25 Years of VFA: Military intervention to ensure imperialist plunder

25 Years of VFA: Military intervention to ensure imperialist plunder

Kilusang Mayo Uno urges all Filipino workers and people to lead and amplify the resistance against foreign military intervention and imperialist plunder as we commemorate 25 years since the Senate ratification of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

The continued existence of such an unequal agreement, and subsequent treaties, proves that the control of the United States over our lands, seas, and resources persists, the cessation of which is nowhere in sight, if left to the imperialists.

The US has a long and bloody record of murders and human rights violations left unchecked and unpunished due to these agreements. US forces, along with their mercenary counterparts in the Philippines, continue to commit a myriad of violations to gain further military and political hegemony to dictate neoliberal policies that plunder Filipino labor and natural resources.

Military intervention and state terrorism work in consonance with the US strategic plan to cement its foothold in the Philippines, the Asia-Pacific region and the world. State officials, most prominently President Marcos Jr. himself have been all-out in selling out our sovereignty and patrimony as seen in meetings and agreements in the recently-concluded Trilateral Summit and the Philippines’ entry into the PH-US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. Marcos responds to these with his Charter Change ploy to open up the economy.

To deodorize the rotten imperialist agenda, the US launches a global propaganda campaign anchored on “industrial peace” and its supposed “commitment” to the right of workers to freedom of association (FOA). It even goes out of its way to ride on the workers’ and the Philippine labor movement’s growing clamor for the right to FOA to be respected and upheld.

Wondrous as it would like the people to believe, the US cannot hide the fact that it is the number one violator of trade union and human rights in the Philippines and globally. The neoliberal policies peddled by the US had caused wages to fall into a race to the bottom, jobs to become more insecure, and rights to union, association and expression wantonly violated. This has caused workers to sink in deeper and more palpable hardship.

Red-tagging, harassment, illegal arrests, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings mark the dire situation of Filipino workers’ rights. The primary violators are the NTF-Elcac, AFP and PNP which operate under a counterinsurgency program framed by the US. 

We urge all workers to rise up in their numbers to expose and oppose the US, the Marcos regime, and their lackeys and advance the fight for a truly sovereign nation founded on peace and justice, and where people’s rights are upheld.