GABRIELA USA Strongly Opposes Invitation to Increase U.S. Military Presence in the Philippines

August 16, 2013

Reference: Valerie Francisco, Chairperson, GABRIELA USA,

This week, talks began between President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s administration (GPH) and the U.S. government to discuss increasing the amount of U.S. troops on rotation in the Philippines. Claiming this open invitation as a “reaction to China’s aggression”, GPH Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin announced the negotiations with the U.S. as a tactic to protect national sovereignty. GABRIELA USA strongly denounces this open invitation for more U.S. troops in the Philippines because we can not forget the last century of U.S. imperialist presence in the Philippines and U.S. interest of geopolitical positioning in the Asia Pacific. “Every Filipino who cares about the national sovereignty of our homeland should be concerned that issues arising between the Philippines and China are being exploited by the U.S.-Aquino regime to justify the presence of thousands of U.S. troops,” says Valerie Francisco, Chairperson of GABRIELA USA.

GABRIELA USA has and will always be concerned about the unconstitutionality of the Visiting Forces Agreement and U.S. military occupation in the Philippines.  Filipino women and children are always the first to suffer with increased U.S. military intervention.  The rape of “Nicole” in 2009 and the U.S. role in preventing convicted rapist Lance Corporal Daniel from serving his sentence in Philippine prison is grounds for all of us to take action and oppose U.S. military presence in our homeland.  There will be many more “Nicoles” with increased U.S. military intervention in the Philippines.

“In any conflict with neighboring countries over territorial disputes, the Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino should exhaust all peaceful and diplomatic means, instead of using the conflict with China as an excuse to roll out the red carpet for the return of U.S. bases,” continues Francisco. GABRIELA USA believes that issues with China must be resolved without intrusion of U.S. imperialist agendas. As issues with China emerge, the Philippine government must have its people in mind, and learn from the lessons of U.S. neocolonialism to deal with future situations of aggression and economic domination.

“Historically, and to this day, the most dangerous and violent presence in the Philippines is U.S. political economic dominance and military occupation. U.S. imperialism continues to ravage the lives of Filipinos through neoliberal policies that purport sovereignty while enforcing dependence to the U.S. Furthermore, as long as Philippine President Aquino remains subservient to U.S. imperialist will, the Philippine people cannot even imagine, nor begin, to have diplomatic and sovereign bilateral agreements with nation-states involved with Philippine political issues,” says Raquel Redondiez, Spokesperson of GABRIELA USA.