[via GMA TV News] It has been reported by AFP spokesperson Lt. Co. Romeo Brawner, and confirmed by the US Embassy in Manila that two US Navy personnel and a Philippine Marine have been killed by the blast of an IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE detonated along a roadway as their convoy was making its way to a construction project site in Indanan, Sulu in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. The identities of all three killed in the attack have been withheld.
The two American fatalities are the first killed since US troops have been deployed under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) to the southern Philippines. They have been engaged in training, support and civic works to help combat the Abu Sayyaf Group, which has been designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S., the U.K., the E.U. and the UN Security Council. The ASG has inflicted years of terrorist atrocities on all Filipinos: Muslim, Christian and otherwise, in the form of kidnappings-for-ransom-and propaganda, murderous rampages and rape of hostages, bombings, beheadings and mayhem.
At the same time, the Philippine Senate led by Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, has just passed a resolution calling upon President Gloria Arroyo to serve notice of termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement if the U.S. won't renegotiate the VFA.
I don't think however, that we ought to let the vital mutual security interests of the Philippines and the United States become a hostage to Maid Miriam's political plans in 2010. She has never impressed me with her much-vaunted "foreign policy expertise" considering what a mess she made of China-RP relations during the ZTE NBN fiasco with her hare-brained comments about the Chinese inventing corruption. Her understanding of the terrorist problem we face is underwhelming to say the least. I'm only glad that at least for now, Sen. Santiago does not have a decisive influence upon our foreign policy.
She's been sharpening her knives for the Visiting Forces Agreement however, ever since the Subic Rape Case unreeled and then imploded. But given that the Philippine government is unable to provision its own Armed Forces with ammunition and fuel, and is perpetually dependent on American largesse for the bare necessities of the national defense, that Senate Resolution deserves to be given short-shrift.SOURCE: Philippine Commentary