April 28, 2011
Bayan opposes any plan to revive or restore US forces and bases in Subic or any other former US military base. The Filipino people gained a historic victory in 1991 when the Philippine Senate rejected a new bases treaty with the US. The return of US forces in Subic is a step backwards for Philippine sovereignty.
Philippine sovereignty has already been undermined by the Visiting Forces Agreement which allows the unhampered entry of an unlimited number of US troops for an unspecified length of stay, with undefined objectives. This has paved the way for the permanent stationing of US troops in Mindanao. The VFA is not a basing agreement and cannot be used to justify the return of US bases as what is being implied by some quarters. The basing of US troops in Mindanao is proof of how the VFA’s broad provisions are being abused by the US.
Philippine sovereignty is further undermined by the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) which was renewed under the Arroyo administration. This allows US forces to use civilian and military facilities such as Subic and Clark.
The two agreements provide for the virtual basing of US troops sans any treaty ratified by the Senate. The Philippine government has willingly allowed this subversion of our sovereignty in exchange for so-called US military aid.
We call on the Aquino government and the Philippine Senate not to allow the return of US forces in Subic under any circumstances. Let us not be a staging ground for US interventionist acts in Asia and the world. Let us not see a return of the social costs of hosting US bases and troops.
What is needed now is an honest review of the VFA towards its eventual abrogation. The interest of natioanal sovereignty requires nothing less. ###