In time for the 33rd year of the National Filipino Women’s day of Protest, members of Gabriela Women’s Party trooped today to the US Embassy to once more call for the exit of US troops in the country and once more reverberate the call for an independent foreign policy.
Led by Gabriela Women’s Party Representatives Emmi De Jesus and Arlene Brosas, women emphasized on the social costs of US military presence in the country, decried the abuses and violence Filipino women and children suffer due to US military presence and blamed US policy dictates for the country’s stunted economic growth.
“Ngayong pambansang araw ng protesta ng kababaihan, itinatala namin sa harap ng US Embassy ang aming panawagan para sa agarang pagpapaalis ng mga sundalo, base at kagamitang pandigma ng US sa ating bansa. Dapat nang wakasan ang mga hindi pantay na kasunduang bumansot sa ating bayan. Kaya ng Pilipinas! US Layas!” said Rep. Emmi De Jesus.
De Jesus said their partylist group is supporting moves by the Duterte administration towards the abrogation of all military treaties between the Philippines and the United States including the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).
The Gabriela solon who is among those who questioned the EDCA before the Supreme Court said that the said treaties have never benefited the country, making the Philippines a junkyard for antiquated war materiel even as the US uses the country’s strategic location of vested geopolitical interests in the Asia-Pacific.
Rep. Arlene Brosas for her part emphasized on the social costs of US military presence in the country. “US military presence has resulted to generation after generation of abandoned children where they are stationed. We have had enough of Nicoles and Jennifers and countless Filipinas left defenseless and whose appeals for justice are bastardized by military treaties. We have had enough of US military presence breeding prostitution and trafficking amid a very weak economy that has left many women unemployed and desperate.”
“Women have had enough of US dictates and military presence in the Philippines and we are not afraid to break free from this decades-long relationship of abuse. We fully support a policy that is independent of US dictates,” Brosas ended. #