MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles® ) – For Barack Obama and NoyNoy Aquino, 2016 marks the end of their respective terms as president, and both are reportedly engaged in secret talks that could define their greatest legacy as heads of state. What’s at stake? Subic Bay, once America’s largest and most strategic naval base located in Olongapo City in the Philippines.
Almost a quarter of a century ago, Philippine lawmakers closed Subic Naval Base and sent the Americans packing amid rising nationalistic and anti-colonial sentiments among the Filipinos.
Now, the U.S. wants to go back to Subic, realizing its importance to maintaining American military supremacy in the region. Rising tensions over territorial claims by China, the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries have prompted the United States to be on red alert in the South China Sea. But without a military stronghold in the area, the U.S. seems to have tipped the balance of power in China’s favor.
The secret talks have but one overarching goal: return Subic Bay to the U.S.
America’s demand? It wants to occupy the sprawling former naval base — permanently.
Aquino’s response? Sure, on the condition that the Philippines is named America’s 51st state.
And what’s in it for Aquino? He’s termed out and cannnot run for reelection. But he has enjoyed being head of state and wants to continue in this privileged position. So he wants to be appointed governor of the 51st state. In exchange for Subic.
As for Obama, he is seriously reconsidering moving the site of the Obama Presidential Library from Chicago to Subic Bay.
MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles® ) – Philippine President NoyNoy Aquino and his anointed successor Mar Roxas will fly to Las Vegas this weekend for an unofficial visit to the United States. While there, the duo will meet with Republican presidential canidate Donald Trump at the latter’s Trump Towers.
The purpose of the meeting: to seek Trump’s advice on how best to deal with the citizenship issue faced by Senator Grace Poe who has just declared her candidacy in the 2016 Philippine presidential elections.
Poe’s political opponents have questioned whether or not she was born in the Philippines, a qualification to become president. She was adopted by Actors Fernando Poe, Jr. and Susan Roces when she was a baby. The senator’s biological parents are unknown.
Aquino and Roxas are running scared because Poe is extremely popular and continues to maintain the lead in national polls among presidential candidates.
Many will recall that Trump is a self-identified birther, having stubbornly pursued the question of whether or not President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Obama released his long-form Hawaii birth certificate in April 2011 after speculation from Trump and others that he might have been born elsewhere.
“We’d like Trump’s advice on how we can use the citizenship issue against Poe in the presidential campaign. That’s the only way we can defeat the senator,” Roxas told reporters.
Aquino will also extend a formal invitation to Trump to visit the Philippines before his term as president expires in 2016. “I will be very honored to be among the very first world leaders to welcome the future president of the United States,” Aquino said.
MANILA, Philippines ( The Adobo Chronicles® ) – Philippine President Aquino is not convinced lowering income tax rates will benefit the majority of the Filipino people, saying improving tax collection — not reducing it — has been one of his administration’s greatest accomplisments.
Aquino’s statement came after he rejected a House bill seeking to lower income tax rates in the Philippines. If approved, the government is estimated to lose at least P30 billion or $641.49 million during its first year of implementation.
“Especially with the coming 2016 election year, we need to increase, not reduce, income taxes in order to sustain the many unfinished infrastructure projects of the government. Plus we need the funds to run a successful political campaign to make sure the administration’s bet, former Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, becomes the next president,” he said.
The current personal income tax rate in the Philippines is 32 percent.
Aquino wants to immediatelty increase it to 40 percent.
Asked by reporter how he came up with the proposed figure, Aquino said, “It’s easier for the Bureau of Internal Revenue to deal with a round number.”