SUBIC BAY, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles® ) — Almost twenty five years ago, the Philippines expelled the United States from Subic Naval Base in Olongapo City, then the largest overseas outpost of the American military. Riding on nationalistic and anti-colonial sentiments of the Filipinos, lawmakers closed the base and promised that Uncle Sam’s armed forces would never ever occupy and control any part of the country again.
Fast forward to 2015: the Philippines is embroiled in a major territorial dispute with giant China which has laid claim to a vast expanse of the sea west of the archipelago. It has asked the U.S. government for hundreds of millions of dollars to fund and strengthen its own military, one of the weakest in Asia, so as to be able to deal with aggressive threats from China. But so far, the Obama administration has snubbed the request because it worries that the political corruption in the Philippines could all but divert the resources into some unauthorized use.
The Philippines is also contemplating on reopening Subicto the U.S. military.
Republican members of the U.S. Congress’ Armed Services Committee are not keen on financially or militarily supporting the Philippines either, saying that the Asian country is acting like a “prodigal son.” The congressmen said : “They kicked us out when it was convenient for them, and now they want us back because it is convenient for them.”
Since the term of President Aquino is up in 2016, it will be up to his successor to convince the United States on the merits of reopening Subic Bay and providing hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to the Philippines.
Most Filipinos –who are devout Catholics — are confident that just like in the biblical account of the prodigal son, the U.S. will eventually welcome back the Philippines with open arms, or in this case, the Philippines will welcome back the U.S. military to Subic Bay.
MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles® ) – Filipino champion boxer Manny Pacquiao can now breathe a sigh of relief. Kim Henares, the Philippines’ chief tax woman who has been aggressively going after his prize winnings, has resigned. Effective immediately, Kim Henares is no longer the commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
The reason? Henares has a found a new calling as a member of the Philippine military. Not just an ordinary member, but a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force.
The now former BIR chief said that she is tired of being criticized for her no-nonsense campaign to collect taxes from Filipinos, especially highly-paid athletes and celebrities. “If I can’t do my job without being seen as a villain, what’s the point?” she asked.
Henares received her credentials at formal ceremonies held today at Camp Aguinaldo, the main headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Incidentally, Pacquiao is also a lieutenant colonel in the reserve force of the Philippine Army.
LUCENA CITY, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – An unmanned drone, believed to belong to the United States Navy, was found in the town of Patnanungan, Quezon Province in the Philippines on Sunday afternoon. It is suspected to have either malfunctioned or crashed in this tiny island facing the Pacific Ocean.
Both the Philippine military and the U.S. Embassy confirmed the discovery. The aerial target drone BQM-74E with serial number BQ55079 is now in the custody of Patnanungan police.
Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr., Chief of Staff of the Philippine Armed Forces accused the U.S. of spying but did not elaborate on what it was spying about.
Harris admitted being a die-hard fan of the two Filipino celebrities. “I was extremely disappointed that I didn’t get an invitation to the ‘royal wedding’ so the best I could do was to send an unmanned aircraft to capture some of the photoghraphic moments of their union,” Harris said.
High definition movie cameras were found inside the captured drone.