Armando Doronilla has an analysis in the Inquirer entitled "Snubs Show Obama is No U.S. Friend." He goes on to say:
In the first blush of victory, US President-elect Barack Obama accepted congratulations from nine presidents and prime ministers and returned their calls. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, one of the numerous early callers, was not one of the chosen few.
The sidelining of the Arroyo call gave a glimpse of the importance of the Philippines to the United States at a moment of change of administration.
It is clear that the Philippines stands on the outer perimeter of US concerns in world affairs.
The first telephone conversations reveal the Philippines is not within the charmed circles of the Obama administration. It is a leper outside looking in.
It is imperative that Manila should rearrange its priorities vis-à-vis Washington. Obama is not our friend.
I don't think we have to over-analyze this issue. The Philippines is not that relevant a country in the international scene, so our president's call may not be as important that of the France's president. Or Obama may think that GMA is a Republican symphatizer - given that GMA practically swoons everytime she and Bush get within 5 five feet of each other. Or Obama may have read of GMA and he doesn't like her and her policies. I can't blame him - majority of the Filipinos do not like her and her policies.
Whatever the reason is, I don't think we have to fret.
Call me naive, but maybe this snub will even do us some good. The U.S. has become the political crutch of every Philippine President. Remember Erap? I thought he was not going to seek the favors of the U.S. (He voted against the US bases in 1991, after all). But surprisingly, one of his first moves as president was to actively push for the Visiting Forces Agreement. So what if Obama is not a friend? As far as I can recall, we have long ceased to be a colony of the U.S. And as far as I can recall, our U.S. president-friends haven't actually done us good that much.
Oh sure, The U.S. gives a lot of dole outs to the Philippines, but sometimes, these are not gratuitous giveaways. Sometimes, these dole outs are so onerous that we usually are on the losing end of the bargain. We have to remember that U.S. is not our only ally. Maybe this is a good time for the Philippines to foster our friendship with other countries, especially our South East Asian neighbors.
And with this situation, maybe the tibak groups will give a rest the oft-used and abused placards saying No to American Imperialism. It's about time they outgrow that mantra.
Photo: ZenRNforObama, Photobucket