**Please forward widely**
DAY OF ACTION AGAINST THE VISITING FORCES AGREEMENT
10 years of the VFA = 10 years of military occupation, abductions, and rape
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
PROTEST and Meeting with the Philippine Consulate General
@ the Philippine Consulate [**note location change**]
447 Sutter Street, San Francisco
Teach-In on the VFA
1070 Howard Street (c/s: 7th Street)
San Francisco, CA
Both events featuring special guest speaker Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and representatives of BAYAN-USA, GABRIELA USA and NAFCON-Norcal
In the wake of the abduction of Filipino American human rights advocate and health worker Melissa Roxas and her companions Juanito Carabeo and John Edward Handoc, please join BAYAN-USA and GABRIELA USA as we condemn the US-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and demand justice for victims of abduction and all human rights violations with an action and educational forum on the 10th anniversary of the VFA’s ratification.
Human rights violations in the Philippines have escalated to unprecedented heights since 2001, when Gloria Macapagal Arroyo became president and the U.S. launched its ‘war on terror.’ It is no coincidence that the Visiting Forces Agreement, was ratified just two years earlier on May 27, 1999–the VFA paved the way for US military advisers, troops and equipment to flood the Philippines and to train and equip the Philippine military who are widely believed to have committed the human rights abuses.
Under the guise of military exercises and training, tens of thousands of Filipinos have been displaced, hundreds of rapes of Filipina women have been committed, and innocent civilians have been killed–paid for by nearly $1 billion US taxpayer dollars. Over 200 innocent people like Melissa Roxas have become the victims of abductions and enforced disappearances, and more than 1,000 have been killed in what is clearly a politically-motivated campaign to silence critics of th Arroyo administration. Overwhelming evidence points to the perpetrators of the violence being Philippine military personnel–who were trained by US advisers and equipped using US military aid.
Guest speaker Senator. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan is one of 6 Philippine Senators who signed a Senate resolution calling for a review of the VFA and for the Philippine government to exercise its right to terminate the treaty. Protests and educational forums are also planned in New York, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Seattle in the U.S., as well as in Bicol, Cebu, Davao, Panay and Central Luzon, all areas where US military exercises were previously held.
For more information, contact Rhonda Ramiro at 415-377-2599 or firstname.lastname@example.org.