Youth group Anakbayan today asked if President Aquino got $300 million or P13.9 billion from Washington in exchange for the reopening of the US bases in Clark and Subic and the offering of other locations for the stationing of unlimited personnel, weapons, and facilities.
Anakbayan national chairperson Vencer Crisostomo recalled a September 20, 2015 New York Times (NYT) report which exposed secret negotiations between Washington and the Aquino government to revive the US bases through the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
According to the NYT expose, a senior Philippine official who spoke on the condition of anonymity revealed that the Aquino government asked Washington for $300 million in military aid to modernize the Philippine military to supposedly counter Chinese excursions in the West Philippine Sea.
“The Aquino clique pulled all the strings to make the Supreme Court (SC) decide to make EDCA constitutional. Immediately a day after the SC ruling, the Aquino government announced the offering of 8 bases to US forces. “Did the Aquino government get the $300M after all?”” said Crisostomo.
He said that EDCA may be Aquino’s gift to the US in order to secure its endorsement for the ruling Liberal Party’s unpopular standard bearer Mar Roxas and the $300 million as part of the administration party’s campaign kitty.
“Aquino has done an Aguinaldo and sold our sovereignty for personal gains. The yarn about EDCA modernizing our military to defend against Chinese aggression is just a cover story. EDCA is pact with the devil turns the country into one big, rent-free US military base in exchange for US support for the Liberal Party’s bet. It really is all about the money,” he said.
The youth leader called on all other presidential candidates to stand for national sovereignty by vowing to junk EDCA and reject the return of US bases in the country.
He likewise called on presidential candidates to push for a policy of national industrialization to develop the country’s economy so it can have the capacity for defense against foreign aggressors.