LETTERS and COMMENTS about EDCA

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Supreme Court hailing EDCA whips up a storm

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“THE people’s movement for peace, freedom, and sovereignty is not about to take it sitting down,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said on the high court’s decision upholding the ‘constitutionality’ of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). “ Expect mighty protest actions to reconstitute Philippine sovereignty and defend the rights of our people,” she warned.

“Philippine sovereignty, or what’s left of it, has just been flushed down the drain. And it is no less than the Supreme Court that did it,” Palabay remarked. “It’s a no-brainer,” she further said about “allowing the US military to build structures; store and pre-position their weapons, defense supplies and materiel; station troops, civilian personnel and defense contractors; and transit and station vehicles, vessels, and aircraft. It squarely negates the landmark 1991 Senate decision rejecting US bases on Philippine soil. It is tantamount to inviting the US to come back and do as they please – trampling on our rights as a people and nation, just as the US trampled on the rights of the Libyans, Afghans, Haitians, and the other peoples of the world.”

“The Supreme Court has essentially made legal US occupation of the Philippines on the pretext of ‘partnership,’ regional stability,’ and ‘humanitarian aid’,” Palabay cited. “Truth is, the Philippines has now officially become a part of the US interventionist wars in Asia-Pacific.”

“The Supreme Court’s decision clearly reflects how the Philippine executive and judicial branches of government kowtow to the US in exactly the same manner that the lower courts practically exonerated and gave preferential treatment to American soldiers who raped and murdered Nicole and Jennifer Laude,” Palabay said. “Thanks to the Supreme Court, our people have been made more vulnerable to rights violations, including rape and murder by US soldiers,” Palabay warned.

“Remember that under Oplan Bayanihan, BS Aquino’s counter-insurgency program which is patterned after the US Counter Insurgency Guide, some 304 Filipinos have been killed extrajudicially, and more than 60,000 forcibly evacuated, mostly in Mindanao. It is also the puppetry of the BS Aquino regime to the US that caused the death of 44 Filipino police officers and displaced communities in the Mamasapano conspiracy,” Palabay reminded.

Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146
Web: http://www.karapatan.org

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EDCA good for Philippines

THE critics of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement or EDCA must bear in mind that in all actuality, the new agreement with the United States has more advantages. On our own, we would have a hard time, and it is so very costly to deploy ships in our coastal waters as this will demand not only time, effort, and more resources on the part of our government, and the Philippine military. With EDCA, these ships will be able to deter any incursion near our shores and could shield our Filipino fishermen from harm and harassment China is doing to us at present.

The EDCA is legitimate and is in consonance with existing international laws and agreements on mutual defense. We should be thankful that the United States has always come to our aid, sincerely, and not to be misinterpreted especially by those against it, like militant activists and those with other hidden interests. Although the agreement has been signed between Phl and the US, it is still being reviewed, to satisfy criticisms and if any legal aspect on the forging of the agreement has been overlooked or violated, which is most unlikely.

EDCA is good to the Phl in the wake of our ongoing dispute with China. Let’s all look at the advantage EDCA brings and do not look at the wrong negative way.

Samuel Tenorio
samueltenorio508@yahoo.com

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The SC decision enhances the Filipino People’s insecurity

THE Supreme Court (SC) decision on the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) is saddening and has horrible security implications for the Philippines and Southeast and East Asia.

KAISA KA, an association for the emancipation of women and for societal change, believes that the SC, succumbing to pressure, has veered away from the letter and spirit of the Constitution and has disregarded people’s safety.

The SC’s siding with the position of Malacañang on the EDCA did not surprise many. Information leaked much earlier the Chief Justice was ready with the decision that would declare the EDCA constitutional. Pressure on the SC to make a decision favorable to the United States must have been heavy especially because the Department of National Defense and the Department of Foreign Affairs came up almost daily with news regarding China’s actions in the South China Sea. Both Philippine and US officials often connect the fate the EDCA to increased military aid from the US and the upgrading of the AFP’s military equipment.

It is lamentable that highest court of the land saw nothing wrong with the agreement the government entered into remaining an “executive agreement.” Section 21 ng Article VII clearly states: “No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate” and Section 25 of Article XVIII states, “After the expiration in 1991 of the Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America concerning military bases, foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate and, when the Congress so requires, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum held for that purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State.” The SC with its decision on the EDCA is declaring correct an executive act that blatantly violates certain provisions of the Constitution.

Besides, the SC has ignored the terrible consequence the EDCA would have for the country. The SC and the Aquino government know that the US has been pushing for the EDCA along with its Indo-Asia-Pacific pivot, a strategy to check the emergence of any power that challenges its hegemony. It pushed the EDCA in order to deploy troops and preposition war equipment in the Philippines so that it could readily train its guns against rival China. They (the SC and the Aquino government) strongly consider Chinese bullying in the South China Sea but they refuse to see the devastation the US military power could create if we rely on it in solving our conflict with China.

The old bases led the country to perfidy. It invited the most brutal attacks of Japan and the US military left us on our own while they prioritized the defense of Europe when Japanese troops advanced. After WWII, thousands, especially women and including children, suffered abuse in the hands of American soldiers in and around their bases.

With the EDCA that will allow unhampered US military basing, and if the US pushes through its war with China, the Philippines would benefit not enhanced security. Instead, we would be having more victims of sexual harassment and assault and of their arsenal of conventional, chemical and biological weapons.

KAISA KA calls on women to unite more strongly to scrap EDCA and oppose Philippine involvement in the pivot and USA’s wars.

Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para
sa Kalayaan (KAISA KA)
January 13, 2016

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