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.
Filipino grass-roots youth organizations are calling for protests during an upcoming visit by US President Barak Obama who is pushing for greater access, for US military troops, to the Philippines and for greater security cooperation with the Armed Forces of the Philippines which will create a rise in human rights violations:
Several youth groups challenged the present generation to respond to the call for the reinvigoration of the anti-imperialist movement in the country, as the Philippines commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the Philippine Senate’s rejection of a new bases treaty with the United States back in 1991.
Amid heightened public pressure, 12 senators voted to reject a new treaty that would allow the US to extend its use of US bases in the country exactly 22 years ago. More than two decades later, however, US domination and interference in the Philippines’ economy and internal affairs have not waned but further intensified.
[Anakbayan Chair] Crisostomo was referring to the Framework Agreement for Increased Rotational Presence and Defense Cooperation, a new agreement being brokered by Washington to the Aquino administration that will allow US forces to access Philippine military facilities not limited to Clark and Subic. “The new access agreement is potentially even more sinister than the US bases treaty rejected by the Philippine Senate in 1991 as the new deal does not specify the number of troops that will be allowed entry, what activities these troops will be engaging, and for how long they would be staying,” Crisostomo said.
Isabelle Baguisi, secretary general of LFS – one of the organizations that spearheaded the anti-US bases campaign back in the day – said that the upcoming state visit of President Barack Obama “signals the finalization of the new access agreement.”
“There is nothing to cheer for in the upcoming visit of US President Obama to the Philippines, for it only means that the new access agreement is now on its final phase,” Baguisi said.
The White House has announced the visit through a press statement wherein it was stated that Obama will “meet with President Aquino to reaffirm the strong economic, people-to-people, and security links between [the] two countries” on October 11 and 12.
For his part, Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon said that Obama’s visit has been conspicuously timed to boost the Aquino administration’s “crumbling public image” brought about by the pork barrel scandal.
“The upcoming Obama visit is a move to boost support for the Aquino administration that has been recently rocked to the core due to its refusal to genuinely scrap the pork barrel system. If Aquino thinks that bringing Obama to the country will absolve him from his pork addiction, he is wrong. For the youth sees Obama’s visit as nothing but a loyalty check by the largest hegemonic power to its most trusted lapdog in the region,” the youth solon added.
“We call on the youth to once again take the lead in defending our national sovereignty and fighting against intensifying US domination. Let us fight against foreign intervention in the same way that we are continually fighting against Aquino’s pork barrel system,” Ridon ended.