Progressives demand VFA abrogation
PROGRESSIVE groups demanded the junking of the one-sided and unequal Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), saying that it tramples on Philippine sovereignty.
The agreement's detrimental and unequal character has been thoroughly exposed. The VFA was signed on May 27, 1999, eight years after the US military bases were booted out of the Philippines. Its aim was to govern the conduct of visiting US military forces.
Though the VFA, the US government has been able to maintain the permanent presence of its military troops in the country. Aside from a neverending series of military exercises, the US' 700-strong Joint Special Operations Task-Force Philippines is permanently stationed at Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City and is involved in counterinsurgency operations. There are reported sightings of US military troops during AFP military campaigns against NPA and MILF forces. Their activities are being undertaken under the pretext of "counter-terrorism campaigns".
The VFA also favors American troops who violate the country's laws. This is a brazen affront to Philippine sovereignty and is unprecedented in its detrimental effects on the Filipino people. In addition, the country becomes a target of attack for the US' enemies. Despite such criticisms against the VFA, the Aquino regime does not plan to junk or review it.