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BAN THE BASES! US Troops Out of the Philippines & Asia-Pacific Region!
UNAC Statement of Opposition to Military Base Access Talks Between US and Philippine Governments
A new “Framework Agreement for Increased Rotational Presence and Enhanced Defense Cooperation” is being negotiated between the US and Philippines this week, a major step in the US military’s “pivot to the Asia Pacific” wherein 60% of the US’s troops will be moved into the region. While the agreement is being called new, we can expect the same old results: more troops, more warships, more spy planes, more drones, more weapons and more bases will be heading to the Philippines, and the Filipino people will suffer more displacement, more civilian casualties, more environmental destruction, and more violence against women and children. The United National Anti-War Coalition is in full support and solidarity with the Filipino people who are fighting against this military agreement.
The US military pivot to Asia Pacific runs counter to the interests of the people in the region. Under the guise of fighting the “war on terror” and “war on drugs,” the real objective of the US pivot is to further expand and consolidate its hegemony in order to maintain its global economic, geopolitical and military supremacy in the midst of persistent financial crisis and economic decline. US imperialism aims to ensure and perpetuate US control over markets, strategic resources and communications and transport lines in the Asia Pacific region, at the expense of the vast majority—the 99%--who will only experience a deterioration of their livelihoods. Americans, too, bear the cost of US militarism in the Philippines and the entire region, as billions of dollars continue to be poured into the military industrial complex and siphoned away from fundamental public services.
The US is opportunistically exploiting territorial disputes between the Philippines and China to justify its expansion and subdue its critics. Contrary to its claim of safeguarding and promoting regional stability as well as assisting the Philippine military with modernizing and enhancing its defense capability, the US pivot will feed further instability and conflict within the Philippines as well as between and among the Philippines and other countries as US imperialism employs the divide-and-rule strategy.
US aggression and intervention in the Philippines is made possible by the willing collaboration of the government of President Benigno Aquino III and members of the ruling elite who have vested political and economic interests tied to US economic, geopolitical and corporate interests. When pressed by members of the concerned public to be transparent about the basic details of the agreement, Aquino’s chief negotiators remained silent or gave vague descriptions at best. Already-existing military agreements between the US and the Philippines such as the Visiting Forces Agreement are considered unconstitutional, portending a similar shredding of Philippine sovereignty by the new agreement with the full acquiescence of the Aquino administration.
The US has used the Philippines as its launching pad for war and exploitation for too long. The US has no right to trample on the sovereignty of the Philippines or any other nation.
· US Out of the Philippines!
· Self-Determination of the Filipino People!
· Stop the US Pivot to the Asia Pacific!
· No to US Militarism, Intervention and War!
· Defend National Sovereignty and Promote Global Peace!
· Fight US Imperialism!