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Waste dumping shows VFA is 'toxic for Filipinos.

THE DUMPING of toxic waste by US Navy contractors in Subic shows that the Visiting Forces Agreement is "toxic" for our nation's sovereignty and should be junked immediately. The VFA allows US troops to get away with destruction of our natural resources, and dumping of American junk in our shores.

No self-respecting nation will allow "visitors" to dump toxic waste in its territory. The dumping was clearly a violation of a nation's sovereignty; it was a slap on the face of our people.

It is appalling that our government seems to be protecting these miscreants instead of our nation's interests. The Palace is quick to condemn China's threats, but it is as meek as a lamb when it comes to United States' actual trampling of our rights.

The Aquino administration's Presidential Commission on the VFA (VFAcom) has ignorantly shielded the Glenn Defense Marine Asia from any probe into the toxic waste dumping incidents. The Palace now says that the VFA cannot be invoked to defend the private contractors. Isn't this an admission that if the crime was done by US soldiers, they could not have been held responsible?

The VFAcom's blocking of the investigation into the matter is a treasonous act, a grave violation of our sovereignty. Even as we have regained the titles to former US military bases, such as Subic, foreign-owned defense ships have reclaimed these areas. Worse, the deployed troops enjoy immunity.

As they have thrown their unwelcome wastes in our territory, every US ship must be kept away from Philippine shores. The VFAcom, the contractor and the US government must be held liable for this wrong continuously being done to us.

We urge the government to stop further US military deployment in our country, stop US-PH military exercises and investigate the abuses being done by US personnel and contractors. Congress must move fast to junk the toxic VFA, it is detrimental to our national interest. We must not wait until further damage is done.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Nov 15, 2012
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