World Economic Forum, just to be in the National Prayer Breakfast graced by Obama. Despitespending millions of the Filipinos' money, despite literally going out of her way, and despite breaking basic rules of protocol and even self-respect, Arroyo was humiliated the third time bigtime, as she failed to get any face time with Obama. Not even a word acknowledging her presence before the forum crowd of some 4,000 guests.The costs of Arroyo's desperation-level jetsetting to stalk Obama have been very high for the Philippines. The June2008 junket, the largest in the country's history, wasenjoyed by no less than 60 solons and 10 cabinetofficials. It went on despite the battering that TyphoonFengshen inflicted on a considerable part of thePhilippines. The third time proved too much, as not a fewtook notice and assailed her for 'wasting public fundschasing Obama.'
US interests in the South China Sea
This author has been pleasantly amused by Obama's initial refusal to be used by Arroyo or be associated with her corrupt governmentearly on, but is history smart enough to know that that it was only amatter of time before he starts dealing with her. For some threemonths, he managed to keepthe controversial PhilippinePresident at bay, and project aclean-as-promised image tothe world. Less anyoneforget, however, Obama isduty bound to uphold "US interests" first and foremost.After all, in a period following the expulsion of the US bases by the Philippine Senate in 1991, America hasneeded to exert greater efforts to steer Manila's policies inline with Washington's strategic and economic interests inits former colony. From the time America colonized thePhilippines at the turn of the 20th century until about thetime of Ferdinand Marcos, Manila was a virtual pawn of superpower Washington.
"Special" Fil-Am Friendship, Sealed by the CIA
The US and the Philippines have historically enjoyed a longstanding "special friendship." Itsupposedly began on a spiritual plane, on the night of October 24, 1898 when US PresidentWilliam McKinley arrived at the decision to colonize the Philippine Islands after the "voice of God" told him "to take them all, to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and Christianize them."