For Immediate Release
September 16, 2015
Joelle Eliza Lingat, Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265, firstname.lastname@example.org
No Basis to U.S. Bases: U.S. out of the Philippines! 24 Years since the Lifting of the Military Bases Agreement
On September 16, 1991, the Philippine people rejected a new treaty for the Subic Bay National Station, which was to mark the end of U.S. military presence in the country. However, 24 years later, the U.S. military has been the root cause of national tragedies such as the Mamasapano massacre and the murder of Jennifer Laude in the past year alone. Anakbayan New Jersey commemorates the efforts of our predecessors and calls upon the Filipino people today to continue the struggle against U.S. imperialism and all forms of foreign intervention.
Although the Philippine Senate was lauded for rejecting the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Security in a 12-11 vote, a mere eight years later, they ratified the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), which enabled the Balikatan exercises. The VFA allows the U.S. government to retain jurisdiction over U.S. military personnel, meaning that the foreign invaders not only conduct military exercises on Philippine land, yet are protected upon violations Philippine law. The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) was also signed on April 28, 2014, which ten-year agreement to station U.S. troops and operations on Philippine territory. The historic lifting of military bases was not at the hands of the Senate that essentially overturned the decision, but due to the uproar of the people. The VFA and EDCA illustrate the duplicitous nature of Senate as puppets of the U.S. government.
“U.S. Military presence in the Philippines only means the protection of the neoliberal interests of foreign monopoly capitalists,” said Ian Jerome Conde, Deputy Secretary General of Anakbayan New Jersey, “The rhetoric of the ‘U.S. Protecting the Philippines from China’ propagates the pro-colonial relationship that has existed since the Philippine American War.”
The Philippines has been the battleground of foreign war machines for far too long. As Filipino youth and students, our tomorrow is a path laden with the bullets of imperialism. We cannot merely be inheritors of the future, but rather fight for it to be one free from foreign intervention and replaced with a new society built upon agrarian reform and national industrialization.
U.S. OUT of the Asia-Pacific!