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Action Alert - Resist Military Recolonization of Philippines
Peace Movement AotearoaPO Box 9314, Wellington. Tel (04) 382 8129, fax (04) 382 8173, email@example.com
Issued 23 February 1999
Further to the alert we distributed on 10 Feb re the Visiting Forces Agreement, we have received today this updated version from John M. Miller, Foreign Bases Project (USA).
Below is a revised version of the Action Alert we sent out earlier this month on the Visiting Forces Agreement between the U.S. and Philippine governments. Letter and faxes are still needed to wavering Filipino Senators. Please note our friends in the Philippines have asked us to target one additional Senator.
For those wanted additional background an article prepared by Prof. Roland Simbulan, "Why the Senate Should Reject the VFA," is available on the web at http://www.boondocksnet.com/sctexts/simbulan99a.html
I have an additional speech by R. Francisco "Dodong" Nemenzo which I can e-mail. Just put VFA Speech in the subject line.
Feb. 21, 1999
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 Access/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 2 ports across the nation (initially to number 22!) 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 Senate 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: