From InterAksyon (Apr 15): Invitation for US to use bases is 'treason,' says solon
An activist lawmaker on Monday accused Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin of “treason” and “outright defiance of the Constitution” for suggesting the United States can again set up military bases in the country if it goes to war with North Korea.
Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares also said any such move would drag the country into a conflict not of its own making and leave it open to attack by the US’ enemies.
"The Philippines is not involved in the dispute in Korea. If we set up US bases here, then we become a legitimate target of the enemies of the United States,” he said in a statement.
Gazmin said over the weekend that war on the Korean Peninsula would be an “extreme emergency” that might justify the “extreme measure” of allowing US based back on Philippine soil even if this is banned by the Constitution.
On September 16, 1991, the Philippine Senate rejected the renewal of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement, ending 93 years of US basing rights in the country.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario also said the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty with the US obliges the Philippines to come to the aid of the Americans in the event of war.
Tensions have heightened on the Korean Peninsula ever since the United Nations imposed harsher sanctions on North Korea after it undertook a nuclear weapons test in February.
Aside from violating national sovereignty, Colmenares said the country “will not in any way benefit” from allowing foreign bases in the country “because we have nothing to do with the Koreans’ issue.”
“We've been asking the government what possible benefits do we get from the VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement) and US bases, and the government has no answer at all except that we earn a few millions in tourist dollars. We cannot sell our souls and endanger the lives of our people, and more importantly our sovereignty, in exchange for a few pieces of silver. This is treason," he said.