US Troops Out Now!
We welcome the pronouncement of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of not allowing Davao City to be used as a launching pad for US military unmanned aerial vehicles or drones nor for the basing of so-called ‘permanently rotational’ military troops.
UAVs, commonly called drones, are the latest military equipment-robots boasted by the US for giving it superior advantage in warfare over its enemies. This has given rise to ‘drone warfare’ as a US component in its ‘war on terror.’
But what American President Barack Obama portrays as its prized war materiel possession, the realities in the battlefield and in communities betrays as its loss. Robots do not have discernment, a fundamental flaw in war and in any other human activity. Thus, this drone warfare has killed so many civilians, most of them women and children. In countries where drone warfare has been relied upon by the US as its most effective weapon to track down terrorists, it is the US which has gained notoriety as the world’s No. 1 Terrorist.
Aside from clearly being an issue of human rights, the US-led war of terror against the peoples of the world is an aggression against the sovereignty of nations. Drone surveillances and attacks are particularly directed at countries where the US has strategic economic and political interests, and where there is armed resistance.
We repudiate the US-led war of terror. Mayor Duterte correctly points out that it is the US which is capable of sowing terror, the way CIA agent Michael Terrence Meiring was exposed to be in possession of high-powered explosives. The bombs he was carrying self-detonated at Evergreen Hotel in Davao City in 2002, the year preceding the deadly Davao airport and wharf bombings. Those bombings were then exposed by junior military officers to be the handiwork of top officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The bombing and bomb scare situation in Mindanao, as in the string of terror in the past, show a pattern of scenario-building in order to justify US military aid and intervention. It does not escape scrutiny that while Mindanao was rocked by bombings, Malacanang was shamelessly asking for an increase in the number of US military rotational forces in the country, aside from justifying the continuing US-Philippine joint military exercises.
That Mayor Duterte was approached by the US to use the old airport as a military base, starting with its drone program, speaks of a US military design in Mindanao as part of the US pivot to Asia. It also exposes President Aquino’s backdoor compromises and sell out of the national sovereignty by expanding the coverage of the Visiting Forces Agreement and optimizing the master-and-lackey relationship between the US and the Philippines under the US-RP Mutual Defense Treaty.
We say No to US Drones in Davao, Mindanao and in the world! Junk VFA and MDT!
Bishop Felixberto Calang
Initiatives for Peace in Mindanao
Rm. 101 Kalinaw Center for Interfaith Resources
13 Francisco Avenue, Juna Subdivision, Matina, 8000, Davao City