Statement: HR lawyers strongly oppose any move that will perpetuate the stay of US military personnel in the Philippines
The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) firmly and consistently believe that the so-called Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), is an unjust imposition violative of Philippine sovereignty. Though the Philippine government considers the VFA a treaty, the United States does not as it treats the VFA as merely an executive agreement.
This divergence on how the parties view the same instrument is already problematic to begin with. Based on experience, this difference in perspective, coupled with the vagueness and ambiguity of several key provisions of the agreement, make it onerous and will be used and is being used to further the United States’ political, economic and military interests in our country and the world.
The NUPL is also aware that many of the so-called military training exercises – including intelligence gathering by US troops — conducted under the VFA are actually disguised or covert combat operations. The carrot approach of rendering humanitarian and “development” assistance is but a smokescreen for such insidious agenda.
Other crucial issues like criminal jurisdiction, social costs to the people, attacks on the honor, dignity and person of our people with brazen impunity all point out to a basically military arrangement between master and slave.
The NUPL does not see any benefits to be garnered by renegotiating the terms of the VFA. What the NUPL demands is the immediate termination of the VFA, as it not only violates the Constitution but also basic democratic rights and the cause of peace. To renegotiate such a monumental iniquity is to give blessing to a long-standing consent to servility, dependency, and injustice. # nordis.net