Miriam Calls for Independent RP Foreign Policy

Manila Bulletin, September 23, 2004 | Go to article overview

Miriam Calls for Independent RP Foreign Policy


Byline: GABRIEL S. MABUTAS

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago yesterday called for an independent foreign policy that would help address the countrys needs in job creation, poverty eradication and increased trade.

Santiago, the Senate foreign relations committee chairwoman, said the country is obligated to adopt a foreign policy that would, especially, draw the country away from the shadows of the United States to enable it to freely sell its products and services to other countries.

She then urged the government to take a comprehensive and critical review of the Philippines relations with the US.

She noted that with the Mutual Defense Treaty and the wrong perception of "special relations" borne out of the nearly 50 years of colonial experience with the US, the Philippines has failed to remove the stigma that "it is the tail of the American Kite."

"While (former President Ferdinand) Marcos might have initiated a new direction in foreign policy by establishing relations with then USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), China and many Middle Eastern countries, subsequent administrations failed to have the imagination nor the strategic perspective to move away from umbilical cord that links us to the United States."

For now, she noted, the governments foreign policy is lacking in the absence of a national strategic plan that should detail the critical and vital interests of the country, and identify its human and natural resources.

"Except for the NEDA (National Economic Development Authority)-crafted Medium Term Philippine Development Plan, not one document contains all the aforementioned requirements. …

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