Government News Analysis

To drone or not to drone …

US plans to conduct airstrikes in the Philippines against ISIS-linked groups

As the United States re-muscles its military image and seeks to recapture its credibility as an armed power – following the global sinking of US military prestige under former president, Barack Obama – the Philippines could be the first place where America’s re-emerging might plays out.

Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, met with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at Malacañang Palace in Manila. Among their discussions was the surge of Islamic extremism in the country’s southern region of Mindanao – a surge that culminated in the 23 May capture of Marawi City in Lanao del Sur by rebel bands who’ve sworn loyalty to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

For the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Battle of Marawi has proved to be a difficult one – urban warfare across the streets of a city is very different to the jungle warfare AFP troops are used to in Mindanao and the islands of the Sulu Archipelago. In three days from now the Islamic terrorists – largely members of two groups, Abu Sayyaf and Maute, and a number of foreign fighters from as far away as Yemen and Chechnya who are well-practiced in urban combat – will have occupied the city for 12 weeks.

It’s thought there are around 120 Islamists still in the city, confined to some 10% of the urban area. With them are anywhere between 100 and 150 hostages who’ve been used as human shields – frustrating an all-out assault by government troops who’ve been restricted to house-to-house fighting as they run the gauntlet of sniper fire. Elsewhere in the city are between 500 and 1,000 trapped civilians.

Without the proper type of fire power, it’s virtually impossible to dislodge the terrorists without causing collateral deaths. Of course, Abu Sayyaf and Maute fighters are well aware of this which gives them a huge asymmetrical advantage. They can deploy their snipers with virtual impunity around buildings holding civilian captives; air responses from the Philippine Air Force with inaccurate gravity bombs could kill and maim Marawi citizens caught up in the conflict and hand the terror groups an invaluable publicity victory.

It’s with all that in mind that the Pentagon, a hemisphere away in Arlington, Virginia, is considering a plan to allow the US to conduct airstrikes on ISIS targets in Marawi. Such airstrikes, would form part of an official joint military operation and would ratchet-up US involvement in the Marawi theatre, which so far has been confined to intelligence sharing and technical support under what’s known as Joint Special Operations Task Force Trident.

This may be a difficult plan to sell – both in the US where Duterte has been constantly attacked by members of Congress over his War on Drugs and alleged extrajudicial killings, and in the Philippines where there’s a large vocal opposition to any US military presence in the country.

Quick to caution Duterte against allowing further American military involvement in the Philippines was Renato Reyes Jr, Secretary-General of Bagong Alysnsang Makabayan – Bayan for short; a progressive-Left, nationalist, populist, anti-imperialist, and rabidly communist organisation founded in 1985 at the start of the People Power Movement which sought the overthrow of the country’s then-president, Ferdinand Marcos.

He referred to such an initiative as a “flagrant violation” of national sovereignty, pointing out that foreign troops participating in combat operations in the Philippines would be a contravention of the Philippine Constitution.

In a predictable statement to the press he said this: “Bayan opposes in the strongest terms US plans to conduct airstrikes in the Philippines against ISIS-linked groups. There can be no justification for allowing a foreign superpower with the world’s worst rights record to be conducting airstrikes on Philippine soil”.

Opponents of the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement – an accord reached by the former presidents of the US and the Philippines, Obama and Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino in 2014; allowing American troops the use of a number of Philippine military bases – are also likely to let their feelings be known on this issue.

Those bases, five in all – Antonio Bautista Air Base (Palawan), Basa Air Base (Pampanga), Fort Magsaysay (Nueva Ecija), Lumbia Airport (Cagayan de Oro), Benito Ebuen Air Base (Mactan, Cebu) – would likely play a role in any raised presence of US forces. If, as is likely, the weapon of choice are to be drones (UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles) in any US-bolstered offensive, these airbases could figure prominently – though not if ‘manned aerial vehicles’ are to be deployed; from out at sea for example.

In June, Admiral Scott Swift, commander of the US Pacific Fleet met with Philippine Defense Secretary, Delfin Lorenzana, and military chiefs in Manila. At that meeting Swift underscored the US Navy’s commitment to addressing security concerns in the region such as counter-terrorism and piracy. “We continue to build on the strong relationship we have and to reaffirm our commitment to working together to face shared challenges,” he said.

Meanwhile,further veiled opposition comes from the media as  they attempt to shame Duterte for even attempting cordial relations with the US. Repeating ad nauseam how Duterte sparked a rift with Washington last year, they claim he’s doing a U-turn with his present approach to US-Philippine relations. But that’s only because the media never understood – or at least pretended not to understand – the nature of Duterte’s true differences with Washington.

How can we put this really simply? The Philippine president never had a problem with the US per se, and certainly not with American citizens – except one, Obama who insisted on insinuating himself into the internal affairs of the Philippines. All that’s explained here: Wrong turn of phrase.

That aside, however, what might override any opposition to the US military playing a more active role in Marawi is not just Duterte’s determination to end the siege and put down all ISIS-linked rebel groups in his southern region, but the support that such a plan could expect to receive among the Philippines’ neighbours – specifically, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

These countries, which are already dealing with their own internal threats from Islamist organisations, would be next in the firing line if ISIS gained a strong base-hold in Mindanao.  Over the past year, collective defence arrangements between these four member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have considerably increased with heightened intelligence sharing and joint naval patrols in the treacherous pirated waters of the Sulu and Celebes Seas.

If Duterte asked the leaders of these countries what they thought of such a plan, the chances are they’d all say for the same thing – ‘Go for it’.

But, as far as we know, this is very much a Pentagon initiative – it’s not in response to any request from Manila. What we do know for sure is that military chiefs at the Pentagon have an appetite for getting more involved in the terrorist insurgency which is holding Mindanao in its grip.

One thing that’s been proposed is to reinstate the practice of ‘named operations’ – a practice aimed at cementing cohesion among allied groups: e.g., Operation Freedom Eagle, the Philippine component of Operation Enduring Freedom, a battle-force alliance of the global War on Terror.

Last month, General Paul Selva, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the US Defense Department testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee. In that testimony he said this: “In every case where we see the resurgence of terror networks, particularly in the fragile areas of the southern Philippines, I think it’s worth considering whether or not we reinstate a named operation, not only to provide for the resources that are required, but to give the Pacific Command commander and the field commanders in the Philippines the kinds of authorities they need to work with indigenous Philippine forces to actually help them be successful in that battle space”.

That – if it get’s clearance – by any other name, might be the thin end of the wedge. By raising the stature of the US military role – from one somewhere in the shadows to active partnership status – would provide US commanders in the Philppines with a great deal more clout in the execution of a battle plan than they have as technical advisers on the periphery.

They’d have more control of events; from the deployment of troops to the scale and type of hardware and munitions to be used. To all intents and purposes it would be their hardware, their munitions; so they’ll certainly have a call on how, when and against what it’s used.

The US, under its new leader, President Donald Trump, has brought the fight against ISIS to centre stage with a massive increase in missile strikes against it. This is in line with his campaign pledge “to bomb the hell out of ISIS”. And he didn’t confine that promise to the Middle East theatre. Trump regards ISIS as a scourge on all humanity and he’ll dispatch their forces wherever he can.

Although giving no fine details of any bolstering of US military cooperation, Tillerson – in Manila to attend the annual Asean Regional Forum – said this: “We are providing [the Philippines with] some training and some guidance in terms of how to deal with an enemy that fights in ways that is not like most people have ever had to deal with so it’s a tragic situation down there [in Mindanao]”.

Implied in that remark is that the US military – particularly its special forces – have greater experience of fighting an enemy in urban terrain; which in fact they do. Units, such as the quaintly-designated ‘Combat Applications Group’, have been involved in urban combat in every major conflict where the US has had a role.

Tillerson also said that the US was providing the Philippine Government with “a couple of Cessnas [C-208B Caravan aircraft] and a couple of UAVs to allow them to have better information with which to conduct the fight down there”.

What he didn’t say was whether those UAVs would be armed – packing enhanced laser-guided bombs and missiles, such as the Paveway series for example. Nor did he identify the drones by type. There are a number of options, such as the US Air Force MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper (photo) – with cameras that can read a licence plate from two miles away – or the MQ-IC Grey Eagle drone used by the US Army.

To date, Philippine air power in the Marawi action has comprised ‘past-their best’ OV-10M Bronco and SF260 light attack aircraft, more recent FA-50 light jet fighters and light helicopter gunships. Furthermore, air ordnance was limited to un-smart, inaccurate “dumb bombs” which rely on nothing more than gravity to reach or miss their targets. In Marawi, with its cheek-by-jowl residential neighbourhoods and a precariously situated local population, such ordnance has been deemed unusable.

Whether Duterte avails himself of more decisive US weaponry to reclaim Marawi City and rid the south of a growing patchwork of terrorist groups, or whether he decides to forego such assistance if it’s formally offered, will be his decision. But it will be a decision which will be characteristically pragmatic. Duterte’s no one’s fool; it will be based on what’s best for the country and on the most expedient way of solving the problem in that troubled southern region.

What it won’t be based on are the political ramblings of the Far Left whose main goal is to install a communist government in Manila. Their self-righteous rantings about constitutionality are blatantly hollow. If the Philippines needs to rely on the adherents of Marxism to defend the constitution it’s in worse shape than we thought it was. These are sworn enemies of the state – and it’s a toss up which would be worse running the country; radical Islamic extremists of radically extreme communists.

And there’s no hiding the irony that while they condemn any prospective US offer of assistance as military interference, the communist New People’s Army (NPA) continues to wage a war against government troops and extort money – “revolutionary taxes”, meaning protection payments – from fellow Filipinos. How does that gel with the Constitution? Frankly, they’re about the last people Duterte should be consulting on finding a solution to Mindanao’s problems.

There are two broad insurgent movements in the Philippines – the Muslim insurgency and the communist insurgency; taking advice from the latter on how to deal with the former would be like Trump engaging with the Workers Party of Korea – effectively North Korea’s government – on how to deal with the Islamic State. That’s how ludicrous it would be.

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    • Hindi tayo pagaaksayan ng panahon ng N. Korea. Magpakawala lang ng isang missile yan uulanin na ng mga missiles yan galing S. Korea, Japan, at US. Yun lang ang hihintay ng US, sila ang mauna. Sabi nga ng US 15 mins. lang level na pati bundok ng NOKOR.

  • Didn’t Duterte kick out the Americans recently and allied with China and Russia? So let China and Russia solve the many problems of the Philippines. Well the Spratley Islands are lost to China anyway with all the abundance of oil and gas reserves. Duterte is by and by selling pieces of his country to the super power nations and the Philipinos do not even realize this.

    • Aquino and Trillanes did. Clearly, the US then did nothing in spite of the mutual defense treaty. Why bother now? Better take care of North Korea provocation and Guam. The problem with the US really, when there’s nothing in return like the middle east have for them, they don’t act the way they should be.

    • “Mutual” defense treaty? It rather was a one sided defense treaty. Or can you give me an example where the Philipines made an active defense to protect the USA? I am curious to hear from you. Maybe I have missed something in history under the defense treaty…

    • Are you even a filipino Irminger, or did you marry a filipina so you can live in our country? Are you calling us filipinos ignorants? You think we dont know what’s going on in our country? By the way, we are filipinos not Philipinos!

    • Well you call yourself also Pilipinos. For me the spelling is irrelevant. So if you know what is going on in your country, tell me please, I am very curious to learn from you.

    • Peter Irminger bakit yung pagtayo ng island sa WPS isinisisi nyo sa china at sinisisi nyo si pres duterte na lumalapit siya para makipag kaibigan sa china. Gusto mo makita ng maliwanag kung bakit nag tayo ng Isla ang china sa gitna ng karagatan?
      ngayon ka mag tanong bakit gumawa ng isla at ginawang military base ng china sa WPS at South China Sea? bakit hindi ka mag research kung ano ang reaksiyon ng America pag makita nila na may warship o sumbmarino ng Russia o china malapit sa teritoryo nila…GALIT NA GALIT at threat daw sa kanila.
      ngayon ano gusto mo gawin ng china kung sa lahat ng lugar sa labas lng ng bahay nila ay nakapuwesto at may military base ang US matutuwa?
      sinisisi nyo at inuutusan si prrd na sundin ang utos ng America.WALA YAN SIYANG MAGAGAWA KAHIT ANONG GAWIN NIYA….ANG SOLUSYON DIYAN MAG PULL OUT LAHAT NG us troops sa south korea, japan at pilipinas at itigil na nila ang pag labas pasok ng mga warships nila sa South China Sea at umuwi na lahat sa america.ano gusto nila iwanan ng china ang mga military base nila sa South China Sea pero ang puwersa ng America ay mananatili na nakapalibot sa kanila. Kung Ikaw leader ng china PAPAYAG KA BA?

    • example of the philippines did an active defense to protect the usa? was’nt that enough defense for the usa for our own soldiers to die on a war that is not ours… korean war and vietnam and the gulf war in recent history…. that is all war to protect usa interest…

    • Why should we waste our time on you…you dont belong here! Pauli sa inyo…adto paghilashilas mora kag kinsa nia ka nagtunob sa yutang pilipinhon. Naanad mong mga estranyo sa among yuta mag-apil-apil sa wala moy labot ug katungod! Nagdala lang mog lawgaw sa Pinas…mga baga’g nawng!

    • Mr. Irminger.. the problem was obamas refusal to side w/ us when china began reclamation on the spratlys. If he only allowed to park a carrier battle group around these islands, china would have stopped those island buildings. This was an effective strategy when clinton did so at a time when china did some sabre-rattling w/ taiwan.

    • Thank you PeterIrminger for making me laugh. Haven’t been to a comedy bar for a looong time. I have a historian political scientist friend who does tuturial on the side but he’s expensive. Interested? Guaranteed you won’t sound like a moron next time on fb.

    • Never mind Paulino JoseMisa the guy’s a fraud. No real pics no name no background no friends. Probablemente una mala hierba. Hes just picking bits and pieces to write. No laid out arguments. Just fighting loneliness. Ignore. Ignore.

    • Gandy Casingal Japan had plans to invade the Philippines, with or without the USA being involved. Read you history. Korea was a United Nations War, not an American started war. The North Invaded the south and the UN voted to stop them. s far as Vietnam goes it was the government of the Philippines that decided to get involved. I was a soldier in Vietnam for three years and I never saw any Philippine combat troops. The Philippine government restricted them to transportation duties, not combat. Check your own history. I live in the Philippines and I love it very much, so I studied your history.

    • Paulino Jose Misa How do you know that ISIS is a US creation? Secondly your rebels on Mindanao have been active for over 100 years and that is long before ISIS, now they just call themselves part of ISIS

    • The trouble began when the SENATORS during the term of cory aquino DID the removal of U.S. bases here in the philippines. Those senators are so silent now! The china took advantages as theres no more patrolling by the U.S.

    • America’s code of conduct towards our country as some kind of under their sovereignty dancing to their music made duterte kicked them to their senses. Thsts my assessment. Another one, we are not militarily prepared to face off with china. Doing so is just massive suicide, nor could we turn to america for protection as there is no guarantee from us congress approval. We are just a small poor nation a what the heck for america to takr seriously.

    • Thank you for your comment, Django. Actually, what Mayor Duterte would not allow was the use of the old Davao City airport as a US drones base. He was also strongly against any US troops build-up in Mindanao. That, however, was back in 2013 and it would be another year before Islamic State made any real overt appearance in the south — and even then it was largely denied by the Government of the day and the armed forces chiefs. But, of course, IS was there and built up its presence and its influence among the smaller Muslim rebel groups. So what we have today is a very very diferent situation in Mindanao, and one — if it’s not dealt with decisively — could spread to the rest of the Philippines and Southeast Asia. The stakes are far higher today than they were four years ago.

    • Thanks for your reply Volatilian, if we look at what happened to countries were there is US interference those countries terror activities had become worse, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Libya and lately Syria. You know why it became worse its because US CIA is not sincere in wiping out these Terrorist albeit aiding them thru there Dirty Tricks Dept., Our govt. and our Afp can handle the situation better if they want to help they can supply us the needed military hardware but no US military interference be it by deploying or using attack drones.

    • The Marwan incident should serve as a lesson, it is clear as day that it was a covert US operation using our Saf troops, the outcome almost spoiled the ceasefire with the Milf. If there is one who should know how this CIA do their dirty tricks department there is no other than the MILF, they were used before to do terror activities by providing them with explosives. This was confided by the Top Milf heirarchy to Duterte .

    • The interference of the US be it any form of military intervention will be an invitation for a far worse situation. Look elsewhere in history where they intervened. There was total chaos. They will make the Philippines a battleground.

    • My two cents, I do not think Duterte’s intention is to refuse any assistance from any nation for that matter. It is as simple as, ” you want to help? Give it all”. And with clarity, now and in the future. Wag tingi tingi.

    • As of now our AFP while full of courage and heroism is not well prepared to face bigger and longer fight against well equip terrorist like maute-ISIS group as we witness in marawi..we need advance equipment and higher technical support and make use of the help offered by not just US (Australia and Japan I think)..before we knew it the problem will enclave the whole of Mindanao..why do you think ML was extended till December 2017..too many secrets

    • The Isis our Afp troops are facing is a far cry from their counterparts in the Middle East as far as sophisticated equipment is concern. The Marawi war though the troops are winning is prolonged because of some of the locals support to the terrorist. But to the Christian dominated places in Mindanao they can not do what they tried and failed in Marawi.

    • Django Jordan you also neglected to add where the CIA were they now have far worse drug issues Deturte may or may not be the answer to many issues but he is spot on with drug dealers see India may follow suit also the only way to stop drug dealers & slow down ISIS

    • Django Jordan maybe the locals as I understand are forced by abductions blackmail support them or lose kids forced to fight like they are all happening in Africa nobots there bats an eye lid abducted & if they disobey threatened with beatings or threatened to retaliate against their families those choices are might tuff if your a kid in those places & those threats Christians did far worse by far they were way worse than muslim race a long time ago not as far back as Christians did worse the white man taught the Apache to scalp & torture the Apache learnt from the Masters where US get involved the wars become far worse hands in all the dirty deals

    • Terry Kilackey, Terror breeds due to Corruption of previous govt. , Neglect to its citizenry and Drugs. The Maute’s are based in Marawi thus it is easy for them to lure their fellow maranaos to join their terroristic adventure, thus its no surprise there are a lot of Maute Child warriors.

  • The libtards didnt realize that du30 hated them as much as they hated him. It wasnt america that du30 scorned but the libtards. Now that Trump is prez, expect better relations between 2 guys who want to get things done right

  • In all probability, AQUINO’s ADMINISTRATION did nothing on all these Problems. Illegal Drugs financed these Rebellions in the Philippines. NarcoPoliticians had control in the EXECUTIVE/LEGISLATIVE/JUDICIARY Departments of the Government. It is only President Duterte who SHOWED to the NATION the Problems on hand whether we like it or not. It was all hidden to the Pilipino Nation by the previous Administration. Our Country,it seems, is the Testing Ground of ISIS and it will really affect the entire Asean Countries most specially whose citizens are Majority Muslim. It will destabilize the Region. Mindanao has been in conflict since the Spanish Era and still remains to this day and some of our Politicians are adding fuel to the fire. Our Politicians are more of a Problem than a Solution. It is therefor Hoped that the Federal/Parliamentary form of Government could help solve these problems. As to the Rebel Leadership, i don’t think they want to Join the Political Arena… i believe, they want to be the GOVERNMENT which i believe too is not ACCEPTABLE to the MAJORITY!

  • This worldwide jihadist unrest was stirred up in large part by foreign intervention in the middle east. The Moro insurgency in the PH is rooted in the history of foregn colonialism and loss of domain. Do we now expect drones and military technology to solve these root causes?

  • US arms manufacturers will be testing their latest products. They want to see how many people will be killed by their products. Long live US… goodbye people who do not have any idea that they are going to die soon in the name of freedom and democracy.

  • Please remember that…
    1) the US has the world’s highest incidence of collateral damage of all the world’s armed forces. That is in spite of their claim that they have the most accurate weapons, cuno, on hand.
    2) the US is now a certified terrorist maker, financier and arms suppliers. Having the US getting involved w duterte’s war against terrorism is like “sleeping w the enemy”..!!!
    3) the fact that in spite of our air force use of “dumb bombs”, collateral damage is minimal and tolerable. Confirming the fact that the PAF is reliable and responsible armed unit of our government. Very versatile that they can engage enemies in jungle or urban warfare due to extensive experiences w the NPAs, ASGs, MNLF and MILF rebels.

  • More than 80% of our population trusted our president . . . he knows what is good for our country , we are grateful for all that high tech equipments you’re providing us whether it’s free or otherwise . . . but please don’t tell us what to do , . . . let us Filipinos solve our own problems ! . . .

  • The way i see it PRRD is playing it safe for us filipinos. Militarily we are totally unprepared and if we take sides on these warring factions of china vs u.s.a. Vs north korea We will be subjecting ourselves to military attack
    In the future and it would be of catastrophic annilhilation . Massacre talaga. PRrd is playing the cards of survival of the nation so well. Lets just support him in this regard. Sa mga kwakkwak diyan, pag pa bala na lang kayo sa canyon.

    • Glad you have an indepth assessment Of why japan attacked the philippines edgracia. Prrd is trying to reach out to all asean countries to make peace not war and be partners in progress. Ang position ngayon ng pilipinas sa buong mundo naiba. We’ve become strong in their eyes.

  • Its not america generally that Prrd hates. Hate is too strong a word. Maybe there might be differences in many aspects and issues but those are merely in IDEAS or principles. Prrd may have been turned off by obama approach but we could see that he is warmer to trump. We could see a pattern that they have similarity in wave length of ideas. Again my opinion is- prrd is working to keep this nation safe . He’s no fool to rush in where angels fear to tread.

  • I dont care if the US will use their latest hi-tech drones for as long as they can target precisely the Isis and mautes. Go ahead and bomb them to oblivion!

  • Anong bansa na dating American colony na umasenso after their independence, siguro wla pa unlike British colony halos lahat asensado. Tanong ko lang yan sa lahat na maka-Amerkano. Ano ang ibig sbhin ng devide and rule at itanong nyo yan sa mga kano

    • Tatlo lang ang lugar na sinasabing colony ng US na binayaran pa sa Spain…Puerto Rico, Guam at Phil…tayo humingi ng independence pero itong dalawa mas ginustong maging territory ng US ..di tayo umasenso..alam mo ba kung bakit..puro ganid ang naging leader natin since then..nasa atin lahat ang pagkakamali..wala tayong leader na talagang ang nasa ay sa bayan..puro pansarili..tignan mo ang Germany,Japan,South Korea may US BASES dyan pero umasenso dahil sinamantala nila na may security silang kano..ang ginawa nila puro trabaho para umasenso dahil walang gagalaw sa kanila.
      Ang tawag dyan Nuclear Umbrella security..o tignan mo ang yayaman dahil lahat ng leader makabayan at ang mamayan dto ang leader putak ng putak palayasin ang kano..para walang hadlang sa kawalanghiyaan dahil karamihan satin( ..wag kang magagalit kabayan ..)eh puro reklamo at gusto libre..kaya eto laruan tayo ng mgz tusong leader..wala sa kano yan..ang problema ang lahi natin mahina ang pagiging makabayan at masyadong maawain , madaling mauto at makalimot sa mga nagkakasala..sorry npkahaba.
      Opinion ko lang salamat at patawad kung mali ako

    • Merlin
      Briones for your info FYI only lets not blame america totally kung nag third world lang tayo na sa kailaliman. To be fair and objective. Our country the Philippines was under the colony of Spain for 400 yrs. we were culturalized (new word) to be tamad. De pa yaya , note: ive seen personally how a relative has to call a yaya maid to comb her long hair everytime necessary. Pa maid labandera cook ir chef hardinero driver. This is the culture handed down to us by the spain. Tell me what country under spain which became economic power or any hispanic country. Hay its the tamadistic culture which stalled our progress. Then here comes america. After the war . Any country could export their produce all over the world with no quotas. That is to rehabilitate the economy the world over. So every were on the move. Japan which was mowed down with two atomic bombs? Look where what they are now. China ? Super power na economic and military. And the Philippines- the eco money was ravaged by the boars of presidency from roxas to quirino to magsaysay to garcia To
      Macapagal sr. To marcos to aquino to ramos to estrada to anotherM to another
      Aquino . All of them tainted with corruption. They’re the signatories of signing a death kneel economically to our dear Philippines. Come on . Just visit history subjects or do some researching why we’re like this. Dont blame the americans. Filipinos must determine their own destiny.

  • … during PNoys admin i experienced something unexplainable a lot of times… until now i am not sure if it is a drone used to check on certain areas for security reason… i would know if it is aimed at me and my surroundings because my sight, especially when i’m reading or doing something like washing the dishes or cleaning the house something goes unusual with my sight… yung peripheral ng eyes ko parang may invisible electric wave or current na dumadaan… if it was done deliberately or if its aiming on me, i dont know… i’ve never discussed it with anybody because as i said, its so unusual… baka pagkamalan pa ako na sira ulo… what i do is wave my hand as a gesture that i acknowledge its presence… daming beses na nangyari… it doesnt choose the time… sometimes morning, sometimes evening… dahil maraming beses na i got used to it at natatawa na lang ako… wave wave na lang ako ng kamay upward pag andyan even if i dont see anything… tanga ako sa mga electronics at technologies pero malakas ang pakiramdam ko when something unusual is going on… iniisip ko na lang i should be happy because i am being watched… pero kung minsan nakaka-intimidate din kasi parang napapaisip ako if they see me as an enemy of the state… o baka naman hindi talaga ako ang under surveillance at napadaan or napasali lang ang neighborhood namin when it was hovering in the sky… nakakalokah !!!
    … whatever decision our President Mayor will come up to when it comes to drones, its ok because i know its for the good of the people… should we allow the US military to interfere, again its for the President to decide.

  • Personally, Duterte doesn’t hate/disklike the US per se, but rather previous president Obama for his “negligence” over South China Seas and interfering with his war on drugs. That’s why, he Pres. Trump assumed office, it appears that Duterte made a U-turn.

    If and when, the US doesn’t want to lend their drones, can the Philippines ask other countries like Singapore or even ASEAN-neighbors for artillery or UAV’s? Or a treaty should be engaged first between two countries? And is the Philippines can’t asked for assistance with our fellow ASEAN since it is in the mandate of ASEAN not to interfere with internal affairs? But, with foreign fighters siding with the terrorist group, can it be consider already international affairs and no longer an internal one? Or Indonesia and Malaysia are limited in patrolling the borders we shared with them to curb possible terrorist entering/leaving, for now?

    I know the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting convened earlier this week, and one of their agendas is terrorism in the region, but I haven’t heard any output from it. Does anybody knows?

  • That’s the US modus operandi. They create crISIS to justify their military intervention — which they so need for their pivot-to- Asia move. They are also all-too willing to drop bombs, as they did in Hiroshima and Nagazaki, to neutralize equally ambitious competitors. The Korean peninsuela and southern Phils are so strategic to this imperial interest!!!

  • the pentagon are so cocky by bombing the Marawi because they lost their balls haha. They want to bomb but they don’t want to give these device, advance weapons to the Philippines because it might be use illegally. How ironic is that Pentagon. We’re not idiots about your ideas regarding terrorism but you’re the who putting terror in our land. Go out and fuck your country because we can handle with our problems here. Are ideas is more humanistic than your ideology of war.

  • US has always restrained showing its fangs to the WORLD hoping to look lame in any way possible. The Drone Warfare is its most Unfair but decisive tactics in modern armed conflict.

    • remember ww2 with japan…… now, filipinos beg for US visa, while japan, south korea, could visit anytime they want without visa……. we fought their wars with what we thought was a freind….. USA……. that country is more freindly with malaysia and thailand!.

    • The US does not want to be involved with the governing of the Philippines. I understand how bad getting visa’s are. My wife is a Filipina and she cannot get a tourist visa to visit the US. I live in the Philippines and I cannot go back to the US to visit family, since I cannot take my wife.

    • dave , i salute you as an american.
      …if only the US govt..has the nice attitude towards us filipinos,…..the way they treat the japanese, koreans, singaporeans, taiwanese , bruneians, chinese nicely. ….

    • Ramon Resurreccion With respect, one of the problems in the past was what too many Filipinos would go to the USA and stay there. That is not legal visitation, that is illegal immigration. When I can here, I did everything by the letter of the Filipino law and I still do. I kept renewing my tourist visa, while applying for a residents visa.. I file as a alien every year as required. I am my wife are paying the price for what others did.

    • I hope you are not another CIA operatives sir Dave Brubaker . We are wary of the CIA’s enforcing for their “New World Order” right here, in my country. Stop it.

  • we should not blame US intervention to our internal affair offers to us ,and that mntaining deplomatic allies relationship.. US are goes down economic bcuz obama is isis terorest supporter..

  • drone them all….the Mautes, the NPA, the BIFF, the MNLF, the Abu Sayyaf, the drug lords and pawns, the corrupts, the pork-barrel instigators, the smugglers, the tax-evaders, the criminals, the hypocrites……nuke the humanity!….lol

  • The Phils. should be careful of all the help extended lest we become like Syria, where a group of ISIS could have been wiped out in one strike, but they bombed Syrian forces instead. And they just say “Ops, mis-communication. Pilot error!”

  • Duterte should in no way allow the US to interfere in Asian affairs. The ASEAN countries must rather form an ASEAN army under the able leadership of DUTERTE. Under Duterte an ASEAN army can be a formidable muscle to control and regulate passages in the West Philippines sea.

  • The ISIS the world no.1 enemy, we must let AMERICA’s Supreme power weapons to participate in KILLING THIS ANIMALS GANGSTER/TERRORIST, This people joining the ISIS are degrading human beings that became an ANIMALS because of TOO MUCH using DRUGS like SHABU and herroin!! ..they are using this drugs in a daily basis to OPTIMIZE their energy and halucination..

  • Isis hates us,if us interferes here in the philippines in marawi,phililippines will prones for isis,the only way is just trust our troops and our goverment,just my opinion

    • You are not watching or understand the news. The problem in Syria is NOT of the US’s making. The Syria problem is an internal Civil War. The people went to war against their dictator of a President. ISIS then formed in Syria because of the vacuum left by that war. Russia came in and sided with the dictator and is attaching the rebels and one in a while ISIS. The US is fighting IS and supporting only those that fight ISIS, they are not taking sides in the Civil War. We attacked a Syrian Airfield because the President attacked with chemical weapons and that endangered troops fighting ISIS. Get you facts together before opening your mouth.

    • dave, the war in iraq, in libya, in afghanistan, started with civil war to which the rebelling factions were instigated by the US – CIA… purposedly to topple their goverment and leaders using CNN, BBC , etc, to influence the world in demonizing those regimes….. and it worked… 911 was staged to invade iraq….and Bush’s blackwater co. was running iraq’s affairs after 911……and… no weapons of mass destruction of sadam was ever found. isis is US

    • Ramon Resurreccion Part of what you said is true, The USA went into Iraq and Afghanistan to go after the terrorists that pulled off the 9-11 attack. Neither country was involved in a civil war, but they did hide training camps for terrorists. The US/CIV did not strike our own World Trade Center to start a war and that is a very wrong thing to say or repeat. True no weapons were found in Iraq, but for a country that buried tanks and aircraft in the desert, it would not have been too hard to bury them. Obama and Hillary Clinton did in fact cause the down fall of Libya and more and more is coming to light about that and I think in the next couple years, either Obama or/and Hillary will face charges over it. I think and I cannot prove, they were making money running guns to Syria and ISIS to make illegal money.

  • Ang US ,CHINA at RUSSIA ang mga imperialistic power ,nagpapakita sila ng suporta sa mga mahihinang bansa upang makuha nila simpatya nito pero ang totoo kumikilos sila para sa kanilang interest.Nothing is free in this world ,ang lahat ay pinagagalaw ng pera.Ang China kapalit ng Spratly Island at merkado ng kanilang tonetoneladang shabu .Ang US patuloy nilang pinagugulo ang mga bansa sapagkat kung laganap ang digmaan marami silang mapagbebentahan ng armas ang gobyerno at mga pwersang kalaban nito. Kung ang bsnsay magulo at bagsak ang ekonomiya malaking oportunidad ito para sa US ,ginagatungan nila ng korapsyon ang mga lider nito. Pinababagsak nila ang public service upang lalong malugmok ang bansa at kapag hilahod na ito nagbibigay sila ng mga loan kasabwat ng world bank at imf at ang kapalit bilang kolateral ang public utility.Tubig ,kuryente komunikasyon at transportasyon.Sila na ang magdidikta at magiging sky rocket ang charges ng mga ito. At ang gobyerno sunod sunuran na lang sa balang maibigan nila.At ang Rusya ang # compititor ng US.parepareho lang sila.Sa ngayon ay ano ang mainam na gawin ,sa mga kabataan mag sipag aral kayong mabute,magpakadalubhasa kayo.Baguhin ang structure ng education ,kinder pa lang ay imulat na sa kanila ang patriotismo.Ang Japan lumakas sila dahil sa tatlong bagay:patriotismo,disiplina at mahal nila ang bansa nila .Ito ang wala sa Pilipino.

  • Alam nyo ako ay pinoy. Ang mga pinoy kc matakaw sa lahat at mapagsamantala sa lahat.matigas ang ulo kung anu ang bawal un ang ginagawa. Hambog pa pati cguro sa dami ng salin ng dugo na sumakop sa atin

    • I think we should worry more on China not US…China continuously encroaching into our territory and putting us into their debt trap..
      Yes we must assert again and again our sovereignity from US..

    • Ramon Resurreccion Trump is cutting back on off the work that Obama let go to China. Do not blame the American People for what one asshole did. The US does not want to be involved with running your government, you are a free country and will stay that way

    • Ramon…I also believe on American Neo colonialism greatly affects us but did you think is it the only reason why Philippines is poor??
      Look at our society…how many Filipinos would choose country interest above their family or themselves?corruption,lack of discipline….

      discipline,patriotism is one of the quality of our Asian neighbors especially SOKOR AND JAPAN that we don’t have..

    • US secret meddling in philippine politics, the war in mindanao for almost 50 years now has the secret blessings of the US…. that is why we often see white guys during the abu sayaf encounters (masasapano)…. the offer of the US to quell ISIS in marawi obviously shows, their actual participation, in the crisis…. ISIS is US…….our society is beholden to our politicians who in turn are beholden to US wishes……

  • No Americans shall kill Filipinos even if terrorists/criminals in the Philippine soil/sea. Leave the affairs of the Philippines to the Filipinos. Or else, “Galit Digong”.