MANILA, 18Dec2014 — The ILPS Philippines Chapter charged that US Ambassador Philip Goldberg’s visit and live interview at a popular local radio station (DZRH) this morning is “meant for Pembertion’s defense and not for mutual defense.”
Goldberg’s visit followed the serving of an Olongapo City court warrant and widespread demands for Philippine custody of U.S. Marine Private Joseph Scott Pemberton charged for the murder of Filipino civilian Jenifer Laude.
“Pemberton is still in US custody and we demand that he be immediately handed over. Goldberg’s insistence that he is under the joint cooperation of US and Philippine authorities under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) is just a cover for Pemberton’s defense and a travesty of Philippine sovereignty,” ILPS-Phils Chair Elmer Labog said.
“The Pemberton case exposes that the VFA has nothing mutual for Filipinos and Americans. The brutal killing of Laude demands justice. The VFA and so-called mutual defense agreements should be abrogated if we are to strive for peace and justice,” he added.
Goldberg paid a media visit to DZRH and was interviewed by veteran broadcast journalists Joe Taruc, Deo Macalma and Milky Rigonan.
While he admitted that the US could not establish a direct link between the ISIS and local groups, the US ambassador justified the presence of US troops in the Philippines as part of their “train and assist” missions to the Philippine military commanded by Pres. Aquino.
“Human rights violations continue with impunity under this US training and presence. Their own troops, exemplified by Pemberton, are the real killing machines now of US Pres. Obama. They show the real face of the US drive for full spectrum dominance and military aggression. The use of soft power and media offensive of the US embassy could not hide the truth. The US is here solely for US imperialist interests,” the ILPS-Phils stated.
“The Filipino people seek to indict Obama and Aquino for the killings and other crimes in the Philippines. They are set to raise these issues during preparations over the holidays for the Pope’s upcoming visit.”