MANILA— While some may wish for variety, the United States remains as the Philippines’ “true friend” and “natural ally”, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on Wednesday.
“A country’s natural ally is always the one that is too far to get into one’s hair, yet with a reach long enough to deliver a strong punch at a common enemy. Two countries fit that bill; one far more than the other and that is the United States,” Locsin said in his toast remarks during the celebration of the American-Filipino Friendship Day in Makati City.
In extolling Washington, Locsin said the US stands as the greatest power in history as is said to possess a “marked edge over the combined military power of all other states measured in centuries.”
“Her wealth is unprecedented and, more importantly, it is real and tangible and not the result of a magical computation,” he said.
Locsin said Washington’s commitment to maintaining the freedom and independence for itself and the rest of the world, allows its allies, including the Philippines, to freely maneuver with other nations “to make close friends of an untried disposition; to strike postures of friendliness dangerously bordering on blind trust; and of belligerence but without anxiety. Because someone has their backs.”
“Few nations in the world have the wherewithal to protect their freedom and independence by themselves,” he pointed out.
Despite the sharp differences between the two nations, Locsin highlighted the US and Philippines’ commonality.
“We both hate subservience to foreign powers; we cannot imagine living without total freedom in word, in thought, and in deed. ‘Live Free or Die’ is our motto,” he said.
While the administration’s “independent foreign policy” was observed as a pivot to Beijing at the expense of Manila’s longstanding partner, Washington, Locsin clarified that the latter’s ties with the Philippines endure.
“Some of us may wish for variety, but we know and history shows it: there can be only one — true friendship, like that of our two Presidents. When we refused to vote with an anti-American majority in the UN (United Nations), Nikki Haley said: ‘America has many friends in good times, but only true friends in challenging times.’ And so it is,” he said.
The United States and the Philippines have been allies for at least 70 years since the former acknowledged the country’s independence and proclaimed its right to self-determination on July 4, 1946. Joyce Ann L. Rocamora / PNA – northboundasia.com