Will Gwen Garcia, Ahong Chan dare follow Manny Mamba’s lead?

Will Gwen Garcia, Ahong Chan dare follow Manny Mamba’s lead?

“I don’t want any Cagayano to die or risk lives just because the Americans want war against China or Taiwan. Let’s stand against it. We don’t need war.”
— Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba

THIS GUY, Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba must have had balls when he expressed his strong opposition to the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) sites in his province.

Mamba also rallied the Cagayanos to unite and stand against hosting the bases for use by American military forces.

Signed in 2014, EDCA grants US troops access to designated Philippine military facilities and allows them to build facilities, and preposition equipment, aircraft, and vessels.

The five existing EDCA locations are Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan, Basa Air Base in Pampanga, Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu, and Lumbia Air Base in Cagayan de Oro City.

As of this writing, we haven’t heard any expression of concern from the local chief executives of the aforementioned EDCA sites.

Unlike Mamba who openly stood against the agreement between the Philippines and its former colonizer after Malacañang announced that there will be four more EDCA sites in the country — the Naval Base Camilo Osias in Santa Ana town and Lal-lo Airport in Lal-lo town, both in Cagayan; Camp Melchor dela Cruz in Gamu town in Isabela province; and Balabac Island in Palawan province.

I wonder if Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia and Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Ahong Chan are brave enough to follow suit with Manny Mamba in openly opposing the EDCA site on their turf.

Manila Times columnist Bobi Tiglao rightfully noted that “EDCA site ‘Benito Ebuen Air Base’ shares the same 3,300-meter runway with the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, which has the second-longest runway in the country, and over which the military has usufruct rights, and therefore the legal authority to allow the US Air Force to use.”

Still, the camps of Gwen Garcia and Ahong Chan are eerily silent.

To think that a Cebuano Tausog warrior named Datu Pula or Lapu-Lapu was the first in our archipelago and in Asia to lead his people against foreign invaders and defeat them.

Even former President Digong Duterte called “idiots” those who refuse to see EDCA sites as camps designed for US forces to use as “forward operating” bases in a war with China.

“Because of these EDCA bases, we will be the multiple targets of Chinese missiles once war breaks out between China and the US. Uulanin tayo ng mga missile ng China! Is that our national interest?” FPRRD blurted out. (Amado Inigo/MTVN)

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