CPP Ang Bayan
The Communist Party of the Philippines is in solidarity with the Filipino people in strongly assailing the killing by an American soldier of a Filipina in Olongapo City on October 12.
The CPP and all revolutionary forces support the family and friends of the victim Jennifer Laude in the steps they have taken to obtain justice. The Filipino people fervently desire justice for Jennifer, for all other victims of crimes perpetrated by American soldiers and for the entire nation for the continuing violation of their freedom.
The CPP supports the Filipino people’s demand to place the accused American soldier in Philippine custody. They must go all-out in demanding the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA)—an unequal treaty stating that American soldiers facing criminal cases in the Philippines should remain in the custody of the US military.
The VFA deprives a state of the sovereign right to exercise power over anyone who should be brought to trial. It is a huge insult to the Filipino people to be deprived of this right by the US government. Even as the Philippine government may request custody, the US government holds the prerogative of whether to grant the request or not.
Jennifer’s name is only the latest in a long list of Filipino victims of various crimes committed by American soldiers and the US military in the Philippines. In more than a hundred years of US colonization, neocolonial rule and military intervention in the Philippines, there have been myriad cases of killings, rape, massacre, robbery and plunder.
Jennifer’s killing is a painful reminder to the Filipino people of how US imperialism obliterated the lives of 700,000 Filipinos in the war of aggression of 1899-1902. Up to 800,000 more Filipinos would be killed by American soldiers in the war to quell the armed revolution for national liberation that lasted until 1916. Not a single US soldier or officer was held accountable for these crimes. Neither was any soldier or officer held responsible for the Subic rape case in 2005 and for various other killings, violations, shootings, beatings and intimidation, among other crimes.
We can expect more crimes like Jennifer’s killing committed by American soldiers due to the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) signed by the Aquino regime and the US government. Under EDCA, more American soldiers will be entering the country and stationed in bases and facilities to be built in so-called “Agreed Locations” or areas within AFP military bases.
Aquino’s signing of the EDCA is but his latest act of subservience to US military power. Under the Aquino regime, the number of battleships and warplanes allowed to enter, sail, dock and launch various operations within Philippine territory in the name of “joint military exercises,” or “rest and recreation” and “supply procurement” by American forces have grown over the years. Thousands of American troops have been entering the country annually.
It is the puppet Aquino regime that has actually created the situation that culminated in Jennifer’s killing. Wherever American soldiers are found, prostitution and decadent lifestyles are rampant.
Jennifer was killed in the 70th year of US imperialism’s return to reconquer the Philippines. In the so-called Leyte Landing, the US invaded the Philippines anew to reoccupy it after its forces withdrew in 1942 upon their defeat in the hands of attacking Japanese imperialist military forces. The Leyte Landing (also known as Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s return) is the second time the US snatched Philippine freedom from the Filipinos.
Whenever it enters Philippine territory, the US military arrogates the privilege of having the world’s most powerful armed force. It is the US military that decides when and where to enter, where and how long to dock, what weapons to bring, how many soldiers to deploy and what operations to launch.
Every American soldier carries with him the imperialist arrogance of his chieftain Barack Obama, who, in a recent speech, boasted that “we are the indispensable nation.” Wherever they go, armed American troops behave like masters who expect to be waited on by their “friends.” Whether in Afghanistan or Iraq, Pakistan or the Philippines, American soldiers commit crimes and violate the sovereignty and integrity of the countries they enter as a rule.
There will definitely be more Jennifers who will be falling victim to various crimes and acts of violence perpetrated by American soldiers in the country. The Filipino people must give their all to fight for justice for Jennifer, to demand an end to US military presence and intervention and to oust Aquino’s puppet government.