By Gerry Albert Corpuz and TJ Pantukan
MANILA, Philippines- A left-leaning group in Manila opposed to any form of foreign military intervention in the country had accused President Benigno Simeon Aquino III of hiding the truth that he has allowed the US military to use the Subic International Airport as a military airport to accommodate the growing number of US troops participating in the yearly Balikatan exercises in the country.
In a press statement, a copy of which was furnished to all voices.com, said Pamalakaya national chairperson and Anakpawis party list no.1 nominee Fernando Hicap lambasted President Aquino for virtually transforming the international airport in Zambales as "de facto" military base, which he described as an act of treason.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the Subic International Airport is just a name. In real life, it is a US military facility operating on a regular basis to accommodate increasing numbers of White House troops gearing for wars of aggression in different parts of the globe and President Aquino should be condemned to the highest order for committing this triple platinum crime of treachery and betrayal," the Pamalakaya official said.
Hicap said the arrival of more than 2,200 American troops for the Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) with 1,600 soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in various parts of the Philippines from October 8-18 is a clear manifestation that Subic, now playing host to US troops is now back in the limelight as the largest American base outside the US mainland," he said.
The Pamalakaya leader said the proposal of Executive Director Edilberto Adan of the VFA Commission to put Subic back in harness as a military airport to be used by US military forces is an open endorsement of US retaking and restoration of Subic naval base.
Pamalakaya and Anakpawis party list lamented that the Philippine Senate and the House of Representatives are taking the issue with lukewarm response. The groups said the increasing presence of US military and the growing use of Subic into a US military outpost merit the attention and appropriate action of the legislative branch of government.
"The situation merits the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement and the jurassic Military Defense Treaty to stop this unstoppable violation of Filipino national sovereignty. But Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and their colleagues in Congress are not doing their jobs to uphold and protect the sovereign rights of the people," the groups said.
The former Subic Naval Base was one of the biggest military bases of the US in the Philippines. It caters American warships, submarines and other military naval vessels. On September 16, 1991, the widespread mass protests against the US military bases, compelled the Philippine Senate to vote against the proposal to renew the 1946 Military Bases Agreement (MBA). The rejection of the bases treaty pushed the US government to return the Subic Naval Base and other American bases, camps and facilities to the Philippine government.
Pamalakaya agreed with the observation raised by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) that "the US government seeks to retain the Philippines as one of its key military outposts in the Asia Pacific region," said the CPP. "The US military seeks to gain access to Philippine seaports and airport facilities in order to use as them as stations for repair and resupply and provide rest and recreation for its troops." ###