Condemn the Servility of the Arroyo Government to the US Superpower! Fight for Genuine Independence and Sovereignty!
January 15, 2007
Almost everybody views the springing of Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith from his Makati prison to the US embassy as brazen, deceitful and unthinkable. As a people we are outraged by the extreme puppetry of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) regime.
More than the rape perpetrated by an American soldier against a Filipino woman, Nicole’s case is a testimony to the continuing and historical violation of Philippine sovereignty by the US and to the servility of Philippine governments to its number one imperialist master.
To preserve its role as the former colonial power, the US has historically imposed onerous military agreements and treaties on Philippine governments such as the Military Bases Agreement, the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty, the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement and the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The VFA was signed by deposed President Joseph Estrada under the guise of the global anti-terrorism campaign. However, as US wars of aggression brought shock and awe to the world, its anti-terrorism campaign has proven to be a fig-leaf for its imperialist geo-political and economic agenda.
The VFA is a lop-sided agreement that allows US military troops in the country thus compromising Philippine sovereignty, territorial integrity and self-determination.
Allowing indefinite number of US troops with indefinite duration, unspecified areas and undefined activities through the VFA is definitely onerous. Moreover, this agreement has made criminal jurisdiction of the Philippines inutile. Under it, the Philippine government cannot really penalize any US personnel for crimes committed against Filipinos thus effectively granting them immunity from criminal prosecution. The VFA also endangers the country with the entry of weapons of mass destruction.
On top of it is the power that VFA has given to the US to intervene in our internal affairs. This is an affront to our national sovereignty.
The Subic rape case involving a Filipina known as Nicole and visiting US soldiers has once again put to test the integrity of Philippine government to protect its people against erring American troops. From day one of the celebrated trial, the Arroyo government has abandoned its duty to protect Nicole as a citizen. It has sabotaged the case through the absence of government assistance, degrading pronouncements of Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales against the victim and favoring the exoneration of co-accused Carpentier, Duplantis and Silkwood, plotting an extra-judicial settlement through public prosecutor Atty. Emilie Fe De los Santos, and eventually the Malacanang-assisted escape of convicted rapist Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith from the Makati prison. In truth and in fact, GMA has no intention to protect the interest of the Filipina rape victim.
Lawyers dubbed the custody drama not only as a contempt of court, but a treachery that signals the complete breakdown of the rule of law. Indeed, the executive branch has brazenly trampled on the jurisdiction of the judiciary with its order to transfer Smith to the US embassy in the absence of a court order. It was a case of the executive doing the functions of the judiciary, which violated the separation of powers by the branches of the government.
The brazenness of the government’s response revealed the crumbling state of the GMA regime. As a client-state, the Philippines is ruled by an unstable presidency which is bound to collapse unless sustained support is provided by its master, the US. GMA’s appeal for understanding in the name of diplomatic relations is an admission that she cannot afford to rock the ties between the two countries because she badly needs US backing to remain in power, along with expected military aid from Balikatan exercises. Thus, she must do everything to court and maintain US support for her administration.
But the Filipino people are fighting back. Armed with the nationalist fire which resulted in the abrogation of the Bases Agreement and the closure of US military camps in 1991 we will not allow US arrogant posturing to prevail. The justice for Nicole campaign will continue eventually leading to the abrogation of Visiting Forces Agreement and the ouster of GMA’s puppet regime for this does not only involve the rape of a Filipino woman but the rape of our nation.
Justice for Nicole!
Tongtongan ti Umili-Cordillera Peoples Alliance; Innabuyog-Gabriela MB; Gabriela-Youth; Migrante MB; Cordillera Ecumenical Movement for Action and Transformation; Kilusang Mayo Uno; Organisasyon dagiti Nakurapay nga Umili ti Syudad; League of Filipino Students; Progressive Igorots for Social Action; Anakbayan MB; Dap-ayan ti Kultura iti Kordilyera; Cordillera Afong; Alliance of Concerned Teachers MB