Sunday, March 15, 2009

"You had me at hello."

Today's news is headlined by Malacanang's joyful declaration that finally, President Barack Obama found time to call President Arroyo.

The highlight of that phone call was President Obama's message to "affirm his country’s alliance with the Philippines and its commitment to the controversial Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA)", as the newspapers reported (
Palace officials were quick to announce this ice breaker between the two presidents and expressed their "satisfaction" and "positive feelings" over the phone call.

But Malacanang's ecstasy over President Obama's phone call is disturbing, since it appears that the US President's statement that he is committed to the Visiting Forces Agreement is interpreted by Malacanang as being favorable to our national interest.

While it must be acknowledged that the Armed Forces of the Philippines derives benefits from the VFA, it must also be admitted that the US interpretation on how the VFA is implemented, particularly the Cpl. Smith custody issue, is clearly one sided.

Obama's statement is not a commitment to respect Philippine sovereignty but a commitment only to US interests. It is sad that Malacanang got so excited with the phone call itself and failed to discern what the message was. 

Instead of asserting what the Philippine Republic's Supreme Court said about the custody of Cpl. Smith, Malacanang got star struck and said, "You had me at hello!"

1 comment:

Christian D Sales said...

Do the words "lesser evil" ring a bell? They do now...