“Our commitment to defend the Philippines is ironclad” – Obama

 

Tutulungan namin kayo. Ito ang naging tema ng talumpati ni US Pres. Barack Obama sa harap ng mga Pilipino at Amerikanong sundalo sa Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. 

Nagtungo si Obama doon bago ito umalis ngayong araw para bigyang pugay ang mga sundalong Amerikano at Pilipinong lumaban noong Ikalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig.

Kasabay nito, pinapurihan ni Obama ang mga beterano ng dalawang bansa na sabay na lumaban noong World War II sa kabila ng mga panganib at paghihirap na kanilang dinanas. “Together, Filipinos and Americans put up a heroic defense, at Bataan and Corregidor. Together, they endured the agony of the death marches and the horror of the prisoner of war camps. Many never made it out. In those years of occupation, Filipino resistance fighters kept up the struggle. And hundreds of thousands of Filipinos fought under the American flag.”

Sinabi rin ni Obama na ginawan na ng paraan ng kanyang administrasyon na makatanggap ng nararapat na kumpensasyon ang beterano ng WW II na natanggal mula sa listahan.  “And sadly, the proud service of many of these Filipino veterans was never fully recognized by the United States. Many were denied the compensation they had been promised. It was an injustice. So in recent years, my administration, working with Congress and others, have worked to right this wrong.” “We passed a law, reviewed the records, processed claims, and nearly 20,000 Filipino veterans from World War II and their families finally received the compensation they had earned. And it was the right thing to do,” pahayag pa nito,

Inihalintulad din ni Obama ang tapang at kagitingan ng mga makabagong sundalong Pilipino at Amerikano sa tapang at pagsasakripisyo ng mga beterano noong panahon ng digmaan. Ayon kay Obama ang kagitingang ipinamalas ng mga bagong henerasyon ng mga sundalo mula sa dalawang bansa dahil sa pakikipaglaban sa terorismo at pagharap sa mga kalamidad tulad ng bagyong Yolanda ay tulad ng kagitingang ipinamalas ng mga beterano noon sa Bataan at Corregidor. ” The spirit of these veterans,  their strength, their solidarity,  I see it in you as well when you train and exercise together to stay ready for the future, when our special forces, some of you here today advise and assist our Filipino partners in their fight against terrorism, and when you respond to crises together, as you did after Yolanda. Along with your civilian partners, you rushed into the disaster zone, pulled people from the rubble, delivered food and medicine. You showed what friends can do when we take care of each other,”  ayon kay Obama.

“Our commitment to defend the Philippines is ironclad” – Obama

Ayon kay Obama, ang relasyon ng Pilipinas at Amerika ay bahagi ng nagpapatuloy na Mutual Defense Treaty na umiiral na sa loob ng mahigit 60 taon.  “This treaty means our two nations pledge and I’m quoting ‘Our common determination to defend themselves against external armed attacks so that no potential aggressor could be under the illusion that either of them stands alone,’’ pahayag pa ng US President.

Dagdag pa ni Obama, tutulungan nila ang Pilipinas sa anumang pagtatangka sa soberanya nito. Sa kabila nito hindi naman binanggit ni Obama kung tutulong ang Amerika sakaling lusubin ng China ang Pilipinas sa gitna na rin ng pagiging agresibo ng nito tungkol sa isyu ng West Philippine Sea. “In other words, our commitment to defend the Philippines is ironclad. And the United States will keep that commitment ’cause allies do not stand alone,” ani Obama.

Sa kabila nito nanindigan naman ang US President na kailangang resolbahin gamit ang mapayapang paraan ang isyu ng agawan ng teritoryo sa West Philippines Sea. Ani Obama, kailangang mapanatili ang freedom of navigation sa naturang lugar kasabay ng pag-iral ng international law. “We believe that nations and peoples have the right to live in security and peace and have their sovereignty and territorial integrity respected. We believe that international law must be upheld, that freedom of navigation must be preserved, and commerce must not be impeded,” pahayag pa nito.

Matatandaan na kahapon ay lumagda ang Pilipinas at Amerika sa isang kasunduan at tinawag itong Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). Sa ilalim ng EDCA ay pinapayagan ng Pilipinas ang pagdaragdag ng tropang Amerikano sa bansa kasabay ng paggamit nito sa mga pasilidad ng Armed Forces of the Philippines. – DCR

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