POSTSCRIPT / March 18, 2007 / Sunday


Philippine STAR Columnist

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Intervention in RP is official US policy

CLARK FIELD: – Is the United States intervening in the internal affairs of another sovereign state when a committee of the US Congress inquires into so-called extrajudicial killings in the Philippines?

Certain crimes that cry to heaven for justice do not recognize national borders because humanity is one. What pains the least of our brethren pains us all. And aggrieved humanity, reaching across global borders, seeks redress, and sometimes retribution.

On the other hand, it can be argued that it is not (yet) intervention if US senators simply discuss the issues, as in an inquiry. It becomes intervention only when talk is translated into action, as in asking Philippine officials to explain or, worse, telling them what to do.

Assuming there is intervention, does it cease to be the moment we participate freely in the process? Once sucked in, are we estopped from protesting further meddling?

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KENNAN PAPER: American intervention in Philippine affairs is a historical fact. It is also policy.

Let me recall my Postscript of May 5, 2005, tracing one hidden root of the policy basis of such extradiplomatic meddling.

That Postscript quoted Dr. Jorge Emmanuel, who is involved in various Philippine American historical projects, writing on Policy Planning Staff memorandum 23 (PPS/23), a top-secret State Department document drafted by George Kennan, the first director of State’s Policy Planning Staff.

PPS/23, formulated in February 1948, established an interventionist policy to keep the Philippines in hands which the US could “control and rely on” even at the expense of “human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization.”

That policy explains many events since the 1950s, including covert US counterinsurgency operations in the Philippines, sly manipulation of national elections, and support for the Marcosian martial law regime after 1972.

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DISPARITY: Under that policy, the US is to see to it that the Philippines (and Japan) should “remain in hands which we (the US) can control and rely on.” The Philippines is to be permitted independence in internal affairs, but preserved as a “bulwark of US security in the area.”

The reasons behind the policy were stated quite candidly in PPS/23:

“We (Americans) have 50 percent of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3 percent of the population. This disparity is particularly great between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security.

“We will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming…. We should cease to talk about vague, and for the Far East, unreal objectives, such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization.”

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POOR & IGNORANT: Kennan was appointed in 1947 head of a Policy Planning Staff developing long-range policy. He came up with the “domino theory,” which postulates that if one country in a region falls to communism, its neighbors would eventually fall like dominos.

Although declassified in the 1970s, PPS/23 was known only to a few scholars and policymakers. American senators, as well as our own lawmakers, may want to look into PPS/23 and discover the policy basis of US intervention in this country.

They might discover, for instance, why the US government, through manipulations and funding by the US Central Intelligence Agency, made certain that only presidential candidates friendly to the US would win elections.

Or why and how Filipinos must be kept, as much as possible, poor and ignorant – and, thus, easier to manipulate.

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CAMI INDUCTION: Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno will induct on March 27 the officers and members of the Capampangan in Media Inc. The officers are: Fred M. dela Rosa, chairman; Cris J. Icban Jr., vice chairman; Federico D. Pascual Jr., president; Ernie Y. Tolentino, vice president/Metro Manila; Fred M. Roxas, vice president/provinces; Libertito Pelayo, vice president/North America; Al G. Pedroche, treasurer; Diosdado M. Beltran, secretary; Max L. Sangil, auditor. Directors are Jose P. Cortez, Miguel C. Genovea, Ashley B. Manabat, Dionisio L. Pelayo and Ramon S. Santiago.

With an initial 50 members from print and broadcast media, CAMI was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in December 2004 with these objectives: (1) To promote and defend the freedom of the press and advance the welfare and interests of journalists in general; (2) to upgrade the competence and professionalism of Capampangan journalists in particular and promote camaraderie and cooperation among them; and (3) to work for the revival and enhancement of the culture and positive traditions of the Capampangan people.

Details about the induction rites to be held at My Spoon, Mother Ignacia St. (beside ABS-CBN), Quezon City, as well as souvenir program advertising, can be obtained from Dadong Beltran, 0917-5258774.

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of March 18, 2007)

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