Text and photos by JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA –A day before US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Manila, progressive youth organizations staged a protest action in front of the US embassy in Manila to demand for the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement.
Some 70 students and youths from League of Filipino Students, Student Christian Movement of the Philippines, National Union of Students in the Philippines and College Editors Guild of the Philippines chanted ôScrap VFAö and ôUS troops, out now!ö
LFS secretary general Terry Ridon said Clinton’s visit is the best opportunity to show that the VFA is an insult to the Philippine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Clinton is expected to be in the country from November 12 to 13 to discuss disaster management with President Gloria Arroyo. But LFS said in a statement that no amount of humanitarian work by the US military during the recent typhoons can ever justify their continued presence in the country. Such humanitarian moves, according to Ridon, has always been used an excuse to legitimize US military intervention in the country.
“The continuing permanent presence of US troops is a complete throwback to the days of US colonialism in the country. It is proof that we remain under the beck and call of the Americans,” Ridon said. (Bulatlat.com)