MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – When Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach was asked during last month’s Miss Universe pageant what she thought about the return of U.S. military bases in her country, she said she wouldn’t have any problem with that, noting that Filipinos are always welcoming of Americans.
We all know, of course, that Wurtzbach went on to win the crown, albeit after a short confusion when host Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner, Miss Colombia.
Filipinos have a high regard for their boxers, beauty queens and screen idols, more than they do for their politicians. So, in a move that pleased Uncle Sam, the Philippines announced that it is set to offer the U.S. military the use of not one, not two, but eight bases. This, after the country’s Supreme Court upheld a security agreement with Washington forged in the face of rising tensions with China.
The facilities include the former US Clark airbase and air and naval facilities on the southwestern island of Palawan which faces the South China Sea, the focus of territorial disputes with China.
The court decision allows for the full implementation of the Enhanced Defense Co-operation Agreement (EDCA), signed in 2014 but not implemented due to legal challenges from groups opposed to US military involvement in the Philippines, a US colony from 1898 to 1946.
Incidentally, the Philippines will hold its next presidential elections in May. So when it comes to who should be elected the next president, just ask Wurtzbach, Manny Pacquiao or Aldub. Whomever they choose or endorse will be a sure winner!