QUEZON CITY – Youth group, Anakbayan, on Thursday denounced the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) for being worse than the defunct 1947 US military bases agreement junked by the Philippine Senate in 1991 in light of the Aquino government’s offer to allow US military presence in 8 local bases.
“We junked the US bases in Subic and Clark only to transform the entire nation into one big US military base under EDCA,” said Anakbayan national chairperson Vencer Crisostomo who explained that more areas can be handed over to US control under EDCA rent-free.
Crisostomo said the Aquino government is lying when it insists that EDCA is not a basing agreement.
“The EDCA will surely lead to more abuses the country with the US stationing unlimited number of troops, weapons, and materials in local military facilities,” he said.
“The agreement creates the conditions for the committing of crimes by US forces against Filipinos like the brutal murder of Jennifer Laude by US soldier Joseph Pemberton,” he said.
Crisostomo warned that the return of the US bases also heralds the return of more abuses by American soldiers against Filipinos from wanton shooting and beatings, rising prostitution, and the dumping of toxic wastes on Philippine soil.
The youth leader recalled the killing of 14-year old Rogelio Balagtas by US soldier Larry Cole in 1964 and the shooting of shoeshine boy Rogelio Gonzales by US Marine Kenneth Smith in 1968.
He also cited the killing of base employee Glicer Amor by American soldier Michael Moomey who claimed he confused Amor for a wild boar, an incident made popular by the Nora Aunor’s classic line “my brother is not a pig!”
Crisostomo also mentioned the death of up to a hundred people due to toxic poisoning in the US bases, including the death of 6-year old Crizel Jane Valencia because of leukemia resulting from the mercury contamination in the water she drank at the Clark Airbase Command. [BicolToday.com]