‘Blame It on Your Buddies’
I wish to correct the wrong impressions presented by your editorial “Blame It on Your Buddies” (Nov. 23).
1. Complaints of many Filipinos about the reliability of the UH-1 helicopters should not be confused for “Yankee-bashing” and as blaming the United States for “many of its (Philippines) problems in confronting its Communist led insurgency.” People could hardly be blamed for worrying about the safety of their military personnel, considering the five UH-1 crashes in three months that resulted in the death of two generals and other officers. Besides, they paid for the helicopters and they have the inherent right to question the quality of the product they receive.
2. One must be rid with the mind-set that the crashes were merely caused by “maintenance” problems. Those UH-1 have only been recently delivered and if they were in such terrific condition they would not have broken down as easily. This point bothers people and will most likely persist unless those fatal crashes stop.
3. Filipinos consider the insurgency-related problems as their own responsibility and do not wish to “pass the buck,” so to say, to their American friends. In fact, our military leaders on many occasions declared that they would be more effective in dealing with such problems by using Philippine-made solutions.
4. The Philippine economy expects to register an economic growth of 5.6% this year in a big turn-around from a minus 9% growth two years ago. Investor confidence has been restored and investments registered a 177% increase over a comparative period last year.
The inflation rate has been reduced to only about 7%. These are indubitable testimonials to the good economic management in the country. It is thus unfair to allege that our leadership has turned its back on our economic affairs.
Elections will be held on Jan. 18, 1988, less than a year following the national elections. There is now a dynamic and responsive legislature.
Considerable gains have been made against the insurgency of the left and the right. Only recently, Juanito Rivera, the second-in-command of the Communist “New People’s Army” was captured. Also, the second-in-command of rebel Gregorio Honasan surrendered. Needless to state, the capture and surrender of these two caused a massive demoralization in the ranks of the insurgents.
Lastly, please know that there is still a vast reservoir of Filipino good will for Americans.
LEOVIGILDO A. ANOLIN
Consul General of the Philippines