Tuesday, 5/27 Sunnyvale, CA– On this 15th anniversary of the United States-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), members of Anakbayan Silicon Valley (ABSV) and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance, BAYAN-USA) came together and unveiled a banner calling for “US Out of Asia-Pac” area, highlighting the destructive and unequal economic, political, and military agreements between the United States and the Philippines. Filipino youth and community members held the banner across a Sunnyvale footbridge over the busy 101 freeway, drawing attention from oncoming traffic and passer-byers. The multi-colored banner was held high:
“US Out of Asia Pac: Stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Visiting Forces Agreement, and EDCA –BAYAN USA –ABSV.”
“We are joining Filipinos across the world to stand up against increased US military presence in the Philippines- BAYAN Philippines filed a petition questioning the EDCA before the supreme court as it is a violation of our National Sovereignty!”-said Jessica Antonio, Secretary General of BAYAN USA.
The VFA and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) allow the US to trample all over the rights of Filipinos and effectively take over Philippine facilities at will. The VFA protects many US military officials who commit human rights abuses by keeping them under US jurisdiction. For example, in 2006, the gang rape case of Suzette Nicolas in Subic Bay was handled poorly. The US failed to release the American perpetrators to the Philippine Courts, acquitting them of all charges.
“We demand the removal of the VFA and the EDCA immediately, and cannot sit by and watch the Philippines become a doormat for US imperialism!” stated Chris Lapena, Vice Chairperson of Anakbayan Silicon Valley.
ABSV and BAYAN-USA dropped the banner across different locations near the Moffett Field Airfield, a former military base, and targeting symbols of the US military and nearby defense companies like Lockheed Martin, the largest arms producing and military services company in the world.
Junk the VFA, EDCA, and TPP!
US Out of the Philippines!
Defend National Sovereignty!