2017 Fil-Am “Friendship” Day: Boldly abrogate EDCA, VFA, end US intervention – Anakpawis to Duterte

Bayan protest to US embassy on 2017 Fil-Am "Friendship" Day. Photo by Kathy Yamzon.Bayan protest to US embassy on 2017 Fil-Am "Friendship" Day. Photo by Kathy Yamzon.

2017 Fil-Am “Friendship” Day
Boldly abrogate EDCA, VFA, end US intervention – Anakpawis to Duterte

Manila, Philippines – Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao today urged President Rodrigo Duterte to assert national sovereignty and end foreign intervention of the United States in the country by boldly abrogating the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), Mutual Logistic Support Agreement (MLSA) and the archaic 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).

“US foreign intervention in the country is converse with national liberation, people’s freedom and sovereignty, it is only just for the president to decisively nullify US-serving agreements,” Casilao said.

Casilao said that US has dominated governance by dictating on policies, especially on the economy affecting marginalized sectors in the country. He is referring to the decades-old US opposition to the realization of genuine land reform and nationalist industrialization in the country.

“Spanish colonial feudalism continued until American colonialism and beyond, US opposed land reform as foreign monopoly corporations and its counter-part local hacienderos source their giant profits from exacting the surplus product created by the mass Filipino peasants,” Casilao said.

He added that US has also championed post-World War II Keynesian economics and neoliberalism since the 1980s. These macro-economic policies that the Philippine government also adopted, waived the sovereign right to self-determination, particularly for the establishment of a national and independent industry, free from dependence from capitalist countries. The concrete measure that affected the Filipino working sector ranged from the obstruction of wage increases, systematic trade union repression and flexible labor, particularly contractualization of labor.

“US intervention in the country is synonymous to the abject poverty and misery of the marginalized toiling masses for more than a century,” Casilao added.

The lawmaker said that to ensure their economic interests, it has been procedural for the US to dominate the political system, especially making lackeys out of past presidents or at present putting much pressure to President Duterte, who made efforts to develop closer relationships with China and Russia.

“EDCA, VFA and other agreements with US are guarantees for their continued intervention in the country, it is imperative for the president to abrogate these, to freely craft an independent foreign policy,” Casilao said.

In many decades, US provided military aid to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), for the purpose of counter-insurgency against the New People’s Army (NPA).

“Since NPA was established, through Marcos’ martial law, Cory Aquino’s total war policy and succeeding regime’s all-out war policies, they could not have been executed without US backing, hence, US is working against the attainment of a just-and-lasting peace in the country,” Casilao said.

Casilao added that it has been convenient for the US to use the “war on terror” facade for its military intervention. Its recent meddling was the botched 2015 Mamasapano operation and the present interference in addressing the Marawi issue.

“US meddling has in point of fact disproves all the president’s pronouncement of breaking out and efforts to get closer to China and Russia. It has directly trampled on the president’s agenda, and this was facilitated by his ‘rightist’ cabinet members such as Defence Secretary Lorenzana,” Casilao said.

Finally, the lawmaker said that US is the principal opposition of the on-going peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). Its viewpoint, is daily manifested by Sec. Lorenzana, National Security adviser Gen. Hermogenes Esperon and other officials within the national security cluster.

“US-schooled lackey officials in the Duterte administration is undermining his agenda for a peaceful and independent country, in this light, we sincerely urge the president to uphold his freedom to decide against their impositions, heed the people’s clamor and assert national sovereignty,” Casilao ended. ###