MANILA (12-June-12) — President Benigno Aquino III’s ‘subservience’ to the United States has jeopardized the country’s future, an interfaith organization said Monday.
The Ecumenical Bishops’ Forum, a group of Catholic, Protestants and Evangelical bishops, cited the presence of US military in the country, which according to them, is putting the country more at risk.
In a statement, they said this also means that the country’s independence is still tarnished by the domination of foreign powers.
“The return of US troops to Philippines soil undermines our peoples’ sovereignty,” the religious leaders said as the country is celebrating its 114th year of Independence on June 12.
“The continued subservience of our political leaders to the US and its international instrumentalities betrays our freedom and sovereignty,” they said.
The faith leaders issued the statement after the recent passing of a US Senate resolution calling for an increased defense and security cooperation with the Philippines under the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).
A meeting then followed it between Aquino and US President Barack Obama in Washington DC, wherein the latter reiterated his government’s support for the Philippines to establish a minimum defense system.
The EBF said it is unacceptable and unfortunate that Aquino is leading the continued subservience by the country to the US.
“Where the right to independence of peoples and nations are tarnished by the domination of foreign powers, their freedom and sovereignty is a sham. This holds true as far as our nation is concerned,” it said.
This year, with the Philippine-China row over the Scarborough Shoal, US soldiers were allowed by Aquino to re-occupy their former military bases in Subic, Zambales and Clark, Pampanga to defend the Philippine territory from China.
“But the Scarborough conflict is only being made an excuse in order for the US to deploy their forces in the Asia-Pacific to protect its economic interest in the region and to counteract its economic rival China’s expansionism,” they said.
A plan to establish a huge pier in Dadiangas in General Santos City purportedly for fishing purposes is underway.
However, the EBF claimed the project is only meant to strengthen the US marine presence in Southern Philippines as part of their long-term plan to maintain their troops in Asia. [CBCPNews]