“AMERICA – RP” FRIENDSHIP THROUGH THE YEARS

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“AMERICA – RP” FRIENDSHIP THROUGH THE YEARS

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cartoon editorialFRIENDSHIP BETWEEN America and the Philippines has strengthened through the ebb and flow of history. It remains so, today.

This ,despite the kicking out of the American Subic naval and Clark air bases by the senate  -ironically during the term of the most well-loved by Washington – the Philippine’s  first woman president Cory Aquino. This despite  us replacing  the July 4 Philippine-American Friendship Day into June 12- the Philippine Independence Day.

Of course, history does not forget the American liberation of the country from Span and the common battle we fought against the Japanese invaders.

Among the most  enduring American positive influences especially in the rural communities has been the “American Peace Corps” volunteers. It started out in October 1961 with American teacher- volunteers for English ,math and science.  It evolved into something larger in the 1970’s to cover health and sanitation, fisheries and agro development, cooperativism,  and small business development.

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In the 1980’s the Peace Corps went into high schools as trainers and into income generation and local development planning in the rural communities.  Today ,they are involved in Education, the Youth and the Environment.There have been 8,000 Peace Corps volunteers to date- each having left indelible footprints on the roads of the places they have assisted.

Heroism is in their vocabulary. One American journalist Peace Corps Julia Campbell was murdered in Batad. Ifugao for which a memorial in her name has been established: Julia Campbell Agro Forestry Memorial Eco Park. The heart remembers.

In Bohol (see this paper’s Major Events) , Dr Lina J Hixon , comes back to Loon -this time as a full-fledged dentist – giving daily free dental services for many days till yesterday. Forty years ago- she was a Peace Corps volunteer for Bohol.And her heart remembers.

Nationally, the USA had recently stood four square against China’s annexation of 2,000 acres of West Philippine Seas-and hit the  Chinese reclamation and vowed more air and sea patrols -despite China’s warning.

Philippine defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin is happy that the position of US Defense chief Asthon Carter is more categorical that China must not bully the claimants of the disputed South China Seas territories. Washington appears ready to walk  the talk.

Which proves that the two countries -like fated lovers- may have their LQs (lovers’ quarrels) -but at the end of the day -share just so much history  between themselves and love for democracy (too much)  as not to desert one or the other in times of need.

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PHILIPPINES -LESS CORRUPT NOW

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Despite some of his failures, there is no doubt that President Noynoy Aquino is the one of the most committed and successful anti-graft Philippine presidents ever.

Global Corruption Perception Index

1965 :   36th of 41 nations                    2011     129th of 182

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2000     69th of 90                                  2012    105th of 174

2005    117th of 159                               2013       94th of 175

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2010    134th of 178                               2014       85th of 175

And why not indeed. The Ombudsman, COA and the Department of Justice are now (wo)manned by fiery reformists ,as well as the BIR. A reluctant former Ombudsman resigned and a Chief Justice was impeached.

A former president is under hospital arrest and three senators in jail for graft. A former AFP chief of staff is  in custody for overpricing of car repairs. A new batch of grafters to be indicted as well, including administration allies. The nation has changed. Rejoice.

For comments: email to dejarescobingo@yahoo.com or bohol-rd@mozcom.com

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