Thank God the United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has safely arrived in Manila. Welcome to the Philippines Mrs. Clinton.
About six thousand cops have been deployed on strategic places in Metro Manila to ensure her safety. As expected she will be greeted with street protests and rallies from youth activists and cause oriented groups who are very much against the VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement).
But American aid officials have defended the Visiting Forces Agreement as something beneficial for the Philippines since it allows US troops to quickly respond to calamities.
Despite Mrs. Clinton’s expression of sympathy and interest to render assistance to the typhoon victims still student activists and militant groups are suspicious about her visit in the Philippine and tag it as it is nothing but to insure US forces presence in the Philippines through the continuation of the Visiting Forces Agreement.
“The visit of Mrs. Clinton in the Philippines will be a mere publicity stunt, and the entire promise of the Obama administration — that it is going around the world for a renewed multilateralism, and for the opening up of the United States towards greater involvement in the world — will be all for a sham,” according to the League of Filipino Students Secretary General Terry Ridon.
On the other hand there are other groups of neutral students who want to have a dialogue with her and know what America has to promote the general welfare and interests of the youth all over the world.
Of course Mrs. Clinton did not come here for nothing. She will have an audience with president Arroyo and what they may discuss in public or in private is something worth knowing since this greatly affects our bilateral relationship with the US. In their meeting, whose interest will prevail? I hope the Philippines will not be at the losing end.