Peso Capitol also evaluated students from Mabalacat last February 12, 2014 at Jade Hall, Xevera, Mabalacat City. Only 30 thirty slots are available to Peso Mabalacat. On the other hand, 180 slots are given to DOLE-LGU tandem and another 100 slots for the LGU line up only.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 17, 2014.

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