Youth groups prepare petition for UNESCO, slam docking of another US Navy ship

ANOTHER US Navy ship, the USS Cheyenne has docked on Philippine shores even as the issue of the desecration at the Tubbataha Reef continues to gain ground.

Kabataan Partylist hit out at the warship’s presence stating that the incident in Palawan is another wakeup call in a long list of atrocities perpetrated under the Visiting Forces Agreement.

“We met here today with different advocacy groups and individuals to discuss and generate support for a petition we are preparing to present to UNESCO, the body which is supposed to manage World Heritage Sites” said Kabataan Partylist President ATty. Terry Ridon. “Yet while the USS Guardian has remains in our territory with the administration practically silent, hindi nakakagulat na may lakas loob ang US na mag port call nanaman sa may Subic” added Ridon.

“We don’t subscribe the fact that the Aquino sponsored Visiting Forces Agreement has nothing to do with US ships doing as they please on our shores as this is exactly what the VFA permits. Unlimited access to our territories is what it provides and its effects have seen toxic wastes dumped, human rights violations unpunished and natural treasures defiled” explained Ridon.

The groups displayed a large banner bearing the calls: Save Tubbataha, Defend our Sovereignty and Junk VFA. Participants signed the banner and wrote messages of patriotic solidarity as they planned they would bring it to all gatherings in the fight for genuine sovereignty.

According to Ridon “It is clear that this administration of taking any significant steps towards protecting our territories of persecuting those who violate them. No steps have been made to prevent this from happening again and sure enough here comes the USS Cheyenne.”

Kabataan Partylist plans to join and mobilize for the upcoming Filipino-American Friendship day on February 4.

“The last straw in this supposed ‘friendship’ happened a long time ago before the Tubbataha incident; this is just an opportunity for us to show the depth and strength of nationalism in the youth and people.”

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