This month, Filipinos especially our Muslim brothers, remember with indignation the 100th year of the Bud Dajo Sulu massacre of almost 600 women and children by American soldiers.
Today, we also grieve for justice remains elusive for our raped sister and our raped nation.
Despite our history being replete with events of US military aggression, it is tragic that it took a rape case to demonstrate how an onerous and lopsided agreement enforced by a subservient government could deprive Filipinos of justice even in their own country. The November 1 rape case in Subic has proven that the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) is grossly disadvantageous to the Philippines, obviously unequal in favor of the United States, and clearly dangerous for the Filipino people.
By refusing to give custody of the charged US soldiers to Philippine authorities, the US has made a mockery of our laws and trampled upon our national sovereignty. In failing to pursue and get custody of the accused, the government has shown that it is both unwilling and incapable of defending its own people and enforcing its laws within its own territory, in exchange for paltry political, military and economic rewards.
The continuing RP-US Balikatan war games is clearly an offense and a danger to Filipinos. Their presence increased the demand for prostituted women and children, and promotes the military forces’ racist and sexist attitude towards our women and countrymen. The biased RP-US military alliance also expose our countrymen, here and abroad, to the hostile responses of various enemies of the US, while the legacy of damage to our natural resources of military toxic wastes and growing numbers of Amerasian children, cannot be ignored.
The VFA and similar military agreements such as the Mutual Logistics Servicing and Acquisition Agreement (MLSA) and the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) has made the Philippine government an accomplice to the US’ imperialist wars of aggression, an accomplice to the murder, pillage and rape of our sovereignty and that of other countries in the world.
We at the SCRAP VFA Campaign-Philippines, a broad gathering of social movements, political organizations, trade unions, women’s groups, human rights organizations, religious formations and concerned individuals – demand a fundamental change in our relationship with the United States.
We demand justice for our raped sister in the November 1 rape case.
We demand for US’ public apology on the various massacres and human rights violations suffered by our countrymen such as the Bud Dajo and Bud Bagsak massacres, and other documented cases of abuse.
We condemn the refusal of the Arroyo government to enforce the country’s laws and pursue justice for Filipinos.
We demand the immediate and unconditional abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and refuse any re-negotiations for a new status of forces agreement that will allow the stationing of US troops in the country, along with the Mutual Logistics Servicing and Acquisition Agreement and the Mutual Defense Treaty.
Justice for all victims of US military aggression!
Scrap the VFA-MLSA-MDT!
End the US-RP military alliance!
Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)
Anak Mindanao (AMIN)
Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Phils. -WGC
Assalam Bangsa Moro People’s Party
Bagong Kamalayan (Prostitution Survivors)
Buklod Center – Olongapo
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP)
Focus on the Global South
Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)
Dr. Francisco “Dodong” Nemenzo
KAISA – KA
Kanlungan Center Foundation
Kilusan Para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD)
Institute for Popular Democracy (IPD)
Nuclear-Free Philippines Coalition (NFPC)
People’s Task Force for Bases Clean Up (PTFBC)
Resource Center for People’s Development (RCPD)
Sr. Ma. Arnold Noel, SSpS, Balay
Third World Movement against the Exploitation of Women
Young Moro Professionals Network