Duterte urged: End US intervention
(Philstar.com) - September 24, 2016 - 6:46pm

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is being urged to abrogate all agreements allowing US presence in the country.

These include the US-RP Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), US-RP Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the US-PH Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

Doing such, according to human rights alliance Karapatan, would end US intervention.

Karapatan urged Duterte following the president’s rants in the last ASEAN Leaders’ Summit, showing the past and present atrocities of the US government and military in the Philippines, especially in Mindanao.

Duterte earlier told the US soldiers in Mindanao to leave amid several documented reports of human rights violations by US troops.

The Department of National Defense, in a recent congressional budget deliberations said, there are around 107 US military personnel in Mindanao conducting various surveillance and drone operations.  They include 50 US Marines, 17 US Army, 20 US Special Forces, plus US Navy and civilian personnel.

Drug war, a concept peddled by US

Throwing a sort of support for Duterte against the US, Karapatan said, “The US government is indeed a shameless hypocrite.”   

“While displaying concern for human rights in the Philippines in its criticism of Duterte, it has an undeniable record of perpetrating and instigating the worst forms of human and people’s rights violations in the country and the world over,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Aside from US intervention, the human rights group also said that the government should address the continuing drug-related killings.

“He (Duterte) should call for a stop to the killings, prosecute and hold accountable perpetrators of the extrajudicial killings, including those from the police,” Palabay said.

According to Karapatan, the government should establish meaningful reforms in the living conditions of people, especially the marginalized instead of focusing on everyday killings.

“The Duterte government should effect and ensure the provision of secure jobs with living wages, decent housing, free education and health care, and land to cultivate. It is through empowering the people and helping them provide for their needs that they will veer away from drugs,” Palabay said.

Allowing the Armed Forces of the Philippines to participate in the anti-narcotics campaign, including the revival of the Philippines Constabulary, is like bringing to life another monster responsible for violence, cruelty and all types of abuses during martial law, Palabay said.

According to Karapatan, the use of the military and other mercenaries in so-called wars against drugs is a concept that was peddled by the US government in countries such as Mexico and Colombia through the Merida Initiative.

“It is a form of military intervention which justifies American military and financial support for governments to maintain and protect US political and economic influence,” Palabay said.

It has been proven that US-funded drug wars have not eliminated the drug menace, but have targeted the civilian population, Palabay added.

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