Militanteng kabataan sumugod sa US Embassy
LEAGUE of Filipino Students, Kabataan Partylist and other youth groups conducted a lightning rally early in the morning, surprising the guards at the US embassy to condemn the continued presence of the USS Guardian and the subsequent destruction it is causing at the Tubbataha Reef.
In the wake of the administration’s admission that it does not even know what US troops are doing in the area, the youth groups expressed their outrage at the government’s shameful indifference to this violation of our sovereignty.
“Ang lakas ng loob ng gubyerno natin na makipagtunggalian sa Tsina kapag kakampi niya ang US pero tuwing US na ang mismong nambabastos sa ating soberanya nanahimik siya at pinagtatanggol pa niya. Aquino acts as if we are supposed to respect the supposed ‘honest mistake’ of the USS Guardian despite both the growing clamour regarding the issue and the history of violating our sovereignty” said Mai Uichanco, Secretary General of the League of Filipino Students.
Although the US had already issued an apology, it does not excuse the long withstanding unfair practices it has had with the Philippines. Also, the damage done to a World Heritage site cannot be undone. The Tubbataha Reef is a one of a kind ecosystem in the entire planet and no amount of compensation can suffice.
Kabataan Partylist President Atty. Terry Ridon said “The compensation poised for the damage in the Tubbataha Reef is not only extremely small, it does not underline the persistent problem that US military presence has had in the country. There is nonstop numerous human rights violations, environmental catastrophes and the overall militarism it forces upon our country.”
Ridon noted that “these types of violations are leniently allowed to continue mainly because of the Visiting Forces Agreement that the government has chosen to uphold even in times like these. The VFA holds no accountability for US military presence and the damages or crimes that come as a consequence. Aquino has stood down in the face of the VFA and its American beneficiaries.”
LFS cited the massive support that this issue is garnering. “One positive thing about all this is it’s bringing out a lot of nationalist sentiment from different groups and sections of society” said Uichanco.
Additionally the youth groups vowed to generate more patriotic support and to march towards the US embassy with different groups and sectors on the upcoming Filipino-American Friendship Day.
“We need to show that the Tubbataha incident has further decayed an already oppressive relationship between the two countries and the youth in particular will not stand for this” concluded Uichanco.