MAKABAYAN Coalition leaders lead “eviction” of US troops




September 14, 2009




Photos courtesy of Bayan Muna


Press Statement – September 15, 2009
Rep. Satur C. Ocampo 0917-8226184
Rep. Liza L. Maza 0920-9134540
Rep. Teddy Casiño 0920- 9035683

MAKABAYAN Coalition Leaders lead “eviction” of US troops

MANILA - Five partylist lawmakers today led some 60 rallyists in picketting the United States Embassy in calling for immediate pullout of all US troops, logistics and war materiel from the Philippines

Makabayan Coalition Leaders and partylist lawmakers Satur Ocampo, Liza Maza, Teddy Casiño, Rafael Mariano and Joel Maglunsod today lead a peaceful picket and served a people’s eviction notice to US military forces in the Philippines on the eve of the 18th anniversary of the Senate’s rejection of the extension of US bases in the Philippines.

The Philippine Senate rejected the renewal of the US-RP Military Bases Agreement in September 16, 1991.

In a Filipino People’s “Notice of Eviction and Demand to Immediately Leave the Philippines” addressed to the United States Government, the lawmakers said that “the continuing presence and stationing of U.S. troops and its involvement in combat operations are acts offensive and inimical to Philippine sovereignty and the interest of the Filipino people and are violations of the Constitution.”

“This violates Section 25, Article XVIII of the Philippine Constitution. Hence, you are hereby given this notice of eviction demanding that U.S. military forces immediately vacate the Philippines,” the lawmakers said.

The eviction notice was symbolically served on the US government and addressed to Ambassador Kirsty Kenney of the US Embassy in Manila. #

Vincent Michael L. Borneo
Political Affairs Officer
(Media and Public Relations)
Office of Deputy Minority Leader
and BAYAN MUNA Rep. Satur C. Ocampo
Rm. 416, RVMitra Bldg.,
House of Representatives, Quezon City
Telefax no: 951-1057
Mobile: 09277968198



News Release
September 8, 2009

VFA foes ask SC for inspection of US camps, re-opening of oral arguments

Groups opposed to the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement today filed a Supplemental Motion for Consideration in relation to a petition pending before the Supreme Court that seeks to declare the agreement unconstitutional.

In their supplemental motion, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), Gabriela and Bayan Muna and other cause-oriented groups asked the Supreme Court to allow “the reception of evidence pertaining to the permanent and continuous presence of U.S. troops and their involvement in combat operations in the Southern Philippines by a justice of the Court of Appeals as designated by the SC”. The groups are also seeking the “inspection of the camps, facilities and places mentioned in the affidavit of Mary Nancy P. Gadian where the U.S. troops have maintained a permanent and continuous presence since 2002”. Finally, the groups asked the SC to call for oral arguments on the matters covered in the motion.

The supplemental motion comes in the wake of an affidavit executed by former Navy Lt. Senior Grade Nancy Gadian on the permanent and continuing presence of US troops. In her affidavit, Gadian describes the permanent and temporary structures set up by the Joint Special Operations Task Force Philippines since 2002 in Mindanao. She also claims that US troops are embedded in AFP combat units and thus are engaged in actual combat.

Bayan et al are represented by their counsels Dean Pacifico Agabin and Atty. Evalyn Ursua, formerly the counsel of Subic rape victim “Nicole”. The petitions vs the VFA have been consolidated and include the petition filed by former senator Jovito Salonga and Wigberto Tanada and an earlier petition by Subic rape victim “Nicole”.

The supplemental motion also mentions the announcement of US Defense Secretary Robert Gates that the JSOTF-P stationed in Mindanao will stay in the country indefinitely. The petitioners said that this was an admission of the permanent and continuous presence of US forces in the country made possible by the vague provisions of the VFA.

The group also cited the US Army Field Manual in its discussion of combat operations where combat intelligence and surveillance are considered part of the “Battlefield Operating System” of US forces. The US forces in Mindanao have admitted to providing support for the AFP in the capture and neutralization of so-called “high-value targets”.

"With the Executive refusing to heed the call to review and terminate the VFA, we hope that the Judiciary can be the one to rectify the serious wrongs committed in the 10 years the agreement has been in effect. Even the Chair of the Senate Foreign relations committee has realized these serious violations of the Constitution. We hope the High Court takes note of the of the statements of Gates and the affidavit of Gadian. These are very substantial developments in the case vs the VFA," said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr. ###



News Release
14 September 2009
Reference: Joms Salvador, Spokesperson, 371-2302 / 0918-9182150

GI Joe, It's Time To Go - GABRIELA

Bearing placards saying “G.I. Joe, it's time to go!”, members of the militant women's group GABRIELA staged a protest action this morning in front of the US Embassy against the Visiting Forces Agreement. Protests against the VFA is heightening as the 18th anniversary of the termination of the US-RP Military Bases on September 16 nears.

“We do not need US troops in the Philippines. We have kicked them out 18 years ago and they remain unwelcome,” said Joms Salvador, GABRIELA spokesperson. Salvador said that the social cost of US military presence in the country, particularly the exploitation and abuse of women, is enough reason for the abrogation of the agreement.

The protesters carried brooms, fly-swatters and laundry paddles to signify their demand to drive away US soldiers from the country whose presence, the group claims, spurs further exploitation of women.

“In the course of the ten years of the VFA, the sex trade industry flourished within the periphery of areas wherever the US troops are stationed. For the rest and recreation needs of these foreign troops, women were being brought inside their camps,” said Salvador.

In a Senate hearing last August 27, former Philippine Navy lieutenant Nancy Gadian revealed that women were being brought inside Camp Navarro even during daytime.

GABRIELA challenges Noynoy: Work to abrogate the VFA

GABRIELA also issued a challenge to Sen. Noynoy Aquino, who recently announced his intention to run for president in the 2010 elections.

“The Military Bases Agreement was terminated in 1991 during the term of her mother, the late Pres. Corazon Aquino. If Sen. Aquino desires to be like her mother and take the helm of our country’s leadership, he should by now show that he really stands with the people. He should show his courage, make a clear stand against the VFA, and do everything within his current capacity as a senator to ensure that the VFA is terminated,” Salvador said.

“In the last ten years, US soldiers have committed several violations including the rape of two Filipino women. We will not wait for more Nicole and Vanessa to be ravished by US soldiers. We want them out now,” said Salvador.

“For the sake of Filipino women and children, for the sake of our nation, we will not rest until we end US military intervention in the Philippines.” ###

Public Information Department
GABRIELA National Office
(+632) 3712302





Wage all-out struggle against US forces in Mindanao--Ka OrisSeptember 12, 2009

The National Democratic Front-Mindanao (NDF-Mindanao) today issued a call urging all revolutionary forces in Mindanao "to wage an all-out struggle against the deployment and intervention of American soldiers in the internal armed conflict in the Philippines."

NDF-Mindanao spokesperson Jorge Madlos ("Ka Oris") issued the call in response to the statement by US Defense Secretary Robert Gates that the US will continue to involve itself in the "counter-insurgency" war in the Philippines which would include heightened support for the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The US position was echoed by Philippine Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro who arrived from a five-day visit to the US after meeting Gates and CIA Director Leon Panetta aimed at bringing "to a high gear" the defense and security cooperation between the US and Philippines.

"US imperialism has become ever more arrogant and overbearing in asserting its imperial power over the Philippines," said Madlos. "It is trampling on Philippine sovereignty with utter impunity emboldened by the outright puppetry and servility of the Arroyo government."

The US military has established its permanent presence in the country through the auspices of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). Under the VFA, it has succeeded in permanently stationing the 600-force Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) in several areas in Mindanao. Additionally, several thousand US soldiers have been allowed to enter the Philippines purportedly to participate in the annual Balikatan joint military exercises.

US military forces have been increasingly involved in counter-guerrilla operations. Its troops are engaged in electronic and sattelite surveilance as well as provide battlefield logistical support. Teams of US soldiers have been seen embedded in AFP units in combat field operations as well as in tactical command posts (TCPs).

"The patriotic people of Mindanao do not welcome the permanent presence and intervention of US troops in Mindanao and elsewhere in the Philippines," added Madlos. "They are not deceived by the so-called humanitarian operations being conducted by the US that aim to camouflage their military interventionism."

"The NDF-Mindanao calls on the people and all revolutionary forces in Mindanao to intensify their struggles against the interventionist troops of the US. Unite with the rest of the Filipino people in demanding an end to the permanent presence of US troops," added Madlos.

Madlos warned US soldiers against encroaching in guerrilla fronts where "there is a great possibility of armed encounters with the New People's Army (NPA)."

Information Bureau
NDF Mindanao