But Sen. Joker Arroyo said the US hearings on the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines were an encroachment on the country's sovereignty.
"The extrajudicial killings have to be condemned but at the same time, we must not compromise our sovereignty. Just imagine, no self-respecting country will allow its officials to participate in the public hearings. Malacañang officials do not have the authority to compromise Philippine sovereignty," Arroyo said in an interview.
Hello Joker, where have you been all along? US "meddling", especially under this admin, have been happening for a long time na, lalo na pagdating sa Mindanao. We've already "compromised" our sovereignty when Arroyo allowed the US military to have it's own base of operations there (not that it's a bad thing, cuz the Americans doing a marvelous job of rebuilding Mindanao singlehandedly, pero hindi ba unconstitutional yung presence nila, if i recall the debates back then?)
Siguro ang ibig sabihin ni joker ay okay lang makialam ang US sa affairs natin, as long as it doesn't put Maam Arroyo in a negative light.
Look Joker, if you don't want the US to meddle in RP affairs, then have the guts to tell the US to get out of Mindanao na, and tell arroyo to stop being dependent on US foreign aid money, para maging "independent" na tayo.
But I doubt that will happen, especially when joker, who claims he doesn't really support the anti-terror bill, authored and passed one anyway just to "please the US".
He said "too many people want" the anti-terror bill.
"From an international point of view, the government needs [the anti-terror law] because the US wants it and because we are so dependent [on US goodwill], of course, every administration thinks [of pleasing the Americans]," he said.
"You must remember that in all of Asia, [countries have] no anti-terror bill [which accounts for the US' concern]," the senator said.
Sabi nga ni MLQ3:
But Senator Arroyo may have a point: why is the US Senate conducting hearings on the human rights situation here at home, when the hearings obviously have little to do with what America’s concerned with, the “War on Terror”? The answer lies in how American foreign aid has become tied to the human rights situation in countries receiving that aid. This has been the case, more or less, since the Carter administration. Up for discussion is the US budget, and it contains a portion on foreign operations, which covers our part of the world, involves oversight over US government spending over the past year, and contending views on policy with the executive branch of government (see the PDF for an example of how the US executive responds to challenges on policy raised by the US Congress).
So the answer to Sen. Arroyo is that since the US government gives aid to the Philippines, and our government accepts it, we can’t avoid coverage by appropriate US policy tying aid to human rights.
At eto naman ang sinabi ni mr. enrile re the US "meddling".
Senator Juan Ponce Enrile scored the investigation called by the US Senate Foreign Relations committee on the spate of political killings in the Philippines, ABS-CBN News reported Sunday.
Enrile said the US congress should set its sights first at the numerous killings in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He said US has no right to meddle with Philippine affairs.
But isn't this the same Enrile who recently said the following re the Nicole rape case (bonus si apostol):
“ What we should be worried about is the withdrawal of the aid of the US. (Sergio Apostol, Presidential legal adviser)
”If there is no America, we will have to spend half of our lives to provide with ourselves with our security umbrella to protect ourselves from our neighbors. We do not have a Navy, the Air Force. We have the ground forces to protect ourselves but that’s all.” (Juan Ponce Enrile)
“Are we ready to confront America on this issue and is it worth our people’s interest to sacrifice the security and the national interest of the country, including maybe our economic interest, in this particular issue. That is a larger consideration to be taken into account.”(Enrile again)
More enrile here:
But Enrile said the issue of Smith’s transfer should not even be a cause of alarm. He added that the Philippines has more to lose than gain if it insists on detaining Smith in Philippine custody.
"Now, if we push that, we will have a democratic rupture with America," Enrile said. "Are we ready to confront America on this issue and is it worth our people’s interest to sacrifice the security and the national interest of the country, including maybe our economic interest, in this particular issue. That is a larger consideration to be taken into account."
Besides the nation’s security concerns, Enrile said the US government greatly helps in uplifting the country’s economy, which may be the more logical reason why the Philippines could not simply reject the US government’s request for Smith’s transfer.
Enrile also said the RP should investigate the US for human rights violations in iraq and afghantistan.
Another resolution which Enrile has in mind when Congress resumes session is an investigation of what the United States is doing in Iraq and Afghanistan insofar as human rights violations are concerned.
According to Enrile, if the US Congress can investigate alleged political and extra-judicial killings in the Philippines, ergo, the Senate can also inquire what is happening insofar as human rights are concerned with the American troops in Iraq, and Afghanistan.
If the US Congress can investigate alleged human rights violation in the Philippines, why can’t the Philippine Senate do the same?
Certainly, it’s within the ambit and power of the Philippine Senate to also inquire what the US Congress is doing on human rights violations in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s sauce for the goose is certainly sauce for the gander. Better put, it’s tit for tat.
Uh... the democrats are already investigating the bush admin and the republicans on iraq and other corruption/accountability issues.
There wasn't much of that when the republicans controlled the senate and the house though. katulad nga ng sinabi ni david broder, the Republicans will--
...pay the price for the temporary breakdown in the system of checks and balances that occurred between 2001 and this year -- when the Republican Congress forgot its responsibility to hold the executive branch accountable.
If enrile wants to "investigate" the US for "human rights violations", then go ahead. But I do think the newly installed Democratic Senate and House will do a better job of holding the Bush admin to account.
Our opposition's ability to hold the arroyo admin to account though is pretty much weakened by the admin's EO 464 (and it's other incarnations). Tignan nyo na lang yung nangyari sa garci investigations.
Read this too from the PDI:
It was another dramatic hearing in the halls of the US Congress, made even more riveting by the calm demeanor of the woman at the center of the hearing. The issue involved the use of violence by government forces and possible treason by high public officials—and all of Washington, D.C., it seemed, had turned out to witness the event, or watch it on screen.
No, it was not the US Senate’s inquiry into extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, held on March 14 and chaired by Sen. Barbara Boxer of the subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific affairs. Boxer was a calm and forceful presence, too, but that hearing largely went unnoticed in the American press.
What caught the US media’s obsessive attention was Victoria Plame Wilson, the former undercover Central Intelligence Agency operative who was “outed” by the Bush administration for what she called “purely political motives.” After four years of silence, she finally testified on March 16 before the committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the US House of Representatives.
We point this out because it helps provide some of the context for the Boxer hearing on extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. In the first place, both legislative inquiries took place because the Democrats have regained control of both houses of Congress. Now the machinations of the Bush administration in creating a false, fabricated rationale for invading Iraq in 2003 are under investigation; human rights abuses—not usually high-priority items in the Republican agenda—in countries that receive US aid are also under scrutiny, precisely because the Democrats are back in charge in Congress.
In the second place, both inquiries are a function of the US Congress’ check-and-balance role; in other words, their ultimate object of attention is the conduct of the American executive department.
Our checks and balance system here OTOH, is pretty much crippled.
More: Arroyo didn't mind US "meddling" in CHA CHA
The Arroyo admin is also confident that there will be no slash on US aid to the Arroyo administration.
Here's a second opinion from Amando Doronila.