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Monday, May 27, 2024

We are our own worst enemy

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“What the government must do now is come out with rational and coherent policies to deal with such issues to protect our national security interests”

SOMETIMES, we are our own worst enemy.

Instead of our officials immediately getting together to formulate a response to the sudden influx of thousands of Chinese nationals to Tuguegarao, Cagayan purportedly to take up graduate courses without knowing a word of English, dak-dak lang tayo ng dak-dak.

We spend too much time talking about this issue without doing anything concrete.

This thing about the presence of large numbers of Chinese nationals of military age in the country is nothing new.

On top of that, there is also the reported 800,000 plus Chinese nationals who entered as tourists but have never been monitored to have left the country.

I do not know whether our national security officials realize the implications of having that large number embedded in the country while the media both local and international keep on ratcheting the so-called WPS tensions.

If one talks of military organizations, anywhere between 12 to 16,000 men composes a Division of fighting men.

If those 800,000 are still here, that translates to about 50 Divisions.

So, all the rhetoric about us not giving up an inch of our territory does ring hollow.

Why?

Because many of the people we are supposed to prevent from taking over the country maybe already here.

It is very much like what happened before the Second World War when Japan sent many fifth columns to the country years before the war started.

When the country was eventually invaded in January 1942, all that these people had to do was put on their uniforms.

The difference now is that, in the case of China, it is 14 times bigger and stronger than Japan ever was.

The yearly Balikatan exercise for this year is about preventing an invading force.

But maybe we are already a bit late for that because with so many of those we are preparing to repulse are already here. We should be asking the question, what is the whole point?

Let us take the current case of the thousands of Chinese nationals in Tuguegarao who are supposedly enrolled in graduate courses.

In an interview with one school official, he said those so-called students do not or hardly speak a word of English and want to lease dwelling places for five years which should already trigger alarm bells.

As the famous fictional private detective Sherlock Holmes would like to say, this case is elementary.

We do not have to be an Einstein to figure out what this situation is all about.

Why would thousands of Chinese students suddenly flock to Tuguegarao, Cagayan which is not generally acknowledged as a learning center to take up graduate courses when there are so many other schools better suited to accommodate them?

The answer should be obvious to all.

If it were not for those additional EDCA sites which are all located in Cagayan, it is doubtful whether they will even want to go there to study or their presence there generate any controversy.

But because of the ongoing constructions on these AFP facilities, the suspicion is they are there to monitor what is going on which maybe presumptuous.

This is exacerbated by the fact that the Cagayan Provincial Governor is a confirmed Sinophile.

He has been very outspoken with his preference for China over the United States.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with that but, as Provincial Governor, he should leave foreign policy matters to the national government and not be too vociferous in his objections to what the government is doing to strengthen the defense capability of the country.

His very staunch defense of China may make some to think he is an enabler of the Chinese government.

After all, foreign policy is not one of his job descriptions.

Furthermore, if there is any regional conflict, the whole country will be involved.

What the government must do now is come out with rational and coherent policies to deal with such issues to protect our national security interests.

There should be nothing wrong with Chinese students going to study in Tuguegarao but 6,400 students, if that number is correct, would raise some national security concerns.

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