Editorial

"Philippine pivot:" A foreign policy by Filipinos

No President, not even Aguinaldo, was ever able to define and pursue the constitutional mandate to establish and maintain an independent foreign policy. The founding president from Cavite himself had to wrestle with the contending interests of Spain and the United States as he found himself hoodwinked by both.

  • 10/18/2016
  • 3450

"Philippine pivot:" A foreign policy by Filipinos

No President, not even Aguinaldo, was ever able to define and pursue the constitutional mandate to establish and maintain an independent foreign policy. The founding president from Cavite himself had to wrestle with the contending interests of Spain and the United States as he found himself hoodwinked by both.

Since then, we have always tried to define the Philippines, the Filipino, and our aspirations in terms of how others see us. Scholars and activists, Churchmen and socialites have all called for a nationalism that tries to capture the spirit of the 7,107 islands.

Sadly, it is from the optic of the colonizer that our definitions have formed.

After the 1946 declaration of an independent Republic, those defining our trade and military policy, including many of our otherwise esteemed journalists, have allowed themselves to fall into the false dichotomy of boxing us between any of the opposing superpowers of the time. Back then, it was the Cold War. Where you with the Soviet bloc or the “Free World?"

Today, it’s erroneously referred to as “Pivot to China, Goodbye America.”

These are all irritating, as they assume that this country is merely defined by the powers with whom it’s befriended or not. Like the drug menace, this false dichotomy must stop.

When will we ever say Philippine Pivot?

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