QUEZON CITY, 13Jan2016 (BicolToday.com) – Supreme Court’s decision on Tuesday upholding the constitutionality of the controversial Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) was met with strong condemnation from the militant youth sector and nationalist groups.
“TRAITORS! We are fuming with rage at the Supreme Court decision to uphold the constitutionality of EDCA. In the strongest possible terms, we condemn this treacherous decision of the high Court”.
This is the statement of League of Filipino Students Chairperson Charisse Bañez after the Supreme Court (SC) pronounced the legality of EDCA on Tuesday afternoon.
“Declaring EDCA as constitutional equates into a wholesale surrender of our national sovereignty and territorial integrity to the US. It is against all the historic efforts of the Filipino people to defend our national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” she continued.
Return of G.I. Joes
EDCA, which was signed hours before US President Barrack Obama’s state visit in 2014, allows US to station military troops, weapons and war matériel in bases throughout the country.
The 10-year pact also sets the scene for US’ return to strategic bases in the country like the Subic Naval Base and Clark Air Base and facilities currently being constructed in Ulugan and Oyster Bays in Palawan.
Bañez insisted that the 10-page document violates Art. XVIII Sec. 25 of the 1987 Constitution, which states that foreign military bases, troops, etc. “shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate”.
Bañez also slammed the Aquino government for using the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea as pretext for the return of US bases and reoccupation of the Philippines under EDCA.
The youth leader said that the US will only use the country as a military outpost for its strategic pivot to East Asia, securing its all-around dominance in the region and dragging the Philippines to its war.
Bargaining chip: EDCA convertible into US dollars
Bañez, referring to an article published in the New York Times in September of last year, also pointed out that the Aquino government has used EDCA as a bargaining chip for US aid to the tune of up to USD 300 million.
The youth leader said that this is just for President Aquino and his clique’s bureaucratic corruption and 2016 election war chest.
According to Bañez, the removal of US military bases in the Philippines in 1991 was a historic feat attributed to the massive protests of the Filipino people.
She insisted that to allow the return of US bases in the country through EDCA is an insult to the hard-earned victory of the Filipinos.
“We are reminding the Aquino regime that the US government treats us other than equals. During the stay of US bases pre-1991, Filipinos were being shot for fun and treated as pigs, women were raped, and the environment was destroyed. There will be no justice for our countrymen as long as US soldiers are free to roam our land,” said Bañez.
“The government may have wantonly surrendered our national sovereignty to the US but the Filipino people will continue to fight for it. As we have succeeded in 1991, in the name of our heroes, we vow that there will be bigger protests against EDCA and foreign intervention in the country. We will not allow the return of US bases in the county and its reoccupation of the Philippines,” Bañez said. [BicolToday.com]