Poe wants an arms race with China over South China Sea dispute
another dummy exposes herself
President Benigno Aquino III and Senator Grace Poe. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/REM ZAMORA
President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday night chided presidential candidate, Senator Grace Poe, on what seemed to be her choice to have an arms race with China over the South China Sea maritime dispute.
In his campaign speech in Caloocan City, the President could not help but touch on the maritime disputerarely, if not at all, discussed on the stump where national security and foreign policy take a backseat to poverty, employment, education, and corruption.
At the presidential debate two weeks ago, Poe hit the administration for setting aside the surface-to-air missile program of the military in favor of purchasing force protection gear and firearms for the Army.
Mr. Aquino referred to Poe only as this candidate in his speech.
When this candidate talks, it is as if the issues have been thoroughly studied. (She) only criticized why we bought force protection for the soldiers we should have missiles now, the President said.
It is a folly to engage an arms race with a giant nation, the President said, referring to China.
He emphasized that if the government funds the accumulation of military arms only to establish superiority, there would be no money left for social services such as the conditional cash transfer program, the building of schools, and other infrastructure.
Moreover, we accumulate these arms which we also do not want to use because once we use them, that would mean there is war. But the soldiers equipment, they use these against the Abu Sayyaf, the New Peoples Army, to protect us, the President said. TVJ