May 23, 2011
Contact Persons: Ana Maria R. Nemenzo #09189038687 / Atty. Virginia Suarez-Pinlac #09209190267
Terminate the One-sided VFA and the Archaic MDT
Indeed, the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) has been working very well—that is, for US interests. And not surprisingly, for the US government, as Kristie Kenny, the former US Ambassador to the Philippines said, the VFA needed no amendment.
The Scrap VFA! Movement, however, maintains that 12 years after the Senate ratified this agreement on May 27, 1999, it has done more harm than good to Philippine interests and thus, should be terminated no less.
It likewise demands that the Mutual Defense Treaty, a single page agreement that has been dragging the Philippines for decades into US’ wars of aggression and supporting US’ drive for hegemony should be abrogated.
The US and Philippine governments’ war machinery should stop using the Spratly issue and the threat from the Abu Sayyaf to drum-up support for the VFA and the MDT. These are problems that the Philippine government should handle employing methods that are allowed by the Constitution, by the full operation of its laws, along the highest standards of diplomacy, and particularly regarding the Abu Sayyaf, by seriously addressing the roots of discontent.
This is not to say that the Philippines should not enter into military agreements with other countries. But the Scrap VFA! Movement believes that the Philippines should ensure that in all the military agreements it commits the country into, it upholds national sovereignty and the country’s neutrality.
It is highly distasteful for the president, to allow himself to be a special guest on the USS Carl Vinson and to be held spellbound in his tour of that nuclear-powered warship. He is after all, the son of the president in whose term the 1987 Constitution, which has a clear-cut provision against nuclear arms, was formulated and ratified. His visit amid his silence on the status or result of the review of the VFA, which was followed by the US Embassy’s statement, betrayed his obeisance to US’ designs.
The Scrap VFA! Movement renews its call for the government to seriously consider the merits of the Joint Congressional Resolutions to terminate the VFA. And to remove any basis for its stay, abrogate the Military Defense Treaty. ###