Understand: "Why Duterte is correct in questioning VFA"

Understand: "Why Duterte is correct in questioning VFA"


In the commemoration of the 123rd Philippine Independence Day, we are quoting in full the article published in Manila Times titled “Why Duterte is correct in questioning VFA” which was written by New Worlds by IDSI (Integrated Development Studies Institute).

In the article it was written chronologically and eloquently the historical facts which supports President Rodrigo Roa Duterte with respect to his hard stance as regards the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) we have with the United States of America (USA).

Please read it below:


The Filipinos First Bath’ (US President) McKinley: 'Oh, you dirty boy!' (Judge 06-10-1899). MacArthur, Duterte ringing Balangiga Bells (after 117 years), Joseph Estrada, Apolinario Mabini and Jovito Salonga (The Manila Times)

“Why Duterte is correct in questioning VFA”


Philippine Independence Day version 4. We are still fighting for it and paying for it again. The virus of foreign domination is mutating, and we are still hoping for herd immunity instead of taking our vaccines. What is the nature of foreign domination, multiple military facilities of the United States inside our own bases? How does the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) affect this?

The VFA is up for renewal. Among other things, it exempts US personnel from visa and criminal and other jurisdictions of Philippine law and allows unrestricted movement of US vessels and aircraft in the Philippines - very dangerous.

This is the very reason why China considers its presence in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) a line of defense against the US.

It is not because it wants to invade the Philippines or for the economic value, but because the US has continually shown itself as an aggressor in applying sanctions, invasions, assassinations to any nonaligned nation vis-a-vis its world view, even if that country is not a threat militarily to the US.

This VFA is what will definitely put us in the crosshairs of a struggle between superpowers. It is why President Rodrigo Duterte is right about keeping an independent foreign policy, the most fundamental warning made by generations of arguably the most brilliant men in Philippine history -Apolinario Mabini, Claro M Recto, Jovito Salonga - whose predictions about what would hurt us or build us up were the most accurate as borne out by history.

Let us do a genomic sequencing of the history of our independence:

On June 12 1898, Emilio Aguinaldo declared Philippine independence after successfully leading the revolution to defeat the Spanish forces, except for Manila. It was a powerful symbol and an inspiration to all of Asia aspiring for independence from colonial rule - but just a symbol.

We had already lost it even before the declaration, when Aguinaldo agreed to ally with the Americans against Spain, upon which the US promptly maneuvered to exclude Filipinos from entering Manila. US General Anderson informed Aguinaldo, "Do not let your troops enter Manila without the permission of the American commander... You will be under fire." Filipinos were also excluded from negotiations with Spain for the latter's departure.

"Brains of the Revolution" Apolinario Mabini, anti-colonial, drafter of the Malolos Constitution, was exiled by the US and allowed to return only when he was forced to swear allegiance to the US just before he died. In April 1898, he brilliantly warned Philippine leaders that Spain would cede the Philippines to the United States if it lost the war. Aguinaldo decided to trust the Americans.

By "international rule of law" - in which countries are bought and sold by Western powers - and arbitration applied without the Filipinos, the US and Spain then negotiated the Treaty of Paris, in which they defined Philippine territory and ownership.

Even in defeat, in a war started by fake news of Spanish atrocities by American publishers Hearst and Pulitzer, the Spaniards would rather lose to and negotiate with the Americans than with little brown brothers.

The Western powers later agreed further with the United Kingdom to give Sabah to Malaysia, a land which until today the family of the Brunei Sultanate admits to having been gifted to the Sulu Sultanate. Then-President Ferdinand Marcos supposedly tried to get it back, which was foiled by then-Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr with an alleged expose of a major massacre, the Jabidah, for which there seems to be little evidence of Antonio Carpio and Albert del Rosario for some reasons will not raise this claim.

When Japan attacked in World War 2, Filipinos were recruited and fought with great courage and suffered casualties, with an estimated 1 million dying of starvation and disease in resisting the Japanese.

The July 4 Independence Day was declared in 1946 by the US for the Philippines, in return demanding parity rights wherein Americans were given the same rights as Filipino citizens to develop natural resources and utilities. The Philippine Constitution had to be amended, or US assistance of some over $600 million would not be released. US military bases had to be allowed in the Philippines, where US law, not Philippine law, applied. True until today. We also cannot apply Philippine law to US military personnel, even civilians.

Brilliant Claro M. Recto may have lost the presidential elections partly because he opposed US imperialist dictates. US government documents later showing a plan to murder Recto with poison were discussed by CIA Chief Lovett and the US Ambassador to the Philippines Admiral Spruance. Claro M. Recto is the grandfather of Sen. Ralph Recto.

Despite President Roosevelt's promises and President Harry Truman saying "Philippine veterans, ... fought as American nationals under the American flag and under the direction of our military leaders. They fought with gallantry and courage." But US promises were immediately broken by the congressional US American Rescission Act in 1946, which backed out of helping Filipino veterans as soon as the war was over.

In June 1962, President Diosdado Macapagal reset our Independence Day back to June 12.

Our territorial integrity was enhanced vis-a-vis the US again when Marcos, advised by Juan Ponce Enrile, shortened the US bases' occupation period to 25 years more. Enrile reasoned that the US could conduct multibillion dollar wars but not help the Philippines with a request for a mere 2,500 Armalites, so Marcos charged them rent. Singapore was the one to assist with 10,000 long firearms.

Salonga led the Senate in 1991, terminating the US bases, along with 11 senators including Joseph Estrada, TaΓ±ada, Enrile - called the Magnificent 12. Despite the many predictions of disaster by much of the pro-American elite, "the economy did not collapse, the communists did not invade, the investors did not leave." And the Philippines showed that strong fundamental economics and management are what we need to do well, not an uncle who dictates and punishes for disobedience.

EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) returned US military presence to the Philippines, under President Benigno Aquino 3rd, supposedly to protect the Philippines. But PNoy had to circumvent 15 senators led by the late nationalist senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago who opposed it. Until today, the VFA and the EDCA have not been ratified by the US Senate.

Should we continue the VFA, or how should we redefine our international relations?

New Worlds by IDSI (Integrated Development Studies Institute) aims to present frameworks based on a balance of economic theory, historical realities; ground success in real business and communities; and attempt for common good, culture and spirituality. We welcome logical feedback and possibly working together with compatible frameworks.




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Report from Manila Times


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