By PATNUBAY DE GUIA
Spokesperson, NDFP-Southern Tagalog Region
The United States imperialist has a long list of crimes to the Filipino people. It continues to exploit the natural resources of the country and the people all for its own self-serving interest. Through the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), its military troops continue to operate military bases in the country, being involved in criminal cases such as brutality, rape, torture and murder. And now what enrages the country are the toxic wastes dumped on Philippine waters by Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), a Malaysian shipping firm that has a contract with US ships involved in the US-RP joint military exercises.
On 15 October 2012, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) finds M/T Glenn Guardian, a tanker owned by GDMA, carrying thousand liters of domestic waste and bilge water. The incident stirred protests from different environmental groups and progressive organizations. Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) asserted US Navy Officials to stop its own probe, submit themselves to the local authorities and called for the abrogation of VFA. Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda, in defense of GDMA, clarified that the toxic wastes dumped on Philippine waters by GDMA do not involve nuclear chemical waste. “There are no chemical wastes. We’re talking of organic wastes here,” said Lacierda.
Malacañang quickly covered GDMA up and ensured that VFA was disassociated with the case. Abrogation of the VFA is unnecessary according to Malacañang. “Nagsalita na po ang DFA tungkol diyan. Sinabi po ng DFA — at nagsalita na rin po kami doon — the alleged dumping, if any, was done not by US Navy personnel; and, therefore, the provisions of the VFA do not apply in this case,” said Lacierda. But it is through VFA that the US luxuriates in dumping waste to the country often under the cloak of military aid and economic assistance that are never free but comes with high financial and human costs.
Protecting and defending imperialist interest is treasonous and treacherous to national interest. The country is not a waste bin. Dumping wastes on Philippine waters, whatever Lacierda may mean by organic waste, and finding the Government of the Philippines (GPH) in defense of foreign interest is utterly insulting to the sensibility of the people that reside in and day after day nurtures our land.
The VFA is an infringement to national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country; its very essence the capitulation of both. It shows the deep-seated puppetry of the local ruling class to imperialistic interests. The dumping of toxic waste on Philippine waters by M/T Glenn Guardian is a particular incident that exposes this reality.
On the other hand, the US uses VFA as a tool in establishing the country as a forward base for its hegemony in the Asia-Pacific and its policy of engagement with China which is a threat to its hegemonic ambition. Maintaining and strengthening US military bases in the Philippines that is a strategic location and gateway to the Asia-Pacific will ensure its hegemonic ambition in the region.
For years, the US was able to rule and control the political and economic system of the country in collaboration with the local ruling class. All the reactionary government up to the present regime implemented the programs and policies imposed by the US. All the ties that bind us to the US, including the VFA, should be cut if the country is to exercise national sovereignty.
Neither by freewill nor out of goodwill shall the US imperialist and the local ruling class give up its power. The revolutionary community should, therefore, continue to soldier on with armed revolution as the only viable way to overthrow US imperialism and local reaction. With indomitable will and unity, the people should nothing but render the local ruling class, which is a traitor to the national interest, executed.