NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 27 April)—With the development of the new EDCA sites and the Balikatan in motion, it becomes apparent that PBBM has ceased rowing his boat in two rivers, stopped cozying with China, and has finally stood with the US in preparing for eventualities over the escalating crisis in the waters near us. Marcos, in fact, will talk with President Biden next week, on what else but to confirm his solidarity with the US against China. This move might yet be an effective leverage in collecting once again more promises on investments and other forms of economic assistance.
(But, when will PBBM collect the fulfillment of all the pledges he has accumulated in his and family foreign trips? He might need to create a Department of Fulfillment or at least a Fulfillment Commission to make good of those external promises, as well as his very own at home.)
No more double talk. For all intents and purposes, the Balikatan exercise readies our armed men in joining the US in a possible war with China. Our soldiers are being trained in the use of the modern weapons of war, like the Hi-mar missile, which has been effectively used in stunting the Russian invasion in Ukraine.
We have crossed the Rubicon. The die is cast.
The civilian population has to prepare for the onslaught of war because it is often the target of the enemy to neutralize the war effort of a country. Apparently, the Ukrainian civilians received more missile storms and suffered heavily than the army in the battlefront—their residences turned to ashes, power and water supply destroyed, communication system wiped out, and medical facilities and schools turned to rubble.
Cannot this Balikatan conduct, too, an exercise for the civilian population to abet the impact of war?
The joined forces may, perhaps, build bomb shelters and early warning devices in strategic places, especially in urban centers, and teach the people what to do in case of an imminent missile attacks.
By all means, let us prepare for the worst.
(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental.)