Filipino fisherfolk on Thursday, Feb. 11, renewed the call for the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), as the United States (US) government reaffirmed its military alliance with the Philippines under the Mutual Defense Treaty.
In a statement, Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) urged the US to end its military support to the Philippines and respect the country’s independence as a nation.
“Duterte is already exposed and established as an international outcast. Who in the right mind would still provide logistical and military support to his tainted regime?,” Pamalakaya National Chairperson Fernando Hicap said in a statement.
“If U.S. President Biden would still pursue his military influence in the country, then what difference does he make to his predecessor Donald Trump who gave full support to Duterte’s murderous reign?,” he added.
According to the fishers’ group, the continued U.S. military aid to the Philippines is contradictory to its Global Magnitsky Act which seeks to sanction those involved in human rights violations.
With this, Hicap urged the US government to hold the Duterte administration accountable over alleged massive human rights violations and other crimes against humanity.
“The new POTUS wouldn’t want to be in a position where he would be associated with the widely-scorned Duterte regime. Thus, our call to end all the military support to this fascist regime and respect our independence as a nation instead,” said Hicap.