September 20, 2010
“We serve a word of warning to the President – the country is not for sale to the United States. He better not sign trade and other executive agreements that would makes our people worse off.”
This was the statement Terry Ridon, national chairperson of the League of Filipino Students as President Benigno Simeon Aquino III left for the United States today to attend the United Nations General Assembly and to meet with US President Barack Obama.
Ridon said his group is fearful that Aquino’s Washington state visit would provide opportunity for the United States to reassert its military and economic cooperation with the Philippines, many of which had been deemed unfair and disadvantageous to the Philippines.
Ridon challenged Aquino to abrogate the Visiting Forces Agreement upon meeting with Obama in the White House.
“For once, President Aquino should stand in defense of our people when he meets with the US government. He should tell Obama to withdraw their troops from the Philippines immediately. They left Iraq but remain embedded in Philippine territory.”
“More than a decade of injustice and a trampling of our national sovereignty is enough. To continue the VFA is to abandon the triumphant national victory against US interventionism in 1991, when the Philippine Senate voted for the rejection of the continuation of the RP-US Bases Agreement.”
The student leader also warned against the signing of trade and executive agreements in the White House.
“It should not be forgotten that many executive agreements with the US were signed secretly, like the VFA II agreement which remained a secret document until its constitutionality was challenged in the Supreme Court.”
He also said that there are reports that the US government is bent on signing a comprehensive free trade agreement with the Philippines, with little protection for Philippine goods.
League of Filipino Students