February 17, 2012
Contact Persons: Ana Maria R. Nemenzo #09189038687
Atty. Virginia Suarez-Pinlac #09209190267
Resist US Scheme to Use Philippine Territory for Renewed
and Broadened Control of Asia and the Pacific
The Aquino presidency that has played deaf to clamor to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) must have compromised national sovereignty further in recent secret agreements it entered into with the United States.
Two months after President Benigno C. Aquino III came to office, the Scrap VFA! Movement wrote him a letter asking him to serve the United States of America a notice of termination of the VFA. This alliance of more than forty organizations wrote the president again after it learned that he formed a committee headed by the Executive Secretary tasked to review the VFA during the last quarter of 2010.
While this government has remained quiet about the findings of the purported review, recent statements, especially by officials of the United States, give Filipinos reason to fear that the Aquino presidency has allowed the US unregulated use of Philippine territory for the superpower’s renewed geo-political interest in Asia and the Pacific.
Official statements like the Manila Declaration of the US Department of State last November and the US-Phil Joint Statement on the recently held second bilateral strategic dialogue in Washington DC emphasize a renewed cooperation “founded on long standing friendship” that suggests it will be beneficial to both countries. But the details that have been slowly coming out show that the US desperately needs the Philippines to secure Asian resources, markets and strategic trading routes and to block China’s rise as an economic and military power.
Moreover, both Admiral Robert Willard of the United States Pacific Command and Secretary Albert del Rosario of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs in separate statements confirm that the US needs more access to ports and airfields to refuel and service warships and planes and not merely for goodwill and therefore, they will be “stretching their presence in the Philippine Archipelago beyond local military facilities”.
The Scrap VFA! Movement deplores Malacañang’s readiness to accede to this dubious kind of cooperation. That this will help the Philippines protect national sovereignty is a sham. These foreign troops and exercises in the Philippines are infringements of our national sovereignty!
That these additional troops will come on rotation basis is a flimsy pretext to deflect massive protests and indignation. Permanently based or rotational, these foreign troops are not a source of Philippine security. As proven during WWII, these are magnets of attack that put the Filipino people in more danger.
More troops, exercises, warships and aircrafts will not move the country to progress. On the contrary, it will mean more garbage to dispose of, more destruction in the ecosystem and more women getting trafficked for prostitution for the troops on rotation. In the coming years, a new generation of abandoned Amerasians, similar to what the old U.S. bases left behind, and mounting toxic wastes adding to what the United States has refused to clean-up from 1991 until today, will be additional problems. These can never be compensated by so-called military assistance, like the 44-year-old second coast guard cutter Dallas due to arrive this month.
It is high time the Philippines puts an end to the century-old subservience to US imperialism. For a truly independent foreign policy, the Scrap VFA! Movement calls for the abrogation of the Mutual Defense Treaty and all other unequal agreements that have compromised our national dignity and sovereignty.###
The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip on Feb 21th 2012