12 August 2009

For Reference: REP. LIZA LARGOZA MAZA 0920-9134540
Francis Uyanguren (Public Information Officer) 0915-9329407


Rep.Liza Maza of Gabriela Women’s Party today questioned the presence of 6,000 US troops aboard the US Navy aircraft carrier USS George Washington docked at the Manila Harbor for their so called 4-day “goodwill” visit to the Philippines and asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to explain the nature and scope of their visit.

“The presence of US troops raises a lot of questions. While the US claims that this is part of the routine port visits, we do not exactly know what other agenda they might have as there are no definite limits to their so called ‘humanitarian” trip,” Maza said.

According to reports, some of its 6,000-strong crew, headed by Capt. David Lausman USN, will also participate in community development projects, a 10-barangay outreach program, sports events, and various other “humanitarian” pursuits.

“Is this part of the deal sealed by GMA during her recent US visit? Under what arrangement or agreement allows this “visit” and its “humanitarian” components? Are they here for rest and recreation as well? What cost will it entail to our government?” Maza added.

Maza also expressed concern that the presence of a large number of US troops serves as magnet for attacks from enemies of the United States. “It has been our experience that the presence of US troops has encouraged the proliferation of prostitution,” Maza said.

“Filipino women most especially have become prone to abuse and we cannot simply allow them to fall prey to exploitation and be used as objects for “rest and recreation” of American troops,” Maza said.

“The mere presence of 6,000 US troops in and around Metro Manila is already an abnormal sight and a cause for serious concern. We do not like to think that this is part of the psychological conditioning to make the presence of US troops acceptable in our country despite the Constitutional provision that prohibits foreign troops in our land,” Maza concluded. ###

Gabriela Women’s Party National Headquarters
118 Scout Rallos, Brgy. Sacred Heart,
Quezon City
Telefax: (632) 9295342

Office of Gabriela Rep. Liza Largoza Maza
Rm 309 South Wing Bldg.,
House of Representatives, Quezon City
Telefax: (632) 9316268

Office of Gabriela Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan
Rm. 601 South Wing Bldg.
House of Representatives, Quezon City
Telefax: (632) 9315586