Approved by the International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
5-6 June 2014
Whereas, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) that was forged only between the Executive Department of the United States and the Philippines, allows the rotational presence of US troops in the Philippines, prepositioning of US arms, military supplies and equipment for “maritime security and humanitarian assistance” and the construction and maintenance of US military facilities inside Philippine bases. Furthermore, the EDCA will be in effect for ten years, but could be automatically renewed;
Whereas, the crafting of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the defense officials of the US and Philippines was shrouded in secrecy, and was only revealed to the Filipino public after it was signed by US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg and Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin in April 25,2014 – the day before the visit of US President Barrack Obama to the Philippines;
Whereas, there had been no public discussion and debates for the Filipino people to scrutinize and to expose its lopsided provisions in favor of the US, and what was often projected by the Aquino regime to the media is the urgent need for US to defend Philippines against China’s bullying tactics;
Whereas, through the EDCA, the US will carry out its pivot agenda in East Asia which it deems as one of the richest (resources wise) regions in the world; that the US will be deploying 60% of its troops, weapons, warships, equipment in East Asia to project its military might, to ensure the untrammeled flow of its trade in the region, to pre-empt the rapid growth of China economically and militarily, and to influence China’s ruling class to adopt neoliberal policy peddled by the US;
Whereas, under Article III, Section 2, the Philippines shall assist transit or temporary access by US forces to “public lands and facilities (including roads, ports and airfields), including those owned by local governments. Said provision will encroach on private properties of ordinary citizens, especially of peasants and indigenous peoples whose farming areas could now be used by US forces for defense purposes;
Whereas, these encroachments by the combined US-Philippine military on farming communities, ancestral domain of indigenous peoples, waterways of the fisherfolk, buildings and infrastructures used by citizens as provided by their local government will result in the resistance of the aforementioned sectors. Thus, rampant and gross human rights violations will necessarily result in the aforesaid confrontation of civilians and the combined US and Philippine military. Violence and killings will be committed by aforesaid forces in the name of “ pivot”, “security”, “defense against so-called terrorists”;
Whereas, the EDCA will facilitate the entry of nuclear weapons and wastes, including drones. According to the group Agham, all US aircraft carriers and submarines in the Pacific Fleet are nuclear-powered. There is no actual provision in the EDCA that states that the US shall not include nuclear weapons. With EDCA, the Philippine government will enable the entry of at least 82 nuclear warheads possibly contained in the ballistic missiles submarines (SSBN). With their entry, the US has already violated the anti-nuclear provisions of the Philippine Constitution, aside from the fact that the US never abided by international weapon treaties.
Whereas, nuclear wastes and other waste taken from US warships could be discharged on Philippine waters or land. There is also the great danger of the possibility of nuclear explosions caused by either accident or attack on Philippine shores because of the Philippines close alliance with the US. Such explosions will mean massive deaths for the Filipino people, aside from the dangers to health.
Whereas, with EDCA, thousands of US troops to be deployed to the Philippines will become a lucrative source of big income for sex traders and traffickers who would recruit young women and teenage girls for prostitution. When the US military bases were still around in Clark and Subic, an estimated 60,000 women from many parts of the country were involved in prostitution in a country where poverty is rampant due to the country’s lack of agricultural development and national industrialization. Furthermore, rape cases charged against US soldiers have hardly prospered due to the non-prosecution by Philippine laws and the connivance of US embassy officials to spirit away soldiers, as what happened to a Filipino Nicole and US corporal Daniel Smith. The presence of US troops breed crime, vices and drug trafficking, aside from social diseases arising from prostitution.
Whereas, the deployment of 60% of US troops and weapons in Asia including the Philippines, will surely give rise to attacks by enemies of the US against countries in Asia and the Philippines. The dangers of war and conflagration among these countries will spread and thus bring chaos in this part of the world. We recall the attack on the Philippines by the Japanese forces in 1942, because the Philippines was an ally of the United States in the war against Japan and its allies. The Philippines, in the 1970s, was used by the US as staging ground for its attack against the people of Vietnam in their war for national liberation.
Resolved, as it is hereby resolved, that the International League of Peoples´ Struggle shall campaign vigorously to junk EDCA, the highly lopsided agreement in favor of US interest and which tramples the sovereign right of the Filipino people to decide for their own security, welfare, progress, and peaceful co-existence with their neighboring countries, by among others:
conducting widespread political education throughout the archipelago,
reaching out to as many divergent groups affected and critical of the provisions of the EDCA,
engaging in lively propaganda and cultural work to show in graphic forms the unequal relations of the US and the Philippines,
undertaking series of mass actions in front not only of the US Embassy, but of other possible facilities, ports, areas, etc. to be used by the US military, and
soliciting the support of the people in the US to stop their government from pursuing colonial relations with the Philippines and to pull out their troops from our country.
Authored by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan
(BAYAN, New Patriotic Alliance)