WASHINGTON, D.C. (The Adobo Chronicles®) – The fourth of July would have been a perfect day to welcome the 51st state of the United States, but it seems that may have to wait for yet another year.
A U.S. territory, Puerto Rico, and a former U.S. colony, the Philippines, are the top contenders to become the latest addition to the union .
Puerto Rico has already held several referenda to determine the people’s desire to continue to be independent or to become a U.S. state. By virtue of their country’s status as territory, Puerto Ricans are already considered U.S. citizens. In the last referendum held in November of 2012, majority of Puerto Ricans – 61% – have chosen statehood for the first time.
The Philippines has not held a referendum on statehood although a U.S. statehood movement has been in existence for decades. The Southeast Asian country has become very strategic for the United States, especially in light of recent developments involving China and its territorial claims on islands in the South China Sea — claims contested by the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries.
In anticipation of statehood, the Philippines has already designed its proposed state flag.
Only the U.S. Congress can decide to add a new state to the union, as clearly stated in the U.S. Constitution.
The Adobo Chronicles® recently conducted an informal poll among members of the current U.S. Congress and the results show an amazing statistical dead heat. Our poll showed 267.5 legislators in favor of Puerto Riceo and 267.5 in favor of the Philippines.
So the question remains: which will become the 51st state of the United States? Puerto Rico or the Philippines?
Suffice it to say that whichever becomes the 51st state will be listed in the same order, alphabetically, when mentioning the 51 U.S. states, since both start with the letter ‘P.’