ILPS Commission on Women’s Liberation and Rights Against All Forms of Exploitation (Commission 7)

MANILA, Philippines – The Marcos-Duterte PH government has yet again kowtowed to imperial powers as it welcomed the biggest ever delegation of US military troops in the country. The move is part of the US’ push for the hastened implementation of the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), which also spurred the construction of four new US bases in the Philippines. Some 17,600 combined troops from the US army, Philippine army, and observers from Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom arrived for the joint military exercises that will be held from April 11–28, 2023. 

The joint drills add to the recent string of intensified military operations and intervention of the US government in the Indo-pacific region. In the first quarter of 2023, US had already undertaken several measures that heightened geopolitical tensions in the region and undermined efforts to bring peace in neighboring countries: US warship cruises have been observed near China’s outposts in the West Philippine Sea; In March, a security triad was signed between the US, the US-allied Japan, and the Philippines to further consolidate and strengthen their military ties; US and Japan also held tens of joint drills with South Korea in the Korean Peninsula, thereby bringing the world in the brink of a nuclear war between the US and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

In the name of maintaining and expanding its control and power over resource-rich territories, US has consistently instigated wars all over the world with the help of its allies and the puppet governments in its neocolonies. These wars have resulted in the rape and deaths of millions of women, youth and children, and LGBTQ+ and in further destitution of the toiling masses.

Among their Filipino victims were Nicole and Vanessa who were raped by US soldiers in 2005 and 2009, respectively; Rawina Wahid from Sulu who testified that US soldiers rained fire on her, her children aged 4 and 9, as well as another pregnant woman in 2008; transwoman Jennifer Laude who was brutally murdered last 2014 by US soldier Joseph Scott Pemberton; and the thousands of comfort women who were forced into sexual slavery by Japanese soldiers during World War II. Not to mention the billions-worth of damages to infrastructure, livelihoods, and environmental resources that these wars and aggression have inflicted on the Philippines and elsewhere in the world. 

We refuse to serve as cannon fodders in the US’ vicious and violent bid to monopolize the world’s resources! Hold the US and its puppets accountable for its long list of war crimes against Filipinos and other sovereign peoples of the world! Resist US’ military and economic intervention in the Indo-pacific region and elsewhere!

We call on our sisters and brothers from all over the world to join the Filipino women and peoples’ struggle for peace, justice, and sovereignty.#

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