Ang nabahurang sasakyang pandigma ng US, ang USS Guardian, sa Tubbataha Reef
Muling inilalabas ng Bayan ang praymer na ito sa Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) sa layuning bigyang linaw ang papel ng nasabing kasunduan sa kontrobersyal na pagsadsad ng USS Guardian sa Tubbataha Reef noong Enero 17, 2013. Sa mga pahayag ng rehimeng US-Aquino, pilit nitong inaabswelto ang VFA sa pagkawasak ng di bababa sa 4,000 square meters ng pinangangalagaang bahura (reef) ng Pilipinas, na isang deklaradong World Heritage site. Wala naman daw ehersisyong militar sa Tubbataha, ani Aquino, kaya bakit sisisihin ang VFA. Simpleng paglabag lamang daw sa mga batas pangkalikasan ng bansa ang ginawa ng mga tropang Kano.
Pero hindi mangyayari ang pagkawasak ng Tubbataha Reef kung walang VFA na nagbibigay-daan sa paglalabas-masok ng mga sasakyang pandigma ng US sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng bansa. Ang isyung ito ay di lamang isyung pangkalikasan taliwas sa sinasabi ni Aquino. Isyu ito ng soberanya at dagdag na dahilan sa mahaba nang listahan kung bakit dapat nang ibasura ang VFA. Asahang lalo pang darami at titindi ang mga pang-aabuso ng tropang Kano sa ilalim ng sinasabing “pivot” o “rebalancing” sa rehiyong Asya Pasipiko ng rehimeng Obama. Ibabaling nito ang mas malaking presensyang militar ng US sa rehiyon, kabilang ang Pilipinas. Nararamdaman na ito ngayon sa pamamagitan ng mas dumadalas na diumano’y “port call” ng mga sasakyang pandigma ng US gaya ng sumadsad na USS Guardian.
Multisectoral group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said that the incident at the Tubbataha Reefs involving yet another US warship raises more questions against the unhampered entry and permanent presence of American forces in the country under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
Bayan made the statement after the USS Guardian, a 68-meter minesweeper of the US Navy, ran aground the Tubbataha Reefs, a natural park and a World Heritage Site in the Sulu Sea.
“As the U.S. begins to implement [the rebalance], Subic will play an important role because it is one of the important facilities that can service its presence in the Pacific.” One would think that this quote is from a US military or government official, but this actually came from the executive director of the Philippine Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement.
MANILA — Thirty one years ago, the Philippine Senate, in a historic decision that upheld the country’s sovereignty, voted against the extension of the US-RP Military Bases Agreement, thereby paving the way for the US Armed Forces to vacate its bases in Clark and Subic. But reports reveal that this is about to reversed.
As the USA is beefing up its military presence in the Asia-Pacific, we are sharing two articles on the forgotten massacres committed by US troops during the Philippine-American War and a documentary on the Politics of U.S. Occupation.
Destroying Moro Communities: Remembering Bud Dajo and Bud Bagsak
By Ferdinand C. Llanes
The battles of Bud Dajo in 1906 and Bud Bagsak in 1913 in Jolo, Sulu, may be regarded as two of the more dramatic events to remember in the manner the Americans carried out “pacification campaigns” in the country and how Filipinos mounted stubborn resistance to the U.S. invasion. Filipino Moslems are to be credited for putting up the last stand against the military conquest. To this day, the Tausugs of Sulu have not forgotten and rail against “military exercises” in the heart of their homeland. The battles are important to remember as a link in the Filipino struggle for nationhood. Read the entire article here.
What happened at Bud Dajo: A forgotten massacre–and its lessons
By Andrew J. Bacevich
March 12, 2006, The Boston Globe
ONE HUNDRED YEARS ago this past week, on March 7, 1906, the American military’s first sustained incursion into the Islamic world reached a climax of sorts. At Bud Dajo, on an island in the southern Philippines, US troops massacred as many as a thousand Filipino Muslims.
In the conventional narrative of America’s rise to greatness, Bud Dajo hardly qualifies for a footnote. Yet the events that occurred there a century ago deserve their own chapter. For those hankering today to use American power to transform the world of Islam, Bud Dajo offers a cautionary tale. Read the entire article here.
The bulk of America’s warships will be permanently deployed in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020. US cooperation will turn the Philippines into an “outpost” serving the purpose of containing China, believes political activist Renato Reyes.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino is committed to developing a “minimum credible deterrent capacity,” and the US has pledged to help the country step up its defenses in the face of a Chinese threat. The Philippines’ cooperation with the US comes amid very tense relations with China, over territorial disputes in strategic waters. It remains unknown, though, how much military hardware the US will provide to the country.
The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today scored the meeting between Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and United States Barrack Obama, saying that the Philippine sovereignty would be trampled on by the deployment of more US troops and ships in the country. Bayan also said that all Aquino got from the visit to Obama were “empty promises of modernization which have been made by past US presidents”.
“Aquino is single-handedly reversing the gains from the removal of the US military bases 20 years ago. His foreign policy allows the permanent and continuing presence of US troops all over the country, on a scale unprecedented since the time of the US bases.
BAYAN Europe in cooperation with several Filipino organizations in the Netherlands organized a public forum on the Philippine national situation and on the country’s human rights situation. BAYAN secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. gave an input on the national situation as well as encouraged organizations which participated in the forum to be part of the BAYAN Europe formation. Members of the Philippine UPR Watch provided information on the deteriorating human rights record of Pres. Benigno Aquino III.
The United States (US) recently declared a foreign policy pivot toward Asia involving greater economic, political and military engagement in the region. The shift however started as early as 2001 when its Quadrennial Defense Review proclaimed a shift to Asia and a corresponding increase in the US military presence through fixed bases, rotational deployments, training exercises and logistical arrangements.
Iba naman! — Rep. Teddy Casiño filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) on October 3, 2012. In an unprecedented run from Luneta to Comelec, hundreds of supporters braved the heavy downpour to join Casiño in a daring quest to be the alternative senatorial candidate in a contest dominated by incumbent and former senators and their relatives.
With the slogan 'Iba naman!" Casiño takes up the challenge to be the game changer in 2013 senatorial race.
The Philippines... In Search of Liberation by Intal Click here for French & Dutch subtitles.
Description: Seven members of Intal went on an exposure to the Philippines in the summer of 2008. They made this documentary to share their experiences on what it means to live in the Philippines.