By Bernadette E. Tamayo of The Manila Times
THE Philippines should not be used as a pawn of any superpower such as the United States and Russia in their “proxy war,” political analyst Prof. Anna Malindog-Uy said.
Malindog-Uy, of the Philippines-BRICS Strategic Studies, said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will “negatively impact the economic recovery of countries like the Philippines from the Covid-19.
“The Ukraine crisis and its economic impact, no doubt, taken together, is like a double whammy for developing countries like the Philippines, which are trying to bounce back from the devastating economic effects of the Covid pandemic,” she said at the Pandesal forum on Monday.
“The country should refuse and prevent at all costs the possibility of being a proxy or a pawn of any superpower in their proxy wars.” “It must avoid being used as a pawn by any superpower to encircle another superpower,” Malindog-Uy said. “We should avoid being in the frontline of any military confrontation and competition consequential to the power struggle of the superpowers, which is not to our advantage and not in line with the country’s national interests.”
“Similarly, Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member-states must be consistent and steadfast in upholding Asean centrality in matters such as regional security, architecture, regional order, and the power dynamics between external powers that have interests in the region,” she added.
Another political analyst, Prof. Rommel Banlaoi said that the Ukrainian crisis “is also an expression of major power rivalry between the United States and the former Soviet Union.” “And the attack against Ukraine is not only an attack against Ukraine but also an attack against the United States and its allies in Western Europe. So, you have to understand the Ukrainian crisis in the context of major power rivalry,” he pointed out.
The Ukrainian crisis, is also “a competition between two major political system — the democratic system and the so-called the undemocratic world.” “They regard Russia as a threat to the system of Western Europe because of its non-democratic institutions,” said Banlaoi, chairman of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism.
“And the main purpose of the US and Western Europe in expanding to Ukraine is precisely to promote democracy in that part of the world and also encircle Russia and also adopt a democratic system according to the wishes of the United States and its allies in Western Europe,” he said.
Meanwhile, Salvador Panelo, former chief presidential legal counsel, said that Ukraine’s valiant stand to defend itself is inspiring to countries that also have disputes with larger nations. “However, the human toll alone — reported at 352 civilians killed and 1,684 injured, including children, and 268,000 displaced, after just three days of hostilities — clearly demonstrates the wisdom in President Duterte’s policy to exhaust diplomatic means to resolve the dispute with China to avoid war and unnecessary loss and disruption of Filipino lives,” Panelo said.
“The Ukraine experience has shown that US involvement or the risk thereof may in fact serve as the very impetus for a preemptive attack from a threatened superpower,” he added.
The senatorial candidate that Duterte’s prudence kept the Philippines out of harm because he knew that the country is in no position to fight a bigger country like China.
“I hope that the next President continues this, and your efforts to strengthen our military so that the “Ukraine option” may be viable for us in the near future if efforts for peaceful resolution of conflicts fail,” he said.