Fil-Am activists react to termination of Visiting Forces Agreement between the U.S. and the Philippines

For years, a number of Filipino American activists have blamed the presence of US military troops in the Philippines for various human rights violations as well as several high profile cases of crimes committed by US service members.

We know that the Visiting Forces agreement has been the cause of so many decades of violence against women and children with the presence of US troops in the country we see not just violence against women and children but also environmental degradation and pollution where there are based and so many unnamed cases of people who are murdered including minors.

After decades of calling for an end to US military funding and intervention in the Philippines, these Filipino American activists are calling the termination of the visiting forces agreement a small step towards victory…but now they’re waiting to see more military ties cut between the Philippines and the United States.

“Now we know there’s actually more pressure on Duterte, especially since US Congress members are also exposing his drug war and also exposing the fact that millions of military aid is being spent in the Philippines,” said Nikole Cababa, Bayan USA. “For us we actually challenge Duterte to go as far as ending the mutual defense treaty and also the enhanced defense cooperation agreement EDCA because those are also unequal military agreements that allow for consistent US presence in the Philippines.

The full termination process could take several months to complete, until then the US and Philippines will conduct the scheduled balikatan joint military exercises in April.

These activists questioned the motive behind President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to terminate VFA, which was provoked when US lawmakers cancelled the U.S. visa of Senator Ronald Bato Dela Rosa, Duterte’s former police chief, as they raised concerns over the bloody drug war.

“If anything this is an example of Duterte being more concerned about protecting human rights violators like Bato then actually protecting Philippine sovereignty for us as Bayan we have consistently been calling for the end of the VFA because it violates Philippines.”

As they cautiously welcomed this development, these activists said they’ll continue lobbying U.S. lawmakers to keep a close watch on human rights issues in the Philippines and are calling for military aid and US funds to stop.

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  • Tiago Del Mundo
    17 February 2020 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Today, it finally became clear to me who’s been lobbying (misrepresenting, exaggerating, and twisting facts) to the Democrats… the notoriously Liberal-Yellowish Bayan USA… As always, because of Bayan USA, many Filipinos and FIL-AMS alike are confused…and because the sources perpetuating the Leila De Lima and Maria Ressa fairytale, Filipinos are “emotionally” indebted to the source… It is sad to see the many educated Filipinos got misled (without objection) and hyped by Hal-truth facts…