The recent announcement thatUS troops and warships can once again use their former naval and air facilities in Subic and Clark is another clear admission that as the United States seeks to reassert dominance in Asia and the Pacific, the Philippines is also back at being a launching pad of US aggression in the region.
It is no surprise because anti-VFA activists and organizations like the Scrap VFA! Movement have long been warningthe government that the VFA virtually allowed the US military to use the whole Philippine territory as its base not only for its trainings but also for actual wars. If they use parts of the facilities that hardly have modern military facilities, they would surely have more need for Subic and Clark that have US-installed facilities of strategic importance that remain untouched by Philippine security forces and visibly reserved for US’s use.
Actually, it is not only now that US troops and crafts will be using these facilities. They had been using Subic and Clark for trainings even before the VFA was in force and are still using these to date. They dock their warship in Subic, they load or unload their troops and allow their soldiers’ ‘R and R’. They use Clark and the very proximate Crow Valley Bombing and Gunnery Range for so many activities of their military exercises.
Thus, the announcement aimed to prepare the people psychologically. It tells us to brace for increased military presence and activity in these facilities and possibly, for another direct armed engagement of the US in Asia.
While some “enterprising” people may now be rejoicing over new business prospects in the likely rebirth of base-like communities, the Scrap VFA! Movement appeals to the Aquino government to cut this lopsided military relationship with the US, free the country from getting increasingly involved in US’s wars, from becoming a magnet once more of attacks from US’s enemies and from the social problems like enlivened prostitution and increased violence against women that come with increased US military presence.
The Scrap VFA!Movement reminds the Aquino presidency to strictly adhere to the provision of Section Seven of the Declaration of Principles and State Policies of the Philippine Constitution: The State shall pursue an independent foreign policy. In its relations with other states, the paramount consideration shall be national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest, and the right to self-determination.
Convenors and Member Organizations:
Philippine Women‘s Network for Peace and Security ¤ Stop the War Coalition-Philippines ¤ Task Force Subic Rape
Welga ng Kababaihan ¤ World March of Women-Philippines
Action and Solidarity for the Empowerment of Teachers (ASSERT) ¤ Akbayan ¤ Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)-Women ¤ Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)-Youth ¤ Bagong Kamalayan Collective Incorporated ¤ Bisig-Akbayan ¤ Buklod ng Kababaihan (Olonggapo) ¤ Bukluran ng ManggagawangPilipino ¤ Coalition against Trafficking of Women -Asia Pacific ¤ Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) ¤ Women and Gender Commission AMRSP ¤ Focus on the Global South ¤ Kababaihan Pilipinas ¤ KAISA KA ¤ Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD) ¤ KPN ¤ KPP-Kalayaan ¤ KSM Pilipinas ¤ KUMPAS ¤ League of Urban Poor for Action (LUPA) ¤ Magnolia ¤ Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan (MAKABAYAN) ¤ MAKALAYA ¤ Metro Subic Network ¤ Mindanao Peoples Peace Movement ¤ NEFFAIA (Nueca Ecija) ¤ NUPCO ¤ Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK) ¤ Partido ng Manggagawa ¤ PEACE ¤ Peace Women Partners ¤ Peoples Task Force for Bases Clean Up ¤ PGX Philippine Global Exchange ¤ Phil-Cuba Solidarity ¤ Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement ¤ Piglas Kababaihan ¤ Progresibong Alyansa ng mga Mangingisda (PANGISDA) ¤ Resource Center for Peoples Development ¤ SARILAYA ¤ SDK-KAISA-UPD ¤ SMUCZ ¤ SMMK ¤ SOS Women ¤STISC ¤ SRC-NTA-KASAMA Pilpinas ¤ Teatrong Bayan ¤ Ugnayan Makabayan ¤ Women’s Education Development Productivity and Research Organization (WEDPRO) ¤ WomanHealth¤ Women’s Legal Bureau (WLB) ¤ Youth for Nationalism and Democracy (YND)