Return of US military bases possible under Teodoro presidency, says leftwing group

Return of US military bases possible under Teodoro presidency, says leftwing group

The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakaa ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Friday warned the return of US military bases in the country in case Defense secretary and Lakas-Kampi-CMD presidential bet Gilbert Teodoro wins the presidency in 2010 elections.

“The possibility of the return of US military bases in the country is high because Secretary Teodoro is a certified American boy who is obsessed with military treaties, with military bases and with military troops of Washington D.C,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap in a press statement.

“Secretary Teodoro is a rabid supporter of US military intervention and aggression. He has this American military mindset, and he will do whatever he can do for US military interest across Asia and the Pacific. If the US asks him for permanent basing, he will do it without any second thought,” the Pamalakaya leader said.

Hicap said a Teodoro presidency will allow US troops to join combat opeerations with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against local armed political groups like the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“We have a new Vietnam war in the making under a Teodoro presidency. This the clear and present danger of elevating this US lapdog to the highest post in the land,” said Hicap.

On September 16, 1991, the Philippine Senate headed by former Senate President Jovito Salonga and former Vice-President Teofisto Guingona led 12 senators in rejecting the proposed RP-US Military Bases Agreement that officially ended the half-century old US military basing in the country.

But in 1999, the Philippine Senate ratified the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) that allow US military troops to conduct periodic military trainings and military basing in the country on limited duration and scope, although some quarters observed that US is already engaged in permanent basing and Washington is operating discreet military bases in violation of the VFA and the Philippine Constitution on presence of US troops and permanent basing agremeent.

Pamalakaya said the strong inclination of Sec. Teodoro to allow the return of US military bases in evident in his pronouncement yesterday during the hearing of the defense portfolio budget at the House of Representatives.

Teodoro said he is open to more military treaties with foreign countries stressing the need for closer alliances and confidence-building measures.

At the budget hearing for the proposed P57.69 billion appropriation for his department, Teodoro declared he is against moves to abrogate the VFA with the United States and the State of Forces Agreement (Sovfa) with Australia and want more military alliances with other countries.#


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