By ILPS Philippines
MANILA – The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) chapter in the Philippines held a protest rally in front of the US embassy today to say “No Deal” with the US-initiated Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and the signing in New Zealand of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The Aquino government recently legalized the 2014 EDCA in the Supreme Court and is offering military facilities for the use of American troops. It also signified intention to join the TPP.
“We say ‘No Deal’ to the EDCA and TPP which only serves US interests in the country and the Asia-Pacific. We are coordinating with our counterparts particularly in Japan, South Korea and Australia against the US bases in the region. The protests in Wellington against the TPP are also joined by our compatriots and solidarity groups in New Zealand,” ILPS-Phils Chair Bong Labog said.
At least eight bases are being offered by the Aquino government as military facilities for the US: Basa Air Base and Clark in Pampanga, Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, Camp Bautista and a naval base in Palawan, Camp Ebuen and a naval base in Cebu, and Lumbia airfield in Cagayan de Oro City. It is currently using Subic Bay where more than 100 US warships docked last year and two nuclear-powered submarines ported this January.
“US warships have already docked at the Manila South Harbor and anchored behind the Mall of Asia in Manila Bay. Offering civilian facilities for US military use would be using human shields in violation of the Geneva Conventions. The Mutual Defense Board and the Security Engagement Board should know this,” the global activist group said.
“Besides, using Chinese incursions into the West Philippine Sea is a poor excuse for US military stationing especially nukes which is expressly prohibited by the sovereign Filipino people,” they added.
The ILPS held its international assembly in the Philippines and joined demonstrations last November as Pres. Benigno Aquino met US Pres. Barack Obama at the APEC Summit.
The protest at the US embassy today commemorates the start of the Philippine-American War (1899-1902) which extended up to the Moro lands. On February 4, 1899, an American soldier, Private William Grayson, shot a Filipino soldier at the bridge of San Juan, Manila marking the beginning of the US occupation which killed over a million Filipinos.