This is a statement of a broad coalition against the visiting forces agreement that we helped form. This had its launching last April 2.
The convenors were:
1. Philippine Women's Network for Peace and Security
2. Task Force Subic Rape
3. Stop the War Coalition-Philippines
4. Welga ng Kababaihan (Women's Strike)
5. World March of Women-Philippines
April 15, 2009
Contact Person: Anna Maria Nemenzo #09189038687
Banking on the VFA to Rescue Abufs Hostages\Ridiculous
It seems Malaca?ang did not get the sarcasm in Pimentelfs suggestion to make use of the VFA to rescue the hostages of the Abu Sayyaf when it announced that it is seriously considering the idea.
While the Senator gave the suggestion amidst calls for VFAfs abrogation, he is surely aware that Mindanao, and most especially Basilan and Sulu, have been highly militarized for years now. He must have been aware also of the statements made by US military officials and even by the US Embassy that US troops have been assisting the AFP in fighting terrorists. They have been lending support, they said, especially by way of their high-tech intelligence gathering devices.
But still the group of Parad was able to kidnap the ICRC people and hold them for three months now.
Years ago, the AFP claimed that it decimated these groups. How were these able to regroup, rearm, and recruit new members when every day, it is the soldiers of the AFP and the USAF that one sees in the streets and roads in Sulu? If the AFP had been doing its job as it claims it did and still does, why can it not intercept arms being delivered to terrorists?
The Arroyo government knows that it is not the presence of US troops under the VFA that will put an end to kidnappings in Mindanao and Sulu. But to drown calls for the scrapping of the VFA after the Subic rape case showed clearly some of the agreementfs very serious infirmities, it now seizes every opportunity to defend the VFA. Thus its grabbing of the gsuggestionh of a senator who voted against the VFA in 1999.
Almost 10 years after its ratification, the VFA has shown its real character. It is an instrument of violence as it is an instrument of war. It is tool for the further opening up of Mindanaofs resources to US business and to protect USf strategic economic and political interest in the region. It underlines the myth of Philippine sovereignty.
Perhaps, the Arroyo government would see these if Senator Pimentel tells it straight. ###
Scrap VFA! Movement