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 President George W. Bush, Jr.’s “war against terrorism” which was
 supported by President Gloria M. Arroyo has aggravated the gross and
 systematic violations of the rights of the Filipino people to national self-
 determination and liberation, through:

       The irresponsible and illegal implementation of the Visiting Forces
 Agreement GROSS 1998 and the forging VIOLATIONS “bilateral
                                LIBERATION
        Use of the Philippines as a key military outpost of the U.S. in East Asia
 and the Pacific in pursuit of the U.S. wars of aggression and interventionism;
       Increase in U.S. military assistance for Arroyo’s brutal counter-
 insurgency program, backed by “legal” and political repressive measures;
       Commission of crimes by the U.S. military either through direct
 combat engagement or through military aid and training;
       The Bush government’s refusal – and inaction by the Arroyo
 government - in connection with the demands for the indemnification of
 victims of toxic contamination and repair of livelihood and environment as a
 result of past, and ongoing, bases operations and related military activities
THE VISITING FORCES AGREEMENT violates the Filipino people’s
rights to national sovereignty, self-determination and other fundamental
rights, because:

•         It grants “extra-territoriality” to U.S. soldiers in the whole
    Philippine territory and gives no limit to “access” by the American forces
    in the Philippines;
•         It exempts American soldiers from the country’s criminal
    prosecution and regulations of judicial process;
•         It has no provision restricting the U.S. military from bringing in
    nuclear arms despite the strict constraint in the 1987 Philippine
•         Under the guise of war exercises (called Balikatan), it gives
    legitimacy to U.S. military designs to maintain a “temporary-permanent”
    basing facility in the Philippines and support its wars of aggression in
    East Asia and the Pacific;
•         It is the U.S. government’s mechanism of using the Philippines as a
    key member of its system of alliances in East Asia that is being used for
    the encirclement and containment of China as well as North Korea
The VFA has also led to the “forging” with George W. Bush, Jr. of other
“bilateral agreements” that further the U.S. government’s infringement of
the Filipino people’s rights to national sovereignty and self-determination:

•        The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA, Nov. 21, 2002)
    which paves the way for the U.S. “temporary-permanent” basing facility
    as well as the entry or stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction,
    including nuclear weapons;
•        The Non-Surrender Agreement of 2003, under which the Philippines
    is under obligation to refuse the surrender of U.S. military or civilian
    personnel operating in the Philippines to the ICC or any international

•   Major Non-NATO Ally Agreement (MNNA), which gives preferential
    increase of U.S. military aid to countries that have shown unrelenting
    support to the U.S.’ wars of aggression
Bush’s military assistance to the Arroyo government ($310 million
during 2001-2006, the largest in Southeast Asia) and the system of
bilateral security agreements sustain the U.S.’ strategic and tactical
influence over the Arroyo regime particularly the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP), through:

 The U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM);
 Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group (JUSMAG);
 Defense Policy Board (DPB, a new “bilateral defense consultative
 Joint Defense Assessment (JDA, 2003), which identifies 10 key areas of
U.S. policy intervention such as the critical security areas of planning,
training, doctrines development and logistics procurement, and is
implemented under “modernization assistance” through the Philippine
Defense Reform (PDR);
 Security Engagement Board (SEB) which covers terrorism and
transnational crimes;
 Conducting war exercises (under Balikatan) plus more than 10 military
and police trainings for Philippine security forces

•   U.S. International Military Education and Training (IMET) program:
    trains AFP special forces in anti-terrorism and counter-insurgency and
    assists U.S. goals of “access and influence within the AFP and Philippine
    government more broadly.” (U.S. Military Aid in East Asia and Pacific,

•   Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) – U.S. SOFs
    that conduct “special operations,” counter-insurgency, and
    “unconventional warfare” in “politically-sensitive environments” under
    the guise of an “exercise.”

•   The Philippine Army Special Operations Command (PASOCOM) is
    composed of seven special forces battalions and two scout ranger

The aforementioned agreements, mechanisms and programs strengthen the
   U.S. hand over the AFP and other security forces to make them more
   compliant with America’s military objectives in the Philippines and in the
   region as a whole. As the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
   said, U.S. military and training programs in the Philippines “are generally
   consistent with the National Security Strategy of the U.S.”

1) Displacement of whole communities: during joint U.S.-Philippine military
    operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and Muslim rebels
    including indiscriminate bombardments resulting in killings and injuries
    and the destruction of property. Some of these are:

•   January-August 2002, about 90,000 villagers uprooted many of them in
    western Mindanao (Maguindanao province), on the islands of Jolo and
    Basilan, and Lanao del Sur;
•   January to September 2005, 158,375 persons displaced by armed
    hostilities between the U.S.-aided AFP troops and Moro guerillas and
    suspected ASG bandit extremists;
•   In Central Luzon, in 2002 Balikatan 02-2 U.S.-Philippine war exercises
    led to the militarization of 27 out of 29 Aeta communities;
2) Killings, wounding of civilians, abductions, and illegal arrests: perpetrated
by the military either by engaging in direct combat operations, or assisting
Philippine troops in military engagements, or through military aid

•   Midnight of July 25, 2002, a U.S. soldier shot and wounded an unarmed
    civilian, Buyong Buyong Isnijal, in a small village of Tuburan, a town on
    Basilan island, southern Mindanao;
•   Arsad Baharon, 25, was shot and wounded by U.S. soldiers during a live
    fire exercise in Zamboanga City, southern Philippines in 2004;
•   In southern Mindanao 2002, U.S. spy planes were spotted circling
    overhead for hours just before Philippine troops raided communities and
    arrested residents without any warrants or charges; in this incident, three
    unarmed fisherfolk were massacred in Lantawan;
•   A mother testified that her 11-year-old child was abducted by Philippine
    soldiers and was later reported killed along with three other alleged ASG
    members in a summary execution;
•   In July 2005, U.S. and Filipino forces launched a joint operation in
    Mindanao in pursuit of the suspected leader of ASG, Khaddafy Janjalani,
    with the U.S. forces reported to have engaged in direct combat.
•   Rape by a US Marine and violation of Philippine jurisdiction and custody
    of the convicted perpetraror

    In November 2005, four U.S. Marines and a Filipino driver were charged
    in the gang rape of a 22-year-old Filipina, identified only as “Nicole,” in a
    van inside the former U.S. naval base of Subic Bay in Olongapo City,
    north of Manila. While awaiting trial before the Makati regional trial
    court, the four U.S. Marines were placed under the custody of the U.S.
    Embassy which invoked the VFA and against the Philippines’ Revised
    Penal Code. Sentenced to a 40-year imprisonment in December 2006,
    Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith, 21, was taken back to the custody of the
    U.S. Embassy, in violation of the country’s sovereign right to exercise
    exclusive jurisdiction and custody of the convicted rapist.
Bombing incident involving a CIA operative

   On May 16, 2002, Michael Terrence Meiring, 65, was arrested by the
   police on May 16, 2002 with explosives in his possession at a hotel in
   Davao City, southern Philippines. Agents from the U.S. National Security
   Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation barged into his room at a
   Davao hospital, and flew him back to the U.S. Media reports exposed
   Meiring’s ties to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Abu
   Sayyaf. The case raised suspicions that the CIA was involved in bombing
   incidents in Davao at that time and in pinning the blame on “terrorists” to
   justify U.S. armed intervention in southern Philippines. The Meiring
   incident took place at a time when Col. David Fridovich headed a “Special
   Operations” task force in Mindanao. Fridovich, now a major general,
   presently heads the Special Operations Command, said to be the military
   vanguard against terrorism under the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM).
U.S. bases’ toxic contamination: Deaths, illnesses, injuries and deformations,
ecological destruction and destruction of livelihoods.

The U.S. government continues to refuse to account for the deaths, illnesses,
   injuries and deformation, ecological damage and destruction of
   livelihoods caused by at least 25 U.S. bases, camps and installations as well
   as military exercises which it operated until 1992, a year after the
   rejection by the Philippine Senate of the proposed treaty for bases

Citing U.S. official documents and several scientific findings, the Philippine
    Senate in 2000, confirmed the substantial environmental contamination in
    the former U.S. bases particularly in Subic Bay Naval Base in Olongapo
    City and Clark Field Air Base in Angeles City with “substantial and
    serious adverse ecological, human health and economic implications for
    the residents within the area and the Philippines in general.”
SOME CASES: At the former Clark Air Base Command (CABCOM) in
Mabalacat, Pampanga, at least 100 residents, many of them children, died
of various ailments ranging from cancer, leukemia, heart failure, kidney
disorder and other ailments attributed to toxic contamination from 1995-
1999 alone. At least 500 other residents were feared awaiting the same fate
as of 2001.


The U.S. government refuses to take heed on demands for clean-up, repair
and compensation, the Philippine government under both Philippine and
international laws;

Arroyo has continued the inaction of previous presidents starting with
Corazon Aquino to pursue the case with the U.S. government outside
issuing “requests” for assessment and investigation of the toxic
contamination. On this basis alone, the Arroyo government should be cited
for upholding U.S. interests at the expense of the Filipino people’s national
sovereignty and self-determination.

The state terrorism of Gloria M. Arroyo which relies on a brutal
counter-insurgency program leading to the gross and systematic
violations of human rights has the political and military support of the
Bush administration.

“Counter-terrorism” particularly the anti-Abu Sayyaf operation
provided the excuse for renewed U.S. military aggression in the
Philippines and increased military assistance of all types to the Arroyo
regime that, in turn, is being used for counter-insurgency and for
committing atrocities against civilians.

The U.S. has been involved in counter-insurgency in the Philippines
– either as the architect or through military aid - since the Huk
rebellion (1950s, which also involved CIA operations); in the series
of suppression campaigns under Marcos (1970s-1986); Corazon
Aquino (“total war” and CIA-sponsored low-intensity conflict,
1986-1992); Fidel V. Ramos (VFA, 1992-1998); and Joseph E.
Estrada (total war in Mindanao, 1998-January 2001).

All previous counter-insurgency campaigns and the present OBL
are based primarily on U.S. counter-insurgency doctrines that
emphasize the use of psychological or unconventional warfare that
essentially justifies the use of terror including political assassination,
abductions and massacres against “enemies” of the state. These
counter-insurgency doctrines also give primacy to the role of
regular military forces under the state command and ensure that
U.S. security interests in countries are protected.
U.S. intervention in the conduct of counter-insurgency in the Philippines
has been carried out through military commands, bilateral agencies and
programs as previously described.

These provide the mechanisms for U.S. strategic and tactical influence over
the AFP and other state forces involved in counter-insurgency. Ultimately,
they also ensure that the Arroyo administration’s counter-insurgency
instruments serve the U.S. government’s security objectives in the
Philippines and in the region.

1) Arroyo officials have admitted several times about the existence of
Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL or Operation Plan Freedom Watch) doctrine
which falls under the Enhanced National Internal Security Plan (NISP)
that, in turn, has been adopted by Arroyo’s Cabinet Oversight
Committee on Internal Security (COC-IS); OBL gives emphasis to the
“neutralization” of the communists’ “sectoral front organizations”
particularly in regions identified as having a strong NPA presence;

2) Recently created, the Inter-Agency Legal Advisory Group (IALAG),
which supervises the state’s “legal” offensives against the Left’s
“sectoral front organizations” and leaders as well as provide legal shield
to perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity;

3) In the works is the anti-terrorism council headed by the President
that will see to the implementation of the Human Security Act of 2007
which gives further legitimacy to the political persecution of the Left.
4) The patterns, circumstances and evidence showing the
occurrence of gross and systematic violations of human rights on a
nationwide scale particularly in identified priority areas linking
government security forces (notably, military intelligence agents)
show that the political killings and related cases could not have
occurred without a central authority and command, as well as the
professional skills and impunity that only a military institution and
other security units trained in unconventional warfare are able to

5) It is apparent that this central authority has secured the
acquiescence and cooperation of other agencies that fall under the
Office of the President, including the National Security Council
(NSC), the Department of National Defense (DND), the Department
of Justice (DoJ), the Department of Interior and Local Government
(DILG), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and, lest we
forget, the military, national police and paramilitary forces some of
which act under the guise of “party-list groups.”

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