Chiz favors proposed PH-Japan-US security triad

Senator Francis ‘’Chiz’’ Escudero favors a proposed security arrangement among the Philippines, Japan and the United States.

The security alliance was suggested by Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during the current Japan visit of President Marcos.

Escudero said the Philippines has been allies with the US and Japan “albeit without a formal Tripartite Security Treaty so this is nothing new.”

But such an arrangement should be a Treaty, “not mere Executive Agreement, that should go through the process of ratification by the Senate as it involves not only the security of our country but the welfare and future of our people as well,” he pointed out.

“As the saying goes... ‘the devil is in the details’ and the more people look at and review it, the better for our country and people,’’ Escudero said.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III, however, disagreed.

Pimentel emphasized that the Philippines “should prioritize food production and access to other markets of our products (in case there is surplus for export).”

“Security agreements might require us to spend more on military hardware (definitely imported!) and these amounts could and should be better spent on addressing or solving our pressing ‘daily life problems’ like food availability and food cost, inflation, energy availability and energy cost, law and order, corruption, housing for the street dwellers and the homeless, taking care of our children including most especially the orphans, assistance to the poor so that they can survive today and live up to tomorrow, and many more,’’ he stressed.

“Let us be productive. Let us be fair. Let us be helpful. These are what we need to do as of the moment,” he added.

The Philippines and Japan have agreed to strengthen military and security ties as well as disaster response cooperation, including holding joint military exercises, with an eye to forming a security triad with the United States.

The proposed Philippine and Japan security commitment emerged after a meeting between President Marcos and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida yesterday.

The agreement is also expected to speed up military deployments for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Kishida indicated that both countries are looking at including the US in the security cooperation and joint activities. The US has separate security treaties with the Philippines and Japan.

“We will also look into ways to promote our defense equipment and technology cooperation and to strengthen cooperation amongst the Japan, the United States, and the Philippines,” Kishida said.