SC decision on EDCA reaffirms need to assert sovereignty

The Supreme Court final decision declaring the constitutionality of the US-PH Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement reaffirms the need for the Filipino people to continue asserting Philippine sovereignty and an independent and nationalist foreign policy," Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general, said in reaction to the recent SC decision on EDCA.

The main provisions of EDCA on agreed locations for US personnel rotational basing and for US facilities and war materiel will strengthen US influence and control in the Philippines," Palabay said. 

The decision came a day before the arrival of US Secretary of State John Kerry in the Philippines, and the promised $42 million US military aid package for maritime security with the use of PH-China territorial dispute as its justification. "This whole package also includes funding for the continuing implementation of US-driven counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan that resulted to numerous rights violations," Palabay said. 

Karapatan said that aside from the said military aid package, the US gave $243 million to the BS Aquino regime and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

"This poison-laced assistance from the US is meant to cement the geopolitical and military dominance of the US in the Philippines and in Asia, and promote and conduct war against the Filipino people thru Oplan Bayanihan," Palabay said. 

Karapatan scored Kerry's comments during a press conference this afternoon with Foreign Affairs Secretary on civil and human rights. "It is hypocritical to invoke so-called rights while US interventionist wars and projects in the Middle East, Latin America and Asia, the Philippines included, caused numerous human and people's rights violations." 

"We call on Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to uphold the country's sovereignty and an independent and nationalist foreign policy by rescinding the EDCA and ending the US-driven Oplan Bayanihan," Palabay ended.