SF CHRP (San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines) is a San Francisco based human rights advocacy group. Latest news and views on human rights in the Philippines.
The national democratic alliance, BAYAN-USA, has condemned recent talks between the Philippine military and the U.S. stating that it will lead to further human rights abuses:
“President Aquino talks big about change, but is taking no action to change the US military’s domination of the Philippines,” stated BAYAN-USA Chairperson Bernadette Ellorin, in response to the meeting of the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board, which started on Wednesday and runs through Friday. During the meeting, high-level military officers of the US Pacific Command and their counterparts in Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin’s staff will discuss the joint military activities and exercises to be conducted by the two countries next year, including the controversial annual Balikatan (“shoulder-to-shoulder”) military exercises.
The Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board meeting comes just two days after the new U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Daniel Russel proclaimed “You can count on us to remain deeply engaged in the Asia-Pacific region because our interests are so profound in that region,” affirming the Obama administration’s commitment to America’s rebalancing or “pivot” of forces to the region.
“The U.S. is beefing up its military presence in the Philippines and neighboring countries in a bid to reassert its global hegemony and to keep a rising China in check. Aquino is even begging to enter into the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement- the new neoliberal trade agreement the US is concocting in order to isolate China as an economic rival. This will only prolong the extreme poverty, violence and mal-development that U.S. imperialism has wrought on the Filipino people for 114 years—is this the change that Aquino promised?” said Ellorin.