Students storm anew US Embassy
MEMBERS of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) once again led a lightning rally at the US Embassy targeting the the letters and actual seal of the US embassy.
They also questioned Aquino’s sincerity to hold the US Navy accountable for the destruction of the Tubbataha Reef. According to the LFS, the President should immediately junk the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) if he is resolved to make the US answerable to the accident and not just spouting mere rhetoric.
The challenge came after Aquino said the apology issued by the US Navy, albeit appreciated, is not sufficient to compensate for the damage done to the reef. Yet, he was quick to absolve the VFA from criticisms.
“In the time of intensified anti-US Imperialist sentiment, Aquino is forced to feign dissatisfaction with the US in an attempt to pacify the Filipino people. But as a US lapdog that cannot bite the hand that feeds him, he exposed his own charade of patriotism in trying to maintain the VFA,” exclaims Mai Uichanco, Secretary General of the LFS.
Uichanco disputed Aquino’s claim that the VFA had nothing to do with the USS Guardian’s grounding in the marine sanctuary. She points out how port calls sanctioned by the VFA are what brought the US warship in the Philippines in the first place.
“How does he plan on penalizing the USS Guardian’s crew when the VFA exempts US troops in the country from Philippine law?” adds Uichanco.
Kabataan Partylist National President Atty. Terry RIdon retaliated at Aquino’s remarks that the issued apology by the US Navy showed how the US respected the Philippines’ sovereignty.
“How could he say we are being respected when all this time the US has reduced the identity of the Philippines to nothing more than a military base for its troops? Were the crew of the USS Guardian showing respect when they blatantly ignored the warnings radioed to them by our environmental authorities, or when they met with hostility the park rangers attempting to inspect their ship?” explained Ridon.
She called out to the rest of the nation to continue their vigilance in keeping an eye on Aquino’s action—or inaction—over the following days.
“As early as now, Aquino is showing signs of letting the US off the hook again. For this, the LFS calls on every patriotic Filipino to intensify the struggle for the liberation of the country not only from US Imperialists but also from their minions in the government,” said Uichanco.