New Military Treaty Unveiled During Obama's Stop in the Philippines

May 5, 2014

Plans for a U.S. military buildup in Asia involved plans to undermine the Filipino constitution and establish military bases on Filipino soil.

Secret negotiations led to the "Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA)," signed by Obama in an unannounced location before his arrival in the Philippines on April 28.

The treaty increases the danger of war in the region with the Philippines being used as a launching pad because it gives U.S. new access to the Philippines as a base of operations. Before the treaty the U.S. military was restricted to closely monitored access to Filipino ports.

The new treaty was immediately denounced in the Philippines. The people are demanding the immediate abrogation of the EDCA and all unequal treaties with the U.S. and are denouncing the Aquino regime for collaborating with U.S. imperialism.

The following is a statement released by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines on May 2.

NDFP condemns the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement as flagrant trampling on Philippine sovereignty

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) condemns in the strongest terms possible the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) signed by the Aquino regime and the United States of America as flagrant trampling on Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Negotiated in secrecy, preventing the Filipino people from knowing its contents until after it was signed during the visit of US imperialist chieftain Barack Obama on April 28, 2014, the EDCA allows US military and civilian personnel and contractors and all kinds of materiel unimpeded entry and use of so-called Agreed Locations rent-free anywhere in the country.

This is a shameless surrender of national sovereignty by the Aquino regime. The EDCA allows an unlimited number of US troops to be stationed, together with their unlimited number of prepositioned war vessels and armaments, in numerous unspecified locations anywhere in the country.

To cite a few provisions of the EDCA to show the indecent extent of privilege given to the US. According to Article IV of EDCA, Equipment, Supplies and Materiel, No. 3: “The prepositioned materiel shall be for the exclusive use of United States forces. United States forces shall have control over the access to and disposition of such prepositioned materiel and shall have the unencumbered right to remove such prepositioned materiel at any time from the territory of the Philippines.”

Furthermore, No. 4 of the same Article 4 stipulates: “United States forces and United States contractors [companies and firms, and their employees, under contract or subcontract to or on behalf of the United States Department of Defense] shall have unimpeded access to Agreed Locations for all matters relating to the prepositioning and storage of defense equipment, supplies, and materiel, including delivery, management, inspection, use, maintenance, and removal of such equipment, supplies and materiel.”

From such provisions in EDCA, it is clear that the US forces can undertake numerous activities which can amount to using the Philippines as a launching pad for US wars of aggression, which the US had carried out in the past against the peoples of Vietnam, Indonesia and other countries.

The NDFP in its program firmly upholds the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Philippines. It is resolutely against the US bases and calls for the abrogation of unequal agreements such as US-RP Military Assistance Agreement, the US-RP Mutual Defense Treaty, the Visiting Forces Agreement and Mutual Logistics Support Agreement. The NDFP program declares that no foreign power shall be allowed to set up military bases on Philippine soil or use Philippine territory as a launching pad for military operations abroad.

The NDFP therefore calls on the Filipino people to launch a powerful campaign to abrogate the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement and related military agreements with the US. The NDFP likewise calls on the peoples in the United States of America to stand up in solidarity with the Filipino people and take effective collective action to stop the escalating US military intervention in the Philippines as they acted in solidarity with the Vietnamese people against the US war of aggression against Vietnam. We also call for effective solidarity from other peoples of the world in our common struggle against US bases and US military intervention in numerous parts of the world.