ACT Phil says VFA still a cause of human rights violations

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The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines on Friday lambasted President Rodrigo Duterte and the administration for its continued support for
the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), claiming it is a cause for human rights abuses in the country.

ACT Philippines likewise lambasted the United States for its domination over the Philippines as lopsided agreements, such as the VFA and other military treaties that granted the Americans free and unlimited access to Philippine territories to serve as their military bases, still occur.

Human rights abuses have run rampant where American soldiers are, aggravated by the impunity that is guaranteed by said agreements, ACT Philippines said.

More known cases include the subic rape case committed by US Marine Daniel Smith and the rape and murder of Jennifer Laude by US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton.

Other grave cases of abuses and human rights violations include those committed under the Philippines’ counterinsurgency programs which follow the dictates of the US government.

“Toiling masses suffered terribly through massive displacement, harassment, and murder in the hands of these soldiers and our own whom they have trained,” the group lamented.

As the Philippines commemorated the 121st year since the first and largest battle of the Philippine-American War which started in February 4, 1899, ACT Philippines said they honored all the fallen Filipino heroes and demands justice for victims of US wars of aggression.

Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos died during the historic Filipino-American war in pursuit of national sovereignty, more died thereafter as the US maintained its stronghold on our territories and its domination over politics and economy.

“For true justice to come to the brave heroes of the Philippine-American war of 1899, the Philippines must hold the US government accountable for its crimes against all Filipinos through the years,” ACT Philippines said.

“All unequal relations of the Philippine government with the US must finally be severed. The VFA and other lopsided treaties and agreements with the US must immediately be abrogated,” the group said./Stacy Ang

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