Alliance of Filipino women, Gabriela in a protest held on Saturday, Aug. 6, slammed the “secretive” and “discreet” high-level visit of United States (U.S.) Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the Philippines.
Carrying their banners and assertive voice, the women’s group troop to Mendiola to denounce the confidential and secretive arrival of Blinken in the country, suspecting that this would lead to the Philippines being “dragged into a war” that would be beneficial to the U.S.
“Ngayong araw ay nandito tayo sa Mendiola kahit na palihim, pasikreto, ang pagbisita ni Antony Blinken sa Pilipinas para pumirma sa mga overnight treaties katulad ng Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) at Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) na siyang nagpapanatili ng bansang Pilipinas sa dikta sa imperyalismong Estados Unidos (Today we are here in Mendiola, even if Antony Blinken’s visit in the Philippines is discreet and secretive in order to sign overnight treaties such as MDT and VFA which keeps the Philippines under the dictation of the imperialist U.S.),” said Gabriela Spokesperson Clarice Palce during the protest.
Meanwhile, Gabriela also reiterated their call for the revocation of MDT and VFA, claiming that these agreements strengthen the U.S. government’s “access and control” over the country’s navigation and territorial resources.
With these agreements in place, the group added that the country will be “obliged to support” the U.S.’ wars of aggression, while the U.S. on the other hand, will “not claim any responsibility” to the Philippines.
“In reality, there is no other logical reason why U.S. top government officials visit Asia-Pacific nations than to consolidate its control and influence in the region, and to maintain its position as the most powerful nation in the world amid China’s rise to economic and military dominance,” said Gabriela Secretary-General Joms Salvador in a press statement.
“Such agreements have resulted to abuses and rights violations by American soldiers against many Filipinos especially women, children, and LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/ questioning, intersex, asexual),” Salvador furthered.