US TROOPS & BASES OUT OF THE PHILIPPINES!
On October 11th 2013, Filipino American ND Organizations of BAYAN PNW and GABRIELA USA protested negotiations of increased US military in the Philippines, together with allies from Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites, TADAIMA and Committee of American Friends for the Philippines. Even though the Secretary of State Kerry had cancelled his trip to the Philippines, like our comrades in the Philippines and other places in the world being oppressed by US militarization, we held steadfast and continued to take action, while educating the public about the injustices that are happening globally due to US Imperialism.
Please call U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s office at (202) 647-5291 to tell him NO to US Access Agreement. NO to US TROOPS and BASES in the PHILIPPINES.
US military presence in the Philippines increases as closed door negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) dubbed “NAFTA on steroids” continue to ensure America’s footing in the Asia Pacific region.
We oppose the return of US bases in the Philippines through the proposed base access agreement and the US strategic reposition policy for the following reasons:
1. US military bases on Philippine soil is a violation of the Philippine constitution Since the Philippines’ “independence day” in 1946, the United States has continued to use its former colony as a pivot point to the Pacific. This unequal relationship between US and the Philippines and the infringement upon the sovereignty of land and is widely opposed by everyday Filipinos.
2. Violence against Women and Children
Women, girls, and children remain as the most vulnerable sector of victims from US militarization. According to Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), prostitution of women and children goes up 600% with the presence of US military bases. The highest profile case was the Nicole Subic Bay Rape case of 2009, in which all of the suspected perpetrators, who were US military officers, were acquitted and not brought to justice.
3. Occurrences of human rights violations
In the human rights organization KARAPATAN’s 2012 year-end report, there have been 99 victims of extrajudicial killings and 11 enforced disappearances during Aquino’s presidency. A Reuters article reports that the US tripled military aid to the Philippines in 2012. If the U.S. government funds a Philippine military that continues to commit grave human rights abuses, then it is in fact supporting this policy of political killings, enforced disappearances, and torture.
4. US Warships Pollutes and Damages the Environment
After years’ worth of toxic legacy left by the US military in Subic and Clark Bays, and the US Navy’s inflicted damages on Tubbataha Reef, a destroyed 2,345-hectare part of the protected reef – now there are plans to construct a naval base on Oyster Bay, part of the biodiversity- and resource-rich Ulugan Bay. The UNESCO study published in 2002 pointed out that Ulugan Bay is home to 63 fish species, highly diverse coral communities, and 15 percent of the country’s mangrove forest cover. Various environmental groups fear that Ulugan Bay will be the next area where US forces will cause another toxic disaster.
5. Military Occupation takes away funding towards education and social services in the United States
Even with the US government shutdown, the government continues to fund the military, spending over $856 Billion in 2013. The US government should be not prioritizing further military occupation which violate of rights of Filipinos and others globally, rather it needs to prioritize the much needed services and jobs for American families.
Please Call U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s office at (202) 647-5291 to voice your concern over his visit to the Philippines to discuss a US-RP Access Agreement!