DFA chief: Philippines no ‘little brown brother’ of US
Jose Katigbak , STAR Washington bureau (The Philippine Star) - September 17, 2016 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – The Philippines wants to keep and preserve its defense alliance with the United States but demands it be treated as a sovereign equal because “we cannot forever be the little brown brother of America,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said.

He said the US should not lecture the Philippines on human rights because even before the Americans colonized the country Filipinos already fully realized the sanctity of human rights, which were at the core of their struggle for independence.

“So it is in this context that I am asking our American friends to look into our aspirations. We cannot forever be the little brown brother of America. At some point in time we have to mature and develop, we have to grow and become a big brother of our own people,” he said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.

US President Barack Obama scrapped a meeting with President Duterte in Laos recently on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit after the Filipino leader threatened to curse him if he raised human rights concerns in the brutal war on illegal drugs in the Philippines.

In his talk at the CSIS on Monday Yasay assured Americans the Philippines was not loosening its security ties with the US as he also underscored the country’s “fidelity” to strong alliance with the global superpower.

“In this effort, we will always view the United States as an esteemed and trusted ally with whom we share not just a common history and shared values, but a common destiny as well,” he pointed out.

With the US elections approaching,  Yasay said “the Philippines looks forward to the continuation of the United States’ ironclad commitment to the Philippines, and will continue to strengthen its relationship with the US.”

Yasay explained President Duterte was opposed to joint patrols with the US Navy in areas covered by the Philippines’ 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Duterte early this week said the Philippines would stop patrolling the South China Sea with the US Navy to avoid upsetting China.

Joint patrols will continue and must continue within the Philippines’ 12-mile limit to preserve its territorial integrity, Yasay said.

He stressed the priorities and commitments of the Duterte administration should give the Philippines and the US an opportunity to build on enduring alliances.

“They open the gates for even wider cooperation with the US,” Yasay said.

“The challenges ahead will require nimble and nuanced diplomacy but I am confident that our alliance, based on mutual trust and respect, will continue to contribute to the peaceful and stable region,” he pointed out.

“The Philippines is committed to be a responsible partner in its relations in the international community,” he emphasized.

Meanwhile Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told a news briefing no official word has been received so far from the Philippines on ending the joint patrols and the proposed pullout of US forces from Mindanao for their safety. Pia Lee-Brago

Philstar
Facebook
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with
Read and share the latest news
whenever and wherever you are.
Top Stories
Features the most relevant stories,
exclusive content, analyses and special reports.
As It Happens
Get bite-sized highlights and up-to-date
information as the news breaks.
Latest
View the most recent
stories of the day.
Log-in
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetur adipiscing elit.
Quisque justo est, auctor vel ullamcorper.
Log-in
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetur adipiscing elit.
Quisque justo est, auctor vel ullamcorper.
How to follow As It Happens stories
STEP 1
Click the story in the As it Happens section.
How to follow As It Happens stories
STEP 2
Click "Follow Story" for updates on the news.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.
How to follow Author
STEP 1
Click on the author's name in the article.
How to follow Author
STEP 2
Once you click on the author's name, you will be
brought to the Authors page. Click "Follow Author"
to stay updated on the author's works
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.
How to follow Tags
STEP 1
Click on a tag in the article.
How to follow Tags
STEP 2
When you click on a tag, it will take you to the
dedicated tag page where you'll see the article
viewed, along with other stories with that tag.

Click the "follow tag" button to stay updated on
the topic.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.