Press Release May 23, 2011 Virginia Contact Person: Ana Maria R. Nemenzo#09189038687 and Atty. Virginia Suarez-Pinlac##09209190267
VFA Working Well for the US Only—Scrap VFA! Movement
“Indeed, the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) has been working very well—that is, for US interests.”
This was the reaction of the Scrap VFA! Movement yesterday to the statement of the US Embassy in Manila on the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) last May 20.
According to the statement of the anti-VFA alliance, it is not surprising that the US government deems the VFA needed no amendment. But it asserts 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.”
The anti-VFA alliance has even upped its ante, now demanding that the Mutual Defense Treaty be abrogated also. The MDT, according to the statement “has been dragging the Philippines for decades into US’ wars of aggression and supporting US’ drive for hegemony”.
The VFA, according to a Supreme Court decision on January 12, 2009,”which is the instrument agreed upon to provide for the joint RP-US military exercises is simply an implementing agreement to the main RP-US Military Defense Treaty.”
The Scrap VFA! Movement’s statement censured both the Philippine and American government for using the Spratly and the Abu Sayyaf issues to drum-up support for the VFA and MDT. According to the statement, the Philippine government should handle these problems “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”.
It likewise criticized the Philippine president for his “distasteful” visit on the USS Carl Vinson and for allowing himself to be held spellbound in his tour of that nuclear-powered warship. The statement emphasized that PNoy is the son of the president in whose term the 1987 Constitution, which has a clear-cut provision against nuclear arms, was formulated and ratified.
As a fitting way to remember the ratification of the VFA, the Scrap VFA! Movement is holding a forum this coming May 27, 1:00 pm at Rembrandt Hotel. Attendance is by invitation.