Rally held to Protest Obama Visit
Members of peace and anti-war organizations, trade unions, peasant associations, informal workers’ networks, and organizations of women, youth, students and urban poor, held a rally on April 28, 2014, to protest Barack Obama’s 2-day state visit to the Philippines which started today. The rally was held this morning at the Ninoy Aquino Park along Quezon Avenue in Quezon City, Metro Manila, near President Noynoy Aquino’s family residence.
Speakers at the rally condemned Obama’s arrival which coincided with the signing by National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and US Ambassador Philip Goldberg of a new “Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement” (EDCA) which would allow increased visits and the presence of more US military forces in the Philippines under the “Visiting Forces Agreement” (VFA, which was signed in February 1998 by then-president Erap Estrada).
The new EDCA also allows the USA to build or bring in any infrastructure or equipment, and to “preposition” its required supplies, at Philippine military camps which may be required by US military forces for their military exercises and operations in Philippine territory under the VFA, as well as under the “Philippine-US Mutual Defense Treaty” (MDT, which was signed in August 1951 by then-president Elpidio Quirino).
The rallyists also condemned Obama’s record as the World’s Number-1 Terrorist, whose war policies cost the lives of millions of people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and elsewhere. Obama is known as the butcher of Libya, a country that he destroyed and is now balkanizing for the benefit of the petroleum transnationals. Obama is also known as the butcher of Syria and Lebanon, 2 countries that Obama is trying to destroy and balkanize with the use of mercenaries and sectarian or fundamentalist forces supported by despotic Arab monarchies.
Presently, Obama’s brinkmanship in the Korean peninsula, and his support for the neo-fascist coup d’etat in the Ukraine, are endangering world peace. Obama’s “pivot”, towards the strengthening of US military forces in the Asia-Pacific region, is also clouding the USA’s long-standing strategic partnership with the People’s Republic of China (PRoC). While condemning the PRoC’s bullying methods against ASEAN countries in the South China Sea, the rallyists also condemned Obama’s plan to involve the Philippines as part of the USA’s anti-PRoC alliance in this region.
Obama’s building of such an anti-PRoC alliance cannot be trusted, considering that the USA and the PRoC are not only competing hegemonists, but are also capitalist partners. Towards the peaceful resolution of the contending Philippine and PRoC territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea, the rallyists called for strict adherence with the dispute-resolution mechanisms under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), instead of Philippine reliance upon a US military alliance.
The venue of the rally is named after Ninoy Aquino (the father of the present president) who was a former senator who admittedly worked with the CIA and the local maoist founders. He was assassinated in 1993 as he returned from the USA to campaign against the then-waning Marcos dictatorship. The rallyists put to some good use his towering statue at this park, by decorating it with anti-Obama posters.