May 17, 2014


Los Angeles—In a rare show of unity at the TAKALAYAN sa FACLA , Filipino-American leaders studied and discussed the implications of the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty and the recently signed Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the US and PH Government last Thursday.

The ongoing crisis in Philippines Senate with the publication of the “Napoles List”, recent military conflict in the China Seas between Vietnam and China as well as the Ukrainian Crisis between Russia and the United States were also the topics of discussions.

US Bases in the Philippines and the Chinese Threats

Dr. Marc Caratao brought up the point that the Chinese military” has been building a base at the Mabini Reef near Palawan and is building an airstrip on the reclaimed reefs, Mabini Reef is only 180 nautical miles from the main island of Palawan.

He also said” the AFP will not have discovered the Chinese build-up if they did not join the search for the missing Malaysian Jet plane.”

Dr. Caratao also expressed fear that, “the US is repeating the same policy of “Europe First” when they spent more than $ 6 Billion in aid to Ukraine while there is no sufficient support to the Philippines against China’s threats.”

Dr. Orly Cagampan and Jun Baul argued that EDCA is will be a burden to Filipino taxpayers because it is the PH government that is spending for the construction of American bases in the Philippines.

Jun Baul declared, “Mukhang sinuswerte ang mga Amerikano dahil ang gagastos sa kanilang mga base ay ang mga Pilipino.”

The TALAKAYAN participants were given the copies of the text of the MDT of 1951 where the Fil-Am leaders discussed the treaty point by point. On the discussion that the MDT is not clear on the China seas because the treaty pertains only to the Pacific Ocean and metropolitan Philippines,.

On -line journalist Sid Balatan pointed out:“ The China Seas is a generic part of the Pacific Ocean even though it is on the eastern side. Besides, some parts of the China seas is a territory of the Philippines that’s why they named it recently as West Philippines Seas.” And everyone at the forum agreed to that.

On the Different “Napoles Lists”

On the subject of the DOJ proposal to make perceived PDAF scam mastermind Janet Napoles as a state witness and the several “Napoles Lists”, Fil-Am leaders expressed elation that the original “Napoles List” was finally given by DOJ Secretary De Lima to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee last May 15.

Dr. Cagampan said, “ now it is confirmed the list purportedly given by Napoles to former Senator Ping Lacson. Is just a psywar. He also said, “ we all know that Lacson is an” attack dog of Enrile “ that is why the list was laundered or added upon. Pinapagulo lang nila at pinatatagal ang imbestigasyon sa Senado.”

Filipino leaders also expressed consternation over the delay in the trial of the Sandiganbayan on the plunder case against the three Senators. Sid Balatan said, “we can’t do nothing but wait.”

On the China-Vietnam Conflict

Dr, Marc Caratao observed that the Vietnamese are more aggressive in blunting China’s incursions in their territories. They even rioted and burned Chinese owned factories.

This drew a very profound observations from FACLA President Jun Baul that, “China and Vietnam animosities is deeply historical and goes back beyond China’s imperial aggressions against Vietnam during the ancient times.”

Alliance leader Arturo Garcia also added, “ That China and Vietnam fought a brief but bloody border war in 1979. That was because Vietnam expelled more than 2 million Chinese Vietnamese after the end of the Vietnam War. And they became the famous “boat people” during that time.”

On the other hand, Atty Terry Herrera remarked, “that the Philippines should be more aggressive against China. There should be more anti-China demonstrations in the Philippines. I think that The Filipinos are not anti-Chinese enough.” His remarks drew laughter from the crowd.

The TALAKAYAN ended well and promised more discussions on EDCA on the next Thursday , May 22, 2014 TALAKAYAN. FACLA also thanked the food donors Art Garcia for the cookies, Mrs. Jovy Alejandrino for the Ice Cream and Dr, Orly Cagampan for the donuts.

For more information about the TALAKAYAN sa FACLA please call (213) 484-1527 or email us [email protected] or visit our website at


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