By Tracy Cabrera
MANILA — Stressing the need for member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to forge a stronger alliance against expansionist policies being adopted by Beijing for dominance in Asia, retired Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and Partido Reporma senatorial candidate Guillermo Eleazar underscored how small developing countries like the Philippines could defend its sovereignty by uniting with its neighbors in mutual cooperation not only militarily but in trade and economy as well.
In an official statement, the 56-year-old retired general and former ‘top cop’ expressed his full support for initiatives that would strengthen and cement an alliance with other nations that would effectively deal with attempts to disregard the sovereign rights, especially in the light of the ongoing territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
Eleazar, who served as the 26th PNP chief, highlighted the importance for our country to establish and maintain good relations with countries that are strong in terms of military capabilities as well as with those that are also pushing for a ‘balance of power’ in the region.
“Habang pinapalakas natin ang ating Sandatahang Lakas para makatugon sa mga isyu at kaganapan sa West Philippine Sea, naniniwala ako na nararapat ding paigtingin natin ang ating alyansa sa ibang bansa upang makakuha rin tayo ng suporta mula sa kanila,” he pointed out.
He explained that in maintaining stronger ties with our neighbors and even with Western powers in North America, Europe, and Australia, the result would end with having a ‘balance of power’ that would help avoid smaller nations from being ‘bullied’ by much bigger and more military-capable countries like the People’s Republic of China (PRC).