Saturday, February 9, 2002

Philippines needs America's help

In response to Belinda A. Aquino's piece ("America in the Philippines: Will this be another Vietnam?," Star-Bulletin, Jan. 30):

Is she venting her anger at the United States, the government of the Philippines or President Arroyo? Abu Sayyaf are kidnappers, but she says not a word against them. The problem is not the United States, which has always helped the Philippines, but with the Filipinos themselves.

It is ironic that the visiting forces agreement was signed during President Estrada's time, since he was one of the leaders in the Senate who terminated the bases agreement. Nevertheless, the mutual defense treaty remained in effect.

Why is Aquino opposed to the Philippines receiving $100 million in military aid? How can that be called destroying the Philippines?

The Philippines needs all the help it can get, military and economic.

Alfonso L. Largo

Columnist demeans Philippines, military

Belinda A. Aquino's piece, ("America in the Philippines: Will this be another Vietnam?", Star-Bulletin, Jan. 30) calls our helping the Filipinos in their struggle against the Abu Sayyaf murderers "outrageous."

She says the United States is violating Philippine sovereignty and involving that country in "our war" on terrorism.

Have not the Filipinos been fighting their own war on terrorism for decades? Did not the Philippine government ask us to assist it with training and equipment? Have not the Abu Sayyaf killed hundreds of Filipinos and other nationalities?

Aquino demeans the Philippine government and military by saying they have a "fat chance" in defeating terrorists on their own because they are incompetent. She accuses the U.S. military of "overkill" in its fight against terrorism.

Aquino clearly has an ideologue's agenda with her last comment, "U.S. advisers better read up on Philippine-Muslim history and hurry back to Hawaii for their survival."

Art Todd


"For reasons unknown to us, the language HSTA put into the contract regarding the bonus did not represent the agreement that we had reached."

Gov. Ben Cayetano

After the Hawaii Labor Relations Board ruled that the disputed bonus pay provision in the public school teachers' two-year contract agreement was for the first year, not the second. The teachers have argued that the bonus provision was for two years; the state has maintained that it was for one year. The board ordered the state and the Hawaii State Teachers Association to negotiate the differential for the second year of the agreement.

"I feel personally angry. I know what the language says. It's always frustrating that others don't see it with the same clarity."

Joan Husted

Executive director of HSTA, responding to Cayetano's comments.

Gambling company's size no test of purity

In the Feb. 3 Insight article on gambling ("Islands at stake"), Jim Boersema of Sun International rebutted the suggestion of corruption, saying of big gambling companies, "Hilton, MGM, these companies are Fortune 500 stock-exchange companies," and "Sun is a stock-exhange company."

So was Enron.

Nobu Nakamoto

Get rid of all those spying cameras

Why stop at eliminating the traffic cameras? How about those pesky surveillance cameras you see in every store?

Like traffic cameras, store cameras invade our privacy while we are trying to shoplift. To make matters worse, they put store cameras (like traffic cameras) right where we are most likely to break the law. After all, like speeding, if we only shoplift a little, it does not hurt anyone and everyone does it anyway.

We also know that, like the traffic cameras, store cameras allow the security company to make a profit. So let's get rid of all the cameras in banks, at ATMs, stores and public buildings that prevent us from breaking the law.

Our only alternative is to become law-abiding citizens. Imagine that.

Mark Patton

Published by Oahu Publications Inc., a subsidiary of Black Press.

Don Kendall, Publisher

Frank Bridgewater, managing editor 529-4791;
Michael Rovner,
assistant managing editor 529-4768;
Lucy Young-Oda, assistant managing editor 529-4762;

Richard Halloran, editorial page director, 529-4790;
John Flanagan, contributing editor 294-3533;

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