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c/o PRRM Building , 56 Mo. Ignacia Ave., cor Sct.Lazcano St, Quezon City, Philippines
Phone – 372-4989 FAX – 372-4995 Email: gfp@lists.riseup.net URL:
http://www.yonip.com/gfp

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT (prep for Women 2004)
Prepared by Cora Fabros for the Philippine Reader on US Bases

Outline/Reference for the Powerpoint Presentation (with reference
notes):

   1. Introduction: Brief History of US Military Bases & Presence in the
      Phils.and Asia.
            For almost a century the United States bases in the
             Philippines have been the hub of American Military
             operations in Asia and the Pacific
            when the first US Visiting Forces trampled on Philippine soil
             in 1899, they undermined the freedom and sovereignty of our
             newly born Republic, waged a war of conquest and colonized
             the country to gain a market and military stronghold in
             Asia. The bloody US conquest in 1899 caused the death of
             more than 600,000 Filipinos, mostly civilians, or one-sixth of
             our population then. Historians have called that era of the
             Philippine-American War as "America's First Vietnam in
             Asia."
            The biggest US military facilities, staging area for US WARS
             OF AGGRESSION – China, Korea, Vietnam, Iran-Iraq War
            Regional center for the CIA's covert operations against
             Indonesia and against the national liberation movements in
             Indochina
            as storage, fueling, maintenance, training and
             communications stations

   2. Factual Data on US Military Bases and Installations prior to 1992
       Military Aid, military presence, Treaties and Agreements, etc

         Before 1992, the United States occupies and maintains seven
          military facilities in the Philippines of which Clark Air base and
          Subic Naval Base are considered the largest and the most
          strategic in terms of function and geographical location
Name of the Base                     Location           Total Area   Function
1. John Hay Air Station              Baguio             695          Communications,
                                     City,              Hectares     Training, Rest &
                                      Benguet                        Recreation
2. Camp Wallace Air                  San                202          Training,
     Station                         Fernando,          Hectares     Communications
                                     La Union
3. US Naval Radio Station            Capas,             356          Communications,
                                     Tarlac             Hectares     Training
4. San Miguel Naval                  San                1,112        Communications
   Communications                    Antonio,           Hectares
Stations                              Zambales
5. O‟Donnel Transmitter              Capas.             1,756        Communications,
Station                              tarlac             Hectares     Training
6. Subic Naval Base                  Subic Bay          6,658        Weapons Depot,
                                                        Hectares     Training,
                                                                     Communications,
                                                                     SRF, Navy
7. Clark Air Base                    Pampanga           4,440        Weapons Depot,
                                                        Hectares     Training,
                                                                     Commnunication,
                                                                     Airforce

           Clark - Spread across the provinces of Pampanga and Tarlac,
            about the size of Singapore. Largest US military installation in
            Asia. With capacity to store petroleum, oil and lubricants of 25
            million gallons and a 200,000 square meter storage for
            ammunition for the US Air Force.
           Subic Bay - a deep-water harbor, formed by volcanic activity.
            Developed as a naval station in 1884 by the Spaniards, it was
            eventually taken over by the Americans in 1904 and made it
            into a naval reservation where a modern ship repair facility was
            developed in 1906. At the height of its operation by US Navy, it
            was the largest naval supply depot in the world, handling 1
            million barrels of fuel each month. The US armed forces prided
            itself as the biggest fuel depot ever that can supply even for a
            hundred wars. It also served as a major ship repair facility for
            all US combat ships in the Asian region
           Connecting the two bases is a 40-kilometer underground fuel
            pipeline, which traverses rugged mountainous areas, farms and
            heavily populated towns and cities

    3. Impacts and Implications of US military bases and presence:


PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                          2
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
           On local communities - toxic contamination, noise pollution,
            damage to property - TOXIC LEGACY IN THE FORMER US
            BASE
           On the economy – highly dependent on the economy servicing
            US military presence: entertainment, service providers on and
            off base
           Women, children, Amerasians: prostitution, rape, sexual abuse,
            unrecognized & neglected children out of casual sex, injustice
           Indigenous Peoples – ancestral lands expropriated unjustly
           Foreign policy, sovereignty – subservience to US interest
           Human rights, Crimes of servicemen – Not a single US soldier
            was tried in Phil. Court under Phil. Laws
           On people‟s security – source of people‟s insecurity – “BASES of
            our Insecurity” - - Prof. Roland Simbulan
           On the environment – the Toxic Legacy of US presence in the
            Phililippines


“I can recall, as commanding officer of an aircraft carrier in 1970,
being closely monitored in the US ports to insure proper control
and disposal of waste material. This increased caution was not
evident to me here in Subic Bay in 1971 where ships, our aircraft
and our industrial facilities were spewing polluted materials into
the air, water and soil with no regards for the short-term or long-
term effects… When one adds the long-term effects of the discharge
of untreated sewage, leakage and escape of PCB from electrical
generators, it is beyond doubt that Subic Bay is contaminated in
many ways which threaten the long-term health and safety of local
residents.” (Admiral Eugene Carrol Jr., retired, US Navy, former
Commander of US Aircraft Carrier Midway in “US Military Bases
and the Environment,” 1996 International Forum on US Military
Toxics and Bases Clean-up, Manila, Philippines. Sponsored by the
People‟s Task Force for Bases Clean-up & the Nuclear-Free
Philippines Coalition.)

Toxic Legacy in the Former Bases

      After the pullout of American personnel from the military bases in
Subic Bay, it was noticed that there was high incidence of rare ailments
among communities in and around rivers and tributaries into and out of
the naval base. Meanwhile, at CABCOM, the settlers noted this odd taste
and oily sheen in their drinking water. People got sick and this was
where People‟s Task Force for Bases Clean Up (then a program under the
Nuclear Free Philippines Coalition) began its work of closely monitoring
health cases. When high incidence of documented cases became

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                  3
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
apparent, environmental as well as health research, calling on
toxicologists, epidemiologists, and other organizations to provide the
needed expertise was imperative in its lobby and information work to call
for US responsibility.

      Like all human beings, the residents of these communities needed
water. The river tributaries of Subic Bay provided the people with a
place to bathe, swim, and play in, a source of livelihood, and
groundwater. In Cabcom, 203 shallow pump wells were installed as
source of water for the settlers. The settlers did not know they were
located on what used to be a motor pool, a place where the Americans‟
engines were serviced and maintained.

       The toxic wastes did not strike through water alone. According to
studies, water, air and soil-borne toxic materials were present in
dangerous amounts at both Clark and Subic bases. Ironically, the report
that triggered further investigation and studies on the former military
bases was revealed by the US government itself. In 1992, the US General
Accounting Office reported contaminated sites in Clark and Subic. The
report revealed that that US did not comply with its own environmental
laws in the operation of the bases in the Philippines. It likewise
acknowledged that the cost of the cleanup could approach Superfund
proportions. Following the GAO report were studies done by:

    1) the World Health Organization (WHO), which identified water
       pollutants present in the bases in 1993;
    2) the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) in 1995, which found
       oil and grease in water samples taken from wells in Clark;
    3) Canadian epidemiologist Rosalie Bertell, which in 1998 noted
       “startlingly high” levels of kidney diseases in 13 communities
       around Clark;
    4) Woodward-Clyde in 1996, which was commissioned by the Subic
       Bay Metropolitan Authority;
    5) Weston International, commissioned by the Clark Devt. Authority,
       which identified 22 contaminated sites in Clark in 1997;
    6) The Philippine Commission on Human Rights, which in 1999
       started supporting the victims.
    7) Another DOH study in 1999 to determine the extent of health
       impact of toxic contamination in Clark alone.

      The studies identified 27 contaminated sites at Clark and 19 at
Subic. The WHO Mission Report, particularly, said that landfills on site
were used for dumping all kinds of waste, including toxic and hazardous
waste materials; and that industrial waste waters, untreated sewage and
polluted storm water drains were all directly discharged to Subic Bay,
mostly without treatment. They revealed that heavy metals and
PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                 4
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
contaminants ranging from oil and petroleum lubricants, pesticides such
as aldrin, dieldrin and DDT to PCBs, lead, mercury, arsenic, asbestos
and others were found in various levels exceeding Philippine National
Standards

       The study conducted by Woodward-Clyde International noted that
the pipeline connecting the two bases is a “potential source of leaks and
spills.” It corroborated GAO Report that the pipeline did not have leak-
detection facilities for almost 100 years that they had been using it.

      The studies gave credence to earlier reports, including that of the
Philippines Center for Investigative Journalism in 1992, which featured a
US Navy veteran from Subic who claimed that the Navy incessantly
produced industrial toxic chemicals and discarded them without regard.
He recalled how the US routinely flushed and left behind a trail of waste
and toxic materials in the process of ship repair (Admiral Eugene Carrol,
Jr. US Navy ret.).

       The Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances, 1985-1986,
states that mercury has been known to cause birth defects such as
several cerebral palsy, mental retardation, spontaneous abortion,
neurological effects, among others. A People‟s Task Force for Bases
Clean-up study, reveals that mercury was detected in some of the
sediments of Subic Bay. Benzene, toluene, and xylene are all found in
gasoline especially jet fuel, industrial solvents, degreasers, adhesives,
explosives, asphalt, pesticides, dyes, paint remover, and vehicle
emissions. Benzene causes leukemia, aplastic anemia, chromosomal
aberrations and bone marrow defects. Toluene damages the kidney and
liver and destroys the fetus. Xylene destroys the kidney and causes
central nervous system disorder.

       Greenpeace Toxics Patrol also documented the existence of a
transformer in Mabalacat containing PCB, which had been
internationally banned for any new use by OECD countries in 1987. In
February 2000, it was reported that the transformer, which had already
contaminated surrounding soil, was disassembled and drained by
residents without appropriate protective gear. PCB (polychlorinated
biphenyl), used in power transformers, has immediate and long-term
effects on health and environment in both small and high
concentrations. It interferes with reproduction, decreased birth weight,
reduced head circumference, and premature birth, decreased intellectual
performance, suppresses the immune system and induces liver enzymes.
Chronic exposure causes skin disorders, promotes tumors in
experimental animals and may be carcinogenic in humans.



PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                   5
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
Appeal for Justice and International Solidarity

       Today, the victims‟ situation is critical. Death stares them in the
eye. Everyday, the families deal with disease and/or death in their
midst. The situation is getting to be desperate everyday and it leaves one
with a feeling of helplessness and anger. This problem of toxic
contamination is not only apparent in the Philippines. It is as well a
problem in other parts of the world where the United States used to have
or presently have their military facilities. We are also aware of victims of
environmental injustice in Guam, Korea, Okinawa, Japan, Puerto Rico,
Panama and in the United States itself. Your support and solidarity will
go a long way in advancing their struggle for justice.

        The Historic Senate Rejection of a new Bases Treaty:

       A Senate that said NO! and the Anti-Bases Movement in the Phils.
        Philippine Senate‟s rejection of new bases treaty (Sept. 16, 1991)
        Magnificent 12 led by Sen. Wigberto Tanada

       Legal basis, Freedom from nuclear weapons, Phil. Constitution

    Philippine Constitution:

    “ Art. II Sec. 2: The Philippines renounces War as an instrument of
    national policy, adopts the generally accepted principles of
    international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the
    POLICY OF PEACE, EQUALITY, JUSTICE, FREEDOM, COOPERATION
    AND AMITY WITH ALL NATIONS

    Art. II Sec.7: The State shall pursue an INDEPENDENT FOREIGN
    POLICY

    Art. II Sec 8: the Philippines, consistent with the national interest,
    adopts and purses a policy of FREEDOM FROM NUCLEAR WEAPONS
    IN ITS TERRITORY.”

    Art. XVIII Sec 25: After the expiration in 1991 of the Agreement
    between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of
    America concerning the Military Bases, foreign military bases, troops
    or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a
    treaty duly concurred in by the Senate . . and recognized as a treaty
    by the other contracting State”

The US armed forces pulled out of the two bases on Nov. 24, 1992
coinciding with the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. In the aftermath of the Mt.
Pinatubo eruption, some residents of Pampanga were given temporary
PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                 6
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
shelters at a 12-hectare site at the Clark Air Base Communications
Center or CABCOM. From 1991 to 1999, an estimated 20,000 families
were resettled temporarily in CABCOM. The families stayed there for
three to five years before they were relocated in different resettlement
areas provided by the government

      Post-independence security agreements like the 1947 Military
Bases Agreement which was terminated in 1991, the Military Assistance
Agreement of 1947 (later amended as the Mutual Defense Assistance
Agreement of 1953) and the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty allowed the
United States to control the external defenses of the country while
leaving to the Philippine Army and Philippine Constabulary the job of
suppressing Filipino revolutionaries.

       The Visiting Forces Agreement of 1999 restored US troop activities
in the Philippines after the rejection of the bases treaty in 1991. Various
small and large-scale military exercises have since then been undertaken
to justify the restoration of US military presence in the Philippines. These
exercises are the following:

   1) Carat - a specific amphibious exercise between the US Pacific Fleet
      and the Philippine Navy involving use of frigates, landing ships,
      helicopters and P-3C Orion aircraft. Training includes lectures,
      demonstrations and shipboard tours during port training and
      highlighted by amphibious exercises between the two navies.
   2) Masurvex -this deals with RP-US maritime patrol, surface
      detection, tracking, reporting and training. It involves the use of
      maritime surveillance aircraft and P-3C Orion from the US Navy.
      Activities for this exercise may include day/night surveillance,
      search and rescue exercise, anti-smuggling operations and
      maintenance lectures.
   3) Palah - this exercise is conducted between US Navy Seals teams
      and the Philippine Navy Special Warfare Group (SWAG) teams to
      improve individual and team skills as well as enhance "inter-
      operability" on a vast range of naval special warfare and skills
      common to maritime special operations forces of both countries.
   4) Teak Piston - an airforce-to-airforce exercise which covers
      instructions on aircraft maintenance on areas such as corrosion
      control, airframe/sheet metal repair and aerospace ground
      equipment repair, sea search and rescue, special tactics training,
      air crew training and on jet engine instrument test equipment
      procedures.
   5) Balance Piston - an infantry exercise dealing with special
      operations.
   6) Handa Series - a Philippine-US bilateral table war game conceived
      to enhance higher level command and staff interaction between the
PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                  7
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
      AFP and the US Armed Forces to strengthen military-to-military
      cooperation and enhance links between the game and future
      exercises.
   7) Flash Piston - this is a navy-to-navy exercise similar to the Palah
      exercise using a 16-man US Navy Seal team and a Philippine Navy
      SWAG team. Exercise includes training in the areas of underwater
      demolition, weapons familiarization, sniper training, direct actions
      and a field training exercise (FTX) to cap the training.
   8) EODX - specialized inter-operability training between the
      demolition and ordnance experts of the two armed forces. Exercise
      includes lectures and drills on day/night LIMPET and Improvised
      Explosive Devise (IED), underwater ordnance, demolition training
      and VIP protection.
   9) Salvex - this is a navy exercise designed to improve Philippine and
      US skills in ship salvage operations, usually requiring actual
      operations on sunken ships

The MLSA

       An unconstitutional, one-sided and perilous treaty kept secret from
the Filipino people
       A series of one-sided military agreements:
   1) RP-US Military Bases Agreement of 1947 (abrogated Sept. 16,
       1991)
   2) RP-US Military Assistance Agreement of 1947
                 o Logistics assistance (surplus war equipment)
                 o US military education and training
                 o Military Advisory Group (JUSMAG)
                 o Disclosure and exchange of classified equipment and
                    operations
                 o AFP tied to US foreign and military policy
   3) RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951
                 o Outlines general measures in cases of armed external
                    attack on either parties
                 o Strengthened one-sided RP-US relations (especially w/
                    regard to bases, troops, facilities)
                 o Mutual Defense Board formed in 1958
                 o Considered the “mother treaty” of the VFA and MLSA
   4) RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement of 1999
                 o Allows unlimited entry of US troops, war vessels and
                    other war materiel and access to military installations
                    and other services in RP
                 o For use during joint military exercises and “other
                    activities”
                 o US troops granted immunity from prosecution in RP
                    courts
PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                8
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
                    o Opens door for entry of banned nuclear, chemical and
                      biological weapons
                    o Exempts US from taxes, fees, charges
                    o In reality, VFA is a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA),
                      a legal cover to bring in troops, vessels and war
                      materiel despite a Constitutional ban and the 1991
                      bases treaty rejection

RP-US Mutual Logistics and Support Agreement of 2002

VFA + MSLA = de facto US bases•An entirely new treaty
•A reversal of the 1991 senate decision
•A gross violation of the Philippine Constitution
•A violation of national sovereignty and territorial integrity
    Part and parcel of US-led war of aggression and imperialist
       plunder masquerading as war vs.terrorism

1. The MLSA covers basic elements of an operational base•Supplies –
food, water, petroleum, lubricants, clothing, ammunition, parts &
components
•Support services – billeting, transportation, medical services, operations
support (including construction of structures), training services, repair
and maintenance, calibration services, storage services, port services
•Use of vehicles, other non-lethal equipment
•Open access to all ports and military facilities nationwide
•RP pays for hosting and servicing US forces

2. The MLSA covers all kinds of overt and covert activities •Military
trainings and exercises
•Operations and other deployments under the MDT, VFA, MAA
•Humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, rescue operations, maritime
anti-pollution operations in or out of RP territory participated in by either
or both parties

3. MLSA gives military officials power to determine foreign policy
•For all its consequences, the MLSA is an agreement between RP and US
defense departments
•Future “implementing arrangements” will be negotiated and signed by
officials of the US Pacific Command (USPACOM) and the AFP
•No international body or third party (i.e. UN, ICJ, ICC) is allowed to help
resolve disagreements or problems arising from the MLSA

4. MLSA opens door to more US armed intervention and ties RP tighter to
US-led war of terror



PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                   9
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
•With MLSA in place, RP will most likely be used as launching pad for US
             war on Iraq and other US designated “enemies”
•MLSA makes RP the center of US military operations in Southeast Asia,
the 2nd front of Operation Enduring Freedom

       With ASG, CPP-NPA, possibly MILF, declared as foreign terrorist
organizations (FTOs), US has more excuses to militarily intervene in
RPMutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) is the Pentagon's logical
follow-up to the 1999 Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The MLSA is not
just about logistics and other military hardware that the US wants to
stockpile in the Philippines for use by American forces. It is also about
the setting up of facilities, structures and infrastructure to "house" US
war materiel in the Philippines. For the Philippine government, this is a
necessary document to enable it to comply with the constitutional
provision requiring an agreement to allow foreign military "facilities." The
VFA had already given the go-signal for the entry of "foreign military
troops" under the guise of joint military exercises. All these point to the
full restoration of US military presence in the Philippines, but this time
using the entire country as one big military base!

      Under the former Philippine-US Military Bases Agreement (MBA),
US troops and facilities could only be stationed or installed inside the
bases which were limited in scope and area, all in Luzon island. Now the
VFA and the proposed MLSA would cover the ENTIRE Philippines,
including southern Mindanao, noted for its close proximity to Indonesia
and Malaysia.

       While it is true that the MLSA does not specifically designate
certain basing areas for use by US forces, it offers, like the VFA, the
entire Philippines, all its islands, air space and territorial land and water
to the US Armed Forces for use in the same functions as bases, namely:
training, refueling, replenishment, resupply and possibly even the repair
of US naval vessels. But more important is the use of the Philippines
once again as a staging area for US interventionist actions in Asia and
other parts of the world, as springboard for unilateral actions of a
superpower that is behaving like a mad dog after Sept. 11. All our ports
and airfields nationwide in all the islands can now be used by the US
armed forces. And if the Philippines and the US have stretched the
interpretation of the 1999 VFA to include all kinds of military activities
on Philippine territory, including actual counter-insurgency missions for
US forces, you can imagine what they would do with a document like the
MLSA in place.

Resisting the Return of U.S. military presence: Post September 11


PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                  10
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
         US all out War Against Terror
            Philippines its "second front" next to Afghanistan in US
              campaign against terrorism. Philippine Govt. US
              unconditional support, including the restoration of US
              military facilities and bases.
            A good location to restore its military forces in Southeast
              Asia in the light of threats from Islamic fundamentalist
              groups especially from Indonesia and Malaysia where the US
              finds it dangerous to deploy US forces
            PGMA‟s all out War in Mindanao and the Anti-Terrorism
              campaign in the Philippines - Balikatan Exercises in
              Mindanao – US special forces deployment in combat areas in
              Mindanao in the guise of combating terrorism

Basilan/Mindanao: the Second Afghanistan

      The current large-scale Balikatan exercises in the Philippines
started in 1991 as a navy-to-navy exercise sponsored by the US
CINCPAC (US Pacific Command). The Visiting Forces Agreement (1999)
may have succeeded in reversing what the Senate did in 1991. Philippine
courts cannot, under the VFA even assume jurisdiction over U.S. soldiers
and try them for such crimes as rape, murder, or homicide, committed
against Filipinos right here in our own country. Under Art. 5 of the VFA,
any offense committed by US soldiers or personnel, no matter how grave
or heinous, may be considered "official acts" provided the US commander
issues a "military duty" certificate. This was how the US gave immunity
to thousands of accused American soldiers from 1947 until Sept. 16,
1991 for their criminal acts on Philippine soil.

       Although Balikatan military exercises have been going on since
1991, these were temporarily stopped after the Senate rejected the
proposed bases treaty. The proposed Military Bases Agreement
which was rejected in 1991, covered transient US forces undergoing
training. This was, however, resumed after the ratification of the 1999
Visiting Forces Agreement. A shift in the orientation and implementation
of Balikatan exercises, however, has occurred after Sept. 11, 2002.
Balikatan in early 2002 was intentionally conducted in the Basilan and
Zamboanga war zones, this time with live targets in actual military
operations, during what former National Security Adviser Roilo Golez
calls "on-the-job training."

      This shift in Balikatan only refers to the open and publicly
acknowledged role of the war exercise in current AFP counter-insurgency
campaigns. In a TOP SECRET Memorandum to former President Joseph
Estrada dated May 9, 2000, of the TASK FORCE BLACK CRESCENT

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                             11
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
which analyzed the TOP SECRET OPLAN MINDANAO II/BLACK RAIN
operations against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the TF
Black Crescent headed by former Secretary of National Defense
Fortunato Abat referred to the "Conduct of military advance training on
anti-guerrilla warfare under the guise of 'Balikatan 2000' RP-US military
training exercises, in consonance with the ratified Visiting Forces
Agreement (VFA) (p.5); "the arming of the Alliance of Christian
Vigilantes for Muslim-Free Mindanao and the Spiritual Soldiers of God in
Mindanao to whom 20,763 units consisting of M14s and M16s had
already secretly been distributed."(p.8). This TOP SECRET document
WHICH I HAVE DECLASSIFIED for us all, clearly shows the wanton use
of vigilantism against so-called terrorism in Mindanao, now reinforced by
the rewards system for bounty hunters.

               Foreign policy under GMA

      The current large-scale Balikatan exercises in the Philippines
started in 1991 as a navy-to-navy exercise sponsored by the US
CINCPAC (US Pacific Command). The Visiting Forces Agreement (1999)
may have succeeded in reversing what the Senate did in 1991. Philippine
courts cannot, under the VFA even assume jurisdiction over U.S. soldiers
and try them for such crimes as rape, murder, or homicide, committed
against Filipinos right here in our own country. Under Art. 5 of the VFA,
any offense committed by US soldiers or personnel, no matter how grave
or heinous, may be considered "official acts" provided the US commander
issues a "military duty" certificate. This was how the US gave immunity
to thousands of accused American soldiers from 1947 until Sept. 16,
1991 for their criminal acts on Philippine soil.

        As stated earlier, next to Afghanistan, the Philippines has become
the second front in the war against international terrorism, including the
deployment of the elite U.S. Special Operations Forces which is a
composite force and command by itself. SOF operations are described as
"direct action" (small-scale strikes), unconventional or irregular warfare,
civil affairs and psychological operations (psy-ops to influence public
opinion), foreign internal defense (arming and training paramilitary
forces), and counter-terrorism training. SOFs, together with CIA special
hit teams, have also been known to specialize in political assassinations.
The deployment of SOFs in the Philippines shows that in recent Pentagon
strategy, the Philippines serves not only as the second front in the war
against international terrorism, it also serves as a springboard for
renewed US drive for geopolitical hegemony in Southeast Asia, against
Philippine home-grown guerrillas (NPA, MNLF, MILF) and other Asian
people's mass movements.



PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                               12
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
    6. The people‟s anti-bases and anti-nuclear movement and lessons
       learned (Refer to the Philippine Reader on US Bases) and the
       continuing struggle for an independent Philippine Foreign Policy

Closing Ranks Against the Borderless US Military

       The past victories of Asian anti-colonial struggles, including those
for self-determination in Vietnam and elsewhere, the democratic
movements against pro-US dictatorships, as in the anti-Marcos
dictatorship struggle and the dismantling of the formidable US bases in
1991 in the Philippines, demonstrate the desire of the people of Asia to
live in freedom, to run their country their own way, without foreign
dictation.

      In the Philippines, even after the dismantling of the US bases in
1991, we continue to block any attempt to re-establish US military
presence through the proposed MLSA. This is being done by defending
and giving substance to the anti-militarist, pro-peace and anti-nuclear
provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. We are also seeking the
abrogation of the Cold War relics - the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty and
the 1947 Military Assistance Agreement, as well as the 1999 Visiting
Forces Agreement.

       Our experience in people's struggles against foreign aggressors
and dictatorships shows us that only by closing ranks and forging a
broad united front can we defeat our militarist adversaries both in the
Philippines and Asia.

      8. People‟s Responses:

The Nuclear Free Philippines Coalition (Anti-nuclear and anti-bases
campaigns)

       Nuclear Free Philippines Coalition – An alliance of multi-sectoral,
interfaith, civic and people‟s organizations nationwide that served as the
Secretariat to Stop the building and Operation of the Bataan Nuclear
Power Plant (the first and only built in the Philippines during the Marcos
dictatorial regime) from 1981 – 1998). It also served as the Secretariat
for the campaign to reject the new Military Bases Agreement with the
United States (1987-1992). Initiated the organization of the People‟s
Task Force for Bases Clean Up after the bases withdrawal to campaign
for U.S. responsility for the Toxic wastes they left behind.

     In March 2003 in Okinawa, together with organizations and
networks working on military toxics and bases clean up issues from
Japan, Okinawa, Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, and the United States, the
PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                 13
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
Coalition is one of the convenors of the International Network on Military
Activities and Environmental Justice (INME)

       The birth of Gathering for Peace in the Philippines and the Asian
Peace Alliance in Asia. Gathering for Peace in the Philippines (GFP) is a
coalition of 51 Non-government organizations, people‟s organizations,
political blocs and individuals promoting peace, tolerance and national
sovereignty and opposing US military intervention in the Philippines. It is
a loose, broad, centrally coordinated activist campaign center. It is a
response to post Sept 11 escalation of US military presence in the
Philippines, the invasion of Afghanistan and the eventual invasion of
Iraq. In April 2004, GFP together with FOCUS on the Global South and
Institute of Popular Democracy, initiated the formation of Iraq Solidarity
Campaign in the Philippines to call for the end of US invasion of Iraq and
for the Philippine Government to withdraw its membership in the
coalition of the willing and withdraw the Philippine troops in Iraq.

    7. Towards a Global Anti-Bases Campaign: International Conference
       on US Bases at the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India

Nuclear Free Philippines Coalition Website:
www.nfpc.nonukesasiaforum.org
Gathering for Peace-Philippines Website: www.yonip.com.main/gfp
Asian Peace Alliance Website: www.yonip.com/apa and www.asian-
peace.net
PTFBC Website: http://www.yonip.com/toxicwaste/taskforce.html
International Network on Military Activities and Environmental Justice:
kaorinsuna@mvd.biglobe.ne.jp




PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                               14
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
Attachment B

            “HUMAN COST OF ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE
                       CAUSED BY U.S. BASES”
   Prepared by the People‟s Task Force for Bases Clean Up - Philippines

1) Brief History of US Bases in the Philippines

      The Philippines was host to the US Air Force in Clark Air Base in
the province of Pampanga in the Philippines and to the US Navy in Subic
Naval Base in Olongapo, in the northern part of the Philippines.

       Clark Air Base occupied an area of 158,277 acres of land, about
the size of the whole island of Singapore. Clark Air Base became the
homebase of the US “Fighting” 13th Air Force. It became a training
ground and refueling station for the US fleet used in the Korean war in
the 1950s, the Vietnam war in the late 1960s, and in the Gulf war in
1990.

      Subic Naval Base was the largest naval supply depot of the US
Naval force in the world. Like Clark Air Base, Subic was also used by the
US during the Korean war in the 1950s, the Vietnam war in the late
1960s, and in the Gulf war in 1990.

      If they were not forced to leave the Philippines in 1991, Clark and
Subic would have been used also in the Afghanistan war.

2) Reports of Deaths Due to Toxic Waste Contamination

     Soon after the withdrawal of the US Air Force and Navy in
November 1991 and 1992, respectively, the nightmare of toxic
contamination began to surface.

      In June 1991, roughly 20,000 poor families were relocated by
Philippine government inside Clark Air Base in a place called CABCOM,
or Clark Air Base Command. These 20,000 poor families were
temporarily placed there because they were displaced by strong volcanic
eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.

      While in Cabcom, these families were given by Philippine
government more than 100 pump wells to be installed on the Cabcom
grounds where they would draw their daily water needs for drinking,
cooking, milk of their children, bathing, laundry, and other daily water
requirements.
      A few months later, many of these poor families began complaining
of stomach problems, skin disorders, and vomiting. Soon pregnant
PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                 15
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
women began to experience spontaneous abortions, still births, birth
defects and deformities. Many young children and old persons have died
of various aliments including leukemia, cancer, heart ailments, lung
problems, kidney problems, among others.

      By September 2000, our group (People‟s Task Force For Bases
Clean-Up) has documented more than 100 deceased victims and more
300 living victims suffering from neurological disorders, heart ailments,
leukemia, and kidney problems, among many others.

       In the light of the reported deaths and illnesses, the Philippine
Senate Committees on Health and Environment called for a senate
investigation on the issue. And on 16 May 2000, these Senate
Committees released its Senate Report No. 237 stating that there is
strong and conclusive evidence that there is substantial environmental
contamination in Clark and Subic. Moreover, the Senate Report stated
categorically that the US Government has knowledge of the existence and
location of these “known and potentially” contaminated sites in Clark
and Subic. The Senate Report also said that the United States has the
corresponding duty and obligation to the Philippines and the Filipino
people to repair and compensate for the environmental damage and the
human victims.

      Notwithstanding this Senate Committee Report, and despite all the
previous studies and surveys conducted in the areas by different groups,
the US government and the Philippine government denied any
responsibility or liability therefor.

      Hence, our group, together with all the victims we were able to
document from Clark and Subic, prepared for the filing of the legal cases
in court against the US and Philippine governments.

3) Filing Of Legal Suits Against U.S. and Philippine Governments

        We filed the toxic suits on 18 September 2000.

       The victims of the toxic suit were classified into three categories,
namely: (1) the human victims who suffered deaths and serious ailments
due to toxic chemical contamination; (2) the Philippine environment; and
(3) the Filipino people, both the present and future generations, being the
beneficiaries of the Philippine environment.

      As to the venue for the filing of our legal case, we decided to file it
in a Philippine Court, with the hope of filing a counterpart case in a US
Federal Court.

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                   16
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
       We have found several legal grounds for our case against the US
government. The first was Article 23 of the 1947 Military Bases
Agreement between the US and Philippines. Under said Article 23, the
US agreed and committed to pay compensation to death, personal injury,
damage or loss of property by Philippine citizens when the same was
caused by the non-combat activities by US forces. On this basis alone,
the liability or responsibility of the US government to human and
environmental victims in Clark and Subic is quite clearly established. In
addition to that, under certain principles of International Law,
particularly under Principle 21 of the 1972 Stockholm Declaration on the
Human Environment and the 1992 UN Convention on the Rio
Declaration of Environment & Development, the US government like any
other States has the duty not to cause environmental damage to the
environment of other states.

       As to the legal grounds for our case against the Philippine
government, there are a lot of Philippine law under which we can hold
the Philippine government liable. Also, under the Precautionary Principle
(Principle 15, UN Convention in Rio Declaration on Environment &
Development) in International Law, the Philippine government is liable
since it is citing the lack of scientific studies and the lack of full scientific
certainty as reason or pretext in postponing or preventing the
implementation of measures that would protect further environmental
damage in the identified contaminated areas.

       Under Philippine jurisprudence, where the government itself
violates its own laws, the Philippine government can be sued directly by
the aggrieved party.

4) Present Status Of Legal Suits Against US & Phil. Governments

      Unfortunately, the US government completely disregarded the case
and did not respond at all to the court orders requiring it to file an
Answer. It was a case of complete snub, a case of complete lack of
respect to Philippine judiciary, since the US government could have filed
a Motion To Dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. But the US government
chose to snub the Philippine judiciary completely.

      Equally unfortunate, the Philippine court dismissed our case in
2001. Today, our toxic suits in the Philippines remain on appeal,
although we believe that the Philippine court will reject our appeal,
considering that our very own very President is a die-hard supporter of
US President George W. Bush.

Concluding Remarks:

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                     17
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
        Our struggle against the US military bases from the Philippine soil
is far from over. The effects of US military bases on our environment
have affected the health and lives of our people residing in the nearby
areas of Clark and Subic. Due to the heavy extent of environmental
damage in Clark and Subic,

      If the US Government will not admit responsibility for the
environmental damage in Clark and Subic, if the US Government will not
clean up the contaminated areas in Clark and Subic – we can all expect
that there will be children who will be born 10 years, or maybe even 20
years from now, suffering from deformities or defects caused by toxic
chemicals dumped irresponsibly by US Navy in Subic and US Air Force
in Clark.

      If the US government and the Philippine government will not face
up to their moral, social and legal responsibilities of cleaning the
contaminated areas in Clark and Subic, more people especially women
and children will continue to suffer with various health problems.




PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                18
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
Attachment C



                 MINDANAO: LAND RAPED AND PLUNDERED

   Prepared by KAISA KA for the Philippine Working Group (PWG)
      International Meeting on Human Security and Development
                          Manila, Philippines
                        November 22-27, 2004


      Mindanao is the 19th biggest island in the world. Its land area is
about 101,998 square kilometers or 34 percent of the total land area of
the Philippines.

      Mindanao is blessed with an abundance of minerals. Metallic
mineral reserves are placed at some 3.6 million tons and non-metallic
mineral at 8.6 billion tons. Potential coal reserves is estimated at 37.5
million metric tons and or 18.2 percent of the national reserves.

       The island produces 50 percent of all the corn and coconut, 20
percent of all the rice, 50 percent of all the fish, 40 percent of all the
cattle, almost 100 percent of all the banana and pineapple exports, 89
percent of the nickel and cobalt, 90 percent of the iron ore, 62 percent of
the limestone, and almost 100 percent of the aluminum ore in the
Philippines.

      Bonanza of profits have been made over a half of century from
lumber and timber, which also cleared the lands eventually occupied by
the agribusiness corporations. The “paradise of tobacco, hemp and coffee
plantations” visualized by Harper in 1900 has taken the shape of rubber,
sugar, pineapple, banana, palm oil and lately, asparagus and the
Lumads. All of them have been pushed off from the land.

      By the early 1980‟s, the multinationals together with local grown
landlords were making plans of raising livestock on thousands of
hectares of pasture lands. Ancestral lands belonging to the Manobo tribal
people have been grabbed by cattle ranchers. Later on, the contested
lands were sold to the Bukidnon Sugar Corporation.

     A number of dams were constructed to generate hydroelectric
power for the new industries. These projects have inundated hundreds of
thousands of hectares farmed by the Moros and Lumads. They were also


PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                   19
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
intended to create new canals that were to carry water to the sites of
corporate farming and agribusiness corporations.

      Scores of Lumads and Christian settler communities have also
been dislocated by the logging operations in northern and southern
Mindanao.

      As in the past, war is still pursued in the name of profit. The
10,000 hectares in Matanog which used to be Camp Abubakar is being
eyed to be converted to a special economic zone. The war in
Maguindanao was to clear the area surrounding the six towns to pave
way for the $262 M sugar plantation (Moroland Sugar Corporation). It is
where the former Camp Omar was located.

      The war in Pikit was pursued to facilitate the NAPOCOR and
multinational corporations to start the exploration and eventually the
exploitation of the natural gas within the Liguasan marsh.

       Thus, the US and the Philippine government‟s disposition and use
of military power through war has been and is always connected to the
control and exploitation of the remaining vital resources in the island.
The US in collaboration with the government of the Philippines also
create or exploit the context of conflict to sustain and ensure the benefits
from the war.

Brief Historical Background

       US interests in the Philippines goes back to 1898 when the US
“helped” Philippine forces win independence from Spain. Upon its defeat,
Spain surrendered to the US rather than to the Philippines, and ceded
the Philippines to the US for $20 million. On December 21, 1898, US
President William Mckinley issued his “Benevolent Assimilation
Proclamation” and instructed American military commanders to extend
the sovereignty of the US over the entire Philippine archipelago, by force
if necessary.

       The basic interest for annexation was economic. In a January 9,
1900 speech to the US Senate arguing for colonization, Indiana Senator
Albert Beveridge asked “where shall we turn for consumers of our
surplus?” His answer “china is our natural customer. The Philippines
will give us a base at the door of all the East. No land in America
surpasses in fertility the plains and valleys of Luzon … The wood of the
Philippines can supply the furniture of the world for a century to come.”

      In the book by Howard Zinn, A People‟s History of the United
States (1995), the same senator was quoted again. “The Philippines are
PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                20
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
ours forever … And just beyond the Philippines are China’s
illimitable market … The Pacific is our ocean.”

        Gen. Arthur McArthur was the head of the colonial pacification
campaign in 1901. In his assessment on the Philippines to the US
Senate, he said that the “Philippines constituted the finest group of
islands in the world. Its strategic position is unexcelled by that of any
other position on the globe. The China Sea, which separates it by
something like 750 miles from the continent, is nothing more or less
than a safety moat. It lies on the flank of what might be called a position
of several thousand miles of coastlines, it is in the center of that position.
It is therefore relatively better placed than Japan, which is on a flank,
and therefore remote from the other extremity; likewise India, on another
flank. It affords a means of protecting American interests which with the
very least output of physical power, has the effect of a commanding
position in itself to retard hostile action.”

          There was widespread armed resistance against the American
presence during the first fifteen years, despite compromises by their
leaders, notably the Sultan of Sulu, Datu Piang of Maguindanao and
Datu Mandi of Zamboanga.        Between 1903 to 1936, Americans
estimated that between 15,000 to 20,000 Moro lives were lost from the
fighting.

       In the words of an American officer, “no one dreamed that the
Constabulary was to engage in hundreds of „cotta forst‟ (fort) fights and
to quell twenty-six uprisings of sufficient seriousness to be listed as
campaigns before it turned over the task of establishing laws and order,
still uncompleted, to the Philippine Army in 1936.”

       Endless bloodshed and destruction became the order of the day
because the situation seemed so skillfully woven to neutralize the Moros
right in their own backyard. The Alangkat Movement in 1926-27 in
Cotabato valley was the initial response to this. At the height of the war
with Japan, a series of massacres fueled by agrarian disputes. In
Cotabato alone, about 1,000 people on both sides were brutally hacked
to pieces in the towns of Buluan, Tacurong, Midsayap and Pigkawayan.
The marketplace in Pigkawayan was enclosed in barbed wire and the
Moros inside were sorted out and slaughtered en masse. About 200
men, women and children perished in this slaughter.

     Another corollary result of this phenomena, the colonial
contradiction between Filipino and Americans was obscured by the
more visible religious Muslim-Christian contradiction, expressed in
bloody conflict over agricultural land.

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                  21
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
   By 1950, an estimated 8,300 families had been brought to
government settlements in Mindanao, 1,500 more arrived between 1950
and 1954. By 1963, the National Resettlement and Rehabilitation
Administration was administering colonies, including over 25,000
families and 695,000 hectares. Following the fashion set by the state,
legions came on their own. The movement speeded up dramatically
under the Marcos regime – more than three million Christians are
estimated to have settled in Mindanao between 1966 and 1976.

       The consequences were simply devastating. According to official
statistics, the population of the island stood at 2.5 million in 1948; by
1976, it had risen to 8.7 million. Moros, who formed 98 percent of the
island‟s population in 1913, accounted for only 40 percent by 1976.
They owned all the land in Mindanao on the eve of colonization.
Today, they own less than 17 percent. Over 80 percent of Moros are
now landless tenants.

      The American capitalists intensified their spoliation in Mindanao.
In 1957, Firestone Tire and Rubber Company was awarded 1,000
hectares of land in Makilala, North Cotabato for a rubber plantation. In
1963, Dole Philippines, subsidiary of the Castle and Cook Company
acquired vast tracts of land in Tupi and Polomolok, Cotabato for its
pineapple plantations. In 1966, Weyerhaueser Corporation obtained
72,000 hectares of forest lands in Mindanao for its logging operation.

       The opportunities for profits were and remain endless. Bernard
Wideman reported in mid-1970‟s: “The foreign corporations would earn
profits of $1,785 per hectare a year, but the laborer actually cultivating
the one hectare would earn annual wages of only $240.”

      Conditions were even worse for certain whole categories of workers.
“In banana plantation, where combined Stanfilco (a subsidiary of Dole),
Philpak (Del Monte) and Tadeco (United Fruit) account for 77.96 percent
of production, the average annual profit in the late 1970s reached $9,700
per hectare. The corporations paid between $35 and $70 per hectare per
year to the farmer from whom they leased the land.

       In 1972-73, some 156 logging operations in Mindanao obtained a
total concession areas of almost five million hectares, 13 percent of
which were held by four US timber companies. In 1971, a Senate
committee noted the military‟s extensive participation in perpetration of
outright violence to gain possession of lands. Not only were the logging
concerns responsible for evicting the Moro people from millions of
hectares, they also destroyed forests at a rate nine times higher than the
rate of reforestation. The coming of capital to Mindanao is the most

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                22
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
literal sense, a war not only against the inhabitants but also against the
land itself.

      Essentially, the settling of Mindanao meant the grabbing of the
ancestral lands for conversion into homesteads, plantations,
infrastructure and industrial enclaves for foreign investors.

      The future full-scale wars in the island are in many ways the
logical extension of the process started by the American conquest of
the Moro homelands at the beginning of the century.

       The war began 1968-1969 with the rise of Christian terror squads
that were supported by the PC and AFP. Ilagas, the largest group was
led by seven municipal mayors and three provincial governors. In 1975,
their strength was estimated at 35,000. Reports indicated that they were
financed largely by timber merchants who sought Moro lands for their
logging operations. The AFP conducted elaborate “search and destroy”
missions in coordination with the terrorists.

      For the first two years, the war was confined to areas where the
overwhelming majority of the population was Christian. Its sole objective
was to evict the remaining Moros.

      Obviously, the Moros neither wanted the war nor were prepared for
it. The Sulu Moros, who later came to dominate the leadership of the
MNLF, did not participate in the war until early 1972. A decisive
counteroffensive began to take place only with the spontaneous uprising
in Marawi on October 21, 1972, one month after Marcos declared martial
law.

      Between 1972 and 1976, the first two years of war, annual military
expenditures rose from 518 million to 3.5 billion, or by almost 700
percent. By May, 1979, the Marcos regime was spending $137,000 a day
on the war. Meanwhile the AFP personnel rose from 60,000 to 250,000.
In the late 1975, at the height of the war, three-fourths of th troops were
deployed in Mindanao.

      Abdurasad Asani, a south-filipino Muslim, had drawn the following
balance for the London-based magazine, Impact: 50,000 killed, two
million refugees (one out of every three or four Muslims had become
refugees), 200,000 houses burned, 535 mosques and 200 schools
demolished, 35 cities and towns wholly destroyed. In less than a
decade, the Muslims have vacated over a million hectares of land.

      Cong. Eduardo Ermita, the current head of the GRP panel
disclosed in 1996 that “over a period of 26 years since 1970, more
PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                               23
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
than 100,000 persons were killed … the AFP has spent about P73
billion in connection with the Mindanao conflict since 1970.”

Casualties of War in Mindanao (1970-1996)

100,000+ persons have been killed

       30% government casualties
       50% rebels
       20% civilians
       18 people were slain everyday

55,000 were injured not counting the rebel side

AFP SPENDING ON WAR

1970 – 1996 (never-ending conflict)
* 73 billion pesos (26-year period) or an average 40% of its annual
budget

Cost of Peace Negotiation with MNLF
   less than 60 million pesos


It was the low intensity conflict (LIC) during the Aquino regime,
Proponents of the LIC called for rethinking of traditional tactics and
implementing “total war” on economic, social, political and psychological
fronts.

      One feature of this was the putting up of civil defense structures
where civilians are armed and organized into right-wing paramilitary
outlets. This is to “enhance local peace and order5 situations and
involve civilians in the defense of their own communities, thus freeing up
soldiers to take the offensive against the revolutionary forces.

      Of the 77 major formation of the vigilantes nationwide, 17 were
found in Mindanao.

       A PNF report, on April 6, 1987 stated that “a CIA branch of 70
agents were recently established in Mindanao, the reportedly frequent
visits of USIS official William Parker to Lt. Col. Franco Calida, in Davao
City and President Reagan‟s recent authorization of $10 million and
twelve new agents for CIA covert operations in the Philippines.”



PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                24
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
      Just a month after the government and the MNLF signed the 1996
peace agreement on September 2, 1996, guns were firing in Mindanao.
On October 18, 1996, the military moved against an MILF encampment
in Baiwas, Sumisip, Basilan. The fighting spilled over two other
municipalities and by October 24, a full-scale war had erupted again.

What are the “new” reasons for the continuing war?

       War is again unleashed to facilitate the entry of Mindanao into the
world capitalist system. Government flagship projects dubbed
“Philippines 2000,” Mindanao 2000” and “ARMM 200” are being
pursued.

      A component of the rush to global competitiveness is the
development of one‟s comparative advantage. In the case of Lanao, the
government has interpreted this to mean opening up vast tracts of land
for contract growing and other extractive industries. Roads, power
plants, port and other infrastructure projects are proceeding. Agro-
industrial processing plants are being built.

Who poses hindrance to these projects?

      It is the MILF. And the government has pursued an every
three-year war in Mindanao to get rid of the MILF.

      On June 16, 1997, the AFP wanted to drive the MILF out from the
region‟s largest and most valuable natural gas deposit in Liguasan
marsh. The war started in Pikit, North Cotabato after the reported MILF
harassment against an oil exploration team of the National Power Corp.

       Estrada declared an all-out war in 2000 under the pretext of giving
“not an inch will be ceded. Essentially, his objective was to clear the
common boundary of Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao from MILF‟s
political influence. Estrada and Arroyo are hell-bent on dismantling the
ten major camps and at least 25 sub-camps or training camps across 13
provinces. Later, Camp Abubakar was disclosed to be converted into a
special economic zone.

Erap All-Out war (2000)
    P6 billion was spent on war or a billion peso higher than what the
      government spent on building schools nationwide.
    Cost of one 105mm howitzer – 7,300 pesos (2000 price) or an
      equivalent of a chair and table set for at least 36 students in Grade
      1 and 2.


PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                               25
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
       Cost of one 105mm howitzer fired to Buliok Complex is 730,000 or
        an equivalent to 1,123 bags of certified rice seeds at P650 per bag.

Paving the way for the American capital to operate meant further
marginalization of the Moro people and the Lumads.

Items (outlay or losses)                                Monetary value (in pesos)

3-mos AFP military operations                           P900M – P1.8B (PDI)
                                                        P50M per day or P7.5 M
                                                        (UNDP/AFRIM)

Assistance to evacuees (partial)                              P32M

Damage to crops, livestock, fisheries                         P23M (DA-
maguindanao.AFRIM)
(partial)

Damage to roads, irrigation systems,                          P202M (CDRC)
Post-harvest facilities and other infra

Foregone tourism                                             P62.1 M (CDRC)

Burned houses and lost possessions                            P15.7 M AFRIM)
(including looted belongings) in 8
brgys in Maguindanao and Lanao
del Sur

Total                            P1,436,800,000 – P8,036,800,000
                                 Or approx. P1.436B – P8.037B
(source: PDI – Philippine Daily Inquirer; UNDP – United Nations
Development Program; DA – Department of Agriculture; AFRIM –
Alternative forum for Research in Mindanao; CDRC – Center for Disaster
Relief and Cooperation. Note: US$1 is approximately equivalent to 53
pesos)

What triggered the February 11, 2002 declaration of war by Arroyo?

      The Memorandum of Instructions from Arroyo to her defense
secretary dated February 11, 2003.

      It was an order to totally implement the OPLAN GREENBASE.
Oplan Greenbase was to capture and occupy simultaneously within one
week the Buliok complex fronting the Liguasan marsh. This complex
comprise the Kabasalan island complex, the Rajamuda complex and the

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                           26
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
Buliok complex. Once the objective is achieved, the AFP must clear the
Liguasan marsh of all MILF structures – military, political and social and
lawless elements and relocate the civilians living in the marsh.

      The same memorandum instructed the DoE to revive the
geophysical survey and exploration contract between Petronas Carigali
and the Philippine National Oil Company Exploration Corporation. It
also ordered the NEDA Dreirector-General to implement the much-
delayed 25-year Liguasan Marsh Development Framework Plan and to
reconstitute the Liguasan Marsh Development Task Forces soon as
the AFP takes full control of the marsh from the MILF.

       The same memorandum also reminded that the high-value target
of the plan was to capture Salama Hashim dead or alive. The
neutralization of Tahir Alonto will only be effected after the MILF leaers
are arrested, jailed or killed.

     An incomplete comparison between the social cost of war in 2000
and 2003 is as follows:

Partial cost of war in Midnanao in 2000 and 2003

_________________________________________________________________
Items (outlays or losses) Mindanao 3-month war
One month war in Minda –03
monetary value – ‟00     (Feb-March 2003)
                         (mid-April – mid-July)

assistance to evacuees/ P32M -P18.4M (DSWD-P13.3M
estimated total refugees 500,000 refugees
LGUs – 1.7M; Private-P3.3M (partial)
      - P1.6M from Libya
      - P30.6M relief and rehab of
15 brgys of Pikit “peace zones”
                                            Total: P50.6M
                                            200,000 refugees

damage to crops, livestock,  P124.76M                         P46.8M/P30.68M
fisheries/              P75.3M
rehab budget

damage to infrastructure    P202M                                   P50M –
power pylons repair
damage to equipment in 1 bombing – P5M
                                                        partial total – P75M

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                      27
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
The data on the increasing cost of war is presented below:

Increase cost of insecurity since February 2003


Item                                                    Cost

Additional 7,000 soldiers fro ‟03                               P800,000,000

Mindanao peace &Devt Fund (from Mindanao                        P500,000,000
Legislators/OP)

Baliktanan Exercises                                            P96,300,000

2-yr contract with Washington-based Rhoads                      P37,000,000
Macguire and PR partner Weber Shandwick ending                  ($684,500)
Dec. ‟03 to promote AFP modernization

MIAA purchased brand new hi-tech security                      P20,000,000
Equipment from Germany

Cost of 16 bomb suits for EOD experts                           P1,700,000

Rent of US body armor for RP soldiers                             P270,000
                                                                   ($5,000)

Reward for information on Davao airport                         P600,000
Bombers

Total                                                   P1,445,870,000
Housing target for Mindanao in ‟04                           P40,000
Approximate cost of housing                                  P250,000
Cost of insecurity equivalent                                P5,823 houses
(15% of goal)

II.     ESCALATING THE US WAR OF AGGRESSION

What were the US preparations for a stronger power projection in
Southeast Asia?

      US preparations preceded Bush‟s “Operation Enduring Freedom”
by several years. It was successful in forging with the Estrada
government the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and pursued the
construction of a USAID-funded airfield in General Santos City.


PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                      28
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
       As early as 2000, the RAND Corporation had recommended to
Pentagon that “… access to the Philippines and Vietnam would help
establish air superiority over the sealanes of the South China Sea.”
Kalilzad, the current US envoy in Kabul advocated “a robust security
assistance program to allies in the region particularly the Philippines.
Angel Rabasa, another RAND‟s senior policy analyst,c alled the
Philippines “a frontline state in the war of terrorism.”

How does the US justify its continuing presence in the island?

       US found a convenient excuse for accelerating its campaign for a
stronger military presence in the country by linking the Abu Sayyaf
(certainly a Central Intelligence Agency creation) and the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front to the Al Qaeda and the Jemaah Islamiyah. This
became the basis for escalating its armed presence in Midnanao. In
other words, bringing in more US troops and offering virtual basing
rights to US forces.

What is the logical consequences of the US presence in Mindanao?

       It transforms the whole of Mindanao as the focus in the second
front in US-led “anti-terrorist” war, which is a de facto war of
intervention in the Philippines and aggression in Southeast Asia. This
war of aggression ensure that Mindanao will be a springboard for a
deeper and wider US military presence in South east Asia that will
entrench US military domination in the region.

Why is unchallenged US military might necessary in the region?

      First, it is necessary to protect the US strategic and economic
interests in the region. With nearly 525 million people, Southeast Asia
has a combined gross national product of US$ 700 billion and is
America‟s fifth largest trading partner. Its direct investment in 1998 was
$35 billion.

      Second, to ensure that India (with a current population of I billion)
and China (with a current population of 1.3 billion) will eventually
become new markets for US capital and commodities. US current crisis
is brought by overproduction of commodities and surplus capital on one
side and constricting market on the other side.

      The world will begin running out of oil in less than fifty years.
Within the same period, the current supply will not be able to produce
enough oil to meet the needs especially the level of consumption of the
First World. Energy from oil runs the technology and machines, lights
and cool homes, runs transportation and generates electricity. With this
PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                  29
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
scenario, the giant US oil conglomerates seek to grab the remaining
sources of oil in the globe and dictate its use.

What is the data on the oil reserve in the region?

       The South China Sea has a proven oil reserve estimated at 7.5
billion barrels. A 1994 Geological Survey estimates that the total sum of
undiscovered reserves in Spratlys and paracel islands is around 28
billion barrels. Other estimates by China say the total potential of this
area could be as high as 213 billion barrels.

How does Minsupala fare on this profile?

      Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan (Minsupala) are now “confirmed oil
country”. Discoveries of oil and gas in Palawan and Cotabato reinforced
the satellite findings of the National Space Agency that the largest
deposits of oil and gas in Asia could lie in the area covered by Minsupala.
Minsupala is often referred to as the “Middle East” of the near future.

      It is also in the Philippine deep (eastern coast of Mindanao) where
an inexhaustible deposit of deuterium is found. Deuterium is heavy
water used in the production of liquefied hydrogen gas used as fuel for
cars and jet planes and in its solidified state, as fuel for spacecrafts. It is
described by Jules Verne in 1874 as the “fuel in the future.”

What other resources are found in the country?

        The Philippines is the world‟s second largest producer of
geothermal power. The country is also reputed to have 2.8 trillion cubic
feet of proven natural gas reserves. Liguasan marsh alone has 1.3
trillion cubic feet. A report by Nash Maulana said Sultan sa Barongis, a
town in Maguindanao and near Liguasan marsh has been chosen as the
site of natural gas exploration project of the Philippine National Oil
Company jointly with the Petronas Carigali Malaysian consortium. But
Petronas has pulled out in favor of an American company.

What are the scenarios concomitant with the escalating US war of
aggression in the island?

      The aerial bombardment of the island will most likely follow the
operations manual for the aerial bombardment of Iraq written in a book
by former military officers Harlan K. Ullman and James Wade, Shock
and Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance, published by the National Defense
University in 1996.



PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                    30
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
      The authors say that their aims can be summed up as: “Paralyze,
shock unnerve, deny, destroy through very selective, utterly brutal and
ruthless and rapid application of force to intimidate.” The intended effect
would be like the nuclear bombing of Japan in 1945.

       “Shutting the country down would entail both the physical
destruction of appropriate infrastructure and the shutdown and control
of the flow of all vital information and associated commerce so rapidly as
to achieve a level of national shock akin to the effect that dropping
nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had on the Japanese.
Simultaneously, Iraq‟s armed forces would be paralyzed with the
neutralization or destruction of its capabilities.” (The Internationalist,
March 28, 2003 Special Issue, p.5)

      There are already countries that have been subjected to bombings.
In 1999, Yugoslavia was subjected to 78 days of round-the-clock
bombings, transforming a relatively advanced country into virtually a
third world country. Afghanistan was bombarded with US‟ AGM-86D
cruise missiles, their AGM-130 missiles, their 15, 000 pound “daisy
cutter” bombs, their depleted uranium and their cluster bombs.

III.    CONCLUSION

      War in Mindanao is basically a war to ensure US continuing rape
and plunder of the island‟s remaining resource base as well as ensuring
that Mindanao play its role to the fullest in maintaining US world
hegemony in part of the world. The White House issued a document last
September, 2002 which states, „it is to reaffirm the essential role of
American military strength in order to dissuade future military
competition. We must be strong enough to dissuade potential
adversaries from pursuing or equaling the power of the United States.”

       War in Mindanao has also been misrepresented as a matter of
incorrect priorities. History shows that it is not a matter of national
priority. It is the semi-colonial status of the system that produces war
over and over again.

       The costs of the war is deliberately justified as result of religious
conflicts between the Moro people and the Christians. Because of this,
the political and economic content of their war escapes most of the
combatants themselves. Of course, it is to the interest of the US and its
puppets that the war in Mindanao be conducted on religious grounds, for
this allows the government to present itself as an arbiter of disputes
between two religion, and hence, an entity above both.



PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                  31
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
       More importantly, the multinationals operating in Mindanao also
benefit when the war is viewed in religious terms because the communal
conflicts obstructs the growth of an anti-imperialist movement in the
island. The position of the corporations at the top is remote from the
everyday Moro consciousness.

V. WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

       The long-term objective of the escalating US war of aggression is to
decisively wipe out the growing armed resistance of the revolutionary
forces in Mindanao. Equally, it also intends to crush people‟s legitimate
movements that continue to assert the Mindanaoans‟ in particular, and
in general, the Filipino people‟s democratic and nationalist interests and
resist the continuing plunder of island‟s resources.

      There is an overwhelming need to fight the war on correct grounds.
We cannot stop the war by pleading with the US and the government for
peace. The only way to put an end to the endless wars is to bring down
the system that produces war over and over.

       It is an urgent and necessary to build a Mindanao-based broad
coalition of all nationalist, patriotic, progressive and anti-US led war of
aggression individuals, groups, political forces, institutions and non-
government organizations. This broad formation can significantly help in
frustrating the escalating ear of aggression by bringing into the forefront
the collective strength and the resolve of all Mindanaoans nurtured,
steeled and buttressed by their long and common historical resistance
against any foreign invader.

       The coalition should work for the development of an anti-Us led
war movement in order to frustrate the escalating US led war of
aggression in the island. It should coordinate the emerging independent
initiatives and local protests of people‟s organizations and movements,
and political groups in the whole island against the war. It should also
pursue the all-sided political exposure of the Arroyo government whose
brazen puppetry to US imperialism has wreck havoc on the lives of
Mindanaoans.




PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                32
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
REFERENCES:

MANDATE IN MOROLAND BY Peter Gordon Growing.
THE MUSLIM FILIPINOS Their History, Society and Contemporary
Problems, edited by Peter G. Growing and Robert D. McAmis.
ROGUE STATE by William Blum.
THE CIA A Forgotten History by William Blum.
REBELS, WARLORDS and ULAMA ( A Reader on Muslim Separatims and
the War in Southern Philippines.
BANGSAMORO A Nation Under Endless Tyranny by Salah Jubair.
MUSLIM SEPARATISM. The Moros of Southern Philippines and the
Malays of Southern Thailang by W.K. Che Man.
UNMASKING THE WAR ON TERROR US Imperialist Hegemony and
Crisis by Center for Anti-Imperialist Studies.
MUSLIMS IN THE PHILIPPINES by Cesar Adib Majul.
THE MINORITIZATION OF THE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES OF
MINDANAO AND THE SULU ARCHIPELAGO by B.R. Rodil
MAKING MINDANAO Cotabato and Davao in the Formation of the
Philippine Nation State by Patricio N. Abinales.
RIGHT WING VIGILANTES AND US INVOLVEMENT Report of a US-
Philippine Fact-finding Mission to the Philippines, May 20-30,1987.
THE INTERNATIONALIST Special Issue March 28, 2003.
WORKERS VANGUARD NO. 803. May 9, 2003.
WORKERS VANGUARD NO. 804 May 23, 2003.
MUSLIM RULERS AND REBELS Everyday Politics and Armed Separatism
in the Southern Mindanao by Thomas M. Mckenna.
UNDER CRESCENT MOON: REBELLION IN MINDANAO by Marites
Danguilan Vitug and Glenda M. Gloria.
REFERENDUM Peaceful, Civilized, Diplomatic and Democratic means of
Solving the Mindanao Conflict by Chairman Salamat Hasim.
WAR COSTS AND BENEFITS The Nexus of Peace and Development in
Conflict Societies of Southeast Asia by Miriam Coronel Ferrer.
WHAT REALLY CAUSED THE WAR? By Rony Elusfa, TODAY
Correspondent.

IS THERE HOPE FOR MINDANAO‟S DEVELOPMENT? By Dr. Lourdes S.
Adriano and Dr. Fermin D. Adriano.
BLACK FIRE by Nelson Perry.
THE COST OF INTERNAL WAR Ibon Facts and Figures Vol. 15, no. 16
August 31, 1992.
THE US MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX Ibon Facts and Figures Vol.
25, nos. 7 and 8 April 15 and 30, 2002.
NEXUS Magazine, December 2001-January 2002.
EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT Vol. 1, No. 2 February 2002.
EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT Vol. 1, No. 3 March 2002.

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                       33
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
400 YEARS WAR-MORO STRUGGLE IN THE PHILIPPINES A Reprint of
Southeast Asia Chronicle Issue No. 82, February 1982.
HISTORY OF THE WAR IN THE PHILIPPINES by Harper.
THE MORO ISLAMIC CHALLENGE Constitutional Rethinking for the
Mindanao Peacve Process by Soliman M. Santos, Jr.




PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                      34
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
Attachment D
                            WOMEN, POVERTY AND HEALTH

                             WomanHealth Philippines
                        The Philippine Working Group (PWG)
                        Paper Prepared for the 5th International Meeting
                         “HUMAN SECURITY AND DEVELOPMENT”
                                   November 21-28, 2004
                                     Manila, Philippines

                                     Organized by the
               East Asia-US-Puerto Rico Women’s Network Against Militarism
                         and The Philippine Working Group (PWG)

                                         ********************

“The greatest risk of getting breast cancer tomorrow is being born today in a developing
 country. And the greatest risk of not surviving breast cancer today is being a woman in
                             the Philippines.” -- Rosa Meneses1

This statement is a harsh indictment of this country, but perhaps true not only of the Philippines
but of similar poor developing countries where gender inequality thrives. Philippine society is
steeped in a tradition marked by strong social inequities, where women are generally regarded as
second best, after the men. This is a country where women have to work doubly hard in order to
make her mark, and be considered a co-equal in the home, in the workplace, in the community, in
the nation.

The Philippines faces a serious fiscal and debt crisis. - Poverty is not simply the lack of
resources. It is also the absence of capabilities, opportunities, and power that will allow an
individual to fully assume her/his role as a member of the community. It is the social exclusion,
or marginalization of people seen to be less capable, and therefore cut off from the mainstream of
everyday cultural, political and economic life. It is therefore not simply a poverty of resources,
but a poverty where people become powerless and voiceless in society.2

The present poverty situation in the Philippines is the result of a complex of factors: colonial
legacy,
corruption, cronyism, misgovernance, structural adjustment policies, neoliberal globalization—all
of which have led to the country’s increasing poverty and indebtedness.The government’s
prioritization of debt payments over other expenditures have favored corporate and financial
interests at the expense of people’s needs.

Going by the Department of Finance (DOF) data, total public debt stood at P5.9 trillion as of
February 2004. The Philippines has sunk into a vicious cycle of borrowing to pay off its debts and
keep the government afloat. In 2002, while the budget for debt service was P185.8 billion, actual


21
   Rosa Meneses is a woman activist who died of breast cancer in 2000. She organized the Philippine
Breast Cancer Network.
2
  The National Anti-Poverty Action Agenda, 2000

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                                             35
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
cash disbursements on debt service expenditures reached P1.3 trillion (COA Annual Financial
Report).3
That same year, the national budget was P 742 billion.
Social services are given the least prioritization in the allocation of left-over funds, yet
these are the services that benefit the people most. During the May 2004 elections, the
Chief Executive, the incumbent president at the time, was generally suspected of draining
the national treasury to fund her reelection campaign, leaving the poor more
marginalized.

The Catholic Church remains the single major obstacle to women’s reproductive rights. -
Allowing only the natural family method, the Catholic Church equates all other methods as
abortifacients. It has obstructed all attempts to legislate a sensible population policy or a
reproductive health care policy, demonizing legislators who support these measures, and
threatening them with electoral reprisals.

Government has backtracked on its commitments to women’s reproductive
health. - The huge irony is that under two woman presidents,
reproductive rights of Filipinos, especially lower income class
women, have been deliberately ignored and, thus, violated.4 The
population management policies under both the administrations of
Corazon Aquino and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo have played along
the Catholic Church’s opposition to the use of artificial
contraceptives and modern methods in fertility management and
family planning.

Expansion of access to reproductive services has become a more elusive goal under the Arroyo
government. In a speech on the occasion of the International Women’s Day on March 8, 2002,
President Arroyo defined her policy:--Since majority of families are Roman Catholic and
majority of the mothers do not use birth control, there is a need to promote natural family
planning, which involves very little costs, is scientific, practical, and 99% effective.
Subsequently, the President instructed the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women
(NCRFW) to delete all references to reproductive rights in the government’s medium-term
development plan for women.

The Arroyo government’s population policy (if it can be called one) is anti-poor women.5 The
Department of Health (DOH) is quoted as proclaiming that the national government has no
responsibility for the provision of family planning services.6 Data further asserts that the
proportion of women using modern family planning methods was lower in 2003 than in the
previous year - a reversal in the trend that showed successive increases since 1998.7

Government policy rhetoric is couched in words like ―moral choice‖, ―attuned to the Filipino
culture‖ and the ―freedom of couples to choose the family planning or reproductive methods they
desire to attain the number of children they want.‖8 But in reality, there is a mismatch between

3
  “The MDGs: Opportunities and Challenges for Civil Society” by Prof. Leonor Magtolis Briones (paper
read at the SWP National Consultation, 3-4 March 2004.
4
  A.M.R Nemenzo, interviewed in Persevera Razon, Unpublished paper, 25 February 2004.
6
  ―Health News and Views,‖ The Manila Standard, 22 October 2004.
7
  Razon, op.cit.
8
  Ibid.

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                                          36
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
rhetoric and actual implementation because by promoting only one method (and which is the one
advocated by religious fundamentalists), the policy practically denies poor women and their
families access to the scientifically effective methods of family planning and the means of
preventing unwanted pregnancies.9 The many deaths of women due to pregnancy and childbirth-
related causes have been described as ―tragic, unnecessary and preventable‖.10



Other outright violations of the current government against the right to family planning and other
reproductive services include:
        the diversion of funds (to the tune of over P70 million) allocated by the previous
    government for the purchase of contraceptives to other health expenses; and
        the banning of a previously legal fertility regulating drug, Postinor, upon the petition of
    ultraconservative Catholic organizations, and without consultation with women’s groups and
    other service providers. Although it has not been proven to be contrary to law, Postinor
    remains banned to this time.

Current government response to address the sustainability of family planning supplies is the
Contraceptive Self-Reliance Strategy (formerly known as the Contraceptive Interdependence
Initiative). The strategy consists of, among others, (1) the market segmentation of family
planning supplies to ensure that poor clients are prioritized for contraceptive support, and (2)
tapping community volunteers to see to it that government subsidies are well-channeled. While
this response can be commended as attempts to ensure that meager government family planning
supplies are properly channeled to the poor, they are nonetheless attempts to sidestep the main
problem: the incumbent government’s unwillingness to promote other forms of family planning
outside of NFP.

President Arroyo has advised local government units to implement the family planning program
according to their own beliefs. Condoms and pills had been ―left to rot and expire‖ because there
was ―no demand‖ for the supplies – this according to the DOH Secretary himself. He said that
because there was no demand, government refrained from buying condoms and pills for mass
distribution nationwide. This runs contrary to NDHS result which states that 12.5 million women
had ―unmet reproductive health needs‖. The NDHS study shows that most women desire to have
two to three children; in reality they give birth to more than three, even five children due to lack
of access to contraceptives.

Local Government Units were unprepared for the added responsibility. Health care delivery of
services now became dependent on the attitudes, priorities, whims and caprices, not to mention
financial resources at the disposal of local chief executives. On the whole, local health services
delivery has been hampered by such problems as the lack of technical skills, equipment and
resources, and an inadequate health referral system.

Phasing out of contraceptive assistance by the U.S. shifts the burden elsewhere. -
Interestingly, the government realizes the dilemma which it had, itself, created when it refused to
fill in the resource gap brought about by the phase out of contraceptive support of the USAID.
Because of this, ―sustainable funding for contraceptive supplies and related RH/FP programs has
to be secured so that access, especially by the poor …. To do this, the Philippine government will
turn to the NGOs, private health service facilities, business, people’s organizations (POs), and
9
    Ibid.
10
     Mercy Fabros, quoted in Rina Jimenez-David’s column on World Population Day 2004, PDI.

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                                       37
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
grassroots groups to provide for contraceptive supplies to married couples of reproductive age
particularly those with unmet FP needs.‖11 Government will now turn to the private sector,
including those sectors with minimal resources such as the NGOs and POs, to do its job.

The privatization of health services further endangers women’s health. - In 1997 the World
Bank advocated that governments give the people only the health services that they can afford to
give. Cash-strapped governments interpreted this as the provision of only basic health care
services and selected interventions. Sexual and reproductive health services are not seen to be
part of the basic healthcare package. In effect health has come to be viewed as a consumer
demand and not as a basic human right. Health care and good health become privileges of those
who can afford them. In the recent National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), the lack of
funds has been cited by 67% of the population as a cause of the inability to access medical
treatment. The privatization of health services will make health more inaccessible to the poor.

The resurgence of militarization has caused societal distress. - The current military operations
against insurgents, particularly in Mindanao, and the growing reliance of President Gloria
Arroyo’s administration on the Philippine military provides a fertile ground for the full return of
anti-democratic and militarist forces akin to those that supported martial law under President
Ferdinand Marcos. In addition, President Arroyo’s prompt support for and adherence to U.S.
President Bush’s ―war on terror‖ policy have put the lives of thousands of Filipino workers in
Iraq and the Middle East in danger. Through the Visiting Forces Agreement, President Arroyo
has extended the ―war on terror‖ policy to the homefront. U.S. military forces have been allowed
to go after local terrorist groups in Mindanao, thus affecting the Muslim population, a proud and
fiercely independent people who had succeeded in resisting American colonial rule.

Militarization has caused massive displacement of populations, and this massive displacement has
in turn aggravated the marginalization and vulnerability of women. Each year countless women,
men and children are displaced from their homes due to violent armed conflict, natural disasters,
and human rights violations; approximately 80% are women.12 12Militarization has made them
extremely vulnerable to persecution, to discrimination, and to the physical discomfort, insecurity,
and illnesses that result from being uprooted, evicted from their established zones of comfort.


What are the impacts of poverty and militarization on women?

            Hunger statistics. In mid-2004, the Asian Development Bank reported that about 12
     million Filipinos were trapped in extreme poverty and surviving on less than P56 per day.
     The incidence of extreme poverty in the country was lower than the regional average of
     21.4%. But it was the highest in Southeast Asia after Laos’ 30.4% and Cambodia’s 34.2%.13

     The August 2004 Social Weather Stations survey reveals grim hunger statistics: nationwide, 1
     out of every 7 (15.1%) male household heads surveyed said his family had nothing to eat at
     least once in the last 3 months, triple the number the previous year. Government responded
     to this sad phenomena by issuing hunger coupons – an indication of how unprepared it is to
     address pressing social and economic issues.


11
   NEDA & UNDP, ―Philippine Progress Report on the Millennium Development Goals” 2003.
12
   Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children at http://www.unhcr.org, 17 November 2003.
13
   PDI research, ―Hunger stalks 15% of Pinoy households‖ – headline, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Oct. 5,
2004

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                                           38
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
            Health is not a priority of the current administration. The current health budget for
     the current fiscal year, at only P10.723 billion, or just P0.35 per day, has deteriorated over the
     years. This is very low, compared to the daily per capita outlay for health services of Asian
     neighbors: Japan, P343.94; Singapore, P103.96; Thailand, P17.17; Malaysia and Indonesia,
     P12.41.

     Mortality rates. Infant mortality rate is 36 deaths per 1000 live births; maternal mortality
     rate is 172 deaths for every 100,000 live births. Ten women die every 24 hours of pregnancy-
     and childbirth-related causes. Under-5 mortality figures show that 38 out of 100 children die
     of curable diseases. Although there is no direct association, woman’s status has been found to
     influence infant and child mortality rates through women’s ability to control resources and
     make decision‖.14

     Nutrition statistics.. Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) estimates that 3.7 million
     preschool children are underweight because of acute or present malnutrition; 3.8 million have
     stunted growth failure; and 0.7 million are wasted. Around 49% of the total population of
     infants and 26% of the total population of children with ages ranging from 1-6 years old
     suffer from iron deficiency anemia.15 According to the World Bank, the Philippines has the
     highest prevalence of goiter due to iodine deficiency in Southeast Asia.16

               Impact on access to water. The Philippines has a low ranking for development, based
     on internationally accepted indicators of well-being (such as access to potable water, sanitary
     toilets). Data shows that 17.7 million Filipinos (21.5%) have no potable water; 15.8 million
     (19.15%) have no access to sanitary toilet facilities.17 ―The consequences of having
     inadequate or no access to water are devastating, especially for women and children. When
     water is not readily available it is particularly the women and the children who have to spend
     a large amount of time fetching water, and this has detrimental impact on their health,
     security and education.‖18

            The rise in unemployment & preference for overseas employment. NSO data shows
     that there were 5 million unemployed and 6 million underemployed as of April 2004 (or
     almost 1 out of 3 members of the labor force as unemployed or underemployed).
     Unemployment rate stands at 13.7%, and is one of the highest in Asia and in the world. The
     ranks of the unemployed continue to swell by the year, as the labor force keeps growing. The
     NSO reported that 1.87 million people were added to the labor force in April 2004.19

     The Population Commission estimates that an average of 2,500 Filipinos leave the country
     daily
     in order to work abroad, with or without proper documentation. There are 8 million Filipino
     migrants (nearly 10 percent of the population) who are in 97 countries worldwide, only 42%
     of whom are documented; more than half are women. The foremost reason why Filipinos,

14
   National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), 2003, p. 111
15
   Ong, Ted Aldwin, ― Population and the state of health services, Sun Star, 22 October 2004.
16
   Herrin, Alejandro, et al. Health Sector Review: Philippines, Health Financial Development Project No.
3, National Statistical Coordination Bureau, 1993.
17
   Ong, op.cit.
18
   Miloon Kothari, ―Privatising Human Rights – The Impact of Globalization on Access to Adequate
Housing, Water and Sanitation‖, in Anti-Poverty or Anti-Poor, The Millennium Development Goals and
the Eradication of Extreme poverty and Hunger, December 2003.
19
   Ecop urges major reforms to address unemployment‖ Philippine Daily Inquirer, 21 August 2004.

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                                             39
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
     especially women, seek work abroad-- whether or not they are adequately paid or treated with
     fairness in the workplace-- is to provide for the needs of the family.

           Prostitution and the erosion of women’s self-esteem. Poverty has made Philippine
     women and children vulnerable to trafficking. There are about five million child laborers and
     more than 1.5 million street children in the country and 60,000 prostituted children. Their
     numbers are increasing by 3,266 annually making the Philippines the fourth country with the
     most number of prostituted children.20

     Children, aged 11 to 15, in prostitution said relatives introduced them to prostitution, or they
     were recruited by friends. The increase in the exploitation of prostituted children is attributed
     to the fear of HIV/AIDS. The sex trade in children is so well established because of the influx
     of sex tourists and the existence of sex tours catering to Japanese, European and other
     Caucasian tourists.21

     The ratification of the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the United
     States has deepened the sexual exploitation of poor women and children. For many decades, a
     huge prostitution system was organized and regulated to service US military stationed in
     several bases for purposes of R&R (rest and recreation) of US armed personnel. 22 In its
     aftermath the US bases left countless of illegitimate children, Amerasians denied of financial
     support.

     This number of prostituted women and children is predicted to increase with the re-opening
     of 22 ports of the country to the United States for joint military exercises under the Visiting
     Forces Agreement.23 The long U.S. military presence in the former base areas has left behind
     a legacy of prostitution that was passed on from generation to generation of prostituted
     women, lured into the flesh trade by easy money and the hopeful prospect of landing an
     American husband who would turn them into ―decent women‖.

     Another by-product of this unsavory tradition has been recently uncovered, this time in the
     form of internet sex which has cropped up just recently in raids in Angeles City. In the TV
     interviews, the women said they did it to help finance their families – but at what cost?
     Poverty in other parts of the country has also spawned cybersex and led to greater abuse and
     degradation of women and young girls.

        Rising incidence of abortion. On abortion, it is estimated that there are about 400,000
     cases annually with teenagers accounting for 17%. 1994 data from the Department of Health
     show that 12% of all maternal deaths were due to complications arising from abortion.
     Abortion in fact is the fourth leading cause of death in the country affecting poor women,
     regardless of marital status. The most often cited reason for abortion is economic difficulty.

        The escalating gender violence brought about by militarization. Violence against
     civilian populations, and acts of gender-based and sexual violence against women and girls
     (including mass rape), that have become common features of war and conflict leave profound
     physical and psychological consequences for the women victims, their families and the future


20
   Ong, op.cit.
21
   Sol F. Juvida, ―Philippines – Children: Scourge of Child Prostitution,‖ IPS, 12 October 1997.
22
   CATW-Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific.
23
   Diana Mendoza, ―RP has 400,000 prostitutes, ‖ Today, 25 February 1998.

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                                          40
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
    generations. Rape has gained notoriety as a weapon of war and genocide; it has become
    endemic in such situations. This is very true in areas where there are severe security threats,
    or that are extremely remote and prevent sufficient humanitarian intervention. Sexual
    violence targeted at refugee women has been evidenced in the wars in the former Yugoslavia,
    in ethnic wards in Rwanda, even in the war zones in Mindanao.
        Whether these be in relocation centers, refugee camps, military bases,
militarization has produced countless women, men and children with broken self images.
There is hunger, desolation, and disease. There is physical, emotional, and psychological
displacement which may give rise to a rootlessness that will eventually destroy a culture
or a society. Internal strife has also caused a steep rise in religious and ethnic
fundamentalism, either as a means for self-preservation, or as an expression of resistance
to the dominant forces.
                             HOW DO WE MOVE ON?

Poverty has has indeed made the Filipino woman more vulnerable and defenseless. The
government has made so many commitments to improve the quality of life of its people, and yet it
has consistently failed to deliver. What can civil society do to push government into
implementing its constitutional duty ―to adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to
health development which shall endeavor to make essential goods and other social services
available to all the people at affordable cost‖ (Article XV, Sec.1 of the Philippine Constitution),
and to make good its international commitments for the promotion of a better quality of life for its
people?

A forward-looking civil society agenda and strategy must be pushed for the promotion of
maternal health and access to reproductive health services:
      continue to define and popularize the notion of comprehensive health in their
   communities;
      participate in community efforts at building bases for comprehensive women’s care;
      assert their right to health through adequate and appropriate health services for women
   and girls;
      monitor the delivery of health and family planning services in their communities;
      document abuses committed against women and girls by the medical establishment and
   the general health care system;
      actively struggle against violence against women and children.

On the national level women’s groups and other civil society organizations should pressure
government to:
                increase the budget and resource allocation for health care;
                decrease military expenditures and foreign debt payments;
       stop the privatization and commodification of health care;
       regulate the costs of medicine;
       promote indigenous healing practices (e.g. herbal medicine) through research and
   development;
       develop a health care system that provides affordable, women-sensitive and humane
   services;
       stop the promotion of unsafe contraception;
       enforce strict regulations of clinical trials, especially of contraceptive methods, conducted
   in the country;


PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                                        41
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
       institute mechanisms for women’s active participation in planning, monitoring and
    evaluation of health programs and services;
       respect women’s right to work and labor benefits;
       develop and provide measures that protect girls and women from violence against women
    (VAW), and services that support survivors of VAW;
       ensure educational opportunities and livelihood to poor women;
       provide a housing program and a healthy environment for the poor;
       enact stricter measures to protect sources of food and water.

Specific strategies have been raised to address the welfare of women in resettlement areas:
       Minimize the incidence of gender-specific violence suffered by internally displaced
   women (IDP), camps and settlements should be designed with a view to protection concerns.
       Involve women in the planning of assistance programmes and camp management.
       Provide direct assistance to women for their basic needs in order to avoid situations that
   would lead to sexual oppression, such as exchanging sexual favors for basic needs and
   resources.
       Ensure the equitable distribution of food in settlement areas, in recognition of the fact
   that displaced women and girls have often been found to receive less than their full ration of
   food, to eat last and eat less.
       Ensure that women health care providers are employed in IDP settings to address
   women-specific health needs.
       Provide medical treatment and psycho-social counseling to women who have been raped
   or subjected to other serious sexual or physical abuse.
       In addition to treating the after-effects of sexual violence, greater attention must be paid
   to preventing its occurrence.
       Ensure women’s equal access to education, skills training and meaningful income
   generating activities.
       In support of their entrepreneurial skills, women should be provided equal access to
   credit opportunities. Deprived of any means to earn sufficient income to sustain their
   families, women will remain dependent on relief, long beyond the emergency phase.
       Encourage the formation of organizations of internally displaced women, or strengthen
   those already in existence.

On the whole this conference calls the attention of governments throughout the world to act
on the violence that militarization continues to sow in the lives of women:
       Stop the violence against women and children.
       Stop the war on terrorism and policies that threaten genuine human security.
       Guarantee self-determination and genuine security.
       Ensure a safe, clean environment.
       Hold the U.S. government and the national governments that host the U.S. military
    accountable for the human costs of militarization.




PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                                       42
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
Attachment E


       HUMAN RIGHTS: A CROSS CUTTING ISSUE IN PEACE AND
        CONFLICT SITUATION AND VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

                        Prepared by Jessica U. Soto
          Executive Director, Amnesty International Philippines
         International Meeting on Human Security and Development
                           November 21-28, 2005


Introduction

This paper is prepared and being presented as a discussion paper in
Group 2 for workshops 1-3. Amnesty International as a response to stop
violence against women and children in pre, during and post conflicts
conducted researches in many countries and published reports. Reports
that have been used as the basis for the campaigning of our membership
and supporters in 150 countries.

What are very evident in the reports are the violations of the basic civil
and political rights as well as the fundamental economic social and
cultural rights of many people in the said situations. Amnesty
International is witness to the use of small arms to commit gross abuses
of international human rights and humanitarian law-whether in war,
armed conflict, crime, law enforcement, state repression, or violence in
the home.

And the three most important issue surrounding violence against women
in the conflict are 1) lack of women‟s security in situations where the rule
of law has collapsed; 2) abuse of women by armed groups; 3) abuse of
women by security or state personnel.

Civilians, particularly women and children, account for the vast majority
of those adversely affected by armed conflict, including as refugee,
internally displaced persons and increasingly targeted by combatants
and armed elements

Women as caregivers, combined with higher levels of poverty, mean that
the impact of war’s destruction weighs heavily on them. At the same time,
women are the backbone of the community, their ideas, energy and
involvement is essential to rebuilding society in the aftermath of any
conflict or war. These include rebuilding their confidence and capacity to
ensure their security as human beings towards sustainable development.

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                43
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
Our common framework is establishing and highlighting the
commonalities of the violence that affects women regardless of the
country they are in, while at the same time stressing the CONTINUUM of
the violence against women, whether full scale armed conflict, a post
conflict or where there is an arbitrary military presence.

WHAT IS MILITARIZATION and SMALL ARMS?

Militarization is the process where a society becomes increasingly
dominated by military values, institutions and patterns of behavior
dominating influence on the political, social, economic and external
affairs of a society

Militarization often begins long before the outbreak of fighting and its
legacy remains long after the main hostilities have ended. It is a growing
reality in societies all over the globe seen in the dramatic rise in global
military expenditure and the subordination of human concerns to the
“security” agenda of the states. It is reflected in the use of force to
resolve international and internal disputes, foreign occupation, internal
conflicts and the proliferation of arms.

The uncontrolled global arms trade is both a manifestation of this trend
and a contributory factor to increased conflict and aggression. Most of
the armed violence that affects women, both in and out of conflict, is
committed with small arms: guns or weapons that can be carried and
used by one person.

There are approximately 639 million small arms in the world today- once
for every 10 people in the world -, produced by morethan1135 companies
in at least 98 countries. Eight million weapons are produced every year.
Nearly 60 percent of small arms are in civilian hands. At least 16 billion
units of military ammunition were produced in 2001 alone – more than
two military bullets for every man, woman and child on the planet2

The arms trade has rapidly expanded over the past few decades. Global
military expenditures in the early 1990 were more than 60 percent
higher in real terms in the 1970s and twice as high as in the 1960s3

The easy accessibility of small arms tends to increase the incidence of
armed violence, prolong wars once they break out and enable grave and
widespread abuses of human rights. In some situations the escalating


2
    Small Arms Survey 2002, op, cit., p 14
3
    Ruth Leger Sivard, World Military and Social Expenditures 1991. World Priorities Inc, USA

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                                       44
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
supply of arms, whether through legal or illegal means acts as trigger for
conflict and further fuel to sustain a long-term conflict

Arms shipments in Rwanda, principally from China, France, South Africa
and Egypt in the tense months preceding the civil war in 1994, are
widely considered to have encouraged and facilitated the eventual
genocide, even though most atrocities were committed by people wielding
agricultural tools.4

The importance of arms is greatest as fuel to sustain long-term conflict,
responsible not so much for the initiation of wars, but for their
continuation. Armed conflict cannot be sustained without the supply of
arms or, where they are already abundant, without ammunition.5

In the Beijing Platform for Action, states committed themselves to reduce
excessive military expenditure and control the availability of armaments,
to permit the possible allocation of additional funds for social and
economic development, in particular for the advancement of women.6

There are over 40 countries in varying conflict situations involving armed
violence of varying intensity in the world. In virtually all of these
conflicts, the forces involved – be they state forces or armed groups –are
responsible for abusing international human rights and humanitarian
laws.

THE COST AND EFFECT OF VIOLENCE IN CONLICT AND BEYOND

                               Violence in “peace time”

While there are debates over the best way of ameliorating the culture of
violence, that is often prevalent in societies that are crime–ridden, this
basic concern cannot be ignored. Studies from developed countries
consistently show a clear correlation between household gun ownership
and death rates. The link is most clearly seen in the case of suicides and
accidental deaths, especially among young people7.Sometimes it is police
and other law-enforcement officials who commit armed crime and violate
human rights. For example, In Brazil, police in many areas have been
linked to “death squads” responsible for hundreds of killings, of children,
which have long gone unpunished.

4 Rwanda: Arming the Perpetrators of the Genocide (AI Index AFR
02/014/1995)
5 Ed Cairns, Internal document on conflict resolution.
6 Beijing Platform of Action, Strategic Objective E2 para. 143b.
7 Peter Cummings, Thomas D. Koepsell, Does owning a firearm increase or

decrease the risk of death? Controversies, 5 AGUST 1989.
PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                 45
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
Furthermore, in many societies, children have become targets in drug
wars, in political and gang related killing and as victims of police
brutality. In Honduras, at least 1817 street children have been killed
over the last five years.

Again, in many societies, the death and injury of large numbers of
people, many were young, have profound consequences for development.
It reduces the number of people entering the work force, diverting family
and social resources into care of those disabled by gun violence and
forcing governments to redirect funding from social services to public
security. If at all the social services are well placed and delivered to the
people.

In non-conflict situations, a number of studies have suggested that the
risk of being murdered by an intimate partner increase with the
availability of firearms.8When they are readily available, firearms are the
weapons of choice when men kill their partners. In the USA, 51 percent
of female murder victims are shot , according to the Violence Policy
Center in 1999., Consistent with other international studies, research by
Gun Control Alliance in South Africa in 1999 suggests that more women
are shot at home in acts of domestic violence than are shot by strangers
on the streets or by intruders.

Threatening behaviors are astonishingly similar across cultures; they
include shooting the family dog as a warning, or getting out a gun and
cleaning it during argument. A 10-month study in Northern Ireland
showed that the increased availability of guns meant that more
dangerous forms of violence were used against women in the home.

In the Philippines……

        Violence in conflict or war situation

Following the logic of the previous paragraph, women living through
conflict not only have to endure assaults or the threat of assaults by the
other side, but they also faces increased levels of violence from within
their families, at the same time as they are depended upon to rebuild
their communities from the devastation of constant attacks during the
conflict.

Since the intifada, Palestinian women, have been exposed to increased
levels of violence-not only through the destruction of their homes and
8
 Gender and Small Arms, Wendy Cuckier, Small Arms Firearms Education and Research Network
(SAFER-Net)

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                                   46
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
communities by Israeli forces, but also through increased domestic
violence.

A poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion in 2002
showed that “86 percent, which is up by 22 percent in the previous year,
of respondents said violence against women had significantly or
somewhat increased as a result of changing political, economic and
social conditions of Palestinian women”.9

The examples above are a manifestation that instability and armed
conflict lead to increase in all forms of violence including genocide, rape
and sexual violence.

During conflicts, violence against women is often used as a weapon of
war, in order to dehumanize the women themselves, or to persecute the
community to which they belong. Women are likely to form the greatest
proportion of the adult civilian population killed in war and targeted for
abuse.

            Refugees and internally displaced people
Women and children are estimated to make up 80 percent of the refugees
and internally displaced people forced to flee their homes for protection
in other countries during armed conflict. They are fleeing violence only to
end up finding more violence.

This is the major reason why today, 40 million people worldwide are
refugees or internally displaced within their own countries. At the end of
2002, around 22 million people cross the world were internally displaced.
About 13 million were refugees and asylum seekers10. Estimates show
that 4.3 million people were newly uprooted in 2002, the majority in
Africa. In Sudan alone, more than four million people are displaced, 85
percent of the inhabitants of southern Sudan are thought to have been
displaced at least once in the last 15 years.

In Colombia, more than 250,000 people have been displaced each year
for the last five years. It reaches an estimated 350,000 in 2003.

The government of Colombia in 2003 reported that 36 percent of
displaced women in the country have been forced to have sexual
relations with men.



9
  Domestic Violence against Palestinian Women rises, Middle East Times, 20 September 2002, based on
reporting from Agence France-Presse.
10
   World Refugee Survey 2003, US Committee for Refugees, May 2003.

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                                         47
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines
However, sometimes people are forced to flee as an intentional strategy of
war. This was the case for example, during the conflicts in Central
America in the late 1970s and early 1980s; in the former Yugoslavia in
the 1990s; in East Timor (now Timor Leste) in 1999, during the recent
conflicts in Burundi and Angola; and in Western Sudan this year (2004).

As they traveled, they faced military or civilian checkpoints and
roadblocks, where they were humiliated, threatened, and forced to pay
bribes or hand over food and other possessions. In other places, armed
groups and governments put limits on people‟s movement. Checkpoints
prevent free passage, borders are closed, passes are required, civilians
are “advised” when to travel.

This restrictions bar access to food, work, basic commerce, education
and medical attention. The right to move freely is particularly critical for
pregnant women, and sick and injured people.

Even refugees fleeing on foot from one camp to another had to pass so
many checkpoints that they literally had no money or possessions left. In
at least one incident, helicopter gunship flew low over a refugee camp
and launched artillery close to the camp in Sierra Leone, resulting in
civilian deaths and injuries, in attacks, which appeared to be an attempt
to frighten the refugees into leaving11.

            Abduction and Hostage-taking
Men women and children are abducted at gunpoint and forced to fight or
work for their abductors. In Uganda, the Lord‟s Resistance Army has
abducted more than 20,000 children since 1986; children make up a
very high proportion of LRA soldiers. Those caught trying to escape are
summarily executed as a warning to others.

China Keitetsi, a former girl child soldier wrote a book about her
experiences as a child soldier in Uganda under the National Resistance
Army (NRA). In one of her stories she has this to share;

“We were bodyguards to our bosses, we cooked, and we looked after
them, instead of them looking after us. We collected firewood, we
carried weapons and for girls it was worse because… we were
girlfriends to many different officers. Today, I can’t think how many
officers slept with me, and at the end it became like I don’t own my
body, its their body. It was so hard to stay the 24 hours a day
thinking which officer am I going to sleep with today”


11
 Guinea and Sierra Leone: No Place of Refuge, ?Amnesty International, October 2001, AI Index:
AFR05/06/2001

PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                                                                       48
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
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PHILIPPINE COUNTRY REPORT                               49
International Meeting on Human Development & Security
November 22-27, 2004 / Manila, Philippines