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Action Alert - Petition against US militarization in the Philippines

Peace Movement Aotearoa

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

Issued 14 September 1998

This campaign is being launched by the Campaign Against US Militarisation in the Philippines.

Please show your support of this petition by e-mailing your name, address, phone number, e-mail and organizational affiliation to

Please do not return these details to PMA.

Following the petition is more detailed information about the issue and on how you can join this campaign.

***** Petition to Oppose the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA)

We, the undersigned, join in solidarity with the Filipino people to oppose the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the United States and the Philippines.

The VFA violates principles of mutual respect and reciprocal relations which should characterize relations between nations, unfairly advancing the interests of the United States over that of the Philippines.

During the occasion of the Philippine Centennial, the VFA is a betrayal of the true spirit of the centennial of the revolution, dishonoring the memory of thousands who fought against foreign aggression and colonization.


The Filipino people overwhelmingly opposed U.S. military presence in the Philippines when the Senate in 1991 opposed the renewal of the U.S.-Philippine military bases agreement-and they oppose it now!

Organizational Affiliation:


Dear Friends and Allies:

A movement is being launched in both the Philippines and the U.S. to drumbeat opposition against the ratification of the U.S.-Republic of the Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

Like the Military Bases Agreement roundly defeated six years ago, thi so-called VFA is going before the Philippine Senate for a vote of ratification. The US government, through Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and US Ambassador Richard Cohen, is pulling all the stops in order to secure the VFA's ratification. Washington has made it clear that any economic help from the US requires that the Philippines agree to the VFA.

A wide array of political forces, including Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance) and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, have signified their staunch opposition to this agreement that one-sidedly favors the US at the expense of the Filipino people.

Participants in the Junk the VFA Movement believe the VFA should be opposed for the following reasons:

  1. Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Destruction-The VFA would give the US military the opportunity to bring nuclear weapons, without declaration, into the Philippines, violating the Philippine constitution.
  2. Sovereignty Issues-US military personnel are given special privileges and exemptions concerning visa requirements, harbor and customs regulations and fees, driving permits and licenses, upon entry and stay in the Philippines (which is not specified or limited), without any reciprocal agreement concerning similar numbers of visiting Filipino military personnel in the US. Furthermore, because Philippine President Joseph "Erap" Estrada plans to allow 100% foreign ownership of Philippine lands, the U.S. armed forces can easily purchase large tracts of land and establish military bases there.
  3. Crime-The US military can commit crimes against Filipino citizens, and yet, if certified on official duty, be immune from Philippine courts and laws.
  4. Violence Against Women and Children-The presence of the US military, according to women's groups in the Philippines, virtually endorses the sale of Filipino women and children to prostitution. Before the US bases were pulled out, communities surrounding military stations were the sites of hundreds of "entertainment" places and thousands of "entertainers."
  5. Return of Military Bases-The VFA practically turns the entire Philippines into one big military base. Regardless of the US military's mode of operation, it has the freedom of movement and access to the Philippines' 22 major ports. Indeed, the VFA could be a springboard for the re-establishment of military bases in the Philippines particularly with the recent bombings in the Sudan and Afghanistan.
  6. Human Rights-The VFA would allow the resumption of joint U.S.-Philippine military exercises under the pretext of upgrading the capability and readiness of the Philippine military. In actuality, these exercises are preparation for waging war against perceived enemies of the U.S. outside and INSIDE the Philippines. This often means, as is evidenced in other parts of the world, attacking Filipino people struggling for genuine freedom and democracy.

We're asking you or your organization to join us in this fight!
Participating organizations are asked to:

  1. generate the enclosed petition within their organization,
  2. send a representative planning and informational meetings
  3. attend a September 16 action at Union Square in San Francisco at the statue that commemorates the landing of the US military in the Philippines in 1898.
  4. refer the movement to other contacts.

In Solidarity,
BAYAN (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-New Patriotic Alliance) Organizing Committee, Bay Area
Member and Convenor of Junk VFA Movement.
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