Press Release

The Price We Pay for VFA: ‘Complete Access to Land, Sea, Air for US Troops’

Manila [Friday, August 28, 2009] – Kaisa Ka Chairperson and SCRAP VFA Representative Atty. Virgie Suarez-Pinlac scored Deputy Secretary Edilberto Adan of the VFA Commission’s testimony in yesterday’s Legislative Oversight Committee on the Visiting Forces Agreement (LOVFA).

According to Pinlac who was also invited to attend the hearing chaired by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, when asked what does the Philippines give in return for dollars, Adan replied candidly that ‘we are providing complete access to our airspace, land and water’.

Adan practically admitted that we gave away our sovereignty, integrity of our territory as a sovereign nation for millions of dollars, courtesy of the VFA pointed out Pinlac.

Also, when asked if they use UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) or spy planes, Adan replied in the affirmative, ‘para di mapagod ang US forces to locate the areas for civic missions’ (so that US forces would not find it difficult to locate the areas for civic missions).

“Apparently the VFA Commission is setup to safeguard not Filipino interests, rather ensure public acceptance of the Constitutional violations courtesy of the VFA,” said Pinlac.

“His (Adan’s) statements only confirm what we have been saying all along, the VFA gives out all-access passes to US troops and they’ve taken full advantage of it, circumventing our Constitution, compromising our sovereignty and risking the well-being of our people,” averred Pinlac.

“Even Ermita is only re-hashing the official US Embassy line that these US troops are only engaged in so-called benign civic-missions rather than engaged in an all out assault to win Filipino hearts and minds for their own strategic political and economic designs,”

She pointed out that the country is back in the US military map, as the Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF) refers to the areas it occupies as ‘forward operating base 11’ and ‘advance operating base 921’.

“We need strong political will to put an end to their ‘all-access passes’ and transgressions. We enjoin freedom-loving Filipinos to raise their voices and abrogate the VFA,” ended Pinlac.

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