The International League of Peoples’ Struggle – Philippines challenges President Rodrigo Duterte to push through with the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), and to end all other unequal treaties with imperialist nations. Since its inception, the International League of People’s Struggles – Philippines (ILPS Philippines) together with other patriotic organizations have condemned the VFA and other mechanisms of US imperialism in the country that trample on our rights to our national sovereignty.
After the Filipino people rejected the extension of the US Military Bases agreement in 1991, the Visiting Forces Agreement was ratified in 1999 and was further strengthened in 2014 through the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). These military agreements are enabled by the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the US and the Philippines. The VFA has allowed US troops free entry in the country and given them license to rape and murder with impunity, while the EDCA permits US operation of Philippine military bases and the construction of additional military facilities on Philippine soil.
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, several Philippine senators and top AFP officials have spoken out against the termination of the VFA, with US and Filipino diplomats in talks for crafting a new military agreement. US-Philippine military treaties are crucial to maintaining US dominance over the Asia-Pacific and curtailing aggressive Chinese expansionism in the region. At the same time, the US is suffering from more than a decade-long recession since 2008 and is thus scrambling to reassert its political and economic hegemony worldwide, which is its reason for rousing conflict in the Middle East.
The Philippines remains a US neo-colony suffering from extant unequal agreements such as EDCA, MDT, Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA), among others. The multi-faceted dominance of the US on our military, culture, economy, and politics will thrive as long as the government continues to vow as a puppet to its imperialist agenda.
While scrapping the VFA may loosen the claws of the US on the Philippines, the door remains open for new unfair military agreements from imperialist nations such as China. The Filipino people should be steadfast and not allow another military pact to be renegotiated and agreed with either China or any other country. We as a nation should maintain a position of independence in terms of our sovereignty and international relations.
ILPS Philippines calls on the Filipino people to unite against imperialist intervention and aggression in the country, junk all lopsided economic and military agreements with the US and other imperialist countries, and fight for genuine national sovereignty.
US Troops, Out Now!
Junk all military agreements with the United States!
Down with imperialism!