Marcos should cancel Aquino 3rd EDCA now!
UNTHINKABLE just ten years ago, more and more geopolitical experts are now saying that the People’s Republic of China would invade and likely move to occupy its territory called Taiwan as soon as possible, sparking a war between the Asian superpower and United States.
We ants have to play it safe and be doubly careful not to get involved in this battle of elephants that could crush us.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. should immediately revoke the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) that President Benigno Aquino 3rd entered into with the United States in 2014, which automatically places us as allies of the United States, with access to our military bases here, in a war with China. Marcos could do it tomorrow because the EDCA is only an executive agreement. Contrary to the old military bases agreement, and the evidence that this regime was the lackey of the Americans, we get nothing from it anyway.
By now, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has probably already plotted the coordinates of its nuclear missiles to hit five military camps in the country in the event of a war with the United States.
These are the five camps that Aquino 3rd has authorized the US military to use as its “forward bases” in the event it becomes involved in an armed conflict anywhere in the world. The South China Sea is likely to be a battleground for conventional or limited nuclear war between the United States and China. The Asian superpower had turned – in retaliation for the arbitration lawsuit the Aquino government brought against it in 2012 – the seven reefs it had occupied into artificial island fortresses – vulnerable sitting ducks according to US military analysts, but are de facto aircraft carriers, other more objective Western analysts conclude.
Three such camps are in our fast-growing megacities: Basa Air Base near Angeles City in Pampanga, Benito Air Base on Mactan Island, and Lumbia Air Base in Cagayan de Oro City. The fourth base is Antonio Bautista Air Base in Puerto Princesa and the fifth is Fort Magsaysay in Palayan, Nueva Ecija. Even if war does not break out between China and the United States, and only the threat of war, investors would probably think twice before making long-term investments in these areas.
INQUIRER INFORMMATICS INFOGRAPHIC
The United States had skillfully manipulated events and our officials under the 3rd Aquino administration to scare him and the political elite into agreeing in 2014 to this authorization called the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
That’s a colossal understatement, since he restored the US military bases in the Philippines (expelled by the Senate in 1992) to a modern form that was much cheaper for Americans. The agreement does not oblige the United States to build expensive installations, but authorizes their use of the installations of our soldiers (airstrips, barracks, communications) in the event of war.
As the United States demonstrated in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it can build huge facilities at Basa Air Base or Fort Magsaysay virtually overnight. The EDCA authorizes the United States to store its war material and station its combat troops in five of our military camps, whenever it chooses. The 1987 Constitution prohibits any introduction of nuclear weapons into the country. But do you think the United States will inform us that their B-2 Stealth bombers are carrying nuclear bombs?
Cases have been filed in the Supreme Court claiming that the EDCA was illegal, even outrageous, because it was signed only by two lower-ranking officials, Secretary of Defense Voltaire Gazmin and US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg. .
Then Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio convinced his colleagues to turn a blind eye to the fact that since it was clearly a treaty, it required Senate ratification, which he did not have. He frightened the judges: if they invalidated the EDCA, China would very soon seize all our territories in the Spratleys.
How long? Next year, Carpio said during the 2016 court deliberations. As he explained in his concurring opinion to the decision written by Sereno: “With China’s planned installation of military war in its three bases in the Spratlys, which is expected to be completed before the end of 2016, China will begin to assert its nine-dash claim to the South China Sea (which encompasses the Western Philippine Sea and the island group of Kalayaan).”
Carpio even warned the court that without the EDCA, China could even take over Malampaya’s gas platforms, “which provide 40% of Luzon’s energy needs, as China’s nine-dash line partly encroaches on Malampaya.” Aquino 3rd Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who wrote the decision, virtually simply repeated Carpio’s claims. Eight of the 12 justices voted to maintain the EDCA as constitutional.
Carpio, in his concurring opinion, even claimed to be an expert in modern military strategy, saying the following:
“In modern warfare, the successful implementation of a mutual defense treaty requires the strategic prepositioning of war material. Before the advent of guided missiles and drones, wars could take months or even years to complete. There was plenty of time to enlist and train soldiers, manufacture guns and artillery, and ship war materials to strategic locations even after the war started.Today wars can be won or lost in the first weeks or even days after the initial outbreak of war.
“In modern warfare, the prepositioning of war material, such as mobile anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles, is absolutely necessary and essential for successful defense against armed aggression, especially for a coastal state like the Philippines. C The EDCA consists of pre-positioning war material in strategic places to successfully resist any armed aggression.”
As it likely turns out, the EDCA wasn’t really designed for the US military to defend us from the Chinese, who Carpio said would invade us.
Instead, the EDCA was designed to help the United States deploy its troops, supplies and warplanes from its West Coast bases in a war with China over Taiwan.
But how likely is a war between the United States and China to break out? The biggest argument that this is likely is that since the 1995-96 Taiwanese crisis triggered by Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui’s visit to his alma mater Cornell University (this time it was because of the visit of President Nancy Pelosi), a lot has happened to make the Chinese leadership more confident in their ability to achieve the “reunification” of China. As we will see on Wednesday, our feud with China and, ironically, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have helped to embolden him.
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