NDFP-Mindanao challenges Aquino government to heed mounting calls to junk the US-RP VFA

By JORGE "Ka Oris" MADLOS
Spokesperson
National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Mindanao 

Following the visit of the US nuclear warships which posed greater danger for the country, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Mindanao reiterates the mounting call from various sectors to junk the US-RP Visiting Forces Agreement and challenges the Aquino government to heed it.

The NDFP-Mindanao urges individual legislators in the Philippine Congress who still maintain a deep sense of nationalism to make that bold step and push for the immediate abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement, heeding strong calls for its rejection in the light of the Joint Resolution 3 filed by Senator Miriam Santiago that Congress can abolish this lopsided and anti-people US-RP relation.

We likewise challenge members of the "civil society" who have professed nationalism to take action, now more than ever, in defense of the Filipino people's sovereign right against intensifying US imperialist interventionism. Nationalist political, religious, and progressive leaders must place themselves at variance with the Aquino government's open policy of allowing the operation in the country of US troops as well as the entry of nuclear vessels, which, even under the scrutiny of the GRP's own laws, is treasonous.

In no time, the unequal treaty will further afflict Philippine soil with its much lopsided provisions, especially now that Mr. Noynoy Aquino is rapidly being unmasked as another puppet of US imperialism, appearing to be no different from his predecessor. After spinning victory and strategically placing him to be their stalwart, Aquino's US imperialist master is now dead set to waylay Philippine sovereignty, and do so with impunity, to protect and preserve their political and economic interests in the Asia-Pacific.

Because of the VFA, presence of US troops in Philippine soil come and go at will, like the 6,000-strong US soldiers recently ferried to the country. The VFA gives consent to stationing more troops in the country, thus advancing further US intervention here and in other neighboring countries. It is public knowledge how these US troops have inflicted damage to hundreds of thousand lives of the Filipino people during the Philippine-American War, and recently creating controversial cases including the rape of a 22-year old Filipina girl, the mysterious death of Filipino interpreter Gregan Cardeno inside a U.S barracks in Marawi City, the murder of Boyongboyong Isnijal in Basilan, and inflicting damage to many civilians as a result of their direct participation in local combat operations, which was recently witnessed in Bukidnon, Compostela Valley and the Bicol Region, and wanton military exercises of U.S soldiers in different parts of Mindanao.

The VFA is an outright affront to our national sovereignty and a violation of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines' own Constitution. The VFA is no less than combat intelligence and surveillance in the local populace vital to the military and economic objectives of US. The humanitarian missions conducted, including the ones which are facilitated by USAID, are merely façade which are actually part of the military and 'communications strategy' of the US to infiltrate deeper.

Despite mounting calls and strong ground for the abrogation of this one-sided and anti-people policy since it came into effect more than a decade ago, the VFA has remained, mocking our national sovereignty and patrimony. Rather than heeding these calls, Aquino has further said that the US troops are here to stay. That Aquino is heading towards the United States for his first diplomatic trip there, Aquino is well-advised to take VFA with him and serve it back to his US imperialist masters.

The VFA has undermined the previous victories of the Filipino people in removing foreign bases in the country. The NDFP-Mindanao calls on all freedom-loving Filipinos, especially those who were once staunch anti-US military bases like Sen. Joker Arroyo, Sen. Miriam Santiago, former Sen. Jovito Salonga, and other political and religious leaders and groups, to oppose policies that promote further US intervention such as the VFA. The Filipino people should fight and defend national sovereignty and patrimony.

The NDFP-Mindanao also calls on the New People's Army to ready themselves to give combat against US soldiers and spies who directly participate in combat operations and espionage in NPA areas in defense of revolutionary forces and of the masses. We likewise call on all the Moro freedom fighters to persevere in their armed struggle for their right to self-determination, and to unite more fervently in the fight against continuing and intensifying US military intervention.

Finally, we call on all American citizens residing in the Philippines and in the United States to manifest their adherence to the respect for the sovereignty of the Filipino nation by helping create a strong lobby for the immediate abrogation of the VFA and for the United States government to pull out its troops from the country. We fear that if the US imperialist power continues to impinge on the Filipino people, this will create the way for open war that will force the revolutionary movement and the Filipino masses to fight back, and its escalation may result in the needless death of more American soldiers, similar to what happened in the Vietnam War and to the current strife in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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