Once again, the American people are being asked to support the people of the Philippines in their battle to eliminate U.S. military bases from their country. In September of 1991 that battle seemed to be won when the Philippine Senate rejected any extension of the U.S.-Philippine Military Bases Agreement. But on December 7, 1995, the United States-Republic of the Philippines Mutual Defense Board plans to meet in Hawaii to complete a secret "Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement" (ACSA) between the two governments that would *allow the Pentagon to expand military operations in the Philippines without congressional scrutiny or authorization.* Your help is needed to repudiate the ACSA agreement.
Attempts to ratify this agreement in Manila in 1994 were deferred because of popular opposition in the Philippines on several occasions, so now the Hawaii site has been chosen by the Pentagon in the hope of avoiding public exposure and protest. *The intent of both Washington and Manila is to keep the terms of this agreement secret and to conclude an executive agreement that would skirt both U.S. and Philippine congresses as well as the public.*
ACSA will support increased militarization of the Asia-Pacific region and facilitate U.S. military interventions in Third World countries. It will further strengthen U.S. ties with the Philippine military, which has a long history of human rights abuses. ACSA will result in more ship repairs and supply missions, more periodic deployment of U.S. troops, and a return to the tragic social and environmental problems left behind once before by the U.S. military. These included thousands of poverty-stricken women and children exploited as prostitutes, the spread of AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases, and a legacy of toxic wastes from the bases that still threaten human health and the environment.
While many of us had hoped for a peace dividend with the ending of the Cold War, agreements such as ACSA raise expenditures for war and intervention rather than social needs.
For more information about ACSA, write Friends of the Filipino People, Box 2125, Durham, NC 27707.
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