Activists hold an anti-U.S. protest in Manila on April 25, 2014.

Demonstrators clashed with police Wednesday at the U.S. embassy in Manila over President Obama’s upcoming visit to the Philippines. At issue is a planned security pact that critics say will increase the U.S. military presence in the country. But many Filipinos support closer security ties and increased trade with America. We discuss U.S.-Philippines relations with members of the Bay Area Filipino-American community.

Jay Gonzalez, professor of government and Global Filipino Studies, Ageno School of Business, Golden Gate University
Odette Keeley, host and executive producer of "New America Now", New America Media's TV program on COMCAST Hometown Network
Terrence Valen, president of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns
Rodel Rodis, attorney and columnist for the Philippines-based online newspaper

  • disqus_WRo7PZykMG

    Being an American citizen who has gone through all the turmoil in the Philippines and now doing business in both sides of the Pacific, your guests have no idea of the threat China poses and the national sentiment in the Philippines on the need for a friendly country’s support like the USA to help protect it’s sovereignty. Those that oppose the US presence are in the minority. They also are mostly extremely left leaning radicals and are living in the past and have outlived their purpose. It seems they also are the parts of the those that want to perpetuate the extreme corruption in the government for their own benefits. The US presence means there is no check and no way to bring the corruption to the surface.

  • Annie

    How can any treaty benefit the masses in the Philippines where the corruption in all levels of Filipino government is rampant? according to friends who are also Yolanda victims, a lot of the donated from US and international community were diverted to grocery stores for sale while the govt officials pocket the profits. Does the Philippine president has any plan to address the corruption?

  • Root_Admin1

    It sounds like there is the typical anti-Arroyo, Anti-Chinese, pro-immigration (which is not directly related to Obama’s visit to Manila) sentiments among the panelists today. How about the corruption by govt officials? Will the defense treaty work with or around the corruption? Do any of the panelists believe this is something that can mitigated or too ingrained in the culture?

  • kalovski

    1. -Supporting TPP with the end goal of courting US support to modernize Philippine Armed forces to counter China is a wishful thinking and mendicancy. It has been a century that our Philippine armed forces remain backward. This is so because of the internal conditions. We remain a neo-colony while a economy still remain export oriented import dependent and debt driven. This present state of the Philippine economy has driven millions and millions of Filipinos out of the country to work instead of addressing the structural problems in the country and instituting basic changes in land ownership by implementing genuine land reform and national industrialization.

  • kalovski

    China threat is a justifying narrative. While the US President busies expanding military agreements like in the Philippines, her wife spends her time in China with the head of states. Chinese threat?

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