For Immediate Release
January 23, 2016
Christiaan Pfeifer, Anakbayan New Jersey
Gian-Carlo Toriano Parel, Anakbayan New Jersey
(470) 309-2265, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stand up for Philippine Sovereignty: Junk EDCA! Say No to US Pivot to Asia!
On January 16, 2016, the Philippine Supreme Court voted to uphold the legality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippine and United States governments. Anakbayan New Jersey condemns EDCA because it violates Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity, serving the interests of United States imperial incursions and military violence. EDCA, signed hours before Obama’s 2014 visit to the Philippines, allows the United States to station military troops, weapons and war materials in bases throughout the country. We stand firm on the position that EDCA is unconstitutional and reverses the 1991 decision to remove American military bases from Philippine territory through the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
This Supreme Court ruling allows the continued presence of U.S. bases and military operations on Philippine soil. This ruling will lead to further violations of our human rights and degradation of our environment. We condemn the Aquino regime’s betrayal of our national interests by rushing to approve and implement the EDCA. We believe Aquino is sacrificing Philippine sovereignty in favor of U.S. interests to position the Philippines as a pawn in the Asia-Pacific Pivot and Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). Facilities currently being constructed in Ulugan and Oyster Bays in the territorially disputed South China Sea endanger the sovereignty and self-determination of Filipino peoples by positioning the Philippines in the crossfire of surmounting tensions between U.S. and Chinese militaries.
By granting increased military access to the Philippines, Aquino allows the U.S. greater access to the Philippines’ abundant human and natural resources in support of the imperially and capitalistically driven Asia-Pacific Pivot and TPPA. In upholding VFA and EDCA, Aquino allows for U.S. return to strategic bases in the country like the Subic Naval Base and Clark Air Base. Such unequal agreements between the U.S. and Philippines are direct causes of the 2014 murder of Jennifer Laude, a Filipino transgender woman, by U.S. Marine Joseph Pemberton near Subic Naval Base. With the implementation of the EDCA, we can expect attacks on countless other women/children and other human rights violations to worsen. With access to our territorial waters; land; and former military bases, we demand the termination of the EDCA and the Visiting Forces Agreement, and call for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops, advisors, ships, military equipment and weapons from the Philippines.
With the Philippine Elections approaching in May, we urge all candidates to take on the termination of unequal agreements between the US and the Philippines, including the VFA and EDCA, as a major aspect of their platform in order to uphold national sovereignty of the Philippines. Call President Obama’s office at 202.456.1111 and tell him that you do not support the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and you do not want your taxpayer dollars to go toward increased military presence in the Philippines. We stand united in solidarity with other peoples and nations fighting for self-determination and against U.S. militarization and state repression.
US TROOPS OUT OF THE PHILIPPINES!
UPHOLD PHILIPPINE SOVEREIGNTY!