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Action Alert - Nuclear Free and Independent Philippines Coalition

Peace Movement Aotearoa

PO Box 9314, Wellington. Tel (04) 382 8129, fax (04) 382 8173,

Issued 10 February 1999

Kia ora, we have been asked to circulate this alert to you - if you require further information about this, you could go to which has the text of the petition we circulated in Sept 1998 and some analysis of the issues involved.
We have received an appeal from the Nuclear Free and Independent Philippines Coalition to assist them in their campaign to turn back U.S. efforts to recolonize the Philippines. For those of you who have not followed these developments, under the guise of a "Visiting Forces Agreement" (An Acess/Bases agreement by yet another name), the return of U.S. military forces was negotiated between the U.S. and the Philippines in the last days of the Ramos government. The VFA has been scheduled for Senate debate in March with voting expected March 22-24.

The agreement will allow the U.S. to return to the Philippines, expanding its access to 22 ports across the nation . As with the new "Guidelines" for U.S.-Japan Military Cooperation, the U.S. will have access to the entire nation during "crises". The air and sea port at General Santos in Mindinao (near Indonesia and the strategic Malacca Strait), built with U.S. AID money, is larger than were the U.S. bases at Subic Bay and Clark Airfield - COMBINED.

The nuclear-free provisions of the Philippine constitution require that this agreement be ratified by the Philippine senate if it is to go into force. The U.S. has been exploiting both the regional/global economic crisis and the recent escalation of Chinese claims to the Spratley Islands to win ratification.

The outcome of the Philippine enate vote is in doubt. After several tactical victories, the Philippine anti-bases movement is mobilizing to defend the independence and nuclear freedom regained after four centuries of Spanish and U.S. military colonialism. Our friends and counterparts in the Philippines are urging people to write to four undecided Philippine senators (of whom Juan Ponce Enrile is the most critical) urging them to vote against the VFA. Please send letters to:

Senator Juan Ponce Enrile
Room 401 Marsman Bldg.
Muelle de San Francisco
Gage 1, Port Area
Manila, Philippines
Fax: 527-4837

Senator Anna Dominique M.L. Coseteng
Room 1202, Sunset View Tower
2230 Roxas Blfd
Pasay City, Philippines
Fax: 891-7783

Senator Teofisto T. Guingona
Fax: 721-4805

Senator Vincente C Sotto III
Room 306 Diplomat Bldg.
Roxas Blvd., Baclaran
Paranaque, Philippines
Fax: 831-4194

Thank you,
Joseph Gerson

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