[Statement] Filipino women resist renewed US military presence in Philippine territory -KAISA KA

Filipino women resist renewed US military presence in Philippine territory

Enough is enough!

Kaisa kaKAISA KA, a grassroots-based organization advancing women’s rights and empowerment and social change takes this day, the 102nd International Women’s Day as a fitting occasion to denounce the continuing US military presence in the Philippines.

The increasing rotational troop deployment and US Navy vessels that dock and sail within Philippine territory, in connection with the rebalancing of US forces, not only attract attacks from US’ enemies and undermine national sovereignty but also compromise and endanger the lives, limbs and dignity of Filipino women and children.

The 50,000 abandoned Amerasians, some of whom are joining women’s march today, and the deformed bodies of victims of US military toxic wastes are clear reminders of the gravity of the problem brought about by the more than 90 years of US military basing and presence – especially to the Filipino women and children.
It is appalling that the Aquino government has agreed to allow the US military to use Subic and Clark again. And it is saddening that when the announcement was made last year, some local officials in the areas concerned were just too happy for the business opportunities that the building of a marine base will bring.

These government officials know very well that these business opportunities are merely support services, most of which are related to prostitution. But they always try to drown the point that renewed military presence has enlivened prostitution and trafficking; will expose Filipinas to more military violence, HIV-AIDS infection, dangerous drugs use and addiction; and harmful wastes that can adversely affect reproductive health. These officials have also been blind to the problems of the neglected Amerasians.

We demand from the Aquino government to seriously reconsider its decision to open Philippine territory for the US’ plan to deploy the bulk of its troops and vessels in the Asia Pacific. The military aid that the Philippines gets, the assistance during disasters and the so-called training that the AFP gets from the “permanently visiting” forces cannot compensate for the negative impact of increased militarism in our country. In the first place, Philippine sovereignty and patrimony are not for sale!

We strongly remind the Aquino presidency to abide by the principles and policies of the Philippine Constitution regarding foreign military bases, troops and nuclear power. We admonish the Aquino government to give more weight to the safety, health, peace of mind and dignity of our women.

The Filipino women will ever assert their right to march as active agents and shapers of their own future and of Philippine society.

Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan
#22-A Libertad Street, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City 1501, Philippines
Telefax: (02) 7173262 Email: kaisa_ka98@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.kaisaka.org / http://www.kaisakakalayaan.org

Press Statement
March 8, 2013

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