Fisherfolk rejects 2018 US military war games
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Friday slammed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Eduardo Año for soliciting military assistance to the United States (U.S.) in the form of Balikatan exercise or war games.
The AFP chief of staff announced a total of 261 agreed joint US-RP military activities after his visit to the U.S. last week for the Mutual Defense Board meeting.
In a statement, the fisherfolk group accused the General Año of being the America’s emissary to the country in order to execute war games that advance the U.S. geopolitical interest in the region while violating the country’s sovereign and territorial rights.
The group strongly opposes war games under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) for its unequal and one-sided provisions.
“American troops who commit crimes in our soil can easily get away with it because of these unfair military agreements. We fear for another Nicole and Jennifer Laude incidents because of this another set of military exercise,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The group said President Rodrigo Duterte is following the footsteps of his predecessor Benigno Aquino III of increasing the U.S. military presence in the country at the cost of our sovereign rights and security of the Filipino people.
“President Duterte is embracing the same military policy that former President Aquino had carried out. Apparently, Duterte is now the number one lapdog of the country that he used despise,”
“After all the cuss and tirades against the U.S., in the end, it all leads to sheer puppetry,” Hicap added.
The group instead calls for the scrapping of all unequal military pacts with the United States and to totally kick out American troops in the Philippine soil. ###